By Vural Cengiz
Armenian-Americans succeeded at last: House Resolution 106 claiming two million Armenians were the victims of a genocide in 1915 by Ottoman Turks was accepted at Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and it will be voted on the floor. How could two million people be collected while only one million Anatolian Armenians existed? Where did hundreds of thousands of Armenian immigrants come from to the U.S. after all being exterminated?
Many questions like those, which make this so-called genocide unreal, do not need to be answered. Because, in reality, some members of Congress are pleasing their constituents to guarantee votes in the 2008 elections. Everything looks perfect in California. But not in the Middle East! Not for the U.S. The actions of the U.S. administration are working against the Turkish Republic again. First, father Bush cost Turkey tens of billions of petrodollars by starting the first Gulf war; then, Bush Junior set not only Iraq but the entire Middle East on fire. All at Turkey's cost. Turks have been very patient with their American allies. First, the Pentagon teamed up with Kurds instead of Turks for their big journey into Iraq and pushed Turks away claiming they did not want the partnership. Then they laid all the blame of the disastrous war on Turks. Later, some Turkish troops were captured and treated like enemies in northern Iraq. Ambassador Wilson claims American troopers did not recognize them. The Turkish Armed Forces say this is impossible; U.S. troops acted to punish Turks for not letting U.S. troops in Turkey. I think the latter makes more sense. Last, American guns reached terrorist hands attacking Turkey from northern Iraq. These were not enough. Now, Turks are not only called national enemies but the enemies of humanity.
Let's remember some history lessons:
Ottoman Turks were in power in the Middle East for 800 years. All nations kept in peace with the “millet” system, which is very familiar to Sephardic Jews. Arabs and Jews as well as Armenians and Kurds lived next to each other. All nations including Armenians in the Empire kept their religious beliefs and cultural values? Who were the Armenians? For Turks, they were the traitors of Antioch defense in 1080, who sold Turks to crusaders. Ottomans still let Armenians live in the Empire in peace knowing they had betrayed their ancestors many times in history. Then Armenians teamed up with Russians from 1870 to 1915 and were punished for their killings and betrayal. Now, Turks are accused by their number one ally with an unfair political prosecution.
As a Turkish-American, I have things to say: First, I am proud of my first homeland and her history. Second, this resolution has nothing to do with American people. People of the U.S. do not have any idea what is going on in the U.S. Congress. They just know that their president is playing a war game, which has already cost 4,000 American lives as well as that of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Neither the U.S. Administration nor Congress are doing their job like providing healthcare to all people and good education to youth. Americans do not know more than this. They just know Turkey is the name of a bird and a good ally. Third, if each one of the Congressman and Congresswoman asked their constituents about the bill all they would hear is: ?It is not our business.? Last, Americans love the country of Turkey and would like to visit it at least once. Therefore, Turks should not get more frustrated with Americans and see the real animosity here.
It is Armenian-Americans who are pressuring their representatives for their claims against their historic neighbors, the Turks. What they only care about is their revenge without considering Turkish war losses. Do they care for American national interests? No. Do they care for the well being of other Americans? Certainly not. Since Armenian-Americans and Armenians are the ones who want to hurt Turks, they, not Americans, should be seen as real troublemakers. Actually, House Resolution 106 does not make much sense for Armenians themselves. What if Turks say ?Okay, we understand Armenian animosity here; we accept the challenge. We are ending all diplomatic relations with Armenia and canceling all flights for Armenians in and out of Turkey and over Turkey. No more use of Turkish ports until Armenia demolishes all genocide statues in Armenia?? What will Armenian-Americans do to stop Turkey? Ask Congress to stop giving billions of dollars as foreign aid, which does not exist? What else could Turks do? How about deporting all 70,000 illegal Armenian workers from Turkey? Who are they going to blame for loosing their jobs? How about the other 10 percent of Armenia's population depending on this income from Turkey? Are they going to love Armenian-Americans who enjoy the high living standards of Western civilization with their Mercedes Benz and Gucci while Armenians in Armenia live in poverty and chew endlessly on genocide gum on an empty stomach?
Armenian-Americans had one shot only and they fired it. Who is going to be hit is unknown now. If Turks make sure it is Armenians to be hit, that shot will be the one Armenian-Americans fired in their own foot.
* Vural Cengiz is the president of the Azerbaijani American Institute, and former president of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations. He can be contacted at [email protected]
Source: “Turkish Daily News”, 12 October 2007