By Mehmet Ali Birand
Today is April 24. Again, as happens every year, the 70 million-person population of Turkey will wonder what others are saying about the Armenian issue. What will Washington say? Which country will accept the Armenian genocide claims?
Days will pass in stress, and in the end, we will again forget everything.
This process is like a Chinese torture. Especially as 2015 approaches, the pressure will increase. Turkey, as it has done before, will react harshly. It will utter threats, but they will remain ineffective.
Do you know why? It is because the Armenians have gotten a significant part of the world to accept their claims of genocide. Turkey's counter-claims were both too late and too weak. We do not need to go far to see this. Just last week, a 1,000-page book on the topic was sent to my office.
It was compiled by the famous German journalist and writer Wolfgang Gust. It includes all of the documentation of activities against the Armenians that were filed in the German Foreign Ministry's archives in 1915 and 1916. These documents include not only those that were sent by German diplomats or mission members in Turkey, but also views and debates from within the German government on the same subject.
The book is in Turkish. Its English, German, Spanish and Portuguese versions are already in print. Its message is, “Since the Turks won't do it, let us do it. They should see these documents and understand the facts we have. They should be convinced that we are not acting as their enemies, but trying to explain an incident.” It has been translated into an extremely comprehensible and beautiful Turkish by Belge Publishing House. Obviously it has taken years. It is an extremely important and expensive study.
Without going into detail, if you read the book and look at the documents, if you are a person who is introduced to the subject through this book, then there is no way that you would not believe in the genocide and justify the Armenians. Even if you are an expert on the subject, or have researched what went on from the Turkish side, again, you will be confused. You will have many questions.
In a letter included in the book, the head of the Zoryan Institute in Canada, Greg Sarkissian, says true peace can only be achieved when sources of information about nations' pasts are shared and nations can talk openly about the past. He also says that in this way mutual understanding and dialogue will develop, instead of hate.
Now, I want to ask all Turkish officials: In the last 50 years, have you done such a study? Have you researched international sources and — however biased or one-sided it may be — have you been able to publish such a book? What kind of a study have you made ? moving outside our own sources ? that would convince the international public? Were you limited to or satisfied with using only Turkish archives because you could not find plausible documents or evidence?
Let us not deceive each other: If you can give correct answers to these questions, then you will be able to clarify some very key facts for us.
I know you will remain silent.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News, 24 April 2012