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thehandsom 19 May 2010

Armenian Question!!- I

Armenian Question!!

"I know what happened to my nation..You call it what ever you like" H.Dink

As you know, there are some serious taboo subjects in Turkey.

If we want to write them down:

1- The position of the army.

2- In Turkey everybody is a Turk..There are no ethnic-cultural differences..(Kurds)

3- No massacres committed by us specially against Armenians..

4- Turkey is a classless society..(so we don´t need communism)

5- Turkey is a secular country so Islamic culture is our enemy..


As you all know from the news and the articles you read about Turkey (of course, I am talking about political writings..Not about dudus :) ),  almost every action trying to break these taboos are being punished and the people who have been having different views about those subject have been declared as public enemy!!

Turkish constitution have had many articles to defend above taboos..(Old articles 141-142 -class struggle/communism, article 163 forbids religious propaganda.. Article 125 bans Kurdish propaganda..Well just very recently a Kurdish writer/politician´s case was accepted by EU human rights court -Taraf journalist Orhan Miroglu, who was convicted of a crime for speaking Kurdish during an election campaign in 2007. Miroglu was sentenced to six months in jail followed by five years probation for using Kurdish expressions in his election speech in Mersin in 2007.)


Some people in Turkey think that our history is the history of rebellions against these taboos.. All those early Kurdish rebellions and the latest PKK, left wing struggles of 1970s and lately, the rebellion of Islamists (AKP etc).. (In fact, some people will argue that our republic was founded on these taboos).


All those revolts (Kurdish, 1970´s left wing, 1990s Islamist revolts) were ´crushed´ in true sense.. But after all those revolts, these groups learned one thing which is indispensable to be every body´s existence -at the same times indispensable to their own existence- and that is democracy.. All crushed left wing, Islamists, Kurds  have realized and thoroughly learned the  importance of democratic institutions.. 

Now it can be argued that almost all those subjects which were thought as taboos have been broken:  Everybody knows that we do have classes in Turkey; not everybody is a Turk in Turkey we do have different ethnic citizens; we can live without thinking that Islamic culture is our enemy and in fact most of our traditions and cultural life was determined by Islamic culture..

Breaking of all these taboos have been making Turkey  a more democratic state and a more democratic society!!


I would like to talk about our ultimate taboo, ´the Armenian Problem´.


Almost every Turk will accept the fact that there is almost no information regarding what happened to Armenians in our history and in our education system!! (I was reading a Turkish columnist in Milliyet the other day, he was confessing that when he graduated from our famous faculty of Political Sciences in Ankara..And he has been saying that he did not know anything about 1915. The title of his column was ´the truth lands on your shoulders, you can not live with lies´  -Turkish- . The paper is not a paper with extreme views..It is one of the most circulated papers from Dogan group)

After the beginning of modern Turkey, the question, ´what happened to Armenians?´ was never a subject in Turkish society until 1970 (until the beginning of terrorism from Asala).

About 100 years ago it was the period of time in which almost 1 in 10 people  perished from Anatolia..

The events took place were so intense, so dreadful so unprecedented in those soils..

The level of brutality was so immense in a way that nobody in Asia minor/Anatolia/west Asia  experienced before..

The basic rules of the war such as not killing people who are unable carry guns-women, children, old- unless there are very very special circumstances, broken. Old Anatolian/Ottoman/Turkish war/warrior ethics were violated..

Those people were not killed in battle fields, they got killed on the sides of the roads, edge of the towns, next to rivers, in the bushes where they were hiding, in  mosques/churches by setting fire on them...

They got killed not only with arms and knives..they were killed with axes, with reaping hooks, with stones.. Series of these events which were so important to us , to our republic, but we don´t know anything about them.. And we almost are trying to forget it..(And we have been trying to punish anybody who dared to  open the subject) 

It is almost the case that apart from Turks, everybody knows something about it...As soon as we leave the borders of Turkey, almost everybody will have an idea about ´what happened to Armenians´. And they will ´name´ "what ever it is" too.. 

So in my opinion talking openly about the subject of Armenians will have a direct impact on pushing Turkey towards becoming a  real democratic state..

It is not only just about learning some facts but also it is necessary for other ethnic-religious groups in Turkey. We can not afford another incident like this. We have to be in peace with our past. Being in peace with our history will have a positive aspect of becoming a better democratic state. All those variations in our society, all those different ethnic groups are our richness. Why do we need to deprive ourselves from this treasure?So, we will talk about this issue from with the aim and perspective of creating a better Turkey..:)

Since it is a gigantic and a colossal subject I want to split the writings into a few parts:

-Mental state of Young Turks -Brief history from late 17th century till 1915-

-Dealing with "Armenian problem"..mid 1914 till mid 1915/till 1916..Young Turks Enver , Talat.. Zeytun +Van Armenian rebellions. 

-Where to go from here/ethics of theses/trauma for all of us etc..


Well..I hope to see you in my next column..:)

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