BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN
A group of extreme nationalist Turkish lawyers, members of the Istanbul Bar Association, published an article in their November Bulletin threatening “to deport” all Armenians from Turkey, once again. The author of the article, Mustafa Chalik, writes that the “deportation” would be “the mildest action” against the Armenians. Since the Turkish government denies the occurrence of the Armenian Genocide, the author refers to it as “deportation.” The article describes the Armenian Genocide as “a crowning achievement.”
To make matters worse, Chalik blesses the memories of the chief henchmen of the Armenian Genocide: “the great martyr Talaat Pasha,” Enver Pasha, and Bahaddin Shakir, saying that “we bow in front of the saintly memories of all Unionists [Young Turks] and kiss their blessed hands…. We wish God’s mercy and eternal bliss in Heaven to all unnamed [Turkish] martyrs who lost their lives in the Armenian massacres.”
Chalik goes on to write that, “If the Committee of Union and Progress [Young Turks] committed ‘a crime,’ their only ‘crime’ was to prevent the catastrophe that occurred to us in the Balkans from happening to us in Eastern Anatolia.”
The writer states that, “we support the Armenian deportation of 1915. Those who call the deportation a genocide are making a declaration of war. Armenians and others, who call it a genocide, are threatened with a new deportation which will be the lightest measure against them.”
“Our ancestors entered the World War to defend their sacred homeland and honor. It is our honor and the crown of our heads in all our struggles from Sarıkamısh to Chanakkale and from the Armenian deportation to Independence War. We will carry this crown with eternal pride,” writes Chalik.
Chalik continues: “If we believe that there is no other way to defend our homeland and national existence, whoever we are, the smallest gratification we will resort to is a new ‘deportation.’”
In the preface of his book, “Armenian Genocide Claims,” Chalik describes the Armenian demands regarding the 1915 Genocide as “a crying literature…. Great nations with deep roots do not manage to cry and whine. They regard pity and seeking pity for themselves as demeaning. For this reason, ‘weeping and crying literatures’ are either not developed or have disappeared. This is one of the serious issues. From time to time, we, too, are influenced by the richness of the Armenian crying literature, and unnecessarily accuse ourselves for not publishing as much as they do. As a matter of fact, we can’t compete with them even if we wanted. We have such a vast ‘mourning literature’ that is not only related to the Armenian atrocities, but other catastrophes we are experiencing. In fact, it is said that the silence that the Turks came to exhibit in the face of Tashnak propaganda, which has been carried out for decades with a full cry, has been seen as ‘denial’ of the crime of slander and genocide.”
In addition to Chalik’s article, there is a second article in the extreme nationalist Turkish lawyers’ Bulletin, written by Faruk Ulker, titled “1915 Events and Armenian Atrocities.”
Ulker writes that “the Armenian issue and the claim of the Armenian Genocide still remain one of the most important problems of our nation in the last century.” He calls the genocide, “self-defense.” The article also quotes Yusuf Halacoglu, a former member of the Turkish Parliament and a denialist of the Armenian Genocide, as stating: “the 300,000 Armenians who died during the deportations lost their lives due to disease in the Caucasus.”
As if such denialist lies were not enough, the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah published an article on December 8 titled “Turkey to boost efforts to fight defamation campaign.”
The Turkish government’s Directorate of Communications formed a website, “1915.gov.tr,” posting materials that deny the facts of the Armenian Genocide. Daily Sabah states that “Turkey objects to the presentation of the 1915 incidents as a ‘genocide,’ rather referring to it as a tragedy in which both Turks and Armenians suffered casualties amidst the throes of World War I…. ‘This website will respond to Armenian genocide slander used against our country at every possible opportunity in the international area, by putting historical information and data to the fore,’ said Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on Saturday during a training program in the coastal province of Antalya.”
Daily Sabah further reports that, “In 1915, the Ottoman Empire relocated Armenians in eastern Anatolia following revolts in which some sided with invading Russian forces. There were many Armenian casualties during this relocation process. Armenia has demanded an apology and compensation, while Turkey has officially refuted Armenian allegations over the incidents saying that, although Armenians died during the relocations, many Turks also lost their lives in attacks carried out by Armenian gangs in Anatolia. The Turkish government has repeatedly called on historians to study Ottoman archives pertaining to the era in order to uncover what actually happened between the Ottoman government and its Armenian citizens. Rebuffing the ‘genocide’ allegations, Turkey has officially acknowledged past experiences as a great tragedy in which both parties suffered heavy casualties, including hundreds of Muslim Turks.”
Altun was also quoted by Daily Sabah as stating that Turkey will step up its efforts against Armenians targeting the country. “We should wage a stronger fight against dark propaganda.”
More importantly, Altun added that Turkey’s negotiating power in the international arena has been increasing as a result of its growing regional strength. “Our aim is to conduct high-quality, valuable work to equal to the upsurge of our country, which has a voice in the region and in the world,” Altun stated.
We should make two conclusions from the above materials:
- Those who say that the “Bloody Turk” has not changed much in the past 100 years are right, except that we should not generalize to all Turks. There are many Turks who are righteous and readily acknowledge the crime of Genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks. However, there are many other Turks who are the blind followers of Turkish officials who intentionally deny the Armenian Genocide. Good examples of the denialist Turks are the authors of the two articles referenced above, and the website set up by Erdogan’s Turkish Government to deny the Armenian Genocide.
- Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun claims that, with the increasing prestige of Turkey, it has become a stronger country. While this is unfortunately true, it should encourage all truth and justice loving people in the world to work tirelessly to expose the true barbaric nature of Turkey, not only 100 years ago, but also today in Northern Syria against Kurds and Christians. Countering and diminishing Turkey’s clout in international relations should be one of the main objectives to establish historical justice!