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|By İLBER ORTAYLI
Without a doubt, U.S. President Joe Biden’s statement after the elections and his declaration of the official recognition of the genocide is not something to be put aside, ignored, or receive with silence. However, since the murder of our young diplomat Bahadır Demir by an old Armenian in the 1970s, a serious examination and education on Armenian research and policy has still not been carried out.
The U.S. is a country where diaspora Armenians have settled in American media and academic life, although France is the country where they are the densest. Along with Canada, they make up roughly the largest population of the Armenian diaspora today. We repeat that parliaments abroad that recognize the Armenian genocide are not historians. And there is more; they are not legal experts either. As a matter of fact, the judgments they accepted and ruled are often far from bills prepared using the opinion and techniques of a serious court. Undoubtedly, although parliaments include jurists, they are neither courts, nor science academies. Irregular statements and sometimes the most terrible legal decisions, the most important of which was the decision of the Swiss federal bodies to pre-convict the defense against genocide, it was dropped and dismissed with the lawsuit filed by Doğu Perinçek.
Description of genocide has been made
Nevertheless, this half-century incident is still not being sufficiently addressed. Some of them say that they will evaluate this genocide issue in advance, whose judgement falls on historians. With all due respect, after the Second World War, the international law bodies made the definition of genocide in the Nuremberg trials. From a legal point of view, it is a very complicated approach, but it does exist. It is true that, today, most of the historians around the globe lack the necessary logic structure to conduct an opinion of a jurist. Because law is a serious education and training.
Armenian historians should face themselves
So why the talk of historians? Because a historian is the person who has to investigate the events daily, consider similar happenings together and reach this information. For this, we need to review the claims about the Armenian matter, just like the study of the atrocities (Holocaust) subjected to the Jews. We should even try to have Armenian historians face themselves. It is not possible to explain the Armenian problem, let alone the world, our nation and our youth, by reprinting some of the hurriedly written articles and books every year. On this issue, let alone the source against the pro-Armenian publications out there, it is not even domestically possible to deal with different but amateurishly collected views on this issue.
One should know the literature
First of all, intellectuals in Turkey should know about the racist extermination carried out by Hitler’s Germany against Jews, and not only to Jews but also toward the Roma, during the Second World War. The literature of National Socialist Germany on this subject should be scanned. The roots of anti-Semitism in Germany go back to Luther. There are Germans who wrote and published about these topics, and we haven’t even seen the aforementioned works translated into Turkish. There is an excellent literature on Berlin and Viennese Judaism. We cannot consider this as a distant, exotic accumulation of knowledge. Turkey’s historians must know the literature. The colleagues in the defense do not know about them either, and the really unnerving thing is that some Turkish circles in the West, accusing Turkey of Armenian genocide, do not read and do not know this literature.
Not enough information
There is no doubt that Biden is not similar to some of the American politicians, that is, he is not among those who have enough legal knowledge, interest, a good law and history education and who decently evaluate different opinions. In the past, apart from a president like Reagan – who did not know much about the issue and followed his daily politics, election campaign and its obligations, there were also those who acted more seriously like Clinton and Madeleine Albright. They especially cannot grasp the ideas or get angry with the assessments of those who are not particularly supporting Turks, such as Bernard Lewis or Gilles Veinstein, but who only have serious historian views (Bernard Lewis’s legal opinion was also strong due to his education in that field). Someone had an article captioned “Bernard Lewis can’t save you,” and it was in one of the publications here. The Jewish lobby had been an important help in preventing the emergence of genocide in the U.S. Today, but this support is no longer in place. This was caused by an unnecessary town-type anti-Semitism.
No success in Biden’s pledges
It has been three months only since Biden took office. It is clear now that the needles on the presidential chair and cushion are not bothering him. In the future, maybe he can gradually understand Middle East politics and its balances. There is no serious and convincing success in any of the programs he has been promising. In the United States, a significant adjustment was made only in the vaccination campaign against the virus, but unlike the prosperous Western countries, there is no indication that it will make serious reforms in the country, which has a disgraceful health system. Schooling and education of the mass is a big problem in the United States. There is an embarrassing rate of ignorance for a pioneering industrial nation (the phrase is not mine; it is also said in conservative American circles). The extent to which the world’s most perfect and trailblazer-looking universities and hospitals approach the masses is disputable. There is no indication that any progress will be made on this matter either. Finally, Biden is caught in the middle of a complex foreign policy order, how will he handle it? There seems to be no very clever plans in that area either.
Diaspora resentful against US
Azerbaijan made important moves in its military organization to improve the situation of immigrants who came from the territories occupied in the Caucasus policy. The last Karabakh victory is undoubtedly against Armenia. Even Russia, which was pro-Armenia and known as its protector, excluded Pashinyan in this area. Armenian minorities and diaspora in America and Europe were very upset at the U.S., who did nothing on the matter. With this latest outburst, Biden had some success in the eyes of the Armenians, causing some minor scores in the good presidential section.
The branch Turkey idles around
Biden sees no problem in scoring these wins, while wasting an ally like Turkey.
It is necessary to underscore ways to respond to this move. Turkey’s Armenian policy is a branch in which certain groups have been idling around and serious reports are not being published. It is very clear that the publication effort of Kamuran Gürün, on a report written by a knowledgeable man like Governor Esat Uras in our 40-year past, a publication in the parliament including Ambassador Gündüz Aktan and Türkkaya Ataöv has not even been duplicated and distributed. When you focus on this issue, some cheap humor fans come up with the slogan “From Turk to Turk”. I don’t see anything laughable in this. We should not talk about the propaganda Turkey to Turkey, but the teaching of Turk to Turks. Moreover, there are some texts that this nation can learn in the same way. It was also Guenter Lewy, Justin McCarthy, and not just them. Not every Westerner makes the same noise when they enter the archive. Some of them do not have that much of Turkish favorableness.
Spreading the crime is in vain
The Armenian genocide is an issue that Germany emphasizes on and exploits rather than America. It is also included in a report by Ali Güler on the German ZDF television. It connects Atatürk and Hitler in a very ignorant but purposeful way. There were even rigorous doctoral dissertations that tried to explain Atatürk in this way in Germany. All the work to be done is to establish a serious state institute that conducts comparative research, to form a group that documents and reports on European history and the Near East, to explain the Holocaust to the whole of Turkey, and, therefore, equip people who will talk about the Armenian genocide, to gain knowledge first. The German Holocaust is unique and unequalled. Trying to spread the crime and make it forget is in vain…
The magnificent days of Turkish-Armenian history together and the disasters and conflicts that arose during the collapse of the empire… The year 1915 and before that is a matter of killing, that is, the event of two masses massacring each other.