Davutoglu’s Revisionism Targets the Diaspora

Turkish Foreign Minster Ahmet Davutoglu

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

Ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and in its continuing efforts to revise history and distort the truth, official Ankara has set its eyes on the Armenian Diaspora, this time revising the definition of the word to water down the political and legal elements that define a diaspora.

In an interview published in the Turkish Milliyet on July 7, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that he has sent a directive to all Turkish embassies in which he redefined the Turkish diaspora.

“We consider all those who emigrated from those lands, and not only the Turks, to be the diaspora—the Armenians, Jews, Greeks, the people called El Turco in Latin America, and the Arabs in Argentina… Those are our people… Those are people whose culture and language resemble ours.”

Based on these “redefined criteria,” Turkish representations around the world “
will now open their doors to those people who were once Ottoman subjects, they will contact them, and they will even invite them to national days. The contacts with the Armenian diaspora are said to have already started,” according to Milliyet.

Asbarez warned its readers recently of an effort to infiltrate the Armenian community. It is a direct by-product of this diplomatic directive that has propelled the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles to reach out to well-meaning yet confused community members to open, what is potentially a dangerous dialogue.

According to Wikipedia, a Diaspora is “the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland; or “people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location”; or “people settled far from their ancestral homelands.”

“In an article published in 1991, William Safran set out six rules to distinguish diasporas from migrant communities,” Wikipedia goes on to explain. “These included criteria that the group maintains a myth or collective memory of their homeland; they regard their ancestral homeland as their true home, to which they will eventually return; being committed to the restoration or maintenance of that homeland; and they relate ‘personally or vicariously’ to the homeland to a point where it shapes their identity.”

Davutoglu’s redefinition of Diaspora and his blatant perpetuation of Turkish revisionism and denial is the second of a three-point outline he has concocted—introduced—to advance Turkish-Armenian relations ahead of the Genocide Centennial.

The first point is what Davutoglu says concerns “feelings,” whereby the Turkish foreign minister wants to assure Armenians that “I understand your pain; we will listen to the Armenians.” This patronizing approach of showing “respect” toward Armenians’ feelings, not only diminishes the fact of the Genocide, but it waters down the incident, making the Genocide seem like an accidental mishap that must be dealt with.

While he acknowledges that in past Turkey has denied the Genocide, his new approach is nothing more that using another euphemism to address this matter.

“The Armenians are not facing a foreign minister who claims that nothing happened in 1915. I do not call the incidents genocide. We must develop a new language on the issue. We are not denying your suffering, we understand it. Let us get together and do whatever is necessary. That, however, cannot be a unilateral declaration of guilt,” Davutoglu told Milliyet.

Davutoglu, the newspaper explains, has developed a concept called “just memory,” which is supposedly based on feeling the pain of the Armenians and “not trying to shut them up.”

He either actually believes or wants the entire world to believe that the Turks should not be compared to the Nazis, because the Genocide was not a systematic effort to annihilate an entire race but rather a consequence of events the caused “paranoia in people who feared that they would be exiled from Anatolia.”

Davutoglu also claimed that there are efforts to sign a joint declaration before 2015 with Armenia that reflects this version of the events.

The third point in this preposterous plan deals directly with the provisions of the Armenia-Turkey protocols, whose ratification by Turkey is pre-conditioned on a pro-Azeri resolution to the Karabakh conflict.

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian rejected this three-pronged solution, saying Thursday at a press conference that the international community has already proposed its own three point plan, which includes ratifying the Armenian-Turkish protocols without preconditions; carrying out the provisions of the agreements, again without preconditions; and refraining from linking the Armenian-Turkish issue with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Nalbandian asserted that Turkey has failed to take serious measures toward any rapprochement for 97 years, saying “Turkey has been unable to face its own history.”

“If Turkey intends to work in the same manner for the next three years and proposes ‘a combination of some steps’ which lead to nowhere, the result is obvious,” said Nalbandian.

By redefining what a Diaspora is, Turkey is advancing a dangerous policy to change the role of its diplomatic representations into centers that can—and have started to—have an impactful role in [our] community life.

Individuals who do not recognize this threat and are actively taking part in this divisive tactic, must closely evaluate their personal interests and not become pawns in this dangerous effort to diminish our national struggle.

At the same time, the Armenian government must become more assertive on this issue and instead of the reactionary and tacit responses to Turkey’s malicious policies, must aggressively advocate and advance the Armenian Cause.

Less than three years remain to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. The political aspects of this milestone, perhaps, far outweigh the efforts to properly mark this anniversary. Our national aspirations that include just reparations and restitution for the victims of the Armenian Genocide, as well the territorial demands of the Armenian nation are paramount to advancing the Armenian Cause.

It is high time that we, as a Nation, start speaking the same language and acting on the imperatives that will advance justice. The government of Turkey began implementing this new approach to its decades-old denialist policy long ago by pouring millions of dollars into Turkish organizations outside of Turkey and bolstering Turkish presence in political life in various countries.

Davutoglu can redefine terms and concepts as much as he wants. The fact remains that Turkey will have to pay for its crimes—current and past.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Milliyet article reference above was reported by Asli Aydintasbas and translated into English by Katia Peltekian.

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42 Comments

  1. danoog said:

    My grandfather was born and raised in Harpoot and my grandmother was born and raised in Dirabkyir. I would rather be drawn, quartered and dragged naked through a septic field than call myself Turkish.

  2. john said:

    It amazes me that the Armenian government wants to open the border with these Turkish thugs who are proud of what they did during the Armenian genocide. What saddens me more is that Hayastansi woman are marrying Turkish men and living in Turkey. This will lead to cultural genocide and that is exactly what the Turks want. In Georgia, their stupid government is doing the same exact thing. They have allowed 12,000 Turks to become Georgian citizens.They are also going to bring several thousand more Turks into Georgia.Since murderous genocide was unsuccessful, the Turks are trying cultural and demographic genocide by diluting the Armenian gene pool with filthy Turkish genes.

  3. MIHRAN DURGERIAN said:

    Turkey is trrying hard to impose their version unfortunately some world powers are supporting this histeria …
    Turkey insists about the similarities of our culture what was expected we lived under the ottoman rule for seven centuries it is time know for turkey to forget the ottoman version of things seat downe with armenia and diaspora return what doesn’t b elong to turkey…period …simple and clean no complicated stories…

  4. Garo said:

    What Turkey did to us can NEVER be repaired. What this turkish liar is telling us is nonsense and worthless. No amount of apology and redemption will take our pain, memory and image of the TURK as our eternal enemy. I will never forget and I will never forgive..

  5. John Ahmaranian said:

    Oglum Davutoglu, Enough is enough. Leave the Diaspora alone!
    Take care of your borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran, then reach the Diaspora.
    You said that “Jews, Turks, Greeks, Armenians are our people.” If so, admit that you did not kill 1.5 million Armenians, but… 1.5 million of your people. Would be OK with you?
    Although the Diaspora has many problems, but be sure that it is united in condemning your crimal acts
    of the 19th-20th centuries.
    One point: in enumerating the components of your “One People”, there no mention of the Kurds. Are
    you allergic to the Kurds?
    One People? No oglum Davudoglu. You are originally a Mongol. I am not sure! You might be a converted Jew, a Donmeh or a forced Janissairy. Learn about the origin of your own people before talking about other nationalities.

  6. M.S.K. said:

    It has been said that Davutoglu (son of daund’s) language is 90% Armenian, Assyrian and Greek. His demand is good to his Turks and illiterate Armenians that believes him. In brief, The reality is Turkey must pay for massacring 1.1/2 million of innocent people (Armenian Genocide) and return our capitivity land by those inhumane race. Those Armenians who negotiate/supports/agree to Davutoglu’s demand would be considered Turks and not of Armenian origin, period.

  7. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Don’t believe this man and any Turk and their embassies…
    I was followed in my town…because
    I wrote a verse about Armenian genocide…
    also I know many journalists not Armenian, those they any small things against turks
    They are followed..and threatened….and their name goes to the embassy…
    I am not afraid on my self but my children…!!!

    “If he says…he understand our pain …
    Let him recognize the Armenian Genocide”…
    and let him return our lands …homes back…

    Be aware…Many people non-Armenian told me be aware don’t speak…

    This is another trick to get us and kill us one day like Hrant Dink…!
    Please don’t trust …We had lessons that no one can forget except one who is stupid…
    awake…where we live they respect Armenians…and they know who we are…!!!

    • steve said:

      i really like your comment, i didnt realise that it was a trap to rekill to be honest ! i thought of it as a turkish political game to try to erase the genocide protest, but i can see, it is an attempt to lure and murder !
      i seriously believe armenians as a whole must start to become super educated in the field of politics and psychology, then we will see how they will cope against us !

  8. Pingback: Armenian News - Davutoglu’s Revisionism Targets the Diaspora – Asbarez Armenian News | HyeBiz

  9. Hayrenaser said:

    The ANCA must approach the Armenian Assembly and unify two organizations’ stands. The church—both diocese and prolece—should also be included. The Armenian government, through its diplomats must also weigh in. each individual or group who positively responds to Davutoglu’s initiative must be approached by the Diaspora parties, clergy, and Armenian diplomats to highlight the danger of such unilateral step and to urge unity in ranks, and discourage dissent.
    Also, the ARF must send its representatives to Turkish events to raise the Armenian cause in Turkish turf. I am sure the Turks will cease to invite Armenians and will give up in no time; i.e. turn the table against the Turks and use their plan against them.

  10. Janine said:

    The first point is what Davutoglu says concerns “feelings,” whereby the Turkish foreign minister wants to assure Armenians that “I understand your pain; we will listen to the Armenians.”

    Oh, I’m sure, after all the lies and coverups, we all believe this! (That was sarcasm.)
    As an American, I just hope that our State Department had nothing to do with crafting this shady, shabby attempt at compromise over something as serious a threat to the whole of humanity as a bloodthirsty, merciless genocide. What a waste of time and human effort! Shameful.

  11. jacque said:

    Ok Turkey.
    if youre seriouce about the new defenition of Diaspora.
    then you agnoldge the wrights of those poeple whoe used to live on their lands under the control of the otomans now called turkey.
    So give back all the lands abandoned, confescated and taken from its origanal owners as direct cause of the events of 1896 to 1922 and democraticley let those poeple decide on their faith to stay within turkish rule or have independent rule of their own.
    How about that as voice of the new diaspora.Millions of Armenians and other Christians used to call eastern anatolia home and theiy mount to over 8.000000 in the diaspora today.
    as direct act of the event (Genocide) of 1890’s to 1922. these poeple lost their ancestral homeland and heritage.The least Turkey can do for its old subjects agnoladge the fact of history and come clean.
    Then maybe Turkey will gain the respect of the civilized world.

  12. MIHRAN DURGERIAN said:

    turkey tries to convince the world it’s version of the turkish armenian relations…they believe armenians don’t have enough proofs to argue the contrary because a country called Armenia didn’t exsist since the collaps of the kilikian kingdom….what is needed a strong front the republic of armenia and all diasporans need to tell TURKEY stop confusing the world come to terms give back what doesn’t belong to you…period….

  13. levon sanosyan said:

    The answer to you is no. Forget it Davutoglu, go fly a kite.

  14. Jack Kalpakian said:

    The Turkish government truly does not get it. They demand that we not feed the nationalist opposition on their right by pressing down politically on them, and they think that such cooperation should be offered by Armenians gratis. The truth is that we should help the Gulenist/AKP government in Turkey in return for some very specific actions on their part, not for free. 1915 made Armenians and Turks strangers and opponents, and while we have pointedly not Palestinized our relationship with Turks, we are not going to do any favors for “blue sky goodwill” to any Turkish government, no matter how much of an improvement it represents compared to previous ones. So Mr. Davutoglu, if your economic and diplomatic blockade remain in place in conjunction with your preconditions, kindly go and pave the sea for all we care. Your nationalists are your problem, not ours.

  15. facts said:

    This man is called in Turkey “Enver Jr.! ans I say

    Gül is not better than Tallat Pasha the same applys to Islamo-Fascist Erdogan!

    New facts rival that Turks in 1915 were war worse than Nazis !
    Criminal young Turkish regime of Ottoman Empire did committee the Armenian Genocide. after that all Turkish regimes of Turkish republic working to legalize the committed genocide- by using different excuses and justifications!
    Criminal rules of Turkey say: they cannot be bad as Nazi Germany. This is worng! The life of Tallatt Pasha was in danger prior to his crime against Armenian people. Tallat was saved by his Armenian friend- but the same criminal Tallat Pasha did order the killing of his Armenian friend, as he did start with his annihilation plan against Armenia people- Turkish Tallat Pash and Co were far worse than Hitler!

    Hitler did at least save his comrade in arm which was of Jewish origin!
    http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/114966/
    Hitler intervened to save Jewish comrade-in-arms, letter reveals
    Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler intervened to prevent a Jewish First World War veteran being sent to a death camp, a German Jewish newspaper has reported, according to Belfast Telegraph.
    The quarterly Jewish Voice says that a newly discovered letter appears to show Hitler wanted Erich Hess to be spared persecution because the two had served in the same German army unit. Hess died in 1983.
    The newspaper says the letter from the SS paramilitary organisation was discovered in official archives containing files the Nazi secret police, or Gestapo, kept on Jewish lawyers and judges.
    Historian Susanne Mauss, who found the letter, told the Associated Press its authenticity is corroborated by other documents, including one owned by Hess’ daughter Ursula.
    Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust under Hitler’s rule.

  16. Alex Postallian said:

    What is it with the turkeys(gooble,gooble) paranoia,they must be on nose candy. Now davitugly is playing nice guy,it wont workee turkee.They will always perputuate this stupidity,until they dont have an equal stupid audience.

    • Janine said:

      Jda this is always what his circular rhetoric has reminded me of!

  17. isgouhi said:

    does this mean all those Armenians who were deported from their homeland can re-claim their lands. If so, then our political approaches to our Genocide should be re-visited and by doing so, have the opportunity to work from within to educate the turkish people and get their backing. sounds utopian? think again.

  18. Heghapokhagan said:

    OMG ” Oh My GOD”
    WOW HAHAHAHAHAHA LOL…
    Spare this please for a century old joke!! lol

  19. John said:

    The Armenian government needs to learn to be united and patriotic like the Israelis. The power of the Jews is their unitedness and their patriotism. Their leadership may have corrupt officials also but they still do a good job of running Israel’s economy. Israel does not have any natural resources but it depends on it’s scientific and engineering talent and it rewards intelligence. The corrupt Sarkissian administration drive out Armenia’s intelligent people and prevent intelligent and educated Armenians from the diaspora from going to Armenia.It makes me laugh that a clown like Dodi Gago who has a degree in physical education gets elected to Armenia’s national security council.

  20. Armenian said:

    hitler saved his jew friend Hess but Talaat orders to arrest and assassinate his closer Armenian friend the deputy and lawyer Krikor Zohrab! Hitler is an angel compared to Talaat!

    • steve said:

      Zohrab should not have forgiven talaat when talaat had slapped him during an arguement, talaat always thought he was more superior, and Zohrab forgave him, i hope armenians learn from history in EVERY detail, to know how to handle the future !

  21. Art Terhakopian said:

    I say Armenians should take up the invitation and go to National Day at Turkish embassies … they should go to the ‘lion’s den’ and aggressively advocate and advance the Armenian Cause. People and people to people contacts can only work to spread the truth and goodwill.

  22. Aram said:

    Turks are making a mockery of Armenians. Armenia has a government and Turkish officials should talk to them and NOT the “Armenian Diaspora” or their “leaders”. I know the Diaspora “leaders” feel special and important in these cases, but they need to “come down” and not represent Armenia or the Armenian people in ANY matter!!!

    • Christo said:

      What are you commenting. There is no Armenian govermnemt, it’s being run by a bunch if criminal oligarchs. no yank you, the diaspoa was never a part of the republic of Armenia, never was never will. western Armenia and Cilicia was and will always be independent of the republic. Therefore, the three diaspora organizations are the only valid organizations that can speak and represent the diaspora independent of the Republic.

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  24. Albert said:

    The new strategy of the Turks is to committ cultural and economic genocide against the Armenians.They want to open the borders with Armenia and to economically take over Armenia. You should read the former statements of ex-President of Turkey Ozal and you will see the evil plan of Turkey.Vehbi Dincerler former education minister repeated what Ozal had stated which was
    “An act of goodwill by our brothers, namely, satisfying such [Nagorno Karabakh’s] demand would be accepted with great enthusiasm by Armenians and soon Armenia itself would become a Turkic state,” “The president was referring to not only the significant increase of Armenia’s Azeri population, but also merging of Armenians in a Turkic environment conditioned by transparency of borders and Turkish economic expansion”

    THE PLAN OF TURKEY IS TO TURN ARMENIA,GEORGIA AND THE NKR INTO TURKIC STATES.
    IF WE OPEN THE TURKISH BORDER, THIS WILL HAPPEN. Hayastansi woman are already marrying many Turkish men and this will be the end of Armenia. Read the story in Armenia Now.
    http://www.armenianow.com/genocide/37602/armenian_genocide_recognition_turkish_president_ozal

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  26. Steven Kocay said:

    I was born in Turkey but been there for only once. I consider myself not a Turk but I always want good things for Turks and Turkey. This nature this welcoming hospital people, the nicest sea and historical culture is hard to experience anywhere else in the world. I know Armenians get angry when I say such things but it is true.

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