Kurdish Leaders Apologize for 1915 During Monument Inauguration in Diyarbakir

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (A.W.)—The Sur Municipality of Diyarbakir held the official inauguration of the Monument of Common Conscience on Sept. 12, with mayor Abdullah Demirbaş apologizing in the name of Kurds for the Armenian and Assyrian “massacre and deportations.”

“We Kurds, in the name of our ancestors, apologize for the massacres and deportations of the Armenians and Assyrians in 1915,” Demirbaş declared in his opening speech. “We will continue our struggle to secure atonement and compensation for them.”

A scene from the inauguration of the monument. (Photo by Gulisor Akkum, The Armenian Weekly)
A scene from the inauguration of the monument. (Photo by Gulisor Akkum, The Armenian Weekly)

The mayor called upon the Turkish authorities to issue an apology and do whatever needed to atone for the genocide. “We invite them to take steps in this direction,” he said.

The inscription on the monument at the Anzele Park, near a recently restored historic fountain, reads, in six languages including Armenian: We share the pain so that it is not repeated.

“This memorial is dedicated to all peoples and religious groups who were subjected to massacres in these lands,” Demirbaş said. “The Monument of Common Conscience was erected to remember and demand accountability for all the massacres that took place since 1915.”

Demirbaş noted that the monument remembers all the Armenians, Assyrians, Jews, Yezidis, Alevis who were subjected to massacres, as well as all the Sunni who “stood against the system.”

Representatives of the Armenian, Assyrian, Alevi, and Sunni communities also spoke at the opening event. Diyarbakir Armenian writer Mgrditch Margosyan welcomed the opening of the memorial, noting that he awaits the steps that would follow.

The inscription on the monument (Photo by Gulisor Akkum, The Armenian Weekly)
The inscription on the monument (Photo by Gulisor Akkum, The Armenian Weekly)

Zahit Çiftkuran, head of the Diyarbakir association of the clergy, recounted the story of a man who, while walking by a restaurant, notices the following sign: “You eat, your grandchildren pay the bill.” Enthused by the promise of free lunch, the man goes in and orders food. Soon, they bring him an expensive bill. “But I was not supposed to pay! Where did this bill come from?” the man asks. The owner of the restaurant responds: “This is not your bill. It is your grandfather’s!”

Çiftkuran concluded, “Today, we have to pay for what our grandparents have done.”

An earlier version of this article had misquoted Demirbaş as having used the term “genocide.” Our correspondent later revised the quote. Demirbaş had used “massacres and deportations” when referring to the Genocide.

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Gulisor Akkum

Gulisor Akkum is a journalist based in Diyarbakir. She received her sociology degree in 2003 from Dicle University. She has written articles for the Armenian Weekly since 2009, and is the Weekly's correspondent in Diyarbakir since October 2012.

71 Comments

  1. Gulisor,
    re the photo: the left of the monument, above the heads of the standing people, is very intriguing – what we can see of it. Will you please include a photo without anyone standing in front of it, so it is better seen, and so the text on it can be read?

  2. donuna varıncaya kadar soyulup ölüm yoluna çıkarılan hıristiyanların (ermeni, süryani…) arkasından bakarak bunlardan gaspedilen ganimetin üstünde hala oturan müslümanlar( kürtler/türkler…) resmedilseydi daha anlamlı olurdu!

  3. In this article you reffer to Assyrians. This have to be Syriac. My uncle was also at the opening. Here the word: ‘Süryani’ is used what means: Syriac.

  4. ummm… what exactly are they apologizing for??? It’s very vague. Any mention of “we appologize for OUR ANCESTORS’ joining with Turkish forces in committing cold blooded massacres” ???… I don’t see that! Are they afraid if there ever is a Kurdistan Republic, we would ask for compensation from them too?? Just a thought!

  5. I was on Mt Ararat two weeks ago and one of our Kurdish guides said to me “I want to apologize to you 1.5 million times…” It was an interesting moment and dialog I had with this person.

  6. it should be noted that this is not hear felt behaviour on kurds side, i belive they are just being logical and want to support any party against turkish goverment,if i was armenian i would ask kurds following questions, are you apologizing for turks or kurds? if its just turks then they deny their role, what do you think about returning lands to armenians? this one is particulary important to measure their sincerity, regards.

  7. I want to congratulate Mr.demirbas who has taken a relatively big step toward healthy relationships. It is clear that without recognising genoside and taking such important steps like this we can never form any friendship with Armenian people.In other hand we must learn more about this unfortunate happen,we have to feel the pain of Armenians.If we do this then we can say we kurds have learned from history and we will prevent such happen with ours all power.
    Whether the example of Mr.demirbas can be an indication of recognition of genocide of armenian by turks ,it is remain to be seen. I wish and hope other kurdish Mayors and mayoresses will follow that example of Mr.Demirbas.

  8. It is certainly good to hear an apology from the descendants of those who took a leading role in the genocide of our people. The Kurds have far outdone the Turks in this respect.

  9. Diyarbakir, is a city control by Turks not by Kurds. Turkey’s AKP leaders indirectly telling Armenians, that Kurds committed Genocide, not Turks… Denialist Turkish criminal government must erect Armenian Genocide Monument in Ankara and Istanbul and apologize to Armenians of the world, admit Genocide did take place in occupied Western Armenia, against indigenous people of Asia Minor!!

    • What a revelation! A city in Turkey under the control of Turks?!?!?! Unfathomable….
      Diyarbakir is a Kurdish dominated city, in a Kurdish dominated region, controlled by the Kurdish Peace and Democracy party, with a Kurdish mayor. They’re doing their part. Only so much you can do with a government in a determined state of denial. Don’t like their apology? Don’t find it satisfactory? Your problem.

  10. The very first manifesto of the Kurdish Parliament in Exile, in Brussels, accepted Kurds participation in the Genocide and begged for forgiveness from us. That was in 1994. It fell on our deaf ears.
    The Armeno-Kurdish relations are much more complex than returning a church or two to its original owners! I am glad, however that the relationship is finally flickering on our radar screen.

  11. Syrian-Aramean not Assyrian !!!
    As journalists you should know better!!!
    Se the language is written in Syriac Aramaic!!!!

    Suryani = Syrian-Aramaic

    Ashuri = Assyrian

    Thanx

    • No actually they mean Assyrians. Which is what we are. Syriac is bogus. Suryoyo is the word Suryaya in eastern dialect which describes our language. Our nation is Atour and we are Assyrians. Not Aramaens. No such thing as aramaens. Aram was a vast province not an ethnicity

    • If you choose to identify yourself as an Aramaen, which was a province not an ethnicity, that is your perogative. But to strip the Assyrian identity from over 5 million people is ludacris. You should brush up on your history. We speak the ancient dialect of Aramaic or the Eastern dialect “Suryaya” which does not include greek accents like your newly invented Suryoyo does so learn your history before making ignorant comments. WE ARE ASSYRIANS AND WILL ALWAYS BE ASSYRIANS. ONE NATION – ATOUR, ONE LANGUAGE – SOURITH, ONE PEOPLE – ATOURAYEH.

    • We Suryoye are Assyrians not fake “syrian” or “aramean”. We are the western Assyrians and our brothers in Iraq and Iran are the Eastern Assyrians.. Asuroye-Suroye-Suryoye same name for one people!

    • Agreed. Perhaps you can teach the Kurds how to properly apologize for genocide. We all know that you recognize the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks, so..

      That’s at least what I infer from your constant use of the term Armenian Genocide.

      Or perhaps you believe there’s nothin to apologize for since the massacres were justified?

      Oh my oh my..

  12. RDVD, I did not know since when Turks gave up the occupation of Western Armenia and Mt. Ararat to Kurds… Akhtamar church is in Van, beside the cross, Turks erected the symbol of star and moon of Ottoman’s symbolic blood color holy flag, not a Kurdish flag!!

  13. The Assyrian people have been awaiting this apology and it’s long overdue. However, it should never be too late to do the right thing. Thank you for the apology and now let’s move forward to work on restoring land and other Assyrian treasures.

  14. As an Assyrian, I welcome the apology from our Kurdish friends. The Kurds have proven themselves to be much wiser then the Turkish government and the Turkish historians.

  15. Diyarbakır Sur Belediye Başkanı
    Sayın Abdullah Demirtaş,
    İnsanlığa olan sevginizi,medeni görüş ve medeni cesaretinizi,kardeşlik visyonunuzu ve şehitlere olan hürmetinizi,dik-
    tirdiğiniz ‘Ortak vicdan Anıtı’ ile ispat ediyorsunuz.Sizlere ve Siz-
    ler gibi düşünen medeni ve Demokrat büyük şahsiyetlere Hayat boyunca
    daha da başarılar ve saadetler dilerim.İlerisi için unutulmaz bir eser yaşattınız.Var olunuz.

    tiktdiyiniz

  16. Crimes committed by the Kurds against the Armenians were driven by their Islamic ideology and their Islamic Sultans in Istanbul….religion of peace has hardly ever been peaceful.

  17. Vic, I am not sad or Glad, just irritated :) Regardless of whether we are talking about the Genocide or something else, it is highly irritating to see people apologize in a self-congratulatory pseudo-cathartic manner without any practical actions for the rectification of the wrong. I was especially irritated by what one commenter said above “Oh, a Kurd hugged me and said I am sorry and hugged me.” BS! I would have pushed the guy away, saying, “Don’t you patronize me! I am in no need of empty gestures.”

    • “BS! I would have pushed the guy away, saying,” bla bla bla

      Yeah we know, you’re such a cool guy.

      As for the monument, which you critisize as not enough (you’re actually right here, what is meant by “ORTAK”?), that’s the case perhaps because they CAN’T put up a real monument with the word soykirim. Your Turkish brothers won’t let them.

      So you should critisize the Turks not the Kurds here, you hypocrite.

  18. GB, Aliyev will apologize to Armenians for the things done by another nation 100 years ago, as soon as Armenians apologize for the 600,000 Azeri refugees and 30,000 civilians killed only 20 years ago. And by the way, I know you are using “Sultan” as kind of an attempt at insult, but in the process you are revealing your bigotry. I.e., you think that sultan is a cuss word, whereas it is a simply a word for a leader … but of course, you hate everything and anything Azeri. I bet you would even spew hatred at a kid’s balloon if you though it was an Azeri-made. Also, Aliyev may be a Sultan or not, but at least he is not a Russian patsy. Yes, better be a king than a patsy. I am no fan of Aliyev, but I am even less of a fan of bigots like yourself. I mean just look at your post … nothing in my comment warranted a nasty response. And yet you are impelled to go there. I think this has nothing with Azeris, Armenians, or Azeri-Armenian conflict … I think there is a deeply personal physiological impulse there at being mean-spirited. Please enlighten me what possessed you to resort to “Axerbaijan” other than aiming to be mean? Forget about Armenians or Azeris … the world would be such a good place without such people. I am not saying you hurt my feelings. My skin is not that thin. But you exemplify some of what is wrong with the world – to be mean-spirited for no reason at all.

    • Karim,

      I will gladly enlighten you. If a coward and a gutless Azerbaijani army officer, Ramil Safarov, murders an Armenian with an axe in his sleep at a mutual NATO training camp in Hungary and his anti-Armenian racist president bribes the Hungarian officials holding him and buys his freedom for billions of dollars at the expense of his impoverished people, financially compensates this murderer, provides him with all the comforts of life and promotes and presents him to his brainwashed people as a hero, therefore sending a message to them that Armenian lives are worthless, then calling the artificial state of Azerbaijan as Axerbaijan should be the last of your worries.

      Illham Aliyev is not a king. He is a gutless draft-dodging chicken-hawk oil sheikh and a corrupt narcissistic dictator and an autocrat who, along with his late father Haydar Aliyev, have been reigning over their mostly illiterate and peasant population and holding onto power over an artificial state for decades by means of intimidation like the MAFIA. They say the apple does not fall too far from the tree. The father, Haydar Aliyev, was a communist puppet in all his political life and followed a straight narrow path as dictated by his masters in Moscow. His son, Illham Aliyev, is very closely following in his father’s footsteps with the exception that he is also robbing his people of its natural resources by stashing billions of dollars of oil revenues overseas.

      When Russian officials tell Illham Aliyev to jump he asks how high. If this was not the case, the artificial state of Azerbaijan could unilaterally do as it wishes in regards to all its political troubles but can’t and for obvious reasons. Can’t you tell what a well-behaved “Nancy” Illham Aliyev is in all his meetings with his Russian masters? Did you not watch him in his latest meeting with Vladimir Putin in Baku when Putin shut him up in front of his ministers and told him exactly how things are going to be dealt with in the region?. The rest are your delusions. The reality is that Armenia and Russia have been tied together in many ways and for a long time and naturally they have to look out for each other’s interests. What is the Azerbaijani excuse? Give him credit for his wisdom in that at least because if he disobeyed Putin, the Russian tanks can always be rolling into Baku giving the Armenians a perfect opportunity to liberate the rest of the occupied Armenian territories under Axerbaijani occupation.

    • Aliyev not a Russian? His father was a member of the Soviet Politburo, a senior KGB figure, and a consistent “hardliner” who participated with the “Communist” gangster Yeltsin to destroy the USSR. Like other oligarchs in the “national republics” he took over seamlessly and set himself up as comprador for the multinational Oil Firms, and then equally seamlessly turned over that function, with its vast corruption-generated wealth, to his son. A dynasty of sultans!

  19. “We Kurds, in the name of our ancestors, apologize for the massacres and deportations of the Armenians and Assyrians in 1915, We will continue our struggle to secure atonement and compensation for them.”

    ““Today, we have to pay for what our grandparents have done.””

    That is fine.. Kurds can start with returning the goods and properties they stole from ermenians they killed. For example they can leave Van and go to Iran… Ha ?

    Words mean nothing, DO IT..!

    By the way, Diyarbakır is a historic Turkmen City.

    • Kurds might start leaving Armenian lands, just after invading nomadic denialist Turks such as yourself leave and return to their Turkic homelands near Uyguristan.

      Kurds in Western Armenia are lot closer to their own historic lands near Iran, than East and Central Asian nomadic Turkic tribes which invaded Asia Minor about 1000 years ago.

      Diyarbakır is a historic Turkmen City ? funny man: there is nothing historic Turkish in Asia Minor.
      Historic Turkish stuff is 3-4,000 kilometers due East of Diyarbakır.
      Near Uyguristan.
      Near China.

    • Diyarbakir, known by its original name as Tigranakert, was and is part of occupied Western Armenia. Modifying, Turkifying in particular, the original Armenian names of occupied Armenian provinces, cities and towns is a Turkish disease, a cancer, that can only be cured by Armenian military doctors by cutting, removing and destroying this cancerous disease once and for all. The day to perform this surgery on this Turkish disease is getting closer year after year.

    • The city of Diyarbakir has been inhabited for over 10,000 years, long before the notion of a Turk, Kurd, or Armenian. We will never know its original name. It’s earliest identifiable name is Amid- named by the Assyrians. The name Diyarbakir comes straight from Arabic- Diyar Bakr. Unless I’m mistaken, Armenians havent had control of the city since well before Christ. Why would anyone but Armenians call it Tigranakert if that is the case?
      .
      Also, Ararat, if only you could cure cancer with delusion and wishful thinking…

    • RVDV, up until the genocide in 1915 Armenians living in Diyarbekir referred to their city as Tigranakert and themselves as Tigranakertsi (of Tigranakert). Why would anyone but Armenians call it Tigranakert, you ask? Because the city—wherever it was located, possibly east of present-day Diyarbakir—was founded by Tigran the Great in the 1st century BC as capital of the Armenian Empire. Your phrase “Armenians haven’t had control of the city since well before Christ” is a characteristic trait of Turkish mentality that I’ve encountered so many times at other threads. If Armenians haven’t had direct control over a city or a land at some historical period, it means a city or a land belong to those who currently control them? Does human history for Turks start from year 1071, the year of Seljuk intrusion into the Armenian Highland and Asia Minor?

  20. Avery, My Dear ultra-nationalist armenian,

    We did not take the Anatolia from ermenians. We took it from The Eastern Roman Empire, Romanos Diogenes by blood.

    We also saved your ermenian lives against them. You should thank us Turks.

    Read, read, read.

  21. Kerim Bey,

    Azerbaijan and Türkiye are same nation with two states.
    (Bir millet, iki devlet)

    I dont believe that you are a true Azerbaijani Turk.

    • He is, and he recognizes the Armenian Genocide. At least that’s what I infer from his use of the term. What I DON’T understand is how an Azeri Turk can recognize the genocide and expect Armenians to live under Turkish rule again?

      Karim knows there was a genocide in Turkey against the Armenians, yet he expects us to live under Azeri rule and be subjected to genocide again?

      Fat chance.

  22. Avery, you still keep saying Turks came from Mongolia. Genetically, modern Turks are NOT from Mongolia. They have literally 0% Y-chromosome hyplogroup C in their male DNA. C is the marker in Mongolia. Turkishness is like a franchise-ethnogenesis started with elite domination of a numerically insignificant but powerful foreign invaders. Don’t rush to say we Armenians are different in being pure and intrinsically-Armenian. You too used to be different local ethnicities prior to the Armenianization during your peak-time. The thing is, most of the time local people (poor farmers, villagers) stay the same ethnically; they just become different nationalities based on who the new boss is. Of course, this is a nuanced picture of ethnogenesis, and it suits you to oversimplify things by calling upon modern Turks to pack and go back to Mongolia. Take me, for example. I have gotten my DNA tested, and I am T hypologroup on the male side. T is most common in Middle East, Italy, Greece, Caucasus, Iran, etc, and yes even in Armenia. This T mutation first occurred 21000 years ago somewhere in Arabian/Ethiopian peninsula. So, you’d be factually wrong by telling, e.g., personally to “go back to Mongolia”. And the modern Turks and Azeris are no different, with T and other local variations such as G, etc … and literally never the Asian C. So, please stop your unscientific BS. Reality, as always, is more complex than the simpletons imagine or want to imagine.

  23. When a pseudo-nationalist makes a statement like: “Diyarbakır is a historic Turkmen City” – as Armenians we cannot counter claim anything to get under their skin – for example “Istanbul was a historic Greek city” – because in contrast that is a true statement, and as stated, there is nothing in Anatolia that is Turkic and historic. Yet still, if we said something equally ridiculous like Ulanbataar (Capital of Mongolia) is a “historic Armenian city”, we would actually be insulting the Mongolians. It seems being former stateless nomads has certain advantages.

    • How historic is historic? I would say 12th-13th century is historic. Not 4000 BCE or so historic, but still.
      .
      ” It seems being former stateless nomads has certain advantages.”
      .
      No, but military power and ruthlessness certainly does.

  24. necati,

    Instead of shooting your mouth off here like an illiterate peasant that you are, why don’t you do a DNA test and find out what you are really made of. You most likely have in you Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Greek, Circassian and others. The least you have in you is what you are most proud of and that is Turkish.

    If you don’t believe me, take a look at your ancestors and take a look at yourself and tell me if you can relate to them. It has to be like being kicked in the face when you find out all this time you’ve been proud of being Turkish when in reality you don’t even have 5% Turkish blood in you anymore. What a lie you’ve been living all these years.

    I would rather be 6 feet underground than be in your shoes!

  25. Karim,
    Your genetic argument is not defensible. What the Turks started out with and what they ended up with is in no way indicative of who they really are and it is also irrelevant, because what they ended up with genetically was the result of invasion, assimilation and ultimately, Genocide.

    What is more important after the theft of genetics of those they assimilated, is the fact that the Turks in question maintained the negative and undesirable aspects of their culture, while hiding behind the authenticity of the indigenous population they assimilated and trying to pass it off as their own.

    And the reason I (and others) feel this way? -The cowardly and evil act of Genocide. The Genocide did much more than wipe out the Anatolian indigenous civilizations – it revealed the impostor face of the Turk. A fact which the nation of the same desperately tries to hide today, with ridiculous and outlandish lies and propaganda.

    As for Armenian Genetics, yes, we tend to be proud of our ‘pureness’ however ‘non-pure’ it may be from a hard-case study, and genetic studies actually confirm what we have to be proud of: while our genes are not precisely “one type” (no ones are), our ethnogenesis was completed 2500 to 3000 years ago. This means that since then, we have been precisely one people and quite homogeneous and within our genetic makeup have the perfect mix of pureness and diversity which has prevented, against all odds, our extinction, as well as problems of inbreeding.

  26. Hagop, yes, Armenians do deserve to be proud of having been around under the same name for a very long time. No question there. But I think you guys attach too much weight to that. I personally think, e.g., that is worth 10 on the scale of 100, but you seem to think like 99. Remember, according to your definition, America is like only 2 because it has been a nation for a paltry couple of years, which obviously is a ridiculous consequence of your criteria of greatness. Also, if not having evolved into something else for a long time is a sign of superiority, then crocodiles as a species would be much superior to humans. As to “purity” of Armenians, don’t you think such talk makes you sound like a fascist or even Hitler? You are proud that your ancestors have been racists and bigots disapproving marrying other ethnicities? Just think about what you are saying here. Besides, there is no such thing as Armenian or Turkish pureness. All there is genetically speaking is like a bunch of regional DNA legos pieces out of which all these local ethnicities are composed. And what DNA tests show is that essentially these people are nearly the same, being called different names due to ethnogenesis.

    But the bigger question here is why do you feel this urge to prove superiority over Turks and Azeris? Some would point to an inferiority complex. The Genocide could not have not left a scar on Armenian psyche. Look, Jews are asking the same kind of soul-searching questions: “If we are God’s chosen people, why did the Holocaust happen?” Frankly, I too would feel such a psychological pressure to “redeem” my ethnicity thru some kind of a superiority play, leveraging whatever arbitrary metrics or criteria of greatness that I could lay my hands on, such as purity, alphabet originality, etc. But you really don’t need that. The Genocide happened, and it was not your nation’s fault to have failed to prevent it. Historical forces are too strong to resist for a small nation like Armenia. And please don’t take my words as being patronizing or psychological warfare. I am just trying to put myself in the shoes of a person whose nation went thru a humiliating genocide. This is how I would have analyzed myself.

    Also, I had a good laugh at your “you Turkish genetic thieves” comments. With that logic, children are genetic thieves of their parents. Turks did not come and extract DNA from their Armenian subjects and insert into themselves. Instead, the few Turkic tribal invaders ruled the roost, and eventually the locals joined the elite club thru adopting the language, religions, etc .. .to get ahead in the new system, to be seen as elite, etc, etc. This is how ethnogenesis thru elite domination works. And science is out on this regarding Turkish identity … and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Also, if you think about it, Turks lived with Armenians for nearly 1000 years, with the thing going very badly only in the last years. You cannot judge an entire 1000 year history based on a few years of hell in the midst of a vast world war.

    • where in his post did Habop say or imply that our Armenian genes are supposedly ‘superior’, or imply ‘greatness’ ?

      All he wrote is that our genes have not changed much in 2,500-3,000 years: no more, no less.

      And you comparing humans to crocodiles is a sign of your desperation.
      And you comparing us to Nazis and Fascists is a classic case of Psychological projection: someone who unabashedly states that he hates Armenians – as you have – sounds like Hitler, by definition.

      And your example of America is as bogus as the name of your country, ‘Azerbaijan’.
      America is new country, but it is populated by many ancient peoples.
      Here, have fun exploring:
      http://www.businessinsider.com/largest-ethnic-groups-in-america-2013-8

    • “Turks did not come and extract DNA from their Armenian subjects and insert into themselves.”

      Turkic terrorizing nomads came to invade the lands of autochthonous, nobler, and more civilized peoples of Asia Minor and the Armenian Plateau in the 11th century AD. Throughout their oppressive rule, Turks widely exercised such savage methods of assimilation as forced religious conversions, abductions to harems, forced marriages, gang rapes, impregnations, devşirme, etc. In time, the results of these barbaric methods affected the Turkish DNA. Your foolhardy genetic argument that modern Turks are not from Mongolia because of their current chromosome hyplogroups, therefore, doesn’t hold water. If you only tried, you’d understand that it’s this widespread theft of other peoples’ DNA through the abovementioned methods that affected the Turkish DNA and not that they’re natives to the region. Stop disseminating unscientific rubbish, Kerim. Scholarship has long established (and Turks don’t deny it) that the origins of the Turks and their extension Azeris are in the steppes of Mongolia and the areas adjacent to Altay Mountains.

      “Turkic tribal invaders ruled the roost, and eventually the locals joined the elite club thru adopting the language, religions, etc.”

      Right. Armenians were impatiently waiting for thousands of years: “when will the Turks invade our lands so we can join the ‘elite club’?” FYI: Armenians preserved their unique language while being forced to learn Turkish as a suppressed nation during the Ottoman centuries. Also, no Armenian voluntarily adopted Islam. Those who did were forced to convert on pain of death or refined Turkish tortures, which was even worse. Again, stop telling us lies about our own grievances and historical experiences in the hands of barbarians.

    • “why do you feel this urge to prove superiority over Turks and Azeris?”

      We don’t. It’s below us. Armenian posters here only touch upon this issue when a Turk or an Azeri attempts to make a ridiculous point that TurkoAzeri ilk was in the region for as long as the Armenians or Greeks or Assyrians were. Such idiotic attempts are an indication of an inferiority complex of a allochthonous, invader, and genocidal tribe.

    • I agree with Avery. Hagop said nothing to imply genetic superiority.

      Hagop’s comments address the inhumane actions of Turks and Turkey, primarily Genocide and Genocide denial. And you can extrapolate that criticism to Azeris who glorify an axe-murderer if you like. This conflict is not about genetics, but about a culture of ruthless aggression and hegemony.

      The ability to observe and evaluate oneself within a moral framework and recognize when it is necessary to say sorry for your past bad behavior is superior in my eyes. Thank you to the Kurds, Turks and Azeris who are humane enough to do it.

  27. America is the result of brutal colonization and erasement of its huge previous population. Our own genocide though quicker, more intentional and far more bestial (we could call it “The Big Rape”) looks quite little in regards of what happened to the American continent in terms of cultural annihilation.
    So I will go slowly with this, Avery.
    I usually appreciate your posts but I find you’re quite playing the bully with Karim, the 1st english-speaking Azeri with an articulate thinking I’ve ever met on the internet. (the others being ALL “XOJALY GENOCIDE YOU ARMENIANS DIRTY KILLERS OMG OMG OMG HAAAAAATE”. All.)
    He is our enemy ? So what. You can have a conversation with a respectful enemy. Admitting to talk only to allies is a suicidal strategy. And a very stupid move. Btw I think we need talking to our enemies more than they do. Why ? Because as a religious minority in the region we have a poor card game since a very long time ago, even worse now thanks to our near-annihilation.
    Turks and Azeris can just hate us : and they don’t do otherwise for the most part. Because they have the numbers and are the winning side over the time. Look how the former “Armenian Plateau” is not anymore a geographical reality thanks to paranoid Turkey. For 1000 years they’re slowly eating us. As a people. We are the ethnicity of old. They are the newborn ethnicity. For a long time these 2 ethnos have fought silently over the same people, the same genes. 100 years ago, as they had winning that part, they began fighting for the land, expelling the desperately unassimilated stock of the old culture. And they still did after : this led to the Karabagh war (Nakhichevan war was not even fought by us… we just abandoned them the land)
    But we cannot just hate. We can maybe become a protective mountainous Sparta but frankly I don’t think so. That’s such an unhappy life and such a complete turnover from our Christian martyr culture that it is no wonder most of our people prefer to emigrate elsewhere. (Btw I’m a complete fan of the mountainous Sparta as far as my heart is asked)
    Actually what we would need is filling that huge gap by smashing all the nationalist crap from both sides (especially theirs) on agreeing that we are the native people and they are the modern culture : 2 halfs of basically the same people.
    But feeling overly nationalistic and racist thinking when it’s nearly impossible to distinguish our kinsmen by their apparence (and many cultural traits) is just sick. We have to do the hard work on that level.
    The Genocide had happened. The greatest justice we can do to our forefathers is securing a long-term Armenia with respectful and if possible loving relations with its neighbours. Or we might loose even what’s left now. I don’t assume that we are loosing right now : I’m quite confident in our people even if they flee the country in droves. But we have to prepare for the worse, and most of all : BREATHE. We are nearly breathing for centuries of yoke, and 1989 tightened it even more, especially in the homeland of course.
    The Genocide is the main reason of why we are hated now but in the future it could become a reason to love us. Just like the people in Europe are now in sorrow for all the native european cultures the nation-states made disappear. Or Western people feelings in general towards the Native americans. There has been a great change from racist supremacist thinking to nostalgy and guiltness. Let’s wait (and help) for this to happen among Turks and Azeris : it’s just fair and for both interests. But for this we have not to be angry butthurt diaspora survivors calling racist names. We have to be the noble natives looking straight through the eyes of the violent new heirs of the land, with 3000 years of wisdom, just like our dying ancestors were. Or else they would definitively want to erase us from their History – in which we have major rights.
    Well, this is obviously just a picture and we are not only relics but now for the worst and the best, a modern people on its own, but I hope you catched what I meaned.

    Karim, you and I share very very similar views when it come to ethnicity and stuff. And I thank you for your posts. But I must disagree when you say Turkish-Armenian cohabitation on the last 1000 years was a happy one. For the 1st centuries, I can say it was a nightmare, according the the historians of the time. Though their was something like armenianized turkish rulers (or maybe turkified armenian rulers) at some early point – sth that the revival of Byzantine empire crushed too early probably, and after, the Seljoukide and Ottoman hegemony.
    I don’t know much of the middle period, in which probably happened most of the conversions of armenian-, assyrian- and greek-speaking christians to kurdish- and turkish-speaking muslims – the future Turks – but for what I know of the modern times the massacres where in many regions like a local custom… Every 20 years or so, Christians were slaughtered a bit, the Muslims gaining more and more ground on the cities that way. The thing is : Christians in Ottoman Anatolia were living in deep FEAR for many many years. There was nothing like peaceful cohabitation even before the Hamidian massacres. It was harsh religious segregation, much more like the racial segregation of old Southern America and South Africa than modern America’s salad bowl…
    Thanks for reading.

  28. Avery, Boyajian – You are doing what any typical person or group of persons would do once caught holding a just debunked position: deny the direct linkage to a key consequence of that argument, especially it shows your fascistic tendencies. You say, Hagop did not attribute any superiority to Armenian genome. Excuse me, but what else is the meaning and use of “The Genocide … revealed the impostor face of the Turk.” Imposter, versus the pure one, right? See this too, “yes, we tend to be proud of our ‘pureness’ … and genetic studies actually confirm what we have to be proud .” What is the meaning of the contrast between “pure” and “impostor”? Could one be any more racist that this? If you say that the contrast had no function, then you are saying that Hagop is just generating meaningless words with no function. To add extra context, you repeatedly call Turks here all kinds of names such as “barbaric”, etc. You judge a WHOLE nation, a WHOLE country, based on events that took place 100 years ago. Do you call Germans the same too? Or do you think their “apology” redeems them? Never mind that it was never an apology but part of the terms of their CAPITULATION. Also, with your logic of faulting MODERN Turks with crimes that took place in no connection with them personally, well, others can say the same about you Modern Americans vis-à-vis the way your “ancestors” treated Native Americans, right … a barbarian? But let me get this straight … do you or do you not consider yourselves super to Turks? And if Boyajian thinks so, then he/she is best to change the last name to disavow anything that has anything to do with Turkish … because the last name means “painter, dye-salesperson”.

    • “Never mind that it was never an apology but part of the terms of their [Germans’] CAPITULATION”

      Dead wrong, Kerim. Capitulation is an act of surrendering, but Germans and the Jews were not at war or involved in any military conflict against each other. Germany capitulated to the Allies in 1945, but it was only in 1970 when German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt before the monument honoring Jewish victims of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Therefore, it could not be part of the terms of capitulation. Brandt’s gesture of humility and penance was internationally perceived as an APOLOGY.

      Likewise, the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany entered into force in 1953, never part of the terms for German capitulation in 1945.

      Whether you like it or not, you have to accept that some nations do have the ability to cleanse themselves of the past crimes, while others can only invent new shameless justifications for their denial of the crimes. One can only be struck dumb at the Iğdır Genocide Monument and Museum which was erected to commemorate the massacres of Turks by Armenians (?!). Does the nation of Turks have any sanctities? Any at all?

      I agree with Boyajian, it is the ability to recognize when it is necessary to say sorry for your past ugly behavior that is superior.

      Also, in case you didn’t know, during the Ottoman centuries many Armenians were forced (in the “best” Turkish traditions) to Turkify their last names. For example, the family of an Armenian oil magnate whom I hope you will recognize, Gulbenkian (Mr Five percent), had the family name Vart Badrik, a noble Byzantine Armenian title, which they had to replace with the Turkish form “Gulbenkian” under the pressure from Ottoman Turks. Most Armenians with Turkish last names underwent such compulsory measure, again, in the “best” traditions of the Turks.

    • Karim, please read more carefully.

      As I read it:

      1. ‘Imposter face’ refers to the pretense of an advanced culture (that was actually usurped from indigenous people) that is exposed for a lie by the very genocidal acts that destroyed these indigenous communities and made way for ‘Turkey for Turks.’ Genetic inferiority? No. Moral turpitude? You bet.

      2. ‘Pureness’ refers to homogeneity not superiority. Do you understand the difference? Hagop even mentions the ‘non-pureness’ and its role in preventing the problems associated with inbreeding. Look it up.

      3. ‘Faulting modern Turks’: Ridiculous! No one holds any individual Turk living today responsible for genocide, but the nation of Turkey benefited tremendously from the spoils of genocide and the nation is responsible to make amends for the crimes of its ancestors. This is a common practice among nations who value justice and humanity.

      I never used the word barbaric.

      I congratulate Turks, Kurds and Azeris who can face the truth with courage.

      4. My name is beautiful as were my ancestors, Kevork, Mesrop, Mariam, Vagharshag, Dirouhi, Yedvart, etc., who earned it. No need to disavow a noble heritage.

      I am disappointed. I hoped for a more balanced thinker and debater.

  29. I only have one thing to add, for all the people who think Kurds don’t belong to the lands they live in today.

    Karda = 5,000 years old

    How can you not see the direct connection between 5,000 year old Karda, Cyrti, Kurti, Huert etc, mentioned by SUmerians/Akkadians/Assyrians/Babylonians, Egyptians, Armenians, Greeks, Persians, Romans etc from 3,000 BC (first mention by the Sumerians) and throughout the ancient times. The Sumerians described the ancient people of Karda as to live around present day Van. This means, a people with a very similar name to modern day Kurds, lived in the exact area Armenians claim to have been exclusively Armenian at that time, at the same time? Let me guess, we can’t prove the connection with us to them? Indeed, I can’t. However, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that most likely these were the ancient namesakes of all Kurds. Even todya the Assyrians call Kurds something pretty similar to Karda, Kardaye or something I believe. Xenophon reffered to us as Karduchians. Are all of these simply coincidences? I strongly doubt so. All Kurds namesakes were the same people who inhabited the land of Karda, 3,000 BC. Kurds have 3 major branches of origins, 1 being Anatolian, from which we got our name from, 2, being Mesopotamia and the 3rd, being Iran, through the likes of Medes. Even though Iranian branch became dominant, our blood remains Kurdish/Anatolian and Mesopotamian, our culture as well. Anti Kurds say your lanugage are made up of only Turkish, Persian and Arabic words. Nonsense. Is gopal, zirek, kaka, ez, hemi, here, were, got, shderve, zor, zarok, bashur, bakur, rojava etc etc Persian, Turkish or Arabic? And there are countless of more words.

    In fact in “pure” Kurdish, we have more loan words from Armenians than Persian, Arabic or Turkish. Assyrian as well. Genetically most Turks are of Kurdish, Armenian, Greek, LAz, Assyrian and other native peoples origins. Turks like Arsenal player Ozil who look like Chinese people with “flat eyes” are of partly or fully Turkish origin. The rest of you Turks are simply assimilated Kurds, Greeks and other natives.

    Unlike Turks, Kurds can easily prove they’ve been present in at least Van area, from 3,000 BC. Our Newroz dates back to almost 2,700 years. Our Ezidis (who still follow our original pre Abrahamic religion, or at least one of them) date their calendar back to the exact year as Assyrians do, almost 7,000 years. Are all of these coincidences? Did the Sumerians write about the people of Karda, 100 years ago?

    Be open minded and fair, do not distort history. Western historians have always favored the Christian Armenians and Assyrians, before the mostly Muslim Kurds anyway. Of obvious reasons.

    No one can deny the fact that Kurds have been present in the lands they claim today, at least 3,000 BC. Even modern genetic research have proven this. In fact the “semitic” Assyrians are a lot closer to Kurds and Armenians, than to fellow “semitic” Arabs, excluding the assimilated Assyrians, Kurds and Armenians who are now going under the Arab name. The same goes for Turks.

    You can deny Arab and Turk presence in Anatolia and Mesopotamia, you can’t deny Kurdish presence, as it’s already proven. Don’t take our words for it, take the words of the ancient Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians (who are all the same anyway), Armenians (your own ancestors), Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Persians and so on. Were all these people makin up fairy tales every time they mentioned Kurds in their records? Get back to earth, people.

    Turks and Arabs are the last people to talk to others, about where they belong. Arabs came from Southern Saudi and Yemen area some 1,500 years ago and the Turks came from the Central Asian steppes of Mongolia some 900 years ago. Kurds have lived in at least around modern day Van area, for at least 5,000 years. The Karduchis may even have been an Assyrian or Armenian tribe to begin with.

    So proud to be Kurdish, and proud to have Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians as neighbors, before the Turks and Arabs fucked everything up.

    Greetings from Rebaz T. Benjamin, Duhok/Nuhadra, Karda/Ashur.

  30. Hi everybody! All of you fighting for what? Don’t be stuppid! It’s all game! Just politic and governmental policy. To keep people in sleep and to keep people live. For what? For their good life.. Who dies every time nowaday and in histroy? Only poor, good and stuppid people. Game arrangers and war lords and their family always live and live better.. Look at the poor contries.. There are many people without food and wather.. But you can see on TV even,, billioners.. Even more then rich than contries.. How come it is possible? Don’t fight eachother and look at the forward how can you get legal good life!

  31. Kurd’s muslims killed my 70 years old loving kind grandmother 1976 for no reason , they kidnapped and killed my first cousin 1978 in his way to work and a thousands of innocent victims from other near by villages every few years they attacked my parent’s village and killed ,steal and rape village women that’s north Iraq, in Mosul, Baghdad and other region Muslim Arab were doing the same to the Aramiac Christian’s the natives of Iraq ,for the dead Chaldean/Aramiac Christian the dead and the living we must bear witness and I am a witness . Sham on you united nation for looking the other way IN THE NAME OF PETROLEUM POLITICS .

  32. Stop trying to fight over a land that belongs to all of us! I’m 100% Assyrian and say this land is OUR HOME!!! Assyrians Armenians and Kurds forever!!! I would fight to the end to have Assyrians Armenians and Kurds live happily together where all three of us come from. Don’t listen to people even our own people that try to make us hate each other. All three of us share the same traditions. I have a dream that in my childerns future they will see these three nations as brothers supporting each other. Let’s break the chain of hatred! I will always love my Armenian and Kurdish brothers! Much love from Your Assyrian sister!!!!!!!

  33. I particularly liked Rebaz Diyako Karda’s post of October 23 .
    I am Armenian on my father’s side and Kurdish on my mother’s side . I do not believe anybody will get far by constant recriminations and making demands which cannot be enforced by force . World history with other peoples and countries demonstrates this . Armenians should concentrate on increasing their birthrate and improving the economy and society to attract back people who emigrated overseas . They should also improve relations with Kurds and Azeris (gradually if feasible) , constant invective leads nowhere .
    The worst thing to do is to emulate Jews who meet Germans and remind them of the Holocaust and expect them to repeatedly apologize and keep reminding them of their sins . Compensation if ever it occurs will only happen as a result of cordial relations and a hope for even better relations and cooperation in the future between parties . I see no future for that with Turks or Azeris but very much so with Kurds if one is realistic and practical . Compensation , yes is the acid test and because of that it is a hard one to set and pass.

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