Akcam: What Davutoglu Fails to Understand

While the ruling AK Party in Turkey continues to sing the same old tune on the genocide, it is trying out a new style. Our minister of foreign affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu, is one of those testing out this new style with the concept of “just memory.”

Davutoglu explains the concept in this way: “If [Armenian Foreign Minister] Edward Nalbantyan had agreed to it that day [the protocols were signed, Oct. 10, 2009], I had prepared a speech for after the signing… I had rested that speech upon one single concept: just memory…a key concept. In other words, to not look at that entire history from a single-sided point of view. We should be empathetic to what the Armenians lived through, what they felt, and what followed for them afterwards. But while expecting respect for their memory, they in turn should show respect for ours too. We shouldn’t construct a one-sided memory… 1915 may be the year of the deportation for them. For us, it is at the same time the year of Canakkale and of Sarikamis” (Murat Yetkin, Radikal, March 26, 2010).

In the press conference organized by Davutoglu in March after the decision by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee for Foreign Affairs on the Armenian Genocide, he expressed the same ideas: “1915 represents the deportation for the Armenians but at the same time it represents Canakkale for us… It was a period of time marked by the great defense for the endurance of a nation. It was a period marked by great suffering in Anatolia. A time when two million people migrated from the Balkans and from the Caucasus. In the wake of the disintegration of an empire, chaos reigned. We have always sympathized with the suffering of that time” (see http://haber.sol.org.tr/devlet-ve-siyaset/davutoglu-1915-bizim-icin-canakkale-dir-haberi-24901).

What Davutoglu is trying to do is actually quite simple. He’s trying to follow a kind of “balancing” policy. To put it in a nutshell: “If the Armenians had their suffering, we had ours too.” It may sound like a new statement, since he seems ready to accept what happened to the Armenians in 1915. However, the precondition for accepting it is that “Muslim suffering” must be equaled with “Armenian suffering.” In reality, therefore, there is nothing new in his statement. The reasoning behind “just memory” and “mutual suffering” has a second and perhaps even more important aspect to it: It views recent history as having been shaped by actors from two different sides—“Muslim” and “Christian.” And these “two sides” developed different “histories and memories” in a state of conflict. This is a serious distortion of history, and for this reason it is worth taking a closer look at it.

First, the “just memory” and “mutual suffering” thesis is an extremely stale one. It’s been repeated over and over again in Turkey for years. Justin McCarthy, Sukru Elekdag’s history consultant, has written books on it. It represents a violation of a simple rule that shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but here it is: You can never, ever, present civilian and military deaths that occurred during a war as equivalent to the annihilation of a population upon the orders of a party or government. This is a very ordinary denialist tactic. The fact that the civilian and military deaths during World War II in Germany far exceed the number of Jews who were destroyed is a fact known by every school child there. However, today, outside of a few leftover Nazis and some extreme German nationalists, you will not find a single German citizen opposed to acknowledging the Holocaust based on the notion of “just memory” and “we suffered too.” Anyone doing that would be shamed into silence. In a similar vein, if you were to take the deaths caused by Stalin’s massacres against civilians during World War II, and equate them to the losses suffered by the Soviet Army and civilian population while combating the Nazis, that would again be considered shameful. For a less known example, in the genocide perpetrated by the Hutu government against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, 800,000 Tutsis were killed. If you were to compare those 800,000 deaths with the deaths of Hutus by the Tutsi independence organization called the Front for Rwanda Nationlovers (RPF), you would have again committed a grave injustice. Today the Hutu nationalists being prosecuted by the Rwanda International Criminal Court are making those very same arguments in their defense.

This tendency, unfortunately, remains unexamined in Turkey. Whenever the subject of the Armenians’ annihilation in 1915 comes up, the civilian Muslim and military losses from the Caucasian and Balkan wars and World War I are presented as an equivalent. Our so-called “liberal” writers engage in the same exercise. Sometimes you can’t get away from all the “mutual suffering” literature being printed everywhere. Since everyone has suffered and everyone needs to understand the other’s suffering, a deep sense of “peace” settles into every corner. One can’t ignore the comfort in replacing “accusations” and “conflicts” and “battles,” with “harmony” and “serenity” and “understanding.” Since “everyone has suffered,” we gain a tremendous sense of peace by “understanding each other’s pain.” Therefore there is no “perpetrator” in our midst, no “malfeasor,” and no “victim.” We are all in the same position, so why fight? We need to accept the fact that when “someone is feeling blamed” rather deeply, turning it around and making themselves feel like the victim is actually quite comforting to them. It’s a general rule: When cornered, make yourself the victim and get instant stress relief.

From this point on, when we discuss 1915 we need to get away from this statement that “All of us suffered.” What we are talking about are examples of violence that carry different characteristics. Civilian and military losses during wars and the deliberate destruction of a civilian population by the decision of an administration are not crimes that can be examined on the same level, and cannot be considered equivalent. If you are going to take examples of violence with completely different causes and different results, and label them equivalent in degree, one can only conclude that you do not want to understand what happened and that you would prefer to sweep things under the rug.

Why bring up Turkish losses suffered during the war whenever the question of Armenian losses—as a result of centralized decision-making—comes up? Isn’t this a rather strange exercise in logic? By taking two completely different events, different both in the players involved and their causes (in fact in the Caucasian migrations, occurring in different centuries), and placing them side by side and then asking us to consider them together, this isn’t just some silly distortion of history. It is something far worse. It is trying to get us to make what the old folks used to call an “illiyet rabitasi,” or “causation connection.” And it wants us to place the Armenians on one side of those events—if possible, the opposing side. Fine, but there is just one simple question: What possible connection did the Armenians of Anatolia have with the Balkans or with the migration of Muslims from the Caucasus, which started around 80 years before 1915? And more importantly, wasn’t the Union and Progress Party responsible for the losses suffered during World War I as well as what happened in 1915?

This question brings us to the second aspect of this issue: The softness of that phrase “We’ve all suffered” carries within it a deep-seated nationalism and a distortion of facts regarding our recent history. This sentiment views recent history as one marked by two separate collective actors—the “Muslim Turk” and the “Christian Armenian.” The “Muslim Turk actors” and their “history and memory,” and the “Christian Armenian actors” and their “history and memory,” developed different “suffering” within the context of their relations, maybe with clashes with each other, according to this view. For this reason, when looking backward one shouldn’t be confined to just one side’s history and memory. Both sides’ histories and memories need to be honored. This is a very serious distortion of history. The facts don’t bear out this version of history.

This manner of thinking that Davutoglu has been trying to develop is both a manifestation of the deep-seated Muslim identity within the AKP and a reflection of another phenomenon described by the French historian Renan, that is, “a state can only be established upon the deformation of the past. One can’t create a nation without deforming the past.” In other words, 95 years of lies and denial politics have created this mindset of “sides” and “memories” of the issue. This mindset is where the self-belief and self-concept of the Muslim identity in Turkey meets with the secularist-nationalist interpretation of history. This is why the AKP (and Davutoglu) continue the usual denialist policies.

Let’s start from the Balkan wars. The facts are really quite simple. The Balkan wars took place against the Serbian, Greek, and Bulgarian states. One quarter of the army that was mobilized by the Ottomans consisted of Christian Ottoman citizens. As Ottoman citizens, the Armenians’ role in the war wasn’t simply limited to serving in the army. They were active in soliciting donations for it. For example, the director of the Pangalti branch of the Mudafaa-i Milliyet Cemiyeti (Society for National Defense) was Dikran Allahverdi. Dikran bey was successful in procuring 3,000 Ottoman gold coins in donations for support of the army, which even got his name mentioned in the daily newspapers of the time. Dikran Allahverdi was one of the intellectuals who was arrested on April 24, 1915 and taken away. Now, Mr. Davutoglu, where in your “just memory” is there a place for Dikran Allahverdi? Isn’t it just a little bit strange to sit there and pronounce the “Balkan Wars” as belonging to “our memory”—meaning “Muslim memory”—and present it as a contrast to the “Armenians’ history,” especially what happened in 1915?

The Sarikamis example isn’t very different. According to Davutoglu’s “just memory,” on one side is “our” (meaning “Muslim”) suffering over Sarikamis, and on the other side is the Armenian suffering of 1915. Can Davutoglu explain to me why Sarikamis is on one side of history while the Armenians are on the other side? No doubt this is because of Davutoglu’s version of history, which places Muslims on one side and Christians on the other side. Therefore the Muslim losses at Sarikamis get compared with the Armenian-Christian losses of 1915, and presented as “different memories.”

Can there be a more meaningless “compare and contrast” method than this? Anyone with an understanding of history would realize that Sarikamis and 1915 do not represent “two different sides” that reflect “two different memories.” I didn’t compose the folk tune “Askeri kirdiran Enver Pasha” (“Enver Pasha Who Destroyed Soldiers”). This nation did. Enver is both the murderer of Sarikamis and the murderer of Armenians in 1915. Just a simple understanding of history would make us realize that we shouldn’t contrast Sarikamis and 1915; it would remind us to record both on the crime ledgers of Enver and Talat Pasha.

Isn’t this actual history? Wasn’t the Union and Progress party responsible for both the Muslim losses during World War I and the murders of Armenians? With what sort of logic—and why—are two crimes of different characters enacted by the same government both treated the same and also contrasted with each other? Why place one crime by the Union and Progress Party on one side, and the other crime with the other side’s pain and memory? Shouldn’t we put an end to the meaninglessness that hides behind bright words like “just memory”? If Davutoglu had read the indictments of the prosecutions against the Unionists in 1919, he would have seen that the Unionists were prosecuted for these two different criminal episodes, and he would stop this strange business of comparing Sarikamis with the attempted annihilation of the Armenians in 1915.

The situation doesn’t change when you consider Gallipoli. In fact, it presents a much more serious different set of historical facts. It is a situation that is symbolized in the personality of Captain Sarkis Torosyon, as related by Ayhan Aktar (TARAF, March 22, 2010). The battle of Gallipoli doesn’t fall neatly into different memories and suffering between “us” and “Armenians,” as described by Davutoglu. Actually, it reminds us of a horrible and different reality behind it. There were Armenians fighting in the Ottoman army in both Sarikamis and Gallipoli, and when these soldiers were fighting on the battle front, their families were being deported and destroyed. Gallipoli is not marked by Muslims Turks on one side and the history and suffering of Armenians in 1915 on the other. Quite the opposite. Gallipoli stands as a history where the families of those Armenian soldiers battling in the Ottoman army were destroyed.

During the mobilization of Aug. 2, 1914, Armenian citizens between the ages of 18-45 were conscripted in the army like other citizens. After the defeat at Sarikamis on Feb. 25, 1915, by secret orders sent personally by Enver Pasha, all the Armenians were stripped of their weapons and most were placed in labor battalions. During the deportation, these soldiers were systematically murdered. This wouldn’t be limited to the murder of Armenians in the military, either. There was a much more painful aspect to this. The families of the Armenian soldiers who survived and continued serving in the army were also deported and killed. Sarkis Torosyan is not an exception. The Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archives are filled with the correspondences of Armenian soldiers serving in the army who wished to learn of the whereabouts of their deported families. Parsih, an employee of the Ministry of War’s quartermaster general’s department, fourth branch construction squadron; Minas Efendi, son of Nasib, a physician’s assistant with the Dar-ul Muallimin Hospital, from the Bilecek community; Kiragos Efendi, the provisions official with the Jerusalem First Station Hospital; Nersis Mikailyan of Bursa; the first lieutenant Agop from Bolvadin; Aram Asador Demirjiyan of Izmit; Dikran Artun of Konya; Artin, son of Ohannes from Balikesir; Sirakan, son of Papas from Istanbul; Kirkor Efendi, son of Haji Serkis from the township of Arslanbey in the district of Izmit, are just some of the names.

I won’t even bother going any deeper into the subject, knowing that these Armenian soldiers who remained alive were from western Anatolia; that not a single piece of writing can be found from the Armenians of eastern Anatolia; and that almost all of the writings one encounters date from after August 1915…

Mr. Davutoglu, does your “memory of Gallipoli” have room for the Armenian soldiers fighting in the Ottoman army and the destruction of their families?

Mr. Davutoglu, history wasn’t experienced with the Muslims on one side and the Christians on the other.

Mr. Davutoglu, Gallipoli isn’t “ours” and 1915 “the Armenians’.” The Ottoman state and its ruling party, the Union and Progress, ruthlessly oppressed its own Muslim and Christian citizens. The Muslims perished by way of war and sickness. The Armenians were removed from Anatolia by a policy intent on destroying them. It’s as simple as that. Why are you having such a hard time admitting that? Is it because you don’t see the Christian-Armenians as “one of us”? Maybe that’s why you still can’t seem to find a resolution to the ordinary matter of the foundation properties of Christian citizens. You realize, I’m sure, that in modern terms, this is what is referred to as discrimination and racism.

The Turkish version of this OpEd appeared in Taraf on May 11, 2010. Translated from the Turkish by Fatima Sakarya.

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Taner Akcam

Taner Akcam is the Robert Aram, Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marion Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.

512 Comments

  1. Brilliant article!  Taner Akcam hits the nail on the head, so to speak, that both Muslims and Christians suffered under the gross criminality of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP).  As Taner asserts … “It’s as simple as that.”

  2. Akcam “fails to understand” many important elements of the Armenian Question. He does not believe in reparations, compensation, or the liberation of Western Armenia. He just cares about Turkish democracy. For him, Turkey is a country in its present borders, which he also shares and enjoys with the abuser and denier Turkish FM.
     
    I care more about preventing Davutoglu from receiving a Woodrow Wilson Center award this June.
     
    ANCA, we need your help. Where are you?
     
    If we don’t give this one a good fight, then we really don’t give a damn about liberating Turkish-occupied Wilsonian Armenia!

  3. Thank you Professor Akcam!

    I’m almost through reading your book, “A Shameful Act”.

  4. Taner Akcam, you give me hope.  If you can rise above the racist nationalism of the denialist Turkish State with your integrity and basic humanity intact, I know that there are many more like you to follow.  The effort for recognition, reparation and reconciliation by the descendants of  Ottoman-Armenian survivors of the Armenian Genocide is a difficult one to sustain at times.  It is easy to become discouraged and to have the passion for justice knocked out of you by those who try to create a false “equilibrium of suffering” between the Muslim Turks and the Armenians in the years around 1915.  I thank you for your honest scholarship and open-mindedness to your own history.
     
    Davutoglus’ tactic of equalizing suffering is an old defensive manuever that has often been tried by the those who wish to deflect guilt.  Humans have been doing it forever.  Go to any playground in the world and you will hear children defending themselves by saying “you hit me first.”  It is a tit for tat strategy designed to assuage oneself of the responsibility over ones  actions and to justify aggressive acts.  But the very fact that one must assuage oneself of guilt feelings implies that one knows one is guilty!
     
    I have a hard time understanding the mindset of Turks who suggest that the suffering of Turks during World War I at Canakkale and Sarikamish,  which were military battles, can be corrollated to the suffering of Armenians during the mass deportations, which were centrally planned and executed against civilian populations.   It is only understandable in the context of a guilt-assuaging tactic.
     
    Please, Turkey,  it is time to admit your guilt, make appropriate reparations and normalize relations with your Armenian neighbors.  Let our children create a future based on reconciliation in the light of truth.

  5. Thank you Dr. Akcam for stating the facts. Mr. Davutoghlu should really read history instead of trying to find ‘new ways’? Can he read his own history in the Arabic Alphabet? I wonder?

    G

  6. Dear Dave,

    Thank you for the information.. The award that will be presented to Davotoglu was written in another article whose author was one of our commentators, Boyajian.. he wrote it very beautifully and provided names and e-mail addresses for everyone at WWC and some Armenian websites..

    I personally wrote a long letter to WWC and cc’d EVERYONE including ANCA and other Armenian organizations to act on this and stop this from happening..

    I am glad to see that ANCA put an alert …. I will log in and submit my entry…

    Professor Akcam.. You are our hero.. I don’t know how to thank you for your straight forward, honest and truthful article..

    I am proud to say that we have a friend in the Turkish community such as yourself.. May God protect you…

    Gayane

  7. Hye, latest PLOY of the Turks, using the Woodrow Wilsion Center to gain an award for the Genocide-denying Turkish leader of today – ANY award is a lie.
    Too, it is another  ‘in your face’ action Turks use frequently –  knowing full and well they are lying.  An award?  For what?  Unbelievable…
    Instead, Turks’leaderships shall have an award – having come down from the Asian mountains – and via Genocides against the Caucusus nationals – stole the lands via the Genocides of the Armenians, Greeks, Syrians, Assyrians et al.  This is how the Turk today have any lands – via Genocides, via stealing… for all these
    Genocides – Turks are winner – for all the Genocides committed and denied. 
    Too, all mention of Woodrow Wilson’s aspirations for the Armenians to recover from their ordeal with the Genocidal Turks have ‘disappeared’ from WWC data.
    Too, in Turkey, all these Turkish leaderships have ‘omitted, removed, displaced,
    disappeared any and all mention of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation in their own history books – teach lies to their own students! When and if Turkeys leaderships come forth and admit to the actions of their forbears, pay due and owing reparations to the Armenians, in Armenia and all across the world to the families  of the Survivors who fled terrors of the Turks – then, and only then, shall the world be rid of Genocides!! Despots shall not perpetrate any Genocides!
    What have the Turks, over these hundreds of years, served humanity in any manner or form, i.e. any of the Sciences, Education, History, and so much more,
    for the advancement of  all Humanity.  Au contrare, Turksh have a reputation of the committing Genocides, stealing lands by slaughterings, raping, kidappings,
    and worse…
    But now, to have the gall to take the name of our President Woodrow Wilson to
    besmirch – knowing full and well his aspirations for the Armenian nation, to use
    his name, in any manner or form, is a desecration of his life, of his memory as
    a great leader of the United States of America.
    It would not surprise me to learn that the Woodrow Wilson Center is now ‘owned’ and controlled by a Turkey… and why not?  Turkey seems to be calling the shots…
     – by the way, Woodrow was a PhD.
    Manooshag

  8. Hye, latest PLOY of the Turks, using the Woodrow Wilsion Center to gain an award for the Genocide-denying Turkish leader of today – ANY award is a lie.
    Too, it is another  ‘in your face’ action Turks use frequently –  knowing full and well they are lying.  An award?  For what?  Unbelievable…
    Instead, Turks’leaderships shall have an award – having come down from the Asian mountains – and via Genocides against the Caucusus nationals – stole the lands via the Genocides of the Armenians, Greeks, Syrians, Assyrians et al.  This is how the Turk today have any lands – via Genocides, via stealing… for all these
    Genocides – Turks are winner – for all the Genocides committed and denied. 
    Too, all mention of Woodrow Wilson’s aspirations for the Armenians to recover from their ordeal with the Genocidal Turks have ‘disappeared’ from WWC data.
    Too, in Turkey, all these Turkish leaderships have ‘omitted, removed, displaced,
    disappeared any and all mention of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation in their own history books – teach lies to their own students! When and if Turkeys leaderships come forth and admit to the actions of their forbears, pay due and owing reparations to the Armenians, in Armenia and all across the world to the families  of the Survivors who fled terrors of the Turks – then, and only then, shall the world be rid of Genocides!! Despots shall not perpetrate any Genocides!
    What have the Turks, over these hundreds of years, served humanity in any manner or form, i.e. any of the Sciences, Education, History, and so much more,
    for the advancement of  all Humanity.  Au contrare, Turksh have a reputation of the committing Genocides, stealing lands by slaughterings, raping, kidappings,
    and worse…
    But now, to have the gall to take the name of our President Woodrow Wilson to
    besmirch – knowing full and well his aspirations for the Armenian nation, to use
    his name, in any manner or form, is a desecration of his life, of his memory as
    a great leader of the United States of America.
    It would not surprise me to learn that the Woodrow Wilson Center is now ‘owned’ and controlled by a Turkey… and why not?  Turkey seems to be calling the shots…
     – by the way, Woodrow was a PhD.
    Manooshag
    P.S. Just try to besmirch any of the Turks who were the leaders pursuing the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians – in Turkey these murderers are ‘heroes’.

  9. This is not new. The Turks have and always will have an identity issue. Some Turks believe they are the master race to basically compensate for a lack of esteem. A “master race” doesn’t apologize. It doesn’t compensate. It does not “give”.  It feels it’s right to “take” “steal” “murder”. It doesn’t  come to terms. It is not introspective. It is self absorbed. Self concerned. The mere fact that it deems itself a “master race” implies fantasy.  Hence the fairytail  Turkish historical education system. Imagine any law that  jails for “insulting Turkishness”? What low self concepts Turks must have? Above all a turk is a predator. Nature will tell you that all predators eventually become extinct.

  10. I cannot believe how these slaughtering our Armenian nation the Turks are getting control of President Wilson’s center award.  I must add one more thing to Manooshag’s post; after all the slaughtering, killings and then denying the Armenian, Greek and Christian Assyrian’s Genocide, the Turks are winning everything until today; because they give monies… monies… and more monies UNDER THE TABLE to the U.S.A. government officials.  That’s how they are winning for 95 years the murderer Turkish government.

  11. I would like to know from the U.S.’s government; what is Davutoglu getting an award from President Wilson’s Center for???  For having his government in 1915 slaughtering 1.5 Million Armenian Christians?  Or because they slaughtered 800,000 Christian Greeks?  Or because the Turkish government slaughtered 800,000 Christian Assyrians?  Or because they did all those belligerent murderer acts and then got away with murder by paying monies like they pay to notorious men and women to some U.S. congressmen ande some U.S. Senators and that’s how they were able to deny the Armenian Genocide for 95 years????

  12. Dear Prof. Akcam,  It is truly difficult for someone to acknowledge to the world the ugly wrongdoings of his own people.  You have done that time and again, enduring persecution and even risking your own safety.   I salute you for your incredible courage and integrity.  Your research, papers and books regarding the Armenian Genocide have played a unique role in the revived scholastic interest in the Genocide in recent years.  Personally, I found in them the clearest and most inclusive explanations about why the Genocide happened.  I am a fan of your books, and as an Armenian I am grateful for your honest work as a historian.   Someone commented here that you do not believe in reparations or return of lands.  I am going to share this passage from your book “A Shameful Act”, in response to that. “…fear of this plan was a critical factor in the decision to turn to genocide because the partition would have created an independent Armenian state in Anatolia, destroying the empire.  In fact, after the Ottoman defeat in WWI, the Treaty of Sevres, signed in August 1920, would have established an Armenian state in these very provinces had there been any Armenians left.  After the war, many former Unionist leaders said openly that the Armenian genocide made the establishment of a Turkish national state possible.  In the words of former Unionist press doyen Huseyin Cahit Yalcin, “those who devised and carried out the deportation of the Armenians thereby rescued Turkey”…”.    Your books have openly and clearly driven home the fact that the Young Turks had to clear the Armenian provinces from the Armenians in order to create a country for the Turks.  Unlike the other lands that the Ottoman Empire held, Armenia was where most of the Turkish nation lived.  Letting go of it like its more distant holdings such as Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine etc… would have been very detrimental to the very existence of the Turkish nation.  I do not know how you feel about the return of the Western Armenian lands or reparations for properties; however no non-Armenian historian has been more articulate about the fact that a good part of Turkey was Armenia.  You openly acknowledge that in your books.  I understand your struggle to introduce the seeds of Democracy and equality for all citizens within your country.  That’s an important work.  I wish you success.  I commend your open letter to Mr. Davutoglu, who marginalizes the atrocity of a deliberate attempt to annihilate a population by basically saying, “… listen we did that to you, but don’t be upset, we incurred major losses in fighting the war .. so let bygones be bygones”.   Please continue your valuable contribution to the fight against racism and genocide.  The pursuit for reparations for our losses, the responsibility to fight for justice for our slaughtered ancestors, and our God given right to claim our lands back all fall upon us.

  13. I like  Akcam’s simple and clear statement:
    “Good part of  Turkey was Armenia”

    Thank you Akcam

    Now, every body should imagine,
    How it looks now.

  14. “Good part of  Turkey was Armenia”

    Well at least some agreement on what was part of what.  Though one must point out some serious mistakes in this statement and lets also try to ignore the blatant racism intended.  Only Turks are racists as we all know. 

    Armenia was never really part of Turkey at any time in history.  There was not even such a vilayet in the Ottoman Empire.  Best part?  Well, it is in eye of the beholder of course, but if by “best” what is meant is the culturally and economically richest part of the Empire, than many objective historians would tend to agree that it was the Rumeli. 

  15. I am afraid we are repeating ourselves. I would be very glad to have an exact transcript of what Davutoglu said. Akcam claims he equalizes Armenian and Turkish suffering in WWI.
    the citation from Davutoglu runs like the following:

    But while expecting respect for their memory, they in turn should show respect for ours too. We shouldn’t construct a one-sided memory… 1915 may be the year of the deportation for them. For us, it is at the same time the year of Canakkale and of Sarikamis”.

    By interpreting this phraze as a plea for “equalization of suffering” isnt Akcam rushing to quickly to a conclusion?

    But of course in a conflict one is prone to interpret all interventions from the other part as continuation of the same old melody.

    Are you sure this is not a new melody from Turkish leaders, mr. Akcam?

    But then of course I agree that the statement of mr. Davutoglu does not answer claims by Armenians and many others, because Davutoglu does not recognise the Genocide.

    But are there no other dimensions to the question ?

    Both parties may ackowledge the suffering of the other. In itself this does not preclude a disagreement on the Genocide issue.

    Is Davutoglu’s statment a repetition of the old pattern or is it a sign of progress? What responsibilities may we incur if we systematically interpret the Other as repeating the same melody?

  16. By “a good part of Turkey was Armenia”, all I meant to say is that a sizeable geographical portion of Turkey is made up of the old Western Armenia  (there were 6 Armenian Vilayets in Turkey, in addition to Cilicia).  I think my poor choice of words has caused misunderstanding here.  I did not use the word “good” in the context of “good or bad”/”rich or poor”.  Just “size”.  Turkey has in it not only large portions of old Armenia, it also includes Assyrian, Kurdish, Greek etc property/land.  The Ottoman Empire let go of its 600 year hold of many countries (Bulgaria, Serbia, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, part of Iraq etc).  These countries revolted and wanted their freedom, and that was the right thing to do.    Armenia wanted its freedom too, but to this day, this is being considered as “treason” by Turks, and as a reason why a whole population of women, men and children needed to be slaughtered and their properties taken away from them.  Taner Ackam explains “why” very well in his book “From Empire to Republic”.  There is ample evidence that the looting of Armenian properties/monies has not only enriched and created the first bourgeois society in Turkey, but in many instances it was also used to fund the needs of the Turkish army.   
    Gayane, you are a ray of sunshine… always the life of these commenting sites…

  17. Murat,

    Your Armenophobic, intolerable, and essentially imperialist views are already known to the readers of this site. Your most recent comment is of no surprise to us. Use your brains and try to understand: evil will be punished one way or the other, sooner or later, by the hands of the Armenians, the international community, or God Almighty. However you spit out spite, envy, and ethnic intolerance, it’s of no avail.
    Racists are those, to simplify the notion for you, who commit heinous crimes against a specific race. It is internationally accepted that Turks clearly fall under this category. But you’re mistaken in that Turks are the only racists, no, Nazis were racists, too. South African white rulers were racists. Americans were at one time in their history, as well as some other nations in history. The issue that you consistently fail to understand, and I think you do so deliberately, is that in many historical instances racists ultimately come to acknowledge their crimes, repent, and apologize to their victims. This is not happening with the Turks for 95 years because the very foundations of your State are so distorted that only a few, like Professor Akcam and others, stand out for investigating and speaking the truth.
    ‘Armenia was never really part of Turkey at any time in history’ is a correct statement in that there was no such a state formation as Turkey at the time when Armenia existed. Ottoman Empire was founded only in the 14th century AD, and the modern Turkish Republic was founded only in the 20th century AD on the bones and blood of the Armenians and other indeginious peoples.
    Of course there was not even such a velayet in the Ottoman Empire as ‘Armenia’ because Armenia that existed for thousands of years before the 14th century was enslaved by the Ottoman Turks. Could the Turks allow any nation to preserve their national, ethnic, cultural, and civilizational identity under their rule? Hell no. Turks can only scorch other peoples, their cultural, religious, architectural, and intellectual achievements, and then, like cowards, portray other peoples’ achievements as their own.
    There were six Armenian-populated velayets in the Ottoman Empire, cummulatively known as Western Armenia, that reached high levels of cultural and economic development despite being treated as millets, deprived of many important rights, and bearing heavy taxation as compared to the Muslims. Go to Ani, Kars, search for photos of Armenian cultural treasures now devastated or transformed into sheep yards by the ‘civilized’ Turks, and make your own judgment. Consider also the fact that roughly 80 percent of trade, commerce, and banking business of the Ottoman Empire was in the hands of the Armenians.
    Murat, you ridicule yourself by such statements. Spite and envy are no good companions of a person who considers himself erudite and open-minded. Such comments only reinforce our firm belief that essentially nothing has changed in the mentality of the majority of the Turks throughout the centuries after their nomadic savage forefathers invaded Asia Minor form the steppes of Central Asia and Altay mountains.
    I believe you’ll witness the repentance of your government and apologies extended to the Armenians during your lifetime. Like I said, evil will ultimately be punished. Make no mistake…

  18. John and Katia…Thank you!
    Murat, I feel a strange combination of anger and pity for you.  Anger because your accusations, denials and downright distortions of history and other’s words  are so devaluing to Armenians who want truth acknowledged.  The Armenian communities of Asia Minor were emptied, their possessions confiscated, and the inhabitants driven to their deaths in the desert.  This is a fact.  A horrible fact.  It is time for Turkey to acknowledge this.  To deny the truth or to minimize the horror of it is an insult to those who were killed, as well as an injury to those who survived and were forced to create new lives in disapora.   To deny the truth and fail to apologize for it, suggests that the lives lost were of minimal significance and easily forgotten.  They aren’t to the Armenian people.  It is a racist mindset that allows one to  ignore this truth and work within political and academic circles to hide, distort and  bribe others into collusion in the deception.
    And I feel pity because you live in a society that does not give you the psychological tools to see the truth and investigate beyond your state sponsored propaganda.  Once you see the truth, the solution is not complicated.  It is not easy to say sorry, but that is where the future lies.  Both Turkey and Armenia have much to gain by putting this awful history behind us.  Until Turkey acknowledges the truth and apologizes, she and Armenian will be bound together in a frozen moment from the past that cheats both of their full identity and honor.
    Open your eyes, Murat

  19. Those were my words not Prof. Ackam’s, just clarifying.  My quotation of Mr. Ackam was in bold letters.  Again what I meant to say is that a large geographical portion of Turkey is old Western Armenia’s lands.

  20. The decision to go to war was taken by the Young Turks.  The Turkish army incurred great losses.  The Muslim poplulation incurred great losses but those losses were all caused by the decision by the Ottoman empire leaders to go to war.   The Muslims also suffered when most Armenian bakers, farmers, shoe repairers, blacksmiths were taken away and murdered.  There was not enough bread because the Armenian bread makers were killed, and also because the government was taking over everything to feed its army.  The Armenian corpses floating in rivers and rutting in ditches caused a break out of Malaria and many other diseases which also took its tall on the remaining popluations.  Davutoglu needs to admit that the Armenian Genocide, not only the deportations, was wrong, and that the treatment of the Young Turks toward their own Muslim population was also wrong.  Instead he wants us to equate the war related sufferings of the Muslim population which were caused by the Turkish government to the deliberate sufferings/murder/looting of the Armenian population.   It is simply a terrible analogy or comparison.  One has nothing to do with the other.  The only thing Davutoglu wants to accomplish here is the dilution of the atrocity of the Genocide, and the fuzzying up of history.  He wants Europe to put the spotlight on the Muslim losses, which is ridiculous.  How many Europeans died because of WWI?  Shouldn’t we remember them too?

  21. Katia, thanks for illustrating some of the ways that the CUP’s genocidal policy effected the Muslim population of Asia Minor during WWI.  Blinded by extreme nationalism and desire for control and power, their ill-conceived “eliminationist” plans caused suffering that still reverberates 95 years later.  Why would any Turk defend these actions?  The vast majority of the suffering experienced by Turks and non-Turks during WWI were the direct result of the decisions and actions of the CUP leaders.
     
    Today, Davutoglu and other Turkish leaders are merely trying to deflect from the horror of genocide and dilute Turkish responsibility by saying, in essence:  “Yes the CUP deported your people, but please don’t forget, Turks also suffered.”   It is a dishonorable act on Davutoglu’s part and shows, at the least, an inadequate understanding of the enormity of the destruction to the Armenian nation; or worse, an utter lack of human conscience fueled by lingering racism or ultra-nationalism.
    Turkish leaders are only keeping their nation from advancing by not facing this awful truth and allowing the process of reconciliation to purge the nation of this terrible guilt.

  22. Boyajian, I couldn’t agree with you more.  Why would a modern country, with one of the leading economies in the world not accept what historians have long established, blame the CUP for the atrocities of the era, apologize for what their ancestors have done, apologize for covering up this crime for 95 years, pay the due reparations and get on with it.  We also want to put this heart ranching chapter behind us once justice has been served to the 1.5 million fallen and reparations have been made regarding all the properties that we as their descendants were to inherit.  I wonder if our friend Murat knows that when the war was lost, his own people put the CUP members on trial for the decision to go to war and for the Armenian massacres, and gave the death sentence to many of them.  Since most Armenians were no longer alive to describe what had befell them, most of the witnesses were actually Turks.  Ackam argues that the tribunals were held to avoid a bigger catastrophe which was the looming possibility of the division of the remaining lands of the empire, ie the awarding of Western Armenia back to the Armenians.  There were no Armenians to claim the lands, the Europeans were competing to get the most out of the falling empire, and pretty soon the “human rights” issue was swept under the rug.  Remaining CUP members were given new positions in the newly formed Republic of Turkey, and the atrocities towards the remaining Armenians continued, in the form of outrageous taxes and unbearably unjust laws whose aim was to force the remaining population to leave.  Will Murat ever know for sure that his family tree does not have any Armenian blood in it?  Hundreds of Armenian women were forced into harems or forced to Islamize in order to save their lives.  Many Armenian children were forced into Islam and raised as Muslims.  The scary part is that today’s Turkish policy is a continuation of the CUP policy.   The CUP members dreamed of Panturanism, with a Muslim block from Turkey to Azerbaijan with no Armenia in the middle.  Turkey today is making life unbearable for Armenia, which is a minuscule remainder of the original Armenia.  It has closed its borders in retaliation of Karabagh’s fight for independence.  Everyone knows that Karabagh was always Armenian and was given to Azerbaijan by Stalin.  The minute Azerbaijan reclaimed its independence it attacked its Armenian population with the intention of ethnically cleansing it.  It failed.  It failed because the Karabagh Armenians fought tooth and nail to survive and hold on to their lands.  Why is Turkey recognizing the self determination of other Soviet enclaves and not Karabagh?  Would it have boycotted Azerbaijan had Azerbaijan succeeded in ethnically cleansing its Armenians?  Instead Karabagh is erroneously being promoted as “occupied” territory and the Armenians are being pressure to “return” it.  How about our six provinces in Turkey?  They have been occupied for 95 years! Shouldn’t they be returned?  The part that was given to Turkey by Russia in the Kars Treaty should at least be returned, with reparations for the remainder.  But I guess to have rights and powers; you have to have oil and money.  The truth however is most powerful and always has a way of coming back to haunt you.  It’s best to acknowledge it and turn a new page.

  23. Dear Katia K and Boyajian,
    I believe it was a very real dilemma for the Young Turks that the Dashnaks and other Armenian parties fought for the “liberation” of the six vilayets  an area in which the population was mainly muslim and had been for several hundred years.
    I dont like your way of adressing Murat, Boyajian. We are here to discuss in civilized ways, arent we?

  24. Thinking about what Davutoglu, Murat and like-minded Turks fail to understand:
     
    What Armenians lost during the genocide was and is precious to those who survived and descended from survivors in the diaspora.  That is why we can’t just move on, can’t just forget, can’t accept the lies that try to cover-up and minimize the horrors of the genocide.  Davutoglu and others need to realize that only one thing can help both Turks and Armenians to move on…An unequivocal apology and appropriate reparations from Turkey.
     
    It’s a simple concept, but many Turks continue to behave as though these losses can be minimized through comparing losses (“Turks suffered, too!”) and outright denial.  I look forward to seeing Avedikian’s prize-winning short film Chiennes d’Histoire about the deportation of wild dogs from the streets of Istanbul in 1910.  It will be interesting to see the symbolism and poetic images that foreshadow the “deportation” of Armenians only a few years later.  I hope many Turks also see it.

  25. It is interesting to observe that the peak of comments from Turkish guests fell at a time when the ill-fated protocols were on the bilateral agenda. Once they were suspended, the wave of comments rolled back. This may be indicative of the fact that Turkish commentators have an agenda by visiting the Armenian sites.

    Go on, Turks, we have nothing to hide because we know and the world knows that the truth is on our side and deep in your consciousness many of you know this, too. The more you visit our sites and learn the concerns of Armenians and non-Armenians with regard to the crimes of your forefathers, the higher the hopes that some day you’ll mature to the point when you’ll be able to repent for them on your own will.

  26. Murat.. you are definitely a sorry individual… and  ragnar … Boyajian is ABSOLUTELY correct in stating how Murat is.. we are VERY well aware of how ignorant, racist Murat is and how uneducated he sounds with his ridiculeous comments…so please spare me your ” I don’t like the way you are addressing Murat” BS because Murat earned it himself..no one is to blame but him…..I understand that truth hurts… and what was said about Murat IS THE TRUTH.. whether you like it or not.. 

    I may not be as polite as my dear Katia and Boyajian janes(GOD bless their hearts and minds.. I love you both) and you may want to take this just what it is.. a simple observation of an Armenian woman with passion and fire in her heart… We will not stand here and allow Murat’s  outrageous accussations to flash on our own Armenian sites (even though in a way.. it is great…it just goes to show his pea size intelligence)… you think we are going to sit back and speak to him with words of honey with walnuts sprinkled on them?? are you out of your mind???.. ..did you even read your countyman’s comments???… and let me tell you.. the more you press and distort this well documented fact, the more you will bring attention and spot light on yourselves… and that spotlight is definintely far from great…. .so suck it up and come into terms with the truth.. you will live longer .. not only that.. you WILL  get lots of praises with muraba(aka ..jelly) on top.. ..I promise you that….

    So that said.. Boyajian and Katia JAN… as always, I am just mesmorized by your reasonings/thoughts/writing… I wish I had the power to put you two in our govt and maybe then our govt will have the balls to stand up to the sons of the devil (both in our own govt and the Turkish govt) and send everyone who mocks, denies and covers this horrible and bloody episode of the 20th Century to hell…

    Not to forget John.. You are definintely part of this elite group of writers.. for sure…

    God Bless you…
    Gayane

  27. Ragnar Naess, thanks for the input.  You’ll have to explain what was problematic in my comments to Murat.  I don’t know what you are referring to.
     
    Also, please clarify your comments regarding the dilemma the CUP faced from the “Dashnaks trying to liberate the six vilayets in an area that was mainly muslim”.

  28. Ragnar is a Genocide denier. I have heard he was one of the few people disinvited to participate in the WATS line among Turkish and Armenian scholars, as well as interested third parties.

    Ragnar, you are a denier, oui?

  29. Boyajian
    I refer to your statement about the mixture of anger and pity. I dont believe this is a good way to adress another participant in the debate.

    There is of course a lot to say about the relationship between CUP and the Armenian revolutionary movement, and I do not pretend to be an expert. However, in a region with mixted ethnic population any movement with a nationalistic aim of claiming the area for one self will create problems. Even if the party in question professes that the aim is a democratic society, it will create problems.
    So I believe the CUP felt a dilemma. If they had not they would have tried to brake off the alliance with the Dashnaks much earlier. But we see that the alliance kept going for several years in spite of growing suspicions from both sides, many of them unfortunately founded.
    I hope this answered your questions.
     
    Ragnar

  30. Dear Quisling,
    that I should experience a combattant with the name quisling ask me personal questions…..why on earth did you chose that name, to ask a counter question?

    I support the Armenian demand for justice and see the CUP or at least some members as responsible for the mass deaths of Armenians. It is very important that the Turkish government makes moves to do like for instance the Turkish “I apologize”-movement does.
    But I guess you refer to the lack of the use of the term Genocide as the fundamental criterion of denialism. Forstly, I prefer to use more words to clarify my position.  Secondly, I believe the historians have a problem in proving genocidal intent in central cadres like Talaat Pasha. However, I will not say that this is not possible. Possibly he and other wanted simply to exterminate the Ottoman Armenian, possibly the explanation of the events are not that simple. I worked with human rights in Turkey for many years. Turkish authorities have made significant progress in relating to this question in the last 20 years, but of course much is wanting in their answers. However, I feel Akcam’s comment on Davutoglu is too harsh.

  31. When did it become uncivilized to speak the truth in a straight forward manner?  My words were not intended to offend but to communicate honest thoughts to Murat in an effort to help him and other like-minded Turks see things from this one Armenian’s point of view.  Isn’t honest dialogue important on the journey toward reconciliation?
     
    Perhaps, it appears to Ragnar that I called Murat a racist.  Actually I was speaking more generally about the mindset present in certain segments of Turkish society that tolerates and promotes distortion of the truth.  If you re-read my entry I think you will see this.  I will try to be more precise in the future.  However, it doesn’t hurt any of us to examine ourselves for racism from time to time.
     
    I stand by my words.  The truth is clear and civilized people recognize that genocide deniers and fact flippers must not go unchallenged, because when they are allowed to repeat their distorted views (whether it is the result of lack of education or malicious intent), they pose a threat to all of us.

  32. anyone has a different opinion here would be labeled as denier. Turks are labeled by the Armenians as such so  called Genocide which they never do in their history.   If I go to France, Armenia, Swiss and I say I do not believe Armenian accusations then I am jailed.  This is what you call civilized nations.
    Armenians have to look at themselves first and accept there are are other opinions people have in this world.  Armenians can not force other people to think like them.  People start to recognize and finding out the realities and false accusations,,,, EDITOR please publish what I say if you respect …

  33. AYYYYYYYYYY MART… Murat and Rangar were not enough..now we have Turan.. what do you people drink or put in your coffee to come up with such outrageous comments…Lord Have Mercy.. 

    So you are saying that when you go to France, Armenia and Swiss and utter a sentence about not believing anything Armenians accuse Turkish govt of, you get thrown in jail???  Are you sure you are talking about France, ARmenia and Swiss or your own county Turkey.. The last I checked, people get jailed and accused of treason when they speak of The Turkish Genocide of the Eastern and Western Armenians in Turkey..Have you done your research on the current situation in Turkey in regards to this?? If not, please do so cause your comments are hilliariously embarassing……

    Also, your statement about Armenians can not force other people to think like them sounds sooooooooooooooooooooooooo familiar.. I believe it was your Erdogan who said no nation can tell how Turkey should act or talk.. right??? So that tells me you are a fruit of his distorted mindset…. so that alone voids you as a commentator…

    So there.. the editors posted your comment and that made you look and sound even more uneducated….

    God Bless..

    Gayane
    P.S Mersi Boyajian jan..:) very sweet of you to say that…

  34. thank you, Boyajian, for your answer. I see your point. Personally, I do not always report personal feelings towards other participants in a debate, but of course sometimes we do.
    No, I never thought you held that Murat is a racist. 
    However, I miss your comment on the situation in the six vilayets

  35. Unfortunately good people of AW do not think many of my responses to the ourageous comments above do not merit publication.  It is not at all clear why. 

    Mr. Davutoglu probably does fail to understand many things related to the so-called genocide, and he probably never will understand.  

    On the other hand many here do not seem to realize that War of Independence preceded by WWI, preceded by Balkan Wars, preceded by decades of Russo-Turkish wars, all involving massive ethnic cleansings (continuing to this day!) represent as big a trauma as any other nation has suffered in history.  The tragedy of Turks also fighting their very own Greeks and Armenians for physical existence has left deep scars.  The paranoia associated is taking a long time to heal and only slowed down by the attitudes and hate such as displayed on these very pages often. 

  36. regarding changing of the borders, I believe one should have two different aspects in mind. One is the matter as a matter og justice and fairness, the other the question of what political processes are set in motion if one starts to redraw borders on a grand scale. Regarding the first, I believe everybody must admit that Armenians suffered a terrible loss, worse than that of the Turks, even if having to leave the Balkans where they had been for up to 500 years was a catastrophy by any standards.
    But in redrawing borders, what processes will be started? What about neighbouring countries? I do not know what is the present standpoint of the Armenian republic on the issue. Maybe somebody can tell me?

  37. Gayane jan, I love you!
    “The dilemma the CUP faced from the Dashnaks trying to liberate the six vilayets in an area that was mainly muslim”… Yes weren’t the Dashnaks stupid!  The stupidest must have been the President of the United States of America, Woodraw Wilson, who awarded those six provinces back to the Armenians!…  Why did he do that if supposedly mostly Muslims lived there?  Actually the Genocide made sure that NO Armenians were left in those provinces.  Guess what? Because the Muslims wanted to keep those provinces to themselves.  The Armenians must have just been a species of birds that had fallen from the sky amidst the Muslims, and somehow had also managed to plant thousand year old churches/monasteries/forts all over and a whole ancient City called Ani.  Simple numbers folks.  According to Talat Pasha’s own memoirs, there were 2 million Armenians prior to the Genocide and about 4 million Muslims.  Six provinces with an almost 2 million population, in 1915!  That’s the equivalent of at least 20 million in 2010!  The CUPs were “puzzled” as to why the Dashnaks were bothering?!   Where is our 20 million people Murat, Ragnar and Turan?  In Talat Pasha’s Memoirs, the Armenian Population is recorded at about 200,000 two years after the entry of the 2 million census.  Where did the other 1.2 million go?  Within two years?  We know where they went.  We know because amongst them were our orphan grandparents who survived to give us life.  They told us about their relatives who were killed in front of them or starved to death.  For us it is not a matter of debate, because we are the descendants of the poor souls who were lucky to survive.  “A matter of Opinion?”  How can our grandparents’ life stories and horrible experiences be a matter of “opinion”?  How can all the facts and archives still be a matter of opinion?  Only people “who do not know for sure” can have an “opinion”.  You can have an opinion about the sun being green; however, it does not make it so.  Do not have “opinions”.  Research, study, ask, visit Ani, and then make up your mind.  Murat, Turan and Ragnar, my friend told me the story of a lady who’s lap was used to balance her own kids on as their heads were cut off.  She almost lost her mind and people talked about her story…. Can you tell me why?  Why were babies killed?  We know why… it is called Genocide:  killing, forcing to change religion, taking away possessions with the intention to eliminate every trace of a race.  Then years later, folks like you throw “opinions” around!  I can’t get myself to say “I wish it happened to your grandparents”… because I can’t wish this even on my worst enemy.  Literally.

  38. Hye, when the Turk questions Archives of Armenians – notice that this is Turk question of recent years – since by now the Turks have completed their
    Turk ‘edited’ verison of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation… of course, denials… 
    Only lately,  as  Turks welcome access to the Turk’s ‘version’… which is by now ‘ready’ to be read (by a Turkey) – obviously.
    Turk canot read truths, as Turks always have their own versions of all things – the Turkish Ottoman view…
    Manooshag

  39. Ragnar Naess, I made no comment about the vilayets other than to ask you to expand on your comment copied below:
    I believe it was a very real dilemma for the Young Turks that the Dashnaks and other Armenian parties fought for the “liberation” of the six vilayets  an area in which the population was mainly muslim and had been for several hundred years.
     
    Turan, I think you are mistaken.  Armenians are not forcing anyone to accept their opinion.  Turkish and non-Turkish historians, social scientist, diplomats,  missionaries, military personnel, Young Turk documents, eye-witness reports, newspaper accounts of the time, all verify the events of the Armenian massacres as an attempt to eliminate the Armenians from Asia Minor.  It is this accepted world opinion and a moral imperative that is forcing the Turks to accept the Truth.  It is a truth that, I believe, Turkey will eventually come to face.
     
    In my opinion, things are the opposite of what you imply.  In the years immediately following the events, everyone, including the young Turks acknowledged that the massacres took place, and government and military officials were tried and sentenced for these crimes.  It was only later, in an attempt to establish the new Republic, that the propaganda began to surface.  History books were rewritten and Armenians were depicted as the aggressors.  It has continued as the official Turkish position since then.  It is Turkey that attempts to force its skewed version of the facts on the rest of the world.   And it is Turkey that uses recognition of genocide as a bargaining chip on the geopolitical stage .
    Have you read the historical accounts outside of those prepared by  your government, your educational system and your paid propagandists?.  They are damning.
     
    Armenians understand how difficult it is to hear that your country is being accused of such heinous crimes when your education has taught you the opposite.  But can you imagine the pain of Armenians when they are told that the one event that changed the course of  the life of your nation, your ancestors and their descendants for ever, is a lie?   The truth will not be denied forever and Turkey will accept its guilt and make appropriate reparations.  You can help your countrymen accept this.

  40. Turan – It’s like saying that the genocide of the Jews, or Cambodians, or Bosnians, or Darfurians never happened. Yes, if you are of the opinion that no such barbarities happened then you fall under the category of denialist. You cannot deny a crime simply because it was your nation-state that committed it. It may be convenient from your perspective, but it is not what overwhelming scholarly literature, archival material (including Turkish archives), Armenian and non-Armenian witness accounts, resolution of the European Parliament, resolutions of some 26 countries of the world, 44 state legislatures in the U.S., the verdict of the International Association of the Genocide Scholars, statements of various human rights organizations, advocacy groups, and individual scholars, historians, and international lawyers consistently said in evaluation of the actions of your government in regard to the Armenians in 1915-1923: it WAS a genocide. i.e. a deliberate destruction of a specific racial, ethnic, national, and religious group. Deprivation of the Armenians of their historical homeland. Ask yourself: before 1915 there was a population of 2 to 2.5 mln (based on various calculations) of Ottoman subjects of Armenian descent. Only some 60,000 now reside in fear in Constantinople. Where are millions of others, Turan? Why are Armenians spread all over the world? Their historical homeland for millennia was in Western Armenia: Ottoman-occupied provinces of Kharberd, Van, Diyarbekir (Tigranakert), Bitlis, Erzerum, Sivas (Sebastia). What are they doing in the countries like the U.S., Russia, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, France, Greece, Argentina, Australia, and others?
     
    Uncivilized is not to jail a person for breaking the law, as in France or Switzerland. Uncivilized is to deny for 95 years the heinous crime that your nation-state has committed and avoid repentance and extending an apology to the victims. That’s uncivilized.
     
    What it is, in your opinion, that Armenians ‘have to look at themselves first and accept there are other opinions people have in this world?’ What is it that we have to look at ourselves? That we slaughtered millions of innocent Turks and deprived them from their lands? Or that we deny our crime for decades? Other opinions regarding the Genocide that you mention are held mostly by the Turks or a handful of bought and paid-for historians that are on Turkish payroll. It should be inconvenient for the Turks to realize that they are capable of such heinous crimes as burning or burying women and children alive, burn them in the churches, skin and decapitate them, rape virgins in front of their family members, throw them to be drawn in rivers and seas, rip off the bellies of pregnant women, kill newborns with bayonets, and other barbarian acts.

    All is documented, Turan, and it shows the true face of your nation-state: nomadic, uncivilized, savage mentality and behavior.
     
    We don’t need to recognize and find out the realities and false accusations. YOU do. You’ve been living in Kemalist Turkey for decades, in a nation-state whose history is distorted, cultural achievements of other, more ancient and civilized nations Tukified, and crimes of your forefathers whitewashed. Even today one can face charges under Articles 301 of your Penal Code if he or she speaks the truth about the Armenian genocide, or mass massacres and annihilation of Greeks, Assyrians, Alawis, and the Kurds. Is this something you consider ‘civilized’? Is it ‘civilized’ in your opinion that the most courageous Turkish intellectuals, some of them Nobel Prize laureates like Orhan Pamuk, are being charged and deported for speaking the truth? Is it ‘civilized’ that renowned Turkish journalists like Hrant Dink, are being shot on the streets for speaking the truth?
     
    Armenians don’t need to recognize the realities: we experienced the ‘realities’ of the Ottoman Turks on our own skin. We know them firsthand.

    And, Turan, however spiteful you may be now, you’ll witness during your lifetime how your government kneels before the Armenians, repents, and asks for forgiveness. There’s just no other way.
     
     
     
     
     

  41. Turan, put more simply, Armenians are not forcing their opinion on anyone.  Rather, it is the opinion of many Armenians that Turkey must face its past, but appears unwilling to do so without the aid of international pressure.  That is the reason for the movement to enact  genocide recognition resolutions in governments around the world…to ensure that distortion of the facts is counteracted by assertion of the truth.

  42. Boyajian,
    I thought the issue of the CUP-Dashnak alliance and the question of the six vilayets as the original homeland of the Armenians – to be liberated –  were interesting and important to you. So I expected to hear your opinion.

    But if you have some reason to be silent on the subject, It’s OK with me

  43. Apres Boyajian jan.. Katia jan.. as always superb.. Krikor jan.. shat apres..lav kerstrir et himar Turanin…

    Of course Murat had to inject another blow in the smoke… but it is just a smoke.. so stop trying cause it will dissolve in the air just like your other outrageous comments.. Please do me a favor and read the comments posted here and maybe you will understand as to why the scars that you claim Turkey is carrying happened in the first place… because it was not anyone but your own govt that brought that upon themselves….. .. seriously.. if you are not reading and understanding the points written here by true intelligent people , then why are you wasting everyone’s time by writing  whatever pops up in your head?  I dont’ get it..

    Ragnar your mentality and approach to the ARmenian Question seems to align with Murat and Turan; however your writing and approach seems more advance than theirs.. in a way your comments sound intelligent but yet i feel and know you are someone who does not believe the Genocide happened and the reasons behind it…… what is it that you want to accomplish here?? Your reasoning of our 6 vilayets were full of muslims than Christians and somehow Armenians were just a third wheel is a good example that your belief is very Turkified…… Katia, Krikor and Boyajian explained this very clearly…hope that their comments shed some light for some who are still confused…..

    Thank you
    Gayane

  44. Ragnar,
    I sense an honest curiosity in you… which is great.  Some Turkophiles who write on these sites do so to pour some more salt on our wounds and to challenge the facts of what we know happened to us because of their need to defend their country no matter what.  I personally welcome all of you in these discussions, because somehow, one day, the truth is unexpectedly going to stare at your faces.  The country of Turkey is going to stand up for truth, one person at a time.  That person can very well be any one of you.  It can even be Murat! 
    Your people ruled over ours for 600 years.  BUT WE EXISTED ON THOSE LANDS FOR 3,000 YEARS!  All of the nations that your empire ruled existed on their lands for thousands of years before your people showed up.  You are talking about the hardship your people suffered when they were kicked out of the Balkans after ruling there for 500 years.  I am sure the suffering was great, after all these were human beings who had settled in those lands and made a life for themselves.  But the greater question is: Why were they kicked out?  They were kicked out because the Balkan countries, as well as the Middle Eastern countries that the empire ruled, were fed up of the tyranny of the Ottoman rule, by all the outrageous taxation and they simply wanted the Ottomans out of their homelands.  The six Armenian provinces wanted the same thing too.  The CUP knew that they were losing their footing in the Caucasus. They were vengeful of what had happened to the Muslims in the Balkans.  They were scared that if they lost Armenia also, they were going to remain with very little land.  They decided they will not let go of the Armenian provinces and their solution was the Genocide.  They created laws that gave temporary rights for people to loot and take over Armenian properties.  They made their Religious leaders announce a “Jihad” against the Christians, and this gave all Muslims the authority to attack, kill and plunder the Armenians in the name of God. They formed the Chetteh units made up of criminals released from prisons and let them loose on the Armenian population.  These units along with Gendarmes from the Army, were instructed to remove the Armenians from their homes and replace them by the Muslim refugees who came from the Balkans.  If the Armenians were being temporarily “deported”, why were their homes being given to the Muslims?  Because the authorities knew they will not be coming back.  That’s how the Muslim population grew in the Armenian Provinces.  The Dashnaks had no choice but to try to negotiate with the CUP, because the Ottoman rule with all of its discriminating and controlling laws had rendered the Armenian population defenseless and very vulnerable.  The Armenians could not keep arms; if they did they were labeled rebels.  There was a law that said Christians could not sue Muslims.  Can you imagine how defenseless that law must have rendered the Christian population?   Beatings and rapes by Muslims were common because the Armenians could not take them to court.   There were taxes on everything, even on death!  So when the CUP promised the Dashnaks equal rights for the Armenians, the Dashnaks had no alternative but to go along.  Next the CUP said, since they were all equal now, there was no need for the Dashnaks to keep arms, so all weapons were surrendered.  And that’s how the Dashnaks fell in the trap and a whole population was marched to their death.  Turks know what happened.  It is a secret, because they do not want to lose those provinces.  A secret costing billions to keep.  A secret who’s uncovering is punishable by law in Turkey.  But this behavior is unquestionably that of a guilty person.  Dear Ragnar, why is it that the existence of the city of Ani is kept such a secret and tourists are given such a hard time when they try to visit it.  Tourists are stripped of their cameras and assigned soldiers to accompany them in their tour of Ani.  Where else in the world have you heard of this! If your country has done no wrong, why is it hiding Ani?  The sad reality is that it will probably cost your country much less in the long run, if the Genocide is acknowledged and reparations made.  In return, it will clear your nation’s conscience and offer it a clean slate on which to build a bright future.

  45. Ragnar, you seem not to realize that there is a delay in the posting of comments.  I was simply waiting for your response to my question.  I am fully aware of the conflict of CUP and Dashnaks.  I was mostly curious about the part of your statement claiming that the area of the vilayets were mostly Muslim.  I was wondering how you came to this and I don’t see your explanation in your comments.
     
    I disagree with your statement.  Not to be repetitive, I refer you to Katia’s comments regarding the pre-existing 3000 year presence of the Armenians in this area, to the invading hordes from the East.   I am in agreement with her.  I hope you have done your research and not simply fallen in with those who distort a history that extends into biblical times.  Turks invaded the Armenian territories but failed for 600 years to Turkify them.  (You don’t think that Turks built all those churches?  And the Behistun writings attest to  an Armenian presence long before Turks came on the scene.)  Rather than risk losing these territories as the Armenians  were rediscovering their historical roots as other indigenous peoples in the empire had, the Turks eliminated the problem. A coldly, pragmatic solution to a perceived threat of territorial losses.  You already know my views on the need for Turkey to acknowledge, apologize and make appropriate reparations.  I fully expect this will happen in our lifetime.
     
    Do any of us really know the motives of those who write here?   Be careful, all!
     
     

  46. If I go to France, Armenia, Swiss and I say I do not believe Armenian accusations then I am jailed.  This is what you call civilized nations.
     
    That is correct – because civilized people do not deny and cover up genocide.  Where is your moral compass?  In your other pants pocket maybe.

  47. Today we celebrate the creation of the Democratic Republic of Armenia. Also known as the First Republic of Armenia, the republic was declared on May 28, 1918. Its army continued to fight on the Allied side until the Ottoman Empire surrendered in October 1918. The Democratic Republic of Armenia included the northeastern part of present-day eastern Turkey, and the League of Nations mandated it continue west along the Black Sea coast past Trabzon and southwest past Lake Van. But Armenia’s precarious independence was threatened from within by the terrible economic conditions that followed the war in the former Ottoman Empire and, by 1920, by the territorial ambitions of Soviet Russia and the nationalist Turks under Mustafa Kemal. Kemal’s ruling party still hoped to create a larger state by taking territory in Western Armenia where Armenians were slaughtered en masse and from which they had been driven. In defending its independence, the Republic of Armenia waited in vain, however, for the military aid promised at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The Allies’ memories of the 1915 genocide faded as war weariness and isolationism dominated their foreign policy. In agreeing to the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, the World War I Allies and Turkey recognized Armenian independence. As part of the Treaty, Armenia received some disputed territory in what had been the Ottoman Empire. However, most of Western Armenia remained in Turkish hands. Eastern Armenia, ravaged by warfare, migration, and disease, caught between the advancing Turks and the Red Army, in November 1920 the government made a political agreement with the communists to enter a coalition government.

  48. Armen, I appreciate the synopsis and the reminder of the significance of this day!
    Janine, thanks for the chuckle.
    Ragnar, does your development work in Turkey involve the former Armenian vilayets?  If so, what can you share about your personal observations?

  49. Armen, thanks for the synopsis and reminder of the significance of this day.  Curious Turks and Turkophiles will need to consider the boundaries of the first Republic when denying the existence of Armenian territories.  Why would the first Republic include these boundaries or the Treaty of Sevres designate similar boundaries,  if these territories had not been historically Armenian?
    There is no need for historical commissions because the evidence is here for all who have eyes to see.  Turkey will soon have to accept it.
     
    Janine, thanks for the chuckle.
     
    Ragnar Naess, in your development work  in Turkey, did you have business in the historically Armenian territories?   What personal observations can you share?

  50. I was of course being sarcastic with my comment “the Dashnaks and President Wilson must have been stupid for fighting for the return of the Armenian provinces to their indigenous owners, the Armenians” if there were no Armenians living there!  President Woodrow Wilson had the integrity to do the right thing, and that’s why we uphold his memory, and the Dashnaks…  What can I say; no political group in the whole world has probably faced the kind of brain twisting, lying, conniving, insurmountable, uncivilized, ever changing challenges as they have.   They fought for our “existence”, and hung on to what they could.  May 28th belongs to the Dashnaks.  Without them there would have been no Armenia today.  

  51. “What possible connection did the Armenians of Anatolia have with the Balkans or with the migration of Muslims from the Caucasus, which started around 80 years before 1915? And more importantly, wasn’t the Union and Progress Party responsible for the losses suffered during World War I as well as what happened in 1915?”
    This is very important for Armenians to understand.  This is the danger in unilateral revision of history, as if things happen in complete vacuum. There is a great and important connection:  Czarist Russia!
    It is difficult today to imagine the state of mind of the Turk back then when it comes to Russia.  An imperial power that was expanding and absorbing the largest continent at a phenomenal pace that  Ottomans had fought continuously throughout the two previous centuries, at a tremendous cost of  man, property and prestige.  It was not just Ottomans, but countless other Turkic tribes (my ancestors) and nations were also swept aside and ethnically cleansed from their ancestral lands by the Russians, and who ended up finding refuge in Turkey most of the time.  When Russian armies reached to the gates of Istanbul late 1800s, it was many of the Ottoman Armenians celebrating the humiliating treaty Ottomans had to sign.  There was even a monument celebrating the Russian victory in the part of Istanbul that was densely populated by Armenians – many still live there.   Just imagine!  It was torn down during the celebrations of the 1908 “mesrutiyet” I think.
    It was with Russian help and support that Balkan wars (first one actually) were launched, in an effort to make the Czar the supreme leader of all Orthodoxy.  Same direct support and encouragement was behind the massive armed Armenian revolts in the middle of WWI.  The Russian connection and support was critical in the thinking of the Ottomans then, and they could just see easily what happened in the Balkans was about to repeat itself right in their very own lands where there was no other place to escape.  Many in the West, including Americans and British, already expressed openly that Turks did not belong to Turkey and this land was better suited for Armenians and Greeks.
    You may or may not think all this justifies the extreme measures they took, but as a group so interested in history, truth and facts (sarcasm here!), it is important that you understand the connection to the historic Russian threat and the ethnic cleansings that took place in the Balkans and Caucuses in recent memory then.
     

  52. Thank you Armen for the information..

    Janine darling..you are a hillarious..lol

    Boyajian…. top notch…

    Katia jan.. what can I say? you are a gem..:)

    Ragnar.. i don’t know about you…

    Murat- Lost cause

    G

  53. Wow..wow..wow.. just when i thought it can’t get any worst.. Murat did it again..

    I was dumbfounded by the post and his reasons on how Turks were the victims here and the Russians/Armenians the villains…my mouth dropped when i read such words like

    Russian power.. ARmenians celebrating Czar… enthinc cleansing of Turkic tribes in Bulkan..ect.ect..

    Are you for realll???? WOW.. still flabergasted…

    You must be awarded for having the most mixed up, confused, and outrageous comments Murat..

    Gayane

  54. Boyajian
    About motives of people in a discussion like this we can probably never know for sure. Everyone must stay in the debate as he or she finds it  fruitful. But I see it as a good sign if people show that they listen to arguments, are in principle willing to modify their views given good arguments, and that they have a courteous way of discussing.
    When I said that the area of the six Vilayets was mostly muslim I referred to the actual population composition in 1914, not to the historical issue. Of course I am aware of the fact that this is old Armenian land and am familiar with this from books like that of Walker and others including a very interesting article on how the loss of a centralized state power paved the way for the growth of an Armenian class of artisans, artists, businessmen who thus gained an de facto independence they probably would not have had under the aegis of the old kingdom.
    In cases when an ancient people are being invaded and their territories are taken by others you face some dilemmas in restitution. What are to be the rights of those who have settled there and maybe have lived there for more than a generation?  This is what I thought of regarding the Armenian claim of changing the borders between the republic of Armenia and Turkey. This is the dilemma the CUP must have thought about, with Bulgaria 1877-87 and Macedonia 1912-13 in fresh memory.
    I do not insist on any opinion here, I would rather like to hear some opinions
    I did fieldwork in Diyarbakir (one of the six vilayets) regarding English lessons for human rights defenders from 2001 and until 2004, and later did fieldwork on the situation of Kurdish children in families who have been returned to Turkey after having applied for political asylum in Norway and other European countries.  I one time raised the issue of the two barges with all the Armenian notables in Diyarbakir being shipped by Reshid down the Tigris in june 1915 and slaughtered on the beach some miles downstream (a German captain on a steamer on Euphrates further down noted that the river was not easily navigable because of the number of corpses), but my Kurdish collaborators were not too eager to discuss it. “We know they were mistreated” they said, but were unwilling to pursue the iussue. 
    About personal observations I have many of them, mostly related to the fate of children who after several years in countries like Germany were returned to a so-called home country in crisis
     

  55. Gayene, I really wish you knew a little more about factual and real history of your people and I wish the good editors of the page gave you a chance to enlighten by letting a few more of my posts through.

  56. Katia K
    thank you for your compliment. I hope I can return it some day. I am wary of your juxtaposition of  Turks being driven out after 500 years and Armenians being killed and driven out after 3000 years. Is this an argument? That there is a different justice for those who have been in a place for 500 years and those who have been in a place for 3000 years? The question as I see it is about the rights of people who have been living in a place for several generations and who are the descendants of conquerors who had no legitimacy except victory in war
    I fail to see your general and principled commentary to this dilemma. But maybe I  misunderstand you

  57. Murat,

    One cannot be so one-dimensional. You’ve been in these pages long enough to try to understand that most people here are concerned with those ugly, indescribable methods and forms that the Ottoman government hadled the ramifications of a situation that existed during the years before and immediately after the collapse of the Empire with regards to indigenous peoples inhabiting it. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, can justify genocidal extermination of a nation, the whole Armenian civilization. Be it Tsarist Russia’s geostrategic advances, or Germany’s backing of Turkey, or Britain’s interest in the Caspian oil. There were no war fronts in central and east-central provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Armenian population was unarmed and defenseless. Ottoman Armenians just happened to be located at the time between the two warring sides. One of  these sides, the Young Turk government decided to eliminate the perceived threat from the unarmed Armenian population by finding a final solution, just like the Nazis: they eliminated the whole race. Nothing can justify this, however hard you try to convince yourself and the others in that factors and circumstances surrounding the developments on the ground were conducive to the decision of your government to wipe out the Armenians, it’s just to no avail. Too many evidences recorded by witnesses, examined by international scholars, lawyers, anthropologists, and parliamentarians determine that the World War I was used by the Turks as a pretext to empty historically Armenian-populated provinces from the Armenians. And the Turkish government has done this in the typically Turkish, barbarian, ways in regard to defenseless men, women, the elderly, children, and even unborn fetuses ripped off their mothers’ wombs. Some witnesses of these barbaric acts have gone mad (literally) by seeing this animalistic behavior of the Turks who were, are, and will always remain who they are: nomadic savages.
    Murat, time will come when your government will pay the price. And the price will be paid by extending an apology to the Armenians, and in the form of material reparations and land restitutions to the Armenians. Today, you may laugh at this, but tomorrow you will face the reality.

  58. ragnar –

    There is a different justice for those who have been in a place for 500 years and those who have been in a place for 3000 years. Those who have been in a place for 500 years originated in the Mongolian/Central Asian steppes and Altay Mountains and in the 11-13th centuries AD started expansions on more settled, more civilized indigenous peoples that inhabited Asia Minor, as well as other parts of the world. They scorched their dwellings, pastures, religious and architectural marbles, schools and educational centers, and then settled in the new lands. Starting the 14th century, when the Ottoman Empire was formed on lands invaded by the Seljuk-Mongols, the Ottomans repressed other nations, constantly pursuing the policy of Turkification of native peoples: Assyrians, Greeks, Alawis, Kurds, Arabs, Armenians. In the final decades of the Ottoman rule they decided to annihilate those unique ethnic, religious, national groups. The most horrendous mass annihilation has befallen the Armenians in 1915-1923. If you look from the Armenian perspective, a nation that has been in place for 3000+ years: why should we endure the foreign occupation? Why shouldn’t we try to assert our right on the lands, artifacts, and memories that we’ve possessed for millennia? Why should an indigenous nation confine to a reality that only because the invader was more powerful the nation should remain oppressed forever? In the final decades many nations fought for their national liberation from the Ottoman yoke: Serbs, Arabs, Bulgarians, Romanians, Greeks, etc. Armenians were no exception, but because of a variety of reasons (geographical location, remoteness from the European mainland, non-existence of powerful supporters, disarmed and defenseless state, Ottoman spite, envy, and feeling of revenge for losses in other parts of the Empire, and other factors, including the religious one), we’ve paid the heaviest price.
     
    We believe that we shall overcome, and an apology and appropriate reparations will be offered to the Armenians. One compelling argument for such a belief is that so many atrocities and devastation have befallen us in our 3000+ history, that the fact that we exist, even in a small piece of land, having lost the whole Western Armenia and, most preciously, the whole Armenian population, to the Turks, is already Christ’s miracle. It gives as assurance that we will recreate what we’ve lost. It’s not a fantasy, it’s a firm belief.
     
    Thanks for your enquiries and your attempts to understand our pain.

  59.  In the King James Bible, 2 Kings 19:37 and Isa. 37:38 translate the word “Ararat” as “Armenia.” However, other versions, including the New King James Version, simply say “land of Ararat.”
    Ragnar,

    The difference between “a 3,000 year old people and a 500 year old people” is that one was indigenous and the other invader/occupier.  Everyone laments the mishaps that have fallen upon his/her people.  However, it takes strong men to face the truth, and admit their wrong instead of hiding behind lousy excuses.  The Seljuk Turks had invaded and settled in other peoples lands with the intention of making those lands their own.  The locals in the Balkans and the Middle East rebelled and liberated their lands by throwing your “500 year old people” out of their homelands.  The Armenians were not successful in liberating their lands because of many reasons, foremost being the Genocide.  The Turks succeeded in keeping the Armenian provinces and annex them to their new Republic because the Armenian nation was dealt with a historically unprecedented blow, and because the other players had geopolitical agendas to advance.  You can twist the facts and come up with all sorts of creative explanations, but if we as 21st century civilizations do not acknowledge the wrongs of our ancestors, apologize for them, correct them and come up with international laws that prohibit their reoccurrence, we will not evolve as humans and we will all remain in the 14th century.  
    As Anahit so beautifully put it, the bottom line is, your people came from Central Asia, invaded, plundered, occupied, intermarried, Islamized, oppressed and tried to mingle with the locals in order to give birth to a new race.  But just like the Roman Empire, they failed.  They could not homogenize the different ethnic groups they were controlling.  And just as the Roman Empire crumbled, your empire crumbled, because the “Empire” model that has been tried by the Europeans, Arabs and many other nations is a flawed, unnatural and impractical societal existence.  You succeeded however to put a “Republic” together with stolen Assyrian, Cypriot, Greek and Armenian lands.
    We lost so much.  We lost history, archeological treasures, our grandparent’s lands, memories and family trees that were cut off and lost forever.  Our identities were taken away from us.  Genocide is barbaric, horrendous and needs to be punished.  It suits you to come up with excuses to cover up the truth.  It suits us to uncover the truth.  We owe it to our people, our ancient history, to our lands and to Ararat. 
    I am happy that you took my previous comments as a compliment; however, you seem to be torn between living in the present and accepting Genocide as a legitimate way of forming nations.
     

  60. Hye,
    It is one thing when nations attack one another, when nations go to war against one another, historically, then the nation that ‘wins’ takes over the lands and more… still, not necessarily a fair fight.   
    Howsomever, how different, when hordes of Turks from their Asian mountains, seek  to possess the lands of the Armenians whom they ‘eliminate’ via the slaughters, rapes, kidnappings, burning alive in their own churches, and tortures such as bandidos where Turks would beat the soles of the feet of the victims – until they burst… and tortures much worse…
    But the ongoing Genocides – the inhumanity of the loss of the lives of innocents – is barbaric; those attacked are never prepared for the brutal inhumane forays.
    Today again, Turks label the Kurds as ‘terrorists’ thus enabling a Turkey  to pursue the Kurds  seeking  to escape the tyranny of the barbaric, Turkey.   And the world watches… still.
    Actually, if the Turks had been made to face their crimes in the early 20th century, imagine, despots shall not have attempted these crimes of Genocides,
    and all the Genocides that followed in the 20th century and now into the 21st century the Darfurians by the Sudanese who ‘deny’ committing any Genocides…
    and today, the Turks are attacking the Kurds via their ‘technology’ – fighter planes against the Kurds.  And the world looks on – and the USA looks on, too.
    Manooshag

  61. Excuse me Murat.. the name is GAYANE… not Gayene… Please address people with the correct spelling of their name..IF you are capable ….

    Second of all… I am an Armenian and not you….. I know the history of my people and what happened in 1915 …..learned it from legitimate sources/books/lectures/international sources/eyewitness stories/my own great grandparents stories…

    One should ask you… DO YOU know the history of the Armenians and what Turkey did 95 years ago??? Let me answer it for you.. NO…YOU SIR …DO NOT…so that said. you have no room to tell me I don’t know the history of my people.. who the hell are you???  from your posts and comments you are nothing but a denilalist who tries to use distorted information and made up stories in your head to throw a bone to a dog.. but I am sorry sir.. there are no dogs here…..

    So if you think you are the Messiah of Information/History and your comments are going to enlighten me with the history of my people.. I say you need to see a professional…Just an FYI…your comments are so laughable that yes.. you are right.. they do enlighten us.. in a form of comedy..I thank you for that…..

    Please take that bone and wiggle it in front of someone else who DOES NOT KNOW their own history… Sounds good??

    Thank you and have a nice evening…

    GAYANE

  62. I emphathise with the pain of  Armenians who lost so many people in a mass death for which the CUP had a great responsibility – no other conclusion is possible even if the question of intent may be open to doubt. Eastern Anatolia is now completely emptied of Armenians. There are still Turks in the Balkans.
    But I believe the general sense of justice today would not distinguish between the rights of people who have stayed 500 years in a place and thoswho have stayed 3000 years. The most admitted principle is that of domicile. You have rights in the place you are born.
    Ragnar

  63. What is with this line that it’s all about our pain … this is nonsense. The laws of justice are not a measure of pain.  They are a measure of CRIME.  Turkey was an occupier and oppressor.  Nations which existed beforehand were finally able to claim democracy for themselves.  This is not a crime.  Genocide is a crime.  Civilized nations of the world with a sense of justice and the capacity to develop sophisticated justice systems regulate behavior with law and define crime.  End of story.  This comparison of emotional pain … well, gee, I’m sorry I cut my finger yesterday so does that compare to a crime committed against someone because it was painful?  We do not live in our emotions.  We live with our whole lives including the intellect and compassion which discerns the meanings of crimes like genocide and compares them to an oppressive yoke which was capable of committing genocide and people who still cover it up almost 100 years later.  That is oppression and a crime in itself.  Someone lost an oppressive empire?  It was inevitable.  It is disgusting to hear these things compared as equal.

  64. Katia K
    Of course there are differences between peoples in terms of history. My point is that according to the principle of domicile as a criterion for citizen rights, you have a right to live in the country in which you were born. There are exceptions, like  Germany, which gives citizen rights to descendants of Germans who left hundreds of years ago, but refuses citizenship to recently arrivals. Do you mean that the Kurds and Turks living in the six vilayets should be driven out like Turks were driven out from the Balkans? Is this Armenian policy?
    Do you really believe that peoples can be ranked from a point of view of ethical merit? When Armenians conquered Cilicia and collaborated with the Crusaders, do the same logic apply to them?  Do Armenians conquer in a different way from Muslims?

  65. Ragnar—–

    You may not know much about Armenians and their psychology…but we will only fight to protect our families, our lands, and our country.. and we  fight fair and square…. just like when we won back the lands that originally belonged to us.. Artsagh… We shed blood and human lives to protect one little land that Azerbajian and Turkey to this day whines about and screams every chance they get  “ohhhh…such injustice..ohhhhh Armenians took our lands by force.. ohhhhhh they are holding hostage our lands..ect..””” HELLOOOOOOOOOOOO…… Armenians  don’t take lands by deportation, mass murder, systematically cleansing the territory of their indigenous people  to then take over their posessions and lands later….. there was a war that Azerbajian provoked and Armenians won… fair and square…but Azerbajian with their evil parent Turkey who continues to back their cry baby are truly getting on our last nerves….. So as you can see, ARmenians don’t produce war, destruction and blood shed for the hell of it….or cause they want to….or like to.. or plan to…or dream about…you can’t find one evil bone in their body.. I can’t say the same for most of the Turks (especially the Turkish govt)….So to answer your question of “do Armenians conquer in a different way from Muslims…” … the answer is YES.. from what we have see and experienced…

    Speaking of having rights as a citizen of that country….. well, personally I believe that Turkey lands belonged mostly to Ancient Armenia; therefore whoever is born in Turkey is technically a citizen of Armenia and not Turkey… which means  they can be removed from that country if the need rises…..especially from the six vilayets that were occupied by Armenians….

    Katia jan.. excellent post…hugs.. :)

    Janine— thank you for the post…hugs :)

    Have a good night…

    Gayane

  66. The difference between “a 3,000 year old people and a 500 year old people” is that one was indigenous and the other invader/occupier.
    Are we moving all the people of the world to their original locations.
    Let’s go all together to Tanzania where the remains of the first of Human have been unearthed. Whoever comes first served first.
     
    It may also mean that the Armenians invaded that area 3,000 years ago which make them invaders. You are not quite different than the Turkish nationalists.
     
    The Kurds also claim that they were in the eastern Turkey before the Armenians.
     

  67. It may also mean that the Armenians invaded that area 3,000 years ago which make them invaders. You are not quite different than the Turkish nationalists.
     
    Really?  Do you know that the Armenians are a mixture of two ancient cultures, one which was already indigenous and one which migrated from Eastern Europe?  That’s right, a mix.  A peaceable combination.  Compare that to genocidal intent.  Genocide – that is a crime.  Genocide – that is the difference.  Where was our empire that enslaved and oppressed others?   Self-determination is really not the same even as you try to claim it is.

  68. No, Resoman, we’re not moving all the people of the world to their original locations in the anthropological sense of the world. We’re wishing to remain being settled (and not forcefully removed and mass massacred) in the lands where the nation was formed, where the nation has come about as a nation, where the nation has developed civilization, and where this particular civilization has invested greatly into the world civilization. Does this sound odd to you? It may, though, because the origins of your nation, as I bet you know, belong in the Mongolian Steppes and Altay Mountains, not in Asia Minor.
    According to a scientific hypothesis, first human settlements in Africa spread in various directions to the rest of the world and settled in various corners. This theory of human evolution has nothing to do with the fact that an already settled civilization was subject to genocidal extermination in the beginning of the 20th century by an occupier. Asia Minor has been invaded by your nomadic forefathers: initially by Seljuks, then by Mongols in the 11th-13th centuries AD. Based on those invasions and occupation of indigenous, settled nations, the Ottoman Empire was formed in the 14th century AD. This is a historical fact.
    No evidence suggests that Armenians invaded the area 3000+ years ago. Most scholars (non-Armenian, don’t be afraid) agree that the Armenian nation was the amalgamation of various settled nations in the Armenian Plateau: those inhabiting the confederation of Urartu (Ararat) and Indo-European tribes like Hyes and Armens (from which the toponym ‘Armenia’ is derived). No historical evidence suggests that Armenians ever in their history has deliberately destroyed en masse a specific racial, national, religious, or ethnic group in order to settle in new lands, declare them their own like the Turks did, and portray architectural, religious, educational artifacts of other nations as theirs, like the Turks do. In this, we ARE different from the Turkish State and you should refrain from imposing juxtaposition on murderous and innocent peoples, settlers and invaders, indigenous peoples and nomads, settlers and occupiers, genocide perpetrators and unarmed, defenseless victims.
    As for the Kurds who can ‘also claim that they were in the eastern Turkey before the Armenians’ I never encountered a Kurd who wouldn’t accept the truth that Armenians were there as long as they, the Kurds, remember. If the Turks withdraw from the occupied lands, we would find a common language with the Kurds because they, like Armenians, are oppressed and massacred peoples in the hands of the Turks.

  69. ragnar – Armenians have already transcended the empathy stage (although I appreciate it) and onto the real work on making the world to acknowledge the genocide by the Turkish State. There is a fundamental misunderstanding that you apply to your statement about the general sense of justice that would not distinguish between the rights of people who have stayed 500 years in a place and those who have stayed 3000 years and the principle of domicile. The subject is fundamentally different. Those who stayed 3000 years have been mass exterminated by those who stayed 500 years. Had they not been wiped out, they would have stayed in those lands and, maybe, claim their own right of domicile when the time was right. Turks understood this well and in order not to let this ever happen they wiped out the Armenian civilization. Moreover, they continue to shamelessly deny the crime for 95 years. If you candidly believe that anyone has rights in the place they were born, then you should unambiguously admit that our grand- and great grandparents’ rights of domicile have been violated in the first place. My grandparents’ house in Moush is still there, but what happened to them as people who had the right of domicile as being born there, and generations of those Armenians who were born in Western Armenia? My grandparents miraculously escaped after fighting bravely with the hordes of Turkish gendarmes and Kurdish criminals who were massacring and deporting the Armenians, people who, as Ottoman subjects, had the right of domicile. Who’s going to pay the price for this crime? Who is going to admit it in the first place, apologize for it, and then make financial reparations and land restitution to those indigenous Armenians? Who? Those who had a right of domicile or those who barred them from this right in the most atrocious ways?
     
    No, I don’t think, like your Young Turks forefathers, that the Kurds and Turks living in the six Armenian vilayets should be driven out like Turks were driven out from the Balkans. For two reasons. One is that Armenians are not Turks. We are not capable of burning and burying people alive, humiliate them, rape and drawn them, open the wombs of pregnant women, or kill newborns with bayonets or as targets tied to the trees, deport masses of unarmed people to the deserts and let them die the most excruciating death of starvation. Second, Turks were driven out from the Balkans because Balkans was their Ottoman imperialist possession, not their original lands in Mongolia and Altay mountains.
     
    People can be ranked from a point of view of ethical merit based on international law. And the law clearly states that the deliberate destruction of a racial, ethnic, national, or religious group constitutes genocide. Therefore, genocide perpetrators must be ranked and held accountable based on international law.
     
    Lastly, Armenians did not conquer Cilicia. They escaped your forefathers’—Seljuk and Mongols—oppression and occupation by escaping from Greater Armenia into Cilicia. No historical evidence exists that Armenian conquered the lands of indigenous people living there or, moreover, murdered them all in order to settle there, like the Turks did. Yes, Christian Armenians collaborated with the Crusaders who were fighting to free the Holy Land from Muslim invaders. A simple glance at the historical chronology will give you an answer that Jerusalem was never Muslim before Muslim invasions began. Why is this surprising you?
    Please avoid juxtapositions in that any nation’s applied form and method of conquering is identical, and Armenians are no exception. There is no historical evidence that Armenians ever committed genocides of other peoples. Besides, the time span we’re discussing here refers to the 20th(!) century. Does it looks  like a 2-th-century behavior to you that in the timed of modernity, not the medieval centuries, some nation-states can exterminate people in the most barbaric ways, like the Turks and the Nazis did?

  70. “Compare that to genocidal intent”
     
    That is the intent shared by the Turks and Armenians. One was unable to do it, one did manage it.  Eventually the aim was the same.
     
    The Turks are mixture of who-knows how many ancient cultures including Armenians.  That’ one of the reasons that almost no Turk in Turkey looks like the Turks of Central Asia.
     
    Everybody killed everybody in that geography.
    “They killed us, but we killed nobody”.
    This is a statement without any base.  Such statements are pretty similar to that denial by the Turks. That’s why I am saying that some – thanks not all – Armenians are like Turkish nationalists.
     
    All we have to do is to make sure that such incidents will ever never occur again in the future.  We have to create a more peaceful world for our children.
     

  71. Gayane
    No, I do not know so much about Armenian psychology.
    When you say “technically” what do you have in mind? (whoever is born in Turkey is technically a citizen of Armenia and not Turkey)
    I understand correctly that you hold that Armenians throughout their whole history only fought to defend themselves? Even at the times when Tigranes the Great reached the highest expansion of the Armenian state? And also when Armenians established the kingdom of Armenia as migrants? And that they only acted in self defence regarding the Muslim population in the Yerevan area in the years 1918 to 1920?
    I also understand that you forsee the deportation of Turks and Kurds from the area of the six vilayets.
    Then I understand that you are willing to fight and that you hold that other Armenians also are willing to fight, and that the enemies are Turkey and Azerbaijan.
    I only ask to ascertain if I understand you right. I have comments, I admit to not having read much Armenian history, and I believe I disagree deeply with you, I also hope  for the sake of Armenians that a new armed fight with Turks and Azeris will never  come about, but so much for the time being. 
    Janine
    No, I do not claim that self determination is the same as….I am actually not sure what you mean it should be the same as. Please explain.
    But of course peaceful mingling of etnic groups and nationalities is something different from genocide. I agree on that. But my main point was that according to laws on citizenship in my country and many others people born in a given country get the citizenship of this country.
    But I repeat that a terrible injustice was done to the Armenians, and that Turkey should recognise the responsibility for the crime committed by the CUP and  should raise the issue of compensation for Armenian losses.
    But I am not sure that the two of you are the right spokesmen for the Armenians.

  72. Ragnar…

    Maybe I did not explain myself clearly…My apologies…Let me try again… I am referring to your comment of “Do Armenians conquer in a different way from Muslims”

    and the answer was YES…my comment was referrencing what has happened in the 20th Century Ragnar and not before 1800s…. in the 20th Century (one would say people are already civilized and modern) Muslims took upon themselves to conquer the lands by GENOCIDE… You know what that is right?? Genocide… They conquer by using power over powerless people to wipe them despite their sex, and age….. THAT IS NOT what Armenians stand for.. Like I said in my previous posts…. no matter what….Armenians will stand up and fight if the need comes up but they would not go around looking to kill and cause bloodshed.. and when they do fight.. they  fight fair .. They fight against someone with similar or higher strength but they will never attack innocent civilians… women, children old and sick.. you see the difference now???? I used the example of Artsagh (Nagorno- Karabagh just in case you don’t know what Artsagh is) because it happened in modern days and not in Tigran The Great times…that example is used to show the reason and how we will fight….Armenians are peace loving people and they don’t go poke Turkey or Azerbajian and annoy them with our ” hey hey.. come on.. come on.. show me what you got… come on.. i am itching to go to war… COME ONNNNNNNNNNNN… “”… NO.. that is not how we are…We don’t like to kill, murder, and cause harm to another human being UNLESS like I said, they are pushed to fight to protect their families, and their homeland…. However, can’t say the same about most Turks because as our ancestors experienced it in 1915, they did whatever necessary to follow the Govt’s order and please their God and in doing so they were promised to go to a divine place depending on the number of Armenians they would end up killing….. not civilized..not at alll….

    If you don’t know much about Armenians, you might want to start reading the posts here.. there are plenty said by plenty Armenians that show how educated, peace loving and just people they are…you may come across comments that are full of frustration, but that is mostly because of passion, fierce love and fire burning in every Armenian’s heart… but that does not mean we want to go to war and start killing…Lord…… 

    You believe Janine and I are not the right spokesmen for the Armenians.. I say that is your opinion.. your own belief (not sure who you are and what you represent) but if you don’t know much about Armenians and how we operate and live, then be careful when making such statements……..Therefore, thank you for your opinion but that is not going to change the fact that we have a Genocide that has been hanging over The Armenian people without a resolution for the last 95 years and Turkey needs to step it up, get over its evil self, apologize and give back whatever necessary to clean its conscious and bloody hands from the past once and for all..and not act like they have the right to lie to the world that Turkey was, is and will be theirs and on one can say otherwise… BS.. that is all i can say… and again… ARMENIANS will not ask for, look for or plan to exterminate or go to war just because they want to fight… Want to make that very very clear for you……

    Janine jan.. excellent post…

    Thank you
    Gayane

  73. Anahit jan.. shat shat mersi for your comment… by the way.. you have a beautiful name… The name that our Queen Anahit carried..

    I saw your post after I i finished my comment… You pretty much covered everything I wanted to say..and your last paragraph is exactly what my post was talking about..

    Beautifully written..Thank you….

    Gayane

  74. AMEN Msheci jan.. AMEN…

    Shat lav asetsir.. apres….

    Resoman….

    You said: The Turks are mixture of who-knows how many ancient cultures including Armenians
    You just proved yourself and many Turks that your people became a mixture of many cultures due to many factors including rape to mix the bloods of indgenious people such as ARMENIANS with the Turks..Now you realize that your ancestors have done alot of bad things and tried to Turkify an entire Empire…..Another CHILLING and AMAZING fact (again this may be a shock to you but the more you know the better.. right???)  Because of your Ancestors who have caused the Turkish Genocide of the Western and Eastern Armenia, many of our beautiful Armenian women were abducted, stolen, taken by force, sold, and raped by your people..  naturally your people would have a mixture of not only Armenians but also Greek, Assyrian, Bulgarians….ect… ….Duuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! 

    Gayane

  75. ‘That is the [genocidal] intent shared by the Turks and Armenians. One was unable to do it, one did manage it.  Eventually the aim was the same.’
    You mean the well-documented governmental decrees and recorded statements of Bloody Sultan Abdul Hamid II and especially the Young Turks on massacres, annihilation, and mass deportation of the Armenians had the same aim as with unarmed Ottoman Armenian subjects to defend their rights, pastures, and, essentially, lives? Are you out of your senses? You mean Armenians who were disarmed by the Hamidian and the Young Turk regimes, living predominantly in the rural, non-strategic areas, unorganized, scattered in six known provinces and beyond, mostly agricoles by profession, were ABLE to perpetrate a deliberate, centrally-organized crime as genocide? Secondly, do you not agree that massacring nations might be alien to many nations and only typical to some? Armenians have no record in the multi-millennia history of committing a crime of such a magnitude and degree of barbarity as the Turks did. Don’t you think that there are national characteristics that restrain nations in committing barbaric acts? Armenians are one of them, for your knowledge.
    Well, of course modern-day Turks are a mixture of ‘who-knows how many ancient cultures including Armenians.’ You’re good at interbreeding with more ancient civilizations. It is a scientifically proven tendency with all originally nomadic people to ennoble their savage breed with the representatives of nobler, more civilized people. As nomads, Turks were no exception. How many ancient people: Greeks, Hittites, Kurds, Armenians, and then Slavs, Alawis, Arabs, were interbred by means of forced conversion to Islam, women’s enslavement in filthy Turkish harems, etc. Of course, you’ll become a mixture after that inheriting the appearance of those nobler peoples. But in essence and based on your behavior which the world knows as ‘barbaric Turk’, you’re the same nomadic savages from Altay Mountains and steppes of Mongolia/Central Asia. The most recent and vivid proof is the genocide of the Armenians in the 20th century, the century of modernity, not medieval feudal savagery.

    ‘Everybody killed everybody in that geography,’ but Armenians and representatives of progressive humanity point out to the government-ordered, centrally-planned and executed mass extermination of a specific national, racial, ethnic, and religious group, read: the GENOCIDE. Do you appreciate the difference between ‘everybody killed everybody’ and the centrally-organized mass crime?
    ‘They killed us, but we killed nobody.’ No, you have to be more specific for this statement to have the base: ‘They killed us en masse, they deported us en masse, they annihilated the race, they destructed the civilization, but we killed to defend ourselves, to set free from the occupation yoke of the Ottomans, to live as masters on our land. Could you find evidence of Armenians committing killings of such a magnitude against the Turks? It’s not even worth trying to find, because it’s non-existent. So stop imposing parity between the murderer and the victim. You won’t succeed. Too much evidence exist in the world archives, witness accounts, scholarly literature, and even the archives of your Turkish Military Tribunal of 1919 condemning the race annihilation of the Armenians by the Young Turks, that outsiders will ridicule you, if you try to prove the opposite. ‘Shameful act.’ Might you know you evaluated mass slaughter of the Armenians as such, no? The founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal. Don’t tell me he was an Armenian to say so.
    Armenians will never be like Turkish nationalists because in their veins run the blood of a settled civilized people, who presented the world with renowned names, architectural structures, literature, business, scientific achievements. Even if we try, we cannot descend to the level of Turkish nationalists-mass murderers. That was the most foolish and ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard from a Turk.
     
    In order for such incidents to ‘never occur again in the future,’ the orchestrator and executor of such events must acknowledge the guilt, repent, and apologize to the victim. Only after that will we be able ‘to create a more peaceful world for our children.’

  76. ragnar —

    ‘Armenians throughout their whole history only fought to defend themselves? Even at the times when Tigranes the Great reached the highest expansion of the Armenian state? And also when Armenians established the kingdom of Armenia as migrants? And that they only acted in self-defense regarding the Muslim population in the Yerevan area in the years 1918 to 1920?
    Mostly, yes. Given Armenia’s historical position in the Armenian Plateau that they occupied for millennia until being mass exterminated in 1915-1923 by the Turks, they mostly fought to defend themselves. Tigranes II (The Great) Empire served the specific goal of defending Armenia proper from constant invasions of the outsiders, as a bastion against pretensions of mighty Rome and Parthia (Persia). It’s a known historical fact that Tigranes (Tigran) left all local monarchs, whom he conquered, unhurt. It’s also known that instead of massacring conquered peoples (Jews, Greeks, etc.), he drove them to his capital Tigranakert (present-day Diyarbekir in Turkey) as construction workers and craftsmen. Besides, Tigran’s empire existed only for 40, not 400, years, as the Ottoman Empire.
    As for the Muslim population in the Yerevan area in the years 1918 to 1920, the government of the newly-formed, precarious first democratic Armenian republic had to deal with them by suppressing their unrest, as the Muslims were instigated by the Turks to create constant trouble for the government. It was a Turkish-Muslim policy at the time since Pan-Turkism was (and still is) on the agenda. So. All means justified the goal. Armenian Democratic Republic, a slice of land that Armenians could salvage from exterminatory advances of the Turks, was at that time flooded with refuges and barely survived Armenians from Western Armenian Ottoman vilayets subjected to genocide. However, no mass murders of the Muslims in the Yerevan area in 1918-1920 are recorded, and, frankly, I didn’t quite get why you brought this up? You venture into being exposed as historically incorrect, I’m afraid.

  77. Compare that to genocidal intent”

    That is the intent shared by the Turks and Armenians. One was unable to do it, one did manage it.  Eventually the aim was the same.
    Nonsense – a blanket statement without any factual basis whatsoever.  That is your convenient way of thinking and it is falsehood.

    The Turks are mixture of who-knows how many ancient cultures including Armenians.  That’ one of the reasons that almost no Turk in Turkey looks like the Turks of Central Asia.
    Yes, they took many young women from their families and forcibly converted them.  This was happening extensively before the first World War and one of the reasons life was unlivable for the Armenian population.  You cannot cover up this.   During the genocide many children were taken in and married to sons – forcibly converted and hiding their heritage to this day – when only now people are becoming aware their grandmothers are Armenian.

    Everybody killed everybody in that geography.
    “They killed us, but we killed nobody”.
    This is a statement without any base.  Such statements are pretty similar to that denial by the Turks. That’s why I am saying that some – thanks not all – Armenians are like Turkish nationalists.

    Where did you pull this out of a hat?  Do you think the Greeks did to the Turks in the Greece the same thing the Turks did there?  Then you know nothing about the history of this region of the period that we are discussing, or you are making up lies for propaganda purposes.  Probably the latter, given what we have seen here.

    All we have to do is to make sure that such incidents will ever never occur again in the future.  We have to create a more peaceful world for our children.
     
    Yeah and that begins with adjustment to reality about genocide, the endless excuses (everybody does it???) and the cover up.  Furthermore, let me inform you— we do not have a “Just War” theology to our religion (as Western churches may have), neither do other Orthodox like the Greeks.  There is no such thing as “kill the infidel” that justifies this behavior.

  78. No, I do not claim that self determination is the same as….I am actually not sure what you mean it should be the same as. Please explain.
     
    Davutoglu’s line is that “the pain is the same.”  These things are not the same.  This is a phony way to make them sound the same, a way to mislead.

  79. By the way, regarding this, again:
    Everybody killed everybody in that geography.
    “They killed us, but we killed nobody”.
    This is a statement without any base.  Such statements are pretty similar to that denial by the Turks. That’s why I am saying that some – thanks not all – Armenians are like Turkish nationalists.

     
    Armenians repeatedly have had to listen to the head of Azerbaijian make statements to the effect that it would be a good thing to wipe out the entire Armenian population, that Yerevan is really part of Azerbaijian, etc.  Do you think that the Armenian heads of state go around saying the same thing?  Everybody is really not all the same.

  80. Resoman,
    We do not have to go all the way back to Tanzania to hide from the TRUTH!  Although if everyone were to go back to where they came from, the Turks would be back in Central Asia, and the Armenians will still be in the plains of Ararat.  We should all be strong enough to accept the wrongs of our forefathers, learn from their mistakes and just like you said make sure that atrocities similar to the Armenian Genocide do not happen again.  To do that we only need to go back 95 years, which was in the “civilized” 20th Century, and acknowledge that it was criminal, uncivilized and unlawful to massacre a nation and take over its lands. 
    Ragnar,
    Every human being regardless of where he was born should have human rights that protect him from “ethnic cleansing”.  I don’t think we are in disagreement there.  However, you seem to indirectly imply that because a certain ethnic group had decided to “settle” in a “certain” area, and given birth to offspring who then had “domicile” rights in that area, that therefore that land qualified as their own.  The key word again here is “settlement”, or installing your people so that their numbers grow in a certain place.  There are close to a million Armenian Americans in California enjoying American citizenship rights, that doesn’t however make California “their land”.  Should I assume that Turkey is not objecting to the “domicile” rights of the children of the Jewish settlers who are basically expanding the Jewish lands by “settling” in the “occupied” Palestinian lands?   If this was the norm, then the map of countries would be changing every 500 years depending on the mood of settling people.
    “…a terrible injustice was done to the Armenians, and that Turkey should recognise the responsibility for the crime committed by the CUP and should raise the issue of compensation for Armenian losses…”  Absolutely, I am sure that a lot of educated Turks agree with you.  I wonder how  it feels to be a Turk, knowing that part of the country that you claim as “your own” is another nation’s lands that you are hanging on to, and redesigning so that it looks like it was always yours.  Isn’t it shameful that most of the world knows about this, (and if they don’t I assure that we will make sure that they do).  Instead of instinctually reaching for its sword and advocating wars, Turkey has a great opportunity to prove to the world that it is a leader among modern, civilized countries by abandoning the CUP’s Pan-Turkic dream, allowing Karabagh its self-determination and acknowledging the Genocide much like Germany did with the Holocaust and making reparations for it.  My grandfather was hiding in a ditch and witnessed the slaughter of women and children.  Years later, when my grandmother decided to take my then 13 year old father back to Turkey to show him where they lived, my grandfather refused to join them.  When my father insisted, my grandfather leaned over and whispered in his ear: “you don’t understand son, I still hear their cries..”.  For all I know, he was probably suffering from what is now called Post Traumatic Syndrome.
    Ragnar, you don’t understand, I still hear their cries too.  We, the descendants of the Genocide victims, all hear our grandparents’ cries.  And they are crying for Justice.
    May 28, 1918, the Armenians announced an independent Democratic Republic of Armenia.  This first ‘Republic” included the cities of Kars, Ardahan, Ani and mount Ararat among others.  (Yes the same Ani in my earlier post)  The Turks, after having committed Genocide attacked the new Republic to once and for all get rid of the Armenians and reach their Pan Turkic dream.  The starving Armenian refugees put up a great fight, but could not sustain their independence and Armenia succumbed to the Soviet Union.  The Treaty of Kars between Turkey and the Soviet Union gave Kars, Ardahan, Ani, Ararat to the Turks.  What gave two “occupiers”, Turkey and the Soviet Union the right to barter with our lands?  What gave Stalin the right to give Karabagh to Azerbaijan?  There is no more Soviet Union, the illegal Kars Treaty should also be considered null, and Karabagh should once again be independant.
    There is a Turkish saying: “kill and be done with, or pay and be done with”.  The Turks proved that they could kill, but only God decides if you can “be done with”.  Now I think it is time to “pay” and be done with.  Armenians know how to forgive if the punishment is reasonable and just.

  81. I don’t think we are doing this issue justice when we debate whether or not Armenians ever fought to dominate and oppress?  Or whether they were the majority in their region?  What’s the point?  Armenians were subjects of the Ottoman empire,where they lived throughout the empire but primarily in the Armenian vilayets, provinces which were so named by the empire!  Why would they be called this if not because they were recognized as territories that were either traditionally or historically Armenian?  The question is not whether some Armenians ever organized against the CUP, or whether some aligned themselves with Russia in hopes of liberating their territories for self-determination.  These are interesting historical questions but they are merely “distracting noise.”  The question that must first be considered and settled is the question of the crime committed by the Turkish CUP government against its own innocent and unarmed Armenian citizens.  And the further crime of deliberate remanufacture of facts to cover-up the original crime.  Is there really a statute of limitation on crimes which result in the destruction of a nation?  Where is our basic sense of justice?  What is debatable in the question?  Armenians once lived in a region of Asia Minor which was variously called the Armenian Vilayets or Western Armenia.  Where are they today?  We know who is responsible.   Civilized society dictates that the responsible party carry out restitution.   If the Turkish government, as the direct descendants and beneficiary of the CUP, is not held accountable for these crimes against the Armenians can any of us anywhere call ourselves just?   What is the value of anyone’s life when these innocent lives are treated as expendable?
     
    Yes, Turkey’s acceptance of responsibility for these crimes will open the doors to very difficult questions regarding restitution and border delineations, but first things first.  One step at a time.
     
    Armenians and Turks may never reach a point of trust and complete forgiveness, but we can create laws and treaties to ensure security and national integrity.  First we have to have some indication the the Turks are operating in good faith to promote peace between our nations.  The most important demonstration of good will, would be an unambiguous apology for the destruction of our people.

  82. THANK YOU my dear dear team of experts and noble Armenians…:):  Boyajian, Katia Jan, Janine jan, Anahit jan, and Msheci jan.

    Your words of wisdom and truth will set these Turks whose lives and education were solely the products of their Turkish govt teachings free.. hopefully one day they will wake up and see the truth… and get rid of the seed of evil, confusion, denial, and lies….

    God Bless you my dear Armenians friends…

    Gayane

  83. Ragnar, I get the impression  that you are trying to be fair minded and have difficulty with the angry tone of some of the commentators.  Perhaps over the years you had experience with many Turks who you found to be kind and hospitable, family oriented and hard working.   I don’t doubt it.  It is the nature of people of the region.  And perhaps these experiences have created in you fond feelings for the Turks.   Much of what you write sounds like you are playing the apologist for the Turks.  I think you are sincerely trying to pursue a peaceful resolution with your questions.  However, I think you are barking up the wrong tree.
     
    Armenians are not looking to acquire anything that is not rightfully theirs.  We ache for what was lost, and we burn with  indignation when the truth is denied and intentionally obscured.  It is morally despicable for Turkey to have emptied the vilayets of Armenians and then callously claim Armenian artifacts as their own.  The abuses have been well documented elsewhere.
     
    Armenians and Turks want to put these awful days behind us, but it is Turkey that holds the key.  As long as Turkey fails to face the truth and pay the piper, it will feel compelled to do what it can to avoid responsibility, including lying, bribing and distorting history.
     
     

  84. Ragnar Naess wants to maintain a fair playing field by asking Armenians to understand and have compassion for the rights of domicile of those who have inhabited the historically Armenian territories for the last 95 years.  It is elucidating for Armenians to hear the views of people like Ragnar Naess because they are representative of a kind of “detached-compassion” that many in the West express when trying to make sense of what to do with the Armenian question.  Many educated, well-intentioned, peace loving people in the West claim to have empathy for what Armenians lost at the hands of the Turks.  But how meaningful is empathy when it turns a blind eye to a just resolution?
     
    Armenians paid with their lives, the loss of their communities, churches, institutions and property.  Now we are being asked to have empathy and compassion for those who occupied our emptied homes and penned their goats in our desecrated churches.  Of course we have empathy for anyone who is forcibly removed from their home. But is this a burden we must bear or is this burden on the Turkish government who created and then perpetuated an illegal seizure of our lands?  There are countless victims here, both Christian and Muslim, and it is the Turkish government that is failing in its responsibility to its citizens which it wronged.  It is a HUGE burden, but one that sits squarely on the shoulders of the Turkish leadership.
     
    The situation appears complex with regards to redrawing boundaries, rights of domicile, Turkish honor, Armenian dignity, restitution, historical commissions, normalization of relations, open borders, economics, political stability, historical preservation, and more …  But the solution really needs to start with the perpetrators making right what went wrong when they attempted to secure their nation for Turks by eliminating the Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds, etc.,
     
    Armenians appreciate the empathy but what we need is political pressure to be imposed on Turkey to compel her to come to the table with an apology and plan for restitution.   How many more genocides will we tolerate before we/humanity say “Never again!” and really mean it?  Until Turkey makes restitution she is being allowed to benefit from her crimes against humanity.  This  is not a statement of hate or bigotry against Turks.  This is a call for justice for all of us, including Turks!
     

  85. There are many posts now. Sorry my Armenian friends in this debate , I feel you are onesided. I will try to answer one of Anahide’s mails first. But Anahide, one place you write to me as if you are writing to a Turk. I am not Turkish, I am Norwegian. 
    You write:
    There is a different justice for those who have been in a place for 500 years and those who have been in a place for 3000 years. Those who have been in a place for 500 years originated in the Mongolian/Central Asian steppes and Altay Mountains and in the 11-13th centuries AD started expansions on more settled, more civilized indigenous peoples that inhabited Asia Minor, as well as other parts of the world. They scorched their dwellings, pastures, religious and architectural marbles, schools and educational centers, and then settled in the new lands. Starting the 14th century, when the Ottoman Empire was formed on lands invaded by the Seljuk-Mongols, the Ottomans repressed other nations, constantly pursuing the policy of Turkification of native peoples: Assyrians, Greeks, Alawis, Kurds, Arabs, Armenians. In the final decades of the Ottoman rule they decided to annihilate those unique ethnic, religious, national groups. The most horrendous mass annihilation has befallen the Armenians in 1915-1923. If you look from the Armenian perspective, a nation that has been in place for 3000+ years: why should we endure the foreign occupation?
    comment:
    I believe you are mistaken about justice or else I do not understand you. The justice is the same for all. When different people are brought before a court, they are judged by the same law, and the same notions of justice are being brought to the table. That is my main point. More specificly, people who have been living in a place for generations have a right to stay there. And of course this applies to the Ottoman Armenians. 
    Then I believe you overdo the difference between the Turkish invaders and the people they invaded. The Byzantine empire, the people most equipped with art, architecture, philosophy, were very cruel masters. After winning a war against the Bulgarians they blinded all the Bulgarian soldiers afther the battle except a few and sent them home on foot with a few of them up front to show the way. So much for the settled and civilized people….
    In my country the Christians, introducing the new religion by force , suppressed the old religion by death punishment after 1000 C.E. The same thing happened when we were changed by the Danish king from Catholicism to Protestantism in 1527. People were persecuted for the adoration of the saints. There is a great difference between this and the Muslim conquerors who introduced the concept of the dhimmi, the protected religious minorities who did not do military service but paid more taxes. The millet system was an apartheid system according to modern standards, but is was vastly superior to the contemporary European treatment of Jews and people with indigenous religions.
    So I feel that the labeling of  “Turks”  as uncivilised is very unfair. To judge “Turks” for the crime of   a segment of a party that ruled despotically from 1913 to 1918 is very biased.
    I did fieldwork among the Turkish Alevi and know their history and situation quite well. I believe you should read more about this.
    But again to repeat: a crime was committed against the Ottoman Armenians in the years of  WW1. This was the starting point of our discussion and the important question today. I did not start the discussion of what happened millennia ago, I commented on what Katia K and Gayane wrote about Armenians being better than other peoples. 

  86. Ragnar –
     
    Some commentators here use fake names and it’s virtually impossible to make out their nationality. My apologies if I mistook you for a Turk, perhaps, the spirit of your comments, some of which resemble arguments that we hear from the Turks, should have misled me. Having said that, I appreciate your empathy for the Armenian plight and your understanding of the fact that international law-based justice must be served.
     
    Allow me to elaborate on ‘the difference between the Turkish invaders and the people they invaded.’ As a Western-minded person, I’ll do my best to avoid ethnic bias that you think takes over our comments making them, as you think, ‘one-sided.’ The issue is oversimplified by you and is, in essence, fundamentally different. Armenian commentators here are not talking about many instances of invasions, submissions, takeovers, wars, religious conversions that occurred in history. We’re focusing on the subject to its very essence: as invaders and enslavers of settled nations inhabiting Asia Minor, Turks have in 1915-1923 committed a deliberate destruction of a specific racial, national, ethnic, and religious group: the genocide. I wouldn’t accuse you of being ‘one-sided’ for not appreciating the difference between wars and genocides. I prefer not to, because I understand that many nations in the world, including the Norwegians, have not experienced a calamity of such a magnitude and level of barbarity as Armenians and several other nations did. I’m certain I wouldn’t need to point out to the difference between blinding soldiers after battles or wide-spread persecutions during the Protestant Revolution and the deliberate, state-planned and executed extermination en masse of an indigenous racial group. A Jew, or a Ukrainian, or a Bosnian, or a Cambodian, or a Rwandan, or a Darfurian would appreciate this difference instantaneously. A great number of uncivilized atrocities have been committed in the Christendom by the leadership of nations that consider themselves ‘settled and civilized,’ especially in the medieval centuries. I’m with you on that unreservedly. But I believe atrocities committed as a result of wars, religious stand-offs, and invasions and mass extermination of a race and need to be differentiated. Genocides stand out as the ugliest form of the man’s treatment of the man. It is genocides, not the wars, religious stand-offs, or invasions, that are denounced as crimes against humanity. Polish Jew Raphael Lemkin invented the term ‘genocide’ in 1944 based, specifically, on his study of the mass extermination of the Armenians by the Turks. In accusing those ‘settled and civilized’ nations in committing crimes, you appear to forget that some of those nations found the courage to admit the crimes and apologize to the victims. For me, the resolve in admitting the guilt is the criterion for being considered a ‘civilized’ nation. In that, Germans certainly meet the definition, as do White South Africans, White Americans, Russians, and the Vatican (although Inquisition bears different characteristics from those of Genocide).
     
    There are shortcomings in your statement in that ‘there is a difference between [European religious persecutions] and the Muslim conquerors who introduced the concept of the dhimmi, the protected religious minorities who didn’t do military service, but paid more taxes.’ In reality, dhimmis were not protected minorities in the Ottoman Empire. Their witness statements were not taken into account during the court trials. They could be easily accused of a crime they haven’t committed based on evidence, often false, of three Muslims. They were barred from running for the office or holding administrative positions. They were not allowed to do military service even if they had a chance to choose between serving in the army and paying monstrous taxes. They were heavily and unbearably taxed comparing to the Muslims, and this led to constant uprisings against the local and federal authorities. They were not allowed to bear arms and served as easy targets for any armed Muslim. Their villages and pastures were constantly pillaged and plundered by the bands of Muslims: Turks, Kurds, and Circassians. Is this a protection to you? The Ottoman Turkish millet system was, indeed, a typical apartheid system characterized by Turkish cruelty, but I disagree that it was vastly superior to the contemporary European treatment of Jews and people with indigenous religions. At least during the Middle Ages, in relations with the Christian society, Jews were protected by kings, princes, and even Catholic bishops, because of the services they provided in financial, medical, and even administrative areas. Of course, all this changed during the Crusades, when hatred for the Jews, as killers of Christ, spread out, and they were required to live in designated neighborhoods afterwards. Even in the religious matters, Jews were urged to convert to Catholicism only in the Papal States until 1870. Armenians were subjected to forcible conversion to Islam during the Seljuk-Mongol centuries, but I’d agree that the only privilege they had during the Ottoman yoke was practicing Christianity. Other than that, I’m afraid there was a little difference between the millet system for the Armenians and the ghetto system for the Jews. You also appear to disregard a major factor in the case of the Armenians as opposed to the case of the Jews. During the Ottoman centuries and long before Armenians lived in the provinces historically inhabited by them, whereas European Jews lived in the areas that never constituted their historical homeland. Therefore, the psychological bitterness of the Armenians as a civilization forced to live as millet on their own lands was incomparable to that of the Jews.
     
    Your point about labeling Turks as ‘uncivilized’ that you believe is unfair is taken. I believe so, too. And rarely will you find an Armenian labeling the whole Turkish nation as ‘uncivilized.’ Armenian abhor the Turkish State as uncivilized, a State that has committed a heinous crime and for 95 years avoids accepting the guilt. If you think this is a civilized behavior, then I think we should stop exchanging views at once. You believe ‘judging Turks for the crime of a segment of a party that ruled despotically from 1913 to 1918 is very biased.’ But let me remind you that mass massacres of the Armenians started before the CUP rule, during the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who went down in history as ‘Bloody Sultan’ for mass massacring Ottoman Christians. These are years 1894-1896. It is believed that up to 300,000 Armenians were slaughtered in cold blood back then. If you add mass murders of the Greeks and Assyrians throughout the rule of various sultans and the same notorious CUP, the picture, I’m afraid, will be quite different from the one you attempt to deliver. It shows that it was not merely ‘a segment of a party that ruled despotically from 1913 to 1918,’ but the general rigid line of different Turkish regimes at wiping out all ancient civilizations, indigenous peoples inhabiting Asia Minor, Turkification of their artifacts, and creating a homogeneous new nation, a task that was later completed by great falsificator Mustafa Kemal.

    Lastly, I re-read Katia K and Gayane’s comments, and nowhere have I found that they advocated, or even remotely alluded, that Armenians were ‘better than other peoples.’ If any passage containing these exact words slipped my attention, do please refer me to it. I hope you’re not twisting words of other commentators, a typical Turkish tactic.

    P.S. By the way, the correct spelling of my name is Anahit, not Anahide. But we’re tied this time in that I misttok you for a Turk. Cheers.

  87. None of the replies above to my posts has answered my question, thanks anyway.  I write here based on the comments and explanations made by the Armenians.
    I’m really amazed that how you found out who my forefathers are.  I even don’t now who my forefathers and foremothers are, but you now it. That’s amazing. Even physically, I am light color hair and blues eyes and 188 cm tall guy, maybe you can judge my origins better.
    I don’t defend the nor Turkish causes neither Armenian causes here.
    Second, none of my family members has been in the area where the sad incidents had happened. Actually, the closest point that we have been to, is 1800 km away from the eastern Turkey.  Except that I have traveled to Armenia more than 20 times and made good friends out there as well as diaspora Armenians. In the area I grew up, we had excellent Armenian neighbors that we have gotten along well for years and years. None of my family members has murdered any Armenian, none of my family members has been murdered by any Armenian. (Refer to my earlier posts here in this forum).
    That doesn’t change the fact that the philosophy of the nationalist Armenians is pretty much the same as that of the Turks.  I have to make this explanation here.
    The choice is yours, be what you want to be.
     
    The end of nationalism and religion is the beginning of a peaceful world.

  88. ragnar,
     
    Find a moment and read “Armenia and the Near East,” if you haven’t already, by your great compatriot Fridtjof Nansen, a great man, who in early 1920s witnessed the consequences of Turkish barbarity and was instrumental in extending help to the Armenians. To this day Armenians cherish this man.
     
    Maybe the account of your compatriot will help you refine your views on the subject.
     
    M

  89. Ragnar:
     
    The Orthodox world of the Byzantines and Armenians did not take part in the Inquisitions and witch hunts of Western Europe – a quite different kind of Christianity evolved in the East on many points of theology, especially mystic or “negative” which the West is now beginning to revive.    Furthermore the Greeks embraced their ancient culture and philosophy and applied it to the service of theology .  The Renaissance is owed to the fall of the Byzantines who brought with them all that they had kept in the monasteries, the literature, philosophy, etc.  A completely different perspective.  Armenia has Jewish cemetery of the Middle Ages which is evidence of a flourishing minority community.  Not everything is the same.

  90. Sorry Anahid, it was Katia K who suddenly spoke to me as if I was a Turk. Msheci, yes, I know Fridtjov Nansen, but I believe he knew very little of the whole story of the relationship between Turks and Armenians, and he also believed in the Christian civilization being more n0ble and advanced than the Muslim. So he was prejudiced. His type of attitude is part of the problem today.
    I support the struggle to have the crimes committed against Armenians by the CUP recognised and proper compensations made.
    However, I made one question regarding the fate of the Muslim people who live today in the ancestral homeland of the Armenians. As far as I understand the majority of Armenians do not want them deported in case of the Armenian claims of land reparations are realized. I am happy to hear about this.  
    Then there is the question of the Armenians living in – say, California- and California not being “their” land. No, I believe proper citizen rights precludes any ethnic group to claim a country as “their” country.
    About saying that some nationalities being better than others, Gayane said the following: ….but we will only fight to protect our families, our lands, and our country.. and we  fight fair and square….” and then he says “.. I can’t say the same for most of the Turks”. Now he is not saying straighaway that some nations are better than others but these remarks makes it natural to ask if he holds this.
    Finally…Anahit….sorry for misspelling your name, I believe I mix it up with Anaide Ter Minassian, who has written on the Armenian revolutionary movement, and on the fighting at Van. Her name is also sometimes spelled Anahide

  91. That doesn’t change the fact that the philosophy of the nationalist Armenians is pretty much the same as that of the Turks.  I have to make this explanation here.
    The choice is yours, be what you want to be.

    The end of nationalism and religion is the beginning of a peaceful world.
     
    When have nationalist Armenians proposed as government policy the extermination of a race of people – especially minorities within their own country?  When did they as official policy help to cover up internationally through millions of dollars and arm-twisting of other governments a genocide as official policy of the party?  Please cite references.
     
    Ragnar:  whatever you are calling “civilized” or “uncivilized” started for me with  a post by someone asking if Switzerland, France and Armenia were “civilized” because it was a criminal offense to deny genocide there.  I said yes, that it is “uncivilized” to deny genocide and cover it up for 95 years.  Make of that what you will.  If you want to generalize that into a racist statement then I know that you are not being honest.

  92. To: Resoman
     
    In many languages there are two (or more) ways of saying ‘you’. As you know, in Turkish ‘you’ would say ‘sen’ for family or friend, but when you’re speaking formal ways you must say ‘siz’ to be polite. This was the same in English until some 200 years ago, when the more friendly forms of ‘you’ (such as ‘thou’, ‘thy’, and ‘thee’) were forgotten and only the formal ones kept. Therefore, knowing that you’re a Turk, when we say ‘your’ forefathers, we mean the forefathers of your nation, not you singularly. Isn’t that amazing? Even physically, we’re not surprised that you (singular) are light colored hair and blue-eyed, and a 188 cm tall. Even without attempting to judge your (singular) origins, we may know them. Isn’t it amazing? We know, and this can be found in any book on history or anthropology throughout the world, where your (plural) forefathers came from, how they interbred with indigenous inhabitants of Asia Minor, how they forcibly converted these native inhabitants to Islam, how they stole their beautiful young women to serve in harems, and how they adopted children of other ethnicity only to convert them to Islam. So, no wonder for us you’re light colored hair and blue-eyed. As species of an artificially created new mixed nation, your (singular) forefathers might be descendants of whomever they (plural) enslaved, converted, or interbred with: Jews, Greeks, Assyrians, Slavs, even… Armenians. Isn’t that amazing?
     
    Skipping the next part of your comment about the possibility for Turks to make friends with the Armenians, and not only to mass massacre them, let’s get down to this statement of yours: ‘That doesn’t change the fact that the philosophy of the nationalist Armenians is pretty much the same as that of the Turks.’ The explanation that you gave for this phrase is obscure, to say the least: ‘The choice is yours, be what you want to be.’ Be specific next time, please. You mean, nationalist Armenians, since their nationalism is, as you advocate, the same as that of the Turks, have committed genocide of virtually all Turkish innocent population and driven them out of their native lands? Or you consider rightful indignation of Armenian nationalists for the mass extermination of their nation as being the same as centrally-planned genocidal campaign of nationalist Turks and their continuous denial of the crime up to the present day? Yes, the choice is mine, but what does your State do so I chose the option of living as a good neighbor with the Turks? Did your State apologize for the crime it has committed or it’s still covering it up? If your State is engaged in a continuous denial of the crime against my nation, how can I make a choice towards befriending with you (plural)? Please advise.
     
    Now, let’s see. You claim you ‘don’t defend either the Turkish causes or Armenian causes here.’ Then what essentially do you defend? That ‘end of nationalism and religion is the beginning of a peaceful world’? Hmmm, OK, but how exactly civilized people march toward the end of something and the beginning of something else, might you know? I personally think they move toward a peaceful world by means of acknowledging mistakes, by means of repenting, compassion, by means of apologizing for grief and sorrow they brought upon their neighbors. Do they not? Or you think they move towards a peaceful world by just forgetting without even being offered an apology for the mass crime? How many times on an individual level have you (singular) seen a neighbor befriending with another neighbor who killed his wife and children just by means of forgetting the crime? Is such an unnatural behavior common in the Turkish society? Please advise.
     
    One last note. The notions of ‘nationalism’ and ‘religion’ have multiple definitions. If you mean ‘nationalism’ in terms of radical ethnocentricity, maybe you’re right, ethnocentrism is by any measure a progressive notion. But if you mean ‘nationalism’ in terms of ‘patriotism,’ I don’t see why it shouldn’t stay. Likewise, the religion. If you mean religion as an institutional stigma, in terms of one’s gloomy, brainwashed religiosity, that’s by any measure a progressive notion. But if you mean ‘religion’ in terms of one’s faithfulness and spirituality towards God, that’s been with the humanity for as long as the humanity exists and will be there till the end of time.

  93. According to Hurriyet Daily, the Turkish foreign ministry gave a special instruction to Turkish diplomats posted abroad to pro-actively present pro-Turkish stance on the Armenian Causem in order to stop or shelve the mounting international pressure on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

    U.S. universities and research centers are the primary audiences for the dissemination of Turkish propaganda.
     
    ANCA, are you aware? Our potential must be used to confront yet another wave of Turkish denial of their crime.

  94. Ragnar, no apologies needed. I also took you for a Turk. I leave it to Katia K and Gayane to respond to you, but still I find no indication of Armenians’ superiority over other nations, open or covert, in the passage that you’ve brought up. I read Anahid Ter Minassian’s work and am fond of it. The different spellings of the same Armenian names (Anahit-Anahid) or words is a consequence of the split between Eastern (Russian) and Western (Ottoman) parts of Armenia, caused by the Turkish occupation of Western Armenian provinces. This semantic dissonance remains to this day. BTW, Gayane is a female name, but you wouldn’t know, of course. A hint: it’s also the name of Aram Khachaturian’s ballet where a tune, with Gayane featuring in its final act, is easily his most famous music, the “Sabre Dance” that you’d certainly recognize.

  95. Ragnar,
     
    I’m not sure you’re correct. Nansen was a witness of Western Armenia’s destruction, and his book is an important witness account. My reading into his account suggests he knew fairly well the specifics of the ‘relationship’ between Turks and Armenians, to put it mildly. As for his belief that the Christian civilization was more noble and advanced than the Muslim, I think such a view might have been shaped based on what he came to see in Armenia: starved, destitute, barely breathing, dying Armenian children of whom bones and skins remained after the Turk-ordered death marches; scores of raped, humiliated Armenian women; diseases from malnutrition, dehydration, and exhaustion; Armenian women, children, and the elders more resembling living skeletons than human beings. His view may sound odd now, but back in those horrifying years he might have been influenced by what he saw.
     
    Armenians have no problems with the Muslims. Armenians have problems with the Turks. In fact, if you ask a Muslim Lebanese, a Syrian, an Iranian, an Egyptian, a Jordanian, an Iraqi, an Emirate Arab as to what they think of Christian Armenians, almost always you’ll hear the words of respect and appreciation for the input Armenians have introduced to the development of their societies in many areas. Our problem is with the denialist Turkish State. And the problem will be solved only when we receive an apology for their crime. It may take another 95 years, or hundreds of years, but we will never retreat.

  96. Ragnar, no apologies needed. I also mistook you for a Turk. My bad.
     
    I leave it to Katia K and Gayane to respond to you, but still I find no indication of Armenians’ superiority over other nations, open or covert, in the passage that you’ve brought up.
     
    I read Anahid Ter Minassian’s work and am fond of it. The different spellings of the same Armenian names (Anahit-Anahid) or words is a consequence of the split between Eastern (Russian) and Western (Ottoman) parts of Armenia, caused by the Turkish occupation of Western Armenian provinces. This semantic dissonance remains to this day.
     
    BTW, Gayane is a female name, but you wouldn’t know, of course. A hint: it’s also the name of Aram Khachaturian’s ballet where a tune, with Gayane featuring in its final act, is easily his most famous music, the “Sabre Dance” that you’d certainly recognize.

  97. Janine
    We are into a very strange debate here!
    You write:
    Ragnar:  whatever you are calling “civilized” or “uncivilized” started for me with  a post by someone asking if Switzerland, France and Armenia were “civilized” because it was a criminal offense to deny genocide there.  I said yes, that it is “uncivilized” to deny genocide and cover it up for 95 years.  Make of that what you will.  If you want to generalize that into a racist statement then I know that you are not being honest.
    Comment:
    I imagine that what you write above is a comment on my citation of  Gayane. I feel his words were discriminatory.
    And then……..”IF I want to generalize..”…I did nothing of the sorts. But I feel there is an idolizing of Armenian statehood here and a negative feeling towards the Turks which will not stand to historical scrutiny.
    Anahit
    Yes, I think the discussion on the merits of different peoples is missing what is the central topic, which is the terrible fate of the Ottoman Armenians. So let us close it. But let us discuss real problems, if any. I mentioned 1913-1918 and you remindede me of 1895-96.  Then you mentiioned 1915 to 1923. If I was a good Armenian according to your standards I imagine I should say: ” Why do you deny the catastrophe of 1909?” As if not mentioning means denying.  But would it bring us any further?
    Then you write about differentiating between genocide and other types of crime, you mention the Byzantine blinding of Bulgarian and say that it is not the same and not as bad a genocide. Nobody should disagree on this, and I have never said anything like it or held such an opinion. What is happening? Are we discussing seriously? Yes, I believe, because you argue about the situation of the Jews in Europe in the middle ages and this is pertinent. I know little about it, but you may be right.
    No, I believe, because your raising the issue of genocide as the crime of crimes was not our theme. I – like a Darfurian, Rwandan, Jew – would appreciate this difference, but then I wonder: Is this an argument for something you said or an argument against something I said? The issue of the characteristics of the Armenian nation as opposed to others, particularly the Turkish/Selchuk/Mongol was our theme, not the genocide.

    another example: you write: … a State that has committed a heinous crime and for 95 years avoids accepting the guilt. If you think this is a civilized behavior, then I think we should stop exchanging views at once.
    Comment: ?????
    if we cannot relate to the theme of the other, yes, maybe we should stop exchanging views at once, but why this “if you think this is civilized behaviour..?”. Is this rhetorics? Is it a real question? If the last, make a guess about what I would answer…

  98. Yes, in the commemoration of April 24 in Oslo in 2009 Norwegian Armenians made comments, jokingly, on the language differences. I was even given examples of how words are spelled and pronounced differently in the two variants.
    Your conciliatory post came simultaneously with my frustrations from your questions, I believe. No harm intended…

  99. Ragnar, you are Norwegian?! You say we are one sided?! You leaned so much toward the Turkish side, we thought you were a Turk! Of course we are one sided, we represent the side of the “victim” of a crime. There are two sides to a criminal case, the victim and the accused. We are not obligated to understand their side, meaning “the Turkish crime”. You are looking for excuses for what they have done. You are fighting for the reputation of the culprit even before the victim got justice. What kind of a reasoning is that?
    Resoman and Ragnar, all of these posts have not answered your questions? In all honesty, after all”your” posts I still don’t know what your question is or better yet where you stand on this issue. One minute you say the Armenians were dealt with a great injustice, next you say the Turks are civilized people. How can one be unjust and civilized at the same time? And where did I say that the “Turkish citizens” were all uncivilized, or that the Armenians were better people? But by gollie, the Turkish government and many of its policies, domestic and foreign are uncivilized. I have no problem standing by this point. Their predecessors committed mass murder and stole another nation’s lands and archeological/historical treasures, and their modern leaders are covering up this murder and enjoying the spoils of their ancestor’s criminal deed. Their leaders are criminals and cheaters in this respect, Their intention is to literally get away with this horrendous murder and not pay a cent for it, by bribing and aligning themselves with the interests of the so called leaders of the world.I am not interested in who else did this in the Dark Ages and got away with it. I am not sure about you but we are no longer living in those ages. I am interested in justice for my granparents, and I am owed their lands, bank accounts, properties that are rightfully mine. “We don’t understand justice”? What does that mean? If another country invades Norway, massacres your people, takes over your country, makes it its own and invents stories that it was always its land, would you say “it’s ok others have done this in the past” or would you fight for your country and justice? Would it be ok if people then called you Nationalists? We are nationalists because we lost our nation. The only way we “don’t know” justice, is by the fact that we have not seen justice. You are wrong by saying all people are subjected/protected by the same laws. The world that acknowledged the Jewish Holocaust and forced Germany to pay for its crime, is refusing to do the same for the Armenian Genocide. Unlike the Jews, we also lost a big part of our homeland! Why would I be interested in “the side” of my ancestors murderers, I am only interested in justice.
    Dear fellow Armenians, it pains me to say this, but I feel that we have waisted precious energy with all the comments we posted. I feel so flustered right now… Because I have a sinking feeling that we are being played here… I really think we should stop this useless forum at this point. This is becoming offensive!

  100. Ragnar,
    There is a delay between posts, so I just read your apology to Anahit and that I was the one who addressed you as a Turk.    Just like Anahit said, a lot of commentators are using pen names and it is impossible to know their ethnic background.  However, I am sure that I was not the only one who thought you were Turkish because of the viewpoints (sometimes contradictory) in your posts.  My apologies.
    I appreciate the fact that you clarified your position in your latest comments by saying that you believe that the Armenians should be compensated for their losses etc. ..
    I thought everyone would get the idea of what I meant by the Californian Armenians… allow me to rephrase what I meant by that.  Armenian Americans (as example) of course consider America their land as “Americans”, but cannot imply that by living in America for many generations, America is their ethnic homeland, as in “Armenia”.  I said this in response to comments here that implied that Western Armenia and parts of the Balkan were ” Turkish territory” because Turks lived in/occupied these lands for 500 or 600 years.  Of course Balkan Turks should have Balkan rights of citizenship.
    No one people is better than the next.  Only a people’s moral standing can be better or worse than another people’s based on the laws of civilization and common decency.
    Turkish people should be more than welcome in our Western lands if they are returned to us one day, as long as they agree to be law abiding Turkish-Armenian citizens.  As Hrant Dink once put it, the Armenian nation will one day increase by about 2 million anyhow, once all the Turks and Kurds whose grandparents were Armenian forced to Islam reveal themselves (and they have started… please read (if you haven’t) “My Grandmother” by Fetieh Cetin, and “You Rejoice my heart” by Kemal Yalcin).

  101. Msheci
    Nansen was not in Turkey in 1915, he came to Armenia after the war. He shared the lack of sound information on the Ottoman Empire which even Toynbee exhibits. In his “Western question” it appears that he did not know that there existed population censuses in the Ottoman Empire.
    Nansen did not se the human effects of 1.2 million Muslim refugees who left Eastern Anatolia after the Russian occupation of a large area from early 1916 and until the dissolution of the Russian army in 1917.  He was silent on their plight and on the plight of Muslim refugees from the Balkans in 1912-13. He does not even appear to have known about the human suffering implied in the massive ethnic cleansing of Ottoman Muslims.
    He acted as an outstanding humanitarian when he organised aid to the Armenians and to the Russians, even if it meant collaborating with the Bolsheviks. But his solidarity and sensitivity to human suffering did not seem to extend to Muslims or Turks….

  102. Ragnar,  I want to agree with you and underscore that most Armenians are not looking to expel Muslims from the historical Armenian lands if land reparations are realized.  Most Armenians do not hate individual Turks and have had occasion to befriend innocent Turks they have met.  Most Armenians can tell the difference between individual, peaceful, family-loving Turks and the despicable practices of denial, distortion, bribery, political pressure, and the fabrication of misinformation and dishonest academics carried out by the Turkish government, the descendants of the CUP.   Most Armenians only want the indignity of denial to come to an end.  Most Armenians want Turkey to finally apologize for the destruction that was wrought on our nation.  Most Armenians want the truth to be known by the world and to see Turkey held accountable.  Most Armenians want the Republic of Armenia to thrive and live peacefully with its neighbors.  And most Armenians want to see the ruins of Ani preserved and allowed to proclaim their rightful heritage.
     
    Please don’t allow your affection for individual Turks cloud your sense of justice and compassion.  As I have said previously,  it is the Turkish government that caused and perpetuated this unjust situation, and that now puts the rights of domicile in question for thousands of Turks and Kurds in the Armenian territories.  It was disastrous government policies that created and perpetuated this dilemma.  It is a mistake to suggest that Armenians need to carry this burden, though I am sure that most Armenians would feel tremendous empathy for anyone who is forceably removed from their home.
     
    I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it bothers me when non-Armenians suggest that Armenians are too harsh and unforgiving toward Turks.  I understand that it isn’t always pretty when some Armenians express frustration and anger about the fact that “Turkish honor” appears to trump justice for our dead.  Or that political expediencies override basic morality and have done so for the last 95 years.  But is it really that hard to understand where this frustration and anger comes from?
     
    I agree that justice should be equal for all,  but where is Armenia’s justice?  Who will fight to help her get her due justice?  Most Armenians are anxious for allies in this struggle against a powerful and dishonest state.
     
     

  103. Thank you Anahit jan.. shat shat mersi for beautifully written comments.. Msheci jan… qefs galisa vor kartum em qo yev Anahiti postera.. including de el chem asum Katia K and Boyajian… Thank you..

    Now:  As Ahanit stated, I am a female and not a male… Ok now that is out of the way.. let me try to make sense out of Ragnar’s accusations…about how I indirectly stated that Armenians are better than other nations…. I don’t understand what hole did you pull this one out but the example you used Ragnar was completly cut off (typical Turkish way of twisting the truth) which of course would give you the impression of me the way it did.. therefore, let me correct it….

    The sentence that you fashionably used to show my prejudice towards other races especially toward Turks was this:
    We don’t like to kill, murder, and cause harm to another human being UNLESS like I said, they are pushed to fight to protect their families, and their homeland…. However, can’t say the same about most Turks ….

    However, the ACTUAL and COMPLETE comment that I made was this:
    We don’t like to kill, murder, and cause harm to another human being UNLESS like I said, they are pushed to fight to protect their families, and their homeland…. However, can’t say the same about most Turks because as our ancestors experienced it in 1915, they did whatever necessary to follow the Govt’s order and please their God and in doing so they were promised to go to a divine place depending on the number of Armenians they would end up killing….. not civilized..not at alll….

    Do you see the difference????  Please re-read my comment and show me where in that comment did i INDIRECTLY stated that Armenians are better than other nations (Turks)… Do you even understand what my statement was referrencing to?? If not, let me know and I will attempt to explain it.. I will do my best.. Unfortunately English being my 3rd language, some of my thoughts may not come out in a sensible fashion…but I am willing to help you out..However, please do not EVER lable me or someone like Katia K (who is absolutely amazing and the most intelligent person I know) as someone who put down other nations if you do not have VERY STRONG AND DIRECT FACTS. facts..

    Thank you and have a great evening

    Gayane (female)….
    P.S. Thank you Anahit jan for educating Ragnar on Armenian culture/history and about my name.. It will serve Ragnar well as he (I assume it is a he.. if not.. my apologies)  himself stated he does not much about Armenian history…

  104. Ranosan:

    Another amazing fact for you… it is known that ARmenians in those days had light eyes and light hair (beautiful race) ..many of our beautiful women were taken by force and raped, slaved, converted into Islam, and in  many other dispicable ways,  before, during and after 1915.. … So we are not surprised to learn that you are the way you are because you probably carry a gene from either an Armenian or from another indigenous people…..amazing right???

    Just another little fact for you….

    Gayane (female)

  105. Ragnar:

    One more comment if you don’t mind… You said:

    I did fieldwork among the Turkish Alevi and know their history and situation quite well. I believe you should read more about this.

    Did you do fieldwork among Armenians ???? or better yet.. NON ARmenians who know the Armenian history/culture/Genocide?????? IF your answer is no.. then I would say you yourself are ‘one-sided” and not the Armenians who post their comments on this site.  Spending time with  the Turkish side and not the OTHER SIDE (in this case, the Armenian side), I understand why you would defend/attempt to convince us of the Turkish rights.  Hence why you don’t really have a strong case for your pleas.. I am sorry but you are playing with the wrong people.

    Thank you
    Gayane (female)

  106. katia K
    I believe I understand you better now
    But we reason differently it seems
    you write for instance:
    One minute you say the Armenians were dealt with a great injustice, next you say the Turks are civilized people. How can one be unjust and civilized at the same time?
    comment:
    a civilized nation may be very unjust at certain times, for instance the Germans. So there is no contradiction here to my mind, but maybe I misunderstood you
    Ragnar

  107. Ragnar,
    I never said Nansen was in Turkey in 1915, I said ‘he witnessed the consequences of Turkish barbarity in the early 1920s.’ When he came to Armenia, the Turkish slaughter was ongoing (Adana, etc.). This time (immediately pre- and after 1920), Mustafa Kemal was completing the work that his murderous predecessors Young Turks have started. The slaughter and deportations of the remaining pockets of the Armenians continued up until 1923. Therefore, you may have misperceived Nansen’s actually witnessing the state of the Armenian refugees, deportees, and barely survives people. Nansen was an outstanding humanitarian and, as such, his knowledge, I suspect, would be inferior to that of Arnold Toynbee. Still, as a person of good will, believing in Christian values of love and compassion, he could feel the extent of human catastrophe that had befallen the Armenians, and devoted himself to help as much as he could.
    In the second part of your comment I could feel implication that Nansen was prejudiced towards the Turks as they suffered losses both in the Balkans and on the eastern fronts. First of all, Nansen arrived in the region in the early 1920s, i.e. after the genocidal campaign against the Armenians started in 1915 and continued, as it’s known, up until 1923. Therefore, I guess he might have perceived Turkish losses in the Balkan Wars that were fought before 1915 as inevitable war losses suffered by the Turks as a result of national-liberation struggles throughout the Ottoman-occupied parts of the south-eastern Europe.
    I’d like to clear up confusion in characterizing the Balkan events that you typify as ‘massive ethnic cleansing.’ An empire, as we all know, consists of metropolis and colonies. Starting the 14th century AD, the Ottoman Empire extended its territory by means of occupying the lands of other peoples stretching as far as the gates of Vienna. There were numerous uprisings against Ottoman occupation throughout the nearly 500-year old existence of the empire. In the early 1900s, the dreams and aspirations for a long-awaited freedom for some of the enslaved peoples started to materialize. These liberation struggles proceeded successfully for a host of nations in the Balkans in the westernmost parts of the Empire and Arabs in the southernmost parts, but ended up devastatingly for a like-minded freedom-loving nation in its easternmost part: the Armenians. Many scholars believe that the Armenians were chosen as scapegoats for the defeats of the Turks in the Balkan Wars.
    Now, what you call ‘massive ethnic cleansing’ from the Balkans with regard to the Turks is a consequence of a vast liberation struggle from their yoke for the Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians, and others. History knows a few cases when liberation from foreign occupation proceeded in bloodless manner, nice and easy, so to speak. Probably, the British withdrawing from India or Portuguese withdrawing from Africa would be a few of such cases. In many other cases, national liberation of the colonies from the occupation of the metropolis is exemplified, almost inevitably, by bloodshed. I’m having hard time understanding your logical line as to why the occupied would endure the occupier?!
    Likewise, in the 1914-1916 during the World War I in the easternmost parts of the Empire, Turks initially suffered heavy losses and, indeed, a great number of refugees fled the area. Fortunately for the Turks, in 1917 Russian Revolution saved them from destruction, an event that the Turks used to wipe out the Armenians.
    What you seem to take no notice of in both cases is that both the Balkan Wars and the World War I were WARS, therefore losses, refugees, destruction, and human suffering—whether Turkish or Russian, or Serb, or Greek, or Bulgarian, or Arab—were unalienable segments of what generally happens during and in the immediate aftermath of wars. Ottoman Turks voluntarily entered both wars and they were defeated. Pardon me for this triviality, but when a country is defeated in a war it does suffer losses.
     
    Now, where are the Armenians in these wars, may I ask? In 1915 they just happened to be living between the westernmost and easternmost frontlines of a war fought between Turkey and Russia. I believe Nansen showed solidarity and sensitivity to human suffering of the Armenians because he understood that their suffering was not caused by a war they hadn’t fought, but by the deliberate race extermination of the enraged, defeated Turks. This may explain why Nansen’s solidarity and sensitivity to human suffering did not seem to extend to the Turks.
    Ragnar, please refrain from employing a typically Turkish tactics of juxtaposing human suffering in wars and human suffering in genocides. These are two divergently different notions. Besides, as a result of wars, the Ottoman Turks were at least able to preserve the mainland of their once-Empire, whereas as a result of the genocide Armenians perished and lost the historical Western Armenia. The history has shown that the plight of these two catastrophes—war and genocide—is much greater for the Armenians, not the Turks.

  108. Ragnar –
     
    You claim: ‘…a civilized nation may be very unjust at certain times, for instance the Germans.’
     
    My comment: Yes, but a civilized nation may also be very just at certain times by admitting the guilt, for instance, the Germans.

  109. Ragnar,  please clarify who you say is responsible for the massive ethnic cleansing of Ottoman Muslims in your comments to Msheci.  Please include citations if possible.  And when you use the term ethnic cleansing do you distinguish between forced relocation or expulsion and mass extermination?  Or do you group it all together?   Previously you wrote that you rely on Ottoman census numbers regarding the population statistics in the region in question.  What can you say about the reliability of this data?
     
    I don’t doubt that Turks suffered during the turbulent early 20th century, but I still think you are clouding the issue.  Are you trying to suggest that the Turkish suffering, on some level, justifies, explains or lessens the magnitude of the crime against the Armenians?   Or that because some Armenians aligned with Russia in hopes of liberating Armenians from Ottoman oppression, they brought this awful fate upon a nation of innocent women, children and elderly?  Please educate me.  What am I failing to understand that once I realize it, will help bring resolution to this conflict or explain why the Turkish government should not admit, apologize and pay for its crime?

  110. katia K
    to continue: being onesided means for me for instance that one does not relate to the arguments of the opponent, that one makes it easy for oneself by not adressing the arguments of the other properly. This has nothing to to with the facto of there being different sides e.g. in a court.
    No, these posts have not answered all my questions. The issue is too big. There are many aspects that we have not covered, but I am happy that we discuss in a civilized manner. I do not doubt your sincerity and hope you do not doubt mine.
    You write:
    Armenian Americans (as example) of course consider America their land as “Americans”, but cannot imply that by living in America for many generations, America is their ethnic homeland, as in “Armenia”.  I said this in response to comments here that implied that Western Armenia and parts of the Balkan were “ Turkish territory” because Turks lived in/occupied these lands for 500 or 600 years.  Of course Balkan Turks should have Balkan rights of citizenship.
    No one people is better than the next.  Only a people’s moral standing can be better or worse than another people’s based on the laws of civilization and common decency.
    Comment:
    YES, we agree on all except that I am not quite sure what you have in mind with your last sentence ”Only a people…”
    And YES, I know about the Turkish citizens who secretly are Armenian. I have read about this and was told about it by Sarkis Seropian of ”Agos” in 2002. Seropian was co-editor with Dink at the time  if I am not mistaken
    Boyajian
    Thank you for indicating the areas in which we agree. Regarding the ordinary Turks, I have many good friends and we agree on a lot and mostly also disagree on many things, including the Armenian issue. I have been arguing for years with them.
    You write:
    I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it bothers me when non-Armenians suggest that Armenians are too harsh and unforgiving toward Turks.
    Comment:
    Thank you for your frankness. However, I would not put it as this. The question is not to be harsh or unforgiving but to understand the position of the Other. I can understand Armenian feelings and I am in no position to criticize  them. I disagreed on certain issues, in some cases you have clarified it, in other cases I still feel that we see very differently on things. But I am dismayed if I feel that difference of opinions automatically makes one think that one is deceived or that talk is futile. I was surprised by the post of Katia K in which she says that maybe the whole discussion is meaningless.
    And then of course I react to some of Gayane’s answers to Murat, including one post in which Murat explains about the Armenian collaboration with Russians. Remarks like Murat’s is immediately seen as a justification of the genocide. But this is jumping to conclusions too quickly. I would rather ask Murat about the relevance of the Russo-Armenian collaboration for what question. Obviously this collaboration cannot justify well-documented massacres in Zor in the autumn of 1916. I’d ask his opinion, not make exclamations like: Murat, you did it again!!! Or Murat: lost case. Post like this makes me wonder why I participate, to be honest…
    Gayane
    Interesting – I spontaneously thought you were a man – I have to think about this. Sorry, I had no way to know (I am male, by the way!)
    I am sorry but even after you cited everything you said I get the feeling that you exhibit a kind of hostility to Turks in general. You write: However, can’t say the same about most Turks because as our ancestors experienced it in 1915,
    Comment:
    I take your “because” as introducing your explanation of your view. BUT
    those who exterminated Armenians in 1915 were a tiny segment of a very broad movement. True, nearly everybody robbed Armenians, including Kurds who themselves were at the point of starvation. But by making this verdict on “most Turks” are you not committing a gross simplification? Have you ever thought that maybe you see Turks through the lense of 1915, and that other perspectives also are possible, indeed necessary?
    Further: commenting on what Anahit said about the Turkish republic and its treatment of minorities – I mainly agree with Anahit here – you ask me if I did fieldwork with Armenians!!! Almost as if my work was deficient!!! You must excuse me, but your way of immediately catching on to a theme that is important to yourself strikes me as strange in a debate in which we also get to know each others in respects which do not immediately have a relevance for the Medz Yeghern. It is like you are in a kind of frenzy when you argue, excuse me….I try to be direct with you as you are with me and the others!
    Msheci
    Nansen saw emaciated refugees and heard their individual stories. These are very important sources, (confer the use of personal testimonies in Kevorkian’s 1000 page description). But these testimonies cannot explain the full dynamics of the situation.
    Then you write:
    Therefore, I guess he might have perceived Turkish losses in the Balkan Wars that were fought before 1915 as inevitable war losses suffered by the Turks as a result of national-liberation struggles throughout the Ottoman-occupied parts of the south-eastern Europe.
    Comment:
    Yes, I believe the Turkish disaster is described in the technical historical language of wars and “collateral damage” as it is said in military books on civilians who are maimed, killed or starved to death in hundreds of thousands as happened to Turks, e.g. in Bulgaria in 1877-78.
    To take one example, to my opinion Hans Lukas Kieser writes in this way when he describes the Ottoman “losses in wars” in his introduction to his book on “ The Armenian Genocide and the Shoah”. The term “crime” and the humanitarian attitude is reserved for the Armenians, the scared, unhappy, wretched Turks being driven by massacres from their villages in Bulgaria by murdering Cossacks, driven out in the winter to starve and freeze to death are described as “defeat in war”. The Turks were “defeated in war” and “resented it”.
    If Nansen looked at this as “inevitable losses” and reserved his empathy exclusively for the Armenians, do you applaud it? No, I believe you do not applaud it, you try to explain Nansen’s attitude. OK. But my point of view is that an otherwise great man was deficient from a morally point of view in this. He shared the prejudices of the day. Rightly preoccupied with Armenian suffering, they turned a blind eye to Turkish suffering. Whereas Armenian suffering was considerable greater, this was not right. And if Turks feel that one never sees their suffering in these years, they get stubborn. If we know human beings this is not surprising.
    Then you write:
    What you seem to take no notice of in both cases is that both the Balkan Wars and the World War I were WARS, therefore losses, refugees, destruction, and human suffering—whether Turkish or Russian, or Serb, or Greek, or Bulgarian, or Arab—were unalienable segments of what generally happens during and in the immediate aftermath of wars. Ottoman Turks voluntarily entered both wars and they were defeated. Pardon me for this triviality, but when a country is defeated in a war it does suffer losses.
    Comment:

    Did the Ottomans freely enter the war of 1877-78 and 1912-13? Well…..

    Are you sure you are not embarking on a relativization of the suffering of non-Armenians here, cultivating the differences between the suffering of your own people and that of others?
    You write:
    Now, where are the Armenians in these wars, may I ask? In 1915 they just happened to be living between the westernmost and easternmost frontlines of a war fought between Turkey and Russia
    Comment:
    I might comment on this, but maybe somebody else will. Did the Armenian leaders “just happen to be in this situation”? Do you have a comment, Murat?
    Then you write:
    I believe Nansen showed solidarity and sensitivity to human suffering of the Armenians because he understood that their suffering was not caused by a war they hadn’t fought, but by the deliberate race extermination of the enraged, defeated Turks. This may explain why Nansen’s solidarity and sensitivity to human suffering did not seem to extend to the Turks.
    Ragnar, please refrain from employing a typically Turkish tactics of juxtaposing human suffering in wars and human suffering in genocides. These are two divergently different notions.
    Comment:
    Yes, he was generalizing from the politics of Enver and Talaat, and not from other Turks who would not deport Armenians even if it meant possible dismemberment of the Empire and ethnic cleansing – or from the ordinary Turk who also needed humanitarian assistance, sometimes as badly as the Armenian. He denounced their civilization as inferior. Sorry, this is not good enough for me as an example of humanitarianism
    But by all means, the struggle to have Turks acknowledge the crimes of the CUP must go on. I agree  wholeheartedly on this even if we may disagree on many aspects of what happened.

  111. Ragnar,  I agree that when two sides are trying to reconcile, it is important that each side try its best to understand the other side.  However, you must keep in mind that much of what Armenians have to contend with from Turkey’s side are denials and misinformation based on a purposely manipulated history/education/propaganda system.   This makes it very difficult to get to know Turkey’s side.
    First we need to start with the truth, plain and simple.  Turkey’s lack of candid honesty and straight dealing on this topic keeps Armenians on the defensive.  And as we know, when humans are under attack, they are not thinking about the motives of the other…they are merely trying to survive.
    In the case of the Armenians, what you fail to understand is that when Turkey denies and distorts the history, it is experienced by Armenians as a kind of continuation of the genocide.   Turkey continues to devalue Armenians, living and dead.  How do we proceed with respect for the “other” when the injury and attack are ongoing?  This is why I say that Turkey holds the key to reconciliation.   All she needs to do is acknowledge the crimes of the CUP and apologize for perpetuating the injury through denials and cover-up for the last 95 years.   To me it appears that Turkey is not interested in reconciliation or understanding our side.

  112. Gayane, thank you so much for your sweet words… We all feel your frustration… Who would not get frustrated waiting for 95 years for justice for her/his ancestors, country, history, archeological artifacts, churches, fields, mountains!…
    Ragnar,
    ” being onesided means for me for instance that one does not relate to the arguments of the opponent, that one makes it easy for oneself by not adressing the arguments of the other properly. This has nothing to to with the facto of there being different sides e.g. in a court”
    It seems to me that you did not appreciate the sarcasm that I was expressing with my comment of the “two sides of a crime”.  I know what being “one sided” means.  I wanted you to understand the side of the “victimized” nation.  I have been reading and researching about the state of mind that the Turkish CUP leaders were in before their decision to exterminate a race to get to their national goals, and the state of mind of the present Turk who still feels his national security threatened by the “Armenian cause”.  I am aware of the terrible suffering of the Turkish citizens during WWI.  In one of  my posts (many posts ago),  I expressed that it was wrong to ethnically cleanse “innocent citizens” regardless of nationality/political situations.  However I also said, that a lot of the suffering of the Turkish citizens were caused by the decisions of their own leaders: their decision to raise the ire of their occupied subjects by continuously imposing unbearable taxation, racist discriminating laws, regular massacres, and by their decision to go to war, starving their own people to allocate food to their armies, and killing their own Muslim citizens for not obeying the CUP’s Genocidal orders. 
    It seems to me that you are chosing to be more sympathetic to the suffering of the Turks, or that you are attempting to explain that the Turks are not recognizing the Armenian Genocide because they are frustrated with the fact that the suffering of their people was ignored.  Is that really an acceptable argument for you?  The fact is that today’s Turkish leaders have to yet attribute many aspects of the Muslim suffering to the terrible decisions/deeds of the Ottoman Empire and the CUP leaders. On the contrary, their leadership now is still trying to cover up the misdeeds of the CUP including the assasination of many Muslim governors in the Armenian Vilayets who refused to participate in the Armenian Genocide.  In fact, they have streets named after Talat and Enver Pashas.  How moral is that?  You are asking us to understand the plight of the Balkan Turks, which had nothing to do with the Armenians, which however was one of the main reasons that drove the CUP crazy with vengence and made it decide to annihilate our race.
    I still feel that one has nothing to do with the other.  What happened to the Balkan Turks is a known tactic for the Turks to cover up what they did to the Armenians.  I am sorry to say that it seems that they have succeeded to dupe you and catch you in that trap.
    You asking us to understand the Turkish side, and that things did not happen in a vaccum is very hurtful to us, because it is like asking the child of a murdered parent to understand the viewpoint of the murderer.  I hope you are also not implying that what happened to the Armenians was caused because of the policies of the Armenian leaders of the time. 
    The Armenians at the time, were living under oppressive occupation, were subjected to discrimination and humiliation upon THEIR OWN LANDS, and were trying every way possible to secure human rights for their people and for the liberation of their lands.
    Ragnar, THERE IS NO EXCUSE TO WHAT THE TURKS DID TO 1.5 MILLION INNOCENT WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND MEN.  It is wrong and criminal to cover up a Genocide, and not allow the descendants of the victims their due rights and a closure.
    Ragnar, the Turks took our lands and are living on them and enjoying the crops of our ancestors farms,…
    The CUP decided to deliberately MASS MURDER an entire nation in order to KEEP THEIR LANDS AND MAKE THEM THEIR OWN.  There are many brave, intelligent Turks in Turkey today who are trying to expose the “fabrications and historical alterations” that their leadership have come up with in order to rewrite their own history.  They are our heroes. 

  113. Ragnar – I think boyajian posed a very important question: ‘Who is responsible for the massive ethnic cleansing [and suffering] of Ottoman Muslims?’ In your other comment you claimed that ‘if Turks feel that one never sees their suffering in those years, they get stubborn.’ Suffering in whose hands? Please clarify. And if the Turks get stubborn, do you think that with a  nation that considers itself civilized stubbornness normally outpours onto mass extermination of a people that by any measure caused their stubbornness or bitterness, for that matter?
     
    Thank you.

  114. Sorry, in my hurry I think I phrased this particular sentence very badly: ” What happened to the Balkan Turks is a known tactic for the Turks to cover up what they did to the Armenians”.   What I meant to say was: The Turks sidesweap the Armenian Genocide by putting the spotlight on the suffering of the Muslims in the Balkans.  It is as if they want to say “they expelled us and killed us from the Balkan states that we occupied, so we felt we needed to unleash our frustration and revenge onto the Armenian nation, and completely exterminate it”.  Lame excuses and guilty cover-up.  The Armenians did not expel the Balkan Muslims…  for the two ideas to be connected.
    If it quacks like a duck and swims like a duck… you call it a duck.  period.  Turkey needs to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.  The Armenians with our Christian beliefs are ready to extend a hand of understanding and forgiveness once Turkey repents.  Repenting comes first.

  115. Okay, Turkey, I acknowledge the suffering of the Balkan Turks and empathize with the pain of being forcefully expelled from your home.  I understand that Turks think the world fails to acknowledge this painful chapter of Turkish history.  As an Armenian I understand the desire for others to acknowledge your pain.  But, again, what does this have to do with the Armenians?  Armenians did not cause this suffering.   Does this in any way lessen Turkey’s guilt in the death of 1.5 million Armenians?  Not one Turkish writer or Turkophile writer has answered this question although it has been posed several times by various writers.
     
    Do Turks really want us to believe that they justify the killing of Armenians because Turks suffered in the Balkans?  Or that they justify failing to admit this crime because the world doesn’t show proper concern for their pain?  Where is the logic here?  How does a civilized society justify failure to pay for its crimes?  Or do Turks believe that Armenian lives are expendable, worthless.  Just wondering.  Would love to hear from the Turkish side on this.

  116. Ragnar,
     
    You claim:
    If Nansen looked at [Turkish losses in the Balkan Wars] as “inevitable losses” and reserved his empathy exclusively for the Armenians, do you applaud it? …My point of view is that an otherwise great man was deficient from a moral point of view in this. He shared the prejudices of the day. Rightly preoccupied with Armenian suffering, they turned a blind eye to Turkish suffering. Whereas Armenian suffering was considerably greater, this was not right. And if Turks feel that one never sees their suffering in these years, they get stubborn.
     
    My comment:
    I don’t applaud any human losses, it’s below me as a Christian and as an Armenian who was raised hearing from my miraculously survived grandparents the dreadful stories of Turkish barbarism at slaughtering human beings. However, I fiercely oppose any attempt at equalizing ‘collateral damage’ that a nation endured due to unwise policies of their leadership to go to war, fight the outnumbered and stronger Russian Army at Sarikamish, starve their own people in order to feed the army, instigate indignation of the indigenous nations by imposing unbearable taxes, enact apartheid laws, and carry out constant massacres, on the one hand, and the damage that’s been done by perpetrating a centrally-planned, centrally-executed, deliberate annihilation of a race. War is a state of an open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations. Do Ottoman Armenians figure in any way in the World War I in 1914-1918? Do they represent any state or a nation that declared war on the Ottoman Turkey? Do Ottoman Armenians figure as a state or a nation that declared war on the Ottoman Turkey after the war was over in 1918? Whereas genocide is an act committed with intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. According to various statistics, there was a population of some 2-2.5 mln Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Only 60,000 reside now in fear in Constantinople. What had happened to the millions of others? Did they perish as a result of the war? If yes, can I be referred to WWI maps that show any frontlines passing through central and central-eastern provinces inhabited by the Armenians? If no such maps exist, then why is the great suffering of the peaceful Armenians in the hands of genocidal Turks is juxtaposed with the suffering of warring Turks? How on earth are the two correlated? At the end, a life lost in the war can be justified; people would normally say: ‘he died defending his country [whether it was a just or unjust war].’ What should we say to our children, Ragnar? What were their great-grandparents massacred for?
     
    You claim:
    Did the Ottomans freely enter the war of 1877-78 and 1912-13? Well…..
    Are you sure you are not embarking on a relativization of the suffering of non-Armenians here, cultivating the differences between the suffering of your own people and that of others?

    My comment:
    I believe that by occupying indigenous nations, Ottoman Turkey predestined its entering into armed conflicts both in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 that originated in a rise in national liberation movements in the Balkans, and Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913, when Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia raised to terminate the five-century Ottoman yoke. What nation would like to live under the foreign occupation? Would Norway, having proclaimed neutrality during the WWII but nevertheless invaded by German forces, endure the Nazi regime forever? The suffering of my people was a consequence of a deliberate mass extermination of Ottoman subjects of Armenian descent by the central government, not a consequence of war. In that the difference is cultivated by itself even if I don’t purposely embark on a relativization of the suffering. The causes of suffering need to be understood first.

    You claim:
    Did the Armenian leaders “just happen to be in this situation”?
     
    My comment:
    Some Armenian leaders, inspired by national liberation ideas in Europe and witnessing liberation of several south-eastern European nations from the Turkish yoke, attempted to advance these ideas in local communities. Some of them aligned with Russia (many didn’t) in hopes of liberating Armenians and their native lands from Ottoman oppression. Several uprisings against pillaging Muslim bands have been staged. A couple of battalions enlisting Eastern (non-Ottoman) Armenians served in the advancing Russian army. But could all this possibly bring such an awful fate upon an unarmed, defenseless nation of innocent women, the elderly, children, and even unborns ripped off from their mothers’ wombs? Could it? Most scholars, human rights experts, diplomats, parliamentarians, and statesmen believe it could not.

    You claim:
    [Nansen] was generalizing from the politics of Enver and Talaat, and not from other Turks who wouldn’t deport Armenians even if it meant possible dismemberment of the Empire and ethnic cleansing – or from the ordinary Turk who also needed humanitarian assistance, sometimes as badly as the Armenian. [Nansen] denounced their civilization as inferior. This is not good enough for me as an example of humanitarianism.
     
    My comment:
    You contradict yourself. In an older comment you describe Nansen as a ‘great man’ and an ‘outstanding humanitarian,’ whereas here you state that ‘[his attitudes are] not good enough as an example of humanitarianism.’ Why wouldn’t Nansen generalize from the politics of Enver and Talaat? Had these butchers not represented the central Turkish government that gave orders at annihilation of the Armenians? Ordinary Turks also needed humanitarian assistance? Perhaps. But were they massacred en masse? Forcibly relocated? Left starving in the Syrian desert Deyr Zor? Drawn, burned and buried alive? Skinned and raped? Nansen saw the survivors, recorded their stories, felt empathetic, and made a right choice as to where to direct his humanitarian efforts, in other words, who needed it most. Victims and non-victims cannot be juxtaposed, Ragnar, and this is a major flaw in your otherwise interesting comments however debatable they may be.

  117. boyajian — While the reason for using the word ‘home’ is understood in: “Okay, Turkey, I acknowledge the suffering of the Balkan Turks and empathize with the pain of being forcefully expelled from your home,” I think it should be added that south-eastern parts of Europe were never originally the home of the Turks. Their home is in the Altay Mountains and Mongolian/Central Asian steppes.  Balkans or south-eastern parts of Europe, or Western Armenian provinces are their imperialist possessions. But, again, the reason the word was used is understood.

  118. First thing first.. another example of how fair the Turkey treats its subjects.. well Christians subjects I should say.. this is very very sad….  I am sure we should be very understanding about why this happened right Ragnar???? or did the bishop think he was better than Muslims? 

    Gayane (Female)…

    ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Catholic bishop who was a leading figure in Christian communities in the Middle East was stabbed to death at his home in southern Turkey Thursday, and police arrested his driver in connection with the attack.
    The motive for the killing of Luigi Padovese, apostolic vicar for Anatolia, in the town of Iskenderun was not known. Previous attacks on Christians have raised concerns about the safety of religious minorities in Muslim Turkey.
    Hatay Provincial Governor Mehmet Celalettin Lekesiz told the state-run news agency Anatolian there was no immediate evidence of a political motive and the bishop’s driver had been arrested.
    Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters in Florence: “This is a tragic event that shocks us deeply.”
    Vatican officials said the killing was worrying.
    “I can only express shock, worry and solidarity with the local Catholic community over this,” Father Federico Lombardi, the chief Vatican spokesman, told Reuters in Rome.
    Lombardi said Pope Benedict would speak out about violence against Christian minority communities in the Middle East during a visit to Cyprus, which begins Friday. Padovese, 63, was due to travel with the pontiff to Cyprus.
    Four years ago, a Roman Catholic priest, Andrea Santoro, was murdered in the Turkish Black Sea town of Trabzon by a teen-ager with suspected links to ultra-nationalists.
    In 2007, three members of a Bible publishing company, one of whom was a German citizen, were tortured and killed in Malatya.
    FRIEND OF TURKEY
    Padovese served as president of the Turkish Bishops Conference and worked for the return of Christian sites seized by Turkish authorities in the past.
    “As he was a friend of Turkey, about which he produced important works, Padovese’s death is a significant loss, in religious and scientific terms,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “We express our condolences to our Christian citizens and the Catholic community.”
    Turkey has about 100,000 Christians out of a total population of 71 million.
    Padovese was appointed to his post in the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun near the biblical city of Antioch in 2004. An apostolic vicariate is established in certain regions where there are too few Catholics for a diocese.
    About 100 Roman Catholics live in Hatay province, home to the cave Church of St. Peter, reputed to be where Jesus’s disciple Peter led the first mass. The area prides itself on its religious tolerance.
    It is home to 2,000 Greek Orthodox Christians and a tiny Jewish community. Many of the Muslim inhabitants adhere to the Alevi tradition, considered to be a liberal strain of Islam.
    “We are in a state of sadness and shock. This is something you would never expect in Hatay. It is a safe place,” said Fadi Hurigil, head of the Greek Orthodox Church Foundation of Antakya, the Turkish name for Antioch, by telephone.
    The Orthodox Christians and Catholics of Hatay were planning a joint mass this month which was likely to be canceled, he said.
    (Additional reporting by Philip Pullella and Silvia Aloisi in Rome and Tom Heneghan in Paris)

  119. Ragnar….

    In regards to your comments….Your perception of prejudise still lingers in the halls of this forum… even after I requested for you to re-read my comment….but at this point there is no use to try to  convince you otherwise..therefore, I wrote what I wanted to write.. you perceived what you wanted to percieve..but that is your problem and not mine.. I already told you there was no preconceived hatred toward ALL NATIONS/TURKS..sorry..end of story…. …

    In regards to my question on:  whether or not you have spent as much time and energy with the OTHER side (ARmenians) as you did with the Turkish side has yet to be answered… It is very relevant to me; hency why I asked… 

    I personally think no such time or effort was put on studying and learning about the Armenian history/culture/mentality/ect….. The reason being: VERY STRONG support of Turkey than Armenia..and persistent convincing of:   
    Turks have every right to feel frustrated,
    To feel that Armenians hate them (even though many many posts have repeatedly and clearly stated that Armenians DO NOT HATE individual Turks….),
    To feel they have the right to the lands taken from others,
    To complain about how they are left out without an acknowledgement of their own pain.. blah blah blah….

    IF a great deal of knowledge was present  about the Armenian history (hopefully by reading all the great posts full of facts, and history, you are more equipped about it.. even though I still don’t understand how you would say that your questions have not been answered by now ) we would not feel we are being labled as haters, one-sided people and superior than others..  this is just my personal observation but due to lack of extensive experience and knowledge about the Armenians OUTSIDE of the boundaries of what was taught and experienced from the Turkish friends and fieldwork, you come off  as someone who sympathises mostly with Turks….. again this is just an observation…….

    Side Note:  Gayane is a very popular Armenian FEMALE name..(not sure if you need to think more about that.. but if you need more time as you stated in your last post….be my guest..)  )…it would be much appreciated if you spent some time doing fieldwork with the Armenians and/or Non-Armenians..just a suggestion……. ….

    Also, I am still not clear or sure what are you trying to accomplish here?  What are your motives?  Who are you representing? Who is backing you on all this?  I dont believe that all your information/comments/ploys and evidence you are presenting us here are coming solely from you…. i may be wrong because in one of your posts you directed a question to Murat and requested his opinion on few things….so not sure…but hey.. anything is possible…

    Boyajian jan, Anahit jan, Msheci jan, Janine jan and Katia JAN JANS…;)… yes dzer tsava tanem.. shat hpart em vor unenq dzer nman martik.. aka… Armenia and I are VERY proud to have people like you… I said it many times and will say it million times more…. May God protect you all…..

    Gayane

  120. Boyajian
    I do not disagree with what you say. Yes, Turkey holds the key to reconciliation, but still there are things Armenians could do better in the process. We all are prone to distort to a certain extent, and I feel there are aspects of the case that you do not fully appreciate.
    Katia K
    I agree that one cannot mention the Balkan Turks as a kind of counteraregument: like we are saying: No, the CUP did not commit a crime BECAUSE of the case of the Balkan Turks, but Armenians should acknowledge the fate of the Balkan Turks as part of the context of the whole situation. As I say, if people only talk to you about their own misfortunes and refuse to comment on your own, you get less willing to listen. But of course this does not imply any change of responsiblity.
    Anahit
    you write:

    Ragnar – I think boyajian posed a very important question: ‘Who is responsible for the massive ethnic cleansing [and suffering] of Ottoman Muslims?’ In your other comment you claimed that ‘if Turks feel that one never sees their suffering in those years, they get stubborn.’ Suffering in whose hands? Please clarify. And if the Turks get stubborn, do you think that with a  nation that considers itself civilized stubbornness normally outpours onto mass extermination of a people that by any measure caused their stubbornness or bitterness, for that matter?
    Comment:
    There are many sources of Turkish denialism, I am just talking about one way of formulating oneself that will help open the doors of reflection in Turks. About the responsibilities of the suffering of the Balkan Turks, I believe this responsibility lies with the Powers, the christian  nationalists and the wave of nationalism with all people claiming a territory for themselves while living in an area with mixed ethnic groups.
    Regarding the responsibility of the leaders, yes, the CUP was very much responsible for the suffering of muslims in WW1, but then, As Kachaznouni (maybe wrong spelling) said in 1923?, the Armenian leaders were responsible for a foolhardy strategy in 1914. They chose to attack a desperate nation standing with its back to the wall, and the Turks responded with a desperate crime. 
    Boyajian
    I am happy for your words that you recognise the suffering of the Turks. But of course it cannot excuse CUPs actions. 

  121. Anahit
    I did not answer your question
    you write:
    In your other comment you claimed that ‘if Turks feel that one never sees their suffering in those years, they get stubborn.’ Suffering in whose hands? Please clarify.
    Comment:
    I hope you will read Justin McCarthy’s “Death and exile”. It shows that so much of what happened to the Armenians in 1915 -1918 also happened  to the Turks but, as I say, the catastrophy of the Armenians is far greater.
    You write:
    If  Turks get stubborn, do you think that with a  nation that considers itself civilized stubbornness normally outpours onto mass extermination of a people that by any measure caused their stubbornness or bitterness, for that matter?
    comment:
    I feel you mix things here.  The subbornness of today is one thing, the mass killings of a considerable part of a people is a thing of the past.
    But then it is important that the powers focussed on the plight of Christians in the Ottoman Empire as a means to interfer and tpo create legitimation for dismembering it, they turned a blind eye to the suffering of the Ottoman muslims. What do you think this did to the mindset of the Turkish generation growing up after 1877? This is the generation of the CUP leaders and the nationalist leaders. 

  122. I just read this: “Hakan Karadag, one of the lawyers of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s murder case, was found hanged in his apartment in Cihangir, Istanbul, on June 4.” What an horror! Well, this is the true face of their State.
    Ragnar, are you following the news in the post-1877-78 war, post-1912-13 wars, modern ‘civilized’ Turkey ?

  123. Ragnar you write:
    I do not disagree with what you say. Yes, Turkey holds the key to reconciliation, but still there are things Armenians could do better in the process. We all are prone to distort to a certain extent, and I feel there are aspects of the case that you do not fully appreciate.
     
    I am very interested in what you think Armenians can do better and what you think I do not fully appreciate.  Please expand your comments.   I agree that some distortion in the form of  hyperbolic rhetoric may occur by Armenians, but this is due in most part because of Turkey’s deliberate and offensive distortion and denial of the truth.  Turkey’s actions regarding accepting its responsibilities over the death of 1.5 million Armenians has been reprehensible.   Turkey  does not merely shirk its responsibility but it spends millions to influence politicians and academic scholarship, to misinform its citizens and people like you, to fund pro-Turkey PR; all in an effort to deny responsibility.  Note:  I hold the Turkish government responsible for this, not average Turkish citizens.
     
    I prefer to keep things uncomplicated:  I acknowledge that Christians, Muslims and others suffered greatly in the waning years of the Ottoman empire as various power struggles were unfolding.   In the midst of all this suffering, a horrendous crime was committed against the Armenians, ordered by the  leaders of the CUP, and carried out by the military and lawless gangs of Turks and Kurds.   (We thank God for those courageous Turks and Kurds who acted to protect and defend Armenians).   In the years since this crime occurred, Turkey has failed to face its responsiblity and actively works to avoid it.  There is no justification for such a  crime among civilized nations, nor for its subsequent cover-up.  An unambiguous,  full apology, without excuses is needed.  This is the bottom line, the starting point from which Armenian-Turkish reconciliation must begin.
     
    The compassion or empathy for Turkish suffering that you suggest that Armenians lack, or that Turkey feels the world neglects to offer, should not preclude Turkey from doing what is right as a civilized nation.  What is stopping Turkey from doing what is honorable?  Turkey will greatly increase its position of honor among the nations of the world when it takes steps to admit this crime and make appropriate compensation to Armenia.
     

  124. Ragnar – Thanks for your replies to my many questions. I don’t expect your opinions to be in unison with those of mine or any Armenian, for that matter. What bothers me is the undertone of your opinions that strikingly resembles the propaganda themes employed by the Turks. Truly, if I knew I were dealing with a Turk not a Norwegian, as you claim to be, it’d be easier for me to exchange views with you knowing I’m dealing with a brainwashed Turk, whose state propaganda machine works relentlessly to whitewash the criminal nature of their State.
     
    I appeal to your common sense when digesting my responses to your comments. Please, do your best.
     
    you wrote:
    About the responsibilities of the suffering of the Balkan Turks, I believe this responsibility lies with the [Allied] Powers, the Christian nationalists and the wave of nationalism with all people claiming a territory for themselves while living in an area with mixed ethnic groups.
     
    response:
    Allied Powers and Turkey were sides representing opposing warring camps during the war. How can you say that only one enemy at war is responsible for the suffering of another enemy? Isn’t the other enemy equally responsible for the suffering of the former enemy? If you think Allied Powers were responsible for the suffering of the Balkan Turks, were not the Turks responsible for the suffering of the Allied Powers throughout the war they’ve entered, for instance at Gallipoli campaign? BOTH sides at war are responsible for each others’ suffering. Ragnar, what’s wrong with you?! I feel like I’m inventing a wheel here. Further, how the Christian nationalists can be held unilaterally responsible for the suffering of the Balkan Turks without regard for the historical fact that it was the Ottoman Turks that invaded the indigenous southeastern European Christian nations and their capital Constantinople in the 15th century AD? Aren’t the Turks responsible for colonization in the first place? Don’t you think that it was the Turkish colonization that had created areas with mixed ethnic groups and that native peoples later stood up in liberation struggle to claim their territory for themselves? From your readings of history, does it seem odd to you that colonized people normally stand up in waves of nationalism against the colonizers and oppressors?
     
    you wrote:
    Regarding the responsibility of the leaders, the CUP was very much responsible for the suffering of Muslims in WW1, but then, as Kachaznouni said, the Armenian leaders were responsible for a foolhardy strategy in 1914. They chose to attack a desperate nation standing with its back to the wall, and the Turks responded with a desperate crime.
     
    response:
    First not all, not all Armenian leaders chose a strategy you’re referring to. Some, representing the radical wing, did, many others did not. Second, those Armenian leaders that chose radical strategy were not different from popular leaders in the southeastern parts of the Empire that chose the same strategy and ultimately succeeded. What appears to be some Armenian leaders’ miscalculation in freeing their nation from the Ottoman yoke, was the geographical location of southeastern European nations, their proximity to the European mainland. Whereas carrying out the same strategy in central and central-eastern Ottoman hinterland might have been very risky, especially after the Russians withdrew. I cannot but sense that you put some negativism into the phrase ‘responsible for a foolhardy strategy in 1914.’ What whould possibly hold these leaders back  from employing such a strategy, Ragnar? Were they claiming anything that was not rightfully theirs? Were not the Armenians living there as masters of their lands for millennia? Were they not invaded and enslaved by the Seljuks and then by their successors, the Turks? What are you essentially promulgating? To shut up and continue to live as slaves? First prime-minister of the Armenian Democratic Republic Hovannes Kachaznouni had no way of knowing back in 1923 that at the Young Turks’ secret conclave of 1910, held in Salonika, a city where many of them were earlier initiated as freemasons, there was already talk of crushing the non-Muslim communities ‘by force and by arms.’ (Source: Christopher Walker, World War I and the Armenian Genocide). Please note this is the year 1910, not 1912 and 1913 when Turkey entered the Balkan Wars and was bitterly defeated. Not was it the pre-genocide year 1914. Nevertheless, in the years before the outbreak of WWI, the Armenians were prepared to give considerable support to the empire. They fought bravely in the Ottoman armies during the Balkan Wars. The British Ambassador wrote that ‘the several thousands of Armenian troops have fought better than any of the other non-Turkish elements.’ (Source: Great Britain, Public Record Office, F0424/235. P. 349, November 23, 1912). In other words, most Armenians loyally believed in Ottomanism at this time.
     
    Further, the most astonishing and historically distorted phrase that you used in this comment is ‘[Armenian leaders] chose to attack a desperate nation standing with its back to the wall, and the Turks responded with a desperate crime.’ I’d urge you to cite references that gave you an idea that Armenian leaders attacked(?!) a desperate [Turkish] nation. Individual, localized uprising incidents, yes, but an attack of a magnitude that could generate a desperate crime committed by the Turks against the whole Armenian race, this is simply outrageous!
     
    you wrote:
    I hope you will read Justin McCarthy’s “Death and exile”. It shows that so much of what happened to the Armenians in 1915-1918 also happened to the Turks but, as I say, the catastrophe of the Armenians is far greater.
     
    response:
    I haven’t read McCarthy’s account, but I will. But first things first. What happened to the Armenians, read: genocide, is universally accepted to have happened in the timeframe of 1915-1923, not 1915-1918, as you claim. Second, regardless of one author’s interpretation of the events, I feel your proclivity towards imposing parity on two disparate events, two disparate fates. I believe the moment has come for you in this discussion to specify once and for all exactly what you think happened to the Armenians and the Turks. Please categorize both fates unambiguously, avoiding vague notions such as ‘catastrophe’ or ‘tragedy,’ as to what is it that happened to the Turks (please give denomination of event and under what circumstances it happened, e.g. war between states, decolonization struggle, state-ordered genocide, etc.) and to the Armenians (please give denomination of event and under what circumstances it happened, e.g. war between states, decolonization struggle, state-ordered genocide, etc.). This will clear up for me whether it’s at all worth exchanging views with you.
     
    you wrote:
    …it is important that the powers focused on the plight of Christians in the Ottoman Empire as a means to interfere and to create legitimation for dismembering it, they turned a blind eye to the suffering of the Ottoman Muslims. What do you think this did to the mindset of the Turkish generation growing up after 1877? This is the generation of the CUP leaders and the nationalist leaders.
     
    response:
    The plight of Christians in the Ottoman Empire was caused by their colonization by the Turks. European interference and creation of legitimacy for dismembering the evil empire was a natural reaction to earlier invasion, enslavement, and colonization of indigenous nations by the Turks. Ottoman Muslims appeared in the southeastern rim of Europe as a result of invasion and colonization of indigenous nations, therefore turning a blind eye on their suffering might be explained by the general attitude towards the Ottoman Muslims as invaders and colonizers. What I think this did to the mindset of the Turkish generation growing up after 1877, the generation of the CUP and the nationalist leaders? I think they should have realized, given their knowledge of their origin and ethnognesis, that the lands they occupied were not rightfully theirs; that the native peoples they treated as second-class objects, unbearably taxed, in rightless, disenfranchised state, subject to constant humiliations and wholesale massacres, would one day stand to defend their rights and national dignity. One cannot forget about causes, concentrating on consequences only, Ragnar.

  125. Ragnar,  perhaps you mean to suggest that Turks have changed since the early 20th century, that Turkish society has changed and that Armenians must distinguish between the mindset of the earlier Turk and that of today’s Turk.  If this is what you suggest, I am open to accepting this premise and await the evidence among its governmental leaders.  I thank God for the courage displayed by such as Taner Akcam, Fetihye Cetin, Orhan Pamuk, Yalcin, and others.  They are shining examples of honor, dignity and true leadership.
     
    On the other hand, I am struck by the hypocrisy that Turkish leadership displays in its recent comments regarding the aid flotilla for Gaza and the dreadful Israeli action to stop it.  I find it difficult to take Turkish humanitarian concern seriously when it so easily disregards its own abusive policy toward its citizens (Kurds, etc.),  maintains its own 18 year old blockade of Armenia, and continues to exert biased, anti-Armenian pressure in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.
     
    Ragnar, I fear you  and many others are falling victim to Turkey’s dolma diplomacy.   I don’t pretend to have answers to what motivates the machinations of the Turkish government, but I suspect there is much more than meets the eye here.
     
    Perhaps you too, do not fully appreciate aspects of the case?  Nor do I understand what motivates you to defend Turkey.  Turkey does not need you to defend it.  It simply needs to change its policies.  It earned its reputation as aggressive and oppressive over hundreds of years of conquering, domination and abusive subjugation.  The suffering of its people was the direct result of the actions of the Turkish empire and modern State.  I do not wish to see any Turk suffer undeserved pain, but Turkey bears the burden of guilt here.  She has reaped what she has sown and must make amends without excuses.    The victimized should not be asked to forgive, forbear, or embrace  the unrepentant offender.   However, I as an Armenian, would gladly stand shoulder to shoulder with any Turk who is ready to embrace the truth.
     
    Also, why do you cite Justin McCarthy, a known genocide denier, to defend your views?
     
    What comments do you have on the hanging death of Hakan Karadag, Hrant Dinks lawyer in the murder trial?

  126. Oooo Kayy!!!!
    I am having goose bumps.  Ragnar, you just recited word by the word the ultimate Turkish accusal of treason of the Armenians: “They chose to attack a desperate nation standing with its back to the wall, and the Turks responded with a desperate crime”.   Are you sure you are not Turkish?  

    The Turkish Empire did not gain the loyalty of its subjects because it abused them in every way possible.  The Christian powers regularly asked the Sultan to go easy with his abuses and accord equal rights to all its subjects.  Not only these pleas fell on deaf ears, the abuses grew even more.  Had the empire treated its subjects compassionately, and as equals instead of enforcing a “ruling master/subject” philosophy, things might have worked out differently. 
    During the war, all the ethnic states wanted to get rid of this tyranny.  The reaction of the Armenians was very normal, they wanted to get their freedom back.  The reaction of the Turks was very much in sink with their barbarian ancestors, kill, kill, kill, take, take as much as you can.  There is also another layer to this, and that’s the fact that there was a lot of jealousy and resentment because the Armenian community was intellectually and technologically more modernized and advanced.  The fact that they had managed this while being second class citizens was the source of great irritation for the Turks.  Don’t forget that the Armenians were considered “second class” citizens on their “own historical lands”.  The behavior of the rulers of the Ottoman Empire was similar to the behavior of regular thieves.  They knew they were holding on to other people’s lands, they didn’t want these people to get strong, because they knew that once strong they would want their lands back.  Simple psychology. 

    Question for you:  Why don’t you feel the same about Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, part of Iraq etc?  It is curious how you only mention the treatment of the Turkish Muslims in the Balkans. The Arab countries all broke away from the Empire too?  Why aren’t you saying that they broke away from the Empire in its most desperate time?  Is it because they are mostly Muslim?  Why didn’t the CUP massacre them too?  They fought for their freedom just like the Armenians wanted to!

    ” What do you think this did to the mindset of the Turkish generation growing up after 1877? This is the generation of the CUP leaders and the nationalist leaders”?   Oh I think their mindset did not change at all, as a matter of fact it was completely in character, especially during the Hamidian massacres of 1896 which cost the lives of 300,000 Armenians.  Do you really think that the Armenians should have still been loyal to this regime? 

    Ragnar, I do not know who you are and what your motive is here…   You said you knew the journalists at Agos, how do you feel about the hanging of Hrant Dink’s lawyer?  
    A lot of my comments you chose to ignore, especially my question about how would you have reacted if Norway was instead ruled and abused by Turks for 600 years?  Your comments are becoming more and more contradictory to me, and your observations are no longer balanced.  They are very much alligned with the Turkish explanations of denial.

    You are the one who is being so one-sided here.  You are using one sentence about the “Armenian” suffering, and then post upon post of known weak excuses by Turkish Denialists. 

    Once and for all… The Turkish Empire had declared war, its people (Muslims) sustained great losses, the Entente powers also sustained great losses, (I am sure you read about the tortures British soldiers were subjected to when captured by Turks).

     

  127. I don’t want to offend the many, many dignified Turkish citizens who are urging their government to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, and pushing for better human rights in Turkey by my referral to “barbarian ancestors”.  The Seljuk Turks were known to be vicious warriors, a sense of pride for many Turks but not so much the people they attacked.  However that was in the past…

  128. Anahit
    I heard about it from Armenian Weekly now. Terrible. Yes, I usually follow the Turkish news. As I mentioned before I worked for Amnesty International Norway as Turkey coordinator for several years.
    Boyajian
    You write:
    Okay, Turkey, I acknowledge the suffering of the Balkan Turks and empathize with the pain of being forcefully expelled from your home.  I understand that Turks think the world fails to acknowledge this painful chapter of Turkish history.  As an Armenian I understand the desire for others to acknowledge your pain.  But, again, what does this have to do with the Armenians?  Armenians did not cause this suffering.
    Comment:
    I am happy that you empathise with the Turkish pain. But then of course this is not relevant for the question of what happened to the Armenians. But it is relevant for any dialogue with Turks. I would empathise because, as I said, the West mostly turned a blind eye to the Turkish catastrophy. What do you lose by acknowledging it? Afterwards you can raise your issue again.
    You write:
    Do Turks really want us to believe that they justify the killing of Armenians because Turks suffered in the Balkans?  Or that they justify failing to admit this crime because the world doesn’t show proper concern for their pain? 
    Comment:
    I cannot answer for what Turks want. But yes, I believe many Turks will not listen to the Armenian pain because they feel nobody listens to theirs. I will not defend this, but if it is like that, why not say as you just did, that you empathise?
    Msheci
    I feel we are repeating ourselves. As I said to Boyajian, I do not equalize Sarikamis and the deportation and massacres of Armenians. I am not even sure what you have in mind when you mention the word “equalize”.  I believe we got to this theme by two roads: 1) the discussion on Nansen when I say it detracts from his humanity that he showed so little concern for Turkish suffering. 2) in some of the posts of you Armenians I believe I detect an anti-Turkishness which goes beyond the mere demand for justice and an apology for the Armenian fate in 1894-6, 1909 and 1915-18 (but after several of the recent posts I believe I may have been wrong in this). After all, these terrible events do not represent  all of Turkey.
     
    I wholeheartedly support you in your demands even if I, as said, the question of genocidal intent in 1915-18 is difficult to prove. The crime is horrendous as it is.  But the fate of the Turks in the same years belong to the context of the situation. So it is important to have it in mind, and say as Boyajian did that he empathises with Turkish suffering. But it is very easy to combine this empathy with pointing to the facts 1) that it was the Turks and Kurds who deported and massacred Armenians, not the other way around, 2) that the catastrophe that befell the Armenians were much bigger than the one which befell the Turks, 3) that the TC government has been minimizing and denying this for 95 years, 4) that Armenians have been demanding recognition for many years, and it is time the Turks take this seriously, which they to my mind –  even if  they are much closer today than 20 years ago – are still far from.
    Anahit
    There are so many comments to make. Only one thing. I might be a Turk for all you know but aren’t the arguments we use what counts in the end? But you can call me at +4790583342, this is a Norwegian number. I live in Oslo. You find my website on http://www.pertinaxgruppen.no
    Secondly, regarding what you write about the policies of the Armenian leaders. I am afraid that from the first time when the Armenian Patriarch went to the Russians, the enemy, and asked for help (in 1828), some Armenians leaders steered into very dangerous waters, and unfortunatelty they were the dominant ones in 1914.
    The responsibility for the suffering of the Balkan Turks: The powers were responsible because they did not interfere with ethnic cleansing of Turks, the Bulgarian nationalists were responsible in 1877-78 because they formed bands and massacred innocent people and drove them from their homes to die. The nationalist wave was responsible because it made the Bulgarians, Greeks and Serbs think that Turks never could be equal citizens of a new state. This is an appraisal of causes in terms of power politics and ideology. – Now this does not necessarily have to do with war itself. It deals with how civilians are treated in war, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
    Then I believe the ethnic cleansing of Turks in 1877-78 might qualify as genocide, but I do not feel I need this term. The crime was horrendous as it was.
    Yes, I can understand that Christians opted for independent nation states, but why kill off innocent people who belonged to the group of former masters? Simply because they were Turks?
    Sorry, I will answer more questions later. It is late and my family wants me to go to bed
     
     

  129. Gayane
    I have no reason to see you as a prejudiced person generally, But I’d be insincere if I did not say that I have problems with what you wrote:
    you wrote:
    We don’t like to kill, murder, and cause harm to another human being UNLESS like I said, they are pushed to fight to protect their families, and their homeland…. However, can’t say the same about most Turks because as our ancestors experienced it in 1915, they did whatever necessary to follow the Govt’s order and please their God and in doing so they were promised to go to a divine place depending on the number of Armenians they would end up killing….. not civilized..not at alll….
    Comment:
    You say “most Turks” and the reality is that it was a tiny minority that massacred Armenians.  But maybe I misunderstood you, and maybe others will disagree with me, so I will not say any more  on this score

  130. Ragnar, I am sorry but it seems like approaching things from the wrong end when you ask Armenians to first empathize with the suffering of the Turk, than raise our issue.
    In other words, we Armenians are to show compassion to those who caused our nation its greatest suffering and its greatest loss; empathy to those who stole our heritage, murdered our ancestors and confiscated our property, in order to cajole them into conversation?
    The Turkish government engages in deliberate and reprehensible actions to avoid responsibility for this crime but we need to approach them with kid gloves so as not to get their dander up?
    Further, the Turkish government engages in the final stages of genocide or what Elie Wiesel called  “double killing,” referring to the murder of the memory of the crime, but we are to patiently understand Turkey’s “difficult” position.
     
    Forgive me, but why must we play this game with Turkey?  Why should they be so “sensitive” when they have shown no sensitivity for the suffering of Armenians?  I think you have spent altogether too much time with Turks to claim an unbiased position in this conflict.  You clearly side with Turkey and are overly influenced by the Turkish cultural norm of duplicitous politeness to avoid appearing offensive regardless of the cost to honest communication.  This is an “imperial” attitude, a remnant of the Ottoman days, that implies that the “elite Turk” is above reproach.  I don’t  accept this as valid in the 21st century.  In the interest of promoting a truly democratic society, progressive Turks should also reject this concept.
     
    I don’t think you empathize with the pain of Armenians struggling for justice for their loss.  The empathy you claim for Armenians is clearly an intellectual exercise as opposed to a sincere heartfelt compassion.   It is outrageous to suggest that Armenians after 95 years of abiding in the pain of this horrendous crime, must now invite the unrepentant offender “to tea and sympathy.”
     
    Those who don’t stand firmly on the side of bringing Turkey to justice for this crime are on the wrong side of human rights.  Turkey’s human rights abuses toward its own citizens are widely documented.  Those who care for the rights of Turkish citizens should stand with Armenians and the Turks who know the truth and press Turkey to face its crime and begin to make fundamental societal changes.
     
    None of what I say precludes me or other Armenians from feeling empathy for individual Turks, which I have expressed earlier.  But the Turkish nation is not a person or a senscient entity for which I must show compassion.   It is a legal construct that must be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
     
    Anahit and Katia K., I don’t know if Ragnar Naess is open to reformulating his thoughts in response to your well reasoned comments, (he seems pretty entrenched on the Turkish apologist side of things), but I appreciate the time and effort you put into them.  You teach me something new almost every time.    Please, know that your words do not fall on deaf ears.

  131. Let me clarify that I didn’t share the link above because I agreed with the writer of the “Open Letter.”  (Some of it was needlessly offensive.)  I think it is enlightening to see things from other’s eyes, especially the 2nd comment to the “letter” which demonstrates a Turkish revisionist approach to history.  This is what is out there …

  132. Ragnar,
    Thank you for revealing yourself a little more.  I did visit your website. I thank you for the time you are spending on this matter that is an inseperable part of who we are as Armenians.
    It still seems to me that your work entails harnessing more understanding and sympathy for the Turkish side of what happened in WWI.  After all you are a Turkey coordiator within Amnesty International.  I am baffled that a man with your intellect can make a statement such as the following: “I wholeheartedly support you in your demands even if I, as said, the question of genocidal intent in 1915-18 is difficult to prove”  The leading experts in Genocide studies have already established what happened to the Armenians as Genocide.  What else can you call, massacring women, men and children, forcing them out of their homes and installing Muslims in their place, mass drawning, burning, raping, circumsing young boys and converting them to Islam, forcing women in harems, using them as slaves, and raising them as Muslims, forcing Armenians not to speak their language, dessecrating their churches and converting them to mosques or barns, taking over their lands and erasing their history in every way possible, going as far as paying map makers to leave out the name “Armenia”. 
    There is so much evidence that this was a meticulously planned Genocide! I am speachless when someone like you says the Genocidal intent was hard to prove, unless as I said it is because you are working for the Turks. 
    Ragnar, It seems to me that your “assignment” is educating regarding the ethnic cleansing that the Balkan countries subjected the Turks who had declared war on them.  I am not sure if we are the correct audience for your work.  You said the Entente powers were at fault because they turned a blind eye to the Balkan Turkish ethnic cleansing.  The same Entente powers did not do much about the Armenian ethnic cleansing either.  There is also great documentation proving that Germany encouraged the Turks to ethnically cleanse us because it wanted to expand its own emperial lands.  The Germans actively helped the Turks to massacre us, covered up what the Turks were doing etc… at the same time the lower levels of the German leadership was not aware of this and they generated the most damning archives on the Genocide.  The Armenian Genocide was so well organized and thought out that it involved verbal orders to exterminate the Armenians, and hand delivered written orders which the reader was instructed to burn after reading.
    I hope other Norwegians will work on exposing the details of the Armenian Genocide the same way you are working on exposing the details of the Balkan Muslims fate.
    I am still waiting for your answer to my question about how you feel about the ethnic cleansings and rebellions in the Arab countries under the Ottoman rule which ended up successfully breaking away from the Ottoman Yoke, with apparently no grudges from the Turkish side, unlike of course the Armenians.

  133. It all boils down to this…a heinous crime against humanity was committed by the Turkish Government back in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Many of its citizens were duplicitous in the crime, many weren’t. However it is ultimately the fault of the government for the actions that were taken. It is now the responsibility of the present Turkish government, the successor to that earlier regime, to make reparations towards the Armenian people, as well as others, it treated with such contempt. However, despite the fact that the present day people of Turkey cannot be directly blamed for what happened, they do have a moral responsibility towards what happened and they should be mindful of that. That is where a heartfelt sorry and a strong gesture of reconciliation towards the Armenian people would go a very long way to helping out. It needs to be sincere and honest, otherwise it will ultimately be hollow in its meaning.  But, there are people in Turkey who do feel this way. It’s just the policies of the government and the mindlessness of the fools who declare themselves “True Turks” that prevent them from making themselves heard. And as we have seen, unfortunately cost those people who will take a stand their lives. These are also criminal acts which must be addressed.
    I don’t know if changing the borders of the respective countries will do any good…if Armenia was given back some, or all, of its ancient homeland. That may cause more harm than good, depending on how others react, but I believe that some sort of reparation for the loss must be paid. Whatever that reparation is, it must be commensurate with what was lost or go some way towards that. The past cannot be undone or the memory of what happened forgotten, but if the right things are done, it will go some way to healing the old wounds and hopefully prevent it from ever happening again.
     

  134. Ragnar, you wrote:

    I wholeheartedly support you in your demands even if I, as said, the question of genocidal intent in 1915-18 is difficult to prove. The crime is horrendous as it is.  But the fate of the Turks in the same years belong to the context of the situation. So it is important to have it in mind, and say as Boyajian did that he empathises with Turkish suffering. But it is very easy to combine this empathy with pointing to the facts 1) that it was the Turks and Kurds who deported and massacred Armenians, not the other way around, 2) that the catastrophe that befell the Armenians were much bigger than the one which befell the Turks, 3) that the TC government has been minimizing and denying this for 95 years, 4) that Armenians have been demanding recognition for many years, and it is time the Turks take this seriously, which they to my mind –  even if  they are much closer today than 20 years ago – are still far from.
     
    Your comments above have helped me to see your position more clearly and suggest to me that I may have been a bit harsh with you.  I will give more thought to your advocacy of expression of empathy for the Turks…

  135. “… The Christian powers regularly asked the Sultan to go easy with his abuses and accord equal rights to all its subjects… ”

    Exactly.  Now how come one is so cynical so as to the real motivation behind the Ottoman reforms starting in early 18th century, while flatly assuming that “Christian powers” had purely humanitarian goals in meddling in Ottoman internal affairs.  Making demands on behalf of non-Muslim subjects of the Sultan was a common ploy for extracting concessions from the Sick Man of Europe.  Mind you, there “Christian” nations making such demands treated their own minorities and colonies in the worst possible ways.  Russia treated even its own like slaves and which brought Bolsheviks to power eventually.  Then came Wilson.  Having cleansed North America of its native populations completely, and having subjugated its south in a massive civil war, Americans dreamed of an “Old World” where everyone lived in dignity and happily in their own countires etc.  What the Ottomans understood from all this was that they would share the fate of Indians in their own country.  This was more than just paranoia as Great Powers had already expressed these opinions clearly.  American missionaries were already working closely with Armenians revolutionaires.  As a result of all the concessions given by the Sultan, by the dawn of 20th century, Muslim Ottomans were practically second class in their very own home.  Armenians have been heavily manipulated by Russia who was also supporting them militarily.  Armenian revolutionaires gladly took the bait and dragged their nation into a black hole.  As a habit leftover from those times, Armenian nationalists today still call on other “Christian” powers to come and help them kick the Turks out. 

  136. one word regarding  Justin McCarthy. The writing I refer to is about the ethnic cleansing of the Ottoman Muslims and also on the ethnic cleansing in the Caucasus. It is reported as an important work by authors who are not biased. It is the only comprehensive book in its kind, dealing with these ethnic cleansings and massacres as a whole. 

  137. Justin McCarthy has tarnished his credibility with me due to his genocide denial, but perhaps it is worth a read.   However, Ragnar, this is not the proper forum for Turkey to pursue its Balkan grievance.
    As an Armenian, I support Turkey’s right to pursue justice and compensation for losses in the Balkan conflict.  I don’t know the facts well, but justice should be the same for all who are wronged.
    My problem is that bringing up this issue (the plight of Balkan Ottoman Turks) when discussing Turkish culpability for the Armenian Genocide serves to muddy an otherwise straightforward question.  I can’t help but wonder if this is the purpose.
    As many have said before, what does Turkish suffering in the Balkans have to do with the CUP decision to eliminate the Armenians?  It only makes them seem more guilty to me because it exposes the vengeful mood behind the murderous intent.  Some pockets of rebellion among Armenians who were struggling for liberation for their people, does not justify the actions to eliminate the entire Armenian population from Asia Minor that was taken by the CUP and by the Kemalists later.
    The implication that Armenians don’t feel empathy for Turkish pain is unfounded and unsubstantiated.  Plus, it should not be necessary for Armenians to first acknowledge Turkish suffering in order to pursue their own cause.  Just as when I cause an accident while driving my car, I should not expect the other driver to let me off the hook because my neighbor beat me up as a child.    Let’s be rational here.  This is a legal matter which should be settled on the basis of whether it is a just claim or not.  In my opinion academic scholarship has more than satisfactorily established the legitimacy of the Armenian claim.
    I would gladly learn more about this aspect of Turkish history and collective memory in order to better understand the Turks…but this should be kept separate from the Armenian question.  Once an admission of guilt and an apology are extended by Turkey, than perhaps these factors can be discussed in order for our two peoples to come to understand each other better.
     
    I like Carl’s clear statement:
    It all boils down to this…a heinous crime against humanity was committed by the Turkish Government back in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Many of its citizens were duplicitous in the crime, many weren’t. However it is ultimately the fault of the government for the actions that were taken. It is now the responsibility of the present Turkish government, the successor to that earlier regime, to make reparations towards the Armenian people, as well as others, it treated with such contempt.
     
    Ir really is this simple.

  138. Carl,
     
    Thanks for your comment and for your tepid words of compassion and understanding of the Armenian plight in the hands of the Turks. But, please, allow us, the people who lived in the Armenian Plateau of the Asia Minor for millennia to handle the issue whether ‘changing the borders of the respective countries will do any good…if Armenia was given back some, or all, of its ancient homeland.’ There is international mandate that US President Woodrow Wilson was charged to determine the borders of Armenia. It bears the Great Seal of the U.S. government and no one, even the Treaty of Lausanne which now lacks one of its signatories, the USSR, has denounced it. Armenian are not considering slaughtering or expelling popel residing there, we’re not capable of employing typically Turkish barbarian methods of dealing with human beings. We’d agree for Armenian sovereignty on those lands even if it means other people will be living there, too. The reparations must be paid in full: for lands, pastures, cattle, dwellings, architectural marbles, now converted to mosques and sheep-bans, churches, monasteries, and seminaries, educational centers, businesses, insurance indemnities, private property, and most importantly, millions of innocent human lives. As Christians, we believe in God’s miracles and his punishment of evil-doers.

  139. Murat.. please do us a favor and stop writing.. you are digging your hole deeper and deeper.. We already expressed that your comments have no bearing on what the history holds and are simply laughable… Ay voyyy…

    Ragnar:  Like I said.. believe what you want to believe.. That is your problem and not mine.. However, i can say one thing: Turkish govt including the extremists are as barbaric and cold blooded murderes as their ancestors simply because they will kill (as we saw in the case of Hrank Dink, his lawer who was killed recently and the murder of the Catholic Bishop who was stabbed), they will torture/punish (as we saw in inprisonment of many Turkish intellectuals who spoke out against the govt and Genocide), and most of all the money and effort they spend covering up and denying the events are simple and obvious examples… 

    Even though you did not  directly answer my question  in regards to spending the same time and effort learning and working with the Armenians, your last comments and the link you shared, you confirmed that you are definintely on the Turkish side and you HAVE NOT saught fieldwork and information from the Armenian side or from non-Armenians in that case.  Thank you for avoiding the question for so many posts but finally the truth came out.

    What is also amazing is that in ALL your posts, no where I saw the word “Genocide”.  You have continueously avoided using that word like a plague… I now understand why.  You don’t believe The Ottoman Turkish Genocide of the Western and Eastern Armenia occured…You even validated this by writing: 

    I wholeheartedly support you in your demands even if I, as said, the question of genocidal intent in 1915-18 is difficult to prove. The crime is horrendous as it is.  But the fate of the Turks in the same years belong to the context of the situation.

    ARE YOU FOR REAL??? Genocidal intent? Like Katia K clearly stated, there was no Genocidal Intent.. The Genocide DID HAPPEN…Like Boyajian said, you definintely have been pulled into the Turkish black hole… I am very sad for you…

    I agree with my Katia K ,  you are preaching to the wrong audience Ragnar.. I understand Turks put alot of time and money (i am sure) and effort to have you go out there and spread their propaganda (again trying to convince us that the balkan wars constitue as Turkish Genocide and Armenians should emphathize and do this and that before Turkey comes around) is absolutely absurd.

    As Boyjian and many others said, until Turkey does not show honest steps to  apology and show they are willing to work things out  in-good-faith by compensating what was lost, stolen and destroyed, you my friend can continue your mission to spread your friends’ well orchastrated history/reasons but you will be barking at the wrong tree…..

    What can I say?? Once you realize that maybe, just maybe Armenians are not here to bribe, lie, cheat, steal, hurt, kill, cover up or re-write their history, once you open your eyes and mind to the idea that we only want what was legally ours, AND once you finally understand that Genocide DID HAPPEN and start referring to it as Genocide and not what you have been using so far to describe it: horrendous, catastrophy, greater loss than… ect…. than maybe we can say that you have  more balanced understanding where we are coming from and what we want to accomplish….

    Gayane

  140. Ragnar,
     
    Things have become clearer after you revealed that you worked for Amnesty International Norway as Turkey coordinator. I’m afraid you’ve acquired a syndrome, often called a ‘disease’ that diplomats or international aid workers stationed in or dealing with a foreign country for long, almost inevitably catch. It’s called ‘localitis,’ i.e. an excessive, extra-occupational proclivity to and affinity with the subjects, events, culture, views, and social traditions and affiliations of a nation that a diplomat or an international aid worker was positioned in or was preoccupied with. I met several such individuals in my life, and, came to believe that hardly any cure exists for the disease, unless that very person spends some time in an opposite camp. While I appreciate that you’re virtually alone in these pages and feel empathetic for you as you defend your convictions among several rightfully indignant Armenians, I’m sorry to say that you failed to answer my many questions/comments and only offered a vague, evasive phrase ‘there are so many comments to make.’
     
    At first I decided not to continue exchanging views with you. I normally don’t converse with those who doubt the validity of claims by the international community re: the Armenian genocide. It may well be that I misunderstood you, for which I apologize in advance, but a clause in your comment: ‘I wholeheartedly support you in your demands even if I, as said, the question of genocidal intent in 1915-18 is difficult to prove,’ left an impression of some uncertainty in your evaluation of the mass crime. Sorry for being repetitive, Ragnar, but the internationally accepted timeframe for the genocide is 1915-1923. Even in the first years of the new Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal first accepted that Turkish mass extermination of the Armenians was a ‘shameful act,’ (his own words that Turkish author Taner Akcam used as title for his much proclaimed book), but soon after continued to empty the remaining pockets of Armenians throughout the country. Second, we cannot be ignorant of the fact that the genocidal intent has already been proven. The records of the Turkish Military Tribunal of 1919, that acknowledged Tallat, Enver, and Jemal as mass murderers indicate that the Tribunal dealt with the crime as mass annihilation of the Armenians. Genocidal intent has been proven by overwhelming scholarship, witness accounts (including a Norwegian humanitarian Bodil Catharina Biorn, who adopted an Armenian orphan that survived Turkish slaughters. The son of that Armenian orphan, Jussi Flemming Biorn, has made a documentary film ‘They Call Me Mother.’ Watch it, if you will, very informative), historians, international lawyers, anthropologists, diplomats, as well as parliaments of 26 countries of the world (Sweden being the most recent), 44 state legislative bodies of the U.S., the Vatican, and the European Parliament.
     
    But then I thought, had you been a Turk, I wouldn’t bother replying. Most of them are brainwashed by the state propaganda and distortive history taught at schools, and only a few courageous Turks stand out to call the things by their names. But since you’re a Norwegian, I decided not to give up on you.
     
    So, Ragnar, you think Hrant Dink lawyer’s murder is just a terrible event or it as well might be indicative of some pattern in an attitude towards Dink’s legacy about speaking the truth? Every loss of human life is terrible. We, Armenians, know this on the level of race annihilation, but except for a terrible event, did you not ask yourself for a split second whether Dink’s and then his lawyer’s murders could be perceived as something more than an individual, isolated cases of murder, and more as premeditated silencing of all those who dare to speak the truth about Turkish treatment of native inhabitants?
     
    On ‘Armenians leaders’ steering into very dangerous waters’: I need to know and, unfortunately, you didn’t reply to this particular comment of mine: do you generally think that indigenous nations who were conquered and enslaved by nomadic or other occupiers should endure enslavement or they should find ways to get rid of it? I need to know this in order to understand your way of thinking. Should Norwegians, for roughly the same matter, remain occupied by the Nazis or they should have found ways to throw off the yoke? While awaiting your response, let me add that Armenian Patriarch’s visit to Russians was not the only attempt to garner help for the oppressed Armenians, as was then stipulated under Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin of 1878. In 1914, a Dashnak leader Armen Garo fled to Tiflis (Georgia, Russian Transcaucasia) to assist in the formation of Armenian volunteer partisan unit for operation against Turkey. But then the Turkish government organized Georgian partisan units and recruited numbers of Caucasian Muslims for sabotage operations in Russian Transcaucasia. Garo’s trip might have been viewed as an isolated act of disloyalty, but seen in the context of the time, when most parties to the conflict were acting for sectional, not all-national, interests, it wasn’t as treacherous as Turks sometimes paint.  Then in Zeitun, in Cilicia, some Armenians representing the Hnchak party made contact with the Russian headquarters in the Caucasus, offering military help (mostly in terms of human detachment), but nothing came of their risky offer. In the middle of February 1915, i.e. two months before the genocidal campaign began, there was no outward hostility towards Ottoman Armenians. In February, Enver had publically thanked the Armenians for their conduct during the Sarikamish campaign. His letter, addressed to the Armenian Bishop of Konya, testified to their loyalty (Source: Lepsius Papers, 1919). Therefore, some individual nationalist leaders explored ways of advancing their ideas of national liberation. They were by far not the dominant ones: radical ways at liberation were contemplated mostly in Russian Transcaucasia by tacit approval of the Tsarist state apparatus, but not in the Ottoman Armenia where predominantly anti-radical views prevailed. Now, read carefully: even if (and this is a big and an utopian ‘IF’) we admit these radical views of individuals in a party leadership were dominant throughout Ottoman Armenia in the pre-genocide months, do you really think that millions of unarmed, defenseless, vastly unorganized, rural, and impoverished Armenian men, women, children, and the elders posed a threat to the mighty state apparatus of the Ottoman Empire?!

    Something happened within the closed walls of the Turkish triumvirate of Enver, Tallat, and Jemal (‘devil’s advocates’ as Armenians call them) in the months between February and April of 1915. Most historians believe that using the war as a camouflage they started to implement their previously agreed agenda at the secret conclave of 1910, held in Salonika, about crushing the non-Muslim communities ‘by force and by arms.’ Historians agree that it was a scheme to create a new pan-Turkic empire extending from Constantinople to the Caspian Sea and beyond. Armenians, living in central and central-eastern vilayets, clearly were an obstacle in advancing this goal.
     
    On the responsibility for the suffering of the Balkan Turks: Not only did the Powers interfere with ethnic cleansing of the Turks, but none of them interfered with the genocide of the Armenians, Ragnar. Difference? Ethnic cleansing of the Turks was perceived as de-colonization struggle and liberation of native southeastern European lands from Ottoman occupiers. Genocide of the Armenians was explicit uprooting and mass extermination of an indigenous people living on their own lands. The Bulgarians, Greeks, and Serbs dealt with the Turks–and rightfully so–as occupiers, during the liberation war, and you’re correct that the situation dealt with how civilians were treated in war. You forget, however, that those civilians of Turkish origin were imperialist occupiers, colonizers for the natives. You repeatedly fail to take a notice of the fact that there was no war or war frontlines in the Armenian-populated provinces of the Empire. Am I not making myself correctly understood or you find it more convenient to juxtapose the two deferent cases to support your argument?
     
    Ragnar, I’m almost losing ground in making an obvious obvious. The ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Turks in 1877-78 cannot qualify as genocide. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 was a WAR between two enemies. Millions of Christian Russians died during the war, as well as in the WWI. Why aren’t you concerned of their fate? Why is it that during a war, according to you, only one enemy suffers ethnic cleansing, and not the other? The crime was horrendous as it was, correct, but why are you addressing the crime only to one enemy at war and not to both warring sides? And a question that’s been left unanswered by you pops up here again: Where are the Armenians in those wars?

    I appreciate that you can understand that Christians opted for independent nation-states, but alongside with it you pose a highly hypothetical question: ‘Why kill off innocent people who belonged to the group of former masters? Simply because they were Turks?” Ragnar, give me an example, just a single example in the history of human race, when the oppressed opted for independence without killing off the oppressors, regardless whether they were Turks or Englishmen. How else on earth would the oppressor leave their imperialist possessions and give up the practice of ruthless oppression of the conquered nations? Peacefully? Give me just one example when an invader, a conqueror, a colonizer, a metropolis left a colony following a peaceful plea of a native people? Judging from your comments you certainly look like an erudite person, but sometimes I’m flabbergasted at some your arguments. Sorry.

  141. Dear Boyajian,
    Thank you also for your very eloquent posts.  I don’t think my posts are falling on deaf ears.  I am still waiting for the answers to the questions that I posed to Ragnar.  His silence tells me that he is either thinking about how to answer them or he simply could not come up with answers.
    Ragnar again those questions were the following:
    1. Since you are a Norwegian, how would you have felt if Norway was to be occupied by let’s say the Ottoman Empire, and after 600 years of oppression and abuse, the Ottoman leaders massacred your people and claimed Norway as their own.  In addition, they distorted history and said that Norway was always theirs, and that they had to wipe out the Norwegian population because some pockets of Norwegians forgot that they were their objects, sorry I meant subjects, and fought for their rights and freedom at their most desperate hour?
    2. Why is it that you are not discussing the battlefield that the Ottoman Empire also experienced within the Arab countries that it was ruling.  Lebanon, Syria, parts of Iraq, Palestine etc.  all fought the Ottomans, massacred some Turks and fought for their independance.  Why aren’t you discussing those events of ethnic cleansings no matter how small they might have been in comparison.  Why is it that Turkey feels no grudge against those Arab countries like it does with Armenians?
    Murat,
    A question for you: Now that Turkey is assisting blockaded Gaza on the account that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is inhumane, should we say that Turkey does not have the right to interfere with Israel’s internatl affairs just like the Christian powers did not have the right to foster human rights for Ottoman Empire’s Chritian objects, sorry again subjects, because that was viewed as interfering in the Ottoman Empire’s internal affairs?
    One thing that I AGREE with you is the hypocrisy of the Christian nations who fought for our rights in the Ottoman empire, but chose to abandon the human rights issue to advance their own geopolitical interests in the region.   By the way, who is coming to the rescue of Armenia which has been landlocked for the past 15 years.  Its Western borders are closed by Turkey and its Eastern borders are closed by Azerbaijan.  It is only with the grace of God that this people that has been crushed so many times that it is surviving the current unjust and unfounded blockade.  Karabagh was its self determination, it has always been Armenian land, it was given to Azerbaijan by Stalin and it has Democratically every right to pursue its independence.  Why is our homeland blockaded by apparently a very humanitarian Turkey that is rushing to the rescue of Gaza.  Hypocrisy to the max.

  142. Bravo Anahit!  I am hopeful that your talents and incredible knowledge are also being used in venues where they are  receiving their due acclaim.
    Gayane, you are awesome!
    Ragnar,…. I am still waiting for my answers… Before you answer my “Norwegian question”, make sure to look at the pictures of your ancestors… I am still researching about who mine were….

  143. Katia asks: “Now that Turkey is assisting blockaded Gaza on the account that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is inhumane, should we say that Turkey does not have the right to interfere with Israel’s internatl affairs just like the Christian powers did not have the right to foster human rights for Ottoman Empire’s Chritian objects, sorry again subjects, because that was viewed as interfering in the Ottoman Empire’s internal affairs?”

    Good question and point.  Gaza is NOT an internal matter for Israel, just like Cyprus or Northern Iraq are not internal matters for Turkey. 

    “Why is our homeland blockaded by apparently a very humanitarian Turkey that is rushing to the rescue of Gaza.  Hypocrisy to the max”

    You surely did not forget that little episode of Armenia invading the lands of its neighbor brutally, right?  Gazzans are not invading anyone.  You really do not think it is proper for Turkey and Azerbeyjan, a country Armenia is/was at war with, to close their borders to Armenia?  That is not a blockade though.  If Turkey declared all of Armenia’s borders and air space a military zone, that would be a blockade.

    By the way, I am in favor of the border being opened.  Protocols had offered a ray of hope.  Unfortunately both governments tried to bite more than they could chew it seems.  Normalization still offers the best hope forward for Armenia.

    As for the Gaza flotila, of course it was a trap.  Not all were innocent.  Aim was more than just aid of course.  There is an Islamic conservative party (soon a party state some say) ruling Turkey after all.  Note that this was not a government sanctioned adventure.  Still, 30 unarmed people shot, nine killed with multiple shots to head and back makes this a a massacre in any book. 

  144. Boyajian
    Thank you for your post. First you say something about the Turkish rights with which I agree. Then you repeat what I also have said , that the massacres and ethnic cleansing of Turks in the Balkans have no direct bearing on the question of culpability of the Turks in the 1915 events.
    I agree, and moreover agree with you that acknowleding the disaster in the Balkans works the opposite way of what most Turkish apologists think. The fear that Armenians would try to use the ”Bulgarian way” to free Eastern Anatolia gave the Turks a clear motive to get rid of Armenians. In murder cases we ask for motive as a part of the procedure. But I mentioned this Balkan-point only in passing, I am not the one who has insisted on it. The question of genocidal intent in 1915 is much more central to our discussion, because we agree that a great crime was committed against the Ottoman Armenians, but probably disagree on exactly how to conceptualize it, or the need to conceptualize it at all beyond what should be obvious to all.
    My point, which really is only the beginning of my reasoning, is that if you want to influence Turks, bring them out of their entrenched positions, the acknowledgement that the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans cost hundreds of thousand of Turkish lives and that this happened through crimes will open doors. Sorry to take this psychological stance, Murat, I am not talking about you, butt his is my experience when discussing human rights problems with Turks. It is much easier to have them admit torture in Turkey if you show them that you do not buy the ordinary Western version of the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, to make one illustrative example. Now you may chose not to do this and from a perspective of historical documentation – if the question is the events of 1915 – you are perfectly right.
    But in entrenched conflicts, which very often has as one of its elements the question of ”what actually happened?” and ”Who was to blame?” you will nearly always find a much broader theme, in which the inherent badness of the Other mostly is prominent. And this may stop the Other’s process of acknowleding the truth. The mere ”was it or wasnt it”-discussion will probably never end unless one adds other strategies, for instance to engage in confidence building. You must excuse me for  In a way Armenians have the right to refuse to do confidence building towards Turks.
    Let me use a parable: Say that a man is rightly accused of stealing, and he wants to have noted by the court that he was extremely hungry, in deed on the verge of getting seriously ill, and the judge says ”shut up about this. Did you steal or didnt you? And by the way you treated your wife badly. We know what kind of person you are” . And when the man protests that this is not true or at least one-sided, the judge again asks him to shut up. One effect may be that he will get stubborn and he will not admit to stealing after all. If he is an individual we pass the verdict and put him in prison and do not care so much about his psychological situation. But if ”the man” is rising power with 70 million people, or a neighbour with whom we would like to make peace maybe we should note his grievances it all the same? If we are are actually interested in supporting the process towards admitting to a crime, maybe we will do it?  This is also the stance of liberal criminology. But if our heart is full of bitterness and sorrow we will not do it and I will also support this stance. Dont do anything against your deepest feelings! But whether this provides the best road ahead is another question.
    ……..
    Davutoglu broke some Turkish taboos with his words and is attacked by the virulent Turkish nationalism for this. How can we bring him and the sensible Turks one step closer to the truth, for instance by acknowledging the abominable politics of the CUP, in deed their culpability, which Murat wrote about some days ago if I am not mistaken? I am afraid Akcam’s article will not do this
     
     

  145.  
    Gayane,
    I am new in your discussion in ”Armenian weekly” but try to adjust to your culture. I earlier Discussed with Murat and it seems we could talk. I now feel I can discuss with Boyajian and Anahit, but I admit I have some difficulties with you. Possibly it is my fault. Yes, maybe my views on history are laughable. Personally I prefer to provide concrete arguments for a case.
    You say that the Turkish government was implicated in the Dink murder? Is this a common opinion in Armenia? I never heard the human rights people in Turkey say this, for instance Eren Keskin (who by the way public has stated that the ittihadists committed genocide in 1915). But of course we all know about the shortcomings  of the investigation. So if you  have  any new documentation it will be interesting.
    About fieldwork, Gayane, this is a time consuming effort. Do you really hold that the fact that I have not made fieldwork with Armenians disqualify me for discussion here?
    I have no problem with confirming that genocide was committed against Armenians, but – as I say – if you use the term according to the practices and definition of the 1948 Convention – I think it is easy to show that Armenians were killed for instance in Diyarbakir by dr. Reshid with the intent of killing member of a certain group, Armenians, as such. The whole picture of 1915 also suggests genocidal intent in the Ittihadists. But there are reasons for doubt if you try to prove e.g. that Talaat intended the general extermination of Armenians.
    Now I understand that you aree deeply affected by what happened to your ancestors and probably to your ancestors. I am sorry for this. I wish I could discuss face to face with you so that we could – probably not agree, but still relate to each others respectfully.  Maybe you will never agree with me in anything. But suggesting that I take money from the Turks…. Would they pay me to say that the ittihadists committed a horrendous crime against the Armenians in 1915?
    You write:
    Murat.. please do us a favor and stop writing.. you are digging your hole deeper and deeper.. We already expressed that your comments have no bearing on what the history holds and are simply laughable… Ay voyyy…
    Comment:
    I am unfiortunately accustomed to this style of comments in the debate with both Turks and Armenians. Are you sure you want to debate the issue? Or are you simply reading other people’s letters to see if the word “genocide” is used, and if it is not, the rest for you is abusive language and loud proclamations of Armenian unity?

  146. ‘But if ”the man” is rising power with 70 million people, or a neighbour with whom we would like to make peace maybe we should note his grievances it all the same?’

     
    Hello, Ragnar – There may be a rational kernel in this argument of yours, but it vividly shows that you operate with European, i.e. civilized, notions when approaching the issue whether we are actually interested in supporting the process towards the Turks’ admitting to a crime. You seem to expect that as a result of ‘liberal criminology’ the Turks would be more inclined to admit the guilt. However, I’m afraid you forget that we’re not dealing with Germans. We’re dealing with the Turks, a nation-state that appeared on the world map, as a result of nomadic invasions from Mongolian steppes and destruction of the natives in Asia Minor, only in the 11th-14th centuries AD. Their’ modern’, as they call it, state was formed only in the beginning of the 20th century. Essentially, these people, not all of course, inherited in their genes the mentality of their savage forefathers: kill to gain new pastures; demolish ancient structures of the natives and build mosques; present ancient indigenous artifacts as their own; ennoble their genes by interbreeding with settled, more civilized natives; steal their females, convert their children; and ultimately mass annihilate all the remnants of indigenous peoples in order to distort the history and prove that the Turks inhabited those lands for all times. However brutal and racist the German Nazis were, as a civilized European nation Germans could overcome the murderer complex and live up to the high intellect and culture they’ve developed throughout millennia of their existence and apologize to the Jews. Do you think we could expect the same from the Turks even if we note their grievances and support the process towards their admitting the guilt? I strongly doubt. Note also that besides their civilizational, cultural characteristics and intellect, Germans were able to engage themselves in the rapprochement process because there were no native Jewish lands in Germany or on the European mainland, for that matter. Whereas Turks know too well that should they admit the guilt, reparations and, possibly, land restitutions to the Armenians, may follow. How well did you research the topic and possible ramifications? Cheers — M

  147. Anahit
    Your comment on the “Localitis”. It seems you try to diagnose me. Now I believe diagnoses in discussions are not right to do. But if you feel like doing it, OK.
    I will try to pick up on the various questions you have asked. It will take time and space.
    Regarding the responsibility for the suffering of the Balkan Turks, I have commented on that. I have also commented on the fact that Turks originally occupied these territories. It is not primarily the wars, but the massacres and ethnic cleansing I am concerned with.
    You write:
    I cannot but sense that you put some negativism into the phrase ‘responsible for a foolhardy strategy in 1914.’ What whould possibly hold these leaders back  from employing such a strategy, Ragnar? Were they claiming anything that was not rightfully theirs? Were not the Armenians living there as masters of their lands for millennia? Were they not invaded and enslaved by the Seljuks and then by their successors, the Turks? What are you essentially promulgating? To shut up and continue to live as slaves?
    Sorry for the negativism if it sounds like that. I really have no ready answer to what you write here. It means trying to answer a lot of Ifs. First, I am not sure about the extent of Armenian armed rebellion  from the time of the general mobilization on august 2, 1914 and onwards. I never read detailed arguments regarding the Armenian threat to the war effort. Akcam says that the reference to the Armenian armed activity from the autumn of 1914 as an excuse for the deportation is a false one. But he does not argue  in detail. I can see some weaknesses in Justin McCarthy’s arguments in “The Armenian Rebellion at Van”, but my general impression is that to start cutting telegraph wires and attack police stations when you are a minority in a state that is run by a group of men desperately considering any means to save the Empire, was risky, as you say. 
    Yes, the Armenians were invaded, so I look with sympathy on the wish to become independent. But when you ask what held them back from rebelling, I cannot follow you. I am not sure what you mean by this.  
    Did the Armenians have no option but to rebel, if that was what they did?  I am not promulgating for them  to shut up and be slaves. However, I suggest you read what Vahakn  Dadrian writes in two of his chapters in “The history of the Armenian genocide”: 1. “From desperation to desperate acts” and 2.“ The Abdul Hamid era massacres”. He is not too positive regarding the Armenian revolutionary spirit.
    I would like to hear more about your judgement of Kachaznouni’s 1923 speech. The Turks make the most of  it for their  purpose. But what Kachaznouni says is that the Armenian politics of the time was foolhardy, and I tend to agree with him. But I would like to hear argments if you mean that no other option but rebellion was open to the Armenians in the autumn of 1914 and spring of 1915.   
     
    I will be back with more attempts at answers.

  148. Murat claims: ‘Still, 30 unarmed people shot, nine killed with multiple shots to head and back makes this a massacre in any book.’
     
    Look how readily a Turk accepts as ‘massacre’ the destruction of nine of their people, and how stubbornly he’d deny that race annihilation and death marches of the Ottoman Armenians in millions constituted the deliberate mass massacre in the hands of the Turks of a specific racial, ethnic, national, and religious Armenian group: the genocide.
     
    If you consider yourself an open-minded, reasonable, and modern person, you should equally show compassion to the victims of an isolated incident and the victims of the genocides: Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Rwandans, Darfurians, and others. Otherwise, you remain the same gloomy, narrow-minded, unsophisticated savage Seljuk/Mongol nomad that invaded Asia Minor in hordes in the 11th-13th centuries AD, and the same imperialist Ottoman oppressor of the more civilized, indigenous nations, and the same Young Turk mass murderer of those nations. As such, you’ll be adequately treated by the rest of the world.

  149. Ragnar, my following comments are based on your example of the man in court for stealing and the prejudicial manner in which the judge handled the case.  All sarcasm aside, I just have to say that I commend you for your ability to be empathetic with the historical context that the Turks found themselves in as the empire crumbled.  I admire your ability to understand their actions against the Armenians as acts of desperation, not merely morally bankrupt acts of vengeance.  You are a better person than me.  I just can’t get my mind in a place of explaining Turkish/CUP  motives in a way that lets them off the hook or helps me to feel that I can put myself in their shoes and understand why they had to kill my ancestors in order to save their nation.  Or help me to see their need to deny the crime today, claim my heritage as their own, and fabricate false history books for their citizens.  Maybe I am just too stubborn.
    You caution us against taking a prejudicial position denigrating the entire race of Turks because of what happened in 1915-23.  You are not wrong to think this, but remember it was not the Armenians who made this a race issue in the first place.  It was Turkey who did this when they decided that our race needed exterminating, and it is Turkey who continues to make this a “race/religion thing” by siding with their Muslim cousins the Azeris in the conflict over Nagorno Karabagh.  Clearly, Turkey could remain neutral in this conflict and play unbiased mediator, but instead she can’t help but take the opportunity to “stick it to the Armenians” yet again by closing her borders with Armenia.
     
    Have you given any thought to Anahit’s and my comments suggesting that you are “too close” to the Turks to be able to be a helpful mediator in this conflict?

  150. Ragnar,
     
    I meant no offense by ‘localitis,’ it’s a natural psychological predisposition when being physically present in or dealing with foreign environments. It you took it as an offense, accept my apologies. In contrast to the Turks, Armenians have the capacity to apologize for misdemeanors, perceived or real.

    You claim: ‘It is not primarily the wars, but the massacres and ethnic cleansing I am concerned with.’

    I appreciate this, but nonetheless you fail to take a notice of the environment the massacres and ethnic cleansing are taking place; accurately characterize the events in which massacres and ethnic cleansing are taking place; accurately denominate if the massacred and ethnically cleansed were indigenous peoples or ruthless foreign occupiers; as well as accurately distinguish between those events, i.e. whether they were wars between enemies or deliberate race annihilation by a metropolis. That’s the major flaw of your comment on this, I’m afraid.

    On the extent of Armenian armed rebellion or Armenian threat to the Ottoman war effort. I believe I already answered this in length in my older post providing references and citations. There was no organized all-national armed rebellion except for isolated unsuccessful contacts with the foreign powers and isolated uprisings against Turkish oppression that for centuries deprived Armenians of their basic rights and treated them as underclass. I also answered the question on the Armenian threat to the war effort. Up until February 1914 Armenians fought bravely on the Ottoman fronts, even Enver acknowledged this in his gratitude letter to the Armenian clergy.

    Akcam is absolutely correct that the Armenian armed activity from the autumn of 1914 as an excuse for the deportation is a false one. Firstly, all those Armenians who were enlisted in the Ottoman armies were disarmed. Turks threatened mass reprisals if they don’t get the unreasonable number of weapons they demanded. So Armenians were driven to purchasing weapons from their Turkish neighbors. When the arms were gathered, the authorities would photograph them and send pictures to Constantinople as ‘evidence of treachery.’ With the Armenians disarmed the way was open t for the next, most terrible stage in the annihilation process. The first Ottoman town from which Armenians were deported in 1915 was Zeitun, deportations started in April 8, i.e. almost two weeks before the events in Van. I emphasize this in response to McCarthy’s arguments in “The Armenian Rebellion at Van”, as well as your own general impression about cutting telegraph wires and attacking police stations in Van, when, as you wrongly asserted (explanation below), ‘you are a minority in a state that is run by a group of men desperately considering any means to save the Empire.’ Further, after the expulsions from Zeitun, other Cilician towns suffered a similar fate. Armenians generally believed the government’s affirmation of good faith—that they were being sent to new homes and would be cared for on their journey (a typical Turkish slyness). One important point should be noted: deportations and killings in Zeitun and Cilicia occurred before the events in Van, which the Ottoman and modern-day Turks cite as providing the justification for their anti-Armenian exterminatory measures. The conditions in Van in April-May 19915 has been described by Turkish apologists as that of an Armenian ‘uprising,’ but the examination of the events reveals that the Armenians did no more than protect themselves against the brutality of the government. In no manner, as Turks claim, were their actions coordinated with the movement of the Russian army. The governor (vali) of Van was notorious Jevdet Bey, brother-in-law of Enver. Cruelty and a penchant of violence were two of his distinguishing characteristics. When searching for arms, he conducted a reign of terror in the Armenian villages around Van. Now, back to your mistake above, Van was the only Ottoman province where Armenians were in a majority over the Turkish and Kurdish populations. The attitude of the Armenian community leaders toward Jevdet was one of great caution in order not to give him a pretext for violence. But in Shadakh, south of Van, there was a demonstration in favor of an imprisoned Armenian, and Jevdet asked a commission made up of four Turks and four Armenians to go there and sort things out. En route, and this April 16, the Armenian members were murdered by government agents. It is about this time when telegraph wires were cut and police stations attacked. What’s your opinion? Should Armenians allowed the gendarmes to slaughter them as sheep or to resist as much as possible? Any means is justified for self-defense. At the same time terror continued in the countryside and in one incident Armenians resisted some gendarmes. This angered the governor and Armenians’ self-defense in Van is well documented by a witness account, an American missionary Dr. Clarence Ussher (written in 1917), where he testifies that the Armenian leaders turned to him asking him to mediate, but given his knowledge of Jevdet, he considered that the mediation would be pointless. Violence in the countryside reached a peak on April 19, when an entire Armenian male population of a village (some 2,500 men) was killed on that day. Throughout the Van province 55,000 Armenian men, women, and children were killed. In the city of Van the Armenians, expecting the Turkish attack, strengthened their quarters. 1,300 men were defending a population of 30,000 in Van. With tenacity and bravery they were able to fend the Turks off for four weeks. The Turks withdrew on May 16 and the Russian army entered the town. But then the Russians were forced to retreat, taking with them as many Van Armenians, as could get away.
     
    I know that even now the claim is made that the events in Van were a ‘revolutionary uprising.’ However, the study of the chronology from Jevdet’s reign of terror in the countryside to the murder of the four Armenian leaders, shows that each time the government took the initiative for violence and confrontation. Clearly, none of Jevdet’s actions was that of a man defending the government against a revolutionary attempt to seize power. Nevertheless, the Ottoman government and the modern-day Turkish denialists took the Armenian defense of Van as a pretext for extreme genocidal measures. When a government works out a general plan of wiping out an ethnic minority, a provocation to carry it out is very easy to spark. Even if we admit that Armenian rebelled against the government in Van, a presumption that no evidence or a scholar would support, what do you think a normal, public-spirited government would do? Imprison and trial a few of instigators of the rebellion or massacre 55,000 throughout the Van province alone? What would the Norwegian government do if a criminal gang cause a social unrest in, say, Bergen? Would it isolate and imprison the trouble-makers or it would give orders to slaughter the whole neighborhood of the gang members? Even if we admit that isolated radical views of some individuals in an Armenian party leadership were dominant throughout Ottoman Armenia in the pre-genocide months, a presumption that no evidence or a scholar would support, do you think that millions of unarmed, defenseless, politically apathetic, vastly unorganized, rural, oppressed and impoverished Armenian men, women, children, and the elders posed a threat to the mighty state apparatus of the Ottoman Empire?
     
    To cut it short, and I normally avoid citing a few scholars-genocide deniers, as Justin McCarthy whose account I now read (thanks to you), here’s one particular balanced judgment of an otherwise utterly pro-Turkish, bought and paid-for scholar, revered by the Turks, Bernard Lewis, that can give you the general idea of the true motives of the genocidal campaign of the Turks. He writes:
    For the Turks, the Armenian [national liberation] movement was the deadliest of all threats. From the conquered lands of the Serbs, Bulgars, Albanians, and Greeks, they could, however reluctantly, withdraw, abandoning distant provinces and bringing the Imperial frontier nearer home. But the Armenians, stretching across Turkey-in-Asia from the Caucasian frontier to the Mediterranean coast, lay in the very heart of the Turkish homeland—and to renounce these lands would have meant not the truncation, but the dissolution of the Turkish state. [B. Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, p.356]
     
    P.S. Sorry for the length. I’ll get back to your questions re: Dadrian and Khachaznuni a bit later. Cheers.

  151. Anahit
    I continue to comment on your long post
    You write:
    It may well be that I misunderstood you, for which I apologize in advance, but a clause in your comment: ‘I wholeheartedly support you in your demands even if I, as said, the question of genocidal intent in 1915-18 is difficult to prove,’ left an impression of some uncertainty in your evaluation of the mass crime.
    Comment:
    The deportations which obviously could not be done without great loss of life, was a crime in itself. Most  conspicuously, Talat Pasha himself admits that those who massacred Armenians were not punished. This is corroborated by research, as far as I can see. So to my mind there is no doubt that what happened was a crime, an enormous crime. But I add the point about genocidal intent because I assume that you hold that it is proven that the intent of Talat and other cadres in the CUP was to exterminate the Armenians “as such” as it is said in the 1948 Convention.  To my mind this is not proven. Some facts indicate that there was genocidal intent in the central cadres, some indicate that it was not.
     
    You write:
    Sorry for being repetitive, Ragnar, but the internationally accepted timeframe for the genocide is 1915-1923. Even in the first years of the new Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal first accepted that Turkish mass extermination of the Armenians was a ‘shameful act,’ (his own words that Turkish author Taner Akcam used as title for his much proclaimed book), but soon after continued to empty the remaining pockets of Armenians throughout the country.
    Comment:
    I’d like a reference on this time frame. In the Akcam book you refer to he deals with the period up to the armistice, and then he deals with Enver’s incursion in 1918 in present Armenian territory. But the words “shameful act” were uttered by Mustafa Kemal before the founding of the Republic.  I did not know that he emptied the remaining pockets of Armenians throughout the country until 1923. So I’d like a reference on that, too!
    Then you write about the alleged proofs. I can comment on this later, but the fact is that there is considerable disagreement on the question of genocidal intent. I’d align myself more with the German statement of 2005 which asks Turkey to acknowledge the graveness of the crime, the responsibility of the leaders,  to stop persecuting those who say it was a genocide, but Germany does not use the term genocide (only I would use  the term genocide on the many documented massacres that I believe were genocidal, but not on the intent of the leaders).
     
    Then you write about the murder of Hrant, but to my mind you write in a one-sided way about Turkey. You chose to see the murderer Samast,( and the obvious involvement of the Trabzon police ?) and the hanging of the lawyer as indicative of  general Turkish characteristics. This is to my mind a very serious mistake. What about more than hundred thousand Turks who went to the street and saying “We are all Armenians!”. What about the “I apologise movement” which collected 30.000 signatures in a few months?  Honestly, Anahit, this is not good enough…. Are not these facts and expression of what happens in Turkey today?
     
    I will comment on the rest of your post

  152. Anahit
    I continue to comment on your long post
    You write:
    It may well be that I misunderstood you, for which I apologize in advance, but a clause in your comment: ‘I wholeheartedly support you in your demands even if I, as said, the question of genocidal intent in 1915-18 is difficult to prove,’ left an impression of some uncertainty in your evaluation of the mass crime.
    Comment:
    The deportations which obviously could not be done without great loss of life, was a crime in itself. Most  conspicuously, Talat Pasha himself admits that those who massacred Armenians were not punished. This is corroborated by research, as far as I can see. So to my mind there is no doubt that what happened was a crime, an enormous crime. But I add the point about genocidal intent because I assume that you hold that it is proven that the intent of Talat and other cadres in the CUP was to exterminate the Armenians “as such” as it is said in the 1948 Convention.  To my mind this is not proven. Some facts indicate that there was genocidal intent in the central cadresm some indicate that it was not.
     
    You write:
    Sorry for being repetitive, Ragnar, but the internationally accepted timeframe for the genocide is 1915-1923. Even in the first years of the new Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal first accepted that Turkish mass extermination of the Armenians was a ‘shameful act,’ (his own words that Turkish author Taner Akcam used as title for his much proclaimed book), but soon after continued to empty the remaining pockets of Armenians throughout the country.
    Comment:
    I’d like a reference on this time frame. In the Akcam book you refer to he deals with the period up to the armistice, and then he deals with Enver’s incursion in 1918 in present Armenian territory. But the words “shameful act” were uttered by Mustafa Kemal before the founding of the Republic.  I did not know that he emptied the remaining pockets of Armenians throughout the country until 1923. So I’d like a reference on that, too!
    Then you write about the alleged proofs. I can comment on this later, but the fact is that there is considerable disagreement on the question of genocidal intent. I’d align myself more with the German statement of 2005 which asks Turkey to acknowledge the graveness of the crime, the responsibility of the leaders,  to stop persecuting those who say it was a genocide, but Germany does not use the term genocide (only I would use  the term genocide on the many documented massacres that I believe were genocidal, but not on the intent of the leaders).
     
    Then you write about the murder of Hrant, but to my mind you write in a one-sided way about Turkey. You chose to see the murderer Samast, the involvement of the Trabzon police and the hanging of the lawyer as indicative of  general Turkish characteristics. This is to my mind a very serious mistake. What about more than hundred thousand Turks who went to the street and saying “We are all Armenians!”. What about the “I apologise movement” which collected 30.000 signatures in a few months?  Honestly, Anahit, this is not good enough…. Are not these facts and expression of what happens in Turkey today?
     
    I will comment on the rest of your post

  153. Ragnar,
     
     
    Given the belated clarification of your position on the question of genocidal intent in 1915-18 [that] is difficult to prove, I’m afraid I may need to discontinue dissecting historical minutia and echanging comments with you. This has nothing to do with you personally; it’s been my stance for years to avoid exchanging views with genocide deniers or those who, despite the wealth of primary and secondary material and acknowledgment of foreign governments, professional associations, scholars, witness accounts, and coining of the very term ‘genocide’ based on the race annihilation of the Armenians, vacillate in admitting the genocidal intent of the CUP government. Hence, my last comments to your post, the one that starts with clarifying your views on the genocidal intent. By the way, the company you work for, The Pertinax Group, might it be one of those lobbying groups that Turks finance worldwide to advance distortion of the truth? Just curious, no offensive intent is meant.
     
     
    Yes, the words “shameful act” were uttered by Mustafa Kemal before founding of the Republic in his capacity as a revolutionary, or a criminal sentenced to death from the Sultan’s perspective. Once he became the ruler of the Republic he continued the works of his Young Turk predecessors. In a series of military campaigns against Russian Armenia in 1920, against the refugee Armenians who had returned to Cilicia in southern Turkey in 1921, and against the Greek army that had occupied Izmir (Smyrna) where the last intact Armenian community in Anatolia still existed in 1922, the Nationalist forces led by Mustafa Kemal completed the process of eradicating the Armenians through further expulsions and massacres. When Turkey was declared a republic in 1923 and received international recognition, the Armenian Question and all related matters of resettlement and restitution were swept aside and soon forgotten. Here’s just a couple of references to the time frame of the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923:

    Encyclopedia of Genocide, Institute of the Holocaust and Genocide, 1999, Jerusalem
    Richard Kloian, The Armenian Genocide, News Accounts from the American Press: 1915-1922, 3rd Edition

     
     
    As for the disagreement on the question of genocidal intent, it’s by any measure considerable. Although Turkish propaganda has created some controversies, most of the genocide scholars, most importantly, the International Association of the Genocide Scholars, historians, and international lawyers agree that mass extermination of the Armenians was carried out on orders by the central Ottoman government with the intent to destroy the race. You can align yourself with the German statement of 2005, and I can align myself with the French parliamentary resolution and a subsequent law for genocide denialists. However, I hope you understand that Germany was an immediate foreign instigator of mass deportations of the Armenians in order to halt the advances of the Russian army. Modern-day Germany appears to still shy away from the fact. Secondly, I hope you understand that with over 4 million people of Turkish descent living in Germany, Bundestag couldn’t at the time explicitely use the term. But it will, and soon enough.
     

    On Hrant Dink’s and his lawyer’s murder. Yes, murdering, silencing, persecuting, or deporting those who speak the truth about the Armenian genocide or human rights or ethnic/religious minority issues is a general characteristic of the Turkish State. Applying Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code to those who speak the truth about the Armenian genocide and need for an openness in the society is a general characteristic of the Turkish State. Denying the Armenian genocide is a general characteristic of the Turkish State. Distorting history of the indigenous ethnic peoples inhabiting Anatolia is a general characteristic of the Turkish State. Distributing 12 million DVDs depicting Armenians committing murders of innocent Turks to the secondary schools is a general characteristic of the Turkish State. I’m amazed, softly speaking, that you, in your former capacity as Amnesty’s Turkey coordinator are of a different opinion. How many more Amnesty International Turkey Reports need to be issued to understand the undemocratic, repressive nature of their State? Hundred thousand Turks who went to the street chanting “We are all Armenians!”? Do you know what they themselves may know about their ancestry? “I apologize movement” which collected 30.000 signatures in a few months? As one of the movement members revealed, initiators of the movement as well pursued the goal of softening the possible repercussions of the international wave of recognition of the Armenian genocide.
     
     
    What happens in Turkey today? Hanging of a lawyer and a murder of a Catholic bishop. Good day.

  154. Ragnar…

    You say you had discussions with Murat, someone we know very well on these pages,  you say you have done extensive fieldwork with Turks and not with the Armenians to counterbalance what is taught to you by the Turks, and you expect us to have discussions without any friction? Please…i can’t have frank and open discussions with someone who questions the Genocide happened.. intent or no intent..  I admit I don’t have in-depth knowledge about the history like my Katia jans, Anahit jans, Boyajian and Msheci and few others (THANK GOD TO THEM, they are my heros); however I know the difference between someone who poses to be our friend but advances the Turks propaganda.. I see you as someone like that and since I see you like that, we will never have a great discussions….. I am sorry…

    Yes.. I do not agree with someone who did not do any fieldwork with Armenians as somsone who has stronger connection with Turks and I dont’ appreciate that… If you want to speak intelligently then I would say you need to know both sides well, and not spend more time with one side but not the other.. hence, why I see you someone who heavily sides with the Turks … and that is a BIG RED X for me…..

    What I write to Murat is what I want to address to Murat.. Not sure why you have to get into the mix… Did you know Murat before you joined him on these pages to try to convince us of your Turkish friends’ teachings?…

    Again, Armenians do not BLAME OR HATE all Turks… not sure how else to explain this to you.. We are blaming and can’t stand the Turkish govt who does everything and DID for many years to erase the truth from its history pages and teach its citizens that Armenians are liars, greedy and undeserving people..Is this what you call Democratic Country?? Please…

    Until then… We can exchange comments but I am someone who expresses what is in my heart.. harsh or not..

    Thank you for your attempts.. I appreciate it…

    Gayane

  155. Ahanit jan… Yes qo tsavt tanem… Thank you YOU, Katia, Boyajian, Msheci and others who are the pride of our nation… Because of you, Armenia will be stronger… our culture will never be earsed and removed… I can’t find words to express how much I appreciate all of you.. Because of you, I learn new things every day..

    I said this before..but I am going to say it again… I just hope that people like all of you can run our govt..if that happens, our country and our existance would be in a better place..

    May God give you strength, and watch over you.. You all are precious jewels of our nation..

    God Bless you.

    Gayane  

  156. Murat and  I participated in a debate in “Armenian  Weekly” some moths ago

  157.  
    Anahit
    I will continue to comment:
    You write:
    On ‘Armenians leaders’ steering into very dangerous waters’: I need to know and, unfortunately, you didn’t reply to this particular comment of mine: do you generally think that indigenous nations who were conquered and enslaved by nomadic or other occupiers should endure enslavement or they should find ways to get rid of it? I need to know this in order to understand your way of thinking.
    Comment:
    I already said that I empathise with the Armenians’ national ambitions, but that you had to relate to the fact that there was a majority of Muslims in the area. So I experience your question as rhetoric. The Armenians fought for justice in a Muslim state, and I support that.
    We can also envisage an alternative historical course: that the Wilsonian promises were fulfilled, an Armenian state on the territory of Old Armenia, with a Muslim majority. It would have been a very difficult situation but probably in the long run much better for the Armenians, if the new state might have been protected adequately. But worse for the Muslims in the area. We see how Turks are second rate citizens in Bulgaria, for instance. – As regards the Armenian armed activity from august 2, 1915 I repeat that I have no definite opinion on it – I am here to learn. I already asked you for references on the continuation of the genocide until 1923 – but while I feel that Justin McCarthy is exaggerating the scope of the Armenian rebellion, I feel Akcam is minimizing it. And about dangerous waters: when you are confronted with desperate people who are more powerful than you and who attack you, you do well in not provoking them, even if you have a just cause. Do you agree on this?
    …………………..
    Now I see that you want to stop discussing with me because you label me as a denier. For me this is ironic. We agree that a great crime was committed against the Armenians, we agree that the Turkish state must acknowledge this, we agree on the moral responsibility of Talat Pasha which he himself in his posthumous memoirs  admits – perpetrators were not punished, which is very grave indeed. We agree that Turkey must make reparations. However, we seem so far to disagree on land concessions to Armenia. Most importantly we disagree because you hold that genocidal intent is proved. Talat and other top echelons had genocidal intent, you say.  I must admit, Anahit, that it is strange for me to break off a discussion on the basis of this situation. We have not even discussed the documentation for genocidal intent in Talat.
     
    I asked the German embassy for materials on the 2005 decision. Of coursed it is interesting to know why they did not use the term genocide. Maybe they should have. So again I ask you for documentation. Do you know about the debate before the decision in the German Reichstag? Do you know of any analyses in German, English, French or what? (I cannot read Armenian, but I am almost afraid to admit it, if it is used against me. I know Turkish) I had not thought about the point that there would have been an uproar among Germany’s Turks if they had used the word, I admit it. But for this reason I would like to know more about the discussion. I can call people in Germany I know and I will report back to this discussion, if it still goes on. Even if you refuse to discuss with me I will do it, because I believe it is an important point and you are not the only Armenian I am discussing with.
     
    However, I understand that you have reached appoint in which you feel it is impossible to go on discussing. I Respect it but admit I am dismayed.
     
    There are posts by Boyajian, Gayane and Msheci I would like to comment on.

  158. Ragnar,
    Since you have not found the time to answer my questions or are not willing to answer them, I am going to do something very unorthodox and attempt to answer them for you based on the position you have taken on this matter and the opinions and thoughts you have shared here.
    My first question was: How would you have reacted/felt if Norway was in the place of Armenia, had the same demographics as ancient Armenia, and had gone through the same fate under Ottoman rule?
    Based on what you said on this site, I think your position would have been that the Norwegians should have accepted the superior power of their rulers, the Ottomans, the Norwegians should have not asked for reforms of the unfair, discriminating and humiliating laws they were being subjected to such as: No Norwegian can sue a Muslim so crimes are to be tolerated,  Norwegians need to wear red shoes which will differentiate them from Greeks who need to wear blue shoes, Norwegians need to pay many times higher taxes than the Muslims, Norwegians can be subjected to rapes/massacres from time to time when the Sultan is angered and so on.  During WWI, when all the other nationalities rose against the Empire and the Empire was in a desperate situation in a war that it had launched but apparently was losing, the Norwegians would have stayed loyal to their masters and accepted the fact that the Turks needed Norway to form a Republic with, because it had lost all of its more distant lands.  When the Turks, under the cover of the war, attempted to homogenize the country to form a “Muslim” race and started massacring the Norwegians to clear the way for the Republic of Turkey, the Norwegians would have not defended themselves or revolted militarily, and would have let the Turks take over their lands by massacring their women, children and men.  Either way, the Norwegians would have tolerated their ethnic cleansing and would have facilitated the taking over of their homeland, or better yet they would have accepted Islam and assimilated into Turkishness willingly and without the need of massacres.
    You know very well that this scenario or what you are implying is ridiculous.  The Armenians knew that the ultimate Turkish goal was to assimilate our nation into the one that the Turks were building for themselves.  Unlike the other countries the Empire ruled, ours had the particular disadvantage of being the country where most of the Turkish nation also lived.  We decided that we wanted to continue existing as Armenians, and we wanted Armenia to continue existing as well.  We decided to fight for our right to exist even when the odds were against us.  And I am glad we did, otherwise we would not be here today.  We would have been assimilated with or without war.
    You said something along the lines that you agreed that people should not stay oppressed; however, you were ready to cry for the plight of the “desperate oppressor with his back to the wall”, instead of sympathizing with the plight of the oppressed. (Localitis)
    You asked, if revolting militarily was the only answer.  The answer is: YES, it was… The Ottoman Empire was not interested in our rights, and was not interested in respecting our race and existence.  It treated us as its rightful properties.  They called us “dogs” and “giavours” (infidels).  After 600 years of oppression, false hopes, and outright lies about reforms, there was no hope for any alternative solutions.
    You found it so hard to say that the Armenians had the right for self defense, and called our uprising “foolhardy”! Would it have been acceptable if it was a weak uprising?  Most historians will tell you that it was not foolhardy at all and in most cases it was for self defense.
    You are quoting known Genocide deniers and not checking your resources.  Did you know that when the Armenian women could not purchase guns to turn in as their “husbands” so that the Turks could release their husbands fast enough, Turkish soldiers would pile up their own guns and take their pictures, and turn them in as their “evidence” of Armenian uprising?  (A fact documented by many Armenian and non-Armenian witnesses)  In their attempt to come up with excuses to cover up their goal to eliminate the Armenians, they became outright ridiculous.  When they got tired of digging graves and covering up the butchered Armenians, they forced the Armenians to dig up their own graves first before getting murdered.
     
    Who is going to tell you not to trust the fabrications they are feeding you?  How are you deciding which source to trust without reading all the eyewitness/survivor accounts as well?  Or maybe facts are not relevant for you.  You are getting paid to promote the story of the ethnically cleansed Turks. (If I am wrong, please forgive me).
     
    The Armenian Genocide has never stopped.  It continues under different forms.  Kemal Ataturk changed the Turkish Alphabet to the Roman alphabet making it very hard to read previous history and newspaper articles written in Arabic alphabet.  Most of the Turkish Tribunals were covered in newspapers written in Arabic alphabet.  He called the Armenian massacres “A Shameful Act” to get the Entente powers off his back, and when he took over power he reenacted the Genocide laws that gave temporary rights to loot and kill Armenians.  In the 1930s they enforced the “surname law” which forced Armenians to take out the “ian” from the end of their names.  Most everyone was given their trade name in Turkish as their last name.  In the 1940s, under the cover of WWII, they came up with another clever way to steel Armenian and Greek monies/property and kill some more of them, under the guise of the “Capitol Tax”.  The Capital Tax consisted of outrageously unaffordable taxes directed to the Armenians and Greeks.  Many failed naturally to pay them so they were sent to labor camps from which they never returned.  The 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s consisted of bribing and buying off foreign diplomats, particularly American and Jewish in exchange for the cover-up and silencing of the cause of the Armenian Genocide and the telling of its story in American media and movies.  The Americans and Jews agreed  in exchange to geopolitical advantages in the Middle East and against the Russians. (The making of movies such as the 40 days of Mousa Dagh was effectively stopped by Turkish treats and with the cooperation of the American media/entertainment industry)  To this day, the Jewish lobby plays a big role in the defeat of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the US Congress, in exchange to Turkey’s friendship and support against the anti-Jewish Arab nations. 
    Which brings me to my second question: Why is it that you never once mentioned the ethnic cleansing that the Turks also experienced, however smaller in comparison, in the Arab countries, and why is it that Turkey does not resent the Arab nations breaking away from the Empire after 600 years?
    I think you did not make any reference to the Arab nation’s hostility against the Ottomans because that subject does not fit the story you are trying to formulate about the Muslims being massacred by the Christian powers.  By doing so, you are playing the Religion card.
    Finally, all these years and before the phenomenon of the Internet, the Turks had succeeded to keep the Armenian Genocide hush hush by calling it simply a “lie”.   With the current boom in scholarly interest in the Genocide, and the hundreds of books and stories coming out, together with the inevitability of the Internet, the Turks have changed their story.  Erdogan went from calling the Armenian Genocide a “lie” at his interview with Charlie Rose, to accepting that “deportations” and only deportations had taken place, as if deportations were the most normal things to happen to people.  The new tune is that Armenian deportations and suffering are being officially acknowledged by the Turks, but the Turks are adamant that there was no “Genocidal Intent”.  The difference between deportation/suffering and “Genocidal Intent” is huge!  Suffering during war is not really punishable; “Intent of Genocide” is punishable by International law and has great legal ramifications and reparations attached to it.  And that’s where your role, Ragnar, comes into play.  The Turks are employing individuals such as you to prove that there was “no Genocidal intent”.  This is their new strategy in covering up a Truth and getting away with Genocide. 
    Ragnar, good luck to you.
    And this will be “my” last post in this discussion.

  159. Anahit
    a last comment, if I was unclear. You ask:
    I need to know and, unfortunately, you didn’t reply to this particular comment of mine: do you generally think that indigenous nations who were conquered and enslaved by nomadic or other occupiers should endure enslavement or they should find ways to get rid of it? I need to know this in order to understand your way of thinking
    Answer:
    Of course they should find ways to get rid of it, which the Armenians did all along. Of course I support that, but not every strategy is wise.

  160. Thanks to everyone: Gayane, Boyajian, Katia K., for your kind words. Thanks also to Ragnar Naess for engaging bravely in this discussion, however controversial some of his arguments might be. While I readily engage in conversations with those who seek to understand the Armenian Question from both perspectives, I normally step back when a person outrightly denies or is doubtful about what’s becoming increasingly obvious to the civilized world: the genocidal intent of the Ottoman and Kemalist Turks in regard to the Armenians.
     
    For all of you, my favorite quote from a great philosopher and freedom-fighter that’s totally applicable to the Armenians’ struggle for justice:
     
    “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

  161. Katia K., I understand the principle behind your decision to make your previous comments your “last post”, but I would encourage you to persevere.  Your voice is so strong on this site and is still greatly needed in the ongoing struggle to navigate through the murky waters created by the genocide revisionists and deniers.   I don’t know if Ragnar is sincerely seeking understanding or simply believes he is doing his job to help Armenians (and the rest of the world) see things from the Turkish point of view.   We Armenians, have the delicate task of challenging the deniers and revisionist wherever they raise their disreputable heads, while at the same time, not aiding them to broadcast their misinformation.  A difficult task, but one that I believe you have shown yourself to be prepared to meet.  I thank you for your impassioned, well-reasoned arguments in support of Armenian justice.

  162. Hi, Ragnar – Thanks, I look forward to your comment to my post. I enjoyed reading this discussion and for some time withdrew because my knowledge of historical detail is not that great as that of Katia K’s or Anahit’s. My reading into the discussion suggests that, opposite to your assertions, you were not explicitly labeled a ‘denier.’ There was a clause, as well, regarding those who ‘vacillate in admitting the genocidal intent.’ To me, based on your comments, you appear to fall under this second category of intellectuals. I also didn’t observe anywhere in the discussion that there was actually an overall agreement that a ‘great crime’ was committed against the Armenians. While several commentators continuously referred to it as ‘genocide’ or ‘deliberate race annihilation’ (a synonym), nowhere in your comments did you openly admit that the vague notion of ‘great crime’ bore, actually, a name: genocide, coined in 1944 by an international lawyer, Polish Jew Raphael Lemkin as a result of his in-depth study of mass extermination of the Armenians by the Turks. Nowhere did I also see that there was an exchange of views with Anahit, least of all disagreement, on land concessions to Armenia. It might have slipped my attention, but do please refer me to the particular passage. I will await, then, your response to the point you made to Boyajian, which, as you said, was only the beginning of your reasoning, in that if we want to influence Turks to admit their deliberate race annihilation of the Armenians, we should acknowledge the ethnic cleansing during the wars fought by the Turks with other nations. Never heard of such a scheme before, quite bizarre at the first sight, to be honest, but really wish that you elaborate further on it, if you will. Curiously, M.

  163. Ragnar,  I really wasn’t trying to say that you are a disreputable person.  I don’t know you.  I simply mean to say that many who practice denial and revisionism are knowingly deceiving others.  Some simply don’t know better.
     
    Jesus would say “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do,”  but I have a hard time forgiving the actions of a government dedicated to promoting its interests with little regard for truth, human rights and democracy.  The actions of the Turkish government since the creation of the new Republic, constitute a continuation of genocidal policy and cover-up, and for me the offense is ongoing.  I ask you to explain to me how one (who is not Christ) forgives an unrepentant offender while he carries on his offensive behavior?
     
    I still don’t think you understand how difficult it is for Armenians to process the events of the Genocide in their historical context while Turkey actively engages in revisionism of the most despicable nature.   Debriefing and processing are done when an event ends and you take a view of the events from a perspective of reviewing what has happened (past tense).  For Armenians this is difficult to do when the Turks continually thwart and deny the truth and add new elements of offense to be reviewed and processed.
     
    “Closure” is a cliche term, but we Armenians and Turks need it and just can’t get there when we can’t even agree on what happened.   I disagree that it is a question of perspective or point of view.   The truth of the crime committed against the Armenians has been established and Turkish culpability was recognized by Turkey itself immediately after the events (as evidenced by the Turkish Courts Martial records).  Why are we now disputing, rewriting and re-interpreting these events?  I feel you are either willingly or unwillingly assisting Turkey to avoid a full and honest self-appraisal and apology for its crime.  You are not helping serve humanity when you appease and kowtow to the dubious tactics to avoid justice of an abusive power like the government of Turkey.   The empire is dead.  We Armenians are no longer their second-class subjects forbidden to insult our master by voicing our complaints.  Turkey must relinquish its over-inflated sense of national pride and come to the table ready to negotiate as people with equal rights and responsibilities toward one another.
    Again, I have to applaud those Turks who have risen above the social pressure and propaganda and have begun to search for the truth in the conflict between Armenian and Turks.

  164.  
    Dear Boyajian,
    Your encouraging words mean a lot to all of us.
    I have no intention of abandoning my very small way of contributing to our fight for Justice, by posting comments on newspaper internet sites.  I very much agree with you when you say we should all persevere in our fight, and as Anahit so eloquently used Mahatma Ghandhi’s words, I am convinced that consistent and persistent small pushes have with time the power to move mountains.  The key is educating ourselves, educating others and remaining steadfast in our cause.
    One need only look at the terrain where the Armenian vilayets used to be to decide what the intent of all those deportations and massacres was.  We don’t even have to visit and revisit the enormous body of evidence.  The terrain itself is telling the story of what happened there 95 years ago.  Demolished, bombed churches, neglected archeological sites, graves of Armenians, and a 2.3 million people who used to live there all but vanished.  Deporting without the “intent of Genocide” would have meant bringing back all the deported and reinstalling them in their homes.  We know what was done to the deported people.  We only need to scrape the surface of the ground of Der Zor to find their bones.
    When the number of a certain species of animals drops remarkably lower from where it used to be, we call it “extinction”.  The extinction of the Armenian species was not caused by natural causes.  The changing of its makeup, its religion, and its removal from its natural, endogenous “habitat” were not natural events.  They were purposely orchestrated events.  The result is that where there once were almost 2.3 million people in 1915 there are now a mere 70,000.  A period of ninety five years should have grown that population to the neighborhoods of 20 million if not more.  Where is this race?  How could it have disappeared?  The deliberate changing of the make-up of a “genetic” pool, the killing (cidal) of this “genetic” pool, has only one word to describe it.  A word customized to describe what happened to the Armenians.  A word used to set precedence in the description of what happened to the Armenians.  And that word is “Genocide”, the purposeful removal, forceful change of religion, and intentional harm intended to kill and exterminate a particular race.
    Just like you, I do not know Ragnar personally, and I feel it is not right to judge him based on the posts on this site.  I hope I have not offended him. 
    However, let’s all remember, that Hittites came and went, Prussians came and went, Mongols came and went, the Roman Empire came and went, the Ottoman Empire came and went, The Soviet Union came and went, many Ragnars will come and go, but we have and shall remain.

    Thank you all, this was a great conversation.
     

  165. Dear Katia K
    Of curse I meant to answer you.  Look at the number of posts I wrote.
     Yes, I would feel bad if the Ottoman Empire had occupied Norway and massacred the Norwegians. To my mind it is a strange question, the answer is obvious, but I assume you ask it in ernest. Why do I not mention the Arab countries? Because my input started with noting the ambivalence of the CUP regarding the Armenian plans to conquer or liberate a territory with a Muslim majority. I say “muslim” in stead of “Turks and Kurds” because it is shorter. There is no sinister “playing the religious card” behind this wording. The reason of the ambivalence  – or at least my  reason to give it weight – was the Turkish experience in the Balkans, not the war in itself, but the massacres, ethnic cleansing and subsequent humiliation . Some of you wanted to deport Muslims from the liberated vilayets, some not. Some claimed that etnic cleansing is natural, some apparently not. But we never came to the Arabs.
    About withdrawing from a debate because one thinks that certain tenets are obvious. Well, please withdraw! In Norway the genocide scholars were first offended by my doubts – yes, they are doubts, I simply cannot make the arguments e.g. of Akcam convince, but I listen to arguments – then they withdrew and by now some of them are sullen because my doubt is reflected in an editorial in Norway’s biggest newspaper around april 24. These researchers chose to refer to allged international consensus, it was in a wa below their dignity to argue, and then it turned out that the consensus was not that big after all. But to my mind their biggest mistake was to refuse to argue what  they thought was established fact.
     So now my role in Norway will be to argue: OK, even if there is doubt about genocidal intent, a terrible crime was committed, the CUP was responsible for massacres because they never procecuted the perpetrators (except Cemal). There are NO armenians in Eastern Anatolia today? The Armenians have for years insisted that the Turks must admot to the Medz Yeghern, but they still have a long way to go. We know that Turks also were massacred and driven out, we empathise with Turkish suffering, Turks are sometimes negatively portrayed,  but they must not confuse empathy with taking a stance on a crime!
     But I must fight for justice according to my conviction, not yours when we disagree. And of course you are entitled to the same

  166. Katia, so good to hear from you!  I was moved by your paragraph regarding a look at the territory of the former vilayets today for evidence of genocidal intent. If Turkey did not mean to eliminate the Armenians from the land forever, they would have protected and provided for us on the marches to the desert and would have brought all the Armenians back after the war.  So true.  I tire of the continual re-examination of the enormous body of evidence establishing the deliberate destruction of our nation, as if the passage of time brings some new clarity that the eye-witnesses, newspaper reports and diplomatic dispatches of the time lacked.  Witness memory doesn’t work like this.  We all know that the Turkish government hoped that the Armenians would fade away with the passage of time and they can’t stand that we are still here, still speaking Armenian, still missing our land, with every Der voghormia we say.  Like you and Anahit I find inspiration in Ghandi’s words.  We will win this.
     
    When I think how our population would have grown over these 95 years, had the genocide not occurred,  and I see how the world has grown technologically in that time, I can’t help but imagine our small villages growing into modern urban metropoli where education, industry, science, faith and art flourish.  This was stolen not just from us, but also from the world.
     
    Ragnar, I want to avoid being repetitive.  I just want to say to you that I really can’t understand why an intelligent person would dedicate himself to being PR man and apologist for a government that is unable to acknowledge its responsibility in the destruction of its own citizens.  Turkey doesn’t need you to help put a better spin on its history or to make it look better to others.  We all agree that a great crime was perpetrated against the Ottoman Armenians by the Turks.  The Balkan Turkish tragedy only serves to provide a backdrop that explains the vengeful motive that led to the Armenian Genocide.  We, you, me, all should work for justice, not to “explain” the immoral acts of the CUP as acts of desperation.  I empathize with all humans who are in pain or suffer injustice, including Turks, and never suggest that they must first acknowledge my pain before I can express care for others.  This is what you suggest that we Armenians do in order to entice the Turks to come to the table.  It may be a common diplomatic tactic in negotiating agreements, but I agree with Msheci that it seems quite bizarre to ask the victims to cajole the unrepentant offender.  Why do you never address this point Ragnar?
     
     

  167. Dear Ragnar,
    As I said earlier, please do not take anything I say personally.  Of course you are entitled to your opinions.  I did not decide to withdraw (but here I am again!) from this forum because I do not handle opinions contrary to mine well; I decided to withdraw because your arguments are becoming more and more baffling, unfounded, factually, intellectually and schlolarly unsatisfying.  Again, this is my personal opinion about your opinions on this issue.  Others are free to see merit in them.
    You are again mentioning that the CUP was “confused” as to why the Armenians, a minority in these vilayets wanted to liberate them?  Again, what statistics are you basing this comment on, other than of course “CUP” sources.  In none of the books that I read however, did I come across a passage that talks about this “confusion”.  In Talat Pasha’s own memoirs, and yes this is the same Talat Pasha who masterminded the Armenian Genocide, he had Census records that showed the Muslim population being 4 million and the Armenian population being a little over 2 million just prior to WWI.  These numbers are coming from your beloved CUP’s chairman.  What mathematical theory can tell you that a population of 2 million can be considered a very small minority compared to 4 million?  It is a fact that many villages in these Vilayets, which were correctly labeled the “Armenian Vilayets” by the Ottomans themselves, had populations that had a majority of Armenians.  Also, the Muslim population in these “Armenian Vilayets” did not increase naturally, they increased with invasion and settlement of Muslim refugees from elsewhere, and particularly from the Balkans during the war.  The purpose ,of course, was to change the local demographics and take over these lands; which brings us to a contradiction in your statements.  If the Armenians were a minority in these particular areas, why were their revolts so feared and why were the CUPs so worried and bothered themselves with them?  They were so worried from the very small “Armenian” minority that they decided to deport its entire population? 
    Why did we want to liberate the vilayets?, because they were our lands, and they belonged to our people.  No settling, and regular massacres were going to convince us to let go of them, as your logic seems to suggest we should have done.  This prompts me to believe that you are suggesting that if the Norwegians were in our place they would/should have just given up on their historical lands. 
    You say  “I must fight for justice according to my conviction, not yours when we disagree”.  Justice for who?  I am majorly confused by this statement.  Justice for both Armenians and Turks, or justice ONLY for the Turks.  And you are calling the well documented material on the Genocide “alleged”.  So the whole world, the victims of the Genocide themselves, the descendants of the Genocide, the foreigners in Turkey at the time, the ambassadors of other countries including Morgentau of the US, ALL according to you “alleged” the race extermination that they witnessed and the top scholars on Genocide are also “alleging” everything about it… but everything from the Turkish side and all the documents of the CUP ARE NOT ALLEGED.
    I will stop this conversation (I mean it this time), because you are constantly proving that you have been brainwashed, or you are deliberately blinding yourself to anything that will distract you from your goal of being a strong advocate of the Turkish claims. (I sure hope that you are at least getting compensated handsomly for your loyalty and efforts)
    By the way, you are not President Obama, you do not have to use “Medz Yeghern” instead of “Genocide”.  Although the US government and you it seems on a personal level, are both gaining from not uttering the word.

  168. EXACTLY Katia jan..Exactly.. AMEN TO THAT…

    Like I said in my older posts.. when I smell a deniar, or someone who PRETENDS to be our friend by voicing their understanding about our pain BUT then pushes the Turkish propaganda, I get very alert and at the same time annoyed/frustrated… he is definintely a diplomat.. with his eloquent words/comments he came into these pages but to our NO SURPRISE,  each of his comments were filled with Anti-Genocide matters.. . Hence, why I have not been able to mix well with him since the beginning..  I felt he is not here to promote justice/righteousness/understanding/common ground. On the contrary, he supports and sides with the Turks.. I mean come on.. even before he revealed himself to us, I knew he was nothing but a man who was trained and equipped with and by the Turks.  Very sad…  Very sad indeed.

    Gayane

  169. Katia K., thanks for your final post in this conversation.  It was right on target.

  170. I believe you do not appreciate the difference between having moral responsibility and having genocidal intent in the juridical sense. The moral and criminal respnsibilty of Turks and Kurds at various levels in 1915 to 1923 is clear (I still miss the reference to acts by the nationalists 1919-23, Anahit) I do not deny that many of the Turks at the time had genocidal intent.  But if one uses the concept genocide referring to the 1948 convention, a number of requirements are needed  for an act to qualify as genocide. In a seminar in Oslo in february the Swiss historian Christian Gerlach, a quite famous researcher who earlier used the concept of  genocide, who did research on Hitler’s policies, made a very good speech on aspects of the clear RESPONSIBILITY of the central cadres in 1915-16. But he does not use the concept of genocide. He says it has become a politicised concept.  I do not readily agree with him in this, but I am UNCERTAIN about this. I am NOT SURE. I want to HEAR ARGUMENTS. See the difference? I  also listened to the leader of the juridical department of the Norwegian department of foreign affairs. He does not believe the genocide concept of the 1948 can apply to the Armenian case. I  listen to his arguments, but I am not sure he is right. It is the same kind of arguments that saved the Serb leadership in an international court, while individual Serbs were convicted of genocide in Srebrenica. The arguments of the Bosnians were naive. The outcome was that the Serb leadership were acquitted of genocide, but found guilty of not preventing genocide. When I say that genocidal intent is difficult to prove for certain persons in 1915, this is what I have in mind. But the moral responsibility and the crime, committed by top echelons and by ordinary Turks and Kurds is evident.
    I am angered and sad when I see the effects this crime still has on the descendants of the victims in 1915-16, but I believe you are mistanken in classifying me as an enemy because I do not necessarily subscribe to  the existance of a very  specific juridically defined crime, if you do that (we never defined the concept of genocide in our discussion which by now amounts to 120 pages).

    If you are there to listen I will continue my comments on the individual  posts

  171. Problem is, Ragnar, the law is an ass. I suppose you’ve heard of it referred to in that way before. If you haven’t, well, there’s your introduction. I have quite a few friends who are lawyers, some I went to school with. However, despite that, I still hold most lawyers in contempt. Why?. Because you can never get a straight answer out of many of them and there’s a great many of them who may treat others with feigned respect, but they always have an ulterior motive behind their actions. that’s usually to get what they want without recourse to moral action or thought. When it involves politics, it’s an even dirty and altogether nastier game. I was the Vice President of the executive branch of a political part here in Australia. I know exactly what goes on behind the scenes with lawyers with political ambitions and politicians in general. That’s precisely why most Armenians don’t trust international law panels or historical committees when it comes to the question of the genocide. If you were put in the same situation with your country, would you?? I doubt it very much. Especially when those that perpetrated the crime in the first place are allowed to get away with it, almost scotch-free, all because of diplomacy and political game playing. The law is designed not for the individual, or even a group of people with a deserved and morally righteous grievance and a case to be heard. It’s designed for the system…the lawyers, barristers, solicitors, judges and those that can afford to bend the system to suit themselves. It’s also a place where those that want to hide from the truth can. By making it almost impossible to get anywhere with a case, stringing it out into infinity until those that bring the case on are left wondering why in God’s name they even started in the first place. Because they aren’t getting anywhere and all it’s doing is costing money and a lot of emotional stress. As far as the Armenian Genocide goes, you could talk and argue till the cows came home about all the legal pretexts, contexts, subtexts, international jurisprudence authority, historical connotations and references, philosophical implications etc etc etc. And where would it get you, arguing over the definition of genocide. Maybe in law there’s 1001 definitions of the term for whatever “level” of mass killings that maybe termed a “genocide”, and all the legal ways of dodging the bullet in so far as not admitting your stuff ups and confessing to what you did. However, if you look at the dictionary definition of genocide, and the definition that pretty much all historians and academics would agree to, I think you’ll find out very clearly, that what happened in Armenia all those years ago pretty much fits the bill. A systematic, organised, deliberate and planned extermination of an ethnic group or entire nation of people. Now, if the international law courts and the UN (which is a waste of space, in any case) want to argue about that then let them. However I find it morally reprehensible that they should, considering the way in which the Armenian Genocide was prosecuted was exactly in the same manner as the WW2 holocaust of the Jews and other peoples. Only difference is one of scale. Hiding behind legalities, historical and philosophical definitions and differences makes no difference and only shows that no one has learned anything from the past. If it’s an inconvenience, all they want it to do is just disappear rather than go about upsetting the status quo. The same thing happened with Rwanda. If the place had huge oil reserves, there’d have been 500,000 American and other soldiers in there within a month to stop it. We’re it mean money, power and influence, they’re all over it. When it’s just a side line, or not even that, they couldn’t give a rat’s.
    Unfortunately, I can’t see any real progress being made for the Armenian people over what happened. Or even for others around the world who have justifiable cause to want reparations made and recognition given to past injustices. Not whilst there’s few about with the moral courage to stand up and make good with the right course of action. It’s not about legal, historical or philosophical musings. It’s about moral courage, true justice and the means to forgive and move on. If things keep going on in the way they have been, the questions will never be solved and the hurt will continue…for what, ultimately.
     

  172. Ragnar –
     
    Don’t you think you contradict yourself on the issue of genocidal intent of the Turkish government? I invite you to re-read your own comments. In one of the most recent posts, you claim: ‘I am UNCERTAIN about this,’ ‘I am NOT SURE,’ ‘I want to HEAR ARGUMENTS.’ Yet, in one of the older ones, you unequivocally state: ‘to my mind this [genocidal intent of the CUP government] is not proven.’ Well, are you uncertain about the intent or to your mind it’s unequivocally not proven? Then you vacillate again: ‘I do not deny that many of the Turks at the time had genocidal intent.’ Which Ragnar is the true Ragnar in these statements? The overall undertone of your comments, based on which commentators here, including myself, initially thought that you were a Turk in disguise, suggets that you’re psychologically more inclined towards ‘to my mind this [genocidal intent of the CUP government] is not proven.’ To which you recently added: ‘But if one uses the concept genocide referring to the 1948 convention, a number of requirements are needed for an act to qualify as genocide.’ I’m not an international lawyer, but to this particular comment of yours there is a brilliant work (I’m sure there is a plethora of others, but this is the one I’ve read) on having moral responsibility and having genocidal intent in the juridical sense that you think Armenians don’t appreciate. Please visit ‘The Genocide Against the Armenians 1915-1923 and the Relevance of the 1948 Genocide Convention’ by the former Secretary of the UN Human Rights Committee, Swiss lawyer, professor Alfred de Zayas.
     
    You were offered convincing arguments by several commentators here. If they’re not credible enough to you because of the ethnic bias that you, as a non-Armenian, may suspect in them, for an inquisitive intellectual like you there’s an overabundant quantity of primary and secondary material, tons of witness accounts, including those of foreign diplomats and aid workers stationed in Turkey, resolutions of professional associations, statements of human rights and advocacy groups, studies of world-renowned intellectuals like Raphael Lemkin or statements of Elie Wiesel, whom the Norwegian Nobel Committee called a ‘messenger to mankind.’ Most importantly, ask your Turkish friends to secure you an access to the Turkish Archives (Devlet Arşivleri) and do familiarize yourself with the accusations and documentation found in the 1919 court martials held in Istanbul under the Kemalists that found Talaat, Enver, Nazim, Behaeddin Shakir, and many others guilty of mass extermination of the Armenians and sentenced them in absentia to death. Although many other archival evidence testifying to the genocidal intent has been destroyed by the Turkish government (such as Talaat telegrams giving orders at elimination) or were intentionally distorted (as evidenced by several European scholars that conducted research there), from the existing documents one not only gains clear evidence of premeditation and intention to eliminate the Armenians from Anatolia but also great insight into the mentality and motivations of the chief actors.
     
    In addition to references to exterminatory acts by the Turkish nationalists in 1920-23, after a brief hiatus  was taken in 1919-1920 for the Military Tribunal hearings, in addition to the references that Anahit provided: ‘Encyclopedia of Genocide,’ by the Institute of the Holocaust and Genocide, and
    ‘The Armenian Genocide, News Accounts from the American Press: 1915-1922,’ by Richard Kloian, I’d also suggest ‘From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide,’ by Taner Akçam, and ‘The Armenian holocaust: A bibliography relating to the deportations, massacres, and dispersion of the Armenian people, 1915-1923,’ by Richard Hovannisian, a monumental work that includes all the known written works pertinent to the period.
     
    A number of prestigious and reputable organizations and dignitaries have unambiguously determined the genocidal intent of the Turks in their statements.
     
    In 1943, law professor Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term ‘genocide’, has stated that he did so with the fate of the Armenians in mind, explaining that ‘it [genocide] happened so many times… First to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action.’ By the way, maybe you also don’t see genocidal intent in Hitler’s annihilation of the Jews?
     
    In 2002, the International Center for Transitional Justice provided a report on the applicability of the Genocide Convention to the Armenian case. In the opinion of the ICTJ’s independent legal counsel, ‘legal scholars as well as historians, politicians, journalists and other people would be justified in continuing to so describe the events as genocide.’
     
    In 2005, the International Association of Genocide Scholars affirmed that scholarly evidence revealed the ‘Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire began a systematic genocide of its Armenian citizens – an unarmed Christian minority population. More than a million Armenians were exterminated through direct killing, starvation, torture, and forced death marches’ and condemned Turkish attempts to deny its factual and moral reality.
     
    In 2007, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity produced a letter signed by 53 Nobel Laureates re-affirming the genocide scholars’ conclusion that the 1915 killings of Armenians constituted genocide.
     
    Among the organizations affirming the conclusion that the term ‘genocide’ aptly describes the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915 is the United Nations’ Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.
     
    What other arguments would you like to hear? That there may be found individuals who deny the Armenian Genocide or support the validity of Turkish intentions at eliminating the race without using the concept of genocide, as Christian Gerlach? Well, of course, there may be. There are still those who deny the Jewish Holocaust. Isn’t this surprising you? The difference is that apologists and deniers of crimes against humanity are in critical minority.While many consider denial to be a form of hate speech or politically-minded historical revisionism, a few western academics express doubts as to the genocidal character of the events. One such ‘academic’ is British scholar Bernard Lewis. While he had initially written of ‘the terrible holocaust of 1915, when a million and a half Armenians perished,’ he later (when he was put on Turkish payroll) came to believe that the term ‘genocide’ was distinctly inaccurate, because the ‘tremendous massacres’ were not ‘a deliberate preconceived decision of the Turkish government.’ If you try to evaluate these actions as a common bystander, how would you evaluate such academics? Scholars or, maybe, prostitutes?

    We’re not classifying you as an enemy. I personally think that tensions arose when it’s become increasingly clear that many of your comments were not balanced enough to consider you an impartial person.

  173. Amen, Carl. Bless you, mate.

    How true is that ‘if anything is an inconvenience, all [the system] wants to do is disappear ‘hiding behind legalities, historical, and philosophical definitions’ rather than go about upsetting the status quo.’ Most recent cases are Rwanda and Darfur. No power stepped up in defense of human beings being murdered in hundreds of thousands. Abandoned and defenseless, they were subjected to brutal annihilation by machetes, fire, rape, and other genocidal forms of extermination. In a book by a French UN humanitarian aid worker in Rwanda, he describes how UN peacekeepers were given orders to leave and the remaining 30-40 peacekeepers in the whole country were given orders to turn in their weapons. Those several dozens of unarmed UN peacekeepers confronted armed gangs and in many instances were able to ward off possible attacks by appearing in their blue UN uniforms in front of the murdering gangs, who wouldn’t guess for the moment that UN peacekeepers could be unarmed. What brave people!

    How true is that if Rwanda had huge oil reserves, ‘there’d have been 500,000 American and other soldiers in there within a month to stop it.’ After witnessing, but nnonetheless remaining inactive, the genocidal campaign of the Turks, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George later confessed: ‘Oil outweighed the blood of Armenians.’

    How convincingly true is that ‘it’s about moral courage, true justice and the means to forgive and move on.’

  174. WOW.. Carl.. EXCELLENT.. Thank you very much.. You said it my friend..:)..

    Thank you
    Gayane

  175. Msheci jan… You came up with an excellen conclusion…..
    We’re not classifying you as an enemy. I personally think that tensions arose when it’s become increasingly clear that many of your comments were not balanced enough to consider you an impartial person.  Absolutely true.

    hope that Ragnar finally understands as to why the tension rose between him and the rest.. few tried to explain this to him but he did not get it… hence,  why i kept asking him if he spent as much time and efforts with Armenians as he did with Turks, but he contineously avoided the question…and wanted to know the relevance of the question….. we all know how relevant that question was and now it is obvious…. not to say he is a bad individual.. i just dont’ find his arguments balanced… and still see him siding with Turks more than Armenians.. Sorry…

    Thank you for your post Msheci jan…God Bless you..

    Gayane

  176. Msheci
    I want to comment on several of your posts.
    You wrote:
    There may be a rational kernel in this argument of yours, but it vividly shows that you operate with European, i.e. civilized, notions when approaching the issue whether we are actually interested in supporting the process towards the Turks’ admitting to a crime. You seem to expect that as a result of ‘liberal criminology’ the Turks would be more inclined to admit the guilt. However, I’m afraid you forget that we’re not dealing with Germans. We’re dealing with the Turks, a nation-state that appeared on the world map, as a result of nomadic invasions from Mongolian steppes and destruction of the natives in Asia Minor, only in the 11th-14th centuries AD. Their’ modern’, as they call it, state was formed only in the beginning of the 20th century. Essentially, these people, not all of course, inherited in their genes the mentality of their savage forefathers: kill to gain new pastures; demolish ancient structures of the natives and build mosques; present ancient indigenous artifacts as their own; ennoble their genes by interbreeding with settled, more civilized natives; steal their females, convert their children; and ultimately mass annihilate all the remnants of indigenous peoples in order to distort the history and prove that the Turks inhabited those lands for all times.
    Comment:
    Yes, to my mind a lot of the reactions from ordinary Turks has to do that they experience that they are seen as guilty in the first place, irrespective of what they say, and this is no good starting point for them to take up the black spots of their history. I xperienced this many times.
    But what worries me in your post is your talk of civilizations and genes. There is no scientific foundation for this. I see in the comments to the article on the Dink lawyer who was hanged a number of posts, evidently from Armenians, who talk about the Turks as “hordes” coming from the East and similar depreciation of the Turks. You forget the more than 100.000 turks who demonstrated after the death of Dink. You forget about the 30.000 who signed the “I apologize” movement. This is a very dangerous one-sidedness in the view of the Turks.
    Then to go to one of your recent posts. You write:
    Don’t you think you contradict yourself on the issue of genocidal intent of the Turkish government? I invite you to re-read your own comments. In one of the most recent posts, you claim: ‘I am UNCERTAIN about this,’ ‘I am NOT SURE,’ ‘I want to HEAR ARGUMENTS.’ Yet, in one of the older ones, you unequivocally state: ‘to my mind this [genocidal intent of the CUP government] is not proven.’ Well, are you uncertain about the intent or to your mind it’s unequivocally not proven? Then you vacillate again: ‘I do not deny that many of the Turks at the time had genocidal intent.’
    Comment:
    No, you mix things. I say that genocidal intent of the CUP government is not proven. This does not mean that it cannot be proved. It does not mean that I hold that it is proven that they had no genocidal intent. It  means exactly what  I say that it is not proven, as far as I can see  – so far, I might add.
    And to say that individual Turks had genocidal intent, like dr. Reshid, is not incompatible with holding that defintive proof of genocidal intent in others, like Talat, is not proven.

    Thank you for the reference to Zayas. This was one of the things I hoped for in participating in this website: to get references like this.
    You write:
    You were offered convincing arguments by several commentators here. If they’re not credible enough to you because of the ethnic bias that you, as a non-Armenian, may suspect in them, for an inquisitive intellectual like you there’s an overabundant quantity of primary and secondary material, tons of witness accounts, including those of foreign diplomats and aid workers stationed in Turkey, resolutions of professional associations, statements of human rights and advocacy groups, studies of world-renowned intellectuals like Raphael Lemkin or statements of Elie Wiesel, whom the Norwegian Nobel Committee called a ‘messenger to mankind.’ Most importantly, ask your Turkish friends to secure you an access to the Turkish Archives (Devlet Arşivleri) and do familiarize yourself with the accusations and documentation found in the 1919 court martials held in Istanbul under the Kemalists that found Talaat, Enver, Nazim, Behaeddin Shakir, and many others guilty of mass extermination of the Armenians and sentenced them in absentia to death. Although many other archival evidence testifying to the genocidal intent has been destroyed by the Turkish government (such as Talaat telegrams giving orders at elimination) or were intentionally distorted (as evidenced by several European scholars that conducted research there), from the existing documents one not only gains clear evidence of premeditation and intention to eliminate the Armenians from Anatolia but also great insight into the mentality and motivations of the chief actors.
    Comment:
    I have gotten into this material. No, the participants on this list have not given what I take as arguments for genocidal intent. The central arguments of Akcam (for instance canpolat’s talk with Mordtmann and Talat’s letter to Reshid) have not been mentioned.  Elie Wiesel never published any original research on this issue. Yes, I read  the phd of Anette Höss on the court martials 1919-23 and I am afraid her analysis is weak. The witness material is very sparse, and Höss herself tells how the text of the indictment and the composition of the court was changed several times to secure that the persons one wanted to find guilty, in fact should be found guilty. There is no discussion of the obvious weekness of the court: it was a victor’s court, arranged by the enemies and opponents of the CUP. The researchers are very quiet today on Talat’s alleged telegrams that order the extermination   of the Armeians. Even a historian like Zurcher who supports the genocide thesis holds that the telegrams in the Andonian papers are “shown to be forgeries”.
    No, one does not get clear evidence of premeditation. The agreement between historians with relevant competence is not so big as the genocide researchers hold. I counted close to 40 historians who doubt or deny – and they cannot be said to be marginal.
    To my mind the issue of premeditation and genocidal intent in terms of the 1948 convention  only serves to bring the debate into a hopelessly tangled juridical  mess.  Central genocide researchers like Bloxham and Kaiser argue against the premeditation thesis, certainly against a thesis that premeditation was shown in a Saloniki meeting in 1910, as Anahit holds.  
    A much better approach is to confirm the responsibility of the CUP because they initiated a deportation that they knew  must lead to great mortality, that it cannot be explained or exused by military necessity. That property was taken and never returned.  That they never prosecuted those who massacred  Armenians, a serious crime by omission by any juridical standards,  that Talat himself admits this.

  177. Attempts to equate Canakkale and Sarikamis with the plight and horrors of million plus Armenians defies logic and sincerity. I strongly disagree with Davutoglu in this matter, although I like many of his other initiatives around the world. However this is still a small step forward in official Turkish stance in regards to Armenian Genocide issue. Turkish official position is evolving (although painfully slow) and will eventually catch up with the growing public sentiment and opinion in Turkey in regards to Armenia and Armenians…

  178. Sorry, I cannot fight the temptation to answer this one. Ragnar, you are right! The recognition of the Armenian Genocide is politicized, if it weren’t the matter would have not dragged on this long.
    Ragnar, look at yourself in the mirror! Your work depends on the politicization of the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Genocide from the very start was treated as a bargaining chip for Turkey, the US, Israel and others. Politics and recognizing a factual crime should have had nothing to do with each other if we were living in a morally sound world.. The reason why the Genocide is being politicized is because countries are gaining geopolitical advantages in return to not acknowledging it and politicians and individuals are making money and enriching themselves by putting spins on a historical fact in return to jobs and outright bribes. It does not suit a lot of people to recognize the murder of 1.5 million innocent citizens who were killed just because they were Armenian. And the sickening thing is that this is out in the open now. A few months ago when Erdogan was making unflattering remarks about Israel, the Jewish lobby in the US openly announced that if Turkey continues on this path, their lobby will no longer guarantee its ungoing efforts in stopping the Armenian Genocide resolution from reaching the US House floor! Israel has agreed not to formally acknowledge the Genocide in return to Turkish intelligence against the Arabs, military alliance etc. And this from a people who have experienced Genocide themselves! They only resort to treatening to recognize the Genocide when it suits them (ie Flottila incidence), and when they need to remind Turkey about their mutually agreed deal. And while everyone entertains themselves with all the spin they come up with, and look for different ways to take advantage of Turkey’s desperation to cover up the Genocide, the murder of 1.5 million people and the illegal distribution of their lands is going unpunished. Recognizing the Genocide will take away the leverage some countries have with Turkey, and will cost jobs. Ragnar, it might eliminate some of your fieldwork.

  179. Greetings from a small village in Mexico.
    First of all, I would like to express that I have taken a genuine pleasure in having read these contributions to the ongoing discussion which are unexpectedly constructive and rich in content.
    As a Turk, I would like to express my thoughts on this highly controversial issue.
    (1)    Frankly, I am not that much concerned about what particular word the US President would use on the anniversary of the historical crime. It saddens me to see Armenians and Turks watching the speech of the American Presidents on the TV, ready to display any frenzied act, like fanatic supporters of a football team. Regardless of ethnic, religious, national, cultural affiliations, any decent individual with a genuine conscience wouldn´t hesitate to utter the words: “The very barbaric act inflicted upon the Armenians by Turks should be named and condemned as the Armenian Genocide.”
    (2)    I am not that much impressed by the number of countries where the parliaments have passed resolutions in accordance with the historical facts either –however, I don´t dismiss the lobbying efforts of Armenians aimed at cornering Turkish governments on the realm of international politics as senseless. Now, are we supposed to jump out of our seats exuberantly and applaud the members of the Israeli parliament(s) which, in fear of alienating the ‘strategic partner´, have resisted calls of the Armenians for so many years if they would pass a similar resolution tomorrow only because the ´strategic partnership´ is now over?
    Quite a long time ago, as a young Turk, I lived in London for a while. I was a part-time cleaner in a fast-food restaurant, and the embassy of the Racist Apartheid State of South Africa was located on my way to work. There was a dark green tent set right across the embassy, and a group of human rights activists were there day and night for more than a year already, selling informative material (booklets, books, etc. )on the ANC, Mandela, dirty relations of the Western powers with the racist rulers of South Africa. Several months after my first encounter with those beautiful people under that giant green tent, my workmate, a French girl who appeared to be someone who would hardly care anything but romantic love affairs, came over me and asked if I would liked to buy a ticket for the music concert organized for raising money for a solidarity group on the struggle of Black Africans. I smiled at her, and took a ticket out of my pocket and showed her –obviously she too had gone into that big tent!  I also remember that white, middle-age taxi driver.. When I had noticed a small, framed picture of Mumia Abu Jamal (one of the leading figures of the Black Panthers Party, a Black journalist who has been kept in the US prisons for decades and denied for a fair trial so far) hanging by the mirror I couldn´t believe what I saw. As my talk to the driver revealed, he was not into politics at all. His sister´s husband was Black, and, on one occasion, it had happened to him to watch a documentary on brutal oppression of the Black civil rights movement in the US in the couple´s house. He was moved by what he saw on the film, and found Mumia an impressive personality.
    (3)    I think we need to understand that the ethnic cleansing of the Armenians was a planned, deliberate act of the Union and Progress Party´s leadership. It was an inevitable consequence of their perception of the “nation-building process”. The leading figures of so-called “Modern Republic of Turkey” (Mustafa Kemal, Ismet Inonu, etc.) were part of this Party too and, it shouldn´t be merely a coincidence, CHP, the ruling party of the new Republic, followed a merciless policy of oppression and assimilation against the Kurdish people with the same ambitious project in mind: creation of a new nation based solely on Turks. In other words, the question of weather or not the Armenians rebelled against the Ottoman Rule has little relevance to the question of why this barbaric act was carried out against the Armenians. We should remember that the same excuse (rebelling against the state) has been voiced again and again by the ruling elites and top army officials against the Kurdish liberation struggle in order to legitimate the criminal acts of the Turkish armed forces for decades. Or, The Greeks in Izmir (Symirna) were not in rebellion at all when they were forced to flee the country as their houses, shops were set on fire. Unfortunately, creating a new country where Turks are the dominant, ruling nation has always been a conscious state-project, from the days of the Union and Progress Party to this very day. The same state-conduct also led the Cyprus Island filled with thousands of Turks sent from the most nationalist regions of Anatolia after the Turkish invasion of northern parts of the island.
    (4)    Understandably, many of you don´t follow social, political, economic, geopolitical processes in the present-day Turkey, and complex reflections of those processes on international affairs of the country. (As I implied, this is not an implicit criticism directed at you, not at all.) I would suggest you not be surprised if a Turkish government would accept the historical crime as genocide and become willing to debate those issues around resettlement and restitution in a few years time. (If the AKP government led by Erdogan won the next election, I am almost sure, what I said above as a possibility is a certainty –and, no, I have not got any sort of affiliation with the Erdogan-led AKP at all.)
    Would this be enough? I don´t know your answer to this question –mine is clearly NO.
    I need to see a government in Turkey which is helplessly cornered by the Turkish people themselves rather than pressures of international politics. I need to see emergence of a Turkish left in Turkey which has finally managed to clean itself from those deeply rooted bureaucratic/fascist quasi left ideologies of Stalinism, Kemalism, CHP-leftism. I need to see the apology in the form of a powerful awakening of Turkish people to the crimes inflicted on the Armenians, Greeks, Kurds in the past and present-day. I need to see, besides a Turkish government brought to account, creation of a multi-cultural Anatolia on the basis of peace, justice, full acceptance of self-determination rights of the Kurdish people, the right for resettlement and restitution for Armenians by Kurds, Turks, Armenians and other ethnic communities.
    Here, some of you might be tempted to shout with a mocking laughter, “Turks will never wake up, man! Turks will never let the Anatolian soil become a land for these nationalities living together in peace in a multicultural country. You are entitled to have your naïve dreams but we know what Turks are!” All I could do, in this case, is to try to appeal to your commonsense and conscience whispering calmly: “Question that dismissive anger, that tempting prejudice in your heart and mind, my friend.”
    Turks, like any other nation, are neither more nor less civilized, peaceful, intelligent or stupid, etc. than any other nation. Unfortunately, it is evident that all nations are vulnerable to manipulations by their own ruling elites, and nationalism, ethnic/religious affiliations are the best, never-changing tools of the oppressors. Those of us who have involved in struggles for justice are obliged to conduct our struggles on the basis of a genuine intent for not becoming blinded by our own nationalistic-religious sentiments, refusing and despising categorically any form of discrimination directed at a nation on ethnic, religious, national, cultural grounds.
    5) Anahit, Katia, Boyajian, Gayane…
     I wasn´t even born when your ancestors were massacred, so I am not responsible for the barbaric acts of my own ancestors. However, with full sincerity, I believe it is my moral responsibility to tell every single Armenian that I am deeply sorry for what my ancestors did, and I will be voicing those shameful facts of the Turkish history during the rest of my life –if not in Turkey, here, in Mexico. What I would expect from all of you is this: I have been deeply saddened by those countless postings on several sites on Internet where the topics of the forums were predominantly Turkish atrocities throughout their history. I expect all of you to help the young Armenians to control their legitimate anger.
    As a German in streets of Hamburg or Berlin cannot be blamed for the crimes committed during the period from 1933 to 1945, present-day Turks cannot and should not be blamed for the shameful crimes committed by their ancestors, oppressive state machine. With this, I do not mean Turks of present-day are immune from any moral responsibility. The just demand that should be imposed on them is this, I believe:
    “Put an end to your ignorance about your past. See that all those history books, those legendary figures appearing in official history books have been created as tools for brainwashing you into turning a blind eye to disturbing facts of your past -your republic was founded at the expense of inexpressible suffering, unbearable misery of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and it has continued existing at the expense of the Kurds and the other ethnic/religious minorities until today. Do not carry this burden of shame on your shoulders. Wake up, go through that painful sense of shame and disillusionment, feel the pain of those hundred thousands of innocent people of Anatolia in your heart if you can, and liberate yourself from this shame by expressing the simple fact: You have been misled, cheated, manipulated by your own ruling elites.”
    6) Anahit,  I have read all of your recent postings. I already know what conducts you in your writings is knowledge and your style of discourse is intellectual. Besides, I agree with many of your arguments. I have also noticed that you opt for saying “Turkish State” instead of “Turks”.
     However, I need to protest you in a friendly manner for the following lines in one of your writings:
    “I apologize movement” which collected 30.000 signatures in a few months? As one of the movement members revealed, initiators of the movement as well pursued the goal of softening the possible repercussions of the international wave of recognition of the Armenian genocide.”
     I need to be frank here and tell you that what you are saying here is in a sharp contrast with the quality of discourse in your postings. This level of cynicism is disheartening, Anahit, and,honestly, it hurts.
    Implicitly, yet quite obviously, you mean to claim that the initiators of the “I apologize” movement were in fact in an intentional collaboration with the oppressive Turkish State. On what evidence do you base your argument”? Nothing –a mere sentence of “as one of the movement members revealed…” which is far from being convincing and ethical.
    Not all of them, but I do know some of those initiators of the movement for many years. Daring to talk on behalf of these Turkish columnists, human-rights activists, academics, lawyers, independent intellectuals, I feel to ask you this question: Have you ever thought what injustice you may have committed if these people, unlike you believe, were genuinely goodhearted people with integrity, conscience, awareness who took some considerable risk by initiating the movement?
    With this unconvincing argument, you appear to be contradicting yourself too. As the international media covered to some extent, as Taner Akcam underlined in one of his interviews in Germany, and as you mentioned in the same posting of you, murder of Hirat brought 200.000 people together in the protest march in streets of Istanbul, chanting in one voice: “We are all Hirant, we are all Armenians!” They knew that behind that brainwashed, racist, ignorant young murderer, there was the State and its ugly, dark forces who used that idiot, therefore, they were outraged. Now, you don´t question authenticity of outrage of these two hundred thousands of people –do you?. Then, what makes you incapable of believing that 30.000 Turks would sign the “I apologize” letter ‘in a few months´? If 200.000 people could manage to get mobilized for such a protest in a few days, what is surprising about 30.000 signatures for the “I apologize” document? Why is it so difficult to believe the presence of considerable number of Turks who refuse to swallow lies of the racist Turkish State? What mechanism of thought makes you believe that these people were helping the strategies of the State?
    I cannot impose my own version of facts upon you, I am fully aware of this. Yet, because of the very emotional impact of your argument on me, I feel provoked to say these:
    The bullets went into the body of Akin Birdal, the former chairman of the Human Rights Association of Turkey were real, metal bullets, not plastic ones. I am a 45 years old teacher today, in this Mexican village. I was 30 when I fled Turkey as the editor of a Turkish magazine stood for the Kurdish liberation struggle against the oppressive Turkish State and its armed forces, its crimes. This means, Anahit, I have never seen my parents, my friends, those streets, bookshops, cafes.. for 15 years. If you had climbed on the stairs, reached the second floor of a modest building located somewhere in Variant in Izmir, and entered into the large room of the MAZLUM-DER, Izmir (Human rights organization of the Islamic movement), looked at the wall, you would have immediately noticed a poster of Hirant Dink with a slogan beneath: “We have not forgotten, we will not let you be forgotten!” (And, again, no, I am not Islamist; I and my parents have never had any sort of religious beliefs). I would tell you that you are wrong if you assume writers like Taner Akcam are known only to you, some Armenian activists, and other respectful people like Ragnar  –from liberal democrats to radical left activists, from a retired history teacher to a passionate Islamist activist, books of these people are widely known and read.
    7) I am expressing as an impression, not as a claim: It somehow seems to me that activists, supporters of the just Armenian cause should consider sparing more of their limited resources (time, energy, money, etc.) for activities aimed at making the Armenian voice heard by ordinary people in all countries rather than focusing on lobbying.  I am completely aware of your disadvantages in getting people organized. However, there may be some potential opportunities within your reach. (Unfortunately I don´t know French, and this prevents me from following the initiatives of Collectief Van in France; but I have some knowledge of them and I believe they do remarkable job) I personally believe, you would find unexpectedly big help from activists of other nations.
    8) My English is far from being perfect. However, if you would ever need a text in Turkish to be translated into English, I would gladly give it a try.
    9) I do not know how you would feel about the idea of publishing a monthly (or bi-monthly) all together, for instance. We may even manage to have it in more than one language. We may broaden the content of such a magazine too if you would like. I mean, besides the Armenian genocide, long-lasting oppression of the Kurds,  we could incorporate other aspects of life into the pages of that kind of magazine, such as arts, literature. We could even get crazier and start pondering upon possibilities of coming together on a regular basis –like camping for some days or for a week in a –say- charming Greek island in the Mediterranean once a year. I am absolutely sure that my ex-girlfriend would love to translate all pieces in each issue into Spanish, and would never stop doing such a voluntary job in the future, for instance. I personally believe, such experiences would enrich all of us, broaden our horizon regardless of our ethnic, cultural, religious, cultural or political affiliations. I don´t know, I am just thinking in pictures –perhaps in too wishful pictures.
    10) Well, I am a bit embarrassed for the length of my posting to be frank –hope you would tolerate.
    And my best wishes for you all are sincere…

  180. Hello, Ragnar –

    Thanks for getting back to me with your comments, although a couple of my inquiries, for example, elaboration upon your distinctive concept that holds that if Armenians want to influence Turks to admit their crime of race annihilation, we should acknowledge the ethnic cleansing during the wars fought by the Turks with other nations, were left unanswered. Maybe later? Raincheck?

    First, I’m puzzled at the phrase that contains mentioning of ‘the Turks as “hordes” coming from the East and similar depreciation of the Turks,’ and that ‘there is no scientific foundation for this [civilizations and genes].’ You don’t really mean to say that social and natural sciences, such as history, anthropology, and genealogy that, among other subjects, study ethnogenesis of nations, are fake disciplines, do you? I hope not. Then why would an indication of origins of the Turks immigrating from the East be ‘depreciation’? Aren’t they being taught at schools that their origin is in the Mongolian/Central Asian steppes and the Altay Mountains? Or maybe they’re being taught that they inhabited Asia Minor at all times beginning 2nd millennium BC, like, for instance, the Armenians? I wonder. As for hordes, well, their forefathers did come in hordes. Golden Horde that stretched as far as the vicinities of Vienna, was made possible by scorching attacks of the Mongol hordes that settled in Asia Minor following their Seljuk co-ethnics. Their amalgamation came to be known as Turkish nation, and in the 14th-15th centuries the House of Osman (the Ottoman Empire) was established. The Turks wedged in an area densely inhabited by settled nations that already developed ancient civilizations. They wedged in the area in consecutive hordes: after one horde’s invasion was repelled, another followed shortly after. Such a nomadic invading tactics was one of the reasons why the indigenous peoples’ defense ultimately fell. If you ever try to take a look at things from an Armenian, or Greek, or Assyrian perspective, and not only rigorously Turkish, you’ll hopefully understand the pain that these ancient nations endure having been conquered and enslaved for centuries by nomadic, destructive tribes.

    Don’t give me this marmalade, would you, about 100.000 Turks who demonstrated after the murder (sounds strange that you used ‘death’ instead of calling the crime by its name: murder) of Dink. First, it has nothing to do with ethnogenesis of the Turks. Or maybe, it does? Killing, looting, mass murdering, converting to Islam has been their ancestors’ ‘forte.’ I’d presume that there should be a segment in the modern Turkish society whose ancestors interbred with nobler peoples that wouldn’t simply obey government orders or mullahs’ fatwas, as in 1915, and get on mass murdering human beings. Of course, this segment could feel bad because of Dink’s murder. I’d also presume that no one of us knows if a considerable percentage of those 100.000 could be aware of their Armenian origin. Maybe? I’d in turn invite your attention to a photo opportunity that the Turkish policemen ecstatically posed for with the murderer Samast. Don’t give me also this marmalade about the 30.000 Turks who signed the “I apologize” petition. To be clear, the petition was not perfect. The authors stopped short of properly characterizing the centrally planned and systematically executed campaign of deportations, starvation, and murder of Armenians as ‘genocide.’ Nor did they give the full scope of the campaign, which ranged from 1915 to 1923. Granted, 30.000 signatories to the campaign means Turks interested in apologizing remain few and far between in a nation of 70 million. Also, one of the signatories revealed afterwards that the campaign has been tacitly approved by the Turkish government to minimize the effects of a consecutive wave of international recognition of the Armenian genocide.

    Lastly, I don’t give a damn if my views can be perceived as ‘a very dangerous one-sidedness in the view of the Turks.’ My maternal great-grandparents were burnt alive in a church, my grandmother’s older sister could only find her mother’s finger—all that’s been left of her—that she identified by a ring. I have my own scores with cursed Ottoman murderers.

    Next point: semantic maneuvers around the notions of ‘proven’ or ‘unproven’ genocidal intent of the CUP government. At the end it all boils down to this: if you’re inclined, or have a special interest in disseminating rubbish about unproven genocidal intent, you’ll, no doubt, find support for your argument in the works of a few bought and paid-for scholars like Bernard Lewis and the ilk. But if one considers himself a responsible and compassionate human being, and not a venal son of a b****, then one will find incomparably more evidence for the proven genocidal intent in the wealth of primary and secondary literature, witness accounts, court martials records, official reports by foreign diplomats, humanitarians, and missionaries, resolutions of parliaments of almost 30 countries in the world, the Vatican, statements of professional associations dealing with international justice and genocides, scores of accounts by reputable historians, anthropologists, and geographers, resolutions of 44 state legislatures of the United States of America, the UN Commission on Minorities, the European Parliament, statements by international lawyers and Nobel Prize laureates. In your case, it depends on your motives for finding an unproven genocidal intent. If we knew your motives, although many of us have a guess already, everything would clear up by itself as to why you close your eyes at the overwhelming body of evidence in support of deliberate intent.

    The documentary evidence on central government and Young Turk involvement in the race annihilation of the Armenians has been at some point subjected to some controversy as a result of Turkish propaganda. In 1919 one of the survivors of the genocide, Aram Andonian, whom you also refer to, compiled documents and memoirs supplied to him by a lower-level Turkish official in Syria, Naim Bey, who had been appalled by the Turkish barbarity that he’d witnessed. But this source was considered doubtful, even a forgery by some scholars, and official Turkish historiography launched a campaign in the 1970s against the book. However, sociologist Vahakn Dadrian has published a detailed defense of the documents in which he demonstrated their authenticity (see: ‘The Naim-Andonian Documents on the World War I Destruction of Ottoman Armenians: The Anatomy of a Genocide’). Dadrian meticulously proved that the documents in Andonian’s collection conform to the accusations and documentation found in the 1919 court martials.

    The records in European and American archives on the Genocide present an overwhelming case for the centrally organized brutality of the forced marches, the massacres, and the eventual starvation of the survivors in the Syrian desert of Deyr Zor. Yet one of the most revealing accounts linking the Young Turk leadership directly to the massacres and deportations is the diaries and memoirs of the American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau (see: ‘Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story’). There he tells of his conversations with Enver and Talaat, as more and more frightening evidence came to the American embassy that Armenians were being deported and mass murdered. One particular clause comes to my mind, when Enver cynically states to Morgenthau at the heights of exterminations: ‘But if they [Armenians] ally themselves with our enemies, as they did in the Van district (no evidence, and even genocide deniers came to agree on that, ever suggested a slightest possibility for that), they will have to be destroyed.’

    When annihilation of a race, that presented a natural obstacle to sick, gigantomaniac, racist plan to create a pan-Turkic homogeneous state, was to be carried out, there could have been no other intent than the intent for annihilation of that race.

  181. BK, I am so glad for your contribution to this conversation.  I find your recognition of the Armenian Genocide very satisfying given that you appear to have given it much thought and seem to be a very fair-minded, humanitarian.  I am sorry that you have been separated from your family for so long because of your support of the Kurdish liberation movement.  You are right to remind Armenians to examine our anger and keep an open mind to the fact that there are Turks who are as fair-minded and courageous as you appear to be.   I have taken your words to heart and want you to know that I meant it when I wrote that I would gladly stand shoulder to shoulder with any Turk who is ready to abandon the propaganda of his upbringing and pursue a just resolution to the abuses of the Turkish state.
     
    I agree with you when you say the ethnic cleansing was “an inevitable consequence of their perception of the “nation-building process” and not because of any rebellion on the part of Armenians.  The power elites in Turkey appear to operate with almost complete freedom from public scrutiny.  I have read a bit about the notion of the “deep state” and wonder what your thoughts are on this.
     
    Hope life for you is good in Mexico.

  182. Just to add a little levity to an otherwise very serious topic….
    “We could get even crazier and start pondering upon possibilities of coming together on a regular basis-like camping for some days or for a week in a-say- charming Greek island in the Mediterranean once a year”
    I’d be in that!!!. Sitting on a deck chair, under a beach umbrella, overlooking the caldera at Santorini in the middle of a Greek summer, sipping something nice and cold and being waited on by some Sirenian goddess. Ah…the good life, dolce vita. We’d have to hire a yacht, and have it moored in the bay just below the town. That way we could island hop when we got bored with one place and wanted to see another…
    Well, better stop there before I get too carried away!!!.
     

  183. No matter how hard I try, it seems that I can’t extricate myself from this incredible forum!
    Carl, awesome post!  Msheci that was one unbelievable post that I am hoping, really praying that others (other than Ragnar at this point) will run into and start looking up the amazing list of sources you cited.

    BK…..all the way from a small Mexican village… wait… you literally brought tears to my eyes… when you apologized for what the Turkish State has and continues to do to the Armenians… Oh My God… how can I leave this conversation now!

    It must be so scary and unhealthy to live in a country that just crushes descent and opposition!  It must be so nerve racking, living in a country that imprisons hundreds of Kurdish CHILDREN for expressing their unhappiness as human beings…. It must be so hard to live with the retched knowledge that the land you live on was won by murdering indigenous people.  For Turkish citizens to do candle vigils and sit on the steps of the same station where 95 years ago the 250 Armenian intellectuals were first taken is unbelievably courageous, but also speaks volumes about their own unhappiness with their State.  The “apology letter” was put together by individuals who do not have diplomatic power, but chose to put their lives at risk to do the best they could do.  It must be so shocking for a citizen to discover that he was brainwashed, and that his country has a secret history kept from him by distorted history books, that even the alphabet of his language used to be different.
    Unfortunately along with these dignified Turkish citizens there are many who still carry a Young Turk/Kemalist banner.  There is, it seems a fanatic Islamic movement and great hate for Armenians also.
    I am hoping that someday soon, the Turkish state will realize that the recognition of the rights of its different minorities, true freedom of speech/religion/expression, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide with reparations will free its citizens from the stain their ancestors have left on them, realize that it will cost it much less than endlessly paying off diplomats/individuals/states around the world to cover up the Genocide, and most of all it will free it from  the Israeli and American governments who are taking advantage of its guilty/denialist predicament.
    And if Turkey gives Armenia the Cities of Ani, Kars, Ardahan and our mountain Ararat back…. I guarantee you, Armenians and Turks have so much history together, they can very well become great allies…
    One can always dream… BK… you made me dream…

  184. katia K
    you wrote:
    Sorry, I cannot fight the temptation to answer this one. Ragnar, you are right! The recognition of the Armenian Genocide is politicized, if it weren’t the matter would have not dragged on this long.
    comment:
    It is Gerlach who dismisses the concept of genocide because he says it is politicised. I disagree, as I said. So you must look at what I actually wrote. My point which maybe was not well enough brought through, is that there is ample evidence that a great crime was committed against the Ottoman Armenians, that the Turks, both the government and the people in the street, belittles this crime, but that bringing in the 1948 convention means going astray because the convention was not adopted at the time.

    Then you bring in the TARC judgement, Msheci. But read it closely, it does not specify any perpetrators, it only said that somebody in all probability had genocidal intent.  

    The 100.000 Turks who marched after the murder of Hrant Dink and the 30.000 who signed the “I apologize”- movement, do not they signal that more and more Turks recognise the great crime? Neither you, Katia, not Gayane have commented on this at all.
     
    Yes, a great crime was committed against the Armenian people, the ancestors of many of you  belong to families out of which only a few survived the horros, you were driven out of your ancestral homeland, churches and monasteries were destroyed, and the Turks have problems in relating to this black spot in their history.  

  185. Yes, a great crime was committed against the Armenian people, the ancestors of many of you belong to families out of which only a few survived the horrors, you were driven out of your ancestral homeland, churches and monasteries were destroyed, and the Turks have problems in relating to this black spot in their history.
     
    I guess almost all you’re left to do, Ragnar, is to properly denominate the great crime you’re referring to. Evasive denominations like ‘great crime,’ ‘horrors,’ ‘great tragedy,’ ‘great catastrophe,’ and the like, all at the end boil down to this. If a ‘great crime,’ ‘horrors,’ ‘great tragedy,’ ‘great catastrophe’ were committed against a particular racial, ethnic, national, and religious group, then great crime + its centrality on a particular racial group = what? Pretty simple equation that takes the Turks 95 years to have moral courage to solve and cleanse themselves of the black spot once and for all times…

  186. Msheci, you appear to have been wrong when you wrote that you don’t have a strong knowledge of historical facts.  Thanks!

  187. I know this may be controversial with some here, but I really hate that we get hung up on terminology when pursuing our just claim against Turkey and promoting our cause among the nations of the world.  While I don’t know what motivates Ragnar in his efforts, his following statement is clear: 

    “Yes, a great crime was committed against the Armenian people, the ancestors of many of you  belong to families out of which only a few survived the horros, you were driven out of your ancestral homeland, churches and monasteries were destroyed, and the Turks have problems in relating to this black spot in their history.”
     
    Now Ragnar, no doubt, purposely neglects to state who committed this great crime,  because his vocation appears to be to spread doubt and confusion in this area.  However, we don’t have to allow our energies to be so consumed by a disagreement of terms regarding something we all know the truth about.
     
    We should start with what we agree with:  a great crime was committed!  International scholarship has already established the Turkish government’s culpability in this crime.  Multiple nations and US States have recognized Turkey’s guilt.  Even Turkey in its own historical record found the CUP leaders Talaat, Enver, and Jemal guilty of ordering actions that led to the destruction of our nation.  While I call it genocide, and you may call it genocide, Raphael Lemkin called it genocide, and the majority of respected scholars in the field recognize it as genocide; I don’t care if the Turkish government calls it “a great crime” as long as they come to terms with “this black spot in their history“, admit the crime, and make appropriate reparations.
    If this word “genocide” is the sticking point, lets get off it.  Let’s pour our time and energy into compensation  and education.  The events of the Armenian Genocide should be taught in every classroom in which WWI is studied, it should be included in units on Man’s Inhumanity to Man, and we should fund departments in universities to ensure that the history and language of Armenia is taught.  In fact, it would be quite ironic but fitting if Turkey, as a way of making reparation, someday funds some of this education!  (I  know you are laughing at me now, but one can dream, yes?)
     
    We Armenians have much more to give to the world than our victimhood.   Let’s get to the negotiating table already and get on with “being” Armenian.  This the point after all, we are still here being Armenian, despite the odds.

  188. Yes, it would be very interesting to met you all face to face as an internet based discussion has its limitations. I feel you are sincere, you are active in the fight for justice for your country. I am happy for that. What strikes me as bizarre, however, is that some of you  imagine that the Turkish state would pay me to utter the opinions I have presented to you. 
    Msheci, another clarification. Of course I do not challenge the historical knowledge which confirmes that the Turks came from the upper Jenisei region.
    My comment was based on the following statement of yours:
    ……….inherited in their genes the mentality of their savage forefathers: kill to gain new pastures……
    I dont think that most geneticists would support you in this.
    Then abut the   “proper delimitation” of the great crime committed against the Ottoman Armenians. I imagine you have in mind the application of  the 1948 convention – if it had existed in 1915, which of course is a very sensible question to ask. I only remind you that in your formula “…..committed against a particular racial, ethnic, national, and religious group” you left out the clause “as such” which in many ways is the reason that so many doubt about how to classify the crime against the Ottoman Armenians according to the 1948 convention. Today there is a verdict in the court at haag against 7 serbs who participated in the massacre of muslims at Srebrenica. Two were convicted of genocide, two were convicted of abetting genocide, and the rest – I believe were acquitted. I have not read the verdict, but I imagine it is based on fairly detailed and technical considerations. I will not play the role of judge in a matter where I lack competence. For me it suffices to say that a terrible crime was committed against the Ottoman Armenians. For me it is important to stick to this in my discusssions with Turks  or others. Themes like whether Turks are genetically determined to kill I try to steer clear off, and I advice you also to avoid it as part of your effort to convince others…..
    About your judgement of the “I apologize”-movement, I believe your PM  Sarkissian thanked the Turks who signed, so opinions among Armenians seem to be divided on this point. Are you sure you are not too exclusivist in your attitude to these Turkish endeavours? Too much insitent on the proper formula for solidarity?
    …..and then your note that I said the “death” of Dink instead of the “murder” of Dink…..what shall I say……I also end up picking on your missing out on the “as such” clause, so maybe I am starting to imitate you…
    I’d rather tell you that when in Turkey I bring with me the thought of the Armenians almost every day. In Antalya, I passed a huge mansion of the Ottoman era. They are all more than 100 years old. The owner was there, he runs a shop for brass articles, carpets and so on. I asked him about the original owner. I asked if the owner had been Armenian. He got quite irritated and we had a short exchange of views. There is one telegram from Talat to the local officials complaining that the Armenians of Antalya had not been deported, and please have them deported at once!!!  Some years ago I organised a campaign to hand out leaflets to turists going from Norway to Turkey: please eat and drink and enjoy yourself, but please also talk to at least one Turk about the rights of the Kurds who are persecuted and barred from returning to their villages. Maybe I will do something similar regarding Armenians….
        

  189. Boyajian, my knowledge of some historical facts is only based on what I’ve read, but it’s not that comprehensive. Thanks anyway!

  190. I’m afraid this may the first instance that I’d disagree with Boyajian, who otherwise is the strongest and the most eloquent voice on these pages. You state: “If this word “genocide” is the sticking point, let’s get off it… [and] pour our time and energy into compensation and education.” Compensation for what and education of what, Turkish authorities may ask? Oh, for the great catastrophe that had befallen the Armenians? Well, you know, as Ragnar contends, it has similarly befallen the Turks, too. Then you say ‘ The events of the Armenian Genocide should be taught in every classroom in which WWI is studied,’ by which you, nonetheless, delimitate the catastrophe to its actual essence. If the international law, which is an a** anyway, as Carl rightly put it, is to ever be applied to this crime to demand compensations from the Turkish State, then I think it’s mandatory that the case entering those international channels be classified in its juridical denomination: the genocide. Otherwise, what are we demanding the compensation for? Catastrophes, calamities, wars, horrors, ethnic conflicts happen to every nation, but genocides happened so far (and hopefully never again) only to a few. I think crimes against humanity such as genocides must be delimitated and properly addressed both for the present process of international recognition and for the future references in the history books.

  191. Point well taken Msheci.  You are right of course.  I have fallen victim to my desire for resolution.  A bit of battle fatigue.  Forgive me.

  192. Dear BK,
     
    I was genuinely touched by your words. They’re so strong and so overpoweringly sincere! And I disagree that your English is far from being perfect, actually, you seem to be a very eloquent person. Thank you for bringing a new light, a new perspective to this discussion and, more importantly, to the whole scope of issues related to democratization of the Turkish society and recognition of Turkey’s painful past. Virtually no Turk I’ve met in my life had a moral courage to acknowledge the genocide and that it was ‘an inevitable consequence of the [Young Turks’] perception of the nation-building process.I thank you for this most valuable acknowledgment.
     

    Because p. 6, addressed to me, was the lengthiest in your comment, I feel you’ve been disheartened by my suspicions about some indications that the ‘I apologize’ campaign might have, as well, been a result of  intentional collaboration with the Turkish authorities. I‘d like to apologize if I hurt your feelings, as well as good motives of many those who partook in the campaign. My remark was in any way meant to be cynical and I meant no injustice to many goodhearted columnists, human-rights activists, academics, lawyers, and independent intellectuals. You also appear to misread my words to that effect. I wrote: “As one of the [‘I apologize’] movement members revealed, initiators of the movement as well pursued the goal of softening the possible repercussions of the international wave of recognition of the Armenian genocide.’ As you see, I used as well, meaning that I don’t doubt the sincere motives of many of the participants in the campaign, but I still suspect the motives of some of the movement’s organizers.
     

    Let me explain my point.

    An apology is an expression of remorse for wrongdoing, whereas this particular apology begins with “My conscience does not accept the insensitivity showed to and the denial of the great catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915.” That is, this apology is situating the matter in the realm of conscience (which, of course, is important by itself) and not in the realm of politics. It’s not a call to action nor does it acknowledge anything nor does it make clear that if the Armenians were subjected to a “great catastrophe,” then by whom? While I understand that in the Turkish society authors may be risking prosecution under Article 301 and possible reprisals by the reactionary forces, I think the proper variant of the apology would read as follows: “I acknowledge the great catastrophe to which the Armenians were subjected by the Ottoman government in 1915, and I reject the denial of this tragic episode and the lack of sensitivity towards it.”

    I understand the apology text was mainly the work of four authors: Baskin Oran, Ali Bayramoglu, Ahmet Insel, and Cengiz Aktar. All are prominent public intellectuals, and I’d presume that, being aware of the effects of semantics, they wouldn’t compose the text by accident. In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on December 12, 2008, Baskin Oran revealed the reasoning behind the usage of the specific text: “You see, ‘great catastrophe,’ in Armenian ‘Medz Yeghern,’ was the only definition used until the Armenian Diaspora discovered the PR value of ‘Armenian Genocide.’ Therefore, we use ‘great catastrophe.’” On other occasions Oran has stated that, although he acknowledges the deaths of millions of Armenians during WWI and deplores the denial of this calamity, “the Armenian Diaspora has put the term [genocide] forward for propagandistic reasons in order to pretend that this event is the same as the genocide of the Jews.” (see: Summary of Oran’s political views during his electoral campaign for a parliament seat, 2007) Yet, on the other occasion the reason for apologizers’ efforts was revealed by Oran in Milliet on December 19, 2008: “The prime minister should be praying for our campaign. Parliaments around the world were passing automatically resolutions. These are going to stop now. The Diaspora has softened. The international media has started to no longer use the word genocide”. [see: Ayse Gunaysu, “Letters from Istanbul: About the Apology Campaign.”] This statement generated suspicion with many, including myself, that the ‘I apologize’ campaign was about quashing discussion on genocide recognition on the part of the Turkish authorities, rather than about facing painful history by them in earnest. Further, journalist Ayse Gunaysu chose not to sign the apology. She wrote: “some of the initiators of the campaign [try] to use the apology as a means to fight the use of the word ‘genocide’ and hamper the work of those who seek the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. They portray those seeking recognition as the twin sisters and brothers of the Turkish fascists, and they present the Diaspora as the enemy of any reconciliation… By their discourse, they contribute to the demonization of those who do use the word ‘genocide’.” [see: Ayse Gunaysu, “Letters from Istanbul: About the Apology Campaign.”]

    Now, having said this, I believe it’d be unfair to ascribe sinister motivations to the many thousands of honest Turks who signed the apology with the sincere desire to make a goodwill gesture towards Armenians. I believe that the significance of this campaign cannot be understated. The campaign has been successful in that it’s generated discussion in the Turkish society. However, the statements made by Oran, as well as Gunaysu’s revelation, suggest that there was also a hidden agenda behind the apology.

  193. Further, Ragnar. I agree, had it existed in 1915, ‘proper delimitation’ of the great crime committed against the Ottoman Armenians would meet the criteria of the genocide, a term coined only in 1943 by Lemkin based on his in-depth study of the Armenian case. I hope you don’t imply that because the term didn’t exist back in 1915, it’d be more politically correct to call it ‘great crime’ instead? Well, if that is so, then I challenge you to use the terminology used at the time by contemporaries and witnesses, such as the most reputable one, Ambassador Morgenthau:
     
    “When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact.”

    “Practically all of them [Young Turks] were atheists, with no more respect for Mohammedanism than for Christianity, and with them the one motive was cold-blooded, calculating state policy.”

     
    “I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this… a campaign of race extermination is in progress.”
     
    Are you ready to admit this pre-existing terminology in regard to the Armenian massacres: ‘death warrant to a whole race,’ ‘calculated state policy,’ ‘race extermination’? If the term ‘genocide’ gets you into a tantrum, I could live with ‘race extermination’ or ‘state policy of extermination’ based on an important witness account. Or, maybe, Morgenthau’s account, too, lacks a proven genocidal intent? For you it may suffice to say that a terrible crime was committed against the Ottoman Armenians. For the descendants of those who’ve seen millions of their co-ethnics being burnt and buried alive, raped and skinned, beheaded and castrated, slit while pregnant, drawn and hanged, mutilated and shot as targets tied to the trees, starved to death in deserts and emaciated during death marches, this does not suffice.
    Further, the clause “as such” in the definition of genocide given by the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide that you think I left out on purpose. No, I only did this for the sake of brevity. I have no legal education to make judgments on this, maybe Carl would help us out, but I trust the validity of the International Association of Genocide Scholars’ Armenian Genocide Resolution. The Resolution was unanimously passed at their conference and states as follows:
    ‘That this assembly of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in its conference held in Montreal, June 11-13, 1997, reaffirms that the mass murder of over a million Armenians in Turkey in 1915 is a case of genocide which conforms to the statutes of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. It further condemns the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government and its official and unofficial agents and supporters.’
     
    About the ”I apologize”-movement, I think that those thousands of goodhearted Turks who signed need to be commended. However, as Anahit’s well-timed information shows, which I came to know, too, there was also an intentional motive in the campaign that I referred you to. Thanks, Anahit, for your reference-based information.

    As for using the ‘death’ of Dink instead of the ‘murder’ of Dink… come on, Ragnar, it just happened several years ago, during your lifetime, you were a contemporary, so to speak, when the crime took place, perhaps even stationed in Turkey. What thwarts you to properly denominate the crime as ‘murder’? Who are you afraid of? The truth? If it quacks like a duck and swims like a duck—you call it a duck. If Dink was murdered, then, be so kind, call at least this crime by its proper name…

  194. It’s like I wrote before…doesn’t matter what you want to call it, genocide is just that, genocide. Trying to couch it in diplomatic terms to salve the conscience of others is only a lack of courage to stand up to pressure and speak the truth. Quite frankly, if anyone threatened me with any reprisals just because they didn’t like what I said, I would be even more determined to come forward and say exactly what I mean. I don’t respond to threats very kindly and I don’t back down from them. You fight fire with fire, if you have to. Nothing a bully hates the most is when those they try bully stand up to them. Especially when those they try to bully slap down the bully themselves. There’s always a way and means of doing so.  Even if that means a strategic retreat…you don’t have to take them head on if it’s not in your favour to do so at the time. I’m also one to bide my time. It doesn’t mean you’ve backed down. Just means you’re waiting to pounce.
     
    Msheci, I’m pretty happy with what you wrote there about the UN clause on genocide. It’s pretty much clearly stated what they said in the clause. However, not too many of these clause or conventions are legally binding, even though they sound so and many countries ratify them. The problem is the resolution on national autonomy in the UN Charter also states that all independent nations have complete sovereignty over their own internal affairs and that no outside interference is condoned. Many governments hide behind this and then disregard any resolution made against them, or laws which may prevent them from doing something they shouldn’t. However, even that is not sacrosanct…how many times when it’s been in the “interests” of those nations to enter into another country and basically take it over for all sorts of political and economic reasons, has this disregard occurred. Actually, it’s occurring right now. Despite the best of intentions on many things, the UN is pretty much basically useless, unless it suits the interests of the major players in the game. And despite the many conventions and resolutions that have been passed and adopted, most of the adherence to them is just based on national and political goodwill. It’s all a political game and you have to know how to play it in order to get what you want. Basically, if you’re big enough and ugly enough, you can get away with just about anything. Or ignore anything, if you like. When it comes to small nations like Armenia, which don’t have enough clout to affect any real change, getting many of the other nations to force Turkey’s hand in the recognition of the genocide will be akin to pushing a huge ball of cow dung up a steep hill. Not impossible, but awfully damn hard and rather smelly. and with no guarantee of success. It’s where you need big and influential friends, but if those nations aren’t so “friendly” or don’t want to come to the party for the usual reasons, then it’s a struggle.
     
    Quite frankly, there’s a huge lack of honesty and integrity in the world…very sad.
     

  195. The nearest and most legally binding way of getting a resolution to anything is to get it all down in writing in a treaty. Then, by rights, everything therein becomes legally binding. However, even a treaty doesn’t necessarily guarantee strict, or even casual, compliance. Simply because there’s a lack of what I mentioned in my last post…honesty and integrity, amongst the politicians and the governments they represent. Look how many treaties have been made over the years and just how toothless many of them have been. But when it suits them, they trumpet them too the four winds and bring out the judge’s gavel when they need to get something their own way. Despite the best of intentions, many treaties are used as tools to blackmail others into co-operation and the original intentions of the treaties end up being violated in so many ways, they become laughable. But, at least it’s down on paper and for what it’s worth, you will have something with a bit of weight to slap them in the face with. It might not do them any harm but it’ll hurt nevertheless.
     

  196. Boyacian
    We all have battle fatigue at times.
    I am glad you retracted in this, because there is no need simply to get off the word genocide. If you firmly believe that this is the right characterization, stick to it! But you and I disagree. Among other things I point to some difficulties I perceive  if you insist on the application of the concept of the 1948 convention, but I repeat that I disagree with Gerlach when he simply wants to discard the concept as unscholarly.
    I am not trying to create confusion (only for those who thought this easier as it is in reality), I am in a debate which is important and that should leave everybody better equipped to go on whether we agree or not. But of course if you adopt the position of “who is not 100% with me is 100% against me”, then I am an enemy or a fool….is it so difficult to accept disagreement as a natural thing among those who are concerned with  what happened to the Ottoman Armenians?
    Yes, Anahit (I address you but you don’t have to address me if that makes it easier for you), the “I apologize”-movement is also a political movement. Also Eren Keskin of the Human Rights Association refused to sign because the word genocide was not used. This is a clearcut disagreement. I agree in the main with this movement, but I emphasize more that the existence of an extermination plan adopted by the CUP, a PLAN in the ordinary sense of the word, is open to doubt.  
    The historians are mainly silent on the Morgenthau book, Msheci, after the Hugh Lowry critique, as they are on the Andonian papers. What shocks me however is that official Armenian agencies use the Rifat Mevlanzade’s “The inner face of the Young Turk revolution” from 1927, the most notorious and improbable falsification of all.

  197. I mean it is open to doubt, but it is not improbable.  But I will for some time let the discussion rest for my sake. I will look at the documentation you indicated, Msheci, (Zaya)  and return to the debate after this, if you are still there

  198. I see I must answer you, Msheci!
    No, I did not think that you left it out on purpose. This type of accusations I leave to others.
    In the same way, I just used ”death” instead of murder because it seemed a cponveniuent word at the moment I wrote it. ”Murder” is more specific, but I am surprised at the objection because nobody denies that it was murder.
    That the convention was not adopted in 1915 creates some difficultiues, but as I said earlier it makes perfect sense to ask if the events do not constitute genocide according to the convention.
    I have trouble with all very short descriptions. Unless these are clarified they are slogans, not serious statements. I have problems with the expression ”state policy” because it suggest more intentr than  I believe is documented. However, I can subscribe to the expression ”race extermination with clear State responsibility”, even though I would like to add some words on the concept of ”race”. But ”race” is also used synonymously with ethnic group, so OK.
    I am not impressed by the statements of the genocide scholars. Specialists in a certain field are always prone to find more and more of what they started to work with, and are less critical. For me to go thorugh Akcam in detail has been most rewarding when it comes to judge the intent question. A fantastic man! Such a will to fight and such a will to og against his own if  they are wrong. A great scholar, as also Dadrian is.  But I dont agree with him in all aspects.  
    I wish you all a fruitful debate, and hope to get in contact with you again!
    Ragnar
     

  199. Ragnar: Just a short comment I want to leave you with to have a quick think about. You said, quote”Specialists in a certain filed are always prone to find more and more of what they started to work with, and are less critical”. Same can be said for those that deny a subject or play around with semantics. They can be guilty of not looking at it at all and just dismissing it, or becoming so tied up with defining what it is they’re talking about that the real meaning of the whole subject gets lost in all the philosophising, legalities and diplomacy (be that political, social or academic). The problem with politicians (and I guess from reading your posts you would make a very good one) are they’re either too prone to generalisations, or trying to skirt around an issue without having to commit themselves to a definitive answer. That’s where lawyers are so good at it. They’re trained to think, speak and react in that way. I guess from your posts that you might be one, or in training to become one, am I correct?. Or you have some interest in history. Not having a go at you or anything, but it seems that despite your very civil conduct and very well considered thoughts on the matter, you find the whole mentioning of the concept of a Armenian Genocide as being rather distasteful, or at least problematic. I don’t believe in black and whites myself, for the most part, but you have to see what the Turks did to the Armenians (and others) as being nothing short of a genocide…whether it was planned in advance and completely premeditated, or planned on the hop (so to speak) but nevertheless planned, it is still a deliberate mass murder (which is what genocide is) of an ethnic group/nation. Whether its 10, 10000 or 10 million people, that’s not the issue. The issue is that the CUP set out to make sure that the Armenian people were never in any position to make claims on the Turkish nation, and so they deliberately destroyed them by whatever means they saw fit.
     
    That in anyone’s language is genocide.
     

  200. Carl, you joined this conversation later than some but your contribution is much appreciated.  I especially like your take on the limits and pitfalls of the legal system, treaties, etc.   I also like the light you shine on the dangers of getting too entrenched in your own side of an argument and becoming so myopic that you can’t see the merits of the other side.  And I agree that integrity and moral character are greatly lacking in the world.  It is nice to encounter it when we do.
    Ragnar you have been telling us that you agree that a great crime happened to the Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks but you have doubts that it qualifies as genocide.  You describe what you are engaged in as a debate.  On the surface, there is nothing wrong with a good healthy debate to make sure that we have looked at all sides of an issue and know what we are talking about.  I am glad you are taking more time for research.  But I have to say that I still don’t understand your motives.  It seems contradictory to me that someone who has been a worker for Amnesty International and thus a promoter of human rights, would place himself on the side of promoting the rights of a great offender like the Turkish government.  Through your work with Alevis and Kurds you must know first hand the abuses of the Turkish government.  What are you hoping to provide with your arguments?
     
    I admit we Armenians are a bit touchy around those who question the genocide.

  201. Carl, I’m touched by your well-reasoned insights. Thank you for looking at things from a perspective of universal human values, not just rigid confines of one’s profession or special interest.
     
    ‘[W]hat the Turks did to the Armenians [is] nothing short of a genocide…whether it was planned in advance and completely premeditated, or planned on the hop but nevertheless planned, it is still a deliberate mass murder of an ethnic group.’
     
    So true. The 1948 Convention defines genocide as any of a number of acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. If there wasn’t intent to destroy a national group, why only 60,000 Armenians remain in modern-day Turkey out of 2-2.5 million living there before 1915? How can disappearance of millions of people proceed spontaneously? If they just evaporated, what happened to their cultural artifacts, their homes, their property, their insurance indemnities and bank accounts? If the mass murder wasn’t planned on the top, then, when alerted of ongoing murders, shouldn’t a responsible government plan protection of its citizens from murderers, marauders, mutilators, and looters? If there wasn’t intent to destroy an indigenous national group, what do representatives of that group do in almost all parts of the world stretching from Argentina to Australia, from Sweden to South Africa? Did they just all get together and agree to voluntarily abandon their historical homeland and disperse around the world as refugees, newcomers, and outsiders? Why?
     
    The rightful vs. apologists. Justice vs. injustice. Good vs. evil. At the end, it all will come to this: ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ John 8:32, Holy Bible

  202. I read you last comments, in which there are questions to me I have not answered. However, in this period I am late in performing a lot of the tasks I have in my main project, securing jobs for Somali regufees in Oslo, and also writing a report from one of my youth projects in Russia. I am now looking for the report of Alfred de Zayas, which you mentioned, Msheci, but if you have left this discussion when my comments are ready, I do not know how to reach you. So Iust  need a mail adress to write to. I’d also like to report to Boyacian when I go to to distribute leaflets to Norwegiasn tourists going to Turkey. But how will I reach you, Bloyacian? I will do it in the period from now to july 10 when I leave  for my my summer place. f you have  And if we all – or you –  mean in earnest to try to go on communicating  we/you must exchange email adresses.
    Thnak you for all posts that empohasize that I should not take the diagreements personally and that you do not think that  I am a disreputable person. About not understanding me, you may contact Dennis Papazian, Ara Sarafian or Garabet Moumdjian with whom I have had something to do. Or for that matter Hilmar Kaiser if you trust him as a genocide researcher.

  203. To all of you
    As I say I will leave the discussion for some time bwecause I am late with a lot of work and I need to think.
    If I am to give an appraisal of de Zaya’s analysis of the Armenian genocide, I have to find you, Msheci, and “Armenian weekly” will probably not continue this thread of comments to the Akcam article indefinitely. I also want to tell Boyacian about giving the leaflet on the Armenian fate to Norwegian tourists going to Turkey. I plan to do this before the middle of July. But then we must exchange email adresses. Mine is rnpost@online.no. You may also write me and ask me about developments.
    There are many questions from you to me in your last posts. If you look through my posts I believe you will also find questions and information that you have not answered. But I have to take a pause.
    About my philosophy it is inrpirted by many sources, but since one of you mentioned Ghandi, he is one inspiration. Ghandi always appreciated the good aspects of the British even when they created famine and mass deaths. In the WW2 he refrained from using the war situation to further the independence movement, because it would be unfair to the British. You might study his way of conceptualizing the just struggle.
    About me you might ask Ara Sarafian who has some impression of me.
    Carl, About the expression “Armenian genocide”. I use it from time to time, but in discussing with people for whom this expression is so important, I want to emphasize how I qualify the expression.
    Thank you for all the posts that emphasized that you do not attack me personnally or  regard me as a disreputable person. But also take a look on your posts regarding how you described the Turks at large!
    Good luck to all of  you

  204. The English did not move to India, did not rule India for 600 years, and did not oppress and regularly massacre the Indians the way the Turks did to the Armenians.
    A very flawed comparison in my view.

  205. Carl… excellent point.. excellent.. thank you so for your input… know that we definintely appreciate it and welcome it.

    Anahit jan… your knowledge and understanding of the history is astonishing..it is unfortunate that Ragnar knows  HIS information and his information only, and it does not equate how detailed your comments are… thank you so much for your contribution. they are profound…

    Katia jan.. apres im sireli quyrik…:) My hero..:) You are absolutely correct in saying that Ragnar did have a flawed comparison when he used Ghandi and his philosophy to tell us how to judge just struggle..

    Ragnar…it seems very odd to me that you would leave this conversation now.. why now???  something seems off.. it seems your projects are getting behind..well..guess i can understand that but leaving all together because of it..i don’t buy it.. it is your decision of course… you also mentioned that you will be studying Zaya .. if i may give you some suggestion (even though you will ignor it)… take some time to work with the Armenians, Armenian govt and/or organizations to learn more about us..let that be one of the most important projects that you will take on..
    As someone who don’t see genocide as genocide.. i still don’t understand why you were here.. what were your motives..your reasons behind all this.. and now you suddently decided to leave….hmmmmm…..

    Here is what I believe Ragnar…

    If you agree there is a word such as “Genocide” in this world…
    If you agree that what happened in Rawanda was Genocide
    If you agree that what happened in Darfur was Genocide
    If you agree that what happened in Combodia was Genocide- you DO believe these were genocides right?  I hope so..
    again…If you agree there is such a word as “Genocide” and
    Rafael Lemkin created the word Genocide to describe what happened to Jews by using the FIRST event of race annilihation and extermination of the 20th Century.. The Armenians… That means whether you like it or not.. If you agree there is a word such as Genocide, then you agree that the Ottoman Turks Genocide of the Western and Eastern Armenians was indeed a Genocide… it does not matter how much you spin it.. 
    If that is not the case and you do not agree that there is a word such as genocide…. then that word should be removed from your mind, and vocabulary all together and you can’t use it for anything..The end…. 

    Msheci— your post on why it is important to call Genocide by its name was excellent.. and i support you on that 110%…

    Oh by the way Ragnar… it is Boyajian….not Boyacian or Bloyacian….

    Thank you
    Gayane

  206. FYI:  I just tried to view an image of Vahakn Dadrian on Google and was shocked to find that a long diatribe popped up called “Tall Armenian Tale:  The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide,”  full of denial and distortion regarding our history.  Let Google know what you think of this.

  207. Gayane, thanks for your loyal defense of your internet friends and their names!  I took no offense when Ragnar mis-typed my name.  Truth is sometimes I do feel like Blo-yajian when dealing with genocide denial.
    Ragnar, I wish you well.  Come back to the Armenian Weekly site and post an update.  Also Alfred de Zayas can easily be found on a Google search, but note the spelling of his name.  I think you misspelled it in your previous comments.

  208. Ragnar, the term genocide is not something to be brought up casually, or even in half seriousness in a topic of discussion, with “qualifiers” added to it, in order to put across a point of view. Genocide, as I have pointed out repeatedly, is what it is. There are no qualifications to be made to it. If you say something is something, then you should mean it. Not beat around the bush with definitions for every little nuance or possible explanation. All that does is obfuscate the truth, and hides the facts.
    I will say, however, you give a robust conversation and no matter what side you may ultimately sit on, it is far preferable to be able to debate with someone who is civil and willing to come to the table with an argument, than hearing the rantings of some of the fools I have heard on other forums and comments pages. This has been a very intelligent and lively debate within these commentaries, on everyone’s part, and it’s very refreshing to see.
     

  209. In the early hours of April 24th 1915, Gendarmes knock on Agnouni’s door with a warrant for his arrest.  When Agnouni says that there must be some mistake, and that he had just had dinner at Talat’s house, the Gendarmes hold up the warrant and say that Talat himself had signed it.  He is taken to a local jail and then to a station where 250 other Armenian community leaders, church representatives, journalists, writers, poets, composers and doctors were also taken.  None were armed, and none resisted arrest.  (Same station where a candle light vigil took place on April 24th 2010).  When Agnouni realizes what is about to unfold, he says that he is not scared of dying, he is just flabbergasted that he could have been this deceived by the Turks.  Agnouni had saved Talat’s life during the counterrevolution by sheltering him in his house.
    Almost all of the 250 arrested that morning, including Agnouni, were killed.  The clergy, Grigoris Balakian, survived and lived to write about his ordeal. (Balakian, Armenian Golgotha).
    The majority of their leaders, journalists and writers gone, the Armenian population had no leadership to guide it now, and no one to write/alert the world about what was about to happen to it.  Thousands of Armenian soldiers were next disarmed in the Turkish army, and sent to labor camps, where they were forced to carry heavy loads, and built roads nonstop with very little food.  These Turkish soldiers, who happened to be of Armenian descent, were then murdered by their Muslim peers.  Most had to dig their own graves before getting killed.
    The government passed temporary laws that allowed the looting of Armenian homes, businesses and deportees. The stores/businesses of Armenian merchants/tradesmen were given to Muslims.
    A Special Government Organization was created with the purpose of forming “gang battalions” from criminals released from prison.  These units were called the “Chettehs”.  Party secretaries were assigned leadership of the Special Organization which was under the authority of the Defense ministry.  At every town, the Party secretaries would personally deliver verbal or written orders to the Kaymakam/Governor to empty his town of Armenians.  Written orders were ordered to be burned after reading.  The governors who refused to obey were removed or assassinated.  At every village, Gendarmes would take a group of Armenians to a remote place.  They would allow Kurd and Turkish mobs to first loot them, and then they would bring in the “Chetteh” units to massacre them.  More often than not, the Gendarmes would participate in the killings too.  Thousands of Armenians were beaten with whips and bayonets and forced to march on foot and with no food supplies to the deserts of Der Zor.  Young Armenian boys were paraded in towns, circumcised in public and islamized.  Women were thrown in harems, Islamized and sworn to silence. (Many sources, including the above author’s “From Empire to Republic” and “A Shameful Act”)  Talat Pasha asked the European Life Insurance companies if they could pay his government the monies of deceased Armenian policy holders.
    The US Ambassador, Henry Morgenthau, was shocked and outraged by what he saw, and sent telegraphs and letters to the US Government describing the events he was witnessing as systematic, full pledged “race extermination”.  Newspapers in the US started writing articles about the Armenian massacres, and charity organizations raised funds for the “starving Armenians”.  Most of these funds never reached the Armenians.
    The Armenian Genocide was the first State premeditated and organized mass ethnic massacre of the 20th Century.  Where there was once a population of 2 to 2.5 million, there are now only about 60,000.  The word “Genocide” was created to describe “it”.  To say that it was not government organized and that the government had no “genocidal intent” is ABSURD and an insult to human intelligence.  The CUP leaders, their officers, the Party Secretaries, the Turkish army, the Chettehs, the Kaymakams, the Governors and the Gendarmes were all “government workers” who were pursuing a well thought out and orchestrated plan.  The Muslim population at large had also participated because of temporary laws created by this government.
    To say that only “a few individuals had Genocidal intent” is a cheap shot at evading justice.  “Those few individuals” WERE the leaders of the government.  Those “few” individuals could not have killed 1.5 million people all by themselves.  They had all the levels of the government at their disposal to do the job.  Those few individuals, ie the CUP members and the government were one and the same.
    To say that the word “Genocide” does not apply to what happened to the Armenians because it was not invented at the time is “technicality gymnastics” at its most creative.  The word was not there yet, because the Armenian Genocide was the first example of this kind of a crime.  The word was invented to describe “it”.  So should we skip the legal reprisal of the first example of Genocide and only apply the law to the ones that came after it? Ridiculous!
    To take Ambassador Morgenthau’s private letters out of context, put a spin on them, and explain them in a way to fit convenient hypotheses, is scientifically and legally GARBAGE.  We cannot explain those letters, unless we go back to the state of mind, the times and circumstances they were written in.  For all we know, Morgenthau was most likely outraged at the nonchalance and indifference that he felt the world showed in connection to the Armenian massacres.  He most likely wanted to scream out and inform everyone and the United States in particular, about the massacre of innocent women, men and children which was unfolding in front of his eyes.  He thought that the massacres would lure the Americans to come and save the Armenians by joining the war?… Yeah… so…. The Americans joined the war to advance their own interests?  And what did the Turks wage war for?  If not their interests, than what? 
    To cover up the Armenian Genocide is a grave injustice to human kind.  By not acknowledging what their predecessor has done, consecutive Turkish governments have decided to subject the survivors and their descendants to Genocide of memory, identity, justice and emotional closure. They have also put a very heavy burden on their own people.  The Turkish government should accept the Genocide as an irrefutable truth, and allow both the Turkish and Armenian nations to start the healing process together. 
    So sorry about the lecture!  I am not an expert, and I do not mean to offend anybody.  I just wanted to share my final thoughts in response to some of the very weak points raised here.  Im sirely Interneti kuyrer yev yeghpayrner, especially im Interneti kuyriks Gayane, till the next post…
     
     

  210. This conversation seems to be winding down.  I  feel the need to state clearly that a systematic, centrally planned, widely administered and broadly executed mass extermination of the Armenian population of Asia Minor was carried out under cover of WWI that resulted in the death of 1.5 million Armenians, the confiscation of their property by the government and common Turks and Kurds, the destruction of their civic, religious, and cultural monuments and institutions and the consequent utter disappearance of an Armenian presence on the lands that they occupied for roughly 3000 years. A virtual extinction of a race of people that did not and could not have occurred by natural order or civil unrest!
     
    To question this well established fact; that was recognized in its day as the acts that would later be called genocide  and documented during and shortly after these events by countless diplomats, eyewitnesses, missionaries, newspaper reports, and even by the Turkish Courts Martial sentences passed down on the CUP leaders Talaat, Enver and Jemal, is not a worthy academic pursuit.  Those who engage in the pseudo-questioning of these events have either been duped into thinking the issue is debatable or are willingly compromising the truth as puppets of those who wish to avoid responsibility.  The insult to decency and humanity is obvious.
     
    After 95 years of waiting for the justice promised to them by the world immediately following the genocide, Armenians are understandably disheartened, frustrated and angry.  Instead of justice, they had to endure the added injury of denial of the truth, distortion of the memory of the crime, destruction of the public record and the mischaracterization of having been the aggressors who brought deportation/vengeance  upon themselves because of a few sporadic pockets of rebellion.  While racist comments are never acceptable, and most Armenians easily distinguish between Turkish governmental responsibility and innocent Turkish citizens, it must be stated that it was the Turkish CUP leaders who turned ordinary Ottoman citizens against one another based merely on ethnic group affiliation. Overnight, ordinary Armenians were identified as disloyal enemies who presented a threat to the state and had to be removed. Overnight, the Turkish neighbor who you bought eggs from one day became the ransacker and usurper of your home the next.  (Of course, I acknowledge the brave Turks who resisted this hate-filled mania and offered Armenians comfort and protection at their own risk.)
     
    Today average Turkish citizens who have been deliberately miseducated and misinformed by their government, see the Armenian outrage as undeserved.  Bolstered by statutes that outlaw insulting “Turkishness,” they are offended that Armenians accuse their nation of such heinous crimes.  The systemic aversion to realistic and critical societal self-appraisal further fuels the ultra-nationalists to act against those who dare speak the truth about the events upon which the modern Turkish republic was built.  The murder of Hrant Dink is one example of what these ultra-nationalist vigilantees are willing to do to silence the courageous.
     
    Can anyone really wonder that some Armenians have become indignant while waiting for the world to hold Turkey accountable for its crimes?  The obvious solution is for an admission of guilt to take place, for an apology to be offered and for appropriate compensation and reparations to be made by the Turkish government.  Then justice will have been served and healing can begin for both the Armenians and the Turks.  Armenians can then move on from their position of the forgotten victims to focus on growing their nation and strengthening their contributions in science, art, industry, etc.  And Turkey will then no longer need to prove to the world and the EU that they are truly democratic and champions of human rights, it will be evident by their compassion to Armenia.
     

  211. Mersi Katia jan.. yes qo tsavt tanem…as my grandpa used to say…:)  you, Boyajian, Anahit, Msheci and Carl of course who have been an instrumental part of my internet experience/learning about history and Genocide….. hope to hear from you all again  no matter where we are….. hence, why i would like to give you im e-maili hasten… please do send me a note or two .. i would definintely like to keep in touch with all of you off line as well…… im hasten e gayanevoskanyan@yahoo.com… 

    Boyajian.. i will write to Google and give them piece of my mind…very very dissapointing to see that even google will use such garbage… very very frustrating……

    Ragnar: hope you learned something about Armenians and the Armenian Genocide… if not…hope that you will take my advice.. you know what that is…

    Hugs to my internet brothers and sisters…

    Gayane

  212.  Comment on de Zayas
     If we are to embark on a further discussion I feel it is necessary to say something about the aim of the discussion, and about procedures.
     The aim for me is by way of discussion to understand more abut what I see as the crime committed against the Ottoman Armenians in WW1. I take it that we all expect to learn something from the discussion.
     I was trained and have lectured on theory of science, so my approach is inspired by this theory.
     About procedure: I take as a starting point that we discuss different and opposite conceptualizations, versions and applied labels regarding the horrific events which led to the more or less complete disappearance of  the Ottoman Armenians from their ancestral home.
     Both in historical research and in other kinds of fact-finding the basic operation, anchored in general theory of science, is to investigate the relationship between established facts and how these facts fit one or the other of the hypotheses or opinions on what happened.
      For me it is not enough that genocide scholars in some meeting produce a declaration that the events qualify as genocide, independently of how they arrive at this result. In research in which there are several competing explanations of given events several criteria traditionally apply. These might themselves be an object of discussion. To make it simple  it is to my mind important 1) that the reasoning leading up to a conclusion is explicit, 2) that the different hypotheses or opinions are explicated, 3) that given facts are judged according to what opinion they are/are not compatible with, and 4) that assertions of facts are discussed and judged according to their veracity, 5) that terms are defined when possibilities of misunderstanding are present.
     From reading the first pages of de Zayas’ text it is clear that he does not do this. He takes the fact of the genocide, or the pre-planned, deliberate and systematical extermination of the Ottoman Armenians as a point of departure. It is maybe not something he has intended to prove according to scholarly methods. his aim is another.
     He may be right or wrong in his assertion that the genocide is a fact, but his text does not meet what is for me he natural beginning of the debate on the Armenian genocide: the proof for  the existance of a pre-planned, deliberate and systematical extermination, or how one wants to characterise the events. Maybe he does not aim at doing this. Given our debate, I do not understand why Carl wanted me to read this text.
     To discuss the central thesis of the genocide, we should start with discussing events which actually may be used to show that there was genocidal intent, not only intent to arrest and kill the leaders of the revolutionary parties, or intent to kill Armenian soldiers who otherwise might run away and joint he enemy, and so on.
     But then maybe you disagree, and do not see my procedure, indicated in the 5 points above, as relevant. But for met his is the only way I can seriously discuss the central tenets of the genocide thesis.
      
     
     

  213. Ragnar, you are back so soon!
    Your five points are excellent but I think that this scientific rigor applied to the “proof of the Armenian Genocide” is inauthentic.  In my opinion, the proof of the genocide is found in the numerous reports, letters and dispatches contemporary with the genocide and in the text of the Treaty of Sevres which clearly addressed the necessity for reparations for the massacres and crimes against humanity (remember the word genocide had not yet been coined), and in the facts of the Turkish Court Martials which sentenced the CUP Triumvirate to death for these crimes.  These numerous documents and eyewitness reports, as well as the establishment of numerous relief groups, orphanages, etc., point to a consensual world opinion recognizing these events as heinous massacres in the time immediately during and after these events took place.  There is no stronger evidence than the spontaneous reports of those who were contemporary with these events.
     
    To argue legal technicalities regarding the the term “genocide” may make for an interesting mental challenge but it doesn’t serve the greater good of finding a just resolution.  In fact, it obfuscates the issue.  Raphael Lemkin coined the word using the facts of what happened to the Armenians as an example of what he meant by the term.  He defined the term to define the Ottoman Armenian tragedy and to create a legal remedy for such crimes.  I think he would not be pleased to see that his work was being manipulated to thwart justice.
     
    Further, if you do not give credence to the consensus of genocide scholars and historians, but search for independent irrefutable evidence 95 years after these events without recognizing that much of the original body of evidence has been deliberately tainted and/or destroyed, than you’re scientific endeavor will be seriously compromised.  As I said above, the strongest evidence is in the words of those who lived it, witnessed it and heard about it at the time.
     
    Again, the question is what is the goal?  Is it to define terms or to stand for justice.  Of course,  I don’t doubt the value of scientific rigor, but one must recognize the limits of the method and the fallacy of proof devoid of human heart in this case.
     
    Just my opinion.
     

  214. Just as an aside, guys, but on topic…I was going through my favourite online bookseller site when I came across a 6 volume set of books on genocide. The site it was on is called fishpond.com.au. However guys, I hope you’ve taken out second mortgages or have some spare cash lying around on the table at home…it’s worth $1904!!!!!. If you had the money it would be well worth purchasing as it’s a full blown academic treatise on the subject, but when I saw the price I nearly fell off my chair:)
     

  215. Ragnar –
    Before I decide whether or not it’s worth re-engaging in this discussion, I’m just guessing and would appreciate your candor in responding to enquiries below.
    First, might it be that you’re (a)currently in the dissertation-writing stage for your doctoral degree concentrating on mass crimes, (b)deepening your knowledge in international law to acquire broader professional recognition in Norway and beyond, (c)are being trained as an international lawyer specializing in premeditated mass crimes, or (d)employing an old and easily detectable counterexample method, which is used to argue that a certain position is wrong by showing that it doesn’t apply in certain cases, in order to identify arguments for which ideas posted by the Armenian commentators on Armenian Weekly represent nearly ideal opportunity?
    Second, because you suggest that as a starting point ‘we discuss different and opposite conceptualizations, versions and applied labels regarding the [known] events,’ I’d like to know your opinion—expressed clearly, definitively, and unequivocably—as to whether or not annihilation of Eastern European Jews was a premeditated action by the Nazi Germans. Please indicate (a)why you think the actions of the Nazis can be qualified as premeditated (enumerating criteria would be splendid) and (b)what name the actions of the Nazis can be categorized under (please refrain, if your invitation to re-engage in this discussion is serious and conscientious, from employing vague, evasive categorizations such as ‘horrific crime,’ ‘indescribable tragedy,’ ‘bloodcurdling human catastrophe,’ and the like).
    Third, I’d be interested in knowing your opinion—expressed clearly, definitively, and unequivocably— as to whether or not the crime committed by the Nazis on April 9, 1940 against Norway was a premeditated action. Please likewise indicate (a)why you think the actions of the Nazis can be qualified as premeditated (please provide criteria), (b)what name the actions of the Nazis can be categorized under (please refrain from employing vague, evasive categorizations such as ‘horrific crime,’ ‘indescribable tragedy,’ ‘bloodcurdling human catastrophe,’ and the like), and (c)whether the actions of the Norwegian Quisling regime could explain sustainability of the Nazi rule in Norway and prolongation of the Nazi crime (however you’d end up defining it) against the Norwegians.
    Thank you.

  216. Boyajian,
    I am back now, it is very early in the m0rning, but I have to be away again soon. I will just comment on the start of your answer which hopefully shows that we are on a completely different tracks
    you write:
     I think that this scientific rigor applied to the “proof of the Armenian Genocide” is inauthentic. 
    comment:
    it is not very rigiourous. It is a case of the common logic one uses in all investigations, from the question of “why does not the car start?” to the question of “does the earth revolve around the sun or the sun around the earth” to questions like “did X commit premeditated murder or not”. Read any detective novel and you will see the logic I present in actual use, maybe except the semantic question
    you write:
     In my opinion, the proof of the genocide is found in the numerous reports, letters and dispatches contemporary with the genocide and in the text of the Treaty of Sevres which clearly addressed the necessity for reparations for the massacres and crimes against humanity (remember the word genocide had not yet been coined), and in the facts of the Turkish Court Martials which sentenced the CUP Triumvirate to death for these crimes.
    comment:
    what despatches and reports? Akcam mentions six or seven instances of what you may call really damning reports. Do you know them? Of course these are indications of genocidal intent. However, there are som very important flaws in some of them. Still, Akcam may be right, but he does not discuss the issue. There are now Turkish researchers picking up all these flaws.
    The researchers who operate with the premeditation and genocidal intent premise simply have not done their homework properly!! Turkish researchers are today into these details and the genocide researchers imagine that it is sufficient to point to Akcam and even less systematical attempts at proof!
    I feel on much more solid ground when I 1) look to Talat’s own confession that they did not prosecute any of the offenders, at a time when consular dispatches and letters were coming to them about massacres, 2) the fact established today – as far as I know – that only Cemal in fact prosecuted anybody for crimes against Armenian deportees. the list of all court martials from 1914 to 1918 are officially known today, and the evidence is clear.
    This is criminal evidence, gross neglect, maybe with intent to destroy the Armenians. This is my starting point for my preoccupation with the crime of the Ittihadists, not any conjectures about what when on inside the heads of leaders of a party who as a rule used oral orders and apparently destroyed evidence.

    I will comment on the other answers to me within a few days if you are there.

  217. Ragnar,
    Seriously….
    95 years of analyses, dissertation, written and videotaped survivor testimonial, archives in several countries, hundreds of books by historians, lawyers, survivors, archives of Turkish Tribunals … and you are asking a few “commentators” on this post to participate in a “scientific study” to see whose theory/version the facts fit to most????  Outrageously Unscientific!
    Ragnar, I have news for you.  This has already been DONE BY EXPERTS!  They all decided that the “facts” fit the model of “Genocide”!
    Having a Doctorate degree in pharmaceutical sciences myself, I am really interested in the following statement you made: “I was trained and have lectured on theory of science”.   Can you please elaborate about this scientific theory that is supposed to apply to “state crimes”?
    If we were to hold a study together (which is a ridiculous endeavor, considering most of us are not experts in the field of state crimes), you CANNOT PLAY THE ARBITRATOR, because you are not an objective participant!  You come with a preconceived bias on all the sources that we are citing, the latest victim being the paper by Alfred de Zayas. We will need an objective third party to decide which side has the best argument for its “version”.   If you ask me you have so far presented ZERO facts backing up your version!
    “For me it is not enough that genocide scholars in some meeting produce a declaration that the events qualify as genocide, independently of how they arrive at this result
    “Independent of how they arrive at this result”???? What does that mean?  So even if they reached this decision “scientifically” as you might prefer, it will still not be enough for you?
    “To discuss the central thesis of the genocide, we should start with discussing events which actually may be used to show that there was genocidal intent, not only intent to arrest and kill the leaders of the revolutionary parties, or intent to kill Armenian soldiers who otherwise might run away and joint he enemy” “Armenian soldiers who otherwise might run away and join the enemy?  Are you serious?  Where are the facts that unequivocally back up this point?  How can you call yourself “scientific” when you use similar unfounded hypotheticals?  Since you are going this far in stretching  your “version”, can you please tell us how innocent women, men and children were also possibly about to attack the Turkish army?  More than a million women, men and children needed to be killed?  They killed the “revolutionary” leaders?  Yes, “unarmed” revolutionaries who were arrested at their homes!  Mind you, why did they also arrest church leaders, doctors, writers and had to gauge out poet Daniel Varoujan’s eyes?   Why did they confiscate Armenian property, assets and businesses?  Have you ever heard of unleashing dangerous criminals from prison (Chettehs) on a defenseless population as being an internationally acceptable “war strategy”?  Why did they desecrate our historical monuments, and convert our churches into stables and mosques?  Why did they force our women and children to convert to Islam?  Because they did not have “genocidal intent”?   All of these facts “fit” the theory that the Turks wanted to build a homogenous, Turkish, Muslim nation.  That meant clearing their “nation” from its indigenous Christian Armenians.  GENOCIDE!!!!!
    “the horrific events which led to the more or less complete disappearance of  the Ottoman Armenians from their ancestral home.”  What is this statement for?  To fool us into thinking that you might have an objective bone in your body, or to lure us to cite more sources for you to refute?   Since you are supposedly accepting that the Ottoman Armenians have pretty much disappeared, what is your explanation for this disappearance?  How about this scientific theory: Survival of the fittest, (in political terms: Survival of the more criminal) ie Genocide!
    Ragnar, you are forgetting that the first thing you need to do is study the testimonials of the victims.  You are also forgetting that you are talking to the descendants of those victims. Do you seriously think that we are going to buy “your version” when we have our own grandparents’ version?  The Kaymakam of Malatya announced that all Armenians needed to assemble in the town square on a certain day at a specific time.  My grandfather and his family disguised themselves in Kurdish clothes, fled to the hills, dug holes and stayed in them for days.  From the hole he was in, my grandfather saw the Gendarmes go into their town.  Until the day he died, my grandfather could still hear the cries of those who were taken away and butchered in the very hill that he was hiding in.  When everything settled, my great grandfather hoped that his brothers would still be held in the town’s jail.  He approached the jailhouse with a bag of gold coins, hoping that he could somehow bribe the Gendarmes into releasing his brothers.  Before he even reached the jailhouse, someone informed him that “they were all taken away!”  I can tell you the rest of my grandfather’s survival story…. But it is sacred to me….and I don’t think you deserve to hear it.
    Hitler was also “one individual”.  He was mostly responsible for the ideology behind the Holocaust.  Yet the German nation did not cower in front of Justice, pointed their finger at him and said “it was only him”!  They took responsibility for what their leader and his followers had done.  And so should Turkey. 
    I apologize if I sound angry.  You are not to be blamed.  I acknowledge that you are at a disadvantage here because your version is a “scientific theory”, and our version is the TRUTH.  On the other hand, at this point and after this elaborate discussion, even if you were in that ditch together with my grandfather you would probably still imagine that there was some kind of a civilized/acceptable reason that would justify the killing of 1.5 million civilians. 
     Regards

  218. Ragnar,
    ” If you ask me you have so far presented ZERO facts backing up your version!”
    WHAT IS YOUR VERSION ANYHOW?  Can you please lay out your version in an elaborate fashion once and for all?  Please enlighten us, and tell us what the reasonable explanation is behind the virtual annihilation of the Armenians from their historical home in Eastern Turkey.  Also tell us why you think the government that was supposed to protect its Armenian citizens, allowed, facilitated, encouraged and used its workers/employees in all the different levels of its institutions to annihilate them.
     

  219. There are now Turkish researchers picking up all these flaws.

    And that, Ragnar, is precisely what is the huge worry here. You have virtually accused those that support the contention of a genocide by saying their methodology and research has been faulty. Yet, what would you expect of those researchers from the opposite camp and the other party of the problem. Do you believe they have some other, “favoured” ability to be more scrupulous and objective given that they are more than likely ideologically tainted by their own beliefs and their cultural upbringing. It’s the equivalent of having “experts” from Nazi Germany study and then make pronouncements on the validity of the Holocaust!!!. They should play no part in any of the analysis or any decision which is to be made about the Genocide. None whatsover, because their own objectivity is, and can be, immediately called into question. Even if they were objective and impartial, it is the appearance that they may not be (and most likely are not) which is the thing that should immediately disqualify them from any commission or inquiry into the matter. This should be conducted by a completely independent panel with no ties to either side and absolutely no government coercion or interference from anyone. Give them the complete record from all parties and from all countries…take into account everything.
     
    I think you’ll find that in the end, the verdict would come out in favour of Armenia. The case for Turkey is based purely on the denial of history, a twisting of the facts where it has suited them and the obfuscation of the truth. Given their own present hypocrisy over the Kurds and other minorities in their country with their seeming solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs, who they treated as nothing less than cow dung when they ran the area, it seems that their reputation is severely compromised…especially where their honesty and integrity is concerned.
     

  220. Ragnar, simply put, what I am saying is that at the time of the events, there was a world consensus that something heinous had befallen the Armenian nation that required restitution (thus the creation of the Treaty of Sevres), punishment (thus the Courts Martial), and aid (thus the establishment of numerous orphanages and relief funds and organizations.    There was no discussion of the word genocide or whether or not the crime fit the definition because the word had not yet been coined.  There was only the realization that a great crime had occurred that required a just resolution.  Geopolitical events got in the way of carrying out the planned justice mandated by the Treaty at the time, but that does not invalidate the intent or the veracity of the findings.  Some say justice delayed is justice denied.  I say it is not too late to rectify this.
     
    I know it may frustrate you that I/we  resist getting on track with your method of debate to examine the truth.  Your logical format is not wasted on me.   Have no doubt that my resistance is intentional. I consider the endeavor false.  After so much evidence , especially evidence such as the Treaty of Sevres that indicates that the world, guided by the leadership of the President of the United States, (Wilson) clearly recognized the events in question as ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity requiring restitution; why are we now re-inventing the wheel? It is the opinion of this humble Armenian that the matter was settled long ago and only opened to re-examination because of  Turkey’s denial and massive program to resist punishment and reparations.
     
    We are definitely on different tracks.  I encourage you to pursue yours.  I just think your method is flawed from the outset if it doesn’t employ common sense  and an honest and humane approach (not a cold, detached, scientific or philosophical debate).  I am sure your effort will find flaws, but will this bring you closer to the truth?  Will you see the forest while focusing on the trees?
     
    I am optimistic that justice will come.  Ninety-five years is a long time to most people because  few of us will actually live that many years on this earth, but it is only a blip on the screen when viewed in the context of the full scope of civilized history.  Armenia existed long before the idea of a nation called Turkey was conceived.  It is still here and it will prosper, hopefully in peace and a renewed normalization with a repentant Turkey.

  221. Yes, Ragnar, please answer Katia’s question regarding your version.  What do you say happened?  You will likely reply that you are not decided, you have questions, doubts that you are seeking answers for.
    Why do you care?  What is your motivation?  Who would spend this kind of time and effort to logically dissect the question, opinions and evidence?  And for what purpose?   I am still unclear on this.

  222. Having such apologetic views, unidentifiable versions, and unknown motives, I also think, Ragnar, that you should dearly thank Lord Jesus for living in Norway, not in France or Switzerland, where denial of the Turks’ genocidal intent in the mass extermination of the Armenians is punishable by law.

  223. Ragnar— You are basing your understanding about what happened on “scientific theories”??    it is getting better and better

    Boyajian jan– you took the words out of my mouth when you stated
    I don’t doubt the value of scientific rigor, but one must recognize the limits of the method and the fallacy of proof devoid of human heart in this case
     Beautifully said…thank you for it….. I dont’ carry many degrees under my belt.. and I am probably younger than some as I don’t have alot of knowledge and experience in history, science, politics, ect… but I know  one thing… not everything on this planet can be proven by using science.. one being the human heart….

    Msheci jan—- THANK YOU for your excellent questions..you are a genious.. I am looking forward to Ragnar’s response.. ….

    Katia jan… I teared up when I read your post.. You always get me with your eloquent posts.. and trust me.. I know the feeling… My great grandfather’s sister and parents were in the caravans that were marching side by side…. His sister wanted to be with his parents…but the Gendarms did not allow it and killed the father first and then the mother… His sister never made it either.. he was the only one who survived this nightmare….my great grandfather dedicated his entire life finding and reuniting orphans to suriving family members in US, Paris, Russia, and other parts fo the world.. He never accepted any grants/money to do what he did and he operated from his small humble home in New Kharbert.. He passed away without a penny to his name or his family (his father’s properties and money was all taken from them) but his name remained in many many orphans and their families hearts/minds…His story was printed in a book written by a local writer and he has his own place in Kharbert’s school’s museum..I can write more about him but hopefully we will be able to exchange stories/views/thoughts.. e-mail me gayanevoskanyan@yahoo.com..  :)  I still have a great deal to learn about alot of things…and looking forward to it.. 

    Carl— you are definintely a fresh of air… glad to have you on this site.. thank you for your contribution…..:)

    God Bless.

    Gayane

  224. It seems to me that I’m also compelled to reiterate some questions to which, as well as to some others, I never received an articulate response from you, Ragnar. On these pages you obviously show signs of hesitation and selectiveness when it comes to answering pointed questions.
     
    First, if Armenian revolutionaries representing a minoritarian, largely unarmed radical group, who determined that freeing Western Armenia from the Ottoman yoke might be only possible by means of struggle against the oppression and seeking help from the Allies—just like their fellow-revolutionaries in other parts of the empire: Egypt, Syria, Greece, Serbia-Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, etc., have done—were seen as ‘traitors’ to the regime by the CUP leadership, why weren’t only those few radicals imprisoned and tried? Now YOU give me arguments, sustained by evidence and witness accounts, as to the motives of the CUP leadership not to isolate a few trouble-makers, but choosing to commit a horrific crime (using your distinct terminology) en masse against a particular ethnic populace?
     
    Second, my maternal great grandparents, as well as women, elders, and children of their closest relatives were burnt alive in a church by the Turkish gendarmes. If you had an ability to lean towards listening to the true stories of a great number of survivors and eye-witnesses, you wouldn’t have doubts about genocidal intent. My question is: what guilt these civilians had to suffer an excruciating death for? Could they be revolutionaries? Could they hold arms and thus represent a serious threat to the Ottoman regime? Give me a single motive, any motive, that could justify setting unarmed civilians ablaze. You obstinately doubt the genocidal intent that massive evidence and the majority of scholars support, now YOU give me a motive as to why representatives of a state would slaughter their own citizens in this particular case thta’s reached me through generations.
     
    Third, Nazi-looking Turkish prime-minister announced that there were officially some 60,000-70,000 Turkish citizens of Armenian descent residing predominantly in Constantinople as of 2010. According to various Ottoman Turkish calculi, there were up to 2 million (some sources suggest 2.5 million) Armenians living in Turkey before 1915. Given a fundamental feature of all known life, known as reproduction, what do you think might have happened to the millions of the Armenians? What kind of calamity, in your view, might have befallen these native inhabitants of Eastern Anatolia in the short time period between 1915 and 1923? Now YOU pick one, if you will: volcano eruption, evaporation, alien abduction, massive earthquake, nuclear attack, deliberate mass extermination, massive tsunami, ‘Black death’ plague, and explain, if you can, as to what could possibly happen to a population of 2-2.5 million reduced to 60,000.
     
    Now it’s YOUR turn to prove the opposite of what all commentators on these pages have repeatedly said in length. Be persuasive in arguing against the genocidal intent and please base your arguments on witness accounts of your beloved Turks; references of foreign diplomats and missionaries; broad-based, not only bought narrow scholarship; statements of professional associations; and resolutions of foreign parliaments. Indeed, be persuasive, because against your one argument we can easily find dozens in the existing evidence.

    Good luck.

  225. Again, Gayane, thank you for your kind words of encouragement.  It means a lot to get feedback on this  forum that often feels very one-directional.  Just so you know, I have advanced degrees but not in history or law, although I have done some independent research for my own education.  My heart and common sense inform my comments here, just like you.  In this respect, we have much in common.
    Bravo! Katia K. for not quitting.  I love hear your thoughts.  Bravo! Msheci for delineating such logical questions.  And Bravo Ragnar for your commitment to the conversation despite your time constraints and work commitments.  I hope some day we might see eye to eye on this issue, but in the mean time, I really wish you would explain your motivation.  Perhaps you think you have already explained it.  I ask you to humor me…explain again, please.

  226. There is a flight from Oslo to Antalya, Turkey  on june 25 in the afternoon. I plan to be there and hand out leaflets to the people leaving for Turkey.

    About Katia’s question, I believe such events as the Armenian genocide are highly composite. Different motives have been into play by different actors at different times. This is also Gerlach’s point and I believe he has a point.
    To study this in detail also highlights the shortcomings and exaggerations of the usual Armenian version. To take Katia’s example of april 24.:  1) The ones arrested were almst exclusively Dashnaks, or people long associated with the revolutionary movement, for instance Agnouni, 2) several of them were released again, see the lists of people and their fates provided by Grigoris Balakian in his book (Kemal Cicek points to a number of mistakes, people whom Balakian holds wewre killed but apparently were not, 3) the majority of the notables were untouched 4) the christian population in Istanbul were mainly spared, even though they must be assumed to be  potential adversaries located in a very important place.

    If you go into the battle with a flag with the sign: “The Armenian genocide started with arresting ALL leaders in Istanbul on april 24, 1915, they were subsequently ALL killed, and this was the start of a systematical massacre of Armenians”, then you invite the type of counteragruments that many Turks today fool their own people with, and that leave many honest Turks bewildered.

    For this reason I stick to my type of announcement: hundreds of thousands of Armenians were marched to death. There were no adequate provisions and security for them. Thousands were massacred and THE PERPETRATORS WERE NEVER PROSECUTED BY THE LEADERS. The traditional Armenian homeland was emptied of Armenians in the following years.  This clearly shows that a great crime was committed. Turkey refuses today to acknowledge this, many of those who hold this opinion are procecuted or get into big trouble. But we do not accept this, we protest, and I personally protest because this deals primarily  with justice for the Armenians and second with development of human rights in Turkey. Without going into the black spots of its history Turkey can never be fully democratic.

    If you say this you have world opinion on your side and probably many of the researchers who do not want to confirm that a genocide according to the criteria of the 1948 convention took place, for instance Guenter Lewy who clearly concludes in line with my announcement. But the Armenian side was too busy insisting on the word genocide, attacking people like him and even Baskin Oran of the “I apologize”- movement, to note that the fight to have the turks admit to Genocide in the 1948 version is insufficient. By all means, go on fighting for this admission, but do not neglect an approach that is based on a much simpler and unassailable fundament.

    Now of course I make you and the Armenians at large into caricatures, but I also feel that you have a completety biased view of me and my motives, and you have some strange reluctance to relate to one who sympathises with your cause, but disagrees on some points. You rather seem to choose to suspect anybody who professes solidarity but does not subscribe to a  predetermined formula

    I will go on answering  questions, but maybe you will answer some of mine? You know who I am and have the possibility of getting information on me, but I still do not know who you are.

    I will relate how people react to the handing out of leaflets on june 25

  227. Ragnar,  I apologize if I have been unduly suspicious of you.  Somehow you came across as more sympathetic of Turks, and for me that was problematic.  If I understand you correctly, you are trying to remain unbiased and get to the “truth” and you believe that Armenians are guilty of exaggeration.  In your opinion, is the Turkish government guilty of minimization, denial and distortion?
     
    You wrote:
    For this reason I stick to my type of announcement: hundreds of thousands of Armenians were marched to death. There were no adequate provisions and security for them. Thousands were massacred and THE PERPETRATORS WERE NEVER PROSECUTED BY THE LEADERS. The traditional Armenian homeland was emptied of Armenians in the following years.  This clearly shows that a great crime was committed. Turkey refuses today to acknowledge this, many of those who hold this opinion are procecuted or get into big trouble. But we do not accept this, we protest, and I personally protest because this deals primarily  with justice for the Armenians and second with development of human rights in Turkey. Without going into the black spots of its history Turkey can never be fully democratic.
     
    If this is what you believe, than we are mostly in agreement.  We may differ on numbers, genocidal intent and who the guilty were, but we agree that a crime was committed against the Armenians that requires restitution by the guilty.  We can start here.
     
    I have expressed my opinion that the matter was settled long ago and that I don’t feel the need to re-invent the wheel.  Also I feel that to engage in debating the issue as if there is debate that a crime was committed and that the modern Turkish government is the rightful inheritor of that guilt, is aiding those who wish to insert doubt and avoid taking responsibility.  I hope you can understand that I can’t help those who have caused so much pain to my people.
     
    I am not a historian or a jurist.  I am grateful to those who are and the illumination they bring, but I also believe that at times we allow things to get needlessly complicated.  For me the matter is simply one of justice and morality.  Turkey must pay for allowing this destruction to my people, for failing to prosecute the guilty, for participating in denial and distortion for 95 years, for creating a false history for their people, and for trying to distort the true memory of my people.
     
    I agree with you that Turkey can never be a democratic republic (worthy of EU membership) until it comes to grips with this guilt on a governmental and societal level. (My emphasis)
     
    If you have time, please tell me more about the content of the leaflets you will be passing out. What is the purpose?


     

  228. You make us into caricatures by neglecting to answer pointed questions, by applying selectiveness and hesitation in providing direct, unambiguous answers to logical questions, by relying heavily on the opinions of a few genocide deniers like McCarthy and Lewy, while neglecting the overwhelming scholarship by Armenian and non-Armenian genocide scholars, historians, international lawyers, and contemporary witnesses. You make us into caricatures by stating that we have ‘a completely biased view’ of you and your motives, whereas several of commentators requested that you identify your motives that are still unclear for them. Most importantly, Ragnar, you make us into caricatures by stating that you sympathize with our cause, yet in reality you didn’t base your sympathy either on acknowledging the genocidal intent of the Turks, a fact that Armenians no longer need to prove: it’s become internationally accepted, or on acknowledging the overwhelming scholarship by Armenian and non-Armenian genocide scholars, historians, and international lawyers, or, most importantly, on acknowledging the witness accounts back in 1915-1923. One may ask a logical question: if you sympathize with our cause, where did this empathy came from? What is it based on? How did it form or originate? What made you sympathize with our cause? Disreputable accounts by scholars who are known to be on the Turkish payroll like McCarthy and Lewy? Half-faced, evasive accounts by Gerlach, who advance a nightmarish point that ‘different motives have been into play by different actors at different times,’ to which I’d add that even if so, all these ‘different motives by different actors at different times’ had nonetheless led to genocidal, that is centered on one distinct racial group, extermination of the Armenians? What did you read or otherwise learn so that empathy towards the Armenians had originated in you? Turkish accounts and fairy tales of your Turkish friends? What made you empathize with the Armenians if nowhere in your comments had you mentioned even once that this point of an Armenian or non-Armenian scholar was trustworthy, that the Turkish martial courts have tried Young Turks as mass exterminators, that Ambassador Morgenthau documented the words of Tallat and Enver about the intentional destruction of the Armenians? What is it that you’ve read, learned, heard, or watched that made you empathetic towards Armenians? Maybe your great- grandparents were Armenians who witnessed Turkish savagery and barbarity and miraculously survived the mass massacres to pass the horrific pictures of mass slaughter to their children and grandchildren? What has made you empathetic if you only cite Turkish sources? How could it technically be that by reading and believing the long Turkish and genocide deniers’ tales one can become empathetic towards a nation that for 95 years tries to receive justice for being deliberately wiped out from the face of the earth? Ugh…

  229. AMEN TO THAT MSHECI jan.. AMEN.. I second your comment.. excellent questions…

    Ragnar has not answered the first set of questions that you posed and he has not really answered Katia’s questions in full…. So lets hope he answers these questions…

    He is such a confusing man.. i am confused.. i dont’ know what to make of his existance on this site… he does not want to answer us.. as to what is his motive, why is he here, what does he want to accomplish… because we don’t have the answers, it makes things a bit muddy and confusing.. maybe that is exactly what he wants us to be. .confused…but then again he accuses us being narrow minded and one sided.. see how confusing it can get?

    Gayane

  230. Ragnar,
    As I have said in an earlier comment, we do not mean to offend you, or judge you based on your comments.  We simply do not know you.
    I personally cannot make up my mind if I should thank you or get upset over some of the comments you are making.  (Just like I cannot decide about the leaflet that you are planning on distributing without seeing it).  The reason for this confusion is the fact that you are painstakingly trying not to take anyone’s side.   In other words, it seems to me that you want to keep BOTH SIDES HAPPY.  When you chose to do that, your message loses its weight, becomes undefined and starts going in circles.
     You are agreeing with us that a horrific crime was committed to an entire population, but you have so far not given YOUR VERSION as to how a crime of this magnitude, involving the murder of 1.5 million women, men and children could have taken place without it being organized or intentionally ignored by a State. 
    You are agreeing with the Turks that the Armenians “revolted, and betrayed the Turks at their most vulnerable point”, however you are running into a snag when it comes to explaining the massacres of unarmed women, men and children AND the killing of Armenian clergy, the desecration of churches, historical, archeological monuments AND the forceful conversion of Armenians to Islam AND the confiscation of Armenian money, home, lands and properties.
    You are having a very difficult time deciding one way or the other, because you are reacting to tinted information from both sides.  You now say that the Armenian version is “exaggerated” (the crime does not need to be exaggerated any bigger than it already is).  We are here to tell you that the Turkish version is intentionally “downplayed”.  A defendant is not expected to incriminate himself, and if you give him the opportunity, time and place to alter/destroy/distort the truth HE WILL.  
    If you are concerned about Human Nature and how people react, you have every reason to be.   Therefore the scientific thing to do would be to examine: 1. the scene of the crime (Eastern Turkey, Northern Syria), 2. The hundreds of survivor testimonies, the testimonies of the foreign missionaries and diplomats, the Turkish Tribunals, Talat’s memoirs, the testimony of the Turkish witnesses at the Tribunals, the newspapers of the time, and the international Treaties.
    Some of the questions that you have avoided: (and some newer ones)

    Why were the other countries that also revolted not subjected to mass murders?  Why were their “revolutionaries” not arrested/persecuted/beheaded etc as viciously as the Armenians? (This question was asked at least 8 times!)
    If the Armenian nation had declared a formal military “revolution” (no proof) and the Turks perceived this as an all out war, why did they not attack and murder the Armenians in Istanbul?  Why did they resort into clearing mostly the middle and eastern parts of the country from Armenian citizens?
    If the Turks were convinced that they were in an all out war with the Armenians why did they bother to move the Armenians to remote places where no foreigners could take their pictures, and massacred them there? (Away from foreigner infested Istanbul, … Ragnar?)
    A basic one: Why did not the Turks only go after the revolutionaries?

    “ But the Armenian side was too busy insisting on the word genocide, attacking people like him and even Baskin Oran of the “I apologize”- movement, to note that the fight to have the turks admit to Genocide in the 1948 version is insufficient”.  This statement brings us to your “motive” here and my next question:
    6. Why is a Ragnar spending so much time and effort to convince the few Armenians on this site to “forget about the word Genocide”?  
    You and the individuals you are citing can decide that the word Genocide is not necessary.  Maybe you are intimidated by Turkey’s reaction to the word, and you feel it is better to leave it alone.  That is your decision.  However with deciding to get rid of the word Genocide, you are also deciding that the killing of 1.5 million people, the confiscation of their lands and properties, and the desecration of their places of worship and historical monuments should go unpunished.  That is not a call that you have the right to make unless you can prove to us that it was not a Genocide.
    You have tried so hard to elaborate on the excuses that the Turks have come up with, and interestingly enough you have consistantly ignored the family stories that we have shared here.  At the end of the day it comes down to this:
    A horrendous mass murder  
     

  231. Sorry, did not get to complete my last sentence above… (also sorry for these long posts)
    At the end of the day it comes down to this:
    A horrendous mass (cidal) murder has taken place which has erased the population of a specific race (gene pool).  1.5 million Armenians were murdered and their properties and lands taken away from them.  It did not happen because the 1.5 were armed and dangerous, it happened because the murderer wanted them OUT of the picture.  Revolutiionary leaders, deserting soldiers… these cannot excuse the massacre of an unarmed civilian population.   
    It might be geopolitically inconvenient to punish the crime, however the least we can do is acknowledge it for what it is: A Genocide.  
    Not acknowledging it as such will give the message that countries can get away with mass murdering minorities in their country for political reasons. 
    Armenians do not blame regular Turkish citizens for the Genocide and stand with them in their struggle for freedom of speach, expression and religion, and their hopes for Democracy.  One of many steps toward Democracy would be to deal with one’s history, acknowledge the mistakes done, correct them and move on.

  232. Boyajian,
    I will continue to comment on your post amd then I will comment on the posts of Katia and Msheci and others
    You write:
    To argue legal technicalities regarding the the term “genocide” may make for an interesting mental challenge but it doesn’t serve the greater good of finding a just resolution.  In fact, it obfuscates the issue. 
    Comment:
    I agree with you. I would only add that we must specify an offender in order not to confuse the issue. The question of proving genocidal intent in Reshid will be different from proving genocidal intent in Talat, for example. But precisely because of the technicalities and hence reasonable doubt  I say that the definition of genocide from the 1948 Convention should be kept out of the question. If one claims that what happened in 1915 and in the following years  is a genocide according to the 1948 definition and the practices of determining whether genocide in this meaning of the word happened, then one invites all these technicalities.  But it is quite usual for genocide scholars to claim this, that the 1948 definition applies
    So I do not understand your point
    You write:
     Raphael Lemkin coined the word using the facts of what happened to the Armenians as an example of what he meant by the term.  He defined the term to define the Ottoman Armenian tragedy and to create a legal remedy for such crimes.  I think he would not be pleased to see that his work was being manipulated to thwart justice.
    Comment:
    I cannot follow you. My point is that a crime was committed, you may also call it genocide, but then I would like to clarify what I mean by the term, and add that I am not sure that  the crime of the leading cadres of CUP it qualifies as genocide according to the 1948 definition because it implies a strong assertion of intent . Just to avoid confusion. How can this mean to thwart justice? A crime is committed.

  233.  
    Please answer the pointed questions from me and other commentators, Ragnar. Otherwise I’d assume that you do make me and others into caricatures. Answer the questions posted in many comments above and then we’ll continue exchanging views, if you so wish. Show your good-mannerliness and answer the questions.

  234. Boyajian
    Now I will comment on the last part of your post. I am sorry if I do not get my meaning through well enough, I will try again.
    You write:
    Further, if you do not give credence to the consensus of genocide scholars and historians, but search for independent irrefutable evidence 95 years after these events without recognizing that much of the original body of evidence has been deliberately tainted and/or destroyed, than you’re scientific endeavor will be seriously compromised.  As I said above, the strongest evidence is in the words of those who lived it, witnessed it and heard about it at the time.

    Comment:
    It is to my mind not impossible to reach new conclusions 95 years after the events. This may come about in different ways: for instance because new documents are found, or because you investigate existing documents according to a nw strategy. As an example I will repeat my main conclusion why I believe that the ittihadists committed a heinous crime against the Armenians, but not necessarity genocide as defined in the 1948 convention
    This is because  they knew about all the massacres and the inadequacy of the security for the Armenians.  But  the crucial point for me is that they never prosecuted the perpetrators in the massacres.  This is said by Talat, he also adds that they did not prosecute these people for political reasons. This is willful neglect, a criminal offence. The list of the court martials of 1915-18 were published only in recent years (I wrote this before) and Talat is right. Only Cemal prosecuted a few perpetrators. I have this from a genocide scholar I trust because he shares my views on the theory of science.   In the whole of Eastern Anatolia where the majority of the massacres took place nobody was prosecuted. This is criminal neglect on the part of the ottoman system of justice of the time.   Third, there was a debate between Yusuf Halacoglu, then president of the Turkish Historical Society, and Akcam, in 2008 – I believe. Halacoglu said that the itthadists prosecuted more than a thousand people for atrocities against the Armenians. Akcam challenged him on this saying that the documents Halacoglu presented had to do with people prosecuted for  stealing Armenian property (which presumably should go to the war effort), they did not deal with atrocities. And Halacoglu did not answer as far as a could ascertain. Fourth:  I asked Kemal Cicek of the Turkish Historical society – I know him personally – and neither he was able to give any satisfying answer about these people allegedly prosecuted and punished .    So I conclude from this that the leading itthadists did a criminal thing which resulted in the mass deaths of Armenians (apart from the toll taken by starvation and sickness). This is very obvious to me.
    When the ittihadists did not prosecute the perpetrators it may be due to different causes. One possibility was 1) that they did it becase they WANTED this mass death of Armenians, or 2) it is possible that they did it because they did not want to antagonize those who massacred the Armenians. Or 3) it is possible that they  just didn’t care. My problem with point no. 1 is that it is difficult for me to see how you can argue that 2) or 3) or a combination did not apply. The evidence that Armenian mass death simply was the wanted  outcome on the part of the central ittihadists is slim to my mind.

    To argue the last point, that the overall evidence is slim, I would have to go into a lot of other reasonings. My main point here is that we should mutually understand our way of reasoning, not that I hold that there exists no evidence which makes it hard to deny that Armenian mass death was wanted by the tp echelons of CUP. Obviously there exist pieces of evidence that suggests this, for instance that the plans for settling people in Zor were totally unrealistic: Zor could at the time only accomodate a few thousand people in addition to the 60.000 inhabitants who already were there.
    But I am not convinced on genocidal intent in the top echelond, and I counted som 40 scholars who also doubt or deny. So I will not so far conclude on this.
    Regarding the question of genocidal intent, I never saw a proof which satisfies the 5 criteria I mentioned earlier. To start with, the genocide researchers  have not discussed the evidence in the light of the alternative possible versions (for instance the hypotheses 1),2) and 3) above.They do not seem to find this necessary, whereas in all  introductory classes in theory of science you learn that this is what you  must do. One example of shortcomings:  Taner Akcam in one place in “A shameful Act”  says that BECAUSE the itthadists took all the Armenians’ belongings and settled Muslims in their houses, this  PROVES genocidal intent. But it obviously doesn’t. It is also compatible with the hypothesis that they wanted to rob the Armenians for the benefit of the war effort and to deport them, but not necessarily create a maximum death toll
    Now a sound re-ordering of all the relevant evidence may very well  yield the answer: YES, if we look at the facts in a scholarly way, there was genocidal intent in a number  of the central ittihadists. But I have not seen it.
    You must excuse me but according to my training and lecturing on theory of science the genocide research is deficient in this respect. This point is also made by historians, even historians who support the genocide thesis (Hilmar Kaiser). So for the time being I conclude, YES, a horrendous crime leading to the mass death of the Armenians was committed, but NO, I cannot see that the evidence for a systematical overall policy of extermination, That is genocidal intent according to the 1948 convention,   is provided.   
    You write:
    Again, the question is what is the goal?  Is it to define terms or to stand for justice.  Of course,  I don’t doubt the value of scientific rigor, but one must recognize the limits of the method and the fallacy of proof devoid of human heart in this case.
     
    Just my opinion.

    Comment:
    I am baffled by this, I am saying:  yes a great crime was committed but we seem to disagree on WHAT. You hold – if I understand you right – that the central ittihadists all had the requisite genocidal intent for their acts to qualify as genocide in the sense of the 1948  convention.  I am not sure of this for the reasons outlined above. But we are both concerned with justice aren’t we? Or is there something in your reasoning I have not understood? If a man is accused of deliberate murder and alternatively with willful negligence  which led to the death of others, this has to do with applying justice isn’t it? And f he is acquitted of the first for lack of evidence, but convicted for the second, this is also applying justice. Or ?

    And I cannot agree that my reasoning represents excessive scientific rigour. The Akcam case above is very simple. It seems like Akcam simply is carried away by his belief and wish to convince, not by historical method.

    Thank you for reading my post

  235. a last point.
    you write:
    ….the fallacy of proof devoid of human heart in this case.

    For me this is mixing things. I find the descriptions from 1915 revolting and terrible. I empathise. But the question of explanations and what explanation is the right one is another matter. This s a scholarly question, not one of empathy

  236. Ragnar — I’d like to add one more question to the mounting number of unanswered questions.

    Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘crime,’ a word that you so like to use when describing mass extermination of the Armenians by the Turks, as ‘an offence against an individual or the state which is punishable by law,’ ‘such actions collectively’ ‘informal: something shameful or deplorable.’ I invite you to give your distinct definition of crime, a term that you apply to the Armenian Cause. If it is an offence against an individual or the state, as defined by Oxford, which is punishable by law, then please specify as to who committed an offense  and against what particular Armenian individual out of 1.5 million slaughtered or against what state. Please also specify as to whether or not such a crime has been punished by law, as defined by Oxford.

    If by ‘crime’ you mean ‘crime against humanity,’ then the Rome Statute, which provides for the International Criminal Court to have jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, defines ‘crime against humanity’ as follows: any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

    Murder
    : killing a human in a willful and non-negligent manner;

    Extermination
    : the act of killing with the intention of eradicating demographics within a population;

    Enslavement
    : a system in which people are the property of others;

    Deportation or forcible transfer of population
    : the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country;

    Imprisonment
    or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law: the detention of a person in jail or prison;

    Torture
    : any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person;

    Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization
    , or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity: the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will;

    Persecution against any identifiable group
    or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

    Enforced disappearance of persons
    : occurs when a person is secretly imprisoned or killed by agents of a state or other organization, but the organization does not admit that they have carried out this act, thereby placing the victim outside the protection of law;

    Apartheid
    : inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime;

    Genocide
    is any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    Be so kind, Ragnar, please indicate which act or acts above, as defined by the ICC as ‘crime against humanity,’ you have in mind when applying the word ‘crime’ or most recently ‘horrific crime’ towards our Cause. Thank you.

  237. Msheci
    You write:
    Before I decide whether or not it’s worth re-engaging in this discussion, I’m just guessing and would appreciate your candor in responding to enquiries below.
    First, might it be that you’re (a)currently in the dissertation-writing stage for your doctoral degree concentrating on mass crimes, (b)deepening your knowledge in international law to acquire broader professional recognition in Norway and beyond, (c)are being trained as an international lawyer specializing in premeditated mass crimes, or (d)employing an old and easily detectable counterexample method, which is used to argue that a certain position is wrong by showing that it doesn’t apply in certain cases, in order to identify arguments for which ideas posted by the Armenian commentators on Armenian Weekly represent nearly ideal opportunity?
    Answer:
    We have been discussing some time. And it is natural to present ourselves. I have pointed to my website www-pertinaxgruppen.no. I would like to have some information on you, since some balance in this is natural.
    I majred in philosophy in 1969, the worked as researchers for 20 years in the Work Research Institute in Oslo, then I left the institute in 1994 and have worked as a private consultant. I translated Spinoza’s Ethics from latin to Norwegian and had it published  in Norway.
    I was a political activist since 1968, I am active in the People’s Socialist Left party of Norway, currently part of the government coalition in Norway. Here I work unpaid with questions of racism and ethnic discrimination, a field in which I also work professionally.
    I already mentioned my fieldwork in Turkey, and my work with Amnesty International.
    No, I am not writing any dissertation. I have plans to write a book on the massacres and deportations of the late Ottoman Empire, but because of my other work with refugees and youths in Russia I have not had the opportunity. The Turkish Embassy asked me to send an application to fund my book,apparently because I had publicly criticized the onesidedness of genocide research. But the project description was never answered. From this description it appears that my criticism of Turkish historiography is harsher than my criticism of genocide research and that I do not aim at saying yes or no to the genocide thesis. The Turkish historiography on 1915 I have mainly – maybe unjustly –  simply dismissed as not worthy of comment. However, I am rectifying this now in a recent article I hope to have published. The reports sent out by the Turkish  Embassy are mainly propaganda, but there are some  books that contain information that may be interesting. But all has to be checked, of course.
    No, this is not professional work , except that I lecture two hours once a year in the Department of political science University of Oslo. The theme is the late ottoman violence and the concept of genocide and so on. Genrally 100-150 students participate.  However,  I have mainly worked on the questions of 1915  on this apart from my paid jobs.
    As a private consultant I earn below average worker income in Norway. I live for my ideas. My heroes are Gandhi, Socrates  and Spinoza. I have two grown-up children and one 14 year old daughter, and I am proud to say that they represent the same combination of critical idealist attitude that I try to live up to for myself.  
     
    In 2007 I invited a number of intellectual Turks in Oslo to listen to Donald Bloxham’s lecture on the Armnenian Genocide in the Norwegian Holocaust Center. Some 15 came and for most of them it was the first time that they had heard a succinct statement of the genocide thesis and were able to pose questions. Unfortunately, Bloxham answered them quite arrogantly. Unpardonable.
     I applied for means to invite Turkish and Armenian and other relevant researchers and activists to Oslo and received funding. In February 2010 I organized a second seminar with backing from the department of History at the University of Oslo. Kemal Cicek came from the Turkish Historical Association. Since the Norwegian genocide scholars boycotted the conference. I invited Armenian scholars and had financing for them, but unfortunately none of them had the opportunity to come. In order to have the genocide perspective  represented I invited Hilmar Kaiser and Christian Gerlach, and they came. I criticized Kaiser and genocide research  for flaws in his attempt to prove government involvement in the massacres of the Erzurum Armenians. The full text will be available. I admitted to some mistakes and Kaiser admitted to some mistakes as a result. Gerlach made a convincing presentation on the involvement of various actors, including authorities,  in 1915 regarding the mass killingmgs of Armenians. The head of the juridical department in the department of foreign affais of Norway, Dolva, participated. He is a former Ankara ambassador. I critiziced him for dismissing the possibility – quite superficially to my mind – of proving that the CUP had genocidal intent.
    I believe in dialogue, and in cases like the question of the Armenian genocide primarily on methodology, not in showing empathy. I belive  in dialogue which focusses on the research aspects. I do dialogue work in many settings. To my mind dialogue as a sustained effort  in communication is underestimated.  See the website of the Work Research Institute of Oslo for some of the ideas of dialogue I subscribe to.
    No, I don’t use the counterexample method. My method is shortly indicated by my five points. In controversies you must confront all hypotheses in the field with the facts and see whether given facts are compatible or not with what hypothesis. This is to my knowledge an aspect of ordinary rationality in common sense, refined and explicated in common research procedures and methodology. I do not absolve the Turks. I indicated in my mail to Boyajian why I see Talaat as a criminal, but of course a criminal responding to a certain historical situation that made many into criminals – juridically speaking – with some justification, whether  Turks or Armenians or others.
    Yes, the articles of Armenian Weekly represent an opportunity for me  to do dialogue, but I have also debated in  Daily Zaman and in Daily Hurriyet.  However, Turks were mainly interested in this in the last year before the 90 anniversary of the Armenian genocide in 2005. My Turkish friends were even  eager to hear both sides. There was a certain nervousness among Turks. But after the Turkish diplomatic triumph with the proposal of the historians commission and the Sakissian government’s handling of this they seemed to decide that the issue is not so pressing after all. My Turkish friends who even collected money to invite a genocide researcher and listen to him have been postponing and postponing…..
    I am looking for a debate in the english language Turkish Daily Zaman and daily Hurriyet. Last time they were very angry and dismissive of my views…but they did not have your stamina in dialogue..
    I hope this was enlightening. Sorry for the long post.

  238. Thank you, Ragnar. I’ll be awaiting–so will other commentators, I believe–your responses to many other quesions while I digest and analyze your most recent comment re: motives for your involvement in this discussion. Thanks again.

  239. In response to KATIA: Your information is profound and goes very deep. It reveals the trecherous nature of the Turks and their “new” friends,sponsors,accomplices  Iran, Lybia, Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas, along with their paymasters in Riyadh. Indeed, how
    “convenient” the Turkish flotilla terrorists “disguised” as peace keepers armed with weapons, hate and murder in mind headed for gaza …………to DISTRACT world media
    from the murder of HRANT DINK’s attorney – on the same day, conveniently “disguised” as a “hanging”……….under the treacherous and self ambitious orders of Erdogans “friendship”…………..buyer beware. And while Turkey cries wolf over gaza, to fan the flames of hate against Israel, Turkey and Iran are VIOLATING the Iraqui borders, illegally enetering from TWO flanks, to murder, rape and kill the Kurds……without a word of protest. The genocide continues……..in carefully planned installments from Turkey’s regime, and with the help and “moral” support of the terror sponsoring islam
    empire, who have deep claws in the UN, where many fortunes change hands….as we know from the corrupt business Kofi Annan and his son………the killing of Armenian soldiers – and the potential it offers Turkey to put pressure on the Armenians – indicates
    that there could well be Turkish “behind the scenes” involvement – given the treacherous nature and duplicity of Turkey’s “friendship” towards Armenia……

    As Ron Paul justly said> “Truth is treason in the empire of lies”……and on that note, 
    I may remind RAGNAR NAESS……that the intoxication of self importance often causes
    blurred vision and misguided visions. He supports his opinions with “scientific” qualifications and more, bloating his ego and posturing, while he drinks and eats his 
    poisonos meals of “turkishness”, “palistinianess”, accepts their “hospitality” and then performs lip service in return. Poor Ragnar. I was in Mocambique during the civil war in the sixties, I was in South Africa, for years, during the seventies, and I was in India during the Pakistani India war………..so I do not need scientific qualifications and diplomas to qualify what you do not have, Ragnar > FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE. Why has Norway FAILED to stand behind Armenia – FAILED to demand that Turkey recognize, apologize, and make FULL reparation to the people of Armenia – not forgetting Van and Ararat………….why Ragnar? Because it is easier for Norway to “dump” on the small minority of Israel, when they defend their citizens against 10.000 islam rockets during a cease fire? In the same way America “believes” that Turkey is their “friend”……..while Turkey is sleeping in the same bed as Assad, who destroyed the democracy of Lebanon, and continues, through Hizbolla, to commit genocide against the Maronites, Christians, Catholics and Sunnis in Lebanon, with the complicity of the palestinian “refugees”? Lol
    Drink the wine of ignorance, while you sell your soul to the devil who strikes the defenceless and claims victory……………….for every woman, child, brother, father, son and daughter of Armenia – who were marched and tortured to death – I know I cannot go back to ease their suffering – or help carry their load, but I can honor their sacrifice and pain – which they invested in those who survived. To carry the torch of justice and resistance against the opressors and frauds who are salivating on the sidelines in Ankara. Sorry Ragnar, there was a time in Norway – when Quislings were hated – because Norway had the moral currency to stand up for justice. Being a left wing liberal in these days, is like being a lost fart in a haunted latrine.  

  240. ‘I believe that the Ittihadists committed a heinous crime against the Armenians, but not necessarily genocide as defined in the 1948 convention.’

    One more question for you, Ragnar, to be added to the mounting number of enquiries from Armenian commentators. If you firmly believe ‘that the Ittihadists committed a heinous crime against the Armenians, but not necessarily genocide as defined in the 1948 convention,’ what are you trying to accomplish by engaging in lengthy discussions with the Armenians? You don’t really expect victims of the genocide and mass deportations, as well as hundreds of genocide scholars, genocide researchers, international lawyers, researchers of witness accounts, researchers of Turkish martial court verdicts, researchers of victims’ narratives, as well as Nobel Prize laureates, UN subcommission on minorities, international advocacy groups, over 25 foreign parliaments, 44 state legislatures of the United States, the European Parliament, and, most importantly, Raphael Lemkin himself who coined the term ‘genocide’ based on his study of Turkish atrocities, based on which the 1948 Genocide Convention was adopted, to accept that all of them were stupid and disreputable, and only Ragnar Naess and a bunch of bought and paid-for genocide deniers, along with all consecutive denialist Turkish governments, tend to believe that evasive ‘heinous crime’ against the whole Western Armenian population was not necessarily genocide. In my previous post I asked you unequivocally to define your usage of the term ‘crime’ that then evolved into ‘horrific crime’ that then evolved into ‘heinous crime.’ Define the God damned term, Ragnar. Every crime has its distinct name. Human civilization exists from the Sumerian times in which already legal codes were developed defining all misdemeanors that human beings—individually or collectively—were capable of doing. I gave you definitions of ‘crime’ or ‘crime against humanity’ if you meant it, as defined by Rome Statute. I’m thus adding one more question: if you believe that ‘crime against the Armenians [was] not necessarily genocide,’ then what do you essentially expect from us? Go on denying, lay back, relax, and just watch how the increasing number of foreign governments and international organizations will be accepting the undeniable, for the prevailing majority of scholars, fact of the genocidal intent—a deliberate, centrally-planned and executed mass annihilation of the Armenian race—by the Turkish State. We know, and I believe deep in your mind and soul you know, and I’d suppose even the Turks know, that at the end they WILL offer an apology for deliberate extermination of the Armenians. And one more thing: it will happen during our lifetime, Ragnar. Come back again to these pages if you’ll have face and unstained conscience for denying what the world and the Turks themselves will ultimately admit.

  241. I haven’t posted much on here lately because others have been voicing my own thoughts rather well, of late. However I do have to make comment on this next line…
    “Being a left wing liberal in these days, is like being a lost fart in a haunted latrine. ”
     
    Jenny….that is a classic!!!. When I read that I couldn’t stop laughing. Said in seriousness but that’s usually when the funniest of sayings rear their heads :)
     
    That’s one thing we need to remember…despite the seriousness of this subject, sometimes a little levity goes a long way to ease the tensions.
     

  242. Jenny…. i got goosebumps when I read your post…. Thank you for your comment.. 

    Hopefully Ragnar and his Turkish friends who continueously deny, confuse and stir the readers away from the truth will see that their efforts to get the surviving families of the perished will not get anywhere…I mean if someone who has no experience in History reads the comments here without a doubt will see a clear picture.. and that would not be Ragnar’s “scientific” explanation of why did 1915 happen… it would definintely not be his confusing and enigma comments which to this day leaves me dumbfounded.. i still dont’ understand his purpose on these pages… but like i said in my previous post…i think maybe he wants us to remain confused..and question his existance and his beliefs..who knows?.. he has yet to answer all the excellent and relevant questions that Katia and Msheci and Boyajian posed …so we are waiting on that….however, all I know is that at the end of the day.. “scientific” theories, explanations, all this mumbo jumbo that we are being treated to will not matter because what happened in 1915-1923 was a GENOCIDE…UNLUCKY to the Turkish govt, Armenians survived and will continue to survive and will accomplish what we meant to accomplish….that is: not only to bring justice to those who perished but those who survived and continue to fight, not only to get the apology from the Turkish govt, not only get everything that was stolen, lost and destroyed but also to rip away the rosy fake mask the Turkish govt has been wearing for such a long time and show the world how ugly and dark they truly are……

    Gayane

  243. This conversation continues stronger than ever.  I am catching up on the posts I’ve missed, which are quite a few. Not ignoring you Ragnar, just busy.  But thanks to Msheci who seems to be working tirelessly here.  Welcome to Jenny Johansen who is also full of passion.
     
    Main point to Ragnar:  Turkey is responsible and must pay for the lives of 1.5 million Armenians, the destruction and theft of property, the destruction of the civic and cultural institutions, the desecration of houses of worship, as well as failure to prosecute the guilty and continuing in the act of denial of the crime for 95 years. What you and others of your bent contribute delays justice (Is 95 years not long enough for you?) and creates confusion and doubt where the evidence of a heinous crime is obvious.  Will respond more fully later, but on first glance it appears that you and I are not communicating clearly to one another despite the fact that we are both using the English language.

  244. For those who says it was not a Genocide.
    Please read this and
    know who is this man.
    Morgenthau wrote ” Campaign of race extramination” is this not a Genocide.
    I cann’t believe some literates
    Want to cover somthing so obvious.
    If God  still can heed let give brain for those
    Who want to dive the facts in mud.
    _______________________________________________________

    Morgenthau’s ambassadorial* letters to the USA,

    Explaining every sense in the clearest way.
    Who was a real human, not a clown or clay man?

    Tell me, “Who else is left to prove what you say?”

    Eviscerated bodies, portrayed by Bedouins.
    They never write, but seen by godly eyes.
    Mentioned, rehearsed with agonies,
    Year after year, to the nearest kin—

    Still few prove our hymned miseries!

    Arab ethnicities saved those girls from rivers.
    Not to rape, slay them like mammals,
    But to marry, feed them like queens.
    Few arrived to the princes of Arabia.
    Their grandchildren are still alive,
    Rehearsing grannies orphaned for life—

    Proud to carry, “Sincere Genes” of honest race.

     

    ___________________________________________________ 

     
    *Henry Morgenthau (1856-1946): U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916. His published book, The Murder of a Nation,
    is translated to French, German, Turkish, and Armenian. He describes the massacres of Armenians as a “campaign of race extermination.”

  245. Jenny — I admire your candor and unreserved compassion in supporting the truth about what’s become obvious to the world: the Armenian Genocide. Thank you, friend.

  246. Msheci
    I will go on answering questions but I feel we should focus more on what we agree on and where exactly we disagree. I would also be happy to hear a little more from the people I discuss with about who you are, as I have told a little about myself. I’d also like to receive a link to the main resolution of the Genocide scholars that the events of 1915 qualify as genocide, if any of you have it.  
    You write:
    Second, because you suggest that as a starting point ‘we discuss different and opposite conceptualizations, versions and applied labels regarding the [known] events,’ I’d like to know your opinion—expressed clearly, definitively, and unequivocably—as to whether or not annihilation of Eastern European Jews was a premeditated action by the Nazi Germans. Please indicate (a)why you think the actions of the Nazis can be qualified as premeditated (enumerating criteria would be splendid) and (b)what name the actions of the Nazis can be categorized under (please refrain, if your invitation to re-engage in this discussion is serious and conscientious, from employing vague, evasive categorizations such as ‘horrific crime,’ ‘indescribable tragedy,’
    Answer:
    Why do you limit it to the annihilation of the Eastern European Jews?
    I never studied this in detail, like I have the Armenian case. However the Nazi policies of 1) not sparing any Jews anywhere, 2) of well-documented instances of government sponsored death machines like the gas chambers makes me share the usual conviction: of course this was a government sponsored mass killing.
    But I fail to see what is the point, other than the rhetocial juxtaposition of the jewish and the Armenian case as if the Armenian case couldn’t stand on its own

  247. I am amazed that this conversation has been reenergized by new participants.  I would like to find out from the staff of Armenian Weekly, if this site has now reached a record in comments.

    Ragnar????? … I am still waiting for answers to many of my questions to you…. However, with all due respect (you have finished your first disseration in 1969?  That’s when I was born) my hope is that these posts will provide sources/information to individuals who are interested in researching and reading up about the Armenian Genocide.

    From the books that I have read, I finally got a picture of how and why this calamity could have taken place.  And so far, everything else that I am reading is only reinforcing the veracity of the following revelation:
    The Turkish empire was built with the lands of many peoples the Seljuk Turks had taken under their control.  As civilization advanced, and the concepts of human rights, civic/ethnic/historic rights, democratic ideals started to burgeon, the different ethnic populations under the Ottoman Empire started resisting and rejecting their second class existence under an oppressive regime.  They also revolted because they were being oppressed on “their own historic lands”.  The Seljuk Turkish homeland of origin is in Central Asia.  The CUP leadership realized that they will not be able to appease these “revolutions”.  They wanted to join the war in many ways to buy time.  The Armenian Vilayets had been asking for reformed equal civic/human rights for years.  These demands were responded by phoney promises, broken compromises, retaliation by outrageous taxation, and outright intimidating massacres.  Slowly but surely, the empire lost its foothold in the many countries that it was holding.  The Armenian vilayets demographically fell where the “Turkish nation” lived and settled its many refugees from the Balkans.  The Turkish nation, losing the war, having lost its more distant lands, was hanging on to the Greek, Kurdish, Assyrian and Armenian lands like a person hanging on to life.  These were the last lands in its possession and the lands that the Turkish nation was living in.  This is the difference between Western Armenia and Croacia, Serbia, Romania, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine etc.  This is where the fate of the Armenian nation was sealed.  The Armenians knew that the Turks wanted to annex the Armenian lands one way or another, because letting Armenia go would have dealt a huge blow to the Turkish nation (land wise).  The Armenians had just suffered a loss of 300,000 lives under Sultan Hamid.  They knew they were dealing with fire.  They had no choice but to try to salvage as much of their country as possible.  Outnumbered, with no official governement and no formal army, they did their best first by trying to negotiate politically, and later when the Genocide started, by self defense, joining the Russian army etc.  The CUP, took advantage of the chaos of the war and organized a well thought out race extermination in order to form a homogenous, muslim Turkish nation.  The Armenians, slaughtered, most of their leaders killed announced a free Armenian Republic which included Mount Ararat, Ani, Ardahan etc.  The Turks having razed the Armenian Vilayets from their Armenian popuation proceeded to attack the newly formed Armenian Republic.  Starving, infested from disease, having barely survied a Genocide that cost the lives of their many relatives, the Armenian refugees fought the battle of their lives (Sardarabad) and hung on to modern day Armenia…. (the Kars treaty between the Soviet Union and Turkey gave Mount Ararat, Ani, Ardahan to Turkey).
    Just like BK, the Turkish commentator, acknowledged here, the ancestors of the present day Turkish state, decided to annihalate a race in their endeavor of “nation building”.  Today’s Turkey has in it the majority of the “Armenian vilayets” including our mount Ararat.  It stands as an example of what one human being can do to another, and it also leads an existence consisting of lying and distorting the facts of history.  For Turkey to have a healthy existence, it needs to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, make reparations for it, and return some of our lands for goodwill.  If it does this, nothing and noone will stand in its way to becoming a full pledged Democratic nation and a respected power in the region.  If Turkey and Azerbaijan respect the right of Armenians to EXIST, the whole region will find peace and posperity.  In order to have peace, the Pan Turkic dream needs to be put to rest. 

  248. Ultimately, no matter what anyone says or pontificates about, it boils down to this. An unspeakable crime was committed against the Armenian people. That crime, no matter how you want to argue the matter on its finer points, was genocide. That the term wasn’t coined until some 32 years after the fact, is a moot point. It was what it was, and the fact that the Turkish government and a great many of its country’s citizens will not accept the fact it happened and will not do the right thing by the Armenian people is nothing short of reprehensible. The fact that so many of the major governments, such as the U.S, Britain and others do not wholeheartedly support the Armenian people is reprehensible. Hiding behind political and diplomatic niceties is just another way of expressing how hypocritical and morally bankrupt those in power truly are. A cursory glance at the positions held by those in power now, compared to the positions they avowed beforehand, bares this out completely. Those states, those people who do recognise the atrocity should put pressure on those that wish to sit on the fence. It’s easy enough to do, it just takes courage to do so. Sometimes people need to shout and stomp their feet in order to get attention, and this is a case in point. If they don’t wish to listen, then make a loud enough noise that they have to. Put the pressure on them, make it politically expedient for them to give their support. Convince them with proper argument and undeniable facts that support is not only morally right, but serves the good of all peoples. Make them commit honestly to recognising the genocide and they’ll come to know that they have a responsibility to not allow it to ever happen again.
     
    Just as an aside…I am not all that happy that my own country does not fully recognise the genocide. Some of our state parliaments have recognised the genocide, but the federal government has not. The Australian government is all for being roundly patriotic when it comes to my country’s achievements in war, with honouring our war dead and the heroes of the battles that occurred. But the simple fact of not recognising as a nation, the genocide, is a black spot. A big one. Our soldiers fought to save others lives, to stop tyrannies and actions like the genocide from ever occurring. My grandfather and other members of my family have fought for these ideals. My grandfather fought at Gallipoli. If he and the other soldiers there had’ve known what the Turkish government were doing to the Armenians, they would’ve been utterly appalled at the horror of it all, and whilst the Gallipoli campaign may have still turned out a disaster, as it did, they would’ve been even more determined to defeat the Turkish army and do something to stop the massacres of innocent people. It’s precisely what they were fighting against. And yet, my government does them all a disservice to their memory by not officially recognising the genocide. If the government truly believes in truly honouring these men, my grandfather and other relatives, all those that fought, they should duly recognise the genocide and make it an act of parliament.
     

  249. Bravo Katia jan…

    Carl- i got chills when I read your post… honoring those who gave up their lives to protect others, and in your case your grandfather by recognizing the Ottoman Turks Genocide of the Western and Eastern Armenians was truly a noble proposal… I hope that this is shared and read by many countries who fought for justice and for human race… thank you my friend…

    Ragnar— you say you never studied the Jewish Genocide like the ARmenian Genocide.. why is that?  is it because you know that what happened to the Jews was well documented, well preserved, well proven Genocide??…YES.. there is nothing you can study about that because it WAS a Genocide, a state organized murder and annihiliation of the Jews… and you know what Ragnar?  it is unfortunate, just simply sad that back in those days when my people were being slaughtered from left to right, there was no film, there was no cameras, there was no media, no quick way of getting the information out, no better way to preserve all the horrible events.. if Hitler did what he did knowing his horrible plan would be televised and reported in full force due to all the available avenues at that time, you think Turks would not take the chance of having very little or NONE of those avenues to do what they planned to do? Turks knew this very well..  that is why they were not worried about what was about to happen to the Armenians. they knew that the evidence ..at least too much of it ….had a very high rate of surviving… however no “scientific theory” can prove us otherwise that what happened to my people was anything less than Genocide…no matter how you spin it… despite all the modern technology during the Hitler era, he still without fear and with great pride carried out the second most horrible chapter of our history…and by saying who to this day remembers the Armenians… .  and you say you can’t see the relevance or the point of Msheci’s questions??? WOW..  You sure know how to dodge the bullet by not directly answering specific questions..

    Oh and my question is this… why such relevance of knowing what each of us represent or do or studied…??? I for one don’t have your credentials but I understand more and I can smell an enigma or a phony friend when I read it.. DESPITE all the degrees, all the field work, all the projects that are going on ect ect ect…Thank you

    Gayane

  250. msheci
    I only want to add; yes the Holocaust fits the various genocide definitions very well

  251. Msheci
    I comment on your last question in your post of june 15
    You write:
    Third, I’d be interested in knowing your opinion—expressed clearly, definitively, and unequivocably— as to whether or not the crime committed by the Nazis on April 9, 1940 against Norway was a premeditated action. Please likewise indicate (a)why you think the actions of the Nazis can be qualified as premeditated (please provide criteria), (b)what name the actions of the Nazis can be categorized under (please refrain from employing vague, evasive categorizations such as ‘horrific crime,’ ‘indescribable tragedy,’ ‘bloodcurdling human catastrophe,’ and the like), and (c)whether the actions of the Norwegian Quisling regime could explain sustainability of the Nazi rule in Norway and prolongation of the Nazi crime (however you’d end up defining it) against the Norwegians.
    Thank you.
    Comment:
    From what I have read, the Germans – as a very systematical people – had the plans for an invasion of Norway ready already by the outbreak of the war in 1939. I shouldn’t say “Germans”, but rather “the Nazis” because they were running Germany. This is what they still say in Russia – they talk about “the Faschist attack”, not “the German attack”. So the existence of a plan is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for premeditation. Then I understand “premeditation” as a plan that one well in advance intends to fulfill. I believe all countries at the time had plans for what to do in case A happens, and what to do in case  not A, but B happens. The option of Norway was to stay out of the war. The British were already considering the possibility of controlling Norway in the autumn of 1939 a means to blocade Germany, which was very much dependent on iron ore from Sweden for their armaments. The Swedish iron ire was shipped to Germany through the Norwegian port of the city of Narvik in Northern Norway. The Norwegian defense of neutrality was weak. Both British and German planes violated Norwegian airspace. Then the British mined several entrances to Norwergian ports. At this moment the Germans decided to invade Norway.
    About premeditation and intent as such. This is what I asked  the leader of the juridical department of the Norwegian Ministry of foreign affairs about in our seminar on February 1 this year. I said that I believed that in criminal cases you very often have to infer intent from the actions of people, not only from what they say.  They may not speak truthfully.
    In the German case it is important 1) that they had previous plans to invade Norway as an option in the war, 2) they the motive to do it when they realized that the British might succeed in making a blocade which would deprive the Germans of vital resources, 3) they actually did “it”, that is invade military, an act easily specifiably and fully documented.
    So I would say unequivocally that prior to the triggering events immediately before the invasion of april 9, they had premeditation, and once the invasion started, they had intent. I will then make a distinction between premeditation and intent. This I believe is in line with the importance of the distinction between motive and intent, which is often referred to in literature on genocide. You may have motive to do something, but not intent, because you never did it. In the same way the premeditation means to plan something, but you will not necessarily do it. This is how I understand it.
    Now this is my private analysis. But I surmise that there exist precedents in jurisprudence in these cases.   And I don’t know about this. And there are not detailed discussions in the book I have read on the matter regarding genocide. Schabas: Genocide in international law. He does not discuss exactly how one goes about establishing the intent in a criminal case.  
    In the case of the CUP central committee, which as such acted through intermediaries, we need the concepts for collective crime to judge whether they intended the extermination of the Ottoman Armenians or not. But the leader only answered me that the genocide convention aims at the crimes of individuals, not organizations or states.
    So I believe in intent in the case of the Nazi invasion of Norway, because the three conditions specified above are met.

  252. I now see that there are several flaws in my expostion above. The concepts of premeditation, motive and intent should be more clearly defined. Sorry, I sent it too early due to lack of time. But I repeat, with all due respect. that all the juridical literature I have read so far fail to make a coherent exposition of these concepts illustrated by  concrete examples. For instance when Cassese as  a judge explains why Darfur events did not constitue genocide. I believe he fails to make the distinction between intent and motive in a proper way

  253. A Turkish Researcher wrote Armenian massacres, was not Genocide under pseudo name Ragner Naess=which seems Norwegian name?
     “I like to face you directly
    You can never vanish me by your cynical words
    And never My Genocided Hart-cells”
    Don’t copy what the criminals wrote
    If you’re real researcher
    Travel to the desert of Der-Zor
    Hear what Bedouins’ narrate
    And how Turks raped, crushed Armenian skulls
    and entered Macca, the Islamic land
    and killed original Arab Muslims,
    After Arabs they saw what so called Turkish Muslims did
    They preferred to go back and
    Once again warship their statues (Al Jahilia era before Islam)
    But a brave Arab Lady Alia Al Wahabia appeared
    And entered fears in Turkish hearts
    All Turks started escaping from Arab Lands (now Saudi Arabia)
    If you have faith in your Quran
    That holly book from there initiated.
    What Arabs faced from Ottomans
    That was what every other nation faced–
    They are against Humanity.
    Since, they ruled for a four–hundred years.
    With their unclean tongues and scimitars.
    To call Arabs Eshag oglu Eshad (son of a donkey)
    Taking and teaching bribes.
    To define Arabs by their proverbs as a lazy nation
    Arabs they sleep under palm tree, praying for dates
    to ripen waiting to fall in their mouths.
    [Date ripe and enter my mouth– (Khurma bish aghzama dush, in Turkish Tongue)]

    I don’t like people to call
    Islamic Invasion to Europe
    I like to call, Turkish Invasion.

    Religion nothing to do with race.
    Religion doesn’t have genes… But ethnicity has
    And easily can return back to its criminal roots…invade… slay.
     
    Hashemite Arab kings planned to throw Turks out of their ground.
    That attitude will never change
    What horrible stories Arabs’ heard from their grandparents
    About dishonest Ottomans 
    Still unardently sear in their deep veins.
     
    Now once again Turks are planning to invade Arab lands.
    Arabs call this ‘The New Turkish Invasion’.
    See what your people are still doing with your Kurdish Sunni Muslims.
    As the Arab poet, Assad Rustum in 1916 wrote this stanza,
    After Jamal pasha alsaffah (the butcher) hanged his 32 literate friends.
     (Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian)  May 16, 1916
     
    “The Sons of Turks, You are Never and Never Muslims”
     
    June 21, 2010
    ______________________________________________________________________

  254. Ragnar — Thank you for honoring my request re: answering the many questions from the Armenian commentators. Go on, please. At this stage I’ll hold off to replying to your answers since you’re lagging behind many other questions. This said, I’d just add that I already can see serious flaws in your answers and I think I now better understand the motives behind your involvement in this discussion. I’m afraid these motives are related to your association with those Turkish intellectuals whose task is to expose Armenian arguments and sources in order to fabricate counterarguments for the absence of genocidal intent in the mass extermination of the Armenians. Through some of your comments I can see what the Turkish side is currently preoccupied with, namely: attempts to prove that any crime but centrally-planned, deliberate genocide had taken place. Turks understand that the stigma of a genocide-perpetrator nation will be disastrous not only in that it’d demonstrate who the Turks essentially are as a State, who the previous rulers and founders of their State essentially were, as well as aggravate their inferiority complex in that it’d equate them with the Nazis, but even more importantly, the genocidal intent, that more and more countries, organizations, and scholars recognize, will impose unavoidable demands on offering an apology and consequent reparations and land restitution to the victims. According to the 1948 Genocide Convention, the prescribed punishment for committing genocide is not subject to the limitations of time and place. I’ll make extensive comments once you answer all the questions—and not selectively, please—that many people here have posed for you.

  255. Ragnar, you seemed confused when I spoke about actions which thwart justice. Perhaps my meaning is unclear.  I am not going back to the original text of my comment but will clarify with this statement:
    To thwart something, as I used it here, means to do something that gets in the way of something else or prevents something from happening.  In the present conversation, I am suggesting that there are (in my opinion) disreputable academics who engage in pseudo-intellectual dissection of the definition of genocide and look for flaws in the body of evidence to claim that what happened to the Armenians does not qualify as genocide.  In my opinion the effect, as well as intent of their efforts, is to delay the justice due to the Armenians. In this way, they thwart the justice that Raphael Lemkin’s work was intended to provide as a remedy for such unimaginable crimes as those that befell the Armenians, and later the Jews.
     
    You may consider my approach and argument unsound in the sense of a philosophical or scientific debate but it is my opinion based on what I have come to know, that the evidence shows that the CUP was guilty of willfully extinguishing the Armenians and all their remnants from the land and  failing to take action to prevent harm or to prosecute the guilty.  It is inconceivable to me that the destruction of my people would have reached such a magnitude simply by random attacks of marauding mobs and renegade soldiers.  If CUP leaders only wanted to remove Armenians without intent to harm or eliminate forever, why didn’t they provide for their survival in harsh desert conditions.  Why would a government single out an ethnic group from among its citizens for deportation without provision or protection unless they intended them harm?  Perhaps this is not obvious enough for you but I look at the record of eye-witness accounts from diplomats, missionaries, survivors, the court martial transcripts and Talaat’s own admissions, and to me the answer is clear.
     
    I will not engage in a point by point debate with you that helps you to formulate the thesis for your book about the CUP and the Armenian genocide because it appears to me that though you take pains to appear unbiased you have a predisposition toward relieving the CUP of the full extent of their guilt.  It is your right.  But I will not assist you.
     

  256. Boyajian
    I agree with you on thwarting justice. The Turkish contributions are full of them, but unfiortunately also Armenian, in my opinion. But diagnosis cannot replace sholarship. So I stick to scholarly method as best as I can.
    I still do not know who you are and although I have presented myself, all of you prefer to argue from a position of anonymity. You have your reasons. But so be it.
    What I have done here in the Armenian Weekly is to engage in dialogue and the content of the dialogue is not proper stuff for the book. It will deal with a description of events and analysis of events based on recent research. Apart from de Zayas I received no new input here. His stance is interesting, but was not relevant for our theme as formulated by us. Yester day, I got a recently published article by Hilmar Kaiser on the Armenians of Libanon at the time of the genocide. This is the kind of text I work with.
    I respect your standpoint not to furnish material for a point of view you are strongly opposed to. I will continue my comment on posts, and tell about the handing out of leaflets on june 25.

  257. Katia
    Now I come to your post of june 16. I tried to send it yesterday but for some reason it did not arrive.
    You write:
    95 years of analyses, dissertation, written and videotaped survivor testimonial, archives in several countries, hundreds of books by historians, lawyers, survivors, archives of Turkish Tribunals … and you are asking a few “commentators” on this post to participate in a “scientific study” to see whose theory/version the facts fit to most????  Outrageously Unscientific!
    Comment:
    No, you are wrong, Katia. Very quickly after my entrance in this discussion I was asked to present my view and give reasons for it. I tried it by pointing to central elements of scholarly methods  that I feel is not headed in the genocide literature. I never invited you to a scientific study – properly speaking . I asked you for documentation and provided some references to authors.
    You write:
    Ragnar, I have news for you.  This has already been DONE BY EXPERTS!  They all decided that the “facts” fit the model of “Genocide”!
    Comment: I  see you hold this. I have asked for a link to the statement of the genocide scholars, and I would like a reference to the summing-up book or article which does what you claim has been done. So far one of you came up with de Zayas, but he is starting from the presupposition that there existed a premeditated plan of general extermination of Armenians, so he is obviously not doing what I ask for. I am asking for references to concrete works.
    You write:
    Having a Doctorate degree in pharmaceutical sciences myself, I am really interested in the following statement you made: “I was trained and have lectured on theory of science”.   Can you please elaborate about this scientific theory that is supposed to apply to “state crimes”?
    Comment:
    Theory of science is not a particular theory, it is the framework for all research which implies that you face a reality which may be interpreted in different ways. You then observe and measure and present data that are corroborated as to their correctness, and then you see what data are compatible with what versions. I mentioned this earlier. Suppose – to take a possible example – some specialists claim that certain psychofarmaca has this or that side effect, and others disagree, what do you do to solve the question? What procedures do you initiate?
    You write:
    If we were to hold a study together (which is a ridiculous endeavor, considering most of us are not experts in the field of state crimes), you CANNOT PLAY THE ARBITRATOR, because you are not an objective participant!  You come with a preconceived bias on all the sources that we are citing, the latest victim being the paper by Alfred de Zayas. We will need an objective third party to decide which side has the best argument for its “version”.   If you ask me you have so far presented ZERO facts backing up your version!
    Comment:
    This is very strange, I never pretended to be an arbitrator. But it is is interesting that you feel the need for a third party all the time you claim that this objective work has already been done… then excuse me but you have not cited any sources. OK, I will look through your posts.  June 2 post: no references to sources. June2 post 2: yes , reference to yalcin and Cetin, but then I never DISAGREED in this. All who have read some literature in the field know about the number of Armenians forciblty converted. June 3 post: no references. June 3 post 2: no references. June 4 post: no references. June 4 post 2: no references. June 5: no references. June 6: no references. June 6 post (very short one): no references. June 8: very long post. You ask how I would have felt if Norway had experienced the same as Armenia. Answer: Terrible. You ask why I do not mention the Arabs, only the Balkans. Look through my post and you will find my answer (on the same day, june 8, by the way, I answer both questions). And yes, one reference: Erdogan’s interview with Charlie Rose.  June 12: you are back again in spite of saying in your last post that you are leaving. Yes, I am myself sometimes saying: Ragnar, what on earth are you doing in this discussion. Why? Why? But no references…june 14: reference to Grigoris Balakian. I commented on this later, abou the list of those who were arrested on april 24. And YES, you mention Akcams two books “from emoire to republic” and “A shameful act”. I haqve commented  on the second not the first. You mention Morgenthau. I commented on Hugh Lowry’s comment on Morgenthau. An invitation for you to comment, but did anybody follow it up? Yes, I can see some lines of yours that I interpret as a comment on Lowry. May be we should follow it up? And THEN comes you june 16 post which I now comment. – One general comment on your posts: you have a civil tone, I like that. I hope I have had and will have the same, not become prey to my tendency for arrogance!

  258.  
    katia
    one more comment on the post of june 16
    you write:
     If you ask me you have so far presented ZERO facts backing up your version!
    comment:
    I believe I presented my reasons for saying that the top ittihadists committed a crime. The reasons were 1) Talats confession – I think it is nothing less than that, and Richard Hovannisian draws attention to Talat’s statement in his 1969-book, 2) the apparent fact that no perpetrators in massacres of deportees  outside Syria were punished in 1915-18, 3) the Halacogku-Akcam debate in 2008 in which the Turkish side failed to substantiate their claim that perpetrators were punished, 4) the research results conveyed to me by a scholar I trust who has looked at the actual ottoman documents on the trials, and I might add 5) a conversation in april this year  with a Turkish researcher , presumptively well-informed, who mentioned Nusret bey, official in Bayburt, who was “hanged for his responsibilty for massacring Armenians”. But Nusret was prosecuted by the 1919-23 court martials, not by the ittihadist. So this is my evidence for the existence of a crime. Whether the label crime against humanity is appropriate or not I cannot judge, but I see it as reasonable.

    Then it is true that I have not given evidence for my doubt on genocidal intent in the central ittihadist sense of the 1948 convention. Note that I believe in genocidal intent in other actors. Like dr. Reshid, vali of Diyarbakir.  To give a very short version: 1) it is said by experts that intent in this juridical sense is difficult to document, and I do not know the rules that apply, and when I ask experts I get no clear answer 2) the fact that the huge and costly deportation scheme was carried out at all, instead of killing all deportees at an early stage, may be interpreted as a great subterfuge, but also because the intention in fact was deportation, and willingness to do it in spite of huge human losses, but not extermination as intended outcome, 3) if the security of the state was at stake because of the existence of the Armenians, as the CUP saw it, and this was the motive for the genocide, it gives very little meaning to leave the Armenian population more or less intact in important cities like Istanbul, Izmir and Aleppo, 3) if the deportations had been intended as extermination, it is difficult to understand why half a million Armenian deportees actually arrived alive in Syria, 4) there are several examples of adduced evidence that is not considered genuine by researchers (“The Andonian papers”, “The ten commandments of the CUP”, and Mevlanzade’s book from 1927), this implies that one should be caution in drawing any definite conclusions. 5) The fact that many Armenians actually were not massacred on the road or died of sickness, but were resettled mainly in lebanon. Ara Sarafian of the Gomidas institute claims that the memoirs that tell stories that more or less fit with the Turkish version have been suppressed by Armenian scholarship.

    Then there are evidence that points in the direction that there actually was genocide intent: 1) the fact that no perpetrators were punished outside of Syria, 2) a number of witness statements by ottomans officials in the court martials as well as by missionaries for instance Riggs who complained to  a CUP official who came to Harput. Riggs said that all deportees would die if they were not better cared for. The CUP man answered: “Let them die! This is what we want!”. there are several instances of this like when Turkish notables came to the German consul in Erzurum in  june1915 and said that the deportations were a cloak for extermination, initiated by the CUP, and that they were against it, 3) the fact of the destroying of cultural monuments and that Armenians were pressured to convert to Islam and that practically no Armenans remained in their homeland.

    All these facts are arguments that the intention was to exterminate the Armenians, not to “relocate” them as the usual Turkish version says.

    But as you know I will not make any definite conclusion on the question of genocidal intent in the central CUP people. The scale of the crime is enormous anyhow. However, I believe that the truth may be documented, but it has to be done in another way than all the genocide literature I have read so far. In this literature, as in de Zayas, the genocidal intent is presupposed more or less from the beginning, as if the authors consider it inappriopriate to ask the unpleasant questions about the evidence for the genocide thesis. ‘genocidal intent becomes a kind if sacred truth, and this becomes a barrier against the seemingly “heartless” argumentation. In one’s own reasoning one has to be the “devils advocate” from time to time, I believe. 

    I support the Armenian’s demand for justice and I have had more than a hundred conversations with Turks over the years in which I argue that they must not ignore the Armenians’ claims, and not dismiss the assertions that the leaders of their grandparents committed genocide. But evidently you and I do not agree on all the facts.
      

  259.  
    I’ve read your responses to some of the questions posed by Katia K. Thanks.
    Go on, Ragnar. There are still many questions left unanswered or answered selectively. Among them, one stands out as, perhaps, the most important: How do you define ‘crime,’ a vague and evasive term that you apply to the CUP actions, otherwise known as genocidal to the most of the world? I do hope you’d agree that any crime has irs distinct name. For your convenience I gave you definitions of both terms: ‘crime’ and ‘crime against humanity’ from English Oxford Dictionary and Rome Statute. Please, go on. You’re lagging behind.

  260. Ragnar, you say you still do not know who I and others are.  I will tell you I am a woman, a mother, a wife, a sister, a psychologist, and not least, an Armenian Christian.  I lead a simple life. I attend church weekly, vote as an independent and enjoy logic problems.  I volunteer to feed the homeless, enjoy watercolor painting and jazz.  I take walks and bike rides for exercise.  And I believe that the Turkish government is responsible for the genocide against the Armenians and must make reparations.
    Though it may seem undeserved, i do not trust you.  It isn’t personal.  I do not know you either. I don’t feel you have explained your motivation for helping relieve the Turkish government of the full responsibility for what happened to my people.  I have trouble reconciling your human service work and your genocide doubting.  You have offered very little explanation for the doubts you hold while we here have offered you many reasons for why we believe that the Armenian massacres and deportations were a function of genocidal intent.  I acknowledge that proving intent may not be possible, but the results of the actions against the Armenians was genocidal. And the actions taken by Turkey to deny and distort history to avoid responsibility are additional crimes codified as part of the genocide model.  Please explain why you are not helping Armenians to achieve the justice they deserve?  Even if intent can’t be proven, don’t the results still demand restitution from Turkey.  You baffle me.

  261. OMG!  Boyajian, all this time I thought you were a man… I don’t know why!  Here’s to you my brave, knowledgeable, articulate Armenian sister!

    I guess you can all tell from the name that I am using, that I am also a woman!

    Ragnar,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some of my questions.  I am very glad that you are not using the commentators here in your “scientific theory” study about whose version, the Turkish or Armenian, fits the Genocide theory.  We are all anonymous readers of Armenian Weekly, and we are commenting on the articles that touch our hearts. 

    Some issues omitted from your answers to me:
    1. The first being the most obvious omission: You have still not given me “YOUR VERSION” of what theory you think the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians fits.  If the killing of 1.5 million individuals who were slaughtered just because they were “Armenian”, the forceful conversion of some to Islam, the confiscation of their property, the desecration of their places of worship does not fit the definition of Lemkin’s “Genocide”, than in your mind what should it be called? (Similar question being asked by Msheci) 
    2. You say that the “genocidal intent” of the ittihadists is questionable.  If it is questionable to you, than you need to do more research, because the “genocidal intent” was openly communicated by the CUP leaders themselves and many of their followers, according to foreign diplomats and Turkish and nonTurkish witnesses. (Please read or reread “A Shameful Act” by Ackam, as well as many other books).  if you are also implying that the Armenians brought the massacres upon themselves, than also explain why 1.5 million women, children and men deserved to die.
    3. If the Ittihadists did not have a genocidal intent, then why did they form the “gang batallions” also known as the Chetteh which were criminals that they released from prisons, and used the “Gendarmes” (police) and the “Kaymakams” (governors) to coordinate the Chetteh attacks on the Armenian refugees. 
    4. Let’s “assume for a moment” that the massacres were taking place by crazed “gendarmes” and “governors”, WHY WAS IT NOT STOPPED BY THE RULING CUP LEADERS (the ittihadists)?.  They could not have missed the killing of 1.5 million people!
    5. Should we not call the massacres Genocide, because some 400,000 survived and went to the Arab countries?  Should all 2.3-2.5million Armenians have died for the crime to deserve the name Genocide?  If that’s the case, why are you acknowledging the Genocide of the jews?  A lot of jews also survived.

    On a personal level:
    1. If you are not using the commentators here for a study, then why are you asking us to cite Genocide scholars and sources, when you can easily access them via the Internet?  With the same token, why are you asking us for our identities? 
    2. I did not know that I needed to cite a source or reference in every single one of my posts.  I am not aware of this being a “rule” of the Armenian Weekly (sarcasm).
    3. You are confused as to why the Armenians in Istanbul were not deported?  I think I led you to this confusion with one of my probing questions.  I was hoping you would arrive to the conclusion that the Armenians in Istanbul were spared because of the same reason it was forbidden to take pictures of the deportees/massacred.  The CUP knew what they were doing was criminal and they wanted to hide it from the foreigners in their cities as much as possible.  This fact is a primary proof of the Itihadists’ “genocidal intent”.  Why would a government take pains to hide the deportations and killings of an “enemy”?  They killed the Armenians for political reasons, not because they were scared of Armenian uprisings.  I was hoping you would catch on to this on your own.  The ittihadists wanted to drastically change the Demographics of the country, in a way that would make the country mostly Turkish Muslim.  They used the war and the Armenian revolutionaries as an excuse.  They knew it was drastic, but they were desperate after losing all those lands.
    4. You are stating that you did not like de Zaya’s approach which for you used the Genocide as a proven starting point.  DAAAAA…  If the inventor said that he invented the word to describe what had happened to the Armenians, WHICH WAS OUT IN THE OPEN WHEN IT HAPPENED, AND WAS NOT YET SUBJECTED TO 95 YEARS OF MASS COVER UP BY TURKISH GOVERNMENTS THAT FOLLOWED, and if Hitler himself told his officers to kill without any hesitation “after all who today remembers the annihilation of the Armenians”,  then why would we start again from scratch to define what  happened to the Armenians because a Ragnar who has not done research on original archives, and who is confused by Turkey’s distortions wants to publish a work that will have a different angle to the truth?  Why?  Isn’t the mass of work on the Genocide satisfying to you? 
    5.  I would not buy or read your work because of the above reason.  You are so far removed fromt the events, so far removed from original testimonies, so influenced by Turkish spin and propaganda that you are incapable to say “IT WAS WRONG FOR THE ITTIHADISTS TO MASSACRE 1.5 MILLION ARMENIANS, TAKE THEIR LANDS AND FORM THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY”.
    6. It is also wrong to rewrite history, force the world to forget about this Genocide and get away without being punished.
    7. I THINK YOU ARE NOT TELLING US WHAT YOUR VERSION IS BECAUSE NO MATTER WHAT ANGLE YOU LOOK AT IT…..IT FITS THE DEFINITION OF GENOCIDE LIKE A GLOVE… AFTER ALL THE WORD WAS DESIGNED FOR IT….

  262. Ragnar,
    A couple more points,
    You said :”I support the Armenian’s demand for justice and I have had more than a hundred conversations with Turks over the years in which I argue that they must not ignore the Armenians’ claims, and not dismiss the assertions that the leaders of their grandparents committed genocide. But evidently you and I do not agree on all the facts.”
    Is this a final admission from your part that you think what happened to the Armenians is Genocide?  If that’s the case then there “are no facts you and I are arguing about”!

    You said “Ara Sarafian of the Gomidas institute claims that the memoirs that tell stories that more or less fit with the Turkish version have been suppressed by Armenian scholarship”.  WHAT IS THE TURKISH VERSION?  Enlighten us please.  My grandparents survival story fits the Genocide version perfectly.  I had heard of the term “Chetteh” when I was a child, long before I got interested in the topic and started reading about it.  I am not denying that the Armenians revolted politically and with arms.  This however was used as a mask for a well thought out plan to massacre an entire civilian population and take the Armenian Vilayets.   (If the Armenians were that well armed the massacres would have not happened). 
    Another question that you never answered was: Why then were the other nations who also revolted not subjected to ethnic cleansing?

    One final thought… 
    Let’s say the Ittihadists had not massacred the Armenian civillians and the Armenian Vilayets had retained their Armenian population, how differently would the region have been affected in regards to the Wilsonian reward in the Treaty of Sevres?

    You are right.  I did say I would retreat from this conversation.  I guess I changed my mind.

      

  263. Boyajian:  
    you write:
    I acknowledge that proving intent may not be possible, but the results of the actions against the Armenians was genocidal. And the actions taken by Turkey to deny and distort history to avoid responsibility are additional crimes codified as part of the genocide model.  Please explain why you are not helping Armenians to achieve the justice they deserve?  Even if intent can’t be proven, don’t the results still demand restitution from Turkey.  You baffle me.
    comment:
    But Boyajian, my whole point is that genocidal intent among the top echelons of the ittihadists is difficult to prove. Maybe this is not important to you, but for many researchers, Armenian or not, it is very important to hold that it is quite clear that the ittihadists had genocidal intent. And I said earlier that Armenians have a just claim for restitution from Turkey.
    About trusting me, are you not sure that the case is simply that you have not earlier come across somebody who is informed about the Armenian genocide (the term understood as Medz Yeghern), somebody who agrees in some matters and disagrees in others?
    Because I have patiently tried to answer your questions, and much more than what might be expected I believe, some of you have started to suspect me of using this dialogue for my own purpioses. What kind of attitude is this? I am trying to answer your questions, but I really wonder what I am doing here if even that is used against me!

  264. Thanks for our clever Armenian ladies on this site
    Lady Boyajian, Lady Katia….
    and all others who write and put all their efforts.

    In my opinion,
    Please my dear friends
    You did your best
    Because your hearts are wounded like mine
    And will never heal
    Even after we depart this unfair earth
    We will carry our scares. 

    Some publishers want to sell false knowledge…that
    They know little information about it.
    Don’t write more to convince someone
    Wants to sell copied lectures on genocided blood
    To make a wealth,
    Wants to put that cents
    With bleeding cyanotic roses in his grave…
    Feed hungry wild animals…
    I will curse such a person till end.
    I call this another crime.
    Like selling DRUGS…PLACEBO
    Administered to humans who are dying.

    Like a poet, who copies stanzas from others
    To cheat self but never somone
    Who knows what a soulful poetry means…

    And more examples,
    Some has no end.
    Can I ask my literate Armenian colleagues
    Did any Armenian write about the Jewish Holocaust?
    If thy wrote he is another criminal like the rest,
    Who wants to sell others’ blood to dance and dine.
    I will attack such person even if thy is my beloved.
    As we can’t understand others’ souls
    If …True or False!

  265. Msheci
    a crime is a morally reprehensible act which also is punishable by existing law.
    But I fail to see the relevance of all your definitions. Please explain to me what difference it makes for the theme of our discussion or my points of view, whether I use the one or the other of various definitions of crime 

  266. OMG is right Katia..:)  I also thought our courageous and very intelligent Boyajian was a man.. and I too don’t know why… Boyajian you are definintely an inspiration to many including myself.. and that goes for Katia and other women who post on these sites..

    AMEN TO YOU KATIA JAN and BOYAJIAN JAN… apreq.. excellent posts.. excellent…

    Katia jan..i agree with this question.. i also asked the same question in my previous post to him..

     If you are not using the commentators here for a study, then why are you asking us to cite Genocide scholars and sources, when you can easily access them via the Internet?  With the same token, why are you asking us for our identities? 


    Ragnar remains an engima..as I figured..:)

    Msheci.. I just love your poise way of handling this matter.. just love it..:) 

    Your Armenian Weekly Sis

    Gayane :)

  267. I knew there was something familiar about you, Ragnar, with your surname. Took me awhile to switch on the light…you’re Arne Naess’s son…the founder of deep ecology and the mountaineer. I can see from the way you’ve conducted your responses here that you’ve been heavily influenced by your father’s own philosophies. Sorry to hear about your father’s passing, last year. My condolences to you and your family.
     
    I can see where you’re coming from and the points you’re trying to make here, however, that still doesn’t answer the question of the reality of the genocide. I think all parties here have pretty much gone over what went on at the time, as best as they could to their degrees of knowledge, so I won’t labour the facts as they have become known. But I will point out that as much as you can argue about the finer points of the law regarding the definition of genocide, whether it occurred or not, or whatever else you may want to philosophise about the events which occurred in 1915-16, you can’t get past the fact the upwards of 1.5 million people lost their lives because of the acts perpetrated by a government and it’s people. On others, the vast majority of were nothing more than innocent people caught up in a policy of deliberate, government sponsored persecution. It doesn’t matter whether a genocide is preplanned, or planned on the hop as the conditions dictate, premeditated or the result of spontaneous impulse, it is still genocide. It can be both, and in many cases is….premeditated and also spontaneous, because these actions, once started, usually have a life of their own. Trying to distinguish between spontaneous actions and premeditated actions, when the end results are the same, is a moot point. They still result in the same outcome. Labeling it as “mass murder”, “ethnic cleansing” or whatever else you may want to define it as, is also moot because in the final analysis it is still the same thing, genocide, just dressed up in different…more “legally and diplomatically appealing” clothes.
     
    Like I have said before, we can argue point after point until the cows come home, but it will not get us anywhere. Even if you do not want to call it a genocide, and the politicians and lawyers want to hide from that and call it something else, even if one country wants to revise history to suit itself and then deliberately act against those that do not espouse its view on things. Even if those that support Armenia, Armenians and their cause…be it with their heart and souls, or on a philosophical level, can be accused of the same bias as the other side, this is what it boils down to…
     
    A great many people were killed in Armenia in 1915-16. There were a great many witnesses. We know it occurred, we know what happened for the most part. An injustice has been served up to a nation and its peoples and that injustice has never been fully recompensed. It has been left dangling for the best part of a century whilst others have hidden behind diplomacy, disinterest, academic and legal prognostications, socio-political machinations and moral cowardice. This injustice needs to be made good, solved and put to rest. Someone has to pay for what occurred and those that have benefited from what occurred should have the moral integrity and courage to come forward and make right those wrongs that were committed by their predecessors.
     
    It will mean that they may have to lose their “pound of flesh”, so to speak, but that is a price they will have to pay.
     

  268. Thank you for responding to yet another question posed by me, Ragnar. So, from various definitions of ‘crime’ you chose that ‘a crime is a morally reprehensible act which also is punishable by existing law.’ Very well. I’m not sure that you fail to see the relevance of a definition of ‘crime.’ On the contrary, I think you understand too well that defining the term that you use as substitution to the widely-accepted term ‘genocide’ in the case of the Armenians has a direct relevance to the theme of our discussion or to your points of view. While I still anticipate responses to my many other questions, let’s in the meantime proceed to the next stage of definition of ‘crime’ given by you. My further questions based on your definition are:
     

    Who committed a morally reprehensible act against the Ottoman Armenians in 1915-1923? Be as precise as possible, please, avoiding vague definitions as ‘some Turks’ or ‘a gang of marauders’ or your favorite ‘some perpetrators whom Tallat said they didn’t punish,’ or evasive ‘top ittihadists’ that you once brought up without going further as to adding that those ‘top ittihadists’ represented the ruling regime at the time.
    Was the morally reprehensible act committed individually or collectively on the part of whoever committed the act?
    Against whom the morally reprehensible act has been committed? Please define the race and ethnicity of the victim(s), as well as the name (if known) of the sole individual victim. If the victim of was not singular, than please provide a figure as to how many victims you think were subjected to the morally reprehensible act? Please explain–as I requested earlier but nonetheless never received a response from you—as to why only 60,000 Armenians live in Constantinople today out of some 2-2.5 millions living in their ancestral lands by 1915?
    Was the morally reprehensible act, based on your definition, ever been punished by existing law? If yes, please provide a court or a martial court’s verdict as to (a)whom it held responsible and (b)for what crime? If not, please rationalize your answer as to why you think the crime was never punished and who thwarts justice so that crime could be punished?
    Was the morally reprehensible act that you’re referring to, an act of a singular or mass crime? If it was an individual crime, please state by whom and in regard to what individual? If it was a mass crime, please state whether it falls under any of the world-wide accepted definitions of crimes against humanity as defined by the Rome Statute. Also, if it was a crime against humanity, what international legal jurisdiction or convention you think this particular crime should fall under?

     
    Thank you.

  269. Boyajian,
    I understand what you essentially meant by ‘I acknowledge that proving intent may not be possible, but the result of the actions against the Armenians was genocidal,’ but I’m afraid through the angle of general semantics it may have sounded as if you disbelieved that it was possible to prove the genocidal intent. I know this isn’t what you actually meant and that an emphasis was made on the second part of the clause: ‘the result of the actions against the Armenians was genocidal.’ However, it needs to be clarified that had genocidal intent not been proven, a number of foreign governments, provincial legislatures, parliaments, international organizations, professional associations, advocacy groups, contemporary witnesses, Nobel Prize laureates, genocide scholars, historians, and international lawyers wouldn’t come forward with their unequivocal acknowledgement of this crime against humanity. As defined by the United Nations Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (The UN Report on Genocide 1985), ‘the premeditated nature of the acts aimed at the systematic and organized extermination of all Armenians living in their own historical territory and in the rest of the Ottoman Empire has been amply documented. The acts committed against the Armenians meet the definition of genocide given in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.’

  270. Boyajian,
    I was also quite sure you were a man. If Msheci also turns out to be a woman my intuitions are really failing me. 
    it is amazing that you say that genocidal intent is difficult to prove.
    Msheci:
    thank you for noting the passing away of my father last year. But he lived a full life and died at 96 and was very reduced the last years. But it is a pity for my little daughter who got so attached to him and would have liked to have him longer. But he no longer recognised any of us, but liked to play with the little 13 year old girl who is his granddaughter.

    Yes, I believe I understand something about how definitions work. My definiton of crime is more or less in line with current approaches to criminology, I believe.

    I still want to ask you what is the relevance of the long list of questions you ask. Partly I have answered them, partly it should be evident what my answer is. So please, a little more on the relevance of these questions. We risk to go in circles…

    Regarding the identity of you all, you asked me for my identity, I gave it, so I ask for yours. This is common courtesy, but if you are reluctant or have some reason to hide it its OK for me.

    Regarding the word genocide I will never use any single word without quaification, that is a word which purports to stand at the center of the understanding of some important issue. I do the same in relation to words like democracy and racism. This is part of my philosphical upbringing. This is not to dodge an issue it means that slogans without clarification does not creatre understanding, or it is a tactical devise.

    Please: take a look at what I have written earlier  
    june 7:
    I have no problem with confirming that genocide was committed against Armenians, but – as I say – if you use the term according to the practices and definition of the 1948 Convention – I think it is easy to show that Armenians were killed for instance in Diyarbakir by dr. Reshid with the intent of killing member of a certain group, Armenians, as such. The whole picture of 1915 also suggests genocidal intent in the Ittihadists. But there are reasons for doubt if you try to prove e.g. that Talaat intended the general extermination of Armenians.

    That the events of 1915-18 was a genocide in its CONSEQUENCE I have no objections against. This point was first made by Dyer in 1974. But I believe the term should not be used without any qualifications of any kind. At least not if we aim at corroborating our opinion with reasoning.

    We disagree on this, so be it

    But I feel that you have difficulties in relating to other people’s opinions, and I disliked your opinion, Msheci, that Turks are genetically disposed to violence

    I have no problem with confirming that genocide was committed against Armenians, but – as I say – if you use the term according to the practices and definition of the 1948 Convention – I think it is easy to show that Armenians were killed for instance in Diyarbakir by dr. Reshid with the intent of killing member of a certain group, Armenians, as such. The whole picture of 1915 also suggests genocidal intent in the Ittihadists. But there are reasons for doubt if you try to prove e.g. that Talaat intended the general extermination of Armenians.

  271. Ragnar — I believe you mistook me for Carl who noted the passing away of your father. My condolences, as well. My own father, a historian of Asia Minor, died 4 years ago. Still a shock, though. We’re descendants of a big family living in Mush, Western Armenia, until being uprooted and killed in 1915. My fraternal grandparents and some of their relatives resisted Turkish executioners with whatever was made available to them, but then had to flee to Kars, which was still a Russian province at the time, and from there to Russia and to the U.S. As a teenager I was listening to my grandfather’s stories about the horrors of Turkish hideous barbarity with regard to the Armenians. I’ll never forget those dreadful stories and will pass them on to my children, and my children will pass them on to their children… as long and unless the Turkish state will admit the full extent of guilt for wiping out the ancient Armenian civilization, offer apology to my people, and start making reparations. As a descendent of my msheci (i.e. descendent of Mush) grandfather (Armenians from Mush are known as being resolute, stubborn, honorable, and courageous people), I will never forget. I also denounce any attempts to disprove or play down the intent of general extermination of the Armenians by the CUP leadership representing the official government of Turkey from 1909 to 1918. The genocide of the Armenians occurred as a result of premeditated, centrally-planned, and centrally-executed extermination of the Armenians. CUP leaders’ meetings of 1915 at which extermination of the Armenians was discussed in detail, are well documented. Talaat Pasha’s Black Book stands out as one of the most important evidence for the premeditated character of the Young Turks’ actions, described by a witness, Henry Morgenthau, as a ‘campaign of race annihilation.’
     
    As for my repeated request to define ‘crime,’ a term that you apply in describing the premeditated calamity that had befallen the Ottoman Armenians, I’m pleased to hear your statement:
    ‘Regarding the word genocide I will never use any single word without qualification, that is a word which purports to stand at the center of the understanding of some important issue. I do the same in relation to words like democracy and racism. This is part of my philosophical upbringing. This is not to dodge an issue it means that slogans without clarification do not create understanding, or it is a tactical devise.’
     
    Very well. Then with the same token, Ragnar, do please answer the follow-up questions I asked after you defined the evasive term ‘crime’ committed against the Armenians. Just like for you, for me, too, it is important to qualify a word which purports to stand at the center of the understanding of some important issue. If this is a part of your philosophical upbringing, then find the courage and give the term ‘crime’ its distinct name. As you put it, ‘slogans without clarification do not create understanding.’ The surely don’t. You’ve been so kind as to provide the definition of ‘crime.’ Then be so kind as to answer ‘the long list’ of my follow-up questions. They are loading questions, in the positive sense of the word. I hope they could lead to your giving the vague term ‘crime’ its distinct name. For me, it’s not evident what your answer is in regard to this because you started this discussion with an explicit, full-blown support of the Turkish position on the absence of genocidal intent, while showing compassion to the Armenian tragedy. If you think my questions are of no relevance, than just give ‘crime’ its distinct name. Had you done it, we’d have avoided going in circles.
     
    If, ‘in line with current approaches to criminology,’ by ‘crime’ you meant individual or collective offences, here are some types of such crimes for your convenience. Please pick one or a group that are pertinent to the Armenian Cause:
     
    Murder
    Rape
    Robbery
    Aggravated Assault
    Burglary
    Larceny-theft
    Motor Vehicle Theft
    Arson
    Gun Possession
    Workplace Violence
     
    If by ‘crime’ you meant ‘crimes against humanity,’ as applicable to our cause, here are some types for your convenience. Please pick one or a group that are pertinent to the Armenian Cause:
     
    Murder
    Extermination
    Enslavement
    Deportation or forcible transfer of population
    Imprisonment
    Torture
    Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization
    Persecution against any identifiable
    Enforced disappearance of persons
    Apartheid
    Genocide
     
    Give ‘crime’ its distinct name, Ragnar. Be a man. You claim that I have ‘difficulties in relating to other people’s opinions,’ but don’t you pose to think for a split second that your ‘opinion’ about the absence of genocidal intent in wiping out my people might insult me, a descendant of victims, just as if you dared to state the same rubbish to a Jew? You know why, Ragnar? Because as a Norwegian you’ve never experienced the savagery of the Turks like the peoples of the southern and south-eastern Europe, as well as to some extent central Europeans, have. ‘Les Turcs ont passé a tout est ruine et deuil.’ (The Turks have traversed there, all is ruin and mourning)—Victor Hugo.
     
    Whether or not you disliked my opinion that ‘Turks are genetically disposed to violence,’ I never stated this so explicitly. I said they’re descendants of nomadic unmerciful tribes who conquered Asia Minor with sword, fire, and scorched earth tactics, a region that already developed high civilizations. Yes, Turks are descendents of nomadic savages: Seljuks and Mongols, that’s a historical fact, or you’d like references for this, too? They wiped out all the ancient civilizations of Asia Minor, settled there, and now shamelessly depict all the remnants of those civilizations as theirs. A typical nomadic mentality. I’m astonished at you, a Nordic European, to have doubts about the violent nature of Seljuk, Mongol, Ottoman, Young Turk, and ‘modern’-day Turks as they continue to wipe out the remaining ethnic group, the Kurds, from their lands. This European ‘left-wing liberal’ approach may lead, I’m afraid, to what Europe marginally escaped in the 15th century AD, when the hordes of Turks approached the vicinities of Vienna and when the Western civilization had to abandon the marble of Christian Byzantine culture, Constantinople,  to the invaders.
     
    ‘May those who have Eyes, See; and those who have Ears, Hear.’ – Jesus Christ

  272. Dear Msheci,
    I wish we could have spoken together face to face. Clearly all the crimes you mention were perpetrated against the Armenians. Thank you for telling me about the remembrances of your grandfather. These are your holy remembrances about the fate of your people. I cannot pretend to understand your feelings, you are right. I understand much better now how the death of a substantial part of your whole nation lingers with you. But why do you want me to specify what crime was made, as if it was one and not many? I still do not see the point! Why do you want me to subscribe to a particular  version of the events while still being reluctant to go into the specific arguments of the details of the pros and cons of what happened? If I confirm that a terrible crime was committed  against your people and that the CUP clearly was responsible, and that it may be called genocide, but with the provision that I do not believe in certain aspects of some of the narratives, does this make me into an adversary? I am sorry if this is so, but I wish you luck in fighting for what you believe in.

  273. But why do you want me to specify what crime was made, as if it was one and not many?
     
    I want you to specify what crime was made, Ragnar, because nowhere in your comments in this lengthy discussion have we found clear and unequivocal denomination of the crime committed by the Young Turk government. I appreciate it that after many downright rejections of witness accounts, including Norwegian own missionaries Fridtjof Nansen and Bodil Catharina Biorn, Turkish martial courts’ verdicts, Aram Andonian’s papers proved as valid accounts by Dadrian and others, Tallat’s Black Book confessions, after embracing enthusiastically the accounts of a few genocide deniers like Justin McCarthy and Guenter Lewy as opposed to an army of reputable genocide scholars, international lawyers, and Nobel Prize laureates, you produced a statement to the effect that ‘clearly all the crimes [I] mention were perpetrated against the Armenians.’ Yet, you fail to narrow them down to one crime as demonstrated in this clause: ‘as if it was one crime and not many.’ Had we conversed before 1943, when the term ‘genocide’ was non-existent, I’d accept the notion that many crimes against humanity were perpetrated against the Armenians, but in 2010, Ragnar, I consider it undignified to state ‘as if it was one crime and not many.’ From 1943 on the mankind has combined all those types of crimes in one, as Raphael Lemkin coined the term ‘genocide’ based on his examination of the fate of the Armenians in the hands of the Turkish government.
     
    Why do you want me to subscribe to a particular version of the events while still being reluctant to go into the specific arguments of the details of the pros and cons of what happened?
     
    Had you exhibited the traits of a doubtful or unenlightened person, I wouldn’t have urged you to subscribe to a particular version of the events and would go into the specific arguments of the details of the pros and cons of what happened. But you stepped into this discussion with genocide-victims on an already formulated, elaborate platform: ‘I believe that the Ittihadists committed a heinous crime against the Armenians, but not necessarily genocide as defined in the 1948 convention.’ Just imagine if you’d enter a discussion in Jewish forums with this proclamation: ‘I believe that the Nazis committed a heinous crime against the Jews, but not necessarily genocide as defined in the 1948 convention.’ Except furor that such a proclamation would produce, don’t you think you’d be instantaneously asked as to what ‘heinous crime’ you had in mind? But in the case of the Armenians you dared to produce such a statement even though Adolf Hitler himself mentioned back in 1939: ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’ Even Hitler denominated the crime against the Armenians. It’s your right to have an opinion, but pros and cons of what happened would you expect us to discuss in return to your already framed opinion? I don’t think anybody here would want to assist genocide-deniers or deniers of a genocidal intent in the actions of the CUP government.
     
    If I confirm that a terrible crime was committed against your people and that the CUP clearly was responsible, and that it may be called genocide, but with the provision that I do not believe in certain aspects of some of the narratives, does this make me into an adversary?
     
    Disregarding European, Russian, Armenian, and American archival primary evidence containing witness accounts, recorded victims’ stories, Turkish martial courts’ verdicts, documented minutes of the CUP leaders’ meetings, Tallat’s Black Book revelations, Andonian’s Papers, as well as wealth of secondary literature by Armenian and mostly non-Armenian scholars; relying heavily on Turkish propagandistic clichés and a bunch of genocide deniers’ accounts; and thus disbelieving there was a genocidal intent in the actions of the Turkish government is not just ‘a certain aspect of some of the narratives,’ it’s an elaborate standpoint. It doesn’t make you into an adversary, but it does make you into a suspect in terms of your disproportional reliance on long Turkish tales.

    I am sorry if this is so, but I wish you luck in fighting for what you believe in.
     
    Ragnar, you don’t have to wish me good luck because, in contrast to you, what I believe in is supported by overwhelming evidence from my own grandparents and other relatives. I believe what I was told as a teenager and what I’ve read when I grew up, testifies to the fact that’s become obvious for the civilized world: by 1915 the Turkish government has developed a premeditated paln on mass extermination of the Armenians and carried it out up until 1923. My readings included, but were not limited to, an original verbatim translation of documents relating to the CUP in regard to the Armenian massacres, a circular from the Ministry of the Interior, that contains ten provisions on the ways of mass extermination of the Armenians (British intelligence acquired this document that is now kept in the British Public Record Office); Ahmed Yalman’s confession in ‘Turkey in the World War’ of the ‘special organization’ created with the help of two influential members of the CUP (Behaeddin Sakir and Midhat Sukru) being ‘in some cases directly instrumental in bringing about attacks and massacres on the Armenians’; former Ittihadist Rifat Mevlanzade’s account, which you outrightly denounced as forgery believing the Turkish tale, ‘The Inner Aspects of the Turkish Revolution,’ in which he claims that the extermination of the Armenians was carefully planned and executed by Ittihadist adepts, and that the chief and most cold-blooded proponent of that course of action was the same notorious Behaeddin Sakir (otherwise, a question for you: he was sentenced to death by the Turkish martial court, what for?); Johannes Lepsius’ ‘Bericht,’ and Arnold Toynbe-Bryce ‘Blue Book.’
     
    Lastly, I don’t need to actually fight for what you believe in. The evidence is overwhelming and the only reason that the international recognition of the genocide is taking such a long time is, as you may know, of certain political considerations, but not because the genocidal intent still needs to be proven. It is the Turks that need to fight to flip-flop, in their best tradition, the truth and prove that the white yoghurt is actually black. So, good luck to them… and to you, too.

  274. Bravo Msheci jan…Bravo… Your grandfather would have been very proud of you… as I am and many here..

    It is the Turks that need to fight to flip-flop, in their best tradition, the truth and prove that the white yoghurt is actually black. So, good luck to them… and to you, too
    AMEN TO THIS … YES INDEED..:)

    Ragnar.. For God’s Sake.. can you tell us once and for all.. what are you intentions.. what is your plot?  what are you trying to accomplish here with your side of the story (which I don’t agree one bit)… just come out and answer frankly and directly to all the questions that were posed to you… LORD Jesus Christ…just out of curiousity…what are you planning to preach when you go to Turkey ( i am sure your collegues will be very happy to see you and the wealth of knowledge you gathered here on this site..:)..a bit of sacrasm there…)i know you mentioned you are going to give our pamphelts… what type of information is included in these pamphlets?  what message will these pamphlets spread?

    Gayane 

  275. I am going to send once again Hamisdian massacres the year is wrong.
    Please wait.
     
     
    Can Anyone Apply Thy Own Philosophy on Genocided bodies!
    Philosophy can’t be applied on deaths
    There is no experimental philosophy on flesh.
    Hubris philosophers only say so
    They don’t understand dying tissues
    In what sort of pains they lived…!

    Only mothers who lost their beloveds
    Continue to understand…
    Feel real pain
    Till they sigh.

    Every one has his own philosophy in life.
    If you meet Bedouins,
    They will teach you their own philosophy.
    Hence, you can’t sell your philosophy to the others.
    As every culture, have their-own philosophers.
    Born instantly, from happiness or greave of their nature.
    They can hand prose for their arid desert,
    Whilst, others view their green lands.

    So to say how can one apply philosophy on genocided* bodies.
    Alive suffering for them 
    For their souls
    Not thems for alive.
    Can flesh apply their philosophy on humans
    Probably in Hell or Paradise!
    When every one must reach there
    Sooner or late…!
    But… pray …not as a genocided body!
    June 25, 2010
    ___________________________________
     *Genocided; My English editor said, there is no word genocided in English Dictionary, I said, I have introduced in my ‘Glossary of Terms’ because we have been slayed( slain) many times before BC and after BC continuously.
    1895-1895 Hamidiam Massacres, 1909 Adanaian Massacres, 1915-1923 Armenian Massacres. Add together to say, “Armenians Genocided multiple times.”
    “The Fiend can create you to be a Philosopher”

  276. Naess Is Not Born To Behave Like Orhan

    My dear clever gifted Armenians
    Please think
    And don’t waste your precious time
    and melt angrily your heart cells…

    Keep that cells for your off-springs.
    To convience the unconviencible…
    that seems impossible…!

    He kept me few nights sleepless
    Does such being exist …!

    I insist and repeat…
     
    Naess is not born to behave like ORHAN

  277. Dear Msheci and Sylvia,
    You write:
    I want you to specify what crime was made, Ragnar, because nowhere in your comments in this lengthy discussion have we found clear and unequivocal denomination of the crime committed by the Young Turk government.
    Comment:
    I understand you want me to specify the crime as genocide or not genocie. Now I have said that I will only call the events of 1915-18 – I still miss the references to the period 1918-23 which Anahit mentioned – for genocide if I can make some qualifications. And I made some of them. Please look at my earlier posts. I still feel that you fail to see that it is not reasonable of you to require me to make a pseudo-juridical judgmenet on what crime applies  

    As was said by one of you some Turks are preparing themselves for admitting to crime against humanity but not genocide. This may of course be a conclusion I will eventually arrive at. But as I have said I simply am not sure about this, and I disagree with a strategy that implies to admit this much and not more. I agree that the mpotive for this may simply be to evade the stigma of the G-word.
     You may believe this is tactics from my side, but I can only repeat: I try to judge this question.  One important event for me was my attempt to have the Norwegian chief of the juridical department of the Foreign Ministry of Norway give some explanation to why he was pretty sure that that the events could not be characterized as genocide according to the practices and definitions of the 1948 convention
    Please respect my NOT being aure about something you are sure of.
    Secondly, I beg you  to take the question of documentation of what I call the genocide thesis more seriously. You mention the Andonian papers, to take one example. Now Erich Zurcher, who has written a quite influential history of modern Turkey, and himself upholds the genocide thesis, holds that the Andnan papers have been proved to be forgeries. Yesm there is a majority of historians who hold the genocide thesis, but the minority who protest canot be dioscounted as freaks or people on the Tutrkish payroll. And if Armenians relate sloppy to the question of documentation the number of researchers who doubt or deny genocidal intent in the CUP may rise, not because the thesis is wrong but because Armenians contented themselves with referring to the overwhelming majority of historians
    Sylvia
    You say
    So to say how can one apply philosophy on genocided* bodies.
    I believe philosophy and analysis can be applied to  grief, to the experience of  loss, to anger, the wish for apologies, for revenge.  To the extent that people stick to the language of distress, sorrow, anger and experience of victimhood, I agree with you 100%, and I apologize for any callousness perceived in my posts. This was never intended, and I have tried to be emphatic. I am sorry that you had sleepless nights, but hope that you will eventually receive insoiration and resolve from this.
    I feel you have given a new and important voice to our discussion
    What is more troubling for me is if I perceive that my adversaries are jumping from one type of logic to another when meeting reactions and arguments. I started out talking about empathy and was told that Armenians now have transcended the stage of empathy. The question ios about reparations. Then I talked about the ambivalence of the CUP when confronting an attempt to secure an area with a majority of Muslims (Turks and Kurds)  for Armenian  Christians. When questioned  I explained about the Turkish  impressions from the Balkans. But  then somebody asked me why I talked so much about the Balkans.  I must not equalize the sffering of the Turks with that of the Armenians, it was said. I confirmed that I did not equalize. In the same way people may ask me for documentation and analysis, but when I give this they accuse me of applying  cold  logic.
    I find this troubling.
    In your last post, Sylvia, you exhort other Armenians to quit the dialogue. Honestly, I also feel that maybe we should say that we tried to discuss, that we applaud the tenacity with which we have tried to convince the other, but that maybe it is time to stop.
    Finally, I was at Oslo airport yesterday and handed out leaflets to tourists going with the Turkish Cypriot flight YKB552. After this I was with a party with Turkish friends with whom I also discussed the issue in the course of the evening. I said Turks should apologize to Armenians.
    Ragnar
     

  278. Ragnar:

    If you think that you’ll be making a pseudo-juridical judgment on what the crime applies in the case of the first genocide of the 20th century committed against the Armenians, then all I’m left to do here is to invite you to sit back, relax, wait and see how many more foreign governments, more international organizations, more professional associations, more genocide scholars, more Nobel Prize winners, more historians, more international lawyers, and more Turkish intellectuals and human rights’ groups will be making genuine juridical judgment on the events of 1915-1923. By the way, this is the second time that I provide references to the period that’s widely accepted as time span for perpetration of the genocide of the Armenians. Here are only a few of them:
     
    ‘Encyclopedia of Genocide,’ Institute of the Holocaust and Genocide, Israel

    ‘The Armenian Genocide, News Accounts from the American Press: 1915-1922,’ by Richard Kloian
     
    ‘From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide,’ by Taner Akçam
     
    ‘The Armenian holocaust: A bibliography relating to the deportations, massacres, and dispersion of the Armenian people, 1915-1923,’ by Richard Hovannisian
     
    Further, genocide is a crime against humanity and I don’t recall that any one of us ever said that ‘some Turks are preparing themselves for admitting to crime against humanity but not genocide.’ Rome Statute provides all categories of crimes against humanity, genocide, and wartime crimes, and genocide is a crime against humanity based on international law. This is what Armenians and the rest of the civilized world urge the Turks to admit: that they committed a crime against humanity that bears a legal name, Ragnar, bears a distinct name coined by a world-renowned international lawyer based on his study of mass extermination of the Armenians: genocide, i.e. ‘any of a number of acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, such as: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.’
     
    Foreign parliaments, provincial legislative bodies, genocide scholars, historians, international organizations, professional genocide and human rights’ associations, the European Parliament, the Vatican, and the UN commissions use this term: genocide, when condemning or referring to the crime committed by the Turks against the Armenians. If you want to stick to the viewpoints of a few deniers, that’s your right, but we’re not going to assist you in this. It’s amazing why, with the same token, you don’t join a few Holocaust deniers like British David Irving, American Harry Elmer Barnes, Canadian Richard Harwood, German Ernst Nolte, and Turk Harun Yahya. As Belgian orientalist Koenraad Elst writes, ‘negationists [of genocides] attempt to rewrite history by minimizing, denying or simply ignoring essential facts… Negationism means the denial of historical crimes against humanity. It is not a reinterpretation of known facts, but the denial of known facts. The term negationism has gained currency as the name of a movement to deny a specific crime against humanity, such as the Turkish genocide of the Armenians in 1915 and the Nazi genocide on the Jews in 1941-45.’ It’s your choice to join the smaller club of deniers, Ragnar, but do please remember this discussion, and when the Turks apologize to the Armenians for committing genocide, do please recall what standpoint you held when exchanging views with us on these pages. After all, it’s hard to go against one’s conscience.
     
    The stigma of the G-word is being evaded by the Turks not because their top politicians and intellectuals, in contrast to you, don’t realize that the deliberate mass extermination of the Ottoman Armenians complies fully to the definition of genocide, as given by the 1948 UN Convention, but because they’re afraid of legal ramifications of such an acknowledgment, such as financial and material reparations and land restitution.
     
    Further, the chief of the juridical department of the Norwegian foreign ministry and his ‘explanation’ as to why ‘he was pretty sure that that the events could not be characterized as genocide,’ is just a mid-level bureaucrat, an apparatchik, representing a government that, to its shame, didn’t so far recognize the Armenian genocide. It may well be notorious Kjetil Elsebutangen, who, a week after your neighboring country, Sweden, adopted a resolution recognizing the crime as genocide, announced that the Armenian genocide was ‘devoid of legal basis.’ If you consider some bureaucrat’s opinion an ‘important event,’ and  opinions of the multitude of reputable voices recognizing the genocide, such as UN Commission on Protection of Minorities and International Association of Genocide Scholars, as ‘unimportant,’ well, then I only wish you firmness when your conscience goads you.
     
    Further, you write: ‘I beg you to take the question of documentation of what I call the genocide thesis more seriously. You mention the Andonian papers, to take one example. Now Erik Zürcher, who has written a quite influential history of modern Turkey, and himself upholds the genocide thesis, holds that the Andonian papers have been proved to be forgeries.
     
    Ragnar, proved by whom? By Turkish denialists Şinasi Orel and Süreyya Yuca? But the same Erik Zürcher does point to many other corroborating documents supporting the Andonian telegrams assertion of core involvement and premeditation of the killing by the central CUP members. Why are you always tempted to take a pro-Turkish, and not, at least, neutral, unbiased stance? Vahakn Dadrian has argued in 1986 that the points brought forth by these denialists are misleading and has countered the discrepancies they have raised. He claimed that the validity of documents was ‘supported by the official and mostly secret reports of German and Austrian diplomats.’ British writers Niall Ferguson and Richard Albrecht, who supported Dadrian’s thesis, also pointed to the fact that the Turkish martial court did not question the authenticity of the telegrams in 1921–which, however, were not introduced as evidence in court–and that the British intelligence had also intercepted numerous telegrams which directly ‘incriminated exchanges between Talaat and other Turkish officials’, and that Dadrian verified the documents as authentic telegrams send out by Tallat Pasha. French scholar Yves Ternon contends that these telegrams ‘were authenticated by experts…[but] they were sent back to Andonian in London and lost.’ According to professor Robert Melson, a member of the Jewish studies program at Purdue University, U.S., and former president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, Andonian’s report on deportations and killings of Armenians is crucial for the research of that period.
     
    Yet, other scholars, I agree, have at least raised questions about the documents. American scholar Christopher Walker, otherwise a supporter of a premeditated intent of the CUP government, has argued in 1997 that ‘doubts must remain until and unless the documents or similar ones themselves resurface and are published in a critical edition.’ Austrian scholar Wolfdieter Bihl, a supporter of a premeditated intent of the CUP government, has called them ‘controversial.’ Notorious genocide denier Guenter Lewy wrote that ‘the controversy over the authenticity of the Andonian documents will only be resolved through the discovery and publication of relevant Ottoman documents and this may never come to pass.’ Lewy argues that ‘until then Orel and Yuca’s painstaking analysis of these documents has raised enough questions about their genuineness as to make any use of them in a serious scholarly work unacceptable.’ Yet, according to David MacDonald, a well known theorist in the fields of genocide and human rights, Lewy is content to rely on the work of Turkish deniers Sinasi Orel and Sureyya Yuca. He writes: ‘Lewy’s conception of shaky pillars echoes the work of Holocaust deniers, who also see Holocaust history resting on pillars… This is a dangerous proposition, because it assumes from the start that genocide scholarship rests on lies which can easily be disproved once a deeper examination of the historical ‘truth’ is undertaken.’
     
    Ragnar, at this point in time, Armenians don’t seem to concern themselves of being sloppy to the question of documentation on premeditated intent, or the possibility that the number of researchers who doubt or deny genocidal intent may rise. We have passed that stage and witnessing the growing number of foreign parliaments recognizing the genocide, we can see that the civilized world has, as well. Most of the nations, parliaments, organizations, scholars, lawyers, archivists, human rights’ activists already have no doubts about the premeditated annihilation of the Armenians in Ottoman Turkey. Primary evidence of deliberate intent mostly kept at the British, German, French, Turkish, Armenian, Russian, and American archives compels most intellectuals to arrive to no other conclusion than deliberate race annihilation: the genocide. Armenians are approaching the stage of international recognition of the genocide and imposition of recognition on the government of Turkey. We’re also approaching, slowly but surely, the admittance of guilt and repentance by the Turkish government for committing the crime, denying it, and hiding the truth of it.
     
    This said, I admire your knowledge, however controversial and in many cases explicitly pro-Turkish, it might be. I also applaud your efforts in discussing the issue with your Turkish friends, however pleasing some of your ideas might be to them, and in handing out leaflets to Turkish tourists, even though we never learnt, despite several requests, as to the content of them. Thanks, as well, for saying that Turks should apologize to Armenians. I only wish that at the end of this discussion you could utter unequivocally the name of the crime for which you urged Turks to apologize to Armenians.
     
    Best regards.

  279. Msheci, I have to thank you once again for your fine point editing of my last post which contained a sloppy statement that can easily be misinterpreted (and has been) to suggest that I concur with Ragnar that genocidal intent can’t be proven.  I should have re-read it before I hit submit.  I was away and I am behind on reading the most recent posts but I want to say that my thoughts align very closely with Carl’s last post in which he states:
    It doesn’t matter whether a genocide is preplanned, or planned on the hop as the conditions dictate, premeditated or the result of spontaneous impulse, it is still genocide. It can be both, and in many cases is….premeditated and also spontaneous, because these actions, once started, usually have a life of their own. Trying to distinguish between spontaneous actions and premeditated actions, when the end results are the same, is a moot point. They still result in the same outcome. Labeling it as “mass murder”, “ethnic cleansing” or whatever else you may want to define it as, is also moot because in the final analysis it is still the same thing, genocide, just dressed up in different…more “legally and diplomatically appealing” clothes.
    Carl, thanks for expressing this so clearly!
    Ragnar, I wonder what you think of Carl’s comments?  Is there really a question in your mind that the end result of the governmental and civilian crimes committed against the Armenians was genocidal?  If not genocide, than what is the word to use when the massacre, deportation, molestation, rape, robbery, forced conversion and murder of a certain ethnic group within a nation by military, civilian and governmental bodies results in the virtual annihilation of that certain ethnic group and its cultural institutions?
    Can I respect a person who finds it more important to argue the minuscule points of a definition at the cost of delaying justice to a victimized group that has waited 95 years for that justice?  A justice that this aforementioned person has acknowledged that the victimized group deserves?
    Ragnar, you admit the Armenians are due an apology and compensation from Turkey.  Please help me understand why Armenians should wait one more day, while academics and politicians entertain themselves with cerebral contemplation or worse, deliberate efforts to thwart justice.
    You asked in an earlier post if my distrust of you is merely the result of never before having encountered someone who agrees with part of my version of the story but disagrees with other parts.  A valid question but hardly the case.  The truth is closer to the notion that I have encountered so many trusted academics and historians (Armenian and non-Armenian) who have convinced me of the truth of the version I have come to believe.  You are entitled to nurse your doubts, but I don’t share them.  I simply find it difficult to understand how you can overlook the loud scream for justice in favor of the dubious whispers of doubt and denial. I see you, at minimum, as misguided.  I apologize for suggesting other questionable motives on your part, but I still don’t understand what you think you are accomplishing.
    Are you really not aware that the doubts are a modern invention; that in the days and years following the events there was clear consensus that a crime of ethnic cleansing had occurred?  That this was recognized by numerous nations and compensation was proscribed by the Treaty of Sevres?  That geopolitical events prevented the enacting of the mandates of the Treaty but that these geopolitical events did not invalidate its findings?
     
    Can you truly say that you are not being an instrument of delayed justice?  Why the leaflets?  Why the conversations with Turks suggesting they apologize?  What do you wish to accomplish?
     
     
     
     

  280. I have developed blisters on my tongue from asking the same questions over and over again…  really… I bet Turks have impletmented the same process as Ragnar did where they put us through this “groundhog day” mode and cause mental exhaustion by avoiding to answer direct questions with direct answers… so much so that according to them, if they can continue spinning the truth over and over for another 5 years, we will just give up and say forget you people.. we have had it.. do whatever you want to do….BUT.. very BIG BUT…unlucky to them.. they dont’ know the Armenians.. we dont’ give up and will never do… that said…

    for the millionth times Ragnar..

    What is the purpose of these leaflets that you speak of?  What sermon will these leaflets produce and promote?  what exactly are you planning to accomplish with that?  i believe it was you who said to Boyjian to stick to the belief and not get removed from it…I think you should follow your own advice because we are still confused.. do you support the Armenian cause or do you not?  Do you believe Genocide happened or do you not?  Do you think Turks should apologize or should not they?? Do you think you are basically assisting to delay the process of reperation and justice just like Boyajian wrote?  Do you think by trying to convince the descendents of the Genocide victims with you Pro-Turkish side/mentality you will accomplish your goal or not?? Do tell.. don’t be shy….

    Best,

    Gayane

  281. Ragnar I have been meaning to ask for clarification on this earlier statement by you:
    I agree with you on thwarting justice. The Turkish contributions are full of them, but unfiortunately also Armenian, in my opinion. But diagnosis cannot replace sholarship. So I stick to scholarly method as best as I can.
     
    I wish you would say more about Armenians thwarting justice.  Who?  Also, what do you mean diagnosis cannot replace scholarship?  Diagnosis is primary to those who want just results.  Scholarship for scholarship sake is an empty goal in this case.  Scholarship that clouds the issue and delays resolution is not a worthy endeavor.  Scholarship that elucidates and moves naturally to a conclusion should be the goal.  What is your goal?
     
    {Funny, so many thought I was a man.  I think a while back Gayane indicated that she thought I was the Boyajian that contributes to the Weekly and I didn’t correct this for the sake of preserving my anonymity (and because it was no insult to be confused with David Boyajian!).  This is probably where it started.  Hope all is now clear.}

  282. Boyajian
    you fail to see my meaning. I never said that genocidal intent IN THE CENTRAL CADRES, for example Talat, CANNOT BE PROVEN. I never said that. I say that it IS NOT proven.
    See the difference?

  283. I have had to work quite extensively the last two days, so I am delayed in answering. I see that several of you hold that I do not answer questions.  Now I believe that if you reread my posts and thought a little, you would find  most of the answers, but let us start afresh.
    So I will note the questions mentioned from Gayane’s message on june 25 and onwards, that is  the message of Gayane which starts with the words  “ Bravo Msheci jan…Bravo… Your grandfather…”
    In these meassages until today  I find the following questions:
    -from Msheci: Ragnar, proved by whom? (Regarding Zurcher: the Andonian papers) By Turkish denialists Şinasi Orel and Süreyya Yuca?
    -From Msheci: Why are you always tempted to take a pro-Turkish, and not, at least, neutral, unbiased stance?
    -from Gayane: what are you intentions.. what is your plot?  what are you trying to accomplish here?
    -from Gayane: do you support the Armenian cause or do you not? 
    -from  Gayane: Do you believe Genocide happened or do you not? 
    -from Gayane: Do you think Turks should apologize or should not they??
    -from Gayane: Do you think you are basically assisting to delay the process of reperation and justice just like Boyajian wrote?
    From Gayane: Do you think by trying to convince the descendents of the Genocide victims with you Pro-Turkish side/mentality you will accomplish your goal or not?? 
    -from Boyajian: Ragnar, I wonder what you think of Carl’s comments?  Is there really a question in your mind that the end result of the governmental and civilian crimes committed against the Armenians was genocidal? 
    -from Boyajian: Please help me understand why Armenians should wait one more day
    -from Boyajian: Are you really not aware that the doubts are a modern invention?
    From Boyajian: Can you truly say that you are not being an instrument of delayed justice?  Why the leaflets?  Why the conversations with Turks suggesting they apologize?  What do you wish to accomplish?
    From boyajian: Also, what do you mean diagnosis cannot replace scholarship? 
    Is this list complete?  Or do you want to add questions, maybe questions asked earlier?
    Please answer to this and then I will try to arrange the questions in groups and then I will answer them

  284. I never said that genocidal intent IN THE CENTRAL CADRES, for example Talat, CANNOT BE PROVEN. I never said that. I say that it IS NOT proven. – Ragnar Naess
     
    After so many commentators here presented so many primary evidence references, including, but not limited to, Turkish martial court verdicts of 1919 and 1921, Sevres Treaty provisions based on deliberate destruction of Western Armenia, Aram Andonian Papers that majority of scholars confirm as valid, Talaat Pasha’s Black Book, CUP’s telegrams and dépêches instructing lower-level officials on the ways of extermination intercepted by the British intelligence, as well as tons of witness accounts by European and American contemporaries: dignitaries, geographers, and missionaries, I only have ONE question for you, Ragnar. ANSWER IT. How do you dare entering a discussion forum with the victims of the Armenian genocide on denialist platform? Forgive me for this straightforward question, but do you consider yourself more knowledgeable than federal and provincial governments that recognized on behalf of their nations the genocidal intent in the actions of the Ottoman Turks?
     
    Argentina
     
    Armenia
     
    Australian State parliaments of New South Wales and South Australia
     
    Belgium
     
    Brazilian State parliaments of Ceara and São Paulo
     
    Bulgarian municipalities of Plovdiv, Burgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora, and Pazardzik
     
    Canada
     
    Chile
     
    Cyprus
     
    France
     
    Germany (‘The German parliament deplores the acts of the Government of the Ottoman Empire regarding the almost complete destruction of Armenians in Anatolia and also the inglorious role of the German Reich in the face of the organized expulsion and extermination of Armenians which it did not try to stop. Women, children and elderly were from February 1915 sent on death marches towards the Syrian desert.’)
     
    Greece
     
    Iran
     
    Lithuania
     
    Lebanon
     
    Netherlands
     
     
    Poland
     
    Russia
     
    Slovakia
     
    Spain’s Basque and Catalonian parliaments
     
    Sweden
     
    Switzerland
     
    The Supreme Council of Crimea, Ukraine
     
    Regional assemblies in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland
     
    44 of 50 states of the United States of America. In addition, on March 4, 2010 the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a resolution describing the killing of Armenians by Turkish forces during World War I as genocide
     
    Uruguay
     
    Vatican
     
    Venezuela
     
    Do you consider yourself more knowledgeable than reputable organizations that recognized the genocidal intent in the actions of the Ottoman Turks?
     
    The European Parliament
     
    The Council of Europe
     
    The United Nations’ Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities that produced report ‘Revised and Updated Report on the Question of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’ that included paragraph 24 which listed some genocides in the 20th century, including the genocide of the Armenians in 1915-1916
     
    The European Parliament, which in 2006 voted for the inclusion of a clause prompting Turkey ‘to recognize the Armenian genocide as a condition for its EU accession’ in a highly critical report, which was adopted by a broad majority in the foreign relations committee of the European Parliament’
     
    The International Association of Genocide Scholars
     
    The Union of American Hebrew Congregations
     
    The World Council of Churches
     
    The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal
     
    Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
     
    The Mercosur, South American Regional Trade Agreement’s parliament, that in 2007 adopted a resolution recognizing the ‘Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire which took 1.5 million lives from 1915 to 1923.’
     
    U.S. Senator Barack Obama in 2008 released a statement: ‘[It is] my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. As President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.’ In 2009, President of U.S. Barack Obama added: ‘I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. My interest remains the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts.’
     
    Dozens of Nobel Prize Winners
     
    Are these reputable domestic and international bodies and dignitaries less intelligent as compared to Ragnar Naess in that they clearly see genocidal intent in the actions of the central echelons of the Ottoman government?

    Ragnar, I think modesty will suit you better, indeed, it will…

  285. Please Meshezi add all Arab countries to you recognized Genocide list.
    Every Arab individual knows more than the civilized nations and their parliaments.
    Few months ago a Syrian Bedouin lady from Daraa a Syrian village narrated to me this story.
    In Darra after every midnight a nude child appears and continuously cries till sunshine, all the villagers hear his voice. The Sheik explains that this baby is Armenian lived after the mothers womb was opened by Turkish scimitar and he is calling his mother!
    Although this story is a fiction but such unusual heart- smashing story can tell us that till today how much the villagers are affected by Armenian Genocide and such stories are narrated to every arriving cohort after almost a century past.

  286. Sylva, I appreciate the story you shared about the villager’s tale of the orphaned Armenian baby…Stories like this that demonstrate how historical events get incorporated into the local collective consciousness…This may not be sufficient “proof”, but for me it speaks volumes.
     
    Ragnar, I do see the difference between can’t be proven and is not proven.  Thanks.
    Sorry, never meant to offend with my questions, but I will be pleased to know the answers to the questions of my last two posts.

  287. Good Evening Ragnar…Wow… you are definintely confirming the trait that Turkish govt posseses..stubborness…and inability to see the truth after all the citations, examples that my colligues provided to you.. it is a shame..

    By the way, I am sure there are alot more questions out there that you did not answer including few questions my dear Msheci asked in the last comment.. in addition, i also had specific questions about leaflets.. (I know Boyajian also asked the same question).

    – what are these leaflets you are referring to?
    -what kind of information/message will these leaflets provide?
    -why would this be beneficial to us?
    -what are you trying to accomplish by distributing these leaflets????

    Also, i don’t recall seeing an answer to the following question (if you did answer it and I missed it.. my apologies)… Do you believe in the Genocide of the Jews?  Do you believe  in the word genocide???

    In addition, when you meet with your Turkish friends, and tell them that they should apologize for what happened to us, and return everything that was taken from our people, how do they react to you? Are you that direct with them about this as you are with us regarding your belief that the Genocide of the Armenians never happen???

    Gayane

  288. Msheci
    I will comment on your long post of june 26 before I 1) send  a translation of my leaflet, 2) answer the list of questions I prepared and  am waiting for additional questions.
    You write:
    Further, genocide is a crime against humanity and I don’t recall that any one of us ever said that ‘some Turks are preparing themselves for admitting to crime against humanity but not genocide.’
    Comment:
    I know several Turks with some influence who see the admitting of a “crime against humanity”  as an alterntive to admit to “genocide”. The two concepts also appear as alternatives e.g. in the Darfur verdict. Here it is first affirmed that there is a case of crime against humanity. Then the question of genocidal intent is treated in a separate chapter.  The judge Cassese comments that the verdict – crime against humanity, not genocide, must not be seen as a belittling of the crime. My starting point was that you commented that Turks may try to admit  to something else that genocide because of the stigma attached, which to my mind is a quite accurate observation.  Thank you for your pointing to the fact that genocide is a type of crimes against humanity. When  I go back to some of my notes I realize that I have not borne this sufficiently in mind. But I belive that the question “Is it genocide or is it only a crime against humanity” is not untypical. To meet your criticism one would only have to rephrase the question and ask “Is it genocide or is it another kind of crime against humanity?”
    Your post contains a number of references to actual works and this is good. This s the type of debate I may learn something from.
    Among the four works you mention early in your post I will try to read Kloian which I have never heard about. I will ask our library of university today for this work. I have read Akcam’s book “From empire to republic” which is the English version of a book actually published in Istanbul in 1994 (it is possible to publish works of this kind in Turkey, even Dadrian is published and the 1916 Blue book has recently been translated and published). Evidently it is an important work with many  good observations, but I do not see it as an attempt to PROVE genocidal intent in the central ittihadists. It seems to presuppose such an intent and only give some examples of arguments for this thesis. Akcam comes much closer to do a documentation in his “Shameful act”, particularly in the introduction and in the section “the genocide decision and its aftermath”. I then have in mind a procedure in which one SYSTEMATICALLY EXAMINES EVIDENCE 1) AS REGARD TO ITS GENERAL TERUSTWORTHYNESS AS ASSERTINS OF FACTS, 2) JUDGES WHETHER A GIVEN FACT IS COMPATIBLE WITH ALTERNATIVE HYPOTETHESES. Excuse me for the big letters and for the repetition, but I challenge you to show that Akcam does this in this book.
    The bibliography by Hovannisian is a bibliography which may contain relevant works, but in itsef it is not documentation. The Encyclopedia of genocide refers to works I believe but does not itself present compelling evidence.
    However, I again warn you not to rely on some of the sources you mention. I have in mind the Andonian papers, the “Ten commandments…”, and the Mevlanzade book. It is Zurcher who says that it is proved that the andonian papers are forgeries, not me. I cannot give you exact references now, but look up the comments of Gwynne Dyer on the “Ten commandments” and the Mevlanzade Rifat book. You will find it on the name Gwynne Dyer in the Middle Eastern Journal for 1974. Dyer’s contribution is part of a debate with Walker. I will send exact references later.
    Regarding the “Ten commandments” it was discarded by the British as evidence in their search for evidence in the period 1919 to 1922. Even the the title “Ten Commandmends…” is strange for a document purporting to be an official Ottoman document. The Andonian papers, by contrast, has at least an air of authenticity by them. Dyer criticizes the “Ten commandments” in detail, and my impression is that the criticism is founded. I find very few references to it in genocide research. As Dyer remarks,  several Ottomans, former officials and some shady characters,  approached the British in order to sell documents that purported to demonstrate ittihadist responsibility for the Armenian massacres.
    Dyer also comments on Mevlanzade Rifat, who was a Kurd belonging to one of the groupings that formed as part of the resistance against the Abdulhamid autocracy in the first years of the 1900-eds.
    There is no evidence that he ever was part  of the Central Committee of CUP, and Dyer claims that it is wildly improbable that he was present at inner meetings and heard the conversations which he later published as minutes of the actual meetings. The minutes are also highly improbable on internal grounds. The way the central ittihadists phrase their decision to exterminate the Armenians in bloodcurling expressions does not at all harmonise with the terse and official language such minutes generally have, he says. The book is published in 1927 if I am not wrong and Dyer catalogues it as an attempt to fortify the potential alliance between Kurds and Armenians which several on both sides favoured in these years. Kurds have also been eager to pin the blame on the ittihadists for atrocities that to a large extent were perpetrated by some Kurdish tribes, like the Reshvan  and the Balaban (information provided in  Kaiser’s article on the fate of the Armenians of Erzurum).
    The rest of your post, I am afraid, impresses me less. To repeat that MANY individuals and organizations hold that genocide was committed in 1915, is no proof. Truth is not a matter of voting. The many may be mistaken.

    One only invites a similar list from the Turks and from the inveterate deniers, a list  of those who do NOT believe this: The British, who actually investigated the case in the period they occupied Istanbul, the Germans who did not use the word “genocide” in their resolution, Gilles Veinstein,to take one example,  who while being a “denier” was still voted into the prestigious  college de France in the mid 1990-ies, and, mind you, he was voted in by historians who disagreed but who evidently saw his opinions as legitimate. All these are counter examples the Turks are likely to come up with, prolonging the “was it or wasn’t it”-debate without bothering to go to the sources and actually TRY to perform an exercise in documentation as envisaged by the introductory books of historiography in any university.
    Your comments on the deniers of the shoah/holocaust and my running the risk  of  becoming a second Irving do not impress me. You can do better than that!! As several others I have doubts about the proof of genocidal intent in the central ittihadists.  The whole idea of systematically comparing the holocaust to the events of 1915-18, without going into the DETAILS of the late ottoman violence, belongs to the area of suggestive  rhetorics  and provides no real arguments.   Comparing me to various crooks who deny the reality of the gas chambers must have as its basis the demonstration that I am wrong. I cannot see that this is the case. So I suggest you stick to the arguments of the case itself: the proof of genocidal intent in the central ittihadists in the period 1915-18.
    Permit me again to point to the glaring fact that perpetrators were not punished by Talat and his associates. This is a fact not dependent on a lot of conjectures about what went on in the heads of the leaders at the time. The consequences were genocidal – in  a reasonable sense of the word, and the ittihadists have an obvious responsibility. This is the basis of my preoccupation with this important question.
     

  289. To Ragar Naess
     
    Naess=means Sleepy in Arabic language or
    Nahees= child with bad character has tantrums who cries always and bring bad luck to the family.
    I don’t know what does it mean your name in other languages.

    Can you ask your Turkish friends how many of them have grand-grand mothers from Armenian genocide and give us some news instead contionously injuring our already scorned hearts. 

  290. msheci
    I asked for Kloian’s book from our library. They will answer

    The references I spoke about are the following

    Andonan papers shown to be forgeries
    p.115-16 (2004 edition)
    Zürcher, Erik J.: Turkey – a modern history, I.B. Tauris publ. 1993, reprint 1994,1998, 2001, 2004

    Dyer, G.: Correspondance, Middle Eastern Studies no.? 1974. answer to C.J. Walker.
    It appears that the “Ten commandment” made quite a furore when it was given to the British. It seems it was provided  by a certain Essad Bey. He was employed 1920-22 by the British to provide information on the nationalist movement headed by Mustafa Kemal.
    After 1919 there is no reference to this work and it is not part of the two volume collection of documents on atrocities, to be used in the trial planned by the british, collected by the British before the return of the Malta internees.

    Regarding the book of Mevlanzade Rifat, Dyer is still more dismissive 

  291. sylvia,
    I do not want to injure your heart. This is a place for comments and change of opinions, so this is why I participate.

    The fiancee of the son of my old friend with whom I lived in my first stay in the village in 1982, is christian. Her mother is Armenian, her father Arabic-speaking from Hatay. She says she had little personal contact with her maternal grand father and that he never spoke to her about the troubled times during the WW1. Her mother tongue is Arabic.
    When I said that Turks should apologize to Armenians, she nodded approvingly but it seems both she and her husband to be, who is a Turkish Alevi muslim, avoids discussing this theme too much. He is the only one in the family, and I believe among all the descendants from this village, who will marry a christian girl. His brother is living with a Norwegian woman.
    Should I say hello to her from you?

  292. This is the text of the leaflet:

    Dear Turkey-tourist,
    You travel to interesting country with many friendly people. I hope you will eat well, swim and enjoy. When I provide this sheet, it is because Turkey also has other traits.  
    Let us not forget the problmatic features of the communities we visit. This has nothing to do with anti-Turkishness. It’s about solidarity and about having at least one discussion with a Turk about things that the world community has taken up with Turkey.
    During the First World War, nearly one million Armenians were deported, mostly from eastern Anatolia, but also from all other parts of the empire, including Antalya.
    Those deported were not provided with sufficient food and protection, they were exposed to all sorts of abuse and the killing of hundreds. Those who abused the deportees were virtually never punished, and Turkey have today downplayed the whole thing. Despite some softening in recent years, Turkish leaders always refused to admit that the leders of the time committed an enormous crime against the Armenians. Many of those Turks  who tell about the  Armenian genocide have been prosecuted or will not receive a job, and the descendants of all those who lost their properties have never received any compensation.
    In Turkey today there are many supporters of human rights who are fighting for  the aim that  Turkey, like other countries, must go into the black spots in the country’s history. One way to show your solidarity with these is to ask people in Antalya or elsewhere on the Turkish south coast about  the Armenians. If you are going to visit the old town of Antalya, be aware that that many of the old houses belonged to Armenians, brutally deported in the spring and summer of 1915  as a fifth column, or because the authorities simply wanted to get rid of the Armenian minority.
    Don’t be indifferent, ask at least one Turk during your stay about the fate of the Armenians!
    Ragnar Naess, Sagveien 10, 0459 Oslo Tel 90 58 33 42 rnpost@online.no

  293. I see some words fell out of the translation. It should read “hundreds of thousands”, not “hundreds”

  294. Ragnar –
     
    You’re either reading posts inattentively or, being obsessed with predominantly Turkish concept on the absence of genocidal intent in wiping out 2-2.5 million of Ottoman Armenians from the face of the earth, are reading them carelessly. The four references, out of many others, that I offered you, namely: ‘Encyclopedia of Genocide,’ Institute of the Holocaust and Genocide, Israel
    ‘The Armenian Genocide, News Accounts from the American Press: 1915-1922,’ by Richard Kloian
    ‘From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide,’ by Taner Akçam
    ‘The Armenian holocaust: A bibliography relating to the deportations, massacres, and dispersion of the Armenian people, 1915-1923,’ by Richard Hovannisian – are in response to your enquiry regarding the period 1918-1923 as generally accepted timeframe for the perpetration of the Armenian genocide, not on the genocidal intent.
     
    Further, in the future please refrain from making remarks about my posts that’ impress’ you. Believe me, least of all I preoccupy my mind with ‘impressing’ a Turkophile like you with my posts. I’m just sharing my views, but, frankly, with less and less desire to go on given your biased, denialist stance. I will, nonetheless, respond to your June 28, 2010 comment, but at this juncture I think you completely devalued yourself by making the following statement:
     
    To repeat that MANY [governments,] individuals, and organizations hold that genocide was committed in 1915, is no proof. Truth is not a matter of voting. The many may be mistaken.
     
    Truth is conformity to fact or actuality, Ragnar, and in the New Testament truth is correct knowledge (Timothy 4: 3; Timothy 2: 25) and is to be obeyed (Galatians 5: 7). This is exactly what many governments, prominent individuals, and international organizations have done: they conformed to fact of deliberate annihilation of an ethnic group, whether by voting as in foreign parliaments, or by issuing resolutions as in the UN, the European Parliament, and the Council of Europe, or by making statements as in official proclamations of Nobel Prize winners, leading humanitarians, and presidents. If the genocide-perpetrator state denies the crime for decades, there’s no other way than to bring the matter to the attention of the many.
     
    The many may be mistaken,’ Ragnar? They theoretically may, but one compelling argument that should stand out for you in the case of the Armenian genocide, is that those ‘mistaken’ many represent legitimately elected parliaments that adopted resolutions based on experts’ work and, in some cases, their own national archives; they represent international forums marking out political vision for better Europe and the globe; they represent global, interdisciplinary organizations that seek to further research and teaching about the nature and consequences, as well as prevention and punishment, of genocide; they represent non-partisan associations to draw academics, activists, artists, genocide survivors, journalists, jurists, public policy makers, and others into the interdisciplinary study of genocide, with the goal of prevention; they represent Nobel Prize laureates endorsed independent studies that concluded the slaughter of Ottoman Armenians fits into the internationally accepted definition of genocide; they represent people of good will. In short, not only they represent a majority, but, given their professional affiliation and expertise, they also represent a qualitative, reputable majority. And if ‘the many may be mistaken’, according to you, then with the same token and greater degree of probability, the few may be mistaken, too, but nowhere in your comments have we seen you acknowledging that those few, namely: Turks and a bunch of genocide deniers, may be mistaken. This is your major flaw and the main reason of suspicion of your motives that suggest that you could be involved in this discussion to gather Armenian arguments to long Turkish tales. We’re not going to assist you in this because you exchange views on denialist not merely inquisitive platform. Denial is not just a simple negation of an act; it is the consequent continuation of the very act itself. In the minds of perpetrators and deniers, genocide shouldn’t only physically destroy a community; it should likewise dictate the prerogative of interpretation in regard to history, culture, territory, and memory. The Turks have not only murdered a specific race, destroyed an ancient civilization, and rewritten history, but they continue to legitimize the act, as well as the racist ideology that led to the act.

    Next point: about comparing the deniers of the Jewish Holocaust and your own denial of genocidal intent in the central Ittihadists, as opposed to overwhelming consensus. The comparison doesn’t belong to the area of suggestive rhetoric, it’s the same tune played with different musical instruments. If in the 1940s, in central Europe, technologies that could document the Nazi crime were better developed as compared to the outskirts of Europe, a barren land in Eastern Anatolia (Western Armenia) where the Armenians were slaughtered en masse in 1915, it doesn’t give you the right to doubt simply because there was no reality of gas chambers in Armenian-populated areas. Our ‘gas chambers’ are in Deyr Zor, where even now you can find millions of bones by just uncovering the soil. Technologies that could document deliberate slaughter back in 1915 were, understandably, less developed that those in the 1940s. It is here where the archival, witness accounts’, and survivors statements’ research steps in. Did you know that Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other world leaders, contemporaries of the massacres, called it the ‘Armenian Holocaust’ long before the Shoah happened? Because, in contrast to Ragnar The Denialist, they based this on the information their diplomatic and intelligence agents supplied them at the time of massacres, even without the gas chambers it was clear to them. Compare your integrity to a phrase by the scariest monster of all times, and ask yourself if you’re not denying what had become obvious even to him. On August 22, 1939 Adolf Hitler remarked: ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’

  295. Exactly Msheci jan…

    I have also commented on the following matter in my previous post..  back in 1915 we did not have modern technologies like in the Hilter years to document and show strong evidence of torture machines… and Ragnar is definintely uses that for his justification to pretty much distract the reader of his intent..

    Also, the leaflet you shared with us… again i dont’ see the connection to what you are trying to do with it.. knowing how you view The Turkish Genocide of the Western and Eastern Armenians, I really don’t see the connection between the leaflets and the message it is going to convey to the tourists….you are as confusing and in denial as I thought…sorry but that is how I see you regardless if you think you have enough evidence to believe otherwise..

    Gayane

  296. Thanks for providing the text of the leaflet, Ragnar. It took you quite some time, but thanks, anyway. It’s your appeal and, as such, should be respected as author’s work. May I just suggest that the internationally accepted figure of Armenian victims is 1.5 and not 1 million? Also, the provinces they lived in were called, even by the Turks themselves, ‘Armenian vilayets’ not ‘eastern Anatolia,’ which is the newest Turkish invention. I’m pleased that at least in the leaflet you called the crime by its distinct, widely-accepted name: ‘Armenian genocide.’ Lastly, ‘those who abused the deportees were virtually never punished’ reflects the subject of our discussion: the prevailing majority of scholars, lawyers, and humanitarians believe that it was the very leaders of the time who committed the centrally-planned genocide.
    Thank you for sharing the content of the leaflet with us.

  297. Ragnar.. forgot to ask you.. are you not afraid of being jailed or scolded if you distribute these leaflets?  How would your Turkish friends think of you if you spread this ifnormation around?  how do you feel spreading this information around if you dont’ agree there was a true Genocide?  I am still confused as to what are you trying to accomplish with that.?? Spreading awareness about GEnocide?  We already know that you do not agree there was a Genocidal intent; therefore what happened to my people was not Genocide.. then why the leaflets?  Why are you doing that?…

    I would definintely take Msheci’s pointers and update the leaflet before handing them out..

    THank you for your efforts (even though the purpose is still unclear to me)…

    Gayane

  298. “Truth is not a matter of voting.” – Ragnar Naess
     
    “I say to you: he who does not know the truth is merely a fool. But he who knows it and calls it a lie, is a criminal.” – Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo, Scene Nine

  299. Ragnar –
     
    This is in regard to your June 28 post.
     
    You write: ‘Thank you for your pointing to the fact that genocide is a type of crimes against humanity. […] I believe that the question “Is it genocide or is it only a crime against humanity” is not untypical. To meet your criticism one would only have to rephrase the question and ask “Is it genocide or is it another kind of crime against humanity?
     
    You’re attempting, unintentionally I hope, to shift the emphasis of my comment. While from a moral perspective genocide is generally considered a crime against humanity, from a legal viewpoint, however, it is separated from other crimes against humanity. In Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Part 2. Jurisdiction, Admissibility and Applicable Law, Article 5: Crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court clearly states that ‘the jurisdiction of the Court shall be limited to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. The Court has jurisdiction in accordance with this Statute with respect to the following crimes:
    (a) The crime of genocide;  
    (b) Crimes against humanity;  
    (c) War crimes;
    (d) The crime of aggression.’
     
    As you see, and as I’m sure the Turks see, Rome Statute does separate the crime of genocide from other crimes against humanity. The Statute then gives juridical meanings of the genocide in Article 6 and crimes against humanity in Article 7. Therefore, from the perspective of international law the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court distinguishes genocide and other crimes against humanity. Because the Armenian genocide fully fits the definition of genocide, the justice for the Armenians must be served under Article 6: Genocide, and not Article 7: Crimes against humanity. I could care less about several Turks with some influence, whom you know, who see the admitting of a ‘crime against humanity’ as an alternative to admit to ‘genocide.’ This may be just another Turkish ploy to evade full extent of responsibility for the specific crime of genocide, the prescribed punishment for which, according to the 1948 Genocide Convention, is not subject to the limitations of time and place. Besides, except for genocide-perpetrator stigma for their nation, I suppose Turks may bear greater responsibility for the crime of genocide rather than for a crime against humanity. I suppose, I’m not an expert…

    Regarding ‘The Memoirs of Naim Bey: Turkish Official Documents Relating to the Deportation and the Massacres of Armenians,’ aka ‘Andonian Papers,’ aka the ‘Talat Pasha telegrams,’ I believe I already gave you my vision in the June 26 post. I’d only emphasize again that in his ‘Turkey: A Modern History’ Erik Zürcher admits on pages 115-116, and I quote: ‘From the eyewitness reports not only of German, Austrian, American and Swiss missionaries but also of German and Austrian officers and diplomats who were in constant touch with Ottoman authorities, from the evidence given to the postwar Ottoman tribunal investigating the massacres, and even, to a certain extent, the memoirs of Unionist Officers and administrators, we have to conclude that even if the Ottoman government was not involved in genocide, an inner circle of the CUP, under the direction of Talat, wanted to solve the eastern question by the extermination of the Armenians and it used relocation as a clock for that policy.’ What else can I add to the opinion of one of the scholars that you yourself cited, disregarding the opinions of many other non-Armenian scholars who supported Dadrian’s well-presented thesis on authenticity of the Papers?
     
    Regarding the ‘Ten Commandments,’ you’re repeating the thesis of a notorious genocide-denier Guenter Lewy, whereas it is known from the works of Vahakn Dadrian and Peter Balakian, that American High Commissioner William Heck has commented in 1919: ‘It is not known whether this document is authentic, but it can at least be stated that the instructions therein contained are of a nature which were followed during the deportations.’ You’re right, Turkish military tribunal makes no mention of the ‘Ten Commandments,’ but it does make reference to the testimony of an officer who reported that he received secret orders regarding the massacres relayed to the provinces. Given the actual course of events in the consecutive years, which is well-documented, there’s no doubt in the minds of most genocide scholars that CUP premeditated the massacres of Armenians and these documents—whether you consider them unauthentic or otherwise—played their substantial role in this plan. The course of mass murders is fully compatible to the ‘Ten Commandments’ and for us these document shows the CUP’s plan clearly. One of many genocide scholars supporting the premeditated intent, Christopher J. Walker, argues that Gwynne Dyer, in dismissing the possibility that the 1915 extermination of the Armenians was premeditated, quotes no supporting evidence, not at all, whereas the ‘Ten Commandments,’ kept in the British Public Record Office, and especially the consequent course of the massacres and deportations of the Armenians, the evidence of which is overwhelming in the national archives of many countries, testifies to the authenticity of the document. As for the former Ittihadist, a Kurd, Rifat Mevlanzade, who had quit the Ittihadists out of repugnance and finally left Turkey altogether, he makes a testimony in his book ‘The Inner Aspects of the Turkish Revolution,’ in which he claims that the extermination of the Armenians was carefully planned and executed by Ittihadist adepts, and that the chief and most cold-blooded proponent of that course of action was Behaeddin Sakir later sentenced to death by the martial court. I asked that question before, never received an answer from you: what was he sentenced to death for?
     
    You further write: ‘Permit me again to point to the glaring fact that perpetrators were not punished by Talat and his associates.’ Well, Ragnar, we’ve said it for the thousandth time: because Talat and his associates were the perpetrators. Do you expect these devil’s advocates to execute themselves? No, they can only conceive a plan and execute the Armenians…
     
    You conclude: ‘The consequences were genocidal – in a reasonable sense of the word, and the ittihadists have an obvious responsibility. This is the basis of my preoccupation with this important question.
     
    Both the intent and consequences were genocidal, and the Ittihadists have an obvious responsibility. And this is the basis of our preoccupation with this important question. You’ll be ridiculed if you try to convince any reasonable literate person, not even an expert, that an ethnic cleansing and forced deportations of such a magnitude in the areas where there were no frontlines whatsoever, was carried out by a bunch of local marauders or subservient local administrations that were unauthorized by the central authorities to conduct a crime of such an enormity in regard to 2-2.5 million people of a certain race. Don’t make yourself a laughingstock, Ragnar. You can do much better than that…

  300. I will try to answer the questions:
    -from Msheci: Ragnar, proved by whom? (Regarding Zurcher: the Andonian papers) By Turkish denialists Şinasi Orel and Süreyya Yuca?
    Answer: Zurcher does not refer to whom, so I don’t know
    -From Msheci: Why are you always tempted to take a pro-Turkish, and not, at least, neutral, unbiased stance?
    Answer: this is a question of the type “Have you stopped beating your wife?”. What I say meets with strong resentment from nearly all Turks I know. So the question is meaningless to me
    -from Gayane: what are you intentions.. what is your plot?  what are you trying to accomplish here?
    Answer: I want to discuss, do dialogue on importasnt issues, and by now mainly I am answering questions put to me. ,

    -from Gayane: do you support the Armenian cause or do you not?
    Answer: yes, I support it but obviously not n the way you want 
    -from  Gayane: Do you believe Genocide happened or do you not?
    Answer: see my earlier posts, where I explain in what sense I would call what happened to the Armenians genocide 
    -from Gayane: Do you think Turks should apologize or should not they??
    Answer: they should
    -from Gayane: what are these leaflets you are referring to?
    Answer: see my translation
    -from Gayane: -what kind of information/message will these leaflets provide?
    answer: the problem in Norway is that nobody thinks about this, so the leaflets was a very small contribution to raising the issue
    From gayane: why would this be beneficial to us?
    Answer: I don’t know about you,  but I have Armenian friends who will approve. I believe that if the issue is raised by people like me with my views it will be beneficial for the Armenian cause
    From gayane: what are you trying to accomplish by distributing these leaflets????
    Honestly, Gayane, I do not know. I suddenly felt very bad about the whole thing when I see how you are traumatized by the crimes committed  against your forefathers. So I thought about doing this and I told you about it, and since I had told you I had to do it. I orgajised a campaign in 2001 with my section of the Amnesty International regarding the Kurdish issue. We handed out leaflets to 400 tourists going to Turkey.  But since you mainly react negatively to me, I feel it was meaningless.   I even thought afterwards that it maybe was a kind of insult to you to tell you about an act that you would not accept as an act of support
    From gayane: do you believe in the Jewish genocide?
    Answer:  I believe the jewish case confirms to the 1948 definition of genocide, yes
    From Gayane: Do you believe in the word genocide.
    Answer: what does it mean to believe in a word?
    -from Gayane: Do you think you are basically assisting to delay the process of reperation and justice just like Boyajian wrote?
    Answer:  No! How could I?
    From Gayane: Do you think by trying to convince the descendents of the Genocide victims with you Pro-Turkish side/mentality you will accomplish your goal or not??
    Answer: meaningless question.  My standpoint is not pro-turkish 
    -from Boyajian: Ragnar, I wonder what you think of Carl’s comments?  Is there really a question in your mind that the end result of the governmental and civilian crimes committed against the Armenians was genocidal? 
    Answer: Yes, the end result was genocidal
    -from Boyajian: Please help me understand why Armenians should wait one more day
    Answer: You don’t have to wait. Why should you wait? For what?
    -from Boyajian: Are you really not aware that the doubts are a modern invention?
    Answer: yes, but this is not relevant for the question. The reaction during WW1 was heavily coloured by anti-turkishness. And even Armenians at the time had no way to ascertain to what extent massacres were a result of a deliberate CUP policy, or organized by individuals and groups.
    From Boyajian: Can you truly say that you are not being an instrument of delayed justice?  Why the leaflets?  Why the conversations with Turks suggesting they apologize?  What do you wish to accomplish?
    Answer: the idea that should contribute to a delay in justice is very strange to me. You must explain how this is possible. As I said, I raise the issue in solidarity with Armenians and to promote human rights in Turkey. It is not new for me that members of the group I support disagree with me. I supported Kurds but  I disagreed with many of them on various issues.
    From boyajian: Also, what do you mean diagnosis cannot replace scholarship? 
    Answer: you have many remarks about me and my point if view and sometimes remarks that clearly are impolite. This I call diagnosis. I contrast this with arguments relating to the question itself

  301. thank you for your post, Msheci. Now we are dealing with actual documentation. You seem to feel obliged to combine your very relevant points with a heavy and repeated “you are wrong”-rhetorics, verging on insults. I do not know for what audience you are doing this, but if you need to do it it please go on

    I will comment later

  302. ‘You seem to feel obliged to combine your very relevant points with a heavy and repeated “you are wrong”-rhetoric, verging on insults.’
     
    I’m not affiliated or even sympathize with any Armenian or non-Armenian group or a party. Therefore I don’t feel obliged to put forth my thoughts combining them with any rhetoric except for my rightful indignation for the great deliberate calamity that’s befallen my people and virtually all members of my maternal relatives burnt in a church by the Turkish gendarmes. If you think my viewpoints are accompanied by a heavy and repeated “you are wrong”-rhetoric, well, then this is what I actually think. If you think my viewpoints verge on insults, accept my apologies since in reality no insults were meant. As I wrote earlier, the major rationale for going over the limits is that right at the outset of this discussion you presented your views on elaborate denialist (in terms of existence of a genocidal intent in CUP’s inner circles) not merely inquisitive platform. Hence a harsh reaction from many commentators who rightfully asked: if you already have an elaborate standpoint on the genocidal intent—however debatable it is—why are you engaging yourself in a discussion with genocide victims? Ragnar, try to put yourself in our shoes for a second. In my case, Turkish gendarmes in their Ottoman uniforms, that is: police officers executing central commands, have packed a church in a small village in Mush with women, elders, and children (men were already executed), including my maternal relatives. My grandmother miraculously escaped and watched and heard unspeakable sufferings of these humans from the nearby hills. She passed what he saw to their children and they passed it to me. Now with this witness knowledge I exchange views with Ragnar Naess from Norway, who steps into a discussion with me stating at the outset that there was no genocidal intent in the actions of Ottoman Turks. This is, of and by itself, an insult. Had you been a Turk, believe me, it’d be easier, in a sense, for me to handle you on these pages. But a Norwegian, a Christian, whose very nation has a wonderful track record in providing humanitarian assistance to the victims of the Armenian genocide, I could expect less. This said, everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but your opinions are disproportional, unbalanced, they’re not genuinely unbiased. One can feel the heavy pro-Turkish tilt to the extent that almost everyone on these pages originally thought you were a Turk using a pen name. Or, following your logic, the many may be mistaken here, too? How about the few? Can they always be unmistaken?

  303. Ragnar, these are separate questions.  The first one is not meant to be seen as related to the next three.:  “Can you truly say that you are not being an instrument of delayed justice?” and  “Why the leaflets?  Why the conversations with Turks suggesting they apologize?  What do you wish to accomplish?”
     
    Sorry for the confusion.  I was just  looking for clarification on what seemed contradictory to me.  I feel we are not understanding each other well and I apologize for offending you and for not taking more time to communicate more clearly.  I thank you for distributing the leaflets and for your continued commitment to this dialogue.  But I am still confused by you.
    I accept that you and I disagree on many points and respect your right to formulate your own opinion.  I hope we and the rest of the world will see through all the unnecessary distraction in the debate and realize justice someday soon.
     
    I just want to add that when you say that, “The reaction during WW1 was heavily coloured by anti-turkishness,” you seem to disregard that much of the negative sentiment was earned by the Ottomans for years of oppressive policies toward non-Turks.  Sometimes when the shoe fits, you must wear it.  It is time for Turkey to end this debate and simply and humbly come to the table to accept responsibility for what happened to the Armenians.
     

  304. Msheci
    Thank you for your answer. I now feel that you are not insulting me but merely expressing a strong disagreement and also expressing the strong sentiments because of the crime perpetuated against your people.
    Yes, the gerndarmes committed a horrible crime when killing all the people in a small village in Mush, except your grandmother who miraculously escaped. I really am at a loss to comment on it, it is terrible, terrible, terrible. And certainly these gendarmes had genocidal intent. I really do not know how to comment on your story since these are your own sacred memories, my wish is simply to share your pain
    Boyajian
    Thank you for your post. Yes, maybe I am a person that is confusing to you. Much of my motive is contained in my words that believe one should show perseverance in dialogue, even in strong disagreement, and that I feel solidarity with the Armenian cause but also disagree on some points.
    You write:
    you seem to disregard that much of the negative sentiment was earned by the Ottomans for years of oppressive policies toward non-Turks. 
    Comment: yes, that is true. But there also are examples of the distorted European vision of the Ottoman Empire.

  305. Mr. Naess, here is what confuses me:  (1)If you see the injustice that was committed by Turks against Armenians, and (2) you speak against this crime to Turks advocating for an apology from them to Armenians, and (3) you are moved to distribute leaflets to Norwegians traveling to Antalya so that they are informed enough to pursue dialogue with locals; what motivates you to pursue the line of questioning regarding genocidal intent of the CUP?
     
    Isn’t it a moot point when you look at the bottomline?  Those who committed the initial crime are all gone but those who perpetuated the crime by covering up and denying it are with us and should be held accountable.  These despicable acts were a product of Turkish/Ottoman society and a pan-turanic mania and sense of desperation.  The perpetrators of murder, robbery, forced deportation or conversion, and molestation came from a wide swatch of the Turkish military, and general Turkish and Kurdish populace.  It was a shameful act as Akcam writes, and Turkish society can only benefit by facing it and moving forward.

  306. Ragnar –While I appreciate your sharing my people’s pain, I believe you understand—but chose not to  acknowledge—that I brought up a family case with Ottoman gendarmes setting human beings ablaze not only to produce your compassion, which I duly appreciate, but also to demonstrate to you what is obvious to all the Armenians, as well as to so many governments, scholars, and organizations: that the Turkish gendarmes’ major obligation, as representatives of the state authority, was to carry our central orders and that the ‘horrible crime,’ an evasive tern you so much like to use—and which, in all honesty, doesn’t do you a credit—was committed by representatives of that authority against a particular ethnic, racial, and religious group. Not to say anything about the barbarian methods of annihilation, such as burning people alive. This is how I’d expect you to comment on my grandmother’s story because in addition to being a compassionate human, you exhibit signs of an erudite person, knowledgeable of the subject of discussion. Ragnar, may God be with you. As I said before, I only wish you firmness when your conscience goads you for denying the obvious. Believe me, time will come when the Norwegian parliament, as well, will recognize the genocide on behalf of the people of Norway. On your behalf, too.

  307. -from Gayane: do you support the Armenian cause or do you not?
    Answer: yes, I support it but obviously not n the way you want 

    Ragnar, I don’t think you support our Cause… having a difference of opinion on a subject is completely different than denying that a genocidal intent was present back in 1915..

    -from  Gayane: Do you believe Genocide happened or do you not?
    Answer: see my earlier posts, where I explain in what sense I would call what happened to the Armenians genocide 

    Yes.. I already know.. you do not… even if you try to convince me otherwise..sorry just my belief..

    -from Gayane: Do you think Turks should apologize or should not they??
    Answer: they should

    So if you believe Turks should apologize.. then why would they apologize if they dont’ believe their ancestors commited did the FIRST most haineous crime in the history of mankind.. it is because you believe deep down what happened to us was Genocide and they should apologize for that…??

    -from Gayane: what are these leaflets you are referring to?
    Answer: see my translation
    -from Gayane: -what kind of information/message will these leaflets provide?
    answer: the problem in Norway is that nobody thinks about this, so the leaflets was a very small contribution to raising the issue

    Well my dear Ragnar.. if everyone thought like you, then this matter would never get resolved… trust me… having doubts that genocidal intent was present is a HUGE step back and very negative toward all the works, research and data produced by so many as well as an insult to me and my people..I want to thank you for efforts really but Using these leaflets to make up for the disagreement or “not seeing eye to eye” with everyone who thinks it was a Genocide sounds and seems very fishy to me.. i am sorry about this but i can’t get my mind around what you truly want to accomplish here.. i am trying.. really … you are not the typical denialist.. Like Mscheci said.. if you were a Turk.. it would have been much easier for us but you are not.. which makes matters tooo complex and frustrating..

    From gayane: why would this be beneficial to us?
    Answer: I don’t know about you,  but I have Armenian friends who will approve. I believe that if the issue is raised by people like me with my views it will be beneficial for the Armenian cause

    Pretty much what I wanted to say about this is in the above statements..however, the Armenian friends that you have must be very numb toward your beliefs.. because I know me.. and i would not appreciate it if you stand in front of me and tell me everyone who believes it was  a Genocide dont’ know what they are talking about and they are mistaken..not to sound aggressive or genecidal (as I am not and will never be because it is not in my Armenian blood), i would slap you silly…

    From gayane: what are you trying to accomplish by distributing these leaflets????
    Honestly, Gayane, I do not know. I suddenly felt very bad about the whole thing when I see how you are traumatized by the crimes committed  against your forefathers.

    Please do not feel bad.. we are not here to solicit unnecessary feelings if you don’t truly believe in them.. I rather have you deny it out cold than try to message the matter to make mends with the Armenians.. i dont’ like it and I would not appreciate it..

    So I thought about doing this and I told you about it, and since I had told you I had to do it. I orgajised a campaign in 2001 with my section of the Amnesty International regarding the Kurdish issue. We handed out leaflets to 400 tourists going to Turkey.  But since you mainly react negatively to me, I feel it was meaningless.  
    I do apologize if my reaction was negative.. that was not my intention.. my reaction was merely “ummm i dont’ know about this man and his intentions being genuine”….. if my reactions were misunderstood.. please accept my apologies…

     I even thought afterwards that it maybe was a kind of insult to you to tell you about an act that you would not accept as an act of support

    I rather have you spread the right word and message than a word that you don’t even believe in yourself…

    From gayane: do you believe in the Jewish genocide?
    Answer:  I believe the jewish case confirms to the 1948 definition of genocide, yes

    So if you believe there was a Genocide perpetrated on Jews… then by default you believe that the Genocide of the Armenians… BECAUSE Raphael Lemkin with the word Genocide to describe EXACTLY what Jews went through.. so why are we beating around the bush here?  I dont’ get it..

    From Gayane: Do you believe in the word genocide.
    Answer: what does it mean to believe in a word?

    Do you believe the word GENOCIDE exist and do you believe it is a legitimate word? because they way you are treating this word, one would believe you dont’ agree this word exists….and i don’t care how much you try to use your scientific approach and such to tell me otherwise…

    -from Gayane: Do you think you are basically assisting to delay the process of reperation and justice just like Boyajian wrote?
    Answer:  No! How could I?

    Are you sure about that?? you are doing the exact thing by trying to prove everyone here that there was no Genocidal intent and what happened to the Armenians are just unfortunate events and you feel bad about it so you try to spread some awareness about this to the tourists in Turkey.. NOw you did not answer the rest of my questions about yoru Turkish friends’ reaction to this?  how do they feel about you trying to go against what they believe and spread information about one taboo topic such as the Genocide…
    Again please know that i appreciate the efforts of spreading the awareness and i truly understand that awareness is knowledge but i still can’t quite put my finger on about what you are trying to do..

    From Gayane: Do you think by trying to convince the descendents of the Genocide victims with you Pro-Turkish side/mentality you will accomplish your goal or not??
    Answer: meaningless question.  My standpoint is not pro-turkish 

    Even though you show some support for our cause, from where I am sitting.. I still see you leaning more toward Turks than Armenians.. I am sorry but it is just my opinion…..

    Thank you
    Gayane

  308. Ragnar, you wrote: ” you have(made) many remarks about me and my point (of) view and sometimes remarks that clearly are impolite. This I call diagnosis. I contrast this with arguments relating to the question itself”
    If I have subjected you to uninvited diagnosis, I apologize.  It comes from the fact that I am truly struggling with understanding your contradictory positions.   I am clearly biased in this discussion and I have a strong negative response to viewpoints that appear to assist the Turkish government to continue avoiding its responsibility.
    Consider this:  If I was bleeding on the side of a road and needed care, I would not want bystanders to come by and debate whether or not I did something to deserve to be hit by a car (i.e.,Armenian revolutionaries provoked the massacres), or if the person who did it was having a bad day because his wife left him and took the children (i.e.; the Turks were suffering tremendous territorial and human losses throughout the empire at the beginning of the 20th century), or have to listen to the person who hit me claim that the eyewitnesses and I were lying about the facts and that it was actually me that ran into traffic trying to attack the car… Do you catch my meaning?  Armenia is trying to hold her head high despite the fact that her neighbors have caused unspeakable destruction and bear her ill will.  I think anyone who finds the time to defend the CUP or the Turkish government is on the wrong side of right and is not a friend to my nation.  Let the Turks defend themselves if they must.  You should stand with the bleeding.

  309. Msheci,

    How long has this conversation gone on?  My hat’s off to you, for your stamina, for your passion … But I have to tell you…, sometimes it is best to walk away.
    I share your pain, your aggravation and your sorrow on the inhumane barbarism that our ancestors were subjected to and the outrageous injustice that our people, the Armenian people, have and continue to deal with.
    I commend the dignity with which all of the Armenian commentators have carried themselves with on this site.  Had we been Jews dealing with an individual toying with historical facts and theories, questioning the Genocidal intent of the Nazis, this site would have over flown with outbursts of angry outrage, and calls of anti-Semitism.  We restrained ourselves… tried to enlighten Ragnar… but enough is enough.
    I know and you know what our poor ancestors went through.  I know, you know and thousands of people know that the Turks intended to annihilate us.  Just like the Jews, we are always going to run into people who having befriended Turks will feel the need to contemplate other creative theories.  It is easy to get confused/fooled about a crime that you have not witnessed or experienced firsthand.  MSHECI, WE CANNOT CHANGE THAT.  But find solace in the fact that no creative theory can EVER scientifically change a TRUTH.  Whether you perceive it or not the TRUTH remains unchanged.  You can distort, rename, change, cover up a TRUTH… but have you REALLY changed it?  Can you possibly change it?  The governors and the gendarmes were given orders to gather the Armenians; the kurds and the chettehs were told they could kill the Armenians, the government LET THEM KILL 1.5 million women, men and children.  The government partook in the destruction of the churches and the monuments… The crime has gone unpunished.  The torture continues with the game of what to NAME the crime… justice stays illusive.
    What I know is this:
    People are only influenced with money and power.  Gone are the days where standing for the truth was valued.  There is no justice in the world besides the justice defined by those in power.  It is a cruel world, where no one wants to befriend the weak and downtrodden.   Everyone wants to believe in the goodness of the powerful.  Everyone wants to align himself with the powerful.  If the powerful spits in their face, they will say that “it is only raining”.  If Turkey was a weak third world country, everyone would have openly chastised it about the Armenian Genocide.  If the Jews had not gotten Britain out of its World War II debts, they would not have been able to “buy” their “country” back.  Money=Power.   The Jews, a people who have gone through Genocide themselves, have denied our Genocide because they need Turkey more than they care for justice.  They choose to remember our Genocide only when they need to remind Turkey of their mutual partnership.  The world is the grown up version of kindergarten, where the bullies got away with everything and no one remembered the ones who obeyed the rules.  If we were not perceived as the loser side, no one would have dared to be this insensitive about the violent murder of our ancestors, and come up with cold ways to exonerate the culprit or accuse him of a lesser crime.  As if our ancestors were flies… as if these atrocities were things we could have concocted with our imagination.  F… them!  Who are they for us!  (Excuse the French).
    Forget Ragnar,… you are so intelligent, articulate…. Find ways to make our people strong.  Let’s all work on making our country, militarily, economically, technologically STRONG.  There are no rules… only survival of the fittest, strongest, cruelest, and most powerful.
     
     

  310. Wow,… I also just read the back and forth with Gayane.

    Ragnar,
    If you are truly passing out those leaflets, then thank you.  I said, “if you are really”, because I can’t imagine how anyone in Turkey will let you pass those leaflets.

    Whatever your understanding is of what happened to the Armenians, as long as you are at least acknowledging that the Turks should pay for what they have done to us… thank you.

    After months of communicating with you, all I understood was the following:  You agree that the Turks killed the Armenians because “they were Armenians”, destroyed their monuments, converted them to Islam, enforced rules in their academia that teaches elementary students that it is “not true that the Turks massacred the Armenians”…. they persecute anyone who discusses this in Turkey… but it was not Genocide….. I don’t know how you came up to this conclusion.  They killed our ancestors “because they were Armenian”…. but it was not intended to be Genocidal?… what was the intention if they were seperating a specific ethnic group and massacring it ?… Baffling logic… If the proof of intention is not to be physically found, can’t the outcome prove the intention?  Which criminal is going to keep evidence that will incriminate him, let alone hand it to you… It is the job of detectives, historians to explain what their intention was through the acts they committed and through witness accounts, memoirs, letters etc…..

    Please do not bother to answer…. I really am not interested in getting sucked into this merry go round again.  You are free to define things the way you want to define them.  If you are sympathetic in our cause in your own way, Thank you again.

  311. katia
    you should read my earlier posts.  This should explain a lot. The leaflets  I handed out in Norway, to Norwegian tourist. I hope to get Amnesty international to support this.
    I am sympathetic to your cause, and thank you for thanking me.
    Yes, it is getting to be a merry go round.
    I support the kurdish cause in Turkey, but I disagree with many Kurds
    I wish you luck

  312. Katia K
    I handed out the leaflets in Norway to Norwegian tourists.
    thank you for thanking me.
    Good bye
    Ragnar

  313. you write:
    Consider this:  If I was bleeding on the side of a road and needed care, I would not want bystanders to come by and debate whether or not I did something to deserve to be hit by a car (i.e.,Armenian revolutionaries provoked the massacres), or if the person who did it was having a bad day because his wife left him and took the children (i.e.; the Turks were suffering tremendous territorial and human losses throughout the empire at the beginning of the 20th century), or have to listen to the person who hit me claim that the eyewitnesses and I were lying about the facts and that it was actually me that ran into traffic trying to attack the car… Do you catch my meaning? 

    comment:
    if there were people who doubted that you had been hit by the car, they might have shown sympathy. I believe your forefathers were hit, but not exactly in the way you think. But if you were laying bleeding along the road I would have helped you anyhow, and I support the Armenian cause even in a somewhat different way from how you want me to. I stand with the bleeding
    Ragnar

  314. Boyajian
    you write:
    Mr. Naess, here is what confuses me:  (1)If you see the injustice that was committed by Turks against Armenians, and (2) you speak against this crime to Turks advocating for an apology from them to Armenians, and (3) you are moved to distribute leaflets to Norwegians traveling to Antalya so that they are informed enough to pursue dialogue with locals; what motivates you to pursue the line of questioning regarding genocidal intent of the CUP?
    answer:
    It was committed by SOME Turks, and the role of the central echelons of CUP is according to a signifiant number of scholars not clear. To clamor that so many researchers and so many parliament think otherwise is not enough for me.
    I dont know how we can get this discussion further. But let me try again: I would like to go on investigating the question of genocidal intent in CUP because a) I see that many disagree, 2) because those who hold the position have failed to argue convincingly for it, 3) because many proofs, for instance the three works mentioned by Msheci are hightly dubious.
    On the other hand there is no doubt that the CONSEQUENCES were genocidal and that the CUP bears a heavy responsibility. Then I am concerned with approaching Turks with the best arguments, and the line of arguments starting with the undoubtable  impunity of those who massacred the Armenians is to my mind the best line. So this also influences me.
    Msheci,
    when you comment on your family my immediate reaction is to want to share the grief, but you did not intent your story to be a piece of evidence for genocidal intent among the central ittihadists, did you? ,In order to judge this I would have to know a lot. What village? What gendarmes (“gendarme” is not a Turkish term for  one of the branches of the various forces employed by the Ottomans)? Who saw the written order emerging from the highest authorities to annihilate the village? (Lots of Ottoman soldiers committed massacres against Ottoman Christians and rebellious Mmuslims, including Armenians, at their own initiative. Read the book by Clarence Ussher) It pains me to say this, but if you intended your story as a piece of evidence such questions are inevitable.
    I really do not know what to say….
    And again – are we getting any further? Or is it better to say that we showed stamina in discussing, but now we will let the dialogue rest?

  315. ‘There is no justice in the world besides the justice defined by those in power.’ 
    Katia, I’m afraid I disagree. There is justice in the world that’s superior to the one defined by those in power. It’s the divine justice that ultimately will prevail, all that we’re required to do is to believe. Those who are in power like to think that they can do whatever they wish on Earth, but I’ve lived greater half of my life, and let me say: they not often succeed, and even if they sometimes succeed in sinister deeds, they or their children or their grandchildren ultimately pay the price for them. ‘Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.’ That is, His power spreads on both the Earth and the Heaven. All we’re required to do is to believe. There’s no way of knowing for us as to when and in what form the punishment for evildoers will be delivered, but I believe in God’s justice. There’s no doubt in my mind that despite the gloomy picture in the world that you and every one of us daily observe, the genocide will be acknowledged and the justice for the Armenians will be served. Even if it meant for the Jews to buy out the Brits to have their country back, it happened because God so desired for His people not just because of a mere mercantile deal. I believe that the immense energy that all of us here and in other fora, meetings, conferences, protest demonstrations radiate, serves a goal of ultimate justice. Had there been only the justice defined by those in power, this world would have long ceased to exist…

  316. I will never truly know you Ragnar.. you are a true enigma for sure…

    I would recommend that you pass your leaflets in Turkey if you can.. (I was under the impression you were passing those in Turkey)  Go ahead.. get these out in your beloved country Turkey….do it and see how you will get treated… I have a feeling you will be jailed the same or the following day unless your Turkish friends come to your rescue.. however, i doubt they will because if they knew you were passing out leaflets to spread awareness about the Ottoman Genocide of the Western and Eastern Armenians, their reactions would not be as positive as you would think… what is your input on this?  You did not answer these questions…

    And I don’t think you can stand beside the bleeding… I don’t think you can… however, from what you said in regards to helping someone who is bleeding on the street…My own conclusion on your response is this: it is because you can physically see the person bleeding on the street which will push you to help him or her….. however, because you can’t see or touch the bleeding of the Genocide, you are having an issue to stand firm besides the Genocide bleeding.. hence, why you think the way you think.. with your scientific approach and other blah blah blah reasons… at least that is what I think…….

    Bravo Katia K jan and Boyajian jan.. bravo..  this is truly an eye opening and educational forum…

    Gayane

  317. I can only repeat and stop right there, Ragnar: You’ll be ridiculed if you try to convince any reasonable, merely literate person, not even an expert, that ethnic cleansing and forced deportations of such a magnitude in various areas throughout the country, where there were no frontlines whatsoever, within a specific timeframe, was carried out by a bunch of local marauders or subservient local administrations that wouldn’t otherwise move an inch had they not been authorized by the central authorities to conduct a crime of such an enormity in regard to 2-2.5 million people of a certain race. Don’t make yourself a laughingstock, Ragnar. You can do much better than that…
     
    I only wish I could see your eyes when top Turkish officials will kneel at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan in repentance to their forefathers’ crime of executing and their own crime of denial of the premeditated annihilation of the Armenian race. I’d also love to see what could happen to you if at the moment of their repentance you’d dare to utter rubbish, such as: ‘Who saw the written order emerging from the highest authorities to annihilate the [particular] village?’
     
    Don’t make yourself a laughingstock, Ragnar.

  318. Ragnar you write:  “It was committed by SOME Turks, and the role of the central echelons of CUP is according to a signifiant number of scholars not clear. To clamor that so many researchers and so many parliament think otherwise is not enough for me.”
    To say that “SOME” but not all Turks committed crimes against Armenians is not really relevant.  No one accused all Turks of these crimes.  The Jewish Holocaust was not committed by all Germans (many Germans aided and hid Jews), but Germany as a whole/nation has been held accountable.  Period.  Done.  I guess I will never really understand your fascination with defending the “central echelons of the CUP.”
     
    You also write:  “On the other hand there is no doubt that the CONSEQUENCES were genocidal and that the CUP bears a heavy responsibility.”
    Thanks for this.  What more needs to be said?  If the the “CUP bears a heavy responsibility,” than so does the current Turkish government which is the direct descendant and beneficiary of the earlier government.
    When all is said and done, I hope you feel that your labors were worthwhile and contributed to the betterment of mankind.
     

  319. It [the genocide of the Armenians] was committed by SOME Turks, and the role of the central echelons of CUP is according to a significant number of scholars not clear.’ – writes Ragnar Naess.
     
    ‘Some,’ Ragnar? This is outrageous… Let’s see. Was it not central echelons of CUP representing the government in Constantinople that gave orders to arrest and murder several hundred Armenian intellectuals on April 24, 1915? Was it not the decree of Turkey’s minister of war Enver, issued in February 1915 , that gave orders to conscript some 60.000 Armenian men into the Turkish army, who were later disarmed, split into groups of 50-100, and killed by their Turkish fellowmen? Was it not Turkish soldiers serving under the government, Turkish gendarmes serving under the government, and Kurdish mobs given authority by the Turkish government that perpetrated massacres, deportations, and death marches made up of women, children, and the elderly? Was it not the CUP’s Central Committee that formed the ‘Executive Committee of Three’ in February 1914, comprised of Doctor Nazim, Shakir Behaeddin and Midhat Shyukri? Was it not the Young Turk Triumvirate–Talaat, Enver and Jemal—that operated through this Committee, which was responsible for the implementation of the deportation and massacre of all the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire? Was it not the ‘Teshkilat mahsuse’, or ‘Special Organization’ that was established by the decision of the ruling Young Turk party, formed from criminals freed from state-run prisons for the very purpose of annihilation of the Armenians, chettes – bands of robbers, bandits, and other dregs of society that were capable of and called upon by the government to commit the most hideous of crimes? Was it not the ‘Teshkilat mahsuse’, or ‘Special Organization’ that was put at the disposal of the ‘Committee of Three’ and was responsible for implementing the extermination of the Armenians? Was it not Shakir Behaeddin who became the leader of that organization and was sentenced to death at the Turkish martial court of 1919? Was it not the ‘Committee of Three’ that, having top-level authorization, that had outlined the deportation dates according to regions, the deportation routes and places, the concentration camps for the ultimate annihilation of the Armenians? Was it not Doctor Nazim, one of the most important Young Turk leaders and one of the organizers of the Armenian genocide, made a speech at a secret session of the Young Turk party, when the final decision to exterminate Armenians was made, stating: ‘The Armenian nation should be entirely exterminated, so that no Armenian is left in our country and that their name be completely forgotten. Now we are at war and no other such occasion will ever occur. The intervention of the European Powers and the loud protests of the World Press will remain unnoticed, and if they learn about it, they will face a fait accompli and the question will disappear. This time our operations should be directed at total extermination of the Armenians. It is necessary to annihilate them all, till the very last man… I want the Turk and the Turk only to live and impartially rule over this country. Let all the non-Turkish elements go to hell, no matter what nationality or religion they may belong to’?
     
    The Ottomans couldn’t destroy every single incriminating evidence, and sometimes, recording the blatant evidence of a planned extermination is unwise, but it seems bureaucrats like you are addicted to documentation as shown in your outrageous comment: ‘Who saw the written order emerging from the highest authorities to annihilate [the Armenians]?’ How can one consider himself an erudite person and pose such a deplorable, primitive question?
    Now, let’s count. You admit that [the genocide of the Armenians] was committed by ‘some’ Turks. How many Turks, in your view, can account to ‘some’ when they forcibly re-locate—or I’d better say ‘never-locate’—the representatives of a particular racial group; slaughter, mutilate, rape, drown, burn and bury alive, and starve to death members of that group, which, according to various accounts—Turkish and non-Turkish—comprised nearly 2 to 2.5 million people in the Ottoman empire? How many ‘some’ Turks, in your distinguished opinion, were needed to exterminate such an enormous group bearing in mind that the whole population of Turkey at the time was roughly 10 million? How many top officials representing central echelons of CUP, governors, local administration officials, village heads, soldiers, gendarmes, chettes, could resolve all the technical issues connected with deporting and exterminating 2-2.5 million of Ottoman Armenians? One? Two? Three? Why were so many deaths expected, because didn’t Talat telegram his many subordinates on local levels to treat the Armenians well, and do subordinates routinely refuse direct orders like that and instead, start killing the Armenians in direct opposition to the telegram, and believe it or not, it was a ‘coordinated’ refusal, as all these underlings spontaneously decided that massacres were a better idea, to hell with Talat’s intention to ‘guard the Armenians well’. How many are ‘some’ in your view? Even if there were ‘some’ and not all government and army officials, those ‘some’ represented the central echelons of the CUP: the official government of the Ottoman Turkey in 1915.

  320. Dear Msheci,
    I feel we are repeating ourselves. I do not know how to proceed. You roughly ask the same questions and make the same assertions as you have done/asked before but I do not want to repeat the grounds for doubt again. Only I see that we probably have very different ideas about what constitutes evidence. The links between what happened on the ground and the central policymakers is much more unclear than you write. This is admitted by a central armenian scholar like ronald grigor suny, who supports the gehnocide thesis. Read his “The holocaust before the holocaust”.
    If we are going to discuss more I suggest we return to the Andonian papers, the “Ten commandments” and the Mevlanzade book. I would also be happy to discuss the main evidence that Akcam presents in “A shameful Act”. But I dont know how to answer your last post