To the Editor:
”Movie on Armenians Rekindles Flame Over Turkish Past” (Arts pages, Jan. 20) says ”Turkish and Armenian historians have given widely differing accounts of what happened in 1915.” But that is not a matter of ethnic perspective. The extermination of the Armenians is recognized as genocide by the consensus of scholars of genocide and Holocaust worldwide. The failure to acknowledge this trivializes a human rights crime of enormous magnitude.
The Ottoman Turkish government’s meticulously planned extermination of its Christian Armenian citizens took the lives of more than a million Armenians in 1915 and 1916. Another million Armenians survived the death marches but were permanently exiled from their homeland of 2,500 years. It is denigrating to refer to these facts as Armenians being ”chased from their ancestral homelands.”
It is ironic as well, because in 1915 The New York Times published 145 articles about the Armenian genocide and regularly used the words ”systematic,” ”government planned” and ”race extermination.”
Hamilton, N.Y., Jan. 20, 2004
The writers are, respectively, a professor of humanities at Colgate University and a lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.