Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

April 22 Earth Day and April 23 International Children’s Day Celebrations, April 25 Anzac Day Commemoration, and the sad and baseless April 24 Armenian Genocide Day Around the World

April 24, 2011
On April 22, New York City offered many colourful and fun Earth Day celebrations and people all over the world showed some love for their planet Earth and raised awareness of environmental concerns. Thousands of Turks from around Turkey continued on with their march to Ankara from every corner of beautiful Anatolia protesting the building of hundreds of hydroelectric power plants and other mega projects, which are destroying the valleys, the river beds and forests.

On April 23, the Turks and the members of the Turkish World and their friends celebrated the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day holiday, as they have done since 1920 when the Turkish Grand National Assembly was established, with close to a thousand young students from 40 countries who came to Turkey for the 33rd International Children’s day celebrations in Bursa, joining their hosts commemorating an event in a spectacular show of peace and friendship, unfortunately ignored by the western media.
On April 25, the Australians and the New Zealanders, known as the ANZACS, and others will travel to Gallipoli, Turkey, to hold their annual commemoration and dawn services at the Anzac Cove, as they have done every year, and to celebrate the establishment of their states. As they pay their respects to their fallen comrades in 1915, they will read the message of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to the grandparents of the Anzac soldiers, engraved in the Turkish Memorial.

‘’Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives..you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in Peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace after having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well’’ (1934)

On April 24th, almost all Armenians in the Republic of Armenian, the United States and around the world and their sympathizers will commemorate a mythical genocide, invented for the sole purpose of creating hatred against the Turks everywhere as a revenge and catalyst for the continuation of their identities. Many of their supporters will join them, not knowing the real truth behind their motives and without realizing that the Armenian Diaspora in the U.S. and other countries were established by the thousands who left the Ottoman Turkish lands willingly, long before the conflict and the relocation in 1915. If, as President Obama again claimed 1.5 million Armenians were annihilated in his annual Remembrance speech, the number close to the total population of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the time, where did all the people in the Diaspora come from, especially close to half a million in California?

We should all protest this meaningless Armenian commemoration and urge everyone to speak against the meaningless Resolutions full of distortions and fabrications and convince their congressmen not to bring this to the House of Representatives or the Senate. President Obama again did a disservice to Humanity by ignoring the death of thousands of Turks during the terrible World War I and the revolts of Armenians in eastern Anatolia.

The Armenians should heed what the Greek writer Dido Sotiriyu tells in her book ‘’Send My Greetings to Anatolia ’’:

‘’And you, the son-in-law of  Blind Mehmet! Especially you. Why are you looking at me with revulsion on your face? Yes, I killed you, so what? And again I am crying….You killed too!  Brothers, friends, fellow countrymen… A huge generation killed each other for no reason!. The son-in-law of Blind Mehmet, send my greetings to my homeland! Send my greetings to Anatolia !. You should not feel hatred against us because we soaked your land with blood. God damn the executioners that allowed the brother kill his brother:’’

Greeks invaded Anatolia in 1919 with the support of the Western powers, killed thousands of civilians and destroyed many villages and towns. They were defeated by the Turks under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha who spared the life of the Greek Commander Trikopis and established good relations with Venizelos, who later became the Prime Minister of Greece and nominated Mustafa Kemal Ataturk for the Nobel Peace Prize. Turks and Greeks have been able to create a sense of reconciliation and peace that benefits the people of both countries.  This should be a model for the Armenians as well.

Armenians rebelled against their own government following the 1878 Berlin Treaty to establish a state of their own on lands where they were not the majority and joined the Russians in the fight against the Ottomans and even declared “Van Republic of Armenia”. William Saroyan, the Armenian-American writer, the son of an Armenian from Bitlis, Turkey, wrote about this episode that came closest to the above statement by his Greek colleague when he said that ’The real enemy of the Armenians were the Russians, not the Turks’’. Saroyan wrote many books, received the Pulitzer Prize for his book on the second world war ‘’The Human Comedy’’ and told the story of the Armenian Tragedy in his short story  ‘’Antranik of Armenia ’’.

“The war was with the Turks of course. The other enemies were less active than the Turks but watchful. When the time came one of these, in the name of love, not hate, accomplished in no time at all what the Turks, who were more honest, whose hatred was unconcealed, could not accomplish in hundreds of years. These were the Russians.”

What happened between 1878 and  April 24, 1915, the day that the Armenians commemorate as Genocide Day, claiming falsely that the Turks massacred 1.5 million Armenians, was the consequences of Armenian uprisings in the eastern Anatolia while the Armenians in the western Anatolia were continuing their lives as an integral part of the Ottoman society. The Armenians, deceived by the British who promised support for establishing a state of their own in the east started killing Turks long before 1915 when they formed armed committees and started wholesale massacre of defenceless Turkish villagers and revolted against their own government. Some members of their committees also carried terrorist activities in Istanbul. The Ottoman Government, which had many Armenian members, retaliated and issued an order for their relocation from the sensitive areas. Many Armenians died for different reasons. These are all well documented and told by the Armenian authors in their never-ending ‘’Memoirs’’, totally ignoring the atrocities committed by themselves and the killing of innocent Moslems. Books written by the Turks and Americans like Samuel Weems tell the other side of the tragedy, which is ignored by the Armenian authors.

Please look beyond the Armenian propaganda, first started during the late nineteenth-century wave of nationalism and the First World War by the outside powers, just as Sotiriyu and Saroyan tell in their books. British Arnold Toynbee and American Ambassador Morgenthau produced misinformed and misguided documents with false statements and fabricated facts on the Armenian issue to induce the United States to enter the war on the side of the Allies, and authors like Aram Andonian and Franz Werfel wrote books based on distorted facts, admitting later that they had erred. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibits a fabricated quotation from Hitler on the Armenians, which is a disgrace.

Extremist Armenians around the world and their supporters should heed the April 23rd and April 25th celebrations and stop deceiving the people of the world with fabricated Armenian Genocide commemorations on April 24, instead of honor the death of everyone. Turkey and Armenia should be friends. The only path for this is through a declaration to the world that they have been lied to and that they were also responsible for the tragedy, which resulted in killings on both sides, not by pressuring the US Congress and State Assemblies to pass resolutions proclaiming a mythical genocide. They should admit their share in the tragedies, just like Sotiriyu does in her book for the Greeks. President Barack Obama again missed the opportunity of telling the truth and declared on April 23, a day celebrated as the Children’s holiday in Turkey, that both sides suffered and that the past should be remembered as it actually evolved, not as it has been reconstructed by some selfish Armenians, and their supporters.

Yuksel Oktay
Washington, NJ
April 24, 2011