An Alternate way to solve the Armenian Issue Through the United Nations

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1915 Armenian Killings - Nation Of Turk

It seems that Turkey is up against the whole world in trying to convince them that the death of Armenians, following their rebellions before and during the First World War and their re-location in 1915, can not be labelled as genocide and that hundreds of thousands of Moslems and Turks were also killed by the Armenian guerrillas during the conflict.

Many conferences were held over the years on different aspects of this issue, including the one-sided conference at Istanbul Bilgi University in 2005 and several symposiums at the Turkish Grand National Assembly earlier, without really reaching a consensus on how to respond to the allegations.

Almost all Turks believe that this issue was solved with the signing of the Kars, Gumru, Moscow Agreements in the early 20s and the Lausanne Treaty in 1923 and therefore they are not concerned on the irresponsible resolutions that have been passed in 19 countries and close to 40 States in the USA.

In fact, many Americans and most Turkish-Americans do not even want to discuss this issue, including the representatives of American companies doing business in Turkey.

During a symposium held in Kayseri in 2006, Turkish Armenian Patriarch Merob Mutafyan II stated that both the Armenians and Turks should acknowledge each other’s responsibilities.

He also criticized the great powers of the time since they all had a part in the creation and the continuation of this issue. To this criticism, one should also add the Armenian Church itself, the Near East Foundation in New York City and the Missionaries active during the war years, who were all responsible for the infusion of nationalism among the Ottoman Armenians and some, for the encouragement of their uprising.

This is what a former teacher from a high school established by the Missionaries started a few years ago in response to an article ‘’The Armenian Allegations and the Mythical genocide’’:

‘’Thank you for being willing to share your article with us. You’ve addressed a very difficult question as well as anyone we know.

Congratulations from both of us. We agree that all of us—including Christian missionaries to the Ottoman Empire and to Turkey—need to acknowledge that wrongs were done to all sides during the early 20th century.

We need to ask forgiveness of each other. Then we need to find ways now to be friends. None of these is an easy step; the hurts are real, even if some of the causes may be dubious. For us, the greatest reason for friendship and healing is that the alternative is grossly destructive.’’

In addition to the Armenian Patriarch and the former teacher, many organisations and individuals have also stated that western powers and certain civic organisations had a lot to do with the creation of the Armenian issue and the firing of the first shot by the Armenian fighters for an independent state on lands where they were not the majority.

Prof. Dr Justin McCarthy has presented detailed information on the first uprisings of some Armenian groups as early as in the 18th century and published his findings in an article ‘’First Shot’’ and in his book, ‘’Armenian Rebellions in Van’’, often ignored by the Armenians and their supporters around the world.

As concerned Turkish-Americans, who have been following this issue in the US with frequent visits to Turkey since 1965 when the first commemoration of the alleged Armenian genocide took place at the Riverside Church in New York City and visiting the many sites in Turkey where Armenian atrocities took place, such as Saimbeyler (Hacin) near Adana, Van, Erzincan, Harput, etc., we would like to summarize what has been proposed in the past to solve this issue and what the best alternative is.

Alternative Approaches for a Solution of the Armenian Issue

Over the years, mainly two alternatives were proposed in dealing with the Armenian issue, which in itself is a misnomer since this is not strictly an Armenian or Turkish issue only:

1.    Petitioning the case to an International Court

2.    Bringing together Turkish and Armenian historians to study the issue, including others from different countries.

Many writers, including Dogu Perincek in his latest book ‘’Ermeni Sorununda Strateji, ve Siyaset – Strategy and Politics in the Armenian Issue’’, and Semih Idiz in his Milliyet columns (1/9 and 3/9/2007), have argued that the option in the first alternative is really not viable since the courts are heavily influenced by the western powers and therefore would not rule objectively.

The Armenian side has not agreed to the plea by the Turkish Prime Minister and others for forming a commission of Armenian and Turkish historians to study this conflict in depth by going through archives since the world has yet to see a full review of the historical record.

It is optimistic to believe that the Armenians will one day sit across the table with the Turkish side, probably knowing well that they do not have a case,  as has already been proven in the past.

Therefore the option in the 2nd alternative may never be exercised.

A third alternative was recently proposed by Turkish Armenian Patriarch Merob Mutafyan II, stating that the Turkish Grand Assembly should sign a petition on the Armenian issue and distribute it to all the assemblies and congresses of the countries around the world.

There is a fourth alternative which these writers believe could be pursued, that is    Holding an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations with the representatives of the following countries and organisations:

1.     Turks
2.     Armenians
3.     Germans
4.     Russians
5.     British
6.     French
7.     Americans
8.     Armenian Church
9.     The Missionaries
10.   The Near East Foundation
11.    Others willing to come forward

Long explanations can be presented on the role and the responsibilities of each of the above entities and others, such as the Kurds who, according to several recent articles, caused the deliberate killing of Armenians, especially during the relocations.

Extensive information on the activities of the Armenian church and the Missionaries has been published recently which sheds light on their responsibilities as well.

Armenia bears the major responsibility for keeping the Armenian issue alive despite their creation of new conflicts and their own genocide in the 1990s.

The world seems not to be bothered with the occupation of 20% of Azerbaijan following the Azerbaijan-Armenia war that lasted through 1994 when 40,000 people form Nagorno-Karabakh, occupied by Armenia, and 700,000 from the other seven provinces of Azerbaijan had to leave their homes.

First, the conference could tell the world that there are more than two parties to the Armenian issue, not just the Armenians and the Turks and perhaps convince them that this is a ‘’Tragedy of Mankind’’ as some Armenians have stated after visiting their grandparent’s home in Turkey.

Representatives of the above entities could be present at the conference, and if they refuse, credible individual alternates could attend to tell truthfully the role they played in the creation and the continuation of the issue.

Second,  the conference could be broadcast live on television channels worldwide, with the issuance of a concrete resolution at the end and in front of the entire world, since many countries have already adopted the mythical Armenian genocide resolution wrongfully and unjustly.

Historians could produce the evidence and the lawyers could review these and provide input to the resolution.

Third, the conference could convince the sceptical journalists and the politicians, who often make too easy judgements and have the most influence on public opinions, that there is another side to the tragic events which have been ignored for too long.

Then there is, of course, the fifth alternative; that is doing nothing and accepting what can not be changed and suffer the consequences, with the end result of living internationally isolated with the genocide label, as mentioned by Mehmet Ali Birand in one of his latest columns, ‘’Change or acceptance’’ (Aug 25/26, 2007, Turkish daily News).

This, of course, is not a solution which only allows writers such as Shelomo Alfassa to boldly state that ‘’Turks unfairly remain a hated people’’ (August 22, 2007, http//israelijewishnews.blogspot.com).

As stated by many reasonable people, the Armenians and the Tuks must be friends and every venue should be tried to accomplish this, such as student exchange, cultural activities and even joint publications.

For the first time, Sarkis, an Armenian born in Istanbul who now lives in Paris, and Atom Egoyan, the Canadian director (who made the one-sided and untruthful movie Ararat based on a book by an American Missionary Doctor) are participating in the 10th Istanbul Biennial, the first with a positive and the second with a negative approach.

Turks should take the time to see these and learn the motives behind artists, such as Atom Egoyan, who takes every opportunity to continue with anti-Turkish propaganda, even with his participation in the Biennial in Istanbul.

Armenian Resolutions Adopted by Countries and the States in the USA

Over 19 western countries and close to 40 states in the USA have adopted resolutions under the heavy pressure of Armenian organisations and their supporters, some without knowing much about the issue, including the Chilean Senate.

However, the Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has sent a letter to the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, confirming that a document, which was adopted in the Chilean parliament on June 2007 and referred to the incidents of 1915 as ‘’Armenian genocide’’ was not legally or politically binding.

Furthermore, in a later statement, the Chilean President has confirmed that the resolution would not be adopted by the Parliament. Therefore, what is the purpose of these resolutions which are totally one-sided, ignoring the facts and misleading the people in these countries?

The Decision of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) to recognise genocide is wrong and must be reversed.

The decision of JDL to recognize the Armenian genocide, based on the information from books by the US Ambassador Morgenthau and Samantha Power, is wrong. Many individuals and organisations have written to the JDL without really going to the root of the matter, only stating that this will hurt the Israeli- Jewish-Turkish relations, which it will. However, the important thing is that the decision is based on Armenian propaganda books, fabrications and false documents, which need to be corrected.

The origin of the allegations and the anti-Turkish propaganda

During a conference last year at Bosphorus University on ‘’The Turkish-American relations: 1833 – 1989’’, the late Ahmet Ertegun began his keynote speech through video by stating that, in the beginning of the 20th century, the US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau at the time had to make a plea against the Turkish massacres of Armenians, suggesting that an investigation of this dreadful event should be undertaken by the historians with the purpose of reconciliation whatever the outcome may be. No one is denying the occurrence of the dreadful events, but Ambassador Morgenthau never mentions the killing of the Turks by the Armenians and their ulterior motives in his book ‘’The Murder of a Nation’’.

As Thomas J. Raleigh wrote in his article ‘’America’s Amateur Ambassadors’’ (June 16, 2006), unfortunately, there were some who did not tell the true facts in the countries where they were serving.

Abraham Foxman, announcing the ADL’s reversal on the Armenian issue, also referred to Ambassador’s book as the source of his knowledge along with Samantha Power’s book, ‘’A Problem from Hell’’ where she writes about Morgnethau in Chapter one, ‘’The Race Murder’’.

None of these books and hundreds of others like them mention the uprisings and the rebellions of the Armenian committees across eastern Anatolia which resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Ottomans, including Turks, Kurds and even Jews.

In order to understand this issue, one needs to read also the books such as ‘’The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey – A Disputed Genocide’’, by Guenther Lewy, ‘’The Armenian Rebellion at Van’’, by Justin McCarthy, ‘’The Armenians in the Late Ottoman period’’ by The Turkish Historical Society, edited by Prof. Dr Turkkaya Ataov, and others.

An appeal by the Turkish Parliament officially made to the British Parliament in 2005, demanding that the ‘’Blue Book’’ was nothing more than a war propaganda full of false information on the tragic events, including input from Ambassador Morgenthau, went to deaf ears.

Those who follow the developments know that the Armenians and their supporters resort to distortions, fabrications and outright lies to convince the world of their allegations, including the manipulation of Ataturk’s poster replacing puppies in front of his foot with dead children and presenting it to the unsuspecting public at the University of Los Angeles in 2006 as ‘’The Face of denial’’, a disgusting manipulation of truth which has been mentioned in Andrew Finkel’s article, ‘’Touting History‘’ in Today’s Zaman recently.

The Deceitful and Harmful House Resolution 106 Should be Withdrawn

No other resolution to date has come close to the falsification of history and misrepresentation of facts as the latest US House Resolution 106, which was submitted in January of this year and believed by many that it will pass, including Vural Cengiz, the former President of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations in WDC.

The resolution presents the tragic events through forged documents, such as the Andonia papers and the Sevres Treaty which was never ratified by the Ottoman government and categorically rejected by the Turkish nation which fought a war of independence over it and replaced it by the Lausanne Treaty in 1923.

The resolution discriminates against the Turkish-Americans. Many individuals such as Holdwater (www.tallarmeniantale.com) and Ergun Kirlikovali (www.turkla.com) in the United States have evaluated the statements in the Resolution and showed that they contain errors, omissions and fabrications.

We do not believe that the House of representatives will dare to accept such a resolution that will bring shame and discredit to Congress. Hopefully, such partisan, deceitful and unfair manipulation of history will never again be brought to the floor of the great institution for recognition.

The Armenian diaspora will continue nagging about this resolution, but the proposed international conference would put an end to this utter nonsense.

Actions to be Taken

If you believe, after reading the commentary above, that an international conference could be a first step in solving the Armenian issue, please write to the President and the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic, The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament to officially request the Secretary-General of the United Nations summon all its diplomatic means to call for the conference as soon as possible to rid the world from a disgraceful act of calling the death of Armenians ‘’genocide’’ and to the US Committee on Foreign Affairs to withdraw the HR – 106.

Yuksel Oktay
9 October 2007

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