Happy Birthday !
If you are reading these lines, then you are witnessing a tremendous success story. A website inspired, designed, and put in service by a small group of dedicated individuals "down-under" only 12 short months ago, http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com , has already become a vast resource on the history of the Turkish-Armenian conflict of World War One as well as Turkish-Armenian relations today. My heartfelt congratulations go to Lara Kaplan and her volunteer team whose enthusiasm, selfless dedication, and hard work are going a long way in leveling the playing field for all Turks by bringing to the attention of the world much ignored flip side of a controversial issue.
How little is "the other side of the story " known? Let us look at some statistics:
- If you do a Google search on the word "genocide", you get 43.6 million entries;
- If you then add the word "Armenian" before it, the number of entries drops to 2.36 million.
- If you further add the word "alleged" to the front of your search, the number of entries dwindles to 163,000 entries.
It is safe to assume, within reason, of course, that the word "alleged" is written in response to the Armenian claims and, therefore, probably reflects the Turkish views.
These quick numbers, with all of their defects, repetitions, assumptions, and other deficiencies, still tell us a lot about how the Armenians have managed to cultivate the Turkish-Armenian conflict of World War One into a bogus genocide and how weak the Turkish response has been.
Here are some of the topics to ponder in the light of the above statistics:
- A whopping 5.4 % of world literature on this topic seems to have been generated by the Armenians. Not bad for a land-locked, poverty stricken, war-mongering, tiny dictatorship with about 2 million inhabitants whose major exports are illegal aliens, international terrorism, military aggression, and ethnic cleansing, and whose major imports are foreign aid, Russian weapons, and embargoed Turkish consumer goods.
- Roughly 6.9 % of those bogus Armenian claims are responded to by the Turks and/or friends of Turks. Not good at all for a great country of 75 million who enjoy the 16th largest economy in the world with a landmass larger than California and Texas, surrounded by four picturesque seas, four wonderful seasons, endowed with a generous array of natural resources, has been home to 29 past civilizations, and bursting at the seams with universities and colleges.
Now if you key in the term "ethocide" - which I had coined in 2003 in response to the alleged Armenian genocide - the number of entries drops down to 440. Ethocide , coined from "ethics" and "cide", means "extermination of ethics via deliberate, malicious, and systematic mass deception for political gain" (This is the short definition anyway; for longer definition, please see the archives in my column at www.turkla.com ) The way I intended, our children will have an easier time refuting the baseless Armenian claims with a simple remark: "ethocide, not genocide". They will not have to tackle intimidating debates, remember books full of facts, write lengthy letters, talk endlessly to make their point. For this plan to work, though, the word ethocide must be used often and popularized by every Turk and friend of Turk, so that when a disinterested third party hears it, s/he will know its meaning instantly. But 440 entries in Google is woefully insufficient to achieve this objective. It is up to our global community of Turks, Turkish expatriates, and friends of Turks now, to breathe life into the term ethocide. I created it for you, for us, for our children, so help us turn it into a functional and effective tool by using it in your letters and chats!
As the above statistics clearly show, Armenians get read and heard more than Turks and Turkish responses are few and far in between. This creates a lopsided coverage of the Turkish-Armenian conflict in the media. It is against this backdrop that I made the above comment about "leveling of the playing field" by the resourceful Lara Kaplan and her wonderful team . Now, it is easier for any reader to find a wealth of information on any specific Armenian claim. And that, I am sure you will agree with me, is no small achievement by any measure.
Just look at this impressive list to appreciate what Kaplan et. al. have been able to achieve in just a year:
They created a searchable article site of 5000 pages about the Falsified Armenian Genocide by Prof Mc Carthy, Samuel Weems, Edward Tashji, Davis, Gen Mayewski, Dr Barton, Dr Mango, Morgenthau, Lerner, Balakian, Pataki, Henze, Prof Heath Lowry, Dixon-Johnson, Pierre Loti, AU Amb Peters, Prof. Salahi Sonyel, Prof. Guenter Lewy, Katchaznouni, Keresteciyan, Wolfowitz, Fein, Feigl, Albert Amateau, Prof Yapp, Dewey, Prof Bernard Lewis, Graves, Adm Bristol, Egoyan, and more.
They gave easy access to massive archives on Armenian Diaspora related topics:
- www.tallarmeniantale.com ( An equally fantastic job by one my heroes, Holdwater, is mirrored here, with his kind permission, of course.)
- Excerpts of rare books by resourceful researcher Mr Sukru Server Aya
- Ara Baliozian's friendly views promoting tolerance,
- Assoc Prof Dr Sedat Laciner's works from turkishweekly.net,
- Mr Dogu Perincek's vast series of striking articles,
- Timely articles from www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr ,
- Turkish University Conference Notes,
- Turkish, British, American, German, Russian Archives,
- News articles from Turkish, Armenian, American, and European media
In addition, they made available by visit or free downloads the following resources:
- RSS feeds : For offline reading (full articles without you actually visiting the site)
- E-Book : For downloading the entire site for future reading
- Translations: Into 5 languages Italiano, Francais, Deutsch, Espanol, Portuguese
- "E-Mail this article" : mailing the articles to friends using blogger post by simply clicking at the end of each article
Congratulations are in order but not nearly enough. We all have got to do more. You, the reader, for example, can share your thoughts and feelings with this site which might start a debate which, in turn, might pull in more users with new information and resources. That's how websites grow. That's also how our databanks will grow and our movement to enlighten the world will grow with it…
Will you do your part friend?
For a little motivation for you, I would like to quote from a sincere letter written by a Professor Thomas Goodrich who was one of the brave signatories of the famous declaration of May 19, 1985 by "69 Scholars", drawing intimidation from Armenian falsifiers and a smear campaign from some Turk haters calling themsleves genocide scholars (This letter appeared in 1980s in PTAA Digest , a periodical publication by Pennsylvania Turkish American Association - I got it from www.tallameniantale.com.)
"… As a historian I have come to realize that the events in the headlines of newspapers are usually not so important as the small changes that come to fill our lives… It is not insightful or scholarly articles and books or even the meetings of presidents of countries that make difference so much as what PTAA and similar organizations actually do.
What to do? Just living in the United States and being known as Turk makes an impression. You are obviously not a wild horseman riding a ragged pony from the Siberian steppes nor are you an ignorant peasant off the rocky fields of Anatolia, mush less a professional wrestler known with the alternative name of The Terrible Turk.
There are more specific steps to take as well. Correct errors in fact and in assumptions. Read the books used in local schools and let both teacher and publishers know what you think. Ethnic studies in the spirit of a pluralistic nation and world are growing in this country. …Make sure that the study of the issue is open minded, with more than one viewpoint expressed…
Correct other facts and opinions in all media: magazines, newspapers, and television. Most people would like to learn and correct errors about Turks and Turkey and are quite open. This leads to the problems more difficult than errors - ignorance and lack of interest… As Turks, you need to be available for any group interested in learning… Present activities in schools, Rotary, Elks, Junior Chamber of Commerce, local photography club, etc. Public relations is tiring yet can be effective.
Finally find out what others are doing, not only other Turkish-American associations but similar ethnic groups to determine what works. There are types of activities that are successful. There are organizations that have advice. Be in touch with Turkish Studies Association, The Institute for Turkish Studies, and the Middle East Centers in universities such as Pitt, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas and UCLA.
PTAA is already recognized as a dynamic active association. Continue to grow and be a dynamic pressure in improving the image of Turks and Turkey in Western Pennsylvania, the Tri-State region, and beyond.
Thank you Professor Thomas Goodrich, for that timeless and priceless letter…
And thank you Lara Kaplan and her dedicated volunteer team for creating http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com …
Los Angeles, USA
July 29, 2006