CINCI ENQUIRER: Turks, Armenians fought war within war

Cincinnati Enquirer, OH
April 20 2004

Turks, Armenians fought war within war
Your voice: Harun Inanli

The characterization of the tragic deaths as “genocide” as stated in
David Krikorian’s “Your voice” column “Never forget Armenian
genocide” (March 30) is not true, divisive, polarizing and unethical.

I was at the luncheon when Mr. Krikorian asked the Turkish ambassador
to the United States about the alleged Armenian genocide. I heard his
question and the answer given to him by the ambassador. Mr. Krikorian
dismissed the answer, indicating that the Turkish ambassador needs to
get his facts straight.

The allegations in Mr. Krikorian’s column are old propaganda and
cannot be substantiated by historical evidence. More than 70
prominent U.S. historians signed a statement in 1985 urging Congress
to avoid legislating history and leave that task to researchers and
historians. They said “… historical evidence unearthed so far
showed that it was a civil war, mainly fought by Christian and Muslim
irregular forces …”

The truth is that the conflict was a civil war within World War I,
provoked by bloody Armenian uprisings designed to establish a Greater
Armenia on Turkish soil, where the Armenians were not even a
majority. The Armenians’ irregular insurgents resorted to wide-scale,
bloody uprisings while the Ottoman Empire was fighting for its
survival. The Armenians, who were citizens of the Ottoman Empire,
supported the invading enemy armies (Russians). Since it was not
possible to distinguish between who betrayed and who did not, the
Ottoman Empire decided to relocate the Armenian population of Eastern
Anatolia, which posed a serious threat to Ottoman security and the
war effort, to nonwar zones of the empire, such as Iraq and Syria.

The British government confirms that the genocide allegation is a
mischaracterization. A press release dated July 23, 2001, by the
British ambassador to Turkey states that “these events, while tragic
and costly to both sides, could not be considered genocide.”

Due to limited resources and supplies available during a terrible
war, disease and famine took more lives than bullets and battles.
These events cost both Turks and Armenians great suffering.

While it was a terrible human tragedy, costly to both sides, it was
the Armenian uprising and betrayals triggering their deportation that
fueled a civil war during a world war.

Harun Inanli is an electrical engineer who has worked for a major
U.S. firm during the past 16 years. He has been living in Symmes
Township since 1988.

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