Top Leaderboard, Site wide
September 2, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates








Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Report

Chris Hedges: Coveting the Holocaust

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Oct 23, 2006
Armenian protest
AP / EUROKINISI

Armenian demonstrators burn a Turkish flag outside the Turkish Embassy in Athens in 1996 after a march to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the 1915-1923 Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turks.

By Chris Hedges

Editor’s Note: The former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” takes a hard look at the political capital of suffering.

I sent my New York University journalism students out to write stories based on any one of the themes in the Ten Commandments.  A woman of Armenian descent came back with an article about how Armenians she had interviewed were covetous of the Jewish Holocaust.  The idea that one people who suffered near decimation could be covetous of another that also suffered near decimation was, to say the least, different. And when the French lower house of parliament approved a bill earlier this month making it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide I began to wonder what it was she, and those she had interviewed, actually coveted.
 
She was not writing about the Holocaust itself—no one covets the suffering of another—but how it has become a potent political and ideological weapon in the hands of the Israeli government and many in the American Jewish community.  While Armenians are still fighting to have the genocide of some 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks accepted as historical fact, many Jews have found in the Nazi Holocaust a useful instrument to deflect criticism of Israel and the dubious actions of the pro-Israeli lobby as well as many Jewish groups in the United States.

Norman Finkelstein, who for his writings has been virtually blacklisted, noted in “The Holocaust Industry” that the Jewish Holocaust has allowed Israel to cast itself and “the most successful ethnic group in the United States” as eternal victims.  Finkelstein, the son of Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, goes on to argue that this status has enabled Israel, which has “a horrendous human rights record,” to play the victim as it oppresses Palestinians or destroys Lebanon.  This victim status has permitted U.S. Jewish organizations (the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress and others) to get their hands on billions of dollars in reparations, much of which never finds its way to the dwindling number of Holocaust survivors.  Finkelstein’s mother, who was in the Warsaw ghetto, received $3,500, while the World Jewish Congress walked away with roughly $7 billion in compensation moneys.  The organization pays lavish salaries to its employees and uses the funds to fuel its own empire.  For many the Nazi Holocaust is not used to understand and deal with the past, and more importantly the universal human capacity for evil, but to manipulate the present.  Finkelstein correctly writes that the fictitious notion of unique suffering leads to feelings of unique entitlement.

And so what this student, and those she had interviewed, coveted was not the actual experience of the Holocaust, not the suffering of Jews in the death camps, but the political capital that Israel and many of its supporters have successfully gleaned from the Holocaust.  And while I sympathize with the Armenians, while I understand their rage toward Turkey, I do not wish to see them, or anyone else, wield their own genocide as a political weapon. 

There is a fine and dangerous line between the need for historical truth and public apology, in this case by the Turks, and the gross misuse of human tragedy.  French President Jacques Chirac and his interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, said this month that Turkey will have to recognize the genocide before Turkey is allowed to join the European Union.  Most European nations turned their backs on the French, with the EU issuing a statement saying that the French bill will “prohibit dialogue.”  But the French move is salutary, not only for the Armenians who have been humiliated and defamed by successive waves of Turkish governments but for the Turks as well.  Historical amnesia, as anyone who has lived in the Middle East or the Balkans knows, makes reconciliation and healing impossible.  It fosters a dangerous sense of grievance and rage.  It makes any real dialogue impossible.  Nearly 100 years after the murderous rampage by the Turks it can still be a crime to name the Armenian holocaust under Law 301, which prohibits anyone from defaming Turkey.  One of the most courageous violators of that law is the writer Orhan Pamuk, who has criticized his country’s refusal to confront its past, and who just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. But he is a solitary figure in Turkey.

Historical black holes also empower those who insist that the Nazi Holocaust is unique, that it is somehow beyond human comprehension and stands apart from other human activity.  These silences make it easier to minimize, misunderstand and ignore the reality of other genocides, how they work and how they are carried out.  They make it easier to turn tragedy into myth.  They make it easier to misread the real lesson of the Holocaust, which, as Christopher Browning illustrated in his book “Ordinary Men,” is that the line between the victim and the victimizer is razor-thin.  Most of us, as Browning correctly argues, can be seduced and manipulated into killing our neighbors.  Few are immune. 

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
The communists, not the Jews, were the Nazis’ first victims, and the handicapped were the first to be gassed in the German death factories.  This is not to minimize the suffering of the Jews, but these victims too deserve attention.  And what about Gypsies, homosexuals, prisoners of war and German political dissidents?  What, on a wider scale, about the Cambodians, the Rwandans, and the millions more who have been slaughtered by utopian idealists who believe the eradication of other human beings will cleanse the world?
 
When I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington I looked in vain for these other victims.  I did not see explained in detail the awful reality that Jewish officials in the ghettos—Judenrat—worked closely with the Nazis to herd their own off to the death camps.  And was the happy resolution of the Holocaust, as we saw in images at the end of the exhibits, the disembarking of European Jews on the shores of Palestine?  What about the Palestinians who lived in Palestine and were soon to be pushed off their land?  And, as importantly, what about African-Americans and Native Americans?  Why is the Nazi genocide, which we did not perpetrate, displayed on the Mall in Washington and the brutal extermination of Native Americans ignored?  Why should billions in reparations be paid to Jewish slave laborers and not a dime to those enslaved by our own country?

These questions circle back to the dangerous sanctification of any genocide, the belief that one ethnic group can represent goodness, solely because its members are the victims, and another evil because from its ranks come the thugs who carry out mass slaughter.  Once these demented killing machines begin their work the only thing unique is the method of murder.  The lesson of any genocide is not that one group of human beings is better than another, but that in the intoxication of the moment, gripped by the mass hypnosis of state propaganda and the lust for violence, we can all become killers.  All the victims must be heard.  None are unique.  And all of us have to be on guard lest we be seduced.  We carry within us—German, Jew, Armenian or Christian—dark and dangerous lusts that must be held in check.  I applaud the French.  I hope the French action pushes the Turks toward contrition and honesty.  But I do not wish for the Armenians to covet the Holocaust, to begin the process of sanctifying their own suffering.  When we sanctify ourselves we do so at the expense of others.   


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Rich, January 3, 2007 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emerhan wrote:

“The Dashnaks have formed the nucleous of thought, and propaganda among the Diaspora Armenian populatation.” 

“The Dashnaks are in power in Armenia, and they have many organizations in America, such as Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Youth Federation, and others in California, etc.”

“What I am saying is that until the Armenian community can take a look at itself, and separate the true facts from their own propaganda, which run contrary to even foreign historian’s publications, we will get nowhere…”

Thanks for elaborating your point further but it still does not make sense.

Even from approaching this from an academic point of view, many scholars both Armenian Turkish, American, German, English, etc… do not form a “nucleous” under the the auspicous of any ideiology or oganization. They are free of independent thought. Just because they do not agree with a Armenian genocide denialist positions does not mean they are not under some unified propoganda that you claim.

Maybe many of them have something to educate the public with called the Armenian genocide.

I can assure you Turkish scholars such as Historian Taner Akcam are not cajolled into reseraching the subject and they are free to formulate there own arguements.

Historian Vahakn Dadrian is not Dashnak either, along with many others.

Let’s not get into a myopic view of the subject that deminishes the bigger picture.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, January 3, 2007 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Kadir;

Remember you asked a few messages ago, what Armenians want from us?  Perhaps you should hear the answer that the Armenian Youth Federation, established by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (a.k.a. Dashnaks) give…

“The Armenian Youth Federation - ARF Youth Organization of the Western United States, was founded in order to assist in acheiving the following goals:

a) The establishment of a Free, Independent, and United Armenia

b) Armenia must be a democratic and socialist independent republic.

c) The boundaries of United Armenia must incorporate the territories awarded to Armenia by the Treaty of Sevres as well as the regions of Nakhichevan, Akhalkalak, and Karapagh.
[Oh, so they dooo want Turkish land…]

d) The Armenian people, including its dispersed masses,must assemble on the territory of Independent Armenia.

e) The still unpunished crime of the Genocide against the Armenian people must be condemned and redressed by the return of the occupied territories and by the just reparation for losses to the Armenian people.

f) The basic laws of the Republic of Armenia shall be decided by the constitutional assembly of Armenia elected on the basis of universal, equal, direct, secret, and proportional representation.”

You may also be interested to know that this organization was established by an Armenian GENERAL (great youth group, militarism is a great way to brainwash - er, I mean, raise - kids).

You ever wonder why there is so much hate?  Because through organizations like this, Armenian children are TAUGHT to hate…Dashnaks are still playing their old game, with their same objectives as in the WW1…only now they are using history, because the genocide card is the only way they can achieve their “united Armenian” dream.

That is why the Dashnak lead Armenia attacks Azerbaijan, occupying Nagorno-karabakh, and why Armenia even has land claims against Georgia, trying to bite off any bit of land that has Armenians living there…

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, January 3, 2007 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Whitewashed History;

You wrote:  “There is the hole in your argument, the majority of the Dashnak and Hunchak leaders lived and died long after 1915”

So what?  Most generals/leaders aren’t killed in combat, their footsoldiers (the Armenians they recruited) are.  I don’t see why that is a “hole” (in which argument, by the way?)

You wrote:  “The governor who ordered my great-grandfather and grandfather killed considered Armenians to be microbes.” and “You missed my family. They were among the remaining ones, who were among the most loyal to the Ottomans, honored by the Sultans. Yet their families were still obliterated, even though they were not very much liked by the Dashnaks or Hunchaks.”

First of all, when you have this kind of ethnic conflict, there are going to be completely innocent people who get burned in the process.  Like your family, I am sure there were loyal Armenians.  But a majority were not.  Look, even Pasdermajian - who was an Ottoman Parliamentarian - committed treason PRIOR to 1915!

Secondly, I have a few questions for you:
1.  How do you know that the Ottoman governor ordered their deaths?  Who killed them exactly?
2.  Even if the governor was behind it, on what basis do you claim that it was the Ottomans who ordered this, and not the governor acting on his own whim?

You wrote:  “The “relocation” scenarios were just for window dressing.”

That is your interpretation, your belief.  There is no historical evidence to support that claim.  On the contrary, the government not only stipulated for Armenians and their possessions to be protected, but did try to catch and punish officials who acting contrary to that order, and committed crimes (ranging from thievery to murder) against Armenians.  Many of the violations also weren’t done by even officials, but rogue armed bands and Kurdish tribes.  That same government also cancelled the relocation, and tried to bring Armenians back to their homes, even kicking out their new Turkish owners (usually also refugees) to do so. 

Before the peace treaties, the Dashnaks generated several documents in an attempt to implicate the the Ottoman government.  Those documents - all of them magically “discovered” by the Dashnaks - were given to the British, but were not deemed genuine.  They were fake documents intented to serve a political purpose. 

During the war, even the British conducted careful propaganda campaigns against the Ottomans, accusing them of war crimes, even when they knew it was false (check out the Blue Book of propaganda).  It was only many years later that the British “fessed up” and acknowledged that what they said was false propaganda. 

In fact, there is not a shred of evidence to indicate systematic government involvement.  Only rogue officials whose misdeeds the Ottomans did try to punish.

You wrote:  “As soon as the Armenians and other Christians were out of sight of Western authorities the systematic killings would begin.”

Quarrels between the local Muslim and Armenian populations due to property fights, revenge killings, etc, is NOT SYSTEMATIC KILLING.  As far as your claim that Armenians were killed in the Tigris:  there are testimonies of Westerners who went to Syria and reported that there was “misery” but “no systematic cruelty” of any kind.  Morgenthaus, due to his own rabid anti-Turkish, anti-Muslim sentiments, IGNORED these reports in his own accounts, and in doing so committed a great injustice. 

Furthermore, Europeans completely IGNORED evidence of Armenian atrocities.  For example, the French KNEW of the massacres committed by the Armenian Legion they trained in Cyprus, and sent to kill Turks in southern Turkey - YET THEY DID NOTHING TO STOP IT.

You’re family was not the only to suffer, you know.  I hope you would show the same compassion towards massacred Turkish families, as you would expect me to show your family.

Report this

By Rich, January 3, 2007 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kader wrote:

“Anyway, ethnic cleansing and genocide are different things.”

“Rich wrote: “ethnic cleansing:
–noun the elimination of an unwanted ethnic group or groups from a society, as by genocide or forced emigration.”

You proved my point actually, thanks. It says “OR genocide” which does not mean that every ethnic cleansing is done through genocide. Emrehan explained well the conditions which lead to ethnic cleansing of Armenians: Relocation, ethnic conflicts, emigration.”


Kader you may beleive I proved a point for you but it contradicts your comments. To further understand the stark similarities and would like to read more on the subject I encluded an essay.

You may feel compared to “cherry pick” a sentence or two, maybe paragraphs out of the essay but if you read the whole essay in its entirety you may get a better grasp of the meaning of the words. 


Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
by Karyn Becker

http://www.munfw.org/archive/50th/4th1.htm

Report this

By Whitewashed History, January 3, 2007 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan wrote:

“It is true that there are few Armenians in Eastern Anatolia today, but why?  Hrant Dink and other Armenians, such as yourself, imply that this is because of genocide.  What you are overlooking, is the historical fact that in mid 1918, the same Young Turk regime that ordered the relocations, reversed their order and began systematically BRINGING ARMENIANS BACK to their former homes, this time reversing the direction of the caravans, and escorting Armenians back to their old homes, EVICTING ANY MUSLIMS who may have taken them over.”


The “relocation” scenarios were just for window dressing. As soon as the Armenians and other Christians were out of sight of Western authorities the systematic killings would begin. As for my family, the men were cut to pieces, disemboweled upon orders of the governor, with whom they thought they had cordial relations. The women and children were then drowned en masse in the Tigris.

My grandmother’s way of life was permanently destroyed. There was no one in her family left. How could a woman in her early 20’s with two young children survive in a region voided of Armenians and Assyrians?

Talaat knew this when he told Ambassador Morgenthau that he wanted a list of New York Life Armenian policyholders so that the Turkish state could collect the proceeds from those policies as there were no Armenians left in Eastern Anatolia. He told Morgenthau that the policies now belonged to the state. He told Morgenthau that as a Jew he should not be concerned about the Armenians, forgetting that Morgenthau was a representative of the US government.

Report this

By Kadir, January 3, 2007 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote: “ethnic cleansing:
–noun the elimination of an unwanted ethnic group or groups from a society, as by genocide or forced emigration.”

You proved my point actually, thanks. It says “OR genocide” which does not mean that every ethnic cleansing is done through genocide. Emrehan explained well the conditions which lead to ethnic cleansing of Armenians: Relocation, ethnic conflicts, emigration.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, January 3, 2007 at 1:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan,

You missed my family. They were among the remaining ones, who were among the most loyal to the Ottomans, honored by the Sultans. Yet their families were still obliterated, even though they were not very much liked by the Dashnaks or Hunchaks.

There is the hole in your argument, the majority of the Dashnak and Hunchak leaders lived and died long after 1915, while those loyal to the state were killed. The governor who ordered my great-grandfather and grandfather killed considered Armenians to be microbes.

Report this

By Rich, January 2, 2007 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kader wrote:

“Anyway, ethnic cleansing and genocide are different things.”

—————

ethnic cleansing:
–noun the elimination of an unwanted ethnic group or groups from a society, as by genocide or forced emigration.

[Origin: 1985–90]
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

————-

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, January 2, 2007 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Whitewashed History;

I’ve been reading the weblink you provided, supposedly containing biographies of “survivors.”

Dude, of the so-called “survivors” on that website, over 80% of them are either Hunchak or Dashnak revolutionaries, many of which took up arms against the Ottomans PRIOR to 1915, and openly engaged in insurgencies against the Ottoman Empire.

Here is a sampling:

AGHASI (Karapet Tursargisian)
Leading Hunchak; most significant leader of the battle against the Turkish forces in October–November 1895.

AGHBALIAN, NIKOL
Participated in 8th Dashnak party congress, Erzerum, 1914. Member of Armenian National Council 1914–15; also one of the organisers of the Armenian volunteer forces.

ANDRANIK (Ozanian), General
Began revolutionary activity in Sivas province in 1888. Joined the Dashnak party in 1892…Soon identified himself with the Macedonian struggle; led a troop of 230 Armenian volunteers in the First Balkan war, 1912…
[They go on with more details of battles with Turks, this Andranik is infamous for his massacres against Turks]

ARAPO (c. 1863–93) Fedayi active in Bitlis–Sasun region before Sasun revolt. Sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour; escaped from Bitlis jail. Organised villagers against Kurdish aghas and Ottoman tax-collectors. Killed in a skirmish in valley of Kyali-sor.

ARMEN GARO (Garegin Pasdermadjian)
Joined Dashnak party 1895. Participated in seizure of Ottoman Bank, Constantinople, 1896.  Returned to Erzerum after Ottoman constitution of 1908; elected a deputy in the Ottoman Parliament. Quitted Ottoman empire on outbreak of war; helped establish Russian–Armenian volunteer units…Took part in organising assassinations of Turkish leaders in 1921–2.
[Talk about treason, here is a prime example!]

DUMAN, NIKOL
Joined the Dashnak party. To Tabriz in 1891, ostensibly as a teacher but with the real intention of becoming a revolutionary. To Salmas in 1893; led a band of 50 men against Van in 1895, having several dust-ups with Kurds en route. Returning (May 1896) there were more skirmishes…Established a new guerrilla group in Persia in 1904, with the intention of going to Sasun; stopped at the border…Failed in a suicide attempt; died in Baku, September 1914.

SMBAT (S. Baroyan) (Moush 1882 – Yerevan 1955) Early engagement in guerrilla activity against Turks. Became a Dashnak fedayi, joined the Vardanantz group when aged 15. Served under Andranik at Arakelotz Vank and in the 1904 Sasun rebellion. Then to Persia with Andranik and Kaidsak Arakel; fought at Urmia and Khoy. In Transcaucasia during the 1905 Armeno-Tatar wars; fought under Nikol Duman at Yerevan and Kamarlu (modern Artashat). Returned to Moush after the constitutional revolution of 1908. A member of Andranik’s troops in 1914; took part in the battle of Diliman (Shahpur), April 1915…

Even General Dro, like Andranik, infamous for his atrocities against Turks, is on this list…

So these life-long revolutionaries and rebels are who I am supposed to sympathize with as “survivors” and “victims” ???

You’ve got to be kidding me…

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, January 2, 2007 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Rich;

I believe my statement has been misunderstood again.  When I say, ““At some point, the Armenian community is going to have to throw out the Dashnak elements, ideology, and mythology of their society…”

I am referring to the fact that most Armenians I talk to are completely misinformed and misled about certain basic facts of history, which I’ve listed in my previous post.  Eg.  Armenians being a minority, there being a substantial movement for independence (not just civil liberties);  collusion with invading armies;  massacres of Turks, etc…

In previous posts, I have already provided many foreign sources which corroborate my statements on these points.

The Dashnaks are in power in Armenia, and they have many organizations in America, such as Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Youth Federation, and others in California, etc.

The Dashnaks have formed the nucleous of thought, and propaganda among the Diaspora Armenian populatation.  Yet these Dashnaks are the same ones who massacred Turks, organized the Armenian rebellions with support from Europe, and instigated the violence in the first place.

Do you really think they are going to share with the Armenian community their dirt, and fess up?  Of course not.  For decades they’ve been spreading their own version of history, deceiving Armenians on even the very basic facts (I’m not even dealing with the genocide accusations yet, I am talking about background facts).  And this is why there is such a huge divide.  Indeed, it was the Armenian revolutionaries who submitted to Europe the forged documents so that they could achieve their own political aims in Paris and Sevres…

What I am saying is that until the Armenian community can take a look at itself, and separate the true facts from their own propaganda, which run contrary to even foreign historian’s publications, we will get nowhere…

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, January 2, 2007 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Whitewashed History;

First of all, thanks for the link.  I have read some accounts of Armenians before, and I will take a look at the link you provided.

Unfortunately, pretty much all of the Turkish memoirs that recount first hand accounts of what Turkish families suffered through during that period is in Turkish.  However, for an academic treatment, if you are interested I recommend you read Justin McCarthy’s “Death and Exile:  The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims”;  Stanford Shaw’s “From Empire to Republic:  The Turkish War of Liberation”; and Robert Zeidner’s “The Tricolor over the Taurus”.

You wrote:  “If I listed the books you want, that would point to my identity.”

Ok, I understand.

You wrote:  “To paraphrase Hrant Dink “There are almost no Armenians in Eastern Anatolia today.” The mission was accomplished!” “

It is true that there are few Armenians in Eastern Anatolia today, but why?  Hrant Dink and other Armenians, such as yourself, imply that this is because of genocide.  What you are overlooking, is the historical fact that in mid 1918, the same Young Turk regime that ordered the relocations, reversed their order and began systematically BRINGING ARMENIANS BACK to their former homes, this time reversing the direction of the caravans, and escorting Armenians back to their old homes, EVICTING ANY MUSLIMS who may have taken them over.

In fact, many did return, however, conflicts arose between the local Turkish and Armenian populations.  Some Armenians tried to take matters into their own hands, and forcibly reposses their old homes.  If they found their old homes destroyed, they would try to grab the nearby home, even if the title belonged to someone else.  And many other problems, especially if the Muslim did not want to relinquish their new home.  For example, many of the Turks who took over those homes were themselves refugees driven out from the Balkans.

Armenians and Turks were not able to co-exist.

Many Armenians thus chose of their own will to immigrate to other countries.  As an example, take the Armenians of Musa Dagh, who fled on a French ship and eventually returned to their homes in Hatay, which was ruled by France after the war.  When France turned over Hatay to Turkey, many chose to immigrate.  Those who stayed are still living there today near Musa Dagh.

The subsequent clashes in Eastern Anatolia between Armenian militias and the Turkish resistance (not to be confused with the Ottoman army) also caused Armenians to, of their own volition, leave.  Many Turks also fled that region during this period of fighting.  A friend of mine from Kars had all his family killed by Armenians save his grandfather, who as a child was able to flee to safety in Sivas, in the interior.  His grandfather never returned to Kars.

Thus, the fact that there are few Armenians in Turkey cannot be attributed to government policy.  After the relocations, Armenians were free to return;  many did, but then left again once intercommunal violence flared up.

I would also like to point out that during this period, nationalism caused many problems in terms of “dividing up” ethnically mixed regions.  I have already mentioned the Balkans and Caucasus;  Turks in Crete were also killed and driven out, as well as those in other areas re-conquered by Christians.  The Armenian case in this regard is not unique.  Unfortunately, ethnic cleansing happened in many locations.

While such history is painful - to all those involved - we should be careful in ascribing blame, and not fanning the flames by describing events with wrong terms.  What happened was not genocide.  In today’s lingo, it would be called ethnic cleansing ( to which there were many contributing factors, the relocation orders being just ONE of MANY factors that caused the Armenians population in Eastern Anatolia to dwindle ).  Furthermore, both Turks and Armenians were victims of ethnic cleansing during this period.

Report this

By Kadir, January 2, 2007 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WWH wrote: “To paraphrase Hrant Dink “There are almost no Armenians in Eastern Anatolia today.” The mission was accomplished!” “

I don’t think anybody questions this. If you claim Ottoman Empire commited ethnic cleansing, yes she did. There are some factors that led to this but if the Armenian claims were just this, I would think that Turkey would be willing to negotiate with the survivors and get to a settlement where a fair portion of what people lost in those days are compensated. This is never done to the Turks that were ethnically cleansed from Balkans or middle east but it shouldn’t stop Turkey from doing the right thing. I have no idea how a settlement can be reached but probably if both sides try, we can meet in the middle…

Anyway, ethnic cleansing and genocide are different things. And it was the WW1 times with a lot of internal/external conflicts. You should look at the countries who provoked Armenians to rebel against Ottoman Empire. You should take into effect also that many of the things that was written in those times were war propaganda (like the famous blue book of England).

Report this

By Rich, January 2, 2007 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emerhan wrote:

“At some point, the Armenian community is going to have to throw out the Dashnak elements, ideology, and mythology of their society…”

I’m not sure if you realize but the international community on this subject are not comprized of the organizations, ideology, mythology you describe above.

It is a much wider scope then Armenian, and non-Armenian, Turkish, and non-Turkish.

The Armenian genocide is a human rights issue that effects everyone in the international community even the willing, and unknowing deniers are victims as well.

So you see I am acting on behalf of your self-interests as well.

Report this

By Rich, January 2, 2007 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Part VI.

Concluding Comments: Scholars and Truth

Scholarship is, or should be, a quest for truth. What scholars write and say in that quest matters a great deal. Directly or indirectly, our words contribute to a shared consciousness—to the constellation of beliefs that a
society forms in connection with issues of any kind. Scholars’ contributions to that shared consciousness become especially important in relation to a society’s struggles with large, disturbing, and threatening historical events.

Nowhere is scholarly research and commentary more significant than in connection with genocide. Here the scope of mass murder and the depth of its moral violation defy understanding and arouse every kind of confusion, whether
in the form of diffuse passions or resistance to painful evidence. Careful scholarly evaluation can hardly eliminate these confusions, but it can
diminish them in favor of reasoned nterpretation and the channeling of
passion into constructive policy. Generally speaking, the extremity of human harm brought about by genocide raises the stakes of scholarly commentary.

Where scholars deny genocide, in the face of decisive evidence that it has occurred, they contribute to a false consciousness that can have the most dire reverberations. Their message, in effect, is: murderers did not really murder; victims were not really killed; mass murder requires no confrontation, no
reflection, but should be ignored, glossed over. In this way scholars lend their considerable authority to the acceptance of this ultimate human crime. More than that, they encourage—indeed invite—a repetition of that crime
from virtually any source in the immediate or distant future. By closing their
minds to truth, that is, such scholars contribute to the deadly psychohistorical dynamic in which unopposed genocide begets new genocides.

Those of us who wish to be true to our scholarly calling have a clear obligation here. We must first expose this form of denial. At the same time we must ourselves bear witness to historical truths—to the full narrative of
mass murder and human suffering. To be witnessing professionals in this way
requires that we take in grim details so that we can tell the story with accuracy and insight. It is a task to which we must bring both heart and mind, an approach that combines advocacy and detachment. We require sufficient
detachment to maintain rigorous intellectual standards in evaluating evidence
and drawing conclusions. At the same time our moral advocacy should require us
to open ourselves to suffering as a way of taking a stand against cruelty and
killing, whatever its source.

Report this

By Kadir, January 2, 2007 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich,

You guys talked among yourselves in the absence of Turks and decided that Turks were guilty and now you claim that people who deny the genocide claims are one or more of those things you mention in your posts below. This is not like denying the world is spherical (even though some people do it still grin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth_Society).

There is a legitimate discussion going on. We came into the discussion a little late but this does not make us wrong. You were brought up with the stories that you believe now so there is no way that you can be objective in this matter. I am not saying your stories are wrong but they are half-truths. Of course your relatives will not tell you how the Armenian bandits killed the Muslims.

The fact is that you have no proof that shows direct government decision to *kill* Armenians. Some officials did that but it was not the orders from Istanbul. And many of those officials were hanged for not obeying the orders. Your most important evidence, the Talat Pasha telegrams turned out to be forgeries. Many Armenian claims about the number of dead are exaggerated. Many Armenians deny that there were armed Armenian groups in Anatolia at the time trying to gain independence. You also look over the fact that Britain prosecuted Ottoman officials for genocide when all the Ottoman archives were open to them and Britain does not recognize genocide claims.

If you don’t keep your accusations fair, you will get nowhere.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, January 2, 2007 at 8:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dodging the real issues again, are we Rich?  You really are incredible. 

You deny Turkish mass graves of Turks killed by Armenians, instead blaming the Ottomans for that as well; 

you deny Armenian independence movement, their collusion with Allied armies; 

you deny Armenian atrocities; 

you deny that Armenian population was a minority;

you refuse to discuss any of the history, obviously dodging my points made about the fabricated Talat Pasha telegrams.

You call even American archival documents “Turkish propaganda”, and call anyone who contests anything Armenians say “genocide deniers.”  -  I guess that is your way of not confronting the facts I’ve presented here in this forum.  Unfortunately, if there is ever to be Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, these are facts that the Armenian community is going to have to deal with.  At some point, the Armenian community is going to have to throw out the Dashnak elements, ideology, and mythology of their society…

And yet you speak of “dialogue” and how you are supposedly so “open to other ideas.” 

Sure…

Take care buddy, it’s clear that you are really not interested in dialogue with Turks, merely regurgitating what you’ve been indoctrinated with.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, January 2, 2007 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan,

OK, here is a link to peruse:

http://armenia-survival.50megs.com/Survival_Biographies.htm

Report this

By Whitewashed History, January 2, 2007 at 5:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan,

Bottom line!

To paraphrase Hrant Dink “There are almost no Armenians in Eastern Anatolia today.” The mission was accomplished!”

If I listed the books you want, that would point to my identity, something that I am not ready to do given the current elevation of emotions related to this subject on both sides of the argument.

Report this

By Rich, January 2, 2007 at 1:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Part VI.

Concluding Comments: Scholars and Truth

Scholarship is, or should be, a quest for truth. What scholars write and say in that quest matters a great deal. Directly or indirectly, our words contribute to a shared consciousness—to the constellation of beliefs that a
society forms in connection with issues of any kind. Scholars’ contributions to that shared consciousness become especially important in relation to a society’s struggles with large, disturbing, and threatening historical events.

Nowhere is scholarly research and commentary more significant than in connection with genocide. Here the scope of mass murder and the depth of its moral violation defy understanding and arouse every kind of confusion, whether
in the form of diffuse passions or resistance to painful evidence. Careful scholarly evaluation can hardly eliminate these confusions, but it can
diminish them in favor of reasoned interpretation and the channeling of
passion into constructive policy. Generally speaking, the extremity of human harm brought about by genocide raises the stakes of scholarly commentary.

Where scholars deny genocide, in the face of decisive evidence that it has occurred, they contribute to a false consciousness that can have the most dire reverberations. Their message, in effect, is: murderers did not really murder; victims were not really killed; mass murder requires no confrontation, no
reflection, but should be ignored, glossed over. In this way scholars lend their considerable authority to the acceptance of this ultimate human crime. More than that, they encourage—indeed invite—a repetition of that crime
from virtually any source in the immediate or distant future. By closing their
minds to truth, that is, such scholars contribute to the deadly psychohistorical dynamic in which unopposed genocide begets new genocides.

Those of us who wish to be true to our scholarly calling have a clear obligation here. We must first expose this form of denial. At the same time we must ourselves bear witness to historical truths—to the full narrative of
mass murder and human suffering. To be witnessing professionals in this way
requires that we take in grim details so that we can tell the story with accuracy and insight. It is a task to which we must bring both heart and mind, an approach that combines advocacy and detachment. We require sufficient
detachment to maintain rigorous intellectual standards in evaluating evidence
and drawing conclusions. At the same time our moral advocacy should require us
to open ourselves to suffering as a way of taking a stand against cruelty and
killing, whatever its source.

Report this

By Rich, January 1, 2007 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Part V.

Careerism, Power, Knowledge

“Careerism” is a complicated phenomenon, but for our purposes we would identify two (non-exclusive) forms that it may take: one that is oriented more toward material goals, and one that involves more the satisfactions that go
with power. Both share the “thoughtlessness” that Hannah Arendt saw as the essence of the “banality of evils”: an imaginative blindness that prevents one from reflecting upon the consequences of one’s actions. [13] But elsewhere Arendt also speaks of a “willed evil,” and the second type of careerism is not
far removed from this: not simply the obliviousness to hurt, but the
infliction of hurt. [14]

Intellectuals who engage in the denial of genocide may be motivated in part by either type of careerism, or by both. The more insidious form, however, is the second type of careerism. Here material rewards are important, but more so,
the opportunity for certain psychological and social satisfactions: a sense of importance, of status, of being in control, all of which can come through identification with power, something we believe we have shown in the
memorandum we have analyzed. The price for intellect in the service of denial,
however, is a particular conception of knowledge, one in which knowledge not
only serves the ends of those in power, but is defined by power But to define
truth in terms of power is to reveal the bankruptcy, irrationality, and above
all, danger, of the whole enterprise of denial of genocide. Inherent in such
a view of knowledge is both a deep-seated nihilism and an urge to tyranny.

notes:

13. Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil,
revised and enlarged edition (New York: The Viking Press, 1964), pp. 49,
278-88.

14. Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1958), pp. 239-40.

Report this

By Rich, January 1, 2007 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Part IV.

Ideology, Bigotry and the Denial of the Holocaust

Scholars who have analyzed deniers of the Holocaust have concluded that they are primarily motivated by ideology. Thus, Vidal-Naquet, in his examination of Faurisson and other French “revisionists,” asserts that “all revisionists are resolute anti-Zionists.” [10] Similarly, on the basis of her even more
comprehensive survey of Holocaust deniers, Lipstadt concludes that “it is clear that deniers have no interest in scholarship or reason. Most are antisemites or bigots.” [11]

These answers are no doubt correct, but they are incomplete. It may be that all revisionists are anti-Zionists, but there are surely anti-Zionists (some of them Jewish) who do not deny the reality of the Holocaust. Similarly, there
are people who are highly antisemitic, but are well aware that the Holocaust took place.

Intellectual Confusion, Rationalization

Clues to the thinking of academics who question the reality of the Armenian genocide have been provided by Israel Charny and his colleague Daphna Fromer, who sent questionnaires to sixty-nine scholars who signed an advertisement
which, in the words of Charny and romer, “questioned insidiously the evidence
of the Armenian genocide” and appeared in several newspapers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. [12] In analyzing the comments of the seventeen scholars who provided “active responses” to their mailing, Charny and Fromer discerned a number of “thinking defense-mechanisms” that enabled
the scholars to engage in “the denial of genocide.” These mechanisms included
what the authors term “scientificism in the service of denial,” i.e., the claim that not enough empirical evidence is available to justify an unequivocal position on the reality of the genocide; and “definitionalism,”
i.e., acknowledging deaths, but denying that they were the result of “genocide,” thus shifting responsibility for the genocide away from the Turkish government and trivializing the killing of over a million Armenians as
the inadvertent result of famine, war, and disease.

Whether anyone is led into denial by such reasoning is an open question, but such thinking does serve to make denial easier thereafter, while, at the same time, it preserves the appearance of objectivity.

notes:

10.Ibid.,p. 87.

11Deborah E. Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust, p. 206.

12.Israel W. Charny and Daphna Fromer, “A Follow-up of the Sixty-Nine
Scholars Who Signed an Advertisement Questioning the Armenian Genocide,”
Internet on the Holocaust and Genocide, Special Double Issue 25/26 (April
1990), pp. 6-7.

Report this

By Rich, January 1, 2007 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Part III.

...A number of scholars have argued, in fact, that the deliberate denial of a known genocide is a harmful act that deserves to be included in the same moral domain with indirect and direct contributions to the actual genocides. Thus,
Charny states that “Denials of genocide make no sense unless one sees in them renewed opportunities for the same passions, meanings, and pleasures that were at work in the genocide itself, now revived in symbolic processes of murdering the dignity of the survivors, rationality, dignity, and even history itself’
(emphasis in original). [7] Indeed, denial may be thought of as the last stage of genocide, one that continues into the present. A kind of double
killing takes place: first the physical deed, followed by the destruction of remembrance of the deed.

Historian (and Holocaust survivor) Erich Kulka regards the denial of genocide as an offense in its own right, asserting that “Attempts to rewrite Holocaust history on the pretext of ‘revisionism,’ aided by scholars with academic
backgrounds, must be viewed as intellectual aggression,” a repetition in thought of what was enacted earlier as physical deed. [8] In his recent book on denial of the Holocaust, Pierre Vidal-Naquet characterizes Robert Faurisson, whose “scholarly” denials of the Holocaust have been widely disseminated, as a “paper Eichmann.” [9]

We concur with Charny, Kulka, and Vidal-Naquet in regarding denial of genocide as an egregious offense that warrants being regarded as a form of contribution to genocidal violence. Denial contributes to genocide in at least two ways.
First of all, genocide does not end with its last human victim; denial continues the process. But if such denial points to the past and the present, it also has implications for the future. For by absolving the perpetrators of
past genocides from responsibility for their actions and by obscuring the reality of genocide as a widely practiced form of state policy in the modern world, denial may increase the risk of future outbreaks of genocidal killing.

Why Might Intellectuals Engage in the Denial of Known Genocides?

There are several possible motivations for denial of genocide, and these can be complex. The motivations to which we would call attention include: self- serving ideology, bigotry, intellectual confusion, careerism, identification
with power, and a particular conception of knowledge. It seems unlikely, however, that denial rests only on one of these motivations; moreover, the particular combinations of motivations may vary with individuals. Also, what
prompts denial may vary with different examples of genocide: anti-Zionism, for example, may help explain denial of the Holocaust, but in terms of its content tells us nothing about why the Armenian genocide has been denied. On the other
hand, if we focus not on the content of the motivation, but on its form (ideology) and goals (political and psychological purposes), then the
motivations for denial in these two cases may have more in common than appear at first glance.

notes:

6 Israel W. Charny, “The Psychology of Denial of Known Genocides,” in
Charny, ed., Genocide, 2:23.

7.Ibid., p. 18.

8.Erich Kulka, “Denial of the Holocaust,” in Charny, ed., Genocide, 2:57.

9.Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the
Holocaust (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), p. 57.

Report this

By Rich, January 1, 2007 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Part II.

notes continued:

1. Herbert
Hirsch, “Nazi Education: A Case of Political Socialization,” Educational
Forum, 53:1 (1988), pp. 63-16; Robert Jay Lifton, The Nazi Doctors: Medical
Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 1986); Ingo
Muller, Hitler’s Justice: The Courts of the Third Reich, trans., Deborah Lucas
Schneider (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991); Benno Muller-Hill,
Murderous Science: Elimination by Scientific Selection of Jews, Gypsies, and
Others, Germany 1933-1945 (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1988); Robert Proctor, Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis (Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1988); Gunter W. Remmling, “Discrimination,
Persecution, Theft, and Murder Under Color of Law: The Totalitarian
Corruption of the German Legal System, 1933-1945,” in Isidor Wallimann and
Michael N. Dobkowski, eds., Genocide and the Modern Age: Etiology and Case
Studies of Mass Death (Westport, CT, and London: Greenwood Press, 1987), Ch.
10; Telford Taylor, “The Legal Profession,” in Henry Friedlander and Sybil
Milton, eds., The Holocaust: Ideology, Bureaucracy, and Genocide (Millwood,
NY: Kraus International Publications, 1980), pp. 133-140; and Max Weinreich,
Hitler’s Professors: The Part of Scholarship in Germany’s Crimes Against the
Jewish People (New York: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 1946).

...If highly educated academics and professionals have been able to repudiate their ethical codes and serve as accomplices and
perpetrators of actual genocides, it is likely that they would be even more able to engage in an activity in which no one is killed.

It would be a mistake, however, to underestimate the serious harm caused by denial of genocide, particularly denial wrapped in the guise of legitimate scholarship. In this section, we examine the harm done by pseudo-scholarly
denial of known genocides and consider the assertion, put forth by some scholars, that deliberate denial is a form of aggression that ought to be regarded as a contribution to genocidal violence in its own right. Then we
briefly address the question of what might motivate academics to make a career
out of denial of genocide.

Some of the ways in which denial of genocide causes “violence to others” have identified by Israel W. Charny in his essay on “The Psychology of Denial of Known Genocides,” in which he emphasizes that denial conceals the horror of
the crimes and exonerates those responsible for it. [2] This point is echoed by Deborah Lipstadt, who, in her recent book on denial of the Holocaust, writes that “Denial aims to reshape history in order to rehabilitate the
perpetrators and demonize the victims.” [3] Denial also, according to Charny, “attacks the historical spirit and morale” of the survivors and the descendants of those killed and places “further burdens on their recovery.”
[4] In short, denial prevents healing of the wounds inflicted by genocide. [5] Furthermore, it constitutes an “attack on the collective identity and national cultural continuity of the victim people.” [6]

notes:

2. Israel W. Charny, “The Psychology of Denial of Known Genocides,” in
Charny, ed., Genocide, 2:23.

3. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth
and Memory (New York: The Free Press, 1993), p. 217.

4 Israel W. Charny, “The Psychology of Denial of Known Genocides,” in
Charny, ed., Genocide, 2:22.

5.See, for example, Levon Boyajian and Haigaz Grigorian, “Psychological
Sequelae of the Armenian Genocide,” in Hovannisian, ed., The Armenian Genocide
in Perspective, Ch. 10, and Miller, Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian
Genocide, Ch. 8.

6 Israel W. Charny, “The Psychology of Denial of Known Genocides,” in
Charny, ed., Genocide, 2:23.

Report this

By Rich, January 1, 2007 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Part. I.

Starting off our new year and possibly going into our next I wanted to delve into the various reasons of Armenian genocide denial. The main dialoge that we have thus engaged in revolves around the scholarship of legitimacy of the Armenian genocide and attempts to repudiate it through denial. I find it appropriate to give the opportunity to our readers the various reasons why the latest form of denial are takening place. Here is a compilation of information I have sourced to inform truthdig readers as to the reasons of Armenian genocide denial.

(Please note: I needed to section off my posts due to the volume of information therefore I have posted them in parts ranging from roman numerals I. II. III., etc…)


The Harmfulness of Genocide Denial

We should not be surprised by instances of what many would consider to be inappropriate use of academic credentials and skills, since, after all, academics and professionals have contributed in direct ways to genocidal
killing projects, including the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust. They have
done so by lending their talents and prestige to racist, victimizing ideologies that are central features of many genocides, by helping to create
and administer the policies and technologies of mass killing, and by actually engaging in the killing. [1]

notes:

1. For a survey of the roles of several] professions in the Holocaust and
other eases of genocidal killing, see Eric Markusen, “Professions,
Professionals, and Genocide,” in Charny, ed., Genocide, 2:264-98. With few
exceptions, studies of the role of specific professions in genocide
focus on the Holocaust; but see the path-breaking article by Vahakn N.
Dadrian, “The Role of Turkish Physicians in the World War I Genocide of the
Ottoman Armenians,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1:2 (1986), pp. 169-92.
On the involvement of various professions in the Holocaust, see, among others,
Omer Bartov, The Eastern Front, 1941-45: German Troops and the Barbarisation
of Warfare (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986) and Hitler’s Army: Soldiers,
Nazis, and War in the Third Reich (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991);
Alan D. Beyerehen, Scientists Under Hitler: Politics and the Physics
Community in the Third Reich (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1977);
Christopher R. Browning, The Final Solution and the German Foreign Office: A
Study of Referat D III of Abteilung Deutschland, 1940-1943 (New York: Holmes
& Meier, 1977) and “Genocide and Public Health: German Doctors and Polish
Jews, 1939-41,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 3:1 (1988), pp. 21-36; Michael
H. Kater, Doctors Under Hitler (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Press, 1989); Peter Hayes, Industry and Ideology: 1. G. Farben in the Nazi
Era (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987);

Report this

By Kadir, January 1, 2007 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most of the references I and Emrehan made were from non-Turkish sources. So, the academic freedom in Turkey right now does not have any relevance to the discussions of whether the events of 1915 were genocide or not.

I think Turks and Armenians should talk more. There were a lot of going back and forth in our conversations but among them, I was able to see real feelings of pain in WWH and Rich which still is alive. I wasn’t able to understand this before. I was thinking Armenians were all sick to keep going on and on about the events of 1915. It makes more sense now. I think a closure will be good for both Armenians and Turks. We should keep on talking. We should talk directly. Armenians have more power then Turks in foreign countries. Of course it looks very logical to you to use this power. But when you put third parties in discussions, you eliminate the chance of mutual understanding. When non-Armenian people become your advocates, whatever they say, they can not touch hearts of Turkish people. They only will make Turkish Armenian divide more. When Turkey is attacked again and again by French, Dutch and any other European country whose past is definetely much more bloody then Turks, we feel adgitated. We feel angry that we don’t care about what happened to WWH’s or Rich’s ancestors.

I see no way that Turkey will ever accept claims of genocide while there are many Turks/Kurds in Turkey whose ancestors were killed by Armenians/Russians/Greeks/Bulgarians/Europeans. But I can definetely see Turkish people to be able to understand your feelings and feel your pain together with all that others who suffered. It will only be then that we will have a closure. The pressures of EU will never solve this.

As sides argue, they usually become more seperated at the end. We can see this in some Armenians who claim 1.5 million were killed (the real number seems to be 600,000) or in Turks who say 50,000 Armenians were killed. When you look at all that was going on in that time, I don’t see it is fair to put all the blame on Turks. It is not fair to deny that Armenians suffered a lot and Ottoman Empire was responsible for it. But you have to put the blame fairly. It was not genocide. It was relocation executed very poorly.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, January 1, 2007 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Rich;

Let me please remind you how we got into this discussion:  I had mentioned many western historians who disagreed with Armenian claims, and you said that they supposedly only wrote that way because of wanting to be politically correct.

I then wrote that because of the attacks of the Armenian lobby, aimed at ruining that historian’s career, suppressing publications, and laws like the French law, it actually takes more courage to say Armenians are wrong, than the other way around.

So, in fact, we are not here discussing the Turkish government, Orhan Pamuk, Elif Shafak, or anything else.  The Turkish laws have not limited Dadrian, or any other pro-Armenian historian from saying what they wish.  On the other hand, in the West, historians are under pressure to go along with Armenian views, contrary views are suppressed, and YES the French law is the best example of this.

You wrote:  “Becasue they are not “historians” does not mean they can not conduct comprehenisive research.”

True, however, Orhan Pamuk has not conducted research on this subject, he just has a nice clip accusing Turkey of genocide.  And I doubt that Elif Shafak has done any new, conclusive research either. 

Regardless of who the person is, the important thing is on what they base their assertions.  If the sources are flawed, then the conclusions will be wrong.  This is something that even some pro-Armenian historians in Turkey have fallen victim to.

For example, Baskin Oran once mentioned a particular document from the Ottoman archives as “proof” of his views.  Now, Baskin Oran does not know Ottoman Turkish.  When Yusuf Halacoglu (who does know how to read the Ottoman script) pulled up the archive in question, and read outloud to Baskin Oran what it said, it was clear that the mentioned document had nothing to do with genocide, massacres, or anything.

This is ignorance.  It means that some people are expressing views without really truly knowing the subject they are speaking about.

And as far as Taner Akcam is concerned:  he was convicted in Turkey for being a member of the communist terrorist group, Dev-Sol.  That is a fact - that he escaped from prison and remade himself as a historian, was discovered by Dadrian, and began work in Dadrian’s Zoryan Institute is also a fact.  In my view, Akcam offers nothing new to the debate that Dadrian has not already published.  Same flaws, same logic.

My problem with him is the same as Dadrian - using as sources documents of dubious authenticity, documents which were not even admissible in courts of law.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, January 1, 2007 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Whitewashed History:

I am not sure where you get the idea that I am not comfortable talking to someone with “your approach” - (whatever that is, I didn’t realize that Rich was following a “standard” script, and that you were “unique”.  I am merely replying with my thoughts about what you write.)

You mentioned that you learned about your family from books - would you mind telling me the title/author of these books.  I’d be interesting in reading them.

As far as my conversation with Rich is concerned;  I actually am not too pleased with the discourse, because we are talking about everything BUT what really needs to be discussed, namely, the history and what our peoples (Armenian and Turk) lived through.

Interestingly, every time I mention something specific about the history - the most recent example being the Talat pasha telegram forgeries - Rich continues with anti-Turkish discourse focused on current politics, diverting from the main subject. 

That is his choice;  however, if you’re asking my preference, no, I’d rather discuss things scientifically, citing sources, trying to ascertain exactly what’s going on.  Because it is only through such discussions that we can bridge the divide between Armenians and Turks.  Instead, I find myself constantly being insulted and accused of “government propaganda” and so forth.  Which is not only incorrect, but unproductive.

Report this

By Rich, January 1, 2007 at 2:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emerhan,

I would not be quick to discount academics who study history. Becasue they are not “historians” does not mean they can not conduct comprehenisive research.

Also the Turkish scholars you mentioned such as Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak are part of the international public discussion of the Armenian genocide, enough to where the Turkish press and government is attacking them.

They are intellectuals and have the public’s ear whether people choose to except it or not, is another story.

Adding to the lists as I mentioned in my previous post was Taner Akcam a sociologist and historian as his biography describes. I believe you also called him a “poster boy” in a previous post somewhere. Also decrediting him as a terrorist, but not supprisingly he is free to walk freely in the Universities in America and Germany.

Emerhan wrote:

“...Turkey needs to improve in this area, does not mean that the historial arguments being put forth is false.  You need to separate this issue, from the historical issues being discussed.”

I think somewhere in our posts we lost the point that I was trying to make. The atmosphere in Turkey is not condusive to scholarly research of people who appose Turkey’s policies, citing 301 as an example.

The point is the issues that need to be discussed, researched, is hardly possible geven the attitude of self critisism in Turkey.

Your mentioning Frances laws is off the subject we are talking about the Turkish government, and not the Christianization, of anything else either.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 31, 2006 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan,

I see that you are much more comfortable with the standard Armenian approach of Rich than you are with my approach. I knew little of my Armenian background until I was in college. I learned about how prominent my family was from books, as my parents had been traumatized and desperately wanted to forget their childhood and to not pass on their pain to their children. I see things somewhat differently than most Armenians. I guess that you are more comfortable with the standard back and forth volley between Turks and Armenians that is eluciated more closely by Rich.

Report this

By Rich, December 31, 2006 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a recent article to further substantiate my comments that Turkey is not ready for self critisism.

With hope this will change.


Associated Press
Dec 31 2006

Academic in Trouble for Ataturk Speech


By SUZAN FRASER
Associated Press Writer

When political science professor Atilla Yayla questioned the legacy of the revered founder of modern Turkey, nationalists called him a
traitor and his university suspended him.

Yayla said he was punished for shattering a taboo: daring to criticize Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a leader so idolized that his
portrait hangs in all government offices, life stops for a minute every year on the anniversary of his death 68 years ago, and his ideas are still the republic’s most sacred principles.

“There was a lynching campaign against me,” Yayla recalled recently in his office surrounded by books on liberal thought.

In a Nov. 18 speech, Yayla said that the era of one-party rule under Ataturk, from 1925 to 1945, was not as progressive as the official
ideology would have Turks believe but was “regressive in some respects.”

The uproar that ensued shows how Turkish universities, most of them state-controlled, are not always places where ideas float freely.
Anyone deviating from the set of principles inspired by Ataturk and closely guarded by the military, bureaucracy and judiciary, is
chastised and, in some cases, fired.

Ataturk was a soldier and statesman who founded secular and Westward-looking Turkey from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923.

He set about on a series of secular reforms that imposed Western laws, replaced Arabic script with the Latin alphabet, banned Islamic
dress and granted women the right to vote. The country he founded is frequently held up as an example that democracy can exist in a
predominantly Muslim country.

“As an academic, I must be free to think, to search and share findings,” Yayla, 50, said in an interview at the Ankara-based Association for Liberal Thinking, an organization he co-founded in 1994. “If Turkey wants to be a civilized country, academics must be able to scientifically criticize and evaluate Ataturk’s ideas.”

Yayla’s ordeal is a reminder of how Turkey is still grappling with ensuring basic freedoms - one of the main problems it must address if
it wants to realize its ambition of joining the European Union.

Many European observers think academic and artistic freedoms still clash too often with patriotic rhetoric. Novelist Orhan Pamuk, before
winning the 2006 Nobel Prize for literature, stood trial for “insulting Turkishness” after telling a Swiss newspaper that 1 million Armenians were killed on Turkish territory in the early 20th century. Turkish authorities say the number is greatly inflated and often cited out of the context of the violence surrounding the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

The trial, like many of its kind, was dismissed on a technicality.

Another writer was recently charged with insulting Ataturk because he wrote that the leader fled an assassination attempt dressed in
women’s clothing.

Yayla has insisted he was not insulting Ataturk but questioning the rigid way some followers interpret his principles.

“Some people have created a cult of Ataturk, but by doing this, what they want to do is not to revere Ataturk but rather to ... give themselves an undisputed position in political life,” he said. “That is what I cannot accept.”

Gazi University’s chancellor, Kadri Yamac, bowed to public pressure and temporarily removed Yayla from his teaching post pending the outcome of an investigation, saying a professor “does not have to like Ataturk but I cannot allow a person who is opposed to the republic’s main principles to educate students.”

The professor also has his supporters. Academics have signed a petition to have him reinstated. A group of protesters wearing masks bearing Yayla’s image sent the university chancellor a parcel containing sticky tape - to “gag professors.”

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 31, 2006 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Rich;  I believe you have misunderstood some of my previous remarks, and therefore made some responses that don’t really correspond to the point I was trying to make.  Hopefully, I can clarify.

You wrote:  “Emerhan your broad generalized response painting all those who contradict or oppose Turkey’s Armenian genocide denialist polices as “not historians”...”

I did not say that all those that oppose Turkey’s position are not historians.  Writers such Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak are not historians, and these are who I am calling “poster boys.”

You wrote:  “...gives the impression that you reject what they have written.”

I don’t reject anyone’s writing based on whether they are Armenian or Turkish, rather I look at the sources on which they base their writings.  My chief problem which much of the literature that claims the events were a genocide is that they rely on dubiously sourced documents;  especially the Talat Pasha telegrams you have previously referred to, have been shown to be forgeries, fake documents whose originals have mysteriously disappeared after being purchased from a drunken and destitute man.

These documents were so questioned in terms of sources that they were not even admitted into evidence in the Malta Trials or the trial of Talat Pasha’s assassin.  Yet, Armenian historians continue to cite these documents that were fabricated by Dashnaks in the 1920s as though they were true.

You wrote:  “I dont know about you but I am open to hear, listen and read about a broad spectum of sources on the subject of Armenian genocide and not quick to discredit them, and call them “poster boys” for anyone.”

As I mentioned before, I don’t consider novelists to be “sources.”  I discredit them on the basis of their work, not who they are.  I too read Armenian websites and sources, but I have found numerous basic historial errors in their arguments.  That is my criticism.

You wrote:  “I would welcome debate rather then discrediting an opposeing view.”

We are in much need of debate.  Honest debate, with mutual respect, so that we can sort out the sources and separate the fake from the bona fide and come to a correct conclusion about this period.

Rich wrote: “301 does not suggest it’s country is ready for self critisim.”

Turkey has a general problem with its politicians who also are not mature enough to accept healthy criticism.  As I mentioned before, I would have much rather debated Orhan Pamuk in open TV, rather than sue him under 301.  However, the fact that Turkey needs to improve in this area, does not mean that the historial arguments being put forth is false.  You need to separate this issue, from the historical issues being discussed.  As I mentioned before, in the West, historians also face obstacles to voicing their research, as best exemplified by the anti-free speech French law.

You wrote:  “I hope you don’t base all of your information on one person. To gather and inform ourselves we must look at multiple sources of information, not to be selective. I am sure you agree.”

I don’t base my sources on one person, of course I agree with you on this point.  In my posts, I have cited many sources, many of which by the way, are not even Turkish, and I do make a great effort to especially track down and read uncorrupted documents from the period.

Report this

By Rich, December 30, 2006 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let us not forget the Turkish government was not always open to academic discussion of the Armenian genocide on the contrary they have been active in trying to shut down academic conferences, and exclusion of information in the Holocaust Museum on the subject of the Armenian genocide.

If they did not feel were guilty why then would they be compelled to disrupt academic conferences. 

There have also been attempts by the Turkish government to disrupt academic
conferences and public discussions of the genocide. A notable example was the
attempt by Turkish officials to force cancellation of a conference in Tel Aviv
in 1982 if the Armenian genocide were to be discussed, demands backed up with
threats to the safety of Jews in Turkey. [1] The U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Council reported similar threats over plans to include references to the
Armenian genocide within the interpretive framework of the Holocaust Memorial
Museum in Washington. [2]

1.  Israel W. Charny and Shamai Davidson, eds., The Book of the International
Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide: Book 1, The Conference Program and
Crisis (Tel Aviv: Institute of the International Conference on the Holocaust
and Genocide, 1983), pp. 269-315, and Israel W. Charny, ed., Toward the
Understanding and Prevention of Genocide (Boulder, Colorado and London:
Westview Press, 1984), pp. 364-372.

2. New York Times, 22 June 1982, p. A 4.

Report this

By Kadir, December 30, 2006 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich,

There is no statute limits for murder but in this case, whatever you get from Turkish government will be coming from Turish citizens who had nothing to do with the events. If you get money, that comes from people; if you get properties, that will come from people who did not take them away at the first place. So, saying that you want something from the government and not the people is practically impossible.

If you had accounts in Ottoman Bank, I think you should be able to get that money. But for any other thing that Armenians had before, how would you get that back? Probably those properties changed hands many times till now and if you try to get it from the person who owns it now, it will be unfair to them.

By the way, I don’t think the government is directly responsible for murder but for relocation. The murders were perpetrated by civillians. Many government officials were hanged for their involvement in attrocities. For the ethnic cleansing charges, it is so hard to make things fair after 90 years because of the things I wrote in the previous paragraph. Actually, Turks are probably one of the most ethnically cleansed nation on earth in 19th and 20th centuries. If things were made fair, it would be most beneficial to Turks about their properties in Balkans, Caucasus, Kerkuk and Musul (there is ethnic cleansing of Turks in Iraq as we speak), middle east. Human history is a history where land and properties change hands. Instead of living in the past where we can not do much about, we should look at things happening now in places like Darfur.

I think the only thing Turkey should do is to be more democratic as WWH suggests. But you have to know that the Greek and Armenian diasporas actions abroad makes the political climate so bad for the Turkish Armenians and Greeks. Of course it is not a defense but just to let you know.

Another question to you: Would you come and live in Turkey where your ancestors lived if the political climate was better?

Report this

By Rich, December 30, 2006 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emerhan wrote:

“I don’t support Turkey’s application of 301 - I think if we put Orhan Pamuk and others on national TV and debated with them the Armenian issue, it would be much more effective.  Not only would free speech be preserved, but they would be humiliated for their ignorance.  Those Turks are nothing more than poster boys, who are not historians, and have very little knowledge of the history of the period.  A good debate would put them in their place.

Again, 301 is not important for foreign scholars who oppose Armenian views.  You’ve got to look at Western laws, which DO EFFECT them, like the one in France.”

Emerhan your broad generalized response painting all those who contradict or oppose Turkey’s Armenian genocide denialist polices as “not historians”, or “very little knowledge of the history of the period” gives the impression that you reject what they have written.

Emerhan wrote:

“they would be humiliated for their ignorance”
Your conclusions on there level knowledge seems evident, and absolute. Making conclusions before witnessing a debate that you welcome does not make sense.


Emerhan wrote:

“Those Turks are nothing more than poster boys, who are not historians, and have very little knowledge of the history of the period.”

I think your emotions are getting the better of you, surely you are not serious on this comment. You seem more upset if Turkish scholars also state the the Armenian genocide did occur.

I dont know about you but I am open to hear, listen and read about a broad spectum of sources on the subject of Armenian genocide and not quick to discredit them, and call them “poster boys” for anyone.

I would welcome debate rather then discrediting an opposeing view. Seems your working on two fronts discredit the opposition, and substantiate your position.

When people start to discredit an opposing view by unfounded, slanderous statements it does not give there position much credibility. I would seriously question the the motives, and sincerity of a person who would need to discredit an opposing view.

Report this

By Rich, December 30, 2006 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emerhan wrote:

“Rich:  as for 301, Murat Belge, Elif Shafak, and others are Turks.  What we are talking about is foreign historians, in foreign lands, like Bernard Lewis, and others.  It is easy to obtain pro-Armenian books in Turkey, like those of Toynbee and others, I have seen them on the shelves of bookstores.”

Foreign historians and Turks within its borders are also effected by 301. Turkish scholars within its borders can diswayed from approaching this subject becasue of article 301.

I am not so selective when it comes to historians either in Western Countries or within Turkeys borders. One of the best ways to truely transparent for Turkey is to allow for self criticisim of it’s country. 301 does not suggest it’s country is ready for self critisim.

Emerhan wrote:

“My point is again, that for a man like Bernard Lewis and others, 301 is a non-issue, it doesn’t effect them.”

Bernard Lewis is one person a broader view is not limited to one person, or only Western historians, but Turkish historians as well as others.

I hope you don’t base all of your information on one person. To gather and inform ourselves we must look at multiple sources of information, not to be selective. I am sure you agree.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 30, 2006 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan wrote:

“Again, you only look at things from a western Christian perspective. What about the Muslims driven out of the Balkans?  Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, etc…all had huge Muslim minorities, and even places where majority were Muslims.  You forget they had been under centuries of Ottoman rule, and that many Muslims had become the local population??

The calamity of WWI, and the ethnic cleansing that ensued, cost the Turks dearly as well.  While you are so eager to Christianize Turkey, will you also Islamify Eastern Europe?  Who will give those Turkish homes back, and restore the Ottoman Turkish culture of Eastern Europe?”


I see again how you misperceive every statement that I make. You view a call for an open society in Turkey as “Christianization.”

Then you tie the situation of Turkey with that of Eastern Europe. I guess that two wrongs make a right in your eyes! Moslems from the Balkan counties, who were most probably natives of those nations who had converted to Islam, have every right to correct the wrongs done to them, just as the former Christians of present day Turkey are attempting to do.

There are Ottoman relics that are now being restored in Eastern Europe. This trend should continue.

Western Europe is becoming very Islamized.  Go to Germany, Holland, Belgium, or France. I was recently in France and was surprised that I was staying in a hotel that was in a predominantly Moslem neighborhood. Again, Emrehan, your double-standard viewpoint comes shining through time and time again. You are pleased to see the Islamization of Western Europe but view equal rights for Christians in Turkey as “Christianization.” What hypocrisy!!
Since your viewpoints are the prevailing Turkish viewpoints, it is no wonder that Turkey is having a difficult time entered the EU.

Report this

By Rich, December 30, 2006 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kader wrote:

What do you mean “open ended”? I don’t think it makes sense for you to expect people who has nothing to do with whatever might have happened pay you anything, right? I don’t owe you anything even though I feel sorry for what happened to your ancestors. I feel sorry for many things in history. I feel sorry for the Turks/Kurds that were killed as well. Do you think I owe you anything?

Can you open “open ended” a little? What do you think you are entitled to because of the events of 90 years ago?”

I stand by my statements, there is no statute of limits for murder is there? If some one or in this case 1.5 million people were killed yesterday, last week, 10, or 50, or even 90 years is is irrelevant.

My response to your question was directed toward Turkey not you, please read my previous post again.

Kader I don’t want anything from you or any Turkish civilian for that matter. This is a policy Turkey has chosen to stand by and they must be made by the Turkish governemnt.

I don’t know why you feel personally responsible. Unless your working for the Turkish government public relations department.

In return I do not owe you anything other then understanding, and trying to understand where you are coming from on this subject.

We don’t have to agree on all points but I am sure we are gaining more insight on the subject.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 30, 2006 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WWH wrote:  “Today, she is a 99% Moslem nation solely because of the events of the WWI era.”

Again, you only look at things from a western Christian perspective.  What about the Muslims driven out of the Balkans?  Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, etc…all hade huge Muslim minorities, and even places where majority were Muslims.  You forget they had been under centuries of Ottoman rule, and that many Muslims had become the local population??

The calamity of WWI, and the ethnic cleansing that ensued, cost the Turks dearly as well.  While you are so eager to Christianize Turkey, will you also Islamify Eastern Europe?  Who will give those Turkish homes back, and restore the Ottoman Turkish culture of Eastern Europe?

Unfortunately Whitewashed, no matter how badly we may want to turn the clock back, we can’t.  You can’t put the heat on Turkey, without the same restorations for Turkish victims in the Balkans (and the Caucasus as well, I might add;  Turks were driven out of Armenian and Georgia as well).

Rich:  as for 301,  Murat Belge, Elif Shafak, and others are Turks.  What we are talking about is foreign historians, in foreign lands, like Bernard Lewis, and others.  It is easy to obtain pro-Armenian books in Turkey, like those of Toynbee and others, I have seen them on the shelves of bookstores. 

My point is again, that for a man like Bernard Lewis and others, 301 is a non-issue, it doesn’t effect them. 

But in Western countries, where they do reside, saying what they do takes a lot of guts.  It is not easy speaking out contrary to Armenian views in America.  France has made it illegal. 

I don’t support Turkey’s application of 301 - I think if we put Orhan Pamuk and others on national TV and debated with them the Armenian issue, it would be much more effective.  Not only would free speech be preserved, but they would be humiliated for their ignorance.  Those Turks are nothing more than poster boys, who are not historians, and have very little knowledge of the history of the period.  A good debate would put them in their place.

Again, 301 is not important for foreign scholars who oppose Armenian views.  You’ve got to look at Western laws, which DO EFFECT them, like the one in France.

Report this

By Kadir, December 29, 2006 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WWH,

What you want is exactly same as what I want for Turkey.

Rich,

What do you mean “open ended”? I don’t think it makes sense for you to expect people who has nothing to do with whatever might have happened pay you anything, right? I don’t owe you anything even though I feel sorry for what happened to your ancestors. I feel sorry for many things in history. I feel sorry for the Turks/Kurds that were killed as well. Do you think I owe you anything?

Can you open “open ended” a little? What do you think you are entitled to because of the events of 90 years ago?

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 29, 2006 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Correction:
Justin McCarthy is at the University of Lousiville, not Princeton.  Sorry.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 29, 2006 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote:  “or an easy way out in order to avoid conflicts namily the Armenian genocide issue.”

I think it is easier to blame Turks of genocide than the other way around.  Bernard Lewis was sued by Armenians in France because he disagreed with the Armenian characterization, and had to pay token monetary fine for it.

There is more controversy in the West over historians who challenge Armenians because of the well funded Armenia lobby.  Stanford Shaw’s house was bombed by Armenians;  Guenter Lewy had to try a few publishing houses before he could find one that was willing to publish a book contrary to Armenian views;  Armenians pressured Princeton to fire Justin McCarthy, and so on.  Now, because of the new French law, even a historian who does research and says what Armenians say is wrong can go to jail.

So, it would be easier for Lewis to just go along with Armenian allegations, which is what most historians do.

Report this

By Rich, December 28, 2006 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Kadir,

You wrote:

“You did not answer my question. I really want to know what you want from Turkey. What should Turkey do to satisfy the international community and the Armenians?”

Turkey should recognize what they did to the Armenian civilian population as a genocide and the rest I will leave open ended.

I can’t speak for the rest of what Turkey owes Armenians in lost lives, land, property, businesses, homes, future children cut short, in short a civilization and culture destroyed.

Historian Hilmar Kaiser said: “It was the state. It was from the top of the government, from Talat and Ali Munif Bey. The Armenian genocide is the Ottoman government’s answer to the Armenian Question: Deportations can only be analyzed in terms of expropriation. It was grand theft. It was the surgical separation of Armenians from their movable and immovable property. The Ottoman government was very careful of not wasting any assets while being not concerned about the fate of the Armenians.

To make the expropriation permanent, you have to replace the Armenians. The expropriation was part of a settlement program; this process created a surplus population and this surplus population was taken care of. The Armenians were mathematically a surplus population. Killing or, in the case of children and women, assimilating them solved that problem. What took place was genocide, not massacres.”

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 28, 2006 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kadir wrote: 

“WWH and Rich,

You did not answer my question. I really want to know what you want from Turkey. What should Turkey do to satisfy the international community and the Armenians?”

I can not speak for Rich, for the international community or for the Armenian diaspora, but only for myself.

Turkey should transform itself into a Western European nation. If Moslem Turks can be free, build mosques and run for office in Western European nations, the same should be true for Christians in Turkey. If Turkey today had a sizeable Christian minority that would have eased its entry into the EU. Even a 30% Christian minority would have done the trick.  Today, she is a 99% Moslem nation solely because of the events of the WWI era.

Christians in Turkey are not equal citizens under the law. If I took my grandparent’s property records or Ottoman Imperial Bank account books to Istanbul today neither would be honored or even accepted in a court of law. We are talking here about basic citizen rights.
To have the same rights as any Moslem Turkish citizen would have, just like Moslem Turks have in Western Europe. Presently there is a double standard. Do you realize that a beautiful mosque has been restored in Yerevan and that it is used by Moslems for prayer? Armenians are treated very well in Iran and in most Arab states, nations that are more devoutly Moslem than is Turkey. When Ehud Olmert was the Mayor of Jerusalem he had great relations with the Armenians living there. This relationship has deteriorated due to the Turkish-Armenian situation.

Report this

By Rich, December 28, 2006 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Kader, Emerhan,

Kader, you were asking who actually was jailed but if you guys read what I wrote rather then just qouting it we would avoid undue dialoge. CAN BE JAILED is different then “jailed”.

301’s law is seen as a threat to people who would like to do research by those who would rather not research the subject and avoid prosecution or the motions of prosecution.

Article 301 does not make a positive, or welcoming atmosphere for researchers and the like to talk openly or conduct research without having to worry about government prosecution. Although no one has been jailed, I am sure a number of scholars both inside Turkey and ones who wish to visit would likely not research the subject and avoid potential prosecution.       

Article 301 states the following.[4]

1)A person who publicly denigrates Turkishness, the Republic or the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and three years.
2)A person who publicly denigrates the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the judicial institutions of the State, the military or security organizations shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and two years.
3)In cases where denigration of Turkishness is committed by a Turkish citizen in another country the punishment shall be increased by one third.
4)Expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute a crime.

Emerhan you wrote:
“What do historians have to loose for opposing Turkish views?  Absolutely nothing.  Even if they were blocked from the archives (which is not the case, but for arguments sake, let’s go with it for a moment) - that is very mild in comparison to slander, loosing your job, and having your career destroyed by Armenian attacks.”

Here are a number of Historians, writers, publishers, etc… who have been subjected to 301. They have been subject of public prosecution that is something to loose and it is not “absolutly nothing”. Ask them if they enjoy going through the mud. They are made an example to others who would otherwise may have wanted to research the Turkish archives.

Orhan Pamuk for stating, in an interview with a Swiss magazine, that “Thirty thousand Kurds and a million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it”. The charges were later dropped.

In February 2006 the trial opened against five journalists charged with insulting the judicial institutions of the State, and also of aiming to prejudice a court case (Article 288 of the Turkish penal code).[7] Each of the five had criticised a court order to shut down a conference in Istanbul about the Ottoman Armenian casualties in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. (The conference was nevertheless eventually held after having been transferred from a state university to a private university. Four of the journalists were acquitted on a technicality, while as of April 2006 the fifth, Murat Belge, remains on trial.

More recently, it is reported that Istanbul public prosecutor’s office had prepared an indictment alleging that the statements in the book Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman constituted a breach of the article. Publishers of the Turkish translation are also to be brought to trial accordingly.

In 2006 Elif Shafak also faced charges of “insulting Turkishness” because of her latest novel, The Bastard of Istanbul.[3] The case was thrown out by the judge after a demand by the prosecutor for the case to be dropped.

Report this

By Rich, December 28, 2006 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WW:

I know God did not write the bible but you hopefully got the gist of what I was trying to say.

Building up an “authority” figure such as Bernard Lewis on his merits, or not does not make him invinsible to mistake, misrepresentation, bias of view, or an easy way out in order to avoid conflicts namily the Armenian genocide issue.

Report this

By Kadir, December 28, 2006 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WWH and Rich,

You did not answer my question. I really want to know what you want from Turkey. What should Turkey do to satisfy the international community and the Armenians?

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 27, 2006 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WWH wrote: “Now she has to refute the Assyrian Genocide as well.”

No, Turkey does not have to refute anything.  You can’t just accuse Turkey of anything you dream up, and then expect Turkey to defend against it, as though it were true.  Nowadays any time someone gets hurt, they scream genocide.  Jump on the Holocaust bandwagon, without any regard for the truth.

Even in a court of law, two basic principles hold:  first, a defendant is innocent until proven guilty;  second, the burden of proof lies on the prosecution, and if there is even a shred of doubt, the defendant must be acquitted.

Neither of these principles have been observed in any of the accusations against Turkey.  Armenian accounts have been accepted at face value and used for propaganda purposes since World War I, so much so that you can’t even separate fact and fiction yourselves. 

The fact that you are in complete denial of the fact that Armenians were a minority population even in Eastern Anatolia;  that Armenians revolted much prior to the relocation decision, aiding invading armies with promises of independence, is a sign of how deeply Armenian storytelling and propaganda has diverted from the truth.

I have even seen videos from groups like System of a Down which accuse Ataturk of the “genocide” and which falsely represent pictures of Turkish victims from the Turkish archives as Armenian. 

Musa Dagh is just another example of hyped up Armenian accounts that have been regurgitated without investigation, accepted at face value.
 
WWH wrote:  “There was no mass killings of Turks. Sporatic violence or Turkish soldiers killed in battle does not equal ethic cleansing. Eastern Antolia was not “washed clean” of Turks.”

You need to really do some reading on this subject, because ELDERLY, WOMEN, CHILDREN are NOT soldiers.  Whole villages were wiped out by Armenians.  Ottoman archives even contain correspondences listing the names of those murdered by Armenian bands.  The Balkans were already ethnically cleansed of Turks just prior to WWI.  Europeans had every intention of doing the same, in collaboration with Armenian revolutionaries, in Eastern Anatolia.  Even American documents openly stated that to establish an independent Armenia the Turks needed to be driven out.  The British are on the record for having said to Armenian leaders, “You kill the Muslims, we will give the arms and ammunition.” 

What happened to Turks was NOT “sporadic” nor were the victims soldiers.  They were every day citizens whose very presence in Eastern Anatolia was an obstacle to the creation of an Armenian state there.  If the Turkish liberation movement had not been successful in defeating the invading armies, today there would be no Turks left in Eastern Anatolia, just like no Turks are left in the Balkans or Armenian Republic today.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 27, 2006 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan,

Quicksand! That is what Turkey is increasingly finding herself in. Now she has to refute the Assyrian Genocide as well. Do you really think that you will be able to stop Sly Stallone from making the movie version of “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh?”

There was no mass killings of Turks. Sporatic violence or Turkish soldiers killed in battle does not equal ethic cleansing. Eastern Antolia was not “washed clean” of Turks.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 26, 2006 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich,

Firstly, God did not write the Bible. What eventually became the Bible was written as seperate books by Hebrew and early Christian humans. Many early Christian texts were burned into oblivion. It was only recently that they have re-emerged from where they were buried almost two millenia ago.

As for Bernard Lewis, he was initially a scholar who believed that a genocide had taken place. His conversion was based not on an academic re-appraisal of the facts but upon geo-political concerns and generous funding from the Turkish government.

Almost all the academics who are claiming that no genocide occurred are interconnected - they either studied under one of the other academics in this small group or worked at the same institutions. What we have is a case of academic inbreeding.

Report this

By Kadir, December 26, 2006 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich: “Also a national award to Bernard Lewis by Bush and Cheney’s comments on Lewis does not hold any credibility to me personally. I had no repsect for this Administration not only on the Armenian genocide but more so that they are inept at anything related to foreign public policy.”

I lost respect to Bernard Lewis when he was pro-war in Iraq issue. I would have thought someone with a lot of knowledge on this issue would have seen what would happen. But of course, history is not yet written and maybe he (and Bush) might turn out to be right about what they are doing in the long run. I doubt it highly but who knows.

Rich: “France’s laws are cutting edge in respsect to this issue. Maybe if States were more intolerant to people who deny inhumanity we would start to have a more civil society. Also on the other hand if more States were intolerant to inhumanity we would have a more civil society. We have a long road ahead of us on human rights from many perspectives.”

I am against any ban on free speech as long as it does not create hate. It is not logical to ban debate about events that happened 90 years ago. It is all political. If France was so cutting edge in terms of human rights, she should look at her Algeria years and also not that long ago, her involvement in Rhuanda. France is one of the most hypocritical countries on the face of the Earth. I think it is the best to let ideas flower and crash. As long as it does not create hate for today’s world, I am for free speech all the way. I can partly understand the bans on discussing Halacoust in Europe because they are afraid they still have that in them and they are afraid that the hatred that was part of some societies in Europe can come back to life if things are discussed. But I don’t see the logic in banning discussions and research on events of 1915. It is only politics and nothing else.

If a balanced reader reads the entire discussion in truthdigg, I am sure he/she will see that Turkish claims are not nonsense. There certainly is reasonable doubt about the nature and circumstances of the events. That is why we need more research and open discussion. Not limitations.

Rich: “Genocide research scholars and historians who accuratly charactorize the Armenian genocide can be jailed, restricted access to the so-called Turkish archives, and threatened by Turkish nationals.”

Which foreign researcher is jailed in Turkey for saying that the events of 1915 were genocide? I really want to know. I don’t know any. As I said many times before, Turkish laws are not perfect (far from it in some issues) but you are exagerating the effect of these laws. Not many people were jailed in Turkey (some were prosecuted but I don’t remember anyone going to jail), if any. Some were prosecuted but as far as I know (I might be wrong), noone actually spent time in jail. Most of the cases are dropped in first trial.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 26, 2006 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Rich;

1)  First of all, as Kadir has well pointed out in his recent note, the Ottoman archives are open, and not just to historians who don’t agree with Armenians, but to historians who advocate genocide as well.  The most recent name to come to mind is that of England’s ethnic Armenian historian, Saroyan, who was highly critical of France’s law since it was a gross violation of basic freedom of speech.

Your allegation that historians “tout the Turkish view” to be politically correct, or gain access to the archives thus does not hold up because historians do have access and because they actually have MORE TO LOOSE by agreeing with Turks.

It is dangerous to agree with Turks in the West.  The Armenian Lobby can ruin your career.  Bernard Lewis was sued over his views, and several professors almost lost their jobs.  The establishment of an Ottoman history department in UCLA was successfully blocked, etc.  It is difficult to even publish books that oppose Armenian views.

What do historians have to loose for opposing Turkish views?  Absolutely nothing.  Even if they were blocked from the archives (which is not the case, but for arguments sake, let’s go with it for a moment) - that is very mild in comparison to slander, loosing your job, and having your career destroyed by Armenian attacks.

Stanford Shaw would have paid the ultimate price - death - if he had been at home when his house was bombed by Armenian terrorists in the 1970’s.

2)  Rich wrote:  “Also it is unplausable that the Armenians had enough military power arms, organized civilians into a military offense to cause such a killing in such short a time without the Turkish military putting a stop to it.”

a)  Armenians fought in the armies of the Allies, namely Russian and French.  So they didn’t have to organize themselves, just show up and volunteer.  The French armed and trained the “Armenian Legion” in Cyprus, then sent them to fight in southern Turkey.  They were aware of the atrocities being done against the Turkish population, but did nothing about it.  Same with the Russians.  After Soviet revolution, Armenia supported the rebels, trying to take advantage of Mondros, in which the entire Ottoman army was disarmed.

b)  What you call a “short time” was a period of several years, from the start of WWI (1914) to the peace treaty with Armenians in 1920.  In six years, you can kill a lot of people…

c)  The atrocities came to an end when Kazim Karabekir and the Turkish Kuvayi-Milliye (not to be confused with the Ottoman army, the Kuvayi-Milliye were comprised of Turks who fought for the liberation of Anatolia) finally defeated the Armenian militants and a peace treaty was signed in 1920, establishing today’s Armenia-Turkish border.

3)  Rich wrote:  “Another point is that the civilian populations did want to gain an independence but rather civil rights ... “

I think you mean’t to write “civilian populations did NOT want to gain independence” - which is WRONG.  Even the US President during that time wrote of how Armenians raised funds in the US to fight for an independent Armenia.  Numerous archives document this desire, and if the Allies could have defeated the Kuvayi-Milliye, they had the full intention of establishing an independent Armenia on Turkish soil…

Rich, that Armenians rebelled, killed hundreds and thousands of Turks, were supported by the Allies in their cause is a reality that is very well documented and can’t be denied.  Europe is just as guilty as Armenians in orchestrating this rebellion and in trying to subjugate Turks.  This is why this chapter of history is often unheard, because Europe is culpable as well.

Report this

By Rich, December 26, 2006 at 11:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bernard Lewis may be recognized as an authority but he is not God writing the Bible nor is he immune from misrepresenting history or better not conducting enough research to make his conclusions on this specific time in history.

A much more plausable reason why these scholars selectievle use the term massacre rather then more accurately calling it an Armenian genocide can be the highly sensitive nature of the subject to the Turkish government.

Genocide research scholars and historians who accuratly charactorize the Armenian genocide can be jailed, restricted access to the so-called Turkish archives, and threatened by Turkish nationals.

On the other hand historians you have listed calling the Armenian genocide a massacre are more likely and do have easier access to Turkish archives becasue they will not be seen as a threat to their policy of denial.

They simply have more to loose then to gain as being “authorities” on various subjects outside of the Armenian genocide issue.

Also a national award to Bernard Lewis by Bush and Cheney’s comments on Lewis does not hold any credibility to me personally. I had no repsect for this Administration not only on the Armenian genocide but more so that they are inept at anything related to foreign public policy.

A vast conspiracy is does not seem in anyway to be a credible reason why historians do research on the Armenian genocide other then to educate and to contribute to the knowledge of inhumanity, in the hopes of making society a better place to live.

I am sure you agree (although obviously not on this paticular subject) that it is not right to have state sponsored genocide or any genocide on any people for any reason, especially innocent civilian populations.

France’s laws are cutting edge in respsect to this issue. Maybe if States were more intolerant to people who deny inhumanity we would start to have a more civil society. Also on the other hand if more States were intolerant to inhumanity we would have a more civil society. We have a long road ahead of us on human rights from many perspectives.

If Armenians durring the Ottoman/Turkey era were allowed there human rights we may not be having this dialoge on the subject.

Report this

By Kadir, December 26, 2006 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By the way, what do you guys want from Turkey? Is it just a formal appology? Is it money, land? What is it?

I bought Taner Akcam’s book together with Guenter Lewy’s book. Too many books to read, too little time.

Report this

By Kadir, December 26, 2006 at 1:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich: “Unfortunatly now they have painted the victims as victimizers not far from the same propoganda that befell the Jewish people durring the holocaust.”

There is no comparison of what happened to Jews to what happened to Armenians. There was clear hatred and racism towards Jews in Germany. It did not start with Hitler as well. Much before him, there were best-selling books with stories about how jewish blood contaminated the Aryan blood. There were plays about how Jewish men had sex with Aryan woman and destroyed the pure Aryan blood. There was not a similar large scale popular racism towards Armenians in Ottoman Empire.

About the archives, you are just assuming that they are not open. In fact they are open.

You can check this page out about this:

http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/otto-archives.htm

A part from the page is below:

Dr. Stefano Trinchese, had the following to report:

Professor Stefano Trinchese

“It is not true that Turks hinder or forbid visits to the Archives. I went to Istanbul and visited the Archives. It is true that I had some difficulties, but I had these kinds of difficulties in Italy, as well”

“I could not enter the archives in Armenia. I wrote a letter, but they have not even replied. I have never been able to gain access. I would be very happy if it were possible. ”

Report this

By Rich, December 25, 2006 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many of the historians who you are refering are most likey trying to be politically correct for the purposes of gaining access to the Ottoman/Turkish archives.

How fair do you believe the Turkish government would be to historians with integrety that do recognize the Armenian genocide. I highly dought the Turkish government would be as welcoming to experts in the field of genocide research into the Ottoman/Turkish archives.

Also it is unplausable that the Armenians had enough military power arms, organized civilians into a military offense to cause such a killing in such short a time without the Turkish military putting a stop to it.

Another point is that the civilian populations did want to gain an independence but rather civil rights that the Ottomans at the time were advocating but the Ottomans at the time were not sincere about civil rights for anyone.     

The Turkish army had years to deploy it’s army it was not limited to months. They did have the resources to move there military. How many decades did they know that the Russians were not a friendly neighbor, they couldnt have been that inept withing there own borders.

I don’t find it “interesting” that Armenian genocide deniers have been victims of threats and bodily injury although I do not advocate such acts. Armenian genocide historians have also been victims of threats and violence. It is unfortunate that some who feel compelled to violence on this issue make it worse for everyone.

But I do not forget it was violence toward the Armenian people and other minorites in Ottoman/Turkey that has kept this issue in it’s current state, this is unfortunate.

Government archives are suppose to be one of the best indications of history barring the self destruction of archival information.

It would be a sincere gesture if Historians did have more transparent access to Ottoman/Turkish archives but to date this isn’t so.

It would have been great for modern day Turkey to have made the right decisions at the time years before the genocide. Maybe then we would not have to refer to the Armenian relics as such but refer to them as thriving multicultural communities.

Unfortunatly now they have painted the victims as victimizers not far from the same propoganda that befell the Jewish people durring the holocaust.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 25, 2006 at 9:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote:  “...which as I stated numerous times is catagorized as a genocide.”

Don’t you find it interesting that most of the Ottoman history texts and Ottoman history experts *refuse* to call these events genocide, instead referring to them as massacres?  The only people who I know of that call it genocide in definite terms are “genocide scholars” who basically call anything genocide once one person has written a book on it, like Dadrian.  The “genocide industry” bases much of their books on Dadrians, and we all know how “impartial” and “scholastic” he is.  I have read some of Dadrian’s works, and he inscrupulously relies on documents that have been proven to be forgeries.

I also find it interesting that Ottoman history experts are truly afraid of really even dealing with the subject of the Armenian relocations because many historians who challenge the Armenian lobby, like Bernard Lewis, Stanford Shaw, Andrew Mango, Justin McCarthy, Heath Lowry - have been victims of hate campaigns, attempts to get them fired, and even terrorism by Armenians!

How can justice be done if historians are THREATENED into silence on the issue?

Rich wrote: “The stark difference between you numbers of 500,000 Turks dieing is that Armenians did NOT systematically kill Turks. I don’t see how this is possible given that the Turks had an organized army and the Armenians were part of the Ottoman civil society. They could not have killed so many Turkish civilians without the Ottoman army intervening.”

First of all, the Ottoman Army was largely deployed along the western front, leaving the Anatolian Turkish population mostly defenseless!  What good is an organized army if its dying on the fields of Gallipoli?  The army couldn’t save the Turkish population from Armenian attacks.  If you read the military correspondences from the time between 1914-1915, you will see that it was only after large massacres of Turks by Armenians, and the Ottoman’s failure to protect their population, that in desperation some began to remark, “I don’t think we can stop these killings unless the Armenian population is relocated.”

Rich:  “Also the Armenians were not armed to make such an impact on such a large scale what did they use kitchen knives and rocks to kill.”

Firstly, the Armenians were amply armed by the British and Russians and French.  In memoirs, many Turkish civilians have testified to how churches and homes were used to depot ammunition and weapons.  Even American archives document how Armenians in America organized to obtain money and weapons for the revolting Armenians in Anatolia. 

Secondly, the British archives even openly contain statements like, “We’ll give your the weapons, you kill the Muslims.” in correspondences with Armenian leaders.

What clearer statement of intent to MURDER do you want???

On the contrary, not one Ottoman correspondance has been found to contain language recommending that Armenians be killed.

So, perhaps you need to rethink what was state-ordered, and who was really trying to commit murder!

As far as the archives go, the Ottoman archives are open, some of the documents pertaining to the Armenian question has even been posted on the internet, http://www.devletarsivleri.gov.tr.

On the other hand, I really wish historians could get into the archives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaks) in Boston, as they were the brain behind the Armenian massacres against Turks!

By the way everyone, today is Christmas, Merry Christmas to all the Christians out there.  Muslims too have a holiday coming up, around New Years, “Kurban Bayrami” (Sacrifice holiday), so to all the Muslims out there, “Bayram’in Mubarek Olsun”

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 25, 2006 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote:  “The Turkish government does not acknowledge how much they contributed to there archetecture on the contrary they have been whitewashing the traces of there achievements in that country.”

I don’t think you are being very fair in your criticism here.  There are many relics that are known to be Armenian in Turkey, ranging from the ruins of Ani, to the Akdamar Church in Van, to churches in Diyarbakir, and the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.

Turkey is blessed to have almost every square inch of land to carry some kind of historical relic, be it Roman, Armenian, or Turkish.  I have seen many Turkish (Selcuk, Artuk, Akkoyunlu, Ottoman, etc) relics that are also in dire need of restoration.  Given the number of artifacts, it is difficult to maintain them all.  So Armenian artifacts are not the only ones suffering in this regard, and the government does make an effort to preserve all it can.

I can’t say that for the European countries, who out of Islamic and Turkish hatred have systematically destroyed Ottoman relices in Eastern Europe.  Hungary used to have one of the largest Ottoman Turkish populations, with the Turks driven out (yes, we’ve been victims of ethnic cleansing too), many of the remains have been destroyed.  Now, only one or two (literally) remains are left, even the grave of Sultan Suleyman was built over with a church!

Perhaps in recent times the most famous relic that was destroyed (and later restored) was the Mostar Bridge, destroyed during the war by Serbs.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 25, 2006 at 8:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WH wrote “Now, I ask you when will the next step be taken? Can Turkey face the music if she invites the remnants of the Balian family to Istambul to honor their ancestors? Will Turkey ever invite us to Istambul to honor my ancestor who the Turkish government websites write so much about? Can she face the music when the foreign press asks about what happened to the family of my ancestor that they constantly use as a display of Ottoman benevolence?”

Dear Whitewashed History:  Remembrance of this period needs to involve respect for EVERYONE’S DEAD.  This means that the Dashnaks in America and Armenia need to own up to their own crimes, to their own nationalistic politicies that lead to the ethnic strife that engulfed all of Turkey during WWI and afterwards.  I think only then will justice be done to ALL the victims of this period.

But it will be difficult, because doing so will require Europe to also face the fact that they USED THE ARMENIANS to topple the Ottoman Empire, not caring about what happened to the lives of ordinary Turks or Armenians - or Greeks or Assyrians for that matter.  The Assyrian rebellion, for instance, was largely instigated by the British.

There is much difficult history that needs to be faced, but I don’t think the politics of today will permit it, because there is too much at stake.

Report this

By Rich, December 24, 2006 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Dolmabahçe Mosque, Istanbul

(1852-53). Is built by the first of the Balian family of architects, Karabet, as an adaptation of a neo-classical style to the requirements of a small royal mosque. Its minarets take the shape of Corinthian columns. It, and the palace that gave it its name, are two examples of the strong influence of Western models in late Ottoman architecture.

Link: http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:A_3i38McBrEJ:ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Architecture/4-614Religious-Architecture-and-Islamic-CulturesFall2002/LectureNotes/detail/baroque.htm+balian+family+mosques&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

——-

The many works of the Balian family in Constantinople reflect the sultans’ tastes for luxury.  As a result of their extravagant exploits, every sultan commissioned the construction of a new palace, leading to a great number of palaces within the capital.  In their efforts, the sultans were endeavoring to modernize and westernize their capital in the tradition of other European capitals.  Due to the Balians’ Western education and training, many European influences can be traced in their design, including French Renaissance, Neoclassicism, Greek-revival, Baroque, and Art-Nouveau, with Baroque becoming the predominant style.  Though influenced by European trends, the Balians’ architecture was never a mere imitation.  They obtained their own unique style which was a fusion between European and Eastern architecture.  Attributes of their designs include the lavish ornamentation and extensive use of columns on the exterior elevations of buildings.  Interiors displayed exotic Oriental designs and decorations, accented with Moorish influence, particularly in ceremonial halls.  These halls were decorated with majestic staircases, marble claddings, decorated ceilings, and many elements of fantasy, to list just a few of the norms the Balians introduced to Ottoman architecture. 

 

The Balian architects were considered members of Armenian nobility in Constantinople.  Actively involved in the Armenian community’s religious, social, and cultural life, they were patrons of Armenian culture, and their residence was a gathering place for the Armenian intelligentsia.  They built many churches, schools, and hospitals as well as a theatre for the Armenian community.

 

Valuable contributors to both art and architecture, the Balians left an indelible mark on 19th century Ottoman architecture and the city of Constantinople.  Their buildings manifest the might of the Ottoman Empire as well as the undeniable and multifaceted genius of these Armenian architects.

Link: http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:UnZyr02qRjwJ:www.sscnet.ucla.edu/history/centers/armenian/source111.html+balian+family+mosques&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=9

—————

Emerhan wrote:

“The most famous Armenian architect I know of is the Balikian family who worked on the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.”

Your response does not justify there contributions to the Ottomans and Turkey today.

The Turkish government does not acknowledge how much they contributed to there archetecture on the contrary they have been whitewashing the traces of there achievements in that country.

Maybe after you pay hommage to Ataturk’s mausoleum (as a tourist) check the tour guide in alphebetical order you will find Balian Family. If not ask around maybe you will be kindly directed to the archetecture they have contributed, or more likely you will get a blank puzzled look.   

——

Emerhan,

Do you have any more links of the “courageousness of the Turkish soldiers in Korea”, I’d like to learn more, as do the readers of truthdig.

Report this

By Kadir, December 24, 2006 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am planning to buy this book from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Armenian-Massacres-Ottoman-Turkey-Disputed/dp/0874808499/sr=1-2/qid=1166988998/ref=sr_1_2/102-5946095-0429742?ie=UTF8&s=books

This book is said to be very objective (this usually translates into pro-Turkish in Armenian eyes). Anyway, I want to read a pro-Armenian book together with this one. Can you suggest a book to me?

Report this

By Rich, December 24, 2006 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Emerhan,

My points are directed more toward the Ottoman/Turkish governments denialist policies.

If you stand in the way of truth because you percieve the Armenian genoicde not to be the truth, well maybe you will come to terms with it or not that is your free will.

I make no mistake in stating that it was the Ottoman/Turkish governments decision to systematically kill Armenians in mass numbers, which as I stated numerous times is catagorized as a genocide. The Armenian genocide was an inhuman act and very barbourus. You except this as untrue that is your right, no one can force you to make decisions. If you except other sources as true that is your free will, maybe later you will expand on your sources to learn more on this subject, or you will feel content to keep justifying your position.

My words are not twisted although possibly your filters may seem that I have ill will toward the Turkish people. A number of Turks and Kurds did save Armenians from eventual death, this is common knowledge among notable scholars.

The stark difference between you numbers of 500,000 Turks dieing is that Armenians did NOT systematically kill Turks. I don’t see how this is possible given that the Turks had an organized army and the Armenians were part of the Ottoman civil society. They could not have killed so many Turkish civilians without the Ottoman army intervening. Also the Armenians were not armed to make such an impact on such a large scale what did they use kitchen knives and rocks to kill.

I don’t believe you believe you are “brainwashed” or “forced” to except what you have selectively learned from the denialists positions. That is the beauty of Turkish propoganda, and taking side of what you interpt as history, from your selected denialist historians.

I believe the educated truthdig readers already know enough to conclude as with the rest of the international community that the Armenian genocide did occur.

Keep posting links if it make you feel that your points are justified.

In the mean time I will read more on what TURKISH academics are writing about the Armenian genocide, and trust me, it is not a denialist position.

A number of Mosques were designed by the Balian family, but the Turkish government has not poblically recognized many of them as such. This is yet another example of Turkey avoiding it’s history, this is a pattern along with the Armenian churches that are in ruins, and used as target practice by the Turkish military. Some are said to be preserved but the mass destruction and desimation outweight any tangible movement to preserve the historic Armenian Churches.

Make no mistake wheels of the Armenian genocide by the Turkish government are still turning, getting rid of Armenian human life and the Armenian’s cultural and religious relics.

I give the German government credit for preserving some of the concentration camps used to kill the Jewish people. They can face the truth now, and have moved forward with transparency of their history. Not willingly becasue they lost the the war, but for the best for all humanity. The same will hold true for the Turkish government they are unwilling but will come around (not through violence) but it will happen. 

The Turkish government has stated that there archives are open for scrutiny but nothing could be further from the truth. Historians who have went through the process of doing research were met with layers upon layers of difficulty not to mention bodily harm while trying to gain access to information. The so-called open archives are anything but open.

Report this

By Kadir, December 24, 2006 at 2:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WH wrote “Now, I ask you when will the next step be taken? Can Turkey face the music if she invites the remnants of the Balian family to Istambul to honor their ancestors? Will Turkey ever invite us to Istambul to honor my ancestor who the Turkish government websites write so much about? Can she face the music when the foreign press asks about what happened to the family of my ancestor that they constantly use as a display of Ottoman benevolence?”

I was talking to a friend today (a civil engineer) and he told me that some projects were underway in eastern Turkey to restore some of the old Armenian buldings. He told me about a bridge just at the border with Armenia and Turkey which is restored. These are good things. I hope more will come. I have no objection if Balian family is broght to Turkey and celebrated for their ancestor’s accomplishments.

I told this before. Just because Armenian people had big names and accomplishements does not make their deads more important. Turks were villagers and farmers. They weren’t famaous but this does not change the fact that they were killed. And many of them at the hands or Armenian militia.

It is about keeping things logical. There was ethnic cleansing of Armenians from Anatolia, yes. But it wasn’t out of racism or it wasn’t meant to kill Armenians. Why else would Ottoman government hang many officials who were involved in killings? Why else would England prosecute many Ottoman officials after war in charges of genocide in Malta but then leave all of them free? There was bad planning and many corrupt officials. But not all the deaths can be attributed to this. There was also revenge killings. Can you say there is genocide in Iraq now? Government is mostly controlled by Shiites and some Shiites kill sunnis. But some sunnis kill shiites, too. It is a tragedy but not a genocide. 1915 Anatolia is the same in my eyes. A big tragedy for all sorts of people in Turkey. As I said before, I believe more tragic to Armenians unfortunately. I understand your rage as well. If my family was murdered, I wouldn’t be thinking about the murdered people on the other side probably.

If I was leading Turkey, I would open the border with Armenia right away and choose a day other than April 24th to remember all the killed people in Anatolia including the Armenians. The collapse of Empires were always bloody. Ethnic variaty can be a great benefit or can cause great conflicts. You shouldn’t put the burden of all the deaths on one ethnic group. I don’t think it is fair.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 22, 2006 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan wrote:

“Dear Whitewashed History; Yes, you are right, the correct name is Balian.  Thanks for the correction on this.”

Now, I ask you when will the next step be taken? Can Turkey face the music if she invites the remnants of the Balian family to Istambul to honor their ancestors? Will Turkey ever invite us to Istambul to honor my ancestor who the Turkish government websites write so much about? Can she face the music when the foreign press asks about what happened to the family of my ancestor that they constantly use as a display of Ottoman benevolence?

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 22, 2006 at 10:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich:  I believe your last note was directed towards me, not Kadir.

Rich wrote:  “I never said Turks are inhuman”

You don’t need to use those identical words to imply them in the way you write your sentences and have total disregard for Turkish life, continually trying to portray Turks as barbarians.

Rich wrote:  I never said you were from Turkey did I?”

You wrote in previous post:  ” I believe this is has been deliberately thrust upon your people by the Turkish governement only to be excepted wholeheartedly by the weakest of minds.”

This basically implies that I should have been in some situation so as the Turkish government could “force” me to believe what I do - which basically can only happen if I was a product of the Turkish education system, i.e. from Turkey.

My point here is that I have not been brainwashed by anyone here, and I have not been reading selectively either.  Most of the sources I have cited are American.  Armenian allegations of genocide ignore the fact that there is no proof for state-ordered involvement in any of the deaths (many of which were not of violent means, but by hunger and disease, something all Anatolians fell victim to.)  Kangaroo courts with no due-process and forged documents are not valid sources to show state-involvement! 

Sadly, I have met many Armenians like yourself who are in denial of even the basic background history of the time.  I have met many Armenians how did not know that Armenians were a minority in Eastern Anatolia, who did not know or deny that there was a major revolution among Armenians in which many fought with the Allies, against the Turks.  I have met many Armenians who did not know that in the 1800s Yerevan was 40% Turkish, instead believing that Armenia was always 99% Armenian as it is today…

Sadly, many Armenians reject the fact that over 500,000 Turks died at Armenian hands.

But these are facts that any telling of the history of this time must include.  Any historian who rejects these basic facts, and then on a wrong foundation, using falsified documents and kangaroo courts as “evidince”, tries to accuse Turks of genocide can logically only come to a wrong conclusion.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 22, 2006 at 9:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Whitewashed History;  Yes, you are right, the correct name is Balian.  Thanks for the correction on this.

Dear Rich;

You’ve come to the point where no matter what I say, you launch a personal attack at me and my ancestors.  I state that I know of famous Armenian architects (i.e. Balian), and it is still not sufficient for you.  Now my crime is not recognizing that the Balian family “contributed much more than you state”??  And again you attack me for not having “humily and respect”?

You twist everything and then expect me to respond to this?  Like your comment about me supposedly perceiving you to be superior?  Man for the last several posts you’ve been going on an on about how Armenians allegedly fought while Turks “ran like girls” and are claiming that all our mosques were designed by Armenians, insulting us every which way with truly no respect or anything…You’re the one who thinks he’s superior and has no respect.

Dude, get a life…really man, I am not going to play this game with you anymore. 

If you have something meaningful to say about Ottoman or Armenian history, then say it.  I am not going to engage in this kind of banter with you, I have better things to do, and so do the readers of Truthdig.

In the meantime, those readers wishing to read about the courageousness of the Turkish soldiers in Korea are invited to read these articles:

“The Turkish Brigade”
http://www.korean-war.com/turkey.html

“Korean War:  1st Turkish Brigade’s Baptism of Fire”
http://www.historynet.com/wars_conflicts/korean_war/3030651.html?featured=y&c=y

“The Wrestling Turks and American Military Morale in the Korean War
“http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-69339.html

Report this

By Rich, December 21, 2006 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kader,

You seem to go further and further into the abyss.

How many times do I have to re-state that if you feel that I am superior that it is something you have to overcome.

I never said Turks are inhuman, I do view them as human beings but it is the Turkish governemnt and there ilk that spew out propoganda that you swallow like candy to an infant.

I never said you were from Turkey did I? You even quote me and can’t read what I wrote.

If your previous posts are an indication of your “years of research” I suggest not reading so selectivly. 

Let us not forget that the ultimate acts of terror was the systematic, government organized genocide by the Ottoman/Turkish government (which you deny and dispute).

Where was the “respect and understanding” of the Armenians who were systematically killed in Ottoman/Turkey?

It is even more distressing to learn that you have the freedom of the Armerican educational system yet conform to the Turkish denialist position of the Armenian genocide.

At least an immigrant from Turkey can rightfully attest to pure ignorance on the subject of the Armenian genocide, and the antagonistic views of the Armenian genocide. 

This is sad news, but unfortunatly not suprising.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 21, 2006 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry you guys, both the Armenian and the Turk, the name is “Balian” not “Balakian.”

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 21, 2006 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote: “Maybe if you were open to dialoge as opposed to making comments as dragging in the mud, calling us racists, and other grade school language you would gain some knowledge of your own culture.”

Dear Rich, I am not dragging you in the mud.  I am merely describing the nature of your comments.  If you don’t like the description, then I suggest you start viewing Turks as human beings, who also have feelings, who also can be killed, suffer, and hurt, and who are also capable of great accomplishments in the arts and sciences! 

That you suggest that I would learn about “my own culture” from you is a joke, and just another reflection of your superiority complex.

I have never insulted the Armenian people the way you’ve attacked the Turks… 

Rich wrote:  “Rather you choose to put yourself into a box of knowledge that only fits your perceptions of your culture. I believe this is has been deliberately thrust upon your people by the Turkish governement only to be excepted wholeheartedly by the weakest of minds.”

Dear Rich, again you make the (wrong) assumption that I am from Turkey.  I am NOT from Turkey, I am an American of Turkish ethnicity born and raised in the United States.  I am a product of the AMERICAN, not Turkish, education system.

Just as you called excerpts from AMERICAN archives “Turkish government propaganda” (with no regard for the truth), so you are mislabelling me.

I have spent years reading about and researching this subject.  I have read Armenian, Turkish, and American authors.  In my previous posts, I have already pointed out some of the shortcomings of the claims of the Armenian lobby.  You refuse to discuss the issues.  That is your choice, of course.  But please don’t come to me now acting like you wanted “dialogue.”  It is not possible to have dialogue with someone who cannot reason logically and labels anything against your views “Turkish propaganda.”

Rich wrote:  “Luckly many of us who today live in Westernized countries have the freedom to dialoge on subjects without exceptions.” 

Wow, what a statement considering that Armenians worldwide have supported the law in France jailing people for speaking against Armenian claims.  The Armenian lobby has no respect for free speech…Armenians have resorted even to terrorism in the past to silence Turks.  Even today, the LA Armenian community raised over 400,000 dollars to free a convicted Armenian terrorist.  One of the past ANCA Chairmen was even convicted of terror related bombing charges!

Rich wrote:  “I already know where you lie in your thoughts (without movement, and constant stagnancy).”

I am not stagnant.  I continually read recent publications and newly published relevent books.  If I seem “constant” in my beliefs, it is because they are based on years of research, not lobby organizations who seek to brainwash their youth, such as Dashnak-origined Armenian Youth Federation.

Rich wrote:  “your opinions are not absolute becasue of your ethnicity.”

Ditto back to you.

Rich wrote:  “If you choose to live in stagnancy, and malace toward differing opinions that is your loss.”

Again, ditto back to you.  I bear no malice towards the Armenian people.  I just contest the one-sided propaganda of the Armenian lobby which conflicts with basic history.  In middle school, my best friend was Armenian.  One day I was harrassed by another Armenian student for being Turkish and was called a “murderer.”  My Armenian friend consoled me saying, “Forget those Armenians, they only have hate in their hearts.  My family told me about that period as well.  People on both sides died, we killed each other, and we are both the worse off for it.  Now is the time for respect and understanding.  Cheer up.”

I think thats advice everyone can benefit from.

Report this

By Rich, December 21, 2006 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emerhan,

You stated that I have a “Armenian superiority complex”.

If you percieve me as superior, that is something you must overcome, or maintain your percieved the status quo.

Sorry if you took my comments in a negative light many in the muslum religion, as well as others did worship in caves durring and before the times this region in question was invaded by outside forces.

You just seem to be so full of yourself and your people when excluding other races that made significant contributions to your country.

And the Balakian family contributed much more than you state. Maybe if you studied outside your nationalistic circles, past your whitwashed history you may have some more humility and respect toward others.

I think this is the downfall of the current Turkish state of affairs, and others who follow it’s destructive path.

Report this

By Rich, December 21, 2006 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kader wrote:

“Who is this soldier? Has he served in Korea?  Probably that congressman was asking for Armenian funds and votes and what is better than attacking Turks for that! Probably some soldiers cut off ears. That is war. Some people go crazy. You shouldn’t generalize on this. But you will anyway.”

How come there always seems to be a hypethetical alterior motive for everything?

The soldier I describe did serve in the Korean War and had nothing to gain by disclosing what some of the Turks did to the enemy.

I just wanted to point out to your buddy Emerhan that he has little to be proud of in respect to the pride of Turkish soldiers. His views are blurred by nationalistic pride bred down from years long Turkish propoganda. I don’t blame him directly for being so easily influenced, it is a common weakness seen more from the older generation then the young. 

But outside of his circle of like minded nationals, the rest of the international society cares little about Turkish soldiers.

Report this

By Kadir, December 21, 2006 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote:
“Kader,
Where in my posts have I shouted?
All capital letters? Exclamation points?
I am curious.”

You weren’t shouting… I thought it was you who wrote comment #42743 and I was building on that… Sorry for the misunderstanding.

I don’t like statements like the one you made about living in caves. I think we should focus on constructive statements instead of saying things that are insulting without any base. It is good to put yourself in other’s shoes. You have to understand that most of the Turks really believe that the events were not a genocide. You can say it is government pressure or something else but personaly for me, all my knowledge about this subject comes from my personal research about it after I came to USA. I didn’t even know the genocide claims when I was in Turkey. Anyhow, there is no reason to insult/hate one another. Even if genocide occured, the Turks who claim otherwise really think that it did not occur. And we have our reasons. You shouldn’t have anger towards Turks is what I am trying to say.

Let’s keep talking. I am really learning by this conversation… I hope more Armenians/Turks will talk. Unfortunately I am sure if Turks and Armenians meet face to face, there will be insults maybe fights. I think this is a serious problem. I still have the hope to have an Armenian-Turkish party and have fun but who knows when wink

Report this

By Rich, December 20, 2006 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kader,

Where in my posts have I shouted?

All capital letters? Exclamation points?

I am curious.

I am with you on the back and forth dialoge even if we starkly disagree. It’s a good thing to know where we stand, although I have heard it before.

R~

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 20, 2006 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote:  “Hey Emrehan what about the famous Armenian architects who designed the Mosques in what is called Turkey today? Do you know who they are?”

The most famous Armenian architect I know of is the Balikian family who worked on the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul. 

Rich wrote:  “If it wasn’t for them Turks would still be worshiping in caves.”

Dear dear Rich, you must have some kind of Armenian superiority complex.  Your remarks show for themselves the kind of man you are, and don’t deserve a response.  You live in a really amazing world, Rich.  Too bad your world is disconnected from reality.

Report this

By Rich, December 20, 2006 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emerhan,

Maybe if you were open to dialoge as opposed to making comments as dragging in the mud, calling us racists, and other grade school language you would gain some knowledge of your own culture.

Rather you choose to put yourself into a box of knowledge that only fits your perceptions of your culture. I believe this is has been deliberately thrust upon your people by the Turkish governement only to be excepted wholeheartedly by the weakest of minds. The nationalistic mind set has no room for exceptence, and humility.

This is evidently so by all your responses leaving no room for positive dialoge and left with feeble personal attacks.

Luckly many of us who today live in Westernized countries have the freedom to dialoge on subjects without exceptions.

I suggested that Kader do some independent study on his language and it’s origination not you, I already know where you lie in your thoughts (without movement, and constant stagnancy).

Seems Kader has an open mind and can stand to dialoge with people outside his race, that I commend.

Remember, we do not live in the Ottoman era and your opinions are not absolute becasue of your ethnicity.

If you choose to live in stagnancy, and malace toward differing opinions that is your loss. Thankfully other readers can formulate there opinions by reading our posts and make conclusions not only by our opinions but to conduct independent research to justify our posts.

It may be tough medicine to swallow but our cultures intermingled, genetically, culturally, in business, and in history, to the Turks benifit in the end, not ours. 

There in lies your challenge, research without your filters.

Report this

By Kadir, December 20, 2006 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote: “A decorated soldier who works for a prominent US Congressman told me some Turks serving in the Korean war were nothing short of barbourous. Cutting off the ears and adorning themselves with the teeth of the enemy made them great soldiers?”

Who is this soldier? Has he served in Korea?  Probably that congressman was asking for Armenian funds and votes and what is better than attacking Turks for that! Probably some soldiers cut off ears. That is war. Some people go crazy. You shouldn’t generalize on this. But you will anyway.

Report this

By Kadir, December 20, 2006 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I read this from Rich: “If it wasn’t for them Turks would still be worshiping in caves.”

It seemed weird to me because I thought it was Rich who wrote this:

“Dear Kadir,

You seem to be someone who we could sit down with and discuss things reasonably.”

But then I went to that post and saw it was from WhiteWashed actually smile So, my previous comments about conversation and friendship goes to WH not Rich. I don’t think Rich is interested in conversation. Rich wrote that he is not a racist but then writes that Turks would be in caves if it wasn’t for Armenians. This is racism in action. Maybe we wouldn’t have had good soujuk without Armenians but we wouldn’t be living in caves for sure wink In USA, do you think that you would be using abacus instead of computers if you had no Indians and Chinese? No, because it is the American system that enables Indians and Chinese to contribute to the technological advancement of USA.

Report this

By Kadir, December 20, 2006 at 3:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Rich,

I am always up for a good conversation. As long as both sides talk and not shout, I think conversation is always good. I wish more and more Armenians and Turks will have personal relationships and even friendships that will help us understand each other.

About the Turkish language, it is the first time I am hearing that somebody put Turkish in Indo-European family. I think there is some debate about if Altaic family is a valid family or not but I did not know anybody suggest that Turkish is from Indo-European family. I have to do some more research on this.

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_language)

Classification

Turkish is a member of the Turkish family of languages, which includes Gagauz and Khorasani Turkish. The Turkish family is a subgroup of the Oghuz languages, themselves a subgroup of the Turkic languages, which some linguists believe to be a part of the Altaic language family.

Like Finnish and Hungarian, Turkish has vowel harmony, is agglutinative and has no grammatical gender. The basic word order is Subject Object Verb. Turkish has a T-V distinction: second-person plural forms can be used for individuals as a sign of respect.

Report this

By Rich, December 20, 2006 at 12:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Emrehan what about the famous Armenian architects who designed the Mosques in what is called Turkey today? Do you know who they are?

If it wasn’t for them Turks would still be worshiping in caves.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 19, 2006 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote: “Does it take an Armenian to explain where your language originated from?”

I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone as cocky as you, Rich.  Now all of a sudden you’ve become an expert linguist? 

As you’ve done with many other topics in this forum, you’ve taken the views of one side in a controversy and declared it as fact.  If you read wikipidi and other sources like answers.com in more detail, you will realize that the Ural-Altaic classification is still being debated and that there are many theories being put forward during this debate, of which the Indo-European ties are just one of the possibilities being explored and postulated. 

What this basically means is that Turkish is traditionally classified as a Ural-Altaic language, and until further notice, still is.

Report this

By Rich, December 19, 2006 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan,

You calling me a racist means absolutly nothing because I have not written a word as such.

Describing events in history does not make me a racist.

Maybe it is that you feel inferior to my comments that make you feel this way. This is something that you need to work out in your own mind.

A decorated soldier who works for a prominent US Congressman told me some Turks serving in the Korean war were nothing short of barbourous. Cutting off the ears and adorning themselves with the teeth of the enemy made them great soldiers?

The Turks may see themselves as great fighters, but thats as far as it goes.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 19, 2006 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan,

I did not state that there are NO prominent Turks in history, only that Armenians and other minorities are not given recognition as such.

You use this to you get up on your soapbox and speak of my denigrating Turks. WHAT? Where have I denigrated Turks. This is all part of your ongoing game.

As for the Armenians you speak of, these are not only figures in history but my flesh and blood cut to pieces or drowned in the prime of their lives.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 18, 2006 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WH wrote: “Interesting how you always seem to ignore my statements about Assyrians and Pontic Greeks being annihilated, since it doesn’t fit your argument that the Armenians got what they deserved because some rebelled.”

Actually, during WWI period there WAS an Assyrian Rebellion (they call the Mardin region “Turabdin”), and when Greece invaded Izmir in 1919, it raised all the hopes of ethnic Greeks in Anatolia for renewed Greek rule.  All over Anatolia, the Greek minority aided the Greek army. 

I remember in a previous post you made a comment to the effect of “no one was trying to get Istanbul or Ankara” or such…well, the Greek army marched very close to Ankara before finally being stopped at Sakarya (if they could have, they would have entered Ankara, gunfire could be heard from the city).  And if they could, the Greeks would have tried to recapture Istanbul as well. 

Perhaps you should read this interesting article by Michael M. Finefrock entitled “Ataturk, Lloyd George and the Megali Idea:  Cause and Consequence of the Greek plan to Seize Constantinople from the Allies, June-August 1922” published in 1980.

It is interesting that every group that rebelled, but failed to win the territory they sought after, has claimed “genocide.”  Most amusing are the Greek claims, because even Greece did not begin commemorating their fake “genocide” until 1993, about 80 years after they claim it happened!  Not suprisingly, such allegations are most frequently repeated in anti-Muslim websites such as jihadwatch.

Report this

By Emrehan Delibas, December 18, 2006 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WH wrote: “Many of the most illustrious members of Ottoman society are presented as Turks, when in reality they were Armenians, Kurds or from other minorities. One recent example of this was the hysteria in Turkey when it was revealed that one of Ataturk’s adopted daughters was an Armenian.”

As Kadir mentioned, there were many prominent Armenian, Greek families who were involved with trade, had posts in the government, etc.  However, to degrade Turks in the way WH did is very unjust.  First of all, I should remind you that even “donme” Ottomans, like Mimar Sinan, even if he did not have Turkish blood, was educated and raised in the TURKISH and MUSLIM education system.  Architectural skills are not learned through blood vessels, but with education and hard work!

Second of all, throughout history, there have been many WORLD famous scientists, doctors, philosophers.  Here is a sampling: 
Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi (Sufi Teacher and Poet);
Ulug Beg (grandson of Timurlenk), astronomy
Ali Kuscu (astronomy). 
Farabi, philospher. 
Ibni Sina (Avicenna), medicine. 
Harezmi (mathematician who founded algebra)
Yunus Emre (Islamic scholar and poet)
Ahmet El-Biruni (astronomy, math, philosophy)
Katip Celebi (historian, geographer)
Piri Reis (first map of America, cartology)
In fact, even the chief architect of the Mughal Taj Mahal was Isa Khan, also a Turk, and some of the other designers/assistant architects were also Turkish in origin.  Incidently, the Mughal ruling family were also of Turkish descent.

There are also many famous Turkish scientists today, like Oktay Sinanoglu (Chemistry), Gazi Yasargil and Mehmet Oz in Medicine, Nejat Veziroglu, Engineering, etc…

So stop denegrating Turks.  Also ironic how Rich claims Turks “ran way like girls” when the bravery of heroism of Turkish soldiers has been shown time and time again, and how to this day Americans still remember the valor of Turkish soldiers in the Battle of Gallipoli, and Korea.  Let me tell you, as one who has also served in the US military, for Americans, Turk = Great Soldier…Such comments of yours only shows (once again) your racism and bigotry…

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 18, 2006 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Kadir,

You seem to be someone who we could sit down with and discuss things reasonably.

My family reached the pinnacles of success in the Ottoman Empire, but still feared always for their safety since they were “giaours.” Their position meant nothing. Any twist of fate could have meant their death. In the end that is exactly what happened.

Report this

By Rich, December 18, 2006 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kader,

Does it take an Armenian to explain where your language originated from? I would suggest you do some independent research on your own, here are some references to start.


The Ural-Altaic language family (also Uralo-Altaic) is an hypothetical grouping of the Uralic and Altaic language families into one field. The word Turanian has also been used to describe the Ural-Altaic field. The term is from the Persian word for places beyond the Oxus, Turān.

The Ural-Altaic grouping is speculative, as it has not been proven to the satisfaction of most linguists that there is any genetic relationship between the two language families, and even the existence of the Altaic group as one family is today questioned. This could be for lack of analytic opportunity, however. On the other hand, particularly the southern and central Uralic languages have been in extensive contact with Turkic languages, which introduces a risk of interpreting exchange arising from contact as a genetic relationship.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ural-Altaic_languages

—————-

Several centuries after the Indo-European common language began to form dialects, the Anatolian subgroup is suddenly moves apart and start migrating to Asia Minor. This separation took part long before other branches started their own ways, so it is most interesting for the linguistics.

Really, the Anatolian branch preserved a great number of phonetic, morphological and syntactic traits which do not exist in any other Indo-European group. When Anatolians separated, Proto-Indo-European continued to develop new grammar features, and they exist everywhere but in Anatolian. For example, three genders known in all Indo-European tongues did not exist in Hittite and Luwian, there are no signs of feminine stems a, i, u of nouns there. The instrumental case plural masculine form in -oys can be traced everywhere except Anatolian languages. The same can be said about the demonstrative pronoun so, sa, to, unknown only in Anatolian
http://indoeuro.bizland.com/project/chron/chron0.html#3500

Report this

By Kadir, December 18, 2006 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote: “The Turkish language much like many other languages branches off from the indo-European language. I believe the Turkish government did a big dis-service to it’s history and culture by changing it’s written language.”

Turkish language does not stem from Indo-European languages. It comes from Ural-Altaic languages which has very different grammer. As I wrote before, I think changing the alphabet (not the language) was a very good thing for Turkey. All the serious historians know about old Turkish to read old documents. There is no problem there.

Report this

By Kadir, December 18, 2006 at 11:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WH wrote: “Many of the most illustrious members of Ottoman society are presented as Turks, when in reality they were Armenians, Kurds or from other minorities. One recent example of this was the hysteria in Turkey when it was revealed that one of Ataturk’s adopted daughters was an Armenian.”

This only reinforces the fact that Ottoman Empire was a multicultural and tolerant empire. Till the time the minorities wanted to carve up the empire, they were never treated as second class citizens. Yes, the muslims did not pay tax and the non-muslims did but if you look at who had the wealth, you will see that it was not the muslims anyway… It was a tolerant society for its time.

But WH is right that a lot of BS information is given to people in their history classes. But in this day and age, it is so easy for anyone with curiosity to search on the internet and find whatever he/she is looking for. But I want to make sure that people like Taner Akcam will not be the source for unbiased information for the ones who want to read about history.

Report this

By Lark, December 18, 2006 at 4:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Lantos stopped supporting the Turkish Republic, because Hitle’r book Mein Kampf sold a lot in 2006, I am guilty.., ‘cause I bought two copies!  I have not yet started reading etither one, but alas!..,  I bought two!

The Armenians have participated in Jewish Holocaust in 1930’s.  Let Cong. Lantos side with the Armenians and let him antagonize the Turks.  It is his problem.

My reason for buying two copies was just for fooling the statistics. Upon hearing that some people were excited because that book sold a lot in Turkey, I had to add my two cents to fool the statistics, so I went ahaed and bought two copies.

One printing company sold that book for a very low fee and advertised at their stand so elegantly, that many people may have bought it.  If Mr. Lantos jumps at this excuse to distance himslef with the truthsayers, it is his problem.

Report this

By Rich, December 18, 2006 at 12:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Lumberto,

Your response to Whitewashed is more filled with emotion then substance. Armenians not to be trusted was enough to disarm them?

I havent found any reason other then suspicion to disarm Armenians. No evidence that soldiers within the Ottoman army uprised against anyone.

In fact the Armenian fighters in the Ottoman army were known to have helped win many battles at a time when the Turks ran away like girls. We helped the Ottomans like any other citizen of the government, only to be rewarded with disarmament and execution.

Report this

By Kadir, December 17, 2006 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it is kind of absurd to race in terms of who was better to Jews in history. That all depends on “when”. The fact that Hitler’s book sold a lot in Turkey is a thing about current issues. People see the Iraq war as an Isreali enterprise. They don’t like Iraq war and so some don’t like Jews now. This is all temporary though. I have never seen any persistent and systematic racism in Turkey. We are hot blooded people. For a couple of years, anti-jewish stuff might be hot but it won’t have any long term effect. Apart from events of mid 1940s and 1955, I am proud of how Turks see Jews. From the Ottoman times to present, I guarantee you that Turkey will come second to USA in terms of how Jews are treated. In Israel, you will see most of the Jews migrate to Israel with bad memories from their homeland. It will be the Turkish and American jews who will have good memories from their homeland.

My wish is that both sides drop their accusations and try to talk to each other. Once we trust each other again, if one side has to appologize, it will. My view is that if we look at things objectively, we will see that both sides will have things to appologize for. I don’t see it sincere to blame one side for the worst human crime while both sides lost almost same number of deaths in each others hands. And when it is known that many Armenians fought for an independent Armenia and also many foght alongside French and Russian forces…

Report this

By Kadir, December 17, 2006 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WH wrote: “Interesting how you always seem to ignore my statements about Assyrians and Pontic Greeks being annihilated, since it doesn’t fit your argument that the Armenians got what they deserved because some rebelled.”

I don’t have enough knowledge about Assyrians and what happened to them. But fot the Greeks, they also gambled and lost like the Armenians. They thought that Greece will defeat Turkey and get western Anatolia. They even came close to central Anatolia near Ankara. Then when the Greeks were defeated, the Greek population was sent out of Turkey. Most of this was after mutual agreement with Greece and they sent back most of their Turkish minority back to Turkey because of this agreement. And also I want to remind you that it was Greece that paid Turkey for the humanitarian damages that they have caused. They gave Turkey Karaagac because of the suffering they caused. As I said before, it makes me sad to see that the minorities are gone. But you can not expect internal peace after your Greek subjects supported the attacking Greek army and betrayed your Turkish subjects. If there Greeks were not sent out of Turkey at that time, there would have been other events in the future which would have been violent. I also want to remind you that it was Greece who attacked Turkey and it was the Greek minority that supported them.

Report this

By Kadir, December 17, 2006 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich wrote:

“6. Turks may have arguably died durring this time. but what happened to them was not considered genocide.”

What is arguable Rich? There is nothing to argue. Do you have any reliable source against the numbers? More than 2 million Turks/Kurds (civillian) died during WW1. 500,000 of them because of Armenians. You have to put forward sources to claim these numbers as arguable.

Report this

By Rich, December 16, 2006 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Guys,

Aryans are a language group, not a race.

German is a complete language, it has words for everything much like Armenians.

This misconception about Hitler and the blond Aryan super race is far permeated into peoples mind. I believe the correct version of the word “Aryan” was blurred durring the Nazi propoganda of it’s people, and Western Allies.

The Turkish language much like many other languages branches off from the indo-European language. I believe the Turkish government did a big dis-service to it’s history and culture by changing it’s written language.

Hope this clears the fog on the Aryans.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 16, 2006 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The dishonesty of “Lumberto Peliot” is beyond belief. It is the Turkish hierarchy who is concealing the truth concerning the wherabouts of the majority of Anatolian Jews.

Anyone who wants to learn the real story should read Taner Akcam’s latest book.

As for ethnic cleansing over the centuries, where do you dig that up? Any reliable historian who studies Turkish historiography soon realizes that much of what Turks believe today about their past is fantasy and glorification. Many of the most illustrious members of Ottoman society are presented as Turks, when in reality they were Armenians, Kurds or from other minorities. One recent example of this was the hysteria in Turkey when it was revealed that one of Ataturk’s adopted daughters was an Armenian.

Report this

By Lumberto Peliot, December 15, 2006 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(This post is a continuation from the one below, examining recent statements of WWH, “Whitewashed History.”)

#42249: “Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman army were deprived of weapons and then executed, having done nothing except being Armenian.” Lark addressed WWH’s familiar departure from the truth with this one, but we must underline how exceptionally disgusting it is to perpetuate such a lie. A desperate Ottoman government under attack from all corners from superior forces, bent on causing their nation’s end, does not go through the trouble of training and equiping soldiers only to suddenly disarm them. Many Armenian soldiers in the army were in league with the Armenians who were operating behind-the-lines, havng formed a fifth column, as was the plan of the Hunchaks and Dashnaks for the longest time. Armenian soldiers couldn’t be trusted. They were disarmed, and transferred into the engineering corps. There is only one reported case of a massacre of some of these soldiers, and their renegade perpetrators were tried and executed by Vehip Pasha DURING the war. There is no proof that Armenian soldiers were massacred as a matter of policy, and there is much documentation from Turk-haters as Consul Leslie Davis and missionaries referring to Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman Army well into the war. HOW UTTERLY DISHONEST.


“Some Armenians joined the Nazis so hat they could help to defeat Stalin…” This is an INCREDIBLE statement, given that Armenian propagandists are proud of the Armenians in the Soviet Army contributing to the Nazis’ defeat. European-Armenians joined the Nazis en masse, not to defeat Stalin, but because they were intoxicated with the racial purity notions still motivating many Armenians today. Armenian publications such as Hairenik and other Armenian media (e.g. radio broadcasts) will tell us all we need to know. And practically any Armenian forum will reveal the intense anti-Semitism in the hearts of too many Armenians, and for WWH to tell us Armenians had possibly “loved Jews to death” is simply numbing! Jews were among those victimized in the Armenians’ ethnic cleansing campaigns not only in eastern Anatolia, but in Armenia proper; the Jews’ existence in that region since antiquity effectively came to an end, in the hands of murderously racist Armenians. The Armenians in the Fuehrer’s army were assigned mainly to policing duties in the occupied countries, and Nazi-Armenians significantly contributed to the loss of Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

Report this

By Lumberto Peliot, December 15, 2006 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s take a look at Whitewashed History (WWH)‘s recent additions:

#42045: “‘Lumberto Peliot’ (obviously a pseudonym), whomever you are,” he begins. Putting aside the absurdity of one using a pseudonym to make an issue of another’s possible pseudonym, here WWH is engaging in the typical Armenian tactic of trying to discredit the messenger instead of concentrating on the message. Once again, we will be involved in attempts to pick at trees, overlooking the forest. And once again, the shamelessness of putting forth statements with no respect for the truth.

“Your comments are far from balanced as you allude to the ‘wonderful comments’ of Delibas and Kadir…” That happens to be because they are dealing from the perspective of the truth. One is “balanced” only when considering factual evidence, generally coming from sources without conflicts-of-interest.  If Rich and WWH insist on referring to biased and untruthful sources, their integrity deserves nothing less than to be dragged through “the mud.”


WWH then claims to have made “complimentary comments about Turkish history.” He should provide examples. As far as I can see, he has only been complimentary when referring to the history of non-historian fiction writers from Turkey, as Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak (whom WWH will go on to praise here), opportunists who agree with genocide claims, knowing that rewarding positions in Western universities and pulitzer prizes will follow. Since Turkish history observes the truth in that events during WWI did not constitute a genocide, and WWH’s lifeblood depends on affirming this genocide, is he actually expecting us to believe he would compliment Turkish history? HOW UTTERLY DISHONEST.

“I find no olive branch sentiments in your comments here.” The only olive branch acceptable to genocide-maddened Armenians is recognition of their genocide. For years, these dishonest genocide advocates have declared war either through outright violence, as with the terrorism spree of the 1970s-80s, or through their campaign of lies and slander, trying to make Turks to be the worst beings on earth… and here, this example of such an aggressor is actually looking for an “olive branch.” Olive branches are must generally derive from attackers, not outgunned defenders.

“Even today, conditions in Turkey for religious and ethnic minorities (even Moslem ethnic minorities) are far from optimum.” Conditions are not optimum in any other country, including France and the United States. At least these nations have minorities, versus Armenia, which made sure to ethnically cleanse practically all who did not fit into the Gregorian Christian-Aryan Armenian mold. Today, Armenia is 98% “pure” (Muslims constituted 40% of the population circa 1900; what happened to them?), and those few souls who don’t fit in are under the worst persecution. We don’t hear about WWH, the “humanitarian,” voicing his outrage in this direction.

#42133: “When a group of unruly Turkish nationalists throw objects at the Turkish historians who are entering the conference hall, that constitutes a ‘riot.’” Of course, we can’t look to get educated on terminology from someone who misrepresents intercommunal warfare as a “genocide.” Dictionary definition for “riot”: “A wild or turbulent disturbance created by a large number of people.” If a few people throw tomatoes, that does not make for a “riot.” When Dashnak-Armenians took over the Ottoman Bank in 1896, and arranged to have compatriots all over town to throw bombs from rooftops upon innocent civilians, or to engage in battle with these unarmed civilians through firearms, so as to incite counter-violence and get bigoted Europeans to come in and reward Armenians, that would be along the lines of a “riot.”

(Continued)

Report this

By Kadir, December 15, 2006 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t think it will be fair to show all Armenians as Nazi collaborators. Probably some were, and some were not like most of the people at that time. Every nation has its high times and low times. There are things about Turkish past that I am proud of and there are things that I don’t like. But you should always put things in context. I am sure there will be logical explanations for some of the Armenians to side with Nazis at that time even though it sounds terrible now. Like there was a reason why Ottoman Empire had to relocate Armenians. It may sound very harsh and inhumane now but the Anatolia of 1915 was not like NOW! There are NYT articles from 1914 giving reports about how Armenians started fighting Turks in Van. And also we know for a fact that a sizeable Armenian population wanted independence (not that it is a bad thing. a lot of nations wanted this at that time but no nation got it without risking a war. no nation will let go of territory without fighting and this is how things were and how things still are for the most part.) For that time and for that conditions, I believe that relocation was one of the only things that the Ottoman Empire could have done. However, I of course am not comfortable with the way it was handled. I wish it ended up with less casualties. But remember that many Turks also died. And many of them were civillians as well. It was a bad time for everybody.

Report this

By Whitewashed History, December 15, 2006 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From the tone of your argument, I can see that you and the more entrenched elements of the Armenian diapora are two sides of the same coin.
You paint all Armenians with one brush. Ergo, all Armenians or all Turks are bad. Interesting how you always seem to ignore my statements about Assyrians and Pontic Greeks being annihilated, since it doesn’t fit your argument that the Armenians got what they deserved because some rebelled.

Your hysteria concerning the loss of support from persons such as Congressman Lantos is showing. Jews have woken up to what has transpired and is transpiring in the Republic of Turkey vis-a-vis their co-religionists. Mein Kampf has never been a best-seller in Armenia as it is now in Turkey. Soviet Armenia was known as the best place for Soviet Jews to emigrate to within the Soviet Union, since it had the greatest tolerance toward Jews.

Report this

By Lark, December 15, 2006 at 6:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obviously, Whitewash is no historian.  Let us learn the correct version of his claims:

Whitewash is quick to find excuses by saying that the Armenians involvement on the SS side during the Jewish holocaust aimed at hurting Stalin.  Obviously, he cannot refute the overwhelming evidence proving the Aryan Armenian collaboration with the Nazis.

To me the Armenians are masters of the adage that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”.  From 1867 to 1916 they fought on the side of the Russian Army against the Ottomans.  They cut communication lines behind the Ottoman Army during the Sarikamish Battle.  They used fierce methods like boiling the children to kill their Muslim neighbors during their revolt in Van.  Consequently, the Russian soldiers saw no resistance in Eastern Anatolia.

Contrary to the missionary reports that Armenian lives were in danger in Eastern Anatolia, American High Commissioner General Harbord was surprised to discover that the Mosques were burned down, but the Churches remained intact.  On his trip to Eastern Anatolia, he discovered that the Muslim houses were razed.  How surprising isn’t it!  See Gen. Harbord letter to the Congress.

Later the Armenians fought on the ranks of the French army in Cilicia.  My grandfather who went there in search of a job was killed by the Armenian militia.

In recent years they are collaborating with the Hellen Greeks and separatist Kurds.  Any method to incite hatred against the Turks is welcome by their propagandists.

Further distortions from Whitewash essay # 42249 says Armenians were the only defenders of the Jews.  What a misnomer, wow!.. It was not the Armenian but the Ottoman Sultan who sent six ships in 1492 to rescue the Jews from Spanish inquisition.  He used words like: “Send as many of those unwanted Jews” 

History repeats itself; During the Holocaust, the young Turkish Republic was the only country to stand up to Adolf Hitler saying that “We have no Jews to give to you.  All Jews are our citizens”.  Furthermore, Turkish Consulates in Europe worked overtime to provide Turkish Passports to the Jews so that they could escape to Turkey. Selahattin Ulkumen, a Turkish Counselor in Paris embarked on a train full of Jews on their way to concentration camps forcing the Nazis to give the contents of the wagon to him.

Whitewash is clouding the scene by concentrating on if the Armenians used ammunition given to them by the Ottoman Army or by some other weapons trader. The fact is the Armenians were not innocent bystanders –but the losing side in a civil war.  Hence they cannot claim genocide!

You must have heard of Armen Garo stories and songs!...  Pastirmaciyan was not the only Ottoman parliamentarian to give up his seat in order to head the Armenian army against the Ottoman Army during World War I.  Don’t tell me that you did not hear of the sixth battalion!...  The sixth army of the Russian Forces comprised solely of Armenians, many of them under General Pastirmaciyan’s command.

For years, Armenian Monasteries, schools, and homes were used as ammunition depots.  Here is my grandmother’s story: In our village of Gesi - near Kayseri, girls weaved carpet in groups (they still do).  One Turkish girl used to work together with her Armenian friend in their house (avlu=indoor garden).  She told her dad that young men were bringing in heavy boxes every day.  They were lifting up one of the large stones from the floor and carrying their loot into a room under the house.  Her dad passed this information on to the Gendarmerie.  So, the next day the gendarmes performed a raid into that house.  As agreed beforehand the girl stood on top of large stone which lead to the underground passage.  They found boxes of ammunition.  Now go tell someone else that the Armenians of Central Anatolia were unarmed innocent bystanders, sent to exile for no reason at all.

Report this

By Lark, December 15, 2006 at 6:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

continued…

Take a map of Turkey and examine where Erzurum, Van and Kayseri are located.  You will conclude that if the Armenians did not fight from within the country, not so many lives would be lost during World War I.  Talat Pasha’s order to relocate the Armenians into more secure zones within the Empire in reaction to their rebellion was a defense strategy very much used in those days.  Too bad, the country was devastated by war on all corners that not enough soldiers could escort the convoys.  My heart goes out for the innocent lives lost, let them be Armenian or Turkish.  But, it hurts me to see that the Chris Hedges singles out only the Armenian dead.

Report this

Page 2 of 4 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook