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Museum G-Brief

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, but…


03.12.2010

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, I fully agree with you that many things have changed in the Turkish society and the “tragic events” of 1915 are now on the agenda for public debates, but one may ask why those events have been denied and still it is hard to believe that all denialist documents and publications on the web site of the Foreign Mministry of Turkey will soon be removed. Let me guess: perhaphs Turkey needs another decade for proper facing with its own history without new and old taboos, syndromes and complexes.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, while speaking about the causes of implementation of state-planned and orchestrated policy of Genocide against Armenians and other Christian minorities one can blame for intensification of nationalist movements in the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but let me ask why the killer of Hrant Dink, who was shot dead in January 2007, was treated as a hero in the police station and no one has been sentenced so far? Why are the Armenians living in Anatolia still afraid of expressing their real identity? That’s because of… I believe that you are well aware of the answer since the next question I would like to raise in this regard is the “unknown” nationalism which is responsible for the destruction of more than 3000 early Christian Armenian monuments dynamited or used as target during the tank exercises in 1960s and 1970s i. e. during the period of republican Turkey.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, Armenians were holding some high positions in the Ottoman Empire in 1914, but let me quote Tallat pasha’s words directed to Danish orientalist Johannes Ostrup in 1910 before the “tragic war” of 1914: “You see, between us and this people (Armenians – H. D.) there is an incompatibility which cannot be solved in a peaceful manner; either they will completely undermine us, or we will have to annihilate them. If I ever come to power in this country, I will use all my might to exterminate the Armenians” (Johannes Østrup, Erindringer, Copenhagen: H. Hirschprungs Forlag 1937, p. 118.). I think there is no need for further comments.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, 1915 is an important date for the Armenians, but it must be an important date for the Turks as well, since the history of the Armenian Genocide is and must be an inseparable part of the Turkish history and memory.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, It was a war period and maybe the political order was weak in Turkey, but let me remind that while making orders for the deportation of the Armenians and appropriation of their property from 1915 till 1924, the Ottoman and Turkish laws and orders were implemented unconditionally.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, the Gelipoli/Canakkale battle was the bloodiest in the history of Ottoman Turkey. Ottomans lost a quarter million of lives, but not only Turks were among the victims in this deadly battle. But hundreds of Armenians, as ordinary Ottoman patriots joined their Turkish fellowmen to fight against the enemies and defend their homeland. Among those 250.000 there were not only Turks, but Arabs, Kurds, Armenians and other nationalities as well. Do Turks know the name of Sarkis Torossian, who destroyed the first enemy battleship during Chanakkale in 1915 and was known as “Armenian hero of Dardanel”? Moreover, the names of Avedis Chepechian, Vahram Papazian and many other Armenian soldiers and officers, who probably were fighting together with your grandfather, are unjustly forgotten. Those Armenians, who survived in Canakkale in 1915, later learnt that their beloved ones were sent to die in the slaughterhouses of the Arabian deserts.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, you are right to say that we have to escape from one-sided representations and interpretations of the past, but I am afraid that with this you just represented the Turkish point of view. Furthermore, I do not really understand the logic to connect Cannakkale fighting and the Armenian Genocide. If there is any link between both, then it is the very date: April 24, 1915.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, nine and half centuries of the coexistence of Turks and Armenians is solid period of time, but let me remind you that except millet-i sadıka, i. e. “obedient people”, Armenians were known also as giavurs i. e. infidel. Being infidel I think means being non-equal in the given society. Or when one group says to another “obedient people” it already means that they are not on the same level in terms of elementary human rights.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, I agree with your statement that “if there were mistakes, they should be named”, but it seems to me that within last nine decades Turkey has only insisted and justified its past mistakes and made a huge list of new ones.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, we should remember a good side and be ready to share our pains in order to move forward, but at the same time we need no more alternative rhetoric to hide the shameful parts of the history.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, during the recent failed attempt to ameliorate relations between Armenia and Turkey, a step which was set off by Yerevan, the Constitutional Court of Armenia has adopted a decision on the protocols, but it is totally mistaken to blame the Armenian court, as you said, for “excluding the establishment of a commission of historians that was important for Turkey.” Do you need the commission of historians to “share our pains”?

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, it is up to Turkey to keep its border with Armenia open or closed and put a precondition saying that there will not be any progress in the ratification of the Protocols unless the Karabakh problem is settled. But with this claim you just crush your previous statements and reaffirm that Turkey is not ready for changes…changes which possibly could be fatal in terms of saving not only the country’s face but the future too.

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, the regional peace is a need while making fundamental approaches to solve long-lasting problems. But do Syria, Gaza and Lebanon make their politics under the banner of one nation – two or three states?

Yes, Mr. Davutoğlu, we should address Karabakh issue, but while speaking about occupations I have to remind you that your country still keeps the part of the European Union in Cyprus under occupation for already 36 years, but you prefer to speak about the “Armenian occupation” of Azerbaijani territory.

Yes, sayın Ahmet-bey, we lived together and I believe we have no other choice but to do the same in the future and overcome all burdens. But I am afraid you also should take responsibility: instead of uncertain and cautious statements it is better to appear with clear messages to the Turkish society on the past mistakes in order not to repeat them in our days…


by Hayk Demoyan

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During 2015, within the framework of the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the AGMI plans to organize nearly twenty different multilingual exhibitions of new scientific scholarship using modern technologies and design in different countries simultaneously. There will be accompanying exhibition leaflets, catalogues and booklets in Armenian and foreign languages. In parallel, the AGMI plans to publish memoirs and monographs in Armenian and foreign languages.

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