Recently the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared with a statement saying that "A Muslim can never commit genocide". It is more correct to say that even the Muslims condemned and protested against inhuman treatment of Armenians during the genocide. A vivid examples of such demarches could be the texts of the Persian writer Jamalzadeh, Arab lawyer Fayez al Ghusein and edicts of Mecca's sheriff Hussein, and many others, who referred to horrible massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Turkey and expressed their anger, noting that the killing and violation of the innocent women and children are against the principles of Islam and Koran.
Horrible massacres of Armenians in Adana city in 1909 also created a protest among some Muslim and Turkish intellectuals. Among them was also Egyptian poet with Turkish origin, Wuali ad din Yakun,
who published his little known protest letter in the Egyptian journal Moukhatan,
on 16/29 April, 1909.
Those lines could be the best answer to the recent statements of the Prime Minister of Turkey.
THE REPROACH OF A MUSSULMAN
You did not fear God, you were not ashamed of men, when you looked upon your Christian Brothers as enemies, and killed them; your act is a that amongst you there is not one single clear-minded Islam, possessing a noble heart. O ye unjust people! Did not your hands tremble? What did you expect to gain by these massacres such as one has never seen in the history even of the most barbarous people? Woe be to mothers who gave you life, you are the shame of the country that has nourished you with its fruits, that has quenched your thirst with the water of its rivers, and which has sheltered you under the shadow of its trees.
The heavy turbans with which you have adorned your heads have served you as instruments for deceiving the ignorant people; your head-dress, descending down to your mouths, will close your eyes and poison you.
Mahomet and the Koran are irresponsible, they do not authorize you to commit evil deeds, show me the books and laws which have allowed you to undertake such butcheries of which you were the instigators. We know no religion which permits such atrocities and if perchance there had been one, we would flee it and detest it; we do not wish to be guilty, and desire to remain pure as God in heaven.
The world was marveling and the earth was celebrating your praises; the blood flowing in my veins, flows also in yours and I said to myself, 'Since God has kindly allowed me to be born a Turk, I must also die a Turk,' but to-day I blush with shame and wish to hide myself that the world may no longer see me; I wish there existed between you and me, that which exists between you and your conscience, that is to say the Human pity; I should have preferred that the blood, which drove you to commit fratricidal actions, did not flow in my veins; I am not alone to say so, all the good Osmanlis are with me, all those who respect mankind.
Are you not at all astonished? Do you not see where we are going? At the moment of your reading these lines, they are massacring our unfortunate brothers, they are burning their houses and they are inflicting on them tortures that no human being ever before endured. We are looking on to-day at the spectacle of a nation whose only fault has been a limitless confidence and gratitude towards their compatriots and neighbors who are cutting to-day its throat, as one kills sheep; red blood is flowing down on to a page of the Ottoman History.
"O Poets! Writers!
Put aside dreams and descriptions of dark hair, of rosy cheeks, etc., etc., rise with me and condemn, as justice demands, the dark deeds and red days. Use at last your pens in describing the committed atrocities to condole the stricken; the writers must also feel themselves, in order to express well the facts and make the reader listen and understand and feel them too. By the blood shed we have gone back to primitive savagery. It is therefore on these conditions that the drama should be written.
"What a pity! This poor nation, beside whom we lived for centuries, is dying to-day, a victim of our animosity.
"Rise friends of Liberty.
- You are few in number, the fanatics and the ignorant are numerous. If there was no hope of dispersing them to avenge our massacred brothers, death would be the least thing to follow the steps of the martyrs. We are living in an atmosphere so vicious, that we must get out of it by death; we are lost by our vanity and our false merits, it is not a pleasant thing to live under these conditions.
"O Nations in the West.
- Speak against us, for we deserve it, but when you use the pen, remember that there are Ottomans crying red tears and who do not desire this life and who do not at all approve of what took place in the East.
"O Ottomans living in Egypt.
- Hasten to form a union with the aim of installing this beautiful land of Turkey in its Governmental laws and in justice, and let us all hurry, as volunteers to Anatolia. I am not the only one to say so, several have had the same idea, but it is absolutely indispensable to work for that end. Let us hasten to Adana and elsewhere let us put out all the conflagrations in that country, let us rise on those mountains, to protect those who have escaped and stricken, to avenge those who have for ever disappeared; if we do not act thus, later on, we shall not have the right to call ourselves patriots. You had rather owned that we are liars; to have a family, children, is not an admissible excuse for remaining inert. I myself have a family and children, let them be victims for a country and a holocaust in memory of those butchered, massacred! Rise and forward! Let us die and let the Fatherland live; let us avenge ourselves of the assassins, let us destroy all trace of them.
Wuali ad din Yakun