2515) "We Should Do Our Homework Very Well As Turks" Prof. Dr. Turkkaya Ataov

Historian Prof. Dr. Türkkaya Ataöv said: “We should do our homework very well as Turks`` against Armenian claims on 1915 incidents.

Prof. Dr. Ataöv gave a conference in English entitled “Armenian Question: Confronting the Past” which was organized with the cooperation of the graduates of Istanbul University and the Association of Turkish-American Architects, Engineers and Scientists and answered the questions.

Indicating at the presentation, which was supported with documents, that some parliaments of the foreign states are saying: “confront your past” to the Turks via some laws and resolutions, Ataöv stated that the Turks are ready for this, but . .
in this context, the concept of “confronting the past” should be defined, and confronting the past is a question of the history, so historical documents should be exposed “ extensively, completely, accurately, objectively and in a balanced way”, and while doing these, the decisions of the politicians and certain campaigns should put aside.

Expressing the importance of listening different opinions of both sides equally, besides scientific approach, good intention, impartiality, and saying: “Closing the doors tightly by the foreign parliaments like France for research and accepting only one comment, is leaving the truth aside that should cause to a scandal and definitely, it is not a scientific and impartial approach”, Ataöv underlined that independent evaluation which would be away from the effects of politics, during the historical research, is a condition that cannot be abandoned.

In this framework, criticizing not taking the claims into account other than the Armenian claims in a country like France, even though he called the authors of the articles, editors and administrators of the newspapers repeatedly, who give untrue, exaggerated, incoherent information, they have not get in contact with him intentionally, and in the same context, Armenians have nourished themselves with “victim’s psychology”, they even have not read and taken into consideration the different documents that are written by their own historians since they cannot endure any kind of different opinion.

Expressing that countries or nations cannot be separated into two, as “the good” and “the bad” with a prejudice when dealing with the historical incidents, Ataöv stated that the USA libraries contain books, which include various insults against Turks that were written prior 1915 incidents, and he read a part from one of these books.

Pointing out that a special importance should be given to the Ottoman documents on the Armenian question, and it is not convenient to disregard the Ottoman documents by characterizing them as “Turkish documents”, Ataöv said: “There is not a single document, which shows that the Ottoman administration had planned and applied genocide.”

Indicating that the evidences of massacres which were caused by Armenians are not only in the Ottoman documents, but also in the third party publications; even in the memoirs written by the former commanders of the Armenian armies and also in the books of the Armenian writers, who examined the history of war, Ataöv stated that the following expression was taken from the prominent English book (based on English documents) entitled “The Dictionary of World War I”: “While the Turks were preparing for the mobilization, the Armenians killed 120 thousand people, who were not Armenians, at the East.

Pointing out that none of the Armenians were judged in the end of the war and only Turks were punished, Ataöv stated that this situation symbolizes the “justice of the winners”. And in this context, indicating that the military representatives of the winning side were judges and prosecutors in Nurnberg and Tokyo courts, Ataöv gave some examples which pointed out the courts in question are not independent.

Ataöv stressed that Armenians do not accept that they had attended to 13 wars during 1914-1918, revolted against the Ottoman Empire, got armed, killed the Muslims, collaborated with the states, which invaded the Ottoman and both Turks and themselves died due to contagious diseases during the relocation.

Türkkaya Ataöv stated that the past of many countries, which accuse Turkey, were dark, in the end of the World War II, there were almost no Jews left in Poland, where 2, 5 million Jews lived in 1939, and even Germany, where Jewish genocide occurred in the past and currently, neo-Nazi movement is being experienced, is in an attempt of accusing Turkey on the Armenian claims.

Answering a question Ataöv expressed that Turkey or any country alone cannot be chosen as a scapegoat, and in this context, countries should face their own pasts and history. Ataöv added that the ones, who had founded the Turkish Republic, primarily Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, also knew what had happened very well, but their goal was to built the future for the future generations instead of being stuck in the past and this definitely does not mean to “neglect, hide or distort the truth” but to prevent uneasiness that could occur when the new state was founded for the ones, who came to Turkey by leaving their country behind.

He encountered the question “What should be done next?” when studying his master degree; Ataöv stated that he started making a research on this issue. Stating that Turks should know the Armenian question thoroughly, he said: “We, Turks, should study our homework very well. When I first came here two years ago, there were few people, who came to listen to us; the increasing number is a positive development. We should all study our homework well and should rise our voices against the ones, who attempt to accuse us. This is what I do, but we should all do this or it is attempted to accuse our nation with a crime, which would be carried for centuries long. ”

Mehmet Samsar, the Consul General of New York stated that the time Prof. Dr Ataöv came to the USA as one of the most important experts of the issue, was very important and the Turkish society in the USA have started attacking instead of just defending themselves on the Armenian claims and the Turkish thesis are being heard and listen to more frequently than they used to in the public opinion and the USA Congress.

Prof. Dr. Ataöv, who signed his book for his readers that attended the conference, will also be giving conferences in the cities of Francisco and Washington.

Source: Anadolu Agency 06.06.2008