Embassy Magazine, Canada
Jan 11 2006
Letters to Editor
What Happened to Armenians in 1915 was Perhaps Worse Than Jewish Holocaust
Here we go again. On Christmas Eve I am forced to put everything aside, to sit down to respond to Gwynne Dyer's tired falsehoods about the reality of the Armenian Genocide (Re: "A Questions of Genocide in Turkey" Embassy Dec. 21, 2005).
What does it take to make Dyer acknowledge the horrible historical truth and to stop spreading Turkish government's propaganda about the dimensions of the 1915 Armenian Genocide? Do Armenians have to "furnish" him the dusty, broken bones of 1.5-million Armenian dead from the Syrian Desert to convince this neo-con opinion spinner that the Turkish government planned the deliberate killing of 1.5-million innocent Armenians and drove the rest to exile? One of the few survivors of that mass exile was my father, who at the age of seven was saved and adopted by Bedouins in the Syrian Desert. He spent the next 10 years of his life as a Bedouin, before returning to his Armenian roots.
In addition to Armenian witnesses, the first genocide of the 20th century was witnessed by countless Arab civilians, foreign observers, missionaries, military, trade and diplomatic representatives, journalists, and German (then allies of Turkey) military photographers. Despite difficult wartime conditions, the Genocide was covered by many international publications, including the New York Times and the Toronto Globe. What objective historians and Armenians claim happened has been confirmed, again and again by genocide scholars. In recent years the international association of scholars has run full-page ads, at its own expense, in New York Times and in the International Herald Tribune to confirm the Armenian Genocide and the killing of 1.5-million innocent Armenians.
While the Holocaust was an undeniable calamity to Jews, it can be argued that what happened to Armenians in 1915 might be even worse. While the Armenian dead were fewer than the Jewish dead, in 1915 Armenians lost their 3,000-year-old homeland to Turkey. Those who survived the Genocide spread to the four corners of the world--a permanently homeless diaspora. A sliver of that three-millennia-old homeland survives now as modern Armenia--a tiny piece of land that was almost erased from the map by Turkey in 1920.
Perhaps the above facts confirming the Armenian Genocide are for nought, all in vain. Perhaps neo-con spinmeister Dyer has his agenda clear: he doesn't want anyone to criticize NATO-ally Turkey; he wants Turkey in European Union. To that end he is prepared to deny that Turkey is, in fact, a military dictatorship; that Turkish politicians have few options on issues that matter; that Turkey has more writers and journalists in jail than any other country. Perhaps Dyer's denial of the Armenian Genocide is part of that ugly song.
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