2423) I Felt A Profound Sadness, As I Was Leaving Hovanissian Meeting by Dilek Izmirli

It was a sad affair for both parties involved. One is trying to prove its innocence to the other that is full of resentment, sorrow and yes hatred… . .

New generation of Turks are flabbergasted to the idea that all Armenians might actually hate them for a crime which they had no involvement at all. Why can’t we get along, and love each other as brothers and sisters? Well, this was the basic message Turks were trying to convey while trying to explain their side of the story in the meeting. Unfortunately, the Armenian audience is not ready to hear any brotherhood songs yet, until and unless Turks admit what Armenians claim was a systematic and State Sponsored Genocide of 1915.

Whatever happened around 1915 -1918 was horrible. There was a World War 1 going on with its full force, and the World wide influenza pandemic was killing millions as it swept through the Europe. People were dying everywhere, in pain, bloody and without reason.

Once gleaming and powerful Empire, Ottoman, was crumbling with domestic turbulence and external attacks of other empirical powers of the World. This was the golden opportunity for minority leaders to get together with the enemy to claim their share out of the collapsing Empire. Why not? Now was the time.

Mr. Hovannasian had a slide show of Armenian Churches that now look like ruins, around the area where many Armenians used to reside during past 1000 years, together with Kurds and Turks and others. Question should not have been why they were in ruins when the poor locals don’t even have schools or healthcare facilities of their own. Question should be; why do you think after centuries old neighborly relations, suddenly Turks decided to kill Armenians? Actually, these slides were proof that the Armenians were allowed to built their stately Churches and worship their God as they pleased. They spoke their own language without limitations, owned homes, owned businesses, and were quite well off…So, the Mr. Hovannasian’s claims of oppression does not make sense. Then, why did they revolt? Because, they were coaxed by the enemies of Ottoman Empire. They were wheedled into believing that they could have a land which they could finally name “Armenia”, for the first time in history. This was a strong enough motivation for Armenians. But the results were deadly. Local government decided to uproot them and disband these people around the country. This was a logical but dreadful solution. Many died along the way from famine, harsh winter, fatigue, flu and sorrow. Many killed along the way, by the Kurds, Turks and others.

There will be many more meetings of both sides asserting their side of this sad story. Like said, truth has three components; yours, mine and the bona fide…Bona fide component can be proven by the facts of the time documented by the third parties, historians and scientists who are not Armenian nor Turkish. As a Turkish woman, I am looking forward to listening impartial third party testimonials, where I can face my country’s past with dignity whatever the truth is, I can hold my heavy heart and say this is it…I am willing to do this for the future generations’ sake and for my own conscious. But are Armenians? Instead of pushing their version of history to Europe’s and America’s throat by pouring money in political campaigns and one sided historians’ books, they should be willing to face truth that may be, may be Turks were not the enemy after all…And start the healing process between two people, instead of continuing to revive the fire of hatred.

I felt a profound sadness, as I was leaving the meeting. My heart went out to those who lost their loved ones during 1915, and after…For both Armenians and Turks…And I could not believe my ears when I heard that an Armenian woman said ASALA should have killed more Turks…I knew than that we have a long way to go…

Dr.Hovanissian’s Florida Meeting at FAU on April 6, 2008.

Kindly Reviewed by Dilek Izmirli