Turkish State Brutality against Kurds Continues

Historian Draws Parallels with Past

Special for the Armenian Weekly

The Kurds in Turkey seem to have committed an unforgivable sin in the eyes of the Turkish regime: They were born Kurds. Despite all the pressure on the part of the state, they continue to resist attempts at forced assimilation; to demand national rights in their ancient homeland; to demand equal rights for non-Muslims, as the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has done; and to resist Islamist jihadist groups. For these reasons, they have been forced to pay a horrible price: Their towns are exposed to constant bombing and destruction by Turkish security forces.

Turkey has started an all-out attack against the Kurds because they demand their right to self-rule.

First, the pro-Kurdish HDP successfully passed the 10-percent electoral threshold and entered Turkey’s Parliament at the national election held on June 7, 2015, making the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lose its single-party government—a blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s autocratic ambitions.

'The population of all of the Kurdish towns that have been exposed to a military siege is dropping tremendously.' (Armenian Weekly file photo)
‘The population of all of the Kurdish towns that have been exposed to a military siege is dropping tremendously.’ (Armenian Weekly file photo)

Since August 2015, Kurdish mayors and politicians in some Kurdish districts have declared their desire for self-rule and having their own administration, which they call “democratic autonomy.” Wherever this declaration was made has been targeted by Turkish heavy weaponry.

Between Aug. 16, 2015, and Feb. 5, 2016, there were 58 officially confirmed and round-the-clock curfews in at least 19 Kurdish districts where about 1,377,000 people reside, according to the 2014 population census. The curfews were accompanied by constant military attacks against entire neighborhoods.

The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) reported that during this period, at least 224 civilians—42 children, 31 women, and 30 people over the age 60—lost their lives. (Read the full report here: http://en.tihv.org.tr/recent-fact-sheet-on-curfews-in-turkey-between-the-dates-16-august-2015-5-february-2016/#_ftn2.)

On Dec. 27, 2015, the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK), which is affiliated with the HDP, issued a manifesto stating that they support the decision to seek Kurdish self-rule and that autonomous districts could be established in many parts of Turkey where cities and towns share cultural, economic, and geographical identities.

The declaration also emphasized that this new system should allow the participation of all ethnic and religious communities, of women and youth, in autonomous administrations, where all native languages in Turkey function as official languages. The system would encourage research in all areas of languages, history, and culture, without prohibitions.

HDP Co-Chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş  (Photo: Today's Zaman/Ali Ünal)
HDP Co-Chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş (Photo: Today’s Zaman/Ali Ünal)

“Our struggle for democratic autonomy is a struggle for democracy and liberty not only for Kurds, but also for Turks and all other ethnicities, religious groups, and for those who have been cast out, oppressed, or ignored,” read the statement.

The demands of the HDP, DTK, and DBP (Democratic Regions Party) consist of very basic and fundamental human rights, such as the right to be fully educated in one’s language. But the Turkish state cannot even tolerate such basic and simple demands. And—as it has never been held responsible for its massacres of the past—it keeps on applying the same destructive methods to exterminate members of minority communities.

Kurdish districts are now being devastated with bombs, tanks, and shells because of Kurdish political demands. Thousands of soldiers and special operations police have been deployed in Kurdish neighborhoods, murdering people indiscriminately. Turkish authorities seem to think that if the Kurds are not subjugated and silenced now, they might in fact be free soon.

The authorities keep saying that this is Turkey’s “struggle against terrorism,” and targets only armed terrorists that dig trenches or set up barricades. That is simply untrue. Entire Kurdish districts are being bombed and destroyed. Scores of civilians have lost their lives. People continue to find it nearly impossible to take the wounded to the hospital; ambulances are rarely allowed in areas under curfew.

On Dec. 21, 2015, for instance, 11-year-old Mehmet Mete was injured in his home by tank fire. His family took Mehmet’s wounded body—wrapped in a blanket in their arms—and ran through the narrow streets of Silopi with a white flag in their hands. But the military assaults were so intense that they were not able to make it to the hospital. Their child died. (See the video of his family’s struggle at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNmCdYwFM7Q.)

Even health personnel are targeted: On Dec. 30, Aziz Yural, a health worker at Cizre State Hospital and a board member of the Union of Public Employees in Health and Social Services (SES), was shot in the head by special operations police while he was trying to help a wounded woman. He died from his wound.

Faysal Sariyildiz, a member of parliament (MP) of the HDP based in Sirnak, said that the population of Cizre, which recently numbered at least 120,000, has now dropped to around 20,000 following the start of curfews and military assaults.

The population of all of the Kurdish towns that have been exposed to a military siege is dropping tremendously. In December 2015, the Confederation of Village Guards and Martyrs’ Families claimed that at least 300,000 people had fled the region in the previous 3 months. The towns of Cizre, Silopi, and Sur, which have been under a military curfew for more than two months, have mostly been emptied.

People are not even allowed to bury their dead properly or on time. On Dec. 26, Hasan Sanir, 73, was murdered in his home in Silopi by Turkish armed forces. He was an imam at a local mosque. His son, Mahmut Sanir, said that the family stayed with Hasan’s body for nine days, but after Turkish forces ordered the residents to “evacuate their houses,” they evacuated immediately, leaving the body behind.

There are still families in Sur and Cizre who are waiting for Turkish authorities to allow them to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones from the streets, where they have been for the past 30 days or more.

Turkish state authorities claim that they attack Kurdish “terrorists” because they are terrorists. However, people demanding peace at anti-war protests are attacked and even murdered by the police.

According to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), 8 Kurds were killed by arbitrary shooting from security forces during peaceful protests against the curfews in the streets or squares close to the curfew zones—where neither an ongoing operation was taking place, nor a curfew was imposed. (For more, see http://en.tihv.org.tr/recent-fact-sheet-on-curfews-in-turkey-between-the-dates-16-august-2015-5-february-2016/#_ftnref2.)

The massacres continue unabated. On Feb. 7, the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, also known as TRT, reported that Turkish armed forces had conducted an operation in a basement in Cizre, resulting in “some 60 terrorists being neutralized.”

'Entire Kurdish districts are being bombed and destroyed. Scores of civilians have lost their lives. People continue to find it nearly impossible to take the wounded to the hospital; ambulances are rarely allowed in areas under curfew.' (Armenian Weekly file photo)
‘People continue to find it nearly impossible to take the wounded to the hospital; ambulances are rarely allowed in areas under curfew.’ (Armenian Weekly file photo)

At least 30 people had been trapped in the basement of a building in the Cizre town of Sirnak for the past 16 days. Six of them have died due to blood loss. It has been days since contact was made with the wounded. (See http://www.kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/north­kurdistan/turkish­media­60­killed­in­cizre­basement.html.)

The newspaper Cumhuriyet, quoting military sources, also reported that an operation was conducted targeting the basement where there were wounded people; five other basements were also targeted.

“About 30 dead bodies were found. They had been burnt to death. There are no signs of bullets on the bodies,” Faysal Sariyildiz, an MP of the HDP, said following the attacks.

The lawyer Emirhan Uysal, the head of the Sirnak branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD), attended the autopsies of four individuals and made a similar statement: “All of the dead had been burnt. There were no signs of bullets on them.”

TRT consequently retracted its report that claimed that those in the basements were “terrorists” and that they were killed in combat.

The truth is that there was already much evidence to the contrary. Photographs posted on social media showed that many bodies were completely burned and that many others were outright executions by the Turkish military. These are war crimes, and by deleting the story from the website, the TRT channel and the government hope to hide the criminal behavior that can put those in charge in jail.

 

Historian Draws Parallels

Ayse Gur (Photo: Muzaffer Saglam Aktuel)
Ayse Gur (Photo: Muzaffer Saglam Aktuel)

In an interview with Dicle News Agency (DIHA), Ayse Hur, a prominent Turkish historian, said that what is happening in Turkey today parallels the process of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

“In 1915, Armenians were also in a period of national awakening and expressed their political demands. But, things suddenly turned out to be the way they had never expected. In March, April, and May of 1915, a new period of tensions emerged. And that ended in deportations and genocide,” she said.

“The current situation in Turkey looks a lot like that process. Everything was going well between Turks and Armenians back then, and Armenians even entered the Ottoman Parliament in an alliance between the Dashnaktsutyun (the Armenian Revolutionary Federation) and the Turkish Committee of Union and Progress. The recent Turkish-Kurdish negotiation process resembled that alliance. It is significant to note that after the Armenian-Turkish alliance was formed, the Armenians were suddenly exposed to deportation and then genocide,” she added.

“Presently there is a government in Turkey that defines the Kurds as internal enemies,” said Hur. “The Turkish Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress (1889-1918), the Kemalist regime (1923-1950), and the Adnan Menderes government (1950-1960), including the rightist-conservative section of the society the Menderes government represented, also looked at the Kurds in the same way.”

“Many governments throughout the history of the Turkish Republic saw Kurds as a group that needed to be civilized. Those governments thought that if Kurds did not act in accordance with the criteria determined by the regime, that is, if Kurds did not speak Turkish, if they did not do their military service the way the regime wanted them to do it, if they did not approve of the central government as silent citizens, if they did not get Sunnified, or if they did not give up on going to Cem houses [Alevi places of worship], they needed to be punished. And if punishment was not sufficient, they needed to be annihilated,” said Hur, “We see that the same hatred and the same antipathy are still existent today, even if they are not openly expressed.”

***

A people’s demands for human rights and freedom are yet again violently being crushed by a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) army, but the West has been mostly silent. What kind of a world do we live in that legitimizes mass murder and extermination? What reason can there be for institutions like the United Nations, the European Union, and NATO to exist if not to defend the helpless against brutality?

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Uzay Bulut

Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist and political analyst formerly based in Ankara. She is a fellow at the Middle East Forum (MEF) and is currently based in Washington D.C. Bulut’s journalistic work focuses mainly on Turkish politics, ethnic and religious minorities in Turkey, and antisemitism.

43 Comments

  1. Above institutions should be abolished immediatly , present world does not need this institutions, instead should be new ones to the side of global people , these killings can not be contiuned ,if does end of the civilization.

  2. 1.{to demand national rights in their ancient homeland;}

    Sorry, Ms Bulut: where Kurds live now, Western Armenia, is not their “ancient homeland”. Kurds are definitely indigenous to the general region, but not to Western Armenia. Kurds were brought in by Turks, after Western Armenia was emptied out of its indigenous Armenians. Genocide committed by Turks, with enthusiastic participation of Kurds.

    2.{What kind of a world do we live in that legitimizes mass murder and extermination? }

    We live in a criminal world: we all might as well get used to it.
    It’s a jungle: the weak get eaten by predators. The same world that stood by and watched as nomad Turks from Uyguristan exterminated 4 million indigenous peoples of Asia Minor (1915-1923): Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontic Greeks (latecomers to the area). The same world that gives $3 Billion to the criminal blackmailer Erdogan. Don’t expect any kind of justice: if there was any, Armenians would not have to work 24×7 for years and years to have (some) states recognize AG. If there was any justice, the illegitimate, genocidal, criminal Turkish State would have been dismantled by the great powers by now: the same powers who go around lecturing everybody else about “rule of law”, “international blah blah”, and all that other baloney. Not only Turkey is not being taken to task by the Western hypocrites, but is in fact being protected. One country in the world that knows how to deal with Turkey is Russia.

    Kurds are their own worst enemy.
    Kurds are still too tribal: they have not developed a national conscience. Even today, various Kurd tribes are working for the Turk state to oppress and murder other Kurds.
    When Kurds put aside their tribal loyalties, and unite as a nation, they can easily defeat the genocidal Turk state.
    You have 30 million Kurds in the region, give or take.
    If we had 10 million additional Armenians in the region, the criminal Turk state would have been broken up and rendered harmless long ago.

    • {Kurds were brought in by Turks, after Western Armenia was emptied out of its indigenous Armenians.}

      In fact, the Turkish-sponsored influx of Kurds into traditionally Armenian-inhabited areas started earlier, in the mid-1800s. Having settled in these areas, Kurds laid hands on arable land and pastures that belonged to the Armenians. According to Vahakn Dadrian, from 1890 to 1910 alone, as many as 741,000 hectares of Armenian lands were illegally seized with the acquiescence of Turkish authorities.

  3. I hope I’m not the only one in these pages, but I sincerely don’t understand why articles stirring up sympathy for the Kurds are so often brought to the attention of the readers. I can certainly sympathize with human suffering, but in the case of Kurds I just can’t get their complicity in genocide out of my head. What exactly is accomplished by attempts to excite pity towards our No. 2 oppressors and murderers?

    • john,

      We’re talking about suffering of today’s Kurds, not the ones back during the genocide. Those guys are no longer alive.

      Besides, it wasn’t all Kurds, collectively, who took part in the killings.

      Granted, anything referring to Kurds and Turks will be tainted with blood of history for us. But can we at least call out repression of anyone as wrong, even if it’s Kurds of today?

      One should not have to have love or deep sympathies towards Kurds, as Kurds, to say that what’s going on in Turkey is wrong and should be called out. It should be done because repressing, taking away freedoms and even lives of people, simply because of the group they belong to, is wrong. Otherwise the world is not going to improve.

      This does not minimize or take anything away from the genocide.

      Besides, it’s good PR against the Turkish Government ;-)

    • {We’re talking about suffering of today’s Kurds, not the ones back during the genocide. Those guys are no longer alive.}

      You sound like a Turkish denialist. They, too, like to do a snow-job on us bringing forth the same lame argument. Are today’s Kurds not the descendants of those who partook in killing the Armenians en masse? If they want to distance themselves from their ancestors, why is it that as of now we only have handful prominent Kurdish leaders who repented?

      {Besides, it wasn’t all Kurds, collectively, who took part in the killings.}

      Well, it wasn’t all Turks, collectively, who took part in the mass killings, either. We know there were a few cases when Turkish neighbors hid the Armenians. So what?

      {But can we at least call out repression of anyone as wrong, even if it’s Kurds of today?}

      We can be aware of the repression and chose whether to sympathize or not. But I don’t think we should follow calls for advocacy for the Kurds, as, for example, the article “Turkey’s Renewed War on the Kurds” (https://armenianweekly.com/2016/01/19/turkeys-renewed-war-on-the-kurds/) does. Why should we advocate on behalf of the Kurds? Have they all-nationally, via all of their prominent figures, parties, and social movements, repented for the crime of their predecessors?

      During the genocide, a marauding Kurdish chieftain with his cutthroats burst into our ancestral village, drove its Armenian inhabitants out, abducted and raped girls, and then committed murders of everyone over five. Now his and his cutthroats’ descendants, hypothetically, live in our village. They are, as you say, “today’s Kurds”. How can I call out repression against them knowing as a result of what crime these people are settled in my ancestral village?

    • I’m inclined to agree with John here. Yes, Kurds have been better with Armenian Genocide recognition and a number of Kurdish leaders appear to be genuinely remorseful for the actions of their ancestors. But – couple of issues I don’t think people consider.

      (1) How would be the tone of Kurds be if there was no issues with the Turkish government and Kurds had autonomy in the south east? Would the Kurds be trying to appear so sympathetic to Turkey’s enemies?

      (2) Kurds know they can recognize and apologize for their complicity in the Armenian genocide because ultimately they can get away with an apology. If (and hopefully when) the Turkey recognizes the Armenian genocide, the Turkish government is going to be held responsible. They will be the ones who have to pay reparations. Again, there just doesn’t seem to be any downside for Kurds recognizing the Armenian genocide at this point. Does that mean Kurds recognizing the Armenian genocide is solely a calculated political move? I would say no, I think there is genuine remorse there. But how meaningful is their recognition? It costs them – active participants in the genocide – nothing, while conferring the benefit of pushing their agenda of looking like progressive, peace-loving, hard on their luck people being bullied by big bad Turkey.

      I voted for HDP and I still support their struggle against Erdogan and the Turkish government, but everyone has an agenda. And no one in Turkey is as innocent as they try to appear. Trust the Kurds at your peril; I assure you an independent Kurdistan in eastern Turkey will be no friend of Armenia if the issue of land reparations comes up.

    • {I assure you an independent Kurdistan in eastern Turkey will be no friend of Armenia if the issue of land reparations comes up.}

      My sentiments exactly. Thanks for being candid, RVDV.

    • RVDV’s last point is true. Kurds do not see historic Western Armenia as Armenian lands. If they achieve independence, we won’t see a shred of our lands.

      But still, what the Turkish government is doing to its minorities, including the violence against Kurdish civilians is not justifiable and calling it out as wrong is not a problem as far as I’m concerned.

      Besides, bad PR against the No 1 oppressor is a good thing.

      However, do the Kurds of today deserve the indiscriminate death and violence? It may give some sense of satisfaction in seeing some sort of karma befall the grandchildren of the Kurds who killed during the genocide, but I see no moral satisfaction in it. Even if they are living on ill gotten gains of Armenian property.

      Pointing out what the Turkish government is doing to the Kurds as wrong, is not the same absolving the Kurds of their part in the genocide. Turkey is not doing this because of the Kurds’ role. There just is no justifiable connection between the genocide and the Turkish violence of today.

      No doubt that if an independent Kurdistan arises, Armeno-Kurdish relations will not be easy nor simple nor full of brotherly love.

    • “Pointing out” and “advocating for” are two different notions. I have no problem with pointing out what the Turkish government is doing to today’s Kurds. But I have a serious problem with some Armenian contributors calling on Armenians to advocate for the Kurds. Had the Kurds as a nation via their political parties, MPs, social and religious organizations repented for the crimes of their predecessors and admitted that Armenians have every right for retribution of the Western Armenian lands currently inhabited by the Kurds, I’d understand the call. But to advocate for the Kurds knowing that they’ll be no friends of Armenians when independent Kurdistan emerges, is beyond me.

  4. If so many Kurds had not helped Turks wipe out Armenians, the Kurds might not be in their present predicament.

    I have long wondered: What is so wonderful about Kurds and their culture that they should deserve so much support and sympathy from us and the world?

    Why do the Russians help Kurds in Syria and bomb Kurds’ enemies there whereas Russia says nothing about Azerbaijan shelling towns in Armenia and Artsakh?

    If Russia sells arms to Azerbaijan because “if it doesn’t someone else will”, then why doesn’t Russia sell arms to Isis and the radical Syrian rebels? Sure, you know, make Isis and the radical rebels “dependent” on Russia. I’ll tell you why: because selling arms to your enemy or to your friend’s enemy is absurd.

  5. All Kurds are guilty of Genocide against Armenians? Not True, definitly not. Retry studying historical facts, before u push all Kurds in one corner!!They r Kurdish communities in Anatolia, that can be detetected as guilty. Till 1938 no Armenian of Dersim were masscred! True. When i read some of your comments, i feel truly sad.Kurds deserve more than this malicious pleasure.

    • Well, with the same logic not all Turks were guilty of the genocide, either. But remarks here are not about the guilt of the Kurdish nation as a whole, but about the fact that Kurds—many, not all—were complicit in the mass murder of the Armenians and theft of our lands and properties. I’ve studied enough historical facts and recorded enough testimonies of my own grandfather and his sisters to know that Kurds have made the Armenians’ life unbearable in the areas where the Armenians and the Kurds co-resided, and, in 1915, at the instigation of fellow-Muslim Turks, many—not all—of your ancestors partook in mass murders and looting. If Kurds deserve more, as you say, then all of your leaders and political parties have to offer an apology to the Armenians. So far, only a few prominent and courageous Kurds have expressed regret and remorse for the crime of their ancestors…

  6. MY COUSINS GRANDFATHER WAS SHOT BY KURDS AND HIS MOM RAPED AND BURNED BY KURDISH TROOPS THAT CAME TO THEIR VILLAGE AND HE WITNESSED THIS AS A 5 YEAR OLD BOY. THE ONLY REASON KURDS ARE HALF HEARTED WITH THE PAST AND ARMENIANS GENOCIDE NOW IS BECAUSE THEY ARE NEXT ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK.

  7. {It may give some sense of satisfaction in seeing some sort of karma befall the grandchildren of the Kurds who killed during the genocide, but I see no moral satisfaction in it.}
    (Random Armenian // February 19, 2016 at 6:20 pm //)

    Random:

    Where in any of his posts did [John] express a “sense of satisfaction…” ? Or any other poster for that matter.

    Questioning expending our _finite_ resources on behalf of parties with uncertain ROI, is not the same as “…satisfaction…”
    Several Kurd leaders, such as Demirtaş, have bravely expressed genuine remorse for the Kurds’ participation in AG.
    But other Kurd leaders have not been so friendly, to say the least.
    Baseh Hozat, a PKK leading figure, lashed out at Armenians and said “….their lobby is a part of Turkey’s shadow government and they are organization that is under the influence of the NATO…..”
    Ocalan himself has been wishy-washy too, although I cut him slack, because he is under duress and what he says, while in custody of Turk torturers, has to be taken with a large handful of salt.

    And as RVDV so aptly noted: there is no downside in expressing regret if it doesn’t cost you anything.

    Nevertheless, as I have written before, I am all for Kurdistan being established in Western Armenia.
    Reason is very simple: Turks are an existential threat to RoA and NKR.
    Kurds are collaborators, but they have no history of _organizing_ genocides, massacres, and ethnic cleansing: Turks do.
    Kurds in Kurdistan/Western Armenia will mind their own business.
    Even an unfriendly Kurdistan is better than what we have now.
    With Kurdistan acting as buffer, RoA and NKR can concentrate on de-fanging Turkbaijan, an immediate threat to Artsakh.
    Cut off from “mother wolf” Turkey, Turkbaijan can be “managed”.

    Longer term, we can reach some kind of an accommodation with Kurds living in WA, after some give-N-take: we can do a trade.
    Mount Ararat is not going anywhere.

    Finally: I join [John] in thanking RVDV for being forthright.
    Being a Kurd by birth and a Turk by choice, his honest opinion is appreciated: Armenians still wearing rose-colored glasses should contemplate what the gentleman says.

    • As of today, all areas of compact settlement of the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, namely: the northernmost provinces of the two countries (plus oil-rich in the case of Iraq), are de facto controlled by the Kurds, who are ready to reunite with the Kurds of Turkey.

      Treaty of Sèvres, 2.0 version.

    • “Kurds are collaborators, but they have no history of _organizing_ genocides, massacres, and ethnic cleansing: Turks do.”

      Not entirely true. Kurdish tribes were killing Armenians long before Turks started to. They have no history of organizing massacres and genocides on a state level since they didn’t have one.

      “Kurds in Kurdistan/Western Armenia will mind their own business.
      Even an unfriendly Kurdistan is better than what we have now.
      With Kurdistan acting as buffer, RoA and NKR can concentrate on de-fanging Turkbaijan, an immediate threat to Artsakh.”

      I totally agree with you here.

    • {Kurdish tribes were killing Armenians long before Turks started to.}

      Not true. Kurdish chieftains and their armed tribesmen started widespread killings of the Armenians at the time when the Turks started instigating them. Starting in the mid-1800s, the killings intensified during the Hamidian Massacres, when the government of Turkish sultan Abdul Hamid created Kurdish Hamidiye brigades charged with the task of killing Armenians. Therefore, it is correct to say that it is the Turks who have history of organizing massacres and genocides, because Kurds only had complicity in them.

  8. Turks, Kurds, what’s the difference? Two genocidal nations. Remember, Kurds are world champions in honor killings.. I don’t even have to consider their role in the genocide not to sympathize with them. Why would I sympathize??

    However, Kurds are not a threat to Armenia today. Turkey and Azerbaijan are. Therefor I support the PKK and YPG. Or should I becry the deaths of a few dozen soldiers of the genocidal Turkish army in Ankara?

    As for regaining our lands in Turkey.. forget about it! We have huge difficulties in keeping Artsakh under our control, how would we liberate historic Armenia in Anatolia? Impossible, and just a dream.

    • {As for regaining our lands in Turkey.. forget about it! We have huge difficulties in keeping Artsakh under our control, how would we liberate historic Armenia in Anatolia? Impossible, and just a dream.}

      Are you sure you are an Armenian??

  9. john: Yes.

    Now, we can’t even liberate Nakhichevan from Azerbaijan. How would we be able to liberate Western Armenia? Also, we have difficulties in keeping Artsakh under control. Just the other day two young Armenian soldiers were killed there.

    You have to be realistic.

    • Phrases such as “forget about our lands in Turkey”, “historic Armenia in Anatolia”, “can’t even liberate Nakhichevan”, “have difficulties in keeping Artsakh under [our] control”, and “you have to be realistic” suggest the opposite.

      a) “Forget about our lands in Turkey”. How can a genuine Armenian forget about his or her ancestral homeland stolen by the Turks as a result of genocidal extermination of its indigenous population?
      b) “Historic Armenia in Anatolia”. There was never any Turkified toponym ‘Anatolia’ at the times of existence of or long after historic Greater Armenia.
      c) “Can’t even liberate Nakhichevan”. Why, Armenians have ever started the liberation, but failed?
      d) “Have difficulties in keeping Artsakh under control”. Really? How is it that the Republic of Artsakh is not under Armenian control? Curious to know…
      e) “You have to be realistic.” This Armenians would hear from their enemies before and during the Artsakh Liberation War.

  10. john: I didn’t say Artsakh is not under our control, I said we have difficulties there. I keep reading about Armenian soldiers killed and, frankly, it worries me.

    As for Nakhichevan: if we could liberate it, don’t you think we would have?

    You sound very patriotic, nothing wrong with that. Consequently, I reckon you are a volunteer in the Artsakh army?

    I am all for liberating Western Armenia, I am just saying it’s not possible. Or do you think Turkey will just hand it back to us?

    • {I didn’t say Artsakh is not under our control, I said we have difficulties there. I keep reading about Armenian soldiers killed and, frankly, it worries me.}

      No. You didn’t say “we have difficulties in Artsakh.” You said: “We have huge difficulties IN KEEPING Artsakh under our control”. Killings of Armenian soldiers, which “worries” you, sometimes happen on the LoC, not in Artsakh proper. And to make you less worried, the Armenian side always retaliates, causing more casualties in the ranks of Azeri Turks.

      {As for Nakhichevan: if we could liberate it, don’t you think we would have?}

      All in its own good time…

      (You sound very patriotic, nothing wrong with that. Consequently, I reckon you are a volunteer in the Artsakh army?}

      Unfortunately, I’m not a RoA citizen. But the sons of my distant relatives, living in Armenia, do serve. Proud of them. Wouldn’t you like to join them or you already served?

      {I am all for liberating Western Armenia, I am just saying it’s not possible. Or do you think Turkey will just hand it back to us?}

      I trust you didn’t want to insult my intelligence by asking “do you think Turkey will just hand Western Armenia back to us”, did you? Turks, by their ethnic origin from the nomadic steppes of Central Asia, are accustomed to stealing other people’s lands, not handing them over to their masters. But states do sometimes collapse, you know. Especially artificial ones, such as the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey. Since you’re posting in an article about the Kurds of Turkey, draw your own conclusions…

  11. john: I keep reading about Armenian casualties, and rarely about Azeri casualties.

    You say unfortunately you’re not a RoA citizen. Why don’t you acquire citizenship and join the army? As for myself, war is not my cup of tea.

    As for stealing other peoples’ lands, this has happened many times in history. The USA, for example, is built on lands stolen from the Native Americans who themselves stole lands from eachother before the white man showed up.

    ALL states are artifical, made by men and not some miracle of nature. The world is a jungle and the strong will always oppress the weak. Sad but true.

    Therefor Armenia has to be strong enough to defend itself and retaliate when Azeris kill Armenian soldiers. Current policies are obviously not working!

    • { I keep reading about Armenian casualties, and rarely about Azeri casualties}

      Where do you read ?
      Azerbaijani authorities carefully conceal their losses.
      Armenian authorities publicly announce every casualty, even non-combat ones.

      You just have to know where to read to learn about Turkbaijani KIA.
      Kill ratio at the LOC is anywhere from 1-2 to 1-5 in our favour.

      { The USA, for example, is built on lands stolen from the Native Americans who themselves stole lands from eachother before the white man showed up.}

      The “Native American” response to Turk theft of Armenian lands is the classic Turk and Turkophile excuse and justification.
      This not the thread to juxtapose the European invasion of North America vs Uyguroglar invasion of Asia Minor, and its aftermath, but you clearly have no clue what you are talking about.
      To wit: Native Americans did not steal land from each other. North America was extremely sparsely populated before Europeans landed.
      There were very few, if any permanent settlements.
      The first people to migrate to North America 1000s of years ago, migrated to an empty land.

      { ALL states are artifical,..}

      Nonsense: Armenia is natural state.
      Proto-Armenians migrated to the Armenian Highlands 1000s of years ago and stayed, eventually coalescing into the unique ethnos ‘Armenian’.
      Germany is a natural state: proto-Germanic tribes in the area known as Germany coalesced into what is known as Germans.
      No need to list all the natural states here.

      Turkey is an unnatural state.
      Azerbaijan is an artificial state.

      {Current policies are obviously not working!}

      Of course they are !!. (two exclamation marks)

    • My reply to ‘eastofwest’ was not posted for some reason, but ‘Avery’ repeated almost verbatim what I wrote in my response, except for that the European “invasion” of North America was not an invasion per se. It was in the most part exploration and settlement, because European settlers were not nomadic warriors like Seljuk Turks, but mostly people who escaped religious persecutions, abject poverty or were deported as a form of punishment for their crimes. Seljuks, on the other hand, moved westward from their original habitat: the steppes of Central Asia, with the goal of conquering new lands for their tribesmen and new pastures for their ship and horses.

  12. Avery: I’m not sure I like being called a Turkophile, I’m not.

    It is you who have no clue what you’re talking about. The history of Native Americans is a bloody one. They’ve been fighting eachother for hundreds, probably thousands of years, and yes, conquering eachother’s lands. A few examples:

    ‘After years of war with the invading Iroquois, by the mid-17th century, the Osage migrated from the Ohio valley with other Siouan tribes, settling west on their historic lands in present-day Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas .’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osage_Nation

    ‘Pressured by the Ojibwe and Cree peoples (the Iron Confederacy), who had earlier and better access to guns through the fur trade, they had migrated there from the Ohio Eastern Woodland area to settle south of Lake Winnipeg, Canada. From there, they were pushed to the west by the Cheyennes. Both the Crow and the Cheyennes were then pushed farther west by the Lakota (Sioux), who took over the territory from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the Big Horn Mountains of Montana; the Cheyennes finally became close allies of the Sioux, but the Crows remained bitter enemies of both Sioux and Cheyennes.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crow_Nation

    ‘The Shoshone are a Native American tribe, who originated in the western Great Basin and spread north and east into Idaho and Wyoming. By 1500 CE some Eastern Shoshone had crossed the Rocky Mountains into the Great Plains. After 1750, warfare and pressure from the Blackfoot, Crow, Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho pushed Eastern Shoshone south and westward. Some of them moved as far south as Texas, to become the Comanche by 1700.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshone

    As for Germany being a “natural state” you’re obviously not familiar with the ancient Baltic tribes inhabiting Prussia before Germans appeared there.

    Btw, Turks of Turkey are not Uygurs, but Turkmens. (Not that it’s of any importance to the subject.)

    • {Btw, Turks of Turkey are not Uygurs, but Turkmens. (Not that it’s of any importance to the subject.)}

      Who am I, a mere ‘gyavur’ to argue with Turk officialdom.

      [Ahmet Davutoglu, who has become the first Turkish foreign minister ever to visit Uighur Autonomous Region in China, toured historical sites in Kashgar city. Davutoglu and an accompanying Turkish delegation arrived early Thursday in Kashgar in the extreme west of China and the extreme southwest of Uighur region. Davutoglu first visited the tomb of Mahmud Kashgari and then they toured the tomb of Yusuf Has Hajib as well the 500-year-old Id Khah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. “We are visiting the land of our ancestors,” Davutoglu said.] (October 2010)

      “We are visiting the land of our ancestors,” Davutoglu said.

      You read it right.
      From the mouth of Turk FM: Turks are Uyguroglar.

      btw: ‘oglar’ literally means ‘sons of’. But, commonly means descendants of. Turks illegally squatting on our lands are descendants of Uygurs, whose homeland is Uyguristan.

      Nice try, but no cigar.

  13. john: Who cares WHY they invaded? They – Europeans and Turks – both came to new lands and took them from their previous owners. Period.

    • People who look into the subject from the professional perspective care.

      Who doesn’t care? People who attempt to find justification to the emergence of Turks and their Azeri extension on the lands they currently inhabit and the genocide of the Christians their ancestors have committed.

      It sounds so cynical to say about the Seljuk nomads: “they came to new lands and took them”. Not invaded, not destroyed, not looted, not stole, not mass murdered. Just came and took. Plain and simple, à la Turk. Well, no, it is about the Europeans that can be said that “they came”, for reasons I gave above. Turks didn’t just come. Turks invaded, made indigenous populations second-class millets, and ultimately forcibly deported and mass murdered them.

      If someone broke into your house, stole your possessions, your cultural habits, raped your mother and sister, mercilessly killed your father and brothers, and then sat in your house with arms crossed declaring that he just came and took, what would you do?

  14. Avery: Davutoglu is a Turkish liar.

    Xinjiang was conquered by Uyghurs from Indo-European Tokharians.

    ‘Some Uyghur ultra-nationalist revisionists, worried at the prospect that they are descendants of migrants into Xinjiang and could be seen as invaders and not the indigenous inhabitants, have sought to revise history like Turghun Almas in his book Uyghurlar, claiming that Turkic Uyghurs were always natives of Xinjiang, claiming that the Tocharian Tarim mummies were Uyghurs, and that Uyghur civilization is 6,000 years old and is the origin of all world civilization.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinjiang#Islamicisation_and_Turkicisation_of_Xinjiang

    ‘The Tocharians or Tokharians (/təˈkɛəriənz/ or /təˈkɑːriənz/) were Indo-European peoples who inhabited the medieval oasis city-states on the northern edge of the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang, China) in ancient times. Their Tocharian languages, a branch of the Indo-European family, are known from manuscripts from the 6th to 8th centuries AD, after which they were supplanted by the Turkic languages of the Uyghur tribes.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocharians

    • {Avery: Davutoglu is a Turkish liar.}

      Quite amusing you going out of your way to ‘prove’ exactly which parts of East Asia nomad Turkic tribes came from. (and yes, of course, WIkipedia is _the_ source to refer to as an authority on controversial historical subjects).

      Now why would an Armenian do that ?

    • Correction: Turkic Uyghurs were never originally natives of Xinjiang. They were natives of Mongolia, who, in the 9th century AD, migrated to Xinjiang, and, in the “best” traditions of Turkic tribes, killed, assimilated and ultimately replaced the region’s original Indo-European speakers. Another favorite theme of the Turks and their Azeri extensions to prove their “autochthony” in the regions they now inhabit. Davotuglu was absolutely correct when he said: “We are visiting the land of our ancestors,” because it is originally from the steppes of Mongolia and the areas adjacent to the Altay Mountains and, in the 9th century, from Uyghuristan, Turkic tribes started their armed nomadic journey westwards culminating in the invasion of the Khorasan Province of Persia in the 10th century, and Armenia, Asia Minor and Cappadocia in the 11th.

  15. john:

    ‘Well, no, it is about the Europeans that can be said that “they came”, for reasons I gave above.’

    Let’s just agree to disagree.

    • If you think that the Europeans did not just come to the New World, but actually invaded it just like the Turks invaded Armenia, Asia Minor and Cappadocia in the 11th century AD, you need to support your point with evidence. Good luck finding it in the annals of history…

  16. Avery: Why would an Armenian NOT want to point out the fact that Xinjiang does not belong to Turks anymore than it belongs to the Chinese.

    I’m glad I amuse you.

    • An Armenian would not want to point out the _theory_ that Xinjiang does not allegedly belong to Turkic tribes, etc, because it has zero relevance and zilch benefit for our Armenian Nation and our Cause. None of our business.

      An Armenian would let Turks and Chinese sort it out amongst themsleves, and would instead spend one’s finite resources for the benefit of Armenian Nation and our Cause: _not_ to be an advocate for either Turks or Chinese. Makes sense, No?
      Assuming one is an Armenian, and not Chinese, or Turk.
      Yes ?

      And thanks for providing free amusement: greatly appreciated.
      Later.

  17. Avery: I’m neither an advocate for Turks nor the Chinese. As for “spending resources”, trust me I have the time to point out that Xinjiang is not the original homeland of Turks without getting all too exhausted.

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