PAKISTAN: Turkey and the Armenian myth

The International News Pakistan
July 23 2004

Turkey and the Armenian myth

Masud Akhtar Shaikh

The writer is a retired Colonel and freelance columnist

[email protected]

Ever since Turkey started its arduous journey towards the membership
of the European Union (EU) over three decades ago, some members of
the Union who are allergic to the very name of this country have been
confronting it with one set of obstacles after another in order to
prevent it from gaining entry to this exclusively Christian club. It
goes to the credit of the tenacious Turks that they have been
faithfully complying with all the preconditions specially tailored in
order to keep the doors of the EU shut on their country. Turkey’s
crisis-ridden economy, its allegedly unsatisfactory human rights
record and maltreatment of the Kurdish minority, the discordance of
its civil and criminal penal code with the EU standards, and a host
of other objections have been cleared one by one, only to be
supplemented by fresh preconditions. The latest in the series comes
from the Socialist Party leader of France who has linked the start of
talks scheduled for December next regarding Turkey’s entry into the
EU, with the Turkish government’s recognition of the alleged mass
killing of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman forces in 1915 as
“genocide”. This preposterous conditionality is based on an
allegation that the Armenians and their Turkey-hater Western
supporters have failed to prove with credible evidence but which has
been successfully implanted in the minds of ignorant people as truth,
thanks to the sheer power of mighty propaganda machinery that has
been working in this direction for years.

The hoax of Armenian “genocide” is revived every now and then in
order to blackmail Turkey for some specific purpose, or just to
rekindle the flame of hatred against the Turks in the minds of the
younger generation of Armenians and their supporters. The present bid
to revive this frozen issue for use as a gimmick to block Turkey’s
membership of the EU, was reinforced by commandeering a large number
of Armenians settled in France to organise a demonstration against
Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, during his three-day
visit to that country.

The aim of the present article is to give a brief account of the
so-called “Armenian genocide” and to show how the resources of a
group of determined enemies can be pooled to churn out highly
effective propaganda that can inflict mortal damage on their
opponents.

The Armenians had been living as one of the most trusted minority
communities in the Ottoman Empire for centuries, many of them
enjoying key positions in the official hierarchy throughout that
period. They were generally more prosperous than their Turkish fellow
countrymen, holding a monopoly of some of the most lucrative
professions. It was only towards the last quarter of the 19th century
that they were instigated by Russia and the Western powers to revolt
against the Ottoman Empire so as to expedite its liquidation. These
powers promised them an independent Armenian republic on the
Caucasian, Iranian, and Eastern Anatolian soil. The misguided
Armenians who also indulged in covert sabotage activities for more
than two decades attempted a series of open revolts. These operations
were planned and executed by highly organised Armenian terrorist
organisations with the active moral and material support of outside
powers interested in the fall of the Ottoman Empire. In this process,
they killed thousands and thousands of innocent Turkish men, women,
and children in various towns and villages of Eastern Turkey where
the two communities had been living in peace and harmony for
centuries. The mass killing of Turks at the hands of the Armenian
terrorists continued during the first year of the First World War.
With the Ottoman Empire busy fighting a war of its survival, the
Armenians joined hands with the enemy and participated in operations
against the Turks, both on the frontline as well as in the rear
areas. Voluntary regiments composed of Ottoman and Russian Armenians
acted as vanguards, leading the main body of the Russian army into
Eastern Turkey. Armenians serving in the Ottoman ranks deserted the
army along with their arms and ammunition, some of them joining the
ranks of the Russian army while others organised themselves into
terrorist gangs.

In cooperation with the Armenians living in various towns and
villages of Eastern Anatolia, these gangs put to sword most of the
Turkish women, children, and old persons left behind by their male
family members who had gone away to the battlefield. They also
indulged in widespread sabotage activities, stabbing the Ottoman
forces in the back, cutting off their lines of communication,
blocking their logistic supplies, blowing off bridges, and inflicting
casualties on soldiers by ambushing military convoys. The Armenian
rebels captured the Ottoman province of Van and handed it over to the
Russian army, an “achievement” for which the Tsar of Russia thanked
them telegraphically for the services they had rendered to the
Russians.

Under these circumstances, the Ottoman government was left with no
alternative but to order the arrest of mischief-makers and to order
the mass transfer of all Armenians from the Eastern war zone to areas
in the interior of the Empire. More than two thousand Armenian
terrorists were arrested in April 1915. A large number of Armenians
died on the way during move from the East to the West due to severe
climatic conditions, disease and epidemics on account of poor medical
facilities, interrupted food supplies, and delays in movement caused
by damaged lines of communication. There were also many casualties as
a result of retaliatory attacks on the way by local Turks whose
families had suffered human and material losses at the hands of the
Armenian terrorists. Of course the Turks also sufffered heavy
casualties due to climatic conditions, disease, shortages of
foodstuffs, and skirmishes with the Armenians, but this fact is
completely ignored by the Armenian chroniclers. The Armenians
designate this whole operation as “genocide” that they claim was
replanted, officially sponsored scheme which resulted in the killing
of 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians. To prove their point of view, they
launched a massive campaign to produce volumes and volumes of forged
documents and fabricated evidence, most of which has since been
exposed as fake, not only by Turkish researchers but also by many
neutral foreign scholars. Unfortunately, the response from the
Turkish side was considerably delayed, primarily because of Ataturk’s
policy of “peace at home and peace abroad”, a tenet based on the
principle of “forgive and forget”. As a result of this policy, the
Turkish side of the story has remained in the dark for many decades,
allowing free play to the Armenian fabricators to poison the mind of
the world community against Turkey by painting a one-sided picture of
the Armenian issue on the basis of forged documents, exaggerated
figures, and concocted evidence.

Rather than telling the world community to forget the bitter past and
talk about making the future pleasant for everybody, the Turkish
government should now use all the resources at its disposal to expose
the myth of Armenian genocide by presenting the true picture of the
events that has emerged on the basis of authentic documentary
evidence. Let the Armenians not get away with the mass murder of
thousands of innocent Turks by taking shelter behind the cooked up
story of the so-called Armenian genocide. As far as the prospects of
Turkey’s admission to the EU are concerned, our Turkish friends
should not nourish great hopes because the members of this entirely
Christian association see Turkey, a nation of 70 million hardworking
Muslims, as a real nightmare. They are terribly scared of accepting
Turkey as a member state because this country has common borders with
Iran, Syria, and Iraq, each one of these being an anathema for the
West. With the ruling party of Tayyip Erdogan having its roots in
Islam, they visualise the rise of Islam in Turkey in the not too
distant a future. How can they afford to let Muslim Turkey share with
them the secrets meant to be shared exclusively by the non-Muslim
powers?

http://jang.com.pk/thenews/jul2004-daily/23-07-2004/oped/o4.htm

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