| Happy Sixth Birthday |
July 31, 2011
I cannot believe it has been six years already: “How time flies!” ( I apologize for resorting to a cliché at a momentous time like this but this one really could not be helped.)
It was only five years ago to the day that I wrote about the first happy birthday of this remarkable website, bent on changing age-old prejudice via simple education, deep-running hostility via genuine kindness, and blind hate via solid facts, courageous exposure, and plain compassion.
In six short years, this site, a website created by a small group of devoted individuals , Armenians-1915.blogspot.com , has managed to become the largest single source of articles, books, films, and other information on the history of the Turkish-Armenian conflict of World War One as well as Turkish-Armenian relations today. That is no small feat no matter how one slices it.
My warm wishes and heartfelt congratulations go to Lara Kaplan, Seda Goulizar, and Murat Urguplu for their vision, enthusiasm, dedication, and hard work. I must say they have done a lot, if not the most, for leveling the playing field for all Turks by bringing to the attention of the world little known, much ignored, and/or deliberately dismissed out of sheer bias the flip side of this controversial issue.
Just how little known? . .
Well, I devised a little test using Google back on July 31, 2006, asking some questions, and I have repeated those same questions today, July 31, 2011, exactly 5 years later to the date, to determine where we are on these issues:
- Genocide: If you did a Google search on the word "genocide", you got 43.6 million entries in 2006 and 43.0 million in 2011.
Since we know there has been many more articles written in the past five years—I alone wrote more than a thousand—I consider this Google result to be an aberration, perhaps showing Google’s limitations. Nevertheless, for lack of a better figure, please keep that 43 million figure in mind.
- Armenian Genocide: If you added the word "Armenian" before “genocide”, the number of entries dropped to 2.36 million in 2006 and 4.96 million in 2011.
So the work on the alleged Armenian Genocide clearly more than doubled in 5 years. This is a simple but significant finding, perhaps proving my point that while the Armenians used to see the alleged genocide as “raison d’etre” ( psychological reason for existence,) they now turned it into a industry that actually feeds them with book and film sales, panels, exhibits, monuments, churches, donations, gifts, and more (i.e. physical reason for existence.)
- Alleged Armenian Genocide: If you further added the word "alleged" to the front of “Armenian genocide”, the number of entries dwindled to 163,000 entries in 2006 and 450,000 in 2011.
It may be reasonably assumed that the word "alleged" is used in response to the Armenian claims and, therefore, probably reflects the opposing views if not also Turkish performance on this issue. The above Google data, spread over five years, with all of their faults, duplications, suppositions, and other shortcomings, still manage to tell us a bundle about how the Armenians have managed to transform an inter-communal warfare fueled by religious bias, nationalist fervor, and international designs, fought mostly by irregulars during a raging World War into a one-way, black-n-white genocide and how weak the Turkish response has been. If there is one good thing to say about Turkish performance here, it is that the amount of literature put out on this matter in the last five years surpassed that of the entire 1915-2006 period—I ought to know as I wrote a thousand of them since 2006 myself…)
Ethocide: If you keyed in the term "Ethocide" –which I had coined in 2003, my humble gift to the English language, in frustration caused by the incredibly biased and lopsided coverage of the Turkish-Armenian issue in media— the number of entries was 440 in 2006 which jumped to 3,360 in 2011, an impressive 660% increase!
Since this is the single word (meaning systematic extermination of ethics via mass deception for political and other gain) future generations of Turkish Americans will use to casually refute on their happy way to their high school’s prom the baseless Armenian allegations of genocide, this growth in the use of this new term is noteworthy.
Here is more food for thought:
- Armenia is still cultivating hate and vengeance: Assuming the above Google figures are correct, then a significant part of the general genocide literature (i.e. more than 11%) seems to have been generated by the Armenians and their allies. Not bad for a land-locked, poverty-stricken, violence-ridden, war-mongering, corrupt and tiny dictatorship with about 2 million inhabitants whose major exports are illegal aliens, organized fraud, violent gangs, international terrorism, military aggression, and ethnic cleansing, and whose major imports are Diaspora handouts, US Foreign Aid, Russian weapons, and embargoed Turkish consumer goods.
- Turks respond more, but still not in sufficient numbers: There is a slight increase on the Turkish responses from 6.9% in 2006 to 9.1% in 2011, if one assumes that Turkish entries are mostly in response to Armenian entries. While this small improvement is welcome, it is not sufficient 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.
Positive Approach To The Turkish-Armenian Relations
Norwegian Tragedy : I would be remiss if I did not cover a positive approach to the Turkish-Armenian Relations. The Norwegian Tragedy of July 22, 2011, perpetrated by a blond and blue-eyed Christian terrorist, must have given every decent person in the world a rude awakening as its scope, depth, and reach single-handedly managed to turn upside down all conventional wisdom, centuries of bias and bigotry. It showed one and all that one way thinking in terms of “us-versus-them” does not work, never did, never will. Now, even the New York Times, the citadel of bias and bigotry in America, can start licking its wounds, especially after being exposed for its perhaps biggest blunder when it jumped the gun with who might be behind the Norwegian tragedy (you guessed it, the NYT pointed to Islamic groups and based their judgment on the “learned” advice of a so called “expert”.)
“Experts” are not immune to mistakes: We know about those “experts” whose ideas and reports filled the pages of NYT with pure anti-Turkish propaganda during WWI. We know other “experts” who still shamelessly promote a bogus genocide.
That said, I want the Norwegian tragedy to be turning point in the Turkish-Armenian conflict and hope that even the most prejudiced writers at NYT can now see the inevitable: Armenian agitation, propaganda, raids, bombings, feuds, ambushes, assassinations, revolts, treason, pogroms, territorial demands, and many Turkish victims killed by Armenians, all had something to do with the tragedy that befell the Armenians. It was not Turks, who after a millennium of harmonious cohabitation in Anatolia with Armenians , one morning, woke up with the crazy decision to kill all Armenians. This whole thing brew over a half century (1862-1915) and intensified over the last quarter (1890-1915.) If Armenians in most of Anatolia did not take up arms against their own government, state, and people, they would still be living in Turkey, just like the Armenians in Istanbul who stayed loyal to their country (which is one more reason why this is not genocide.)
Verbal Tragedy Perpetrated by Sargsyan: As if the Norwegian tragedy was not enough, another tragedy of a verbal kind took place in Armenia. What the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan reportedly said on July 25, 2011 in response to a question from a young participant of the Armenian language and literature contest, may be the reason why Turkey-Armenia protocols never progressed since the day they were signed about two years ago. The youth asked if Armenians will ever get Western Armenia and Mount Agri (Ararat for Armenians) back from Turks. Sargsyan responded that it would depend on the young participant’s generation and that Sargsyan’s generation already had done its part by getting (Karabakh) from the enemy (Azerbaijan) ! He added that every generation had its calling and that his generation responded well to his generation’s calling by taking Karabakh. In other words, he is suggesting to the youth to take back by force a piece of neighboring sovereign country, Turkey. This is happening today, not in 1915, ladies and gentlemen! And this is the psyche of the highest political leader in Armenia, not just some Joe Schmuckian in Glendale… Of course, the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Davutoglu came right back with disappointments, regrets, and sadness and condemned Sargsyan for promoting hate, vengeance, violence and terrorism. Can you blame the Turks?
Commission of historians: Having pointed out that extremism, violence, threats, deception, propaganda, and posturing never worked in the past hundred years in providing a fair and lasting solution to international problems, I really truly believe that exposing the facts is the only way to peace. If we can manage to establish a commission of historians, not henchmen out to settle a score or partisan scholars our for glory and gold, but true, non-partisan, dis-interested scholars, of Turkish and Armenian and other nationalities, open up all the archives, pry this controversy away from the dirty hands of Diaspora crooks in Glendale and Boston, and handlers Washington DC and elsewhere, then we stand a chance of reaching eventual peace, even if it comes in painfully slow steps at first.
Today, we cannot even agree on the numbers who lived, got temporarily resettled, got killed in the process or perished due to wartime conditions. Ladies and gentlemen, you cannot have 1.5 million Armenians dying when the entire population was 1.3 million. So, please stop this masquerade already! It doesn’t work! Never did! Never will!
You cannot report “…more than 200,000 Armenians killed…” in March 29, 1919 to Paris Peace Conference; state “600,000 Armenians killed” on an aid poster in America only two months later (May 1919) ; increase it to 800,000 in NYT the next year, claim a million in 1970s; a 1.5 in 1980s; 2 million in 1990s; 2.5 even 3 million in 2000s; and expect people to believe you. Dead do not multiply! Never did! Never will! You must start telling the truth: about 300,000 losses mostly by wartime conditions (epidemics, starvations, shortages, and more, very few by bullets… Really! ) And do not forget to add half a million Muslims, mostly Turks, met their tragic ends at the hands of Armenian nationalists under Russian, French, British, and Greek uniforms and no uniform at all. When you state the facts, the term “Armenian genocide” automatically becomes an oxymoron.
You cannot make some inconveniences vanish into thin air, such as Armenian propaganda, agitation, terror in that order from 1882-1920; Armenian revolts from 1862 to 1920; Armenian treason from 1821-1921; Armenian territorial demands to establish the first apartheid of the 20th Century; Turkish victims at Armenian hands; Turco-phobia; Islamo-phobia, and more… (While at it, please read the letters of Boghos Noubar, head of one of the two Armenian delegations to Paris Peace Conference, and the 1923 Manifesto by Hovhannes Katchaznouni to see that it was war provoked, waged, and prolonged by Armenian nationalists and that the Turks were only defending their home.)
You cannot go on with deception: fake Talat telegrams, bogus Hitler quote, doctored Vereshagin painting of pyramid of skulls, fabricated Mustafa Kemal newspaper interview, distorted Mustafa Kemal photos where puppies were replaced with dead children, fake photo featuring an alleged Ottoman official tainting starving alleged Armenian children ; and hundreds more. You cannot build solemn memory on lies and deceptions…Stop this senseless fraud!
You cannot continue with "social reconstruction", a term used by sociologists to describe rebuilding memory based on current social acts and sympathies, not history's facts. If Armenia wants to put an end to its isolation, poverty, corruption, and violence, then Armenia must stop the military occupation of Azerbaijani lands and allow about a million Azeri refugees to return to their homes in occupied lands (Karabagh and the seven regions around it.) And if Armenia wants to share in the peace and prosperity Turkey is building via its "zero problems with neighbors" policy, then Armenia should learn what is meant by "just memory". Just memory respects the suffering of all sides, not just that of the Armenians and acknowledges Armenian complicity and responsibility in all that suffering.
I know all of this is a big leap for Armenia, which is why I am suggesting a very small step, one that is already included in the frozen protocols of October 12, 2009: establishment of a commission of historians and opening of the Armenian archives (all of them, including the ones in Erevan, Etchmiadzin, Beirut, Jerusalem, Mekhitarist Church, Boston, Glendale, and elsewhere.)
Until the facts are established, which may take decades, we can rebuild those millennium-old friendships all over again... Let the facts speak for all of us. Then we can achieve fair and lasting peace… No more deceptions, terrorism, or aggression.
May love and peace win over hate and war one day…
The Assembly of Turkish American Associations