Turkey Still Trying to Deny Well-Documented Genocide

In an article published on the anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Mehmet Ali Biran mocks Turkish claims that the event never happened. He cites a book of documents collected from the German Foreign Ministry, saying that upon reading it, there is no way to deny the genocide. He asks Turkish officials: where is the evidence for your position?  

al-monitor People take part in a commemoration ceremony to mark the anniversary of the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, April 24, 2011. Armenia, backed by many historians and world parliaments, says some 1.5 million Armenians died during the upheavals that accompanied World War I and labels the events as genocide. On the other hand, Ankara rejects the term genocide and says large numbers of both Christian Armenians and Muslim Turks were killed. Photo by REUTERS/Tigran Mehrabyan.

Topics covered

turkey, armenians

Apr 25, 2012

Like every year on April 24, 70 million Turks will wonder what others will have to say about the Armenian issue. What will Washington say? Which country will acknowledge Armenian claims of genocide? We will be restless for a couple of days and then forget about it. As 2015 approaches [the event's centennial], these pressures will intensify. Turkey, as it always has, will react harshly and issue threats but none of these will work. Do you know why?

Because the Armenians succeeded in making the majority of the world accept their claims of genocide. Turkey’s counter arguments were always late and feeble.

Last week I received a 1000-page book written by renowned German writer-journalist Wolfgang Gust. It has all documents sent to the German Foreign Ministry reporting all the actions taken against Armenians in 1915-1916.

Among the documents you will find not only the reports sent by German diplomats and mission staff from Turkey, but also the views of the German government. The book is in Turkish and has editions in English, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Somebody must have said “the Turks are not [publishing these reports]; let us do it so that they can read these documents and understand our realities. Maybe then they will see that we are not being hostile but only trying to narrate an event.” It is in very clear, beautiful Turkish and published by Belge publications. It is a very important and expensive piece of work that most have taken years to prepare.

I am not going to go into details, but when you read and study the documents, even if this your first venture into this subject, there is no way you will deny the genocide and disagree with Armenians. Even if you are not an expert on the subject and have always looked at the question from the Turkish point of view, you will at least be confused and left with questions.

The project leader, head of the Canadian Zoryan Institute Greg Sarkissian, says this in the preface: “True peace can only be achieved when mutual information sources about nations’ histories increase and people can openly discuss their own histories. That is when mutual understanding and dialogue will replace hatred.”

Now, I want to ask all Turkish officials:

In the last 50 years, did you ever do anything similar? Did you search foreign sources and publish such books, no matter how biased they might have been?

What did you do beyond quoting our own sources to sway the international public opinion?

Or, did you suffice with Turkish achieves because you couldn’t find convincing documents or evidence? Let’s not fool each other. If you answer these questions honestly, you would be telling us the real truth.

I know the truth, and that is why you will remain silent.

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