The Armenian Genocide

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Aran Kedar
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The Armenian Genocide

Postby Aran Kedar » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:01 am UTC

Not many people know about this genocide, so I'm going to put in a few things that I know about it. Please add more if you know any more, because I definitely don't know everything about it.

I first learned about the country of Armenia when I started listening to the heavy metal band, System of A Down. The lead singer, Serj Tankian, is of Armenian descent and one of the seemingly few voices talking about this event.

This happened during World War 1. While the world was turning their attention to the advancing Germans, the Turks, whom had major problems with the Armenians (for reasons unbeknownst to me, as far as I can tell they just didn't like each other because they were different), infiltrated the country of Armenia and killed millions of Armenians. No one really paid attention, no one really bothered to find out where the millions of Armenians disappeared to. Once survivors began to talk, the Turks denied any involvement and have been telling the world and their own people that they did not do this. The Turkish government was never questioned and have yet to be punished.

Today, the struggle for justice continues as Serj Tankian works with select members of Congress to try to get some attention to this problem. However, the United States moves military personnel, equipment, and vehicles through Turkey in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's the most convenient route, and the government doesn't want to lose that route by angering the Turks with these allegations of genocide.

I just want to know what others think of this. Personally, it totally pisses me off that the Turkish government is getting away with this. To me, it doesn't matter to me how long ago it happened. Justice must be served, in my opinion.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Robin S » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:08 am UTC

Aran Kedar wrote:Personally, it totally pisses me off that the Turkish government is getting away with this. To me, it doesn't matter to me how long ago it happened. Justice must be served, in my opinion.
I think I can be excused an invokation of Godwin's law when discussing a subject such as this. Would you say that the current German government (and remember, the Holocaust happened thirty years, or one generation, more recently than the events you are describing) deserves to be punished for the actions of the Nazis? Originally, huge sums of money were demanded as reparations, but this continued for so long that it was eventually dismissed.

Almost all, if not all, of the people responsible for the Armenian genocide, and many of their children too, will be dead by now. Would you see it as just to be punished for something your grandparents or great-grandparents did, however atrocious?
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Timequake » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:17 am UTC

The Turkish government underwent a change in leadership, and those that took control wanted the Ottoman empire to be mostly, if not entirely Turkish, and the Armenians stood in the way of that goal. At first, the Turks had a military defeat at the hands of the Russians in Armenia, so the genocide started under the cover of accusing the Armenians of conspiring with the Russians. They began by eliminating their leaders (mainly religious), and putting those who seemed like they might fight back into forced labor camps. From there they proceeded in their attempt to systematically eliminate the Armenians as a whole.
To this day, the genocide remains largely denied and/or unknown.
"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"- Adolf Hitler (expressing the opinion that history would not judge him harshly for genocide, if I remember correctly)
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Lucrece » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:33 am UTC

It is acknowledged-- by those who feel most connected to it. That's a fairly small number.

Sadly, atrocities get attention depending on just how loud its victims are. If you can't make the noise/controversy for the media to drop in and broadcast the story fervently, the event will pretty much fade into oblivion.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Aran Kedar » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:36 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:It is acknowledged-- by those who feel most connected to it. That's a fairly small number.

Sadly, atrocities get attention depending on just how loud its victims are. If you can't make the noise/controversy for the media to drop in and broadcast the story fervently, the event will pretty much fade into oblivion.


So I've noticed.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby EsotericWombat » Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:04 am UTC

Robin S wrote:I think I can be excused an invokation of Godwin's law when discussing a subject such as this. Would you say that the current German government (and remember, the Holocaust happened thirty years, or one generation, more recently than the events you are describing) deserves to be punished for the actions of the Nazis?


The Turkish government should be held accountable for continuing to brazenly deny that there was a genocide. That shit doesn't fly.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Minchandre » Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:38 am UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:
Robin S wrote:I think I can be excused an invokation of Godwin's law when discussing a subject such as this. Would you say that the current German government (and remember, the Holocaust happened thirty years, or one generation, more recently than the events you are describing) deserves to be punished for the actions of the Nazis?


The Turkish government should be held accountable for continuing to brazenly deny that there was a genocide. That shit doesn't fly.


That always did confuse me. I never understood why Ataturk's government didn't immediately say, "Hey! Over there! That's the kind of shit the Ottoman Empire pulled, and that's why it's going down!"

As for the genocide itself, and why no one noticed...well, look at the reaction to the Rwandan genocide, and all that crap the Japanese pulled in Manchuria and Korea during WWII. Stalin's destruction of various ethnic groups he didn't like. No one cares about genocide - I mean, we have one going on right now in Darfur, and the outcry is somewhat less than resounding.

Honestly, the only reason people care about the Holocaust is because several million soldiers from UK, US, and USSR witnessed it.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Dream » Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:53 am UTC

Minchandre wrote:Honestly, the only reason people care about the Holocaust is because several million soldiers from UK, US, and USSR witnessed it.

More than that, it was industrialised, and it was the decision and action, ultimately, of a single man. It is also very well documented and centrally planned down to minute details. In particular, Rwanda, Darfur and Manchuria were each far less structured. They also lacked a centrally declared intent to exterminate as an end. (That was the point, it just wasn't decreed by a single demagogue and acted on with that knowledge by every single participant. No speeches about final solutions.)

The real question is why, when the Armenian Genocide was industrialised, and was centrally controlled, and was known for what it was by the participants, does it garner little attention in the public mind? I think that the main reason that the holocaust stands out among similar actions is that it was done by a supposedly civilised, developed nation. Western culture still views other cultures as half savage, and is less surprised by people in Turkey, Rwanda or Darfur killing each other systematically than it is by one of its own doing so. As western people, we are more horrified by the holocaust because it is a part of our own history, and was born of a distortion of our own culture.

While most people would never articulate such a thought, we (as a culture) simply care less about the victims of other genocides, and accept as normal genocidal behaviour in their attackers.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:28 am UTC

Genocide is standard operating procedure for the industrialized world. The Holocaust stands out because the Nazis were excellent record-keepers and, as the poster before me pointed out, obsessive about efficiency; the Holocaust is one of the few genocides where the perpetrators were determined to do this shit right.

The Armenian genocide happened before the term 'genocide' was coined; before then, it wasn't such a big deal. The Holocaust is what gave the concept its (rightfully deserved) bad rep. The term was created and applied retroactively with the Holocaust in mind.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby random_kitty » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:53 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:I think I can be excused an invokation of Godwin's law when discussing a subject such as this. Would you say that the current German government (and remember, the Holocaust happened thirty years, or one generation, more recently than the events you are describing) deserves to be punished for the actions of the Nazis? Originally, huge sums of money were demanded as reparations, but this continued for so long that it was eventually dismissed.

Almost all, if not all, of the people responsible for the Armenian genocide, and many of their children too, will be dead by now. Would you see it as just to be punished for something your grandparents or great-grandparents did, however atrocious?


I do not know what Godwin's Law is (yeah I know I could google it :P ) but I wanted to comment on the rest of this post. The argument Robin S is putting forward is commonly heard in New Zealand in relationship to the relationship and disputes between Maori and the Crown (the government).

A very brief (and likely incomplete) synopsis is the Maori arrived in NZ 400+ years ago. About 150 years ago the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and many Maori chiefs though the document was in two languages and due to translation issues (possibly deliberate) were two different agreements. The Crown formed the NZ government and through many actions broke the terms of that unfair contract. Today Maori are under various circumstances wanting financial compensation and the return of land to their ownership/use. In NZ - all taxpayers contribute to the government funds which are then used to respond to these grievances. It is hard to draw a line between readdressing issues in a fair and equitable manner - and telling people to 'just get over it'. This is challenging as NZ is a bicultural country with a multicultural society.

Sorry for the potentially OT tangent - but I guess what I am saying in - by NZ standards - yes it is reasonable to hold current generations liable for the actions of their nation's previous actions.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Mabus_Zero » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:53 am UTC

Has someone been reading this?

And I must concede, I did not know that the Turish government still denies this less then sterling moment in their history.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:09 am UTC

Mabus_Zero wrote:And I must concede, I did not know that the Turish government still denies this less then sterling moment in their history.


It's much worse then that, actually. It's bad enough that the government would say "Didn't happen!", but they're actively engaged in a campaign of denial through the use of propaganda. They have pamphlets decrying those who continue to believe in the 'fiction' of the Armenian genocide as horrible people who are undermining the importance of 'real' genocides like the Holocaust (they like to use this tactic to separate them from the crazy Holocaust deniers and lend them more legitimacy--"The Holocaust happened, but the Armenian genocide didn't! Armenians are misappropriating the Holocaust!"). They distribute the pamphlets in colleges.

I don't believe in punishing people for the sins of their ancestors, but governments do not get a free pass for atrocities committed before the current administration came to power. Governments need to acknowledge the mistakes of prior administrations and make an attempt at reconciliation to bring at least a vague sense of closure to the matter. Turkey's continual stance of denial and their campaign to convince the Western world that the victims and their descendants are just a bunch of whiners looking for a free meal ticket is both loathsome and cowardly.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby superglucose » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:17 am UTC

Robin S wrote:Almost all, if not all, of the people responsible for the Armenian genocide, and many of their children too, will be dead by now. Would you see it as just to be punished for something your grandparents or great-grandparents did, however atrocious?


You'd be surprised. I once started a topic on a similar issue in which about half of the recipients saying that yes, the decendents are to blame and must be punished.

As for the op:

The turkish government... eh. To me, they made up for it during WW2 by working their asses off to save jews who could have even said "well once upon a time my grandfather's gardener knew someone from turkey." If anything says "we learned" it's working like hell to prevent another one from happeneing.

At the same time though, the Turkish government denies it occured... which raises another ethical question.

The Armenian Genocide is largely overlooked imo because the Armenian people are mainly white and christian, and nothing bad can ever happen to white christians! I think the Armenian Genocide is one of the greatest hypocracies of the world, what with how much emphasis we place on the famous holocaust that occured thirty, forty years later.

What scares me is that a lot of the Turkish people, when confronted with the Armenian Genocide, will be come hostile and adamant that "it never happened! lies!" See, I believe people need to own their past, be able to say "dude, this happened" before it can never happen again.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:38 am UTC

superglucose wrote:The turkish government... eh. To me, they made up for it during WW2 by working their asses off to save jews who could have even said "well once upon a time my grandfather's gardener knew someone from turkey." If anything says "we learned" it's working like hell to prevent another one from happeneing.


To be fair, despite the wide berth they ultimately gave for claimants of Turkish origin, they only were interested in saving Jewish Turks--not the Jews in general. The sort of flexibility you're talking about was done by individual diplomats and not a government policy. In short, the Turkish government didn't work its ass off to save lots of Jews--the diplomats did. Still, kudos for a government (one with an Islamic majority, at that) coming through for its people.

superglucose wrote:The Armenian Genocide is largely overlooked imo because the Armenian people are mainly white and christian, and nothing bad can ever happen to white christians! I think the Armenian Genocide is one of the greatest hypocracies of the world, what with how much emphasis we place on the famous holocaust that occured thirty, forty years later.


Although there is some precedent for what you're talking about, it wasn't the case here. One of the only reasons the Armenian genocide even made it into history books is because the targets were Christians. At the time of the event in question, Americans were being fed a steady diet of news articles concerning the atrocities being committed by the Turks (exaggerated or not), and Turkey was under constant pressure from Western nations to cut that shit out.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby superglucose » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:58 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Although there is some precedent for what you're talking about, it wasn't the case here. One of the only reasons the Armenian genocide even made it into history books is because the targets were Christians. At the time of the event in question, Americans were being fed a steady diet of news articles concerning the atrocities being committed by the Turks (exaggerated or not), and Turkey was under constant pressure from Western nations to cut that shit out.


And yet I bet 99% of the world's students couldn't tell you who the Armenians were, and if you said "armenian holocaust" they'd reply "don't you mean the jewish people, or did the Nazis kill them too?"
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Lumpy » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:22 am UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_House_Resolution_106

This bill's only a few co-sponsors short of having a majority. I remember Pelosi, Reid, and Obama coming out in favor of it. Should it be passed?

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:35 am UTC

superglucose wrote:And yet I bet 99% of the world's students couldn't tell you who the Armenians were, and if you said "armenian holocaust" they'd reply "don't you mean the jewish people, or did the Nazis kill them too?"


That's basically true of all modern genocide.

Edit: In the US, anyhow; I doubt the number would be as high as 99%, but most people (including students) aren't aware of just how much genocide (or mass democide) goes on in the world.

Lumpy wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_House_Resolution_106

This bill's only a few co-sponsors short of having a majority. I remember Pelosi, Reid, and Obama coming out in favor of it. Should it be passed?


I'm not sure how I feel about this sort of thing being legislated, but there definitely should be something on record basically saying "Hey, the US government recognizes that the Armenian genocide happened." It's a douchey move for governments to do this sort of thing, but in this case (as well as several other cases--see Rape of Nanking), sometimes you've got to make a douchey move to stop douchebaggery at large.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Jarne » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:45 pm UTC

The Turkish government does not deny that the event and mass-deaths occurred; it only claims that it wasn't a "genocide," just a lot of unfortunate deaths that happened during mass-deportation.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby saxmaniac1987 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:52 pm UTC

Yes. And my one relative had to hide underneath his family's dead bodies to avoid being killed was just playing hide and seek.

That came out more bitter than I honestly am about it, but it does piss me off to see the Turkish government just pretending it didn't happen. I mean come on.

To make things better, I'm not only Armenian, but also Greek. Another country that hates Turkey. The reproach with which older generations of Greeks here in America discuss Turkey is pretty remarkable. My family has been here for a while, though so I honestly don't have any animosity from that end. Unfortunately, I really don't know too much about my Armenian heritage...
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Iv » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

I'll add some more info to the thread. Here in France the issue has been in the media spotlights two or three years ago as there were questions about the official opinion France should have toward the integration of Turkey in the European Union. Here there is a law that states that a genocide happened to the Armenians, when and where and to how many people it happened but it doesn't not attribute the blame to anyone. Now the consensus seems to be that Turkey won't be able to be part of EU before they recognize (and apologies would be fine, as well) that this genocide happened. They also have this little issue with Cyprus, that they must solve. But before thinking "Yay, France !" let me edulcorate :
- Classifying an event as a genocide makes it illegal to publicly deny it happened or to minimize its gravity. While today the law is quite good, I find it is dangerously close to creating the notion of thought crime. It makes historians' job harder, too.
- One of the other reason most French don't want Turkey inside EU is because it is a muslim country and they have the feeling EU should remain a Christian club.

Dream wrote:More than that, it was industrialised, and it was the decision and action, ultimately, of a single man. It is also very well documented and centrally planned down to minute details. In particular, Rwanda, Darfur and Manchuria were each far less structured. They also lacked a centrally declared intent to exterminate as an end. (That was the point, it just wasn't decreed by a single demagogue and acted on with that knowledge by every single participant. No speeches about final solutions.)

A bit off-topic but Rwanda was very much a planned, premeditated genocide. Two different ethnic groups that saw each other existence as dangerous, one of them was in office. Heinous speech on the official radio, coordination, distribution of hatchets to the racist militia. And a "start!" signal. It was clearly planned as a strategical ethnic cleaning by the official government. And France's role in this one is also another 'Yay France'-killer.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby jtniehof » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:18 pm UTC

Mabus_Zero wrote:And I must concede, I did not know that the Turish government still denies this less then sterling moment in their history.

What pisses me off more is that the Anti-Defamation League denies the Armenian genocide. My town pulled out of "No Place for Hate" for that reason. Eventually public pressure built to the point of a mealy-mouthed "it's sorta like genocide, but it doesn't really count" statement.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:41 pm UTC

Iv wrote:- Classifying an event as a genocide makes it illegal to publicly deny it happened or to minimize its gravity. While today the law is quite good, I find it is dangerously close to creating the notion of thought crime. It makes historians' job harder, too.


Incredibly harder. Thanks to Armenian genocide denial, it's impossible for a respectable historian to approach the situation with any degree of skepticism--for instance, if a historian wants to discuss the possibility that American journalists exaggerated the nature of the atrocities, or that anecdotal evidence might include (intentional or not) fabrications, it's impossible to do so without being labeled a denier. This sort of behavior (France's legislation and denial in general) makes it very hard to get specific about genocides, especially when your research reveals that people may have a lot of preexisting misconceptions.

Mind you, the genocide happened; I'm just saying that thanks to the patterns of denial and legislation like that in France, it's much harder to research it with a critical and discerning eye.

jtniehof wrote:What pisses me off more is that the Anti-Defamation League denies the Armenian genocide. My town pulled out of "No Place for Hate" for that reason. Eventually public pressure built to the point of a mealy-mouthed "it's sorta like genocide, but it doesn't really count" statement.


I thought they reversed that? Although I loved their justification--"Yeah, the Turks killed and displaced a lot of people in an attempt to eliminate an ethnic group, but that wasn't genocide. Why? Oh, you know--because it's not politically convenient at the moment for us to call it genocide. So, yeah. It isn't."

No, seriously. I'm not making that up. That was their official position. It wasn't a genocide because Turkey was (and is) a valuable Muslim ally to Israel and they didn't want to piss them off.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Jarne » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:53 pm UTC

saxmaniac1987 wrote:Yes. And my one relative had to hide underneath his family's dead bodies to avoid being killed was just playing hide and seek.

That came out more bitter than I honestly am about it, but it does piss me off to see the Turkish government just pretending it didn't happen. I mean come on.


They're not pretending that it didn't happen, just that they didn't mean for it to happen so it wasn't their fault. Closer to what the U.S. government did to the Native Americans than Nazis to the Jews, from the Turkish governments perspective. This might seem like nitpicking, but there's a big difference between denying that there aren't any bodies and denying that the bodies are their fault.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:12 pm UTC

Jarne wrote:They're not pretending that it didn't happen, just that they didn't mean for it to happen so it wasn't their fault. Closer to what the U.S. government did to the Native Americans than Nazis to the Jews, from the Turkish governments perspective. This might seem like nitpicking, but there's a big difference between denying that there aren't any bodies and denying that the bodies are their fault.


They also have stated that the amount of the dead are an exaggeration and that just as many (or nearly as many) Muslims died at the hands of Armenians*. And that the Armenians who died during the deportation process did so only because of mismanagement (getting shot in the face is a pretty gross case of government mismanagement if you ask me).

One of the problems with this genocide is that, on top of the patterns of denial that make it very hard to be skeptical about it (and, for instance, actually investigate whether the number of dead are an exaggeration), the Turks have a nasty habit of making the investigation even harder. Historians in the past have suffered pressure from Turkish authorities to portray the 'right' history (threatening cutting off access to military documents and other important papers if they don't), and there's reason to believe that Turkey might have either altered or destroyed crucial pieces of evidence. In short, this is a very hard subject to research.


* Actually, this depends wholly on who you ask. Turkey's denial of this genocide is actually pretty schizophrenic. I've heard the 'massacres happened, but not our fault' line nowadays (I think the denial HAS to get more consistent as they step deeper into the international community), but way back before they were all on the same page, you'd get a thousand and one different flavors of crazy for what happened and why.

Edit: Let me just add that a lovely trend of denial came specifically out of denying this genocide, and you'll see it in a lot of (surprisingly academic) works on the matter: Denying not only the event, but the right to demand acknowledgment of the event.

This is a really great jujitsu move where the denier will not only say the Armenian genocide didn't happen, but that Armenians are totally just dredging up old history for no reason at all and we should think of the future, not the past. In short, you're being a counter-productive asshole who won't let go of your little 'tragedy'--you're holding us all back from entering a glorious sin-free future. Stop clinging to the past, asshole!

It's particularly effective because not only do you deny the event ever happened, but you make it clear that even if it did happen, the people who are demanding we all acknowledge that it happened are just whiners who can't move on with their lives.

So, yeah. Fuck that noise.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Jarne » Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:35 pm UTC

I'm not denying that the Turkish government is douchish (douchey? douche-like?), just that there's a difference between what outright denial that any Armenians got murdered (denial), and trying to justify it or claiming that it wasn't technically a genocide.
I mean, someone's gotta play devil's advocate for Turkey in this thread.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:01 am UTC

Jarne wrote:I'm not denying that the Turkish government is douchish (douchey? douche-like?), just that there's a difference between what outright denial that any Armenians got murdered (denial), and trying to justify it or claiming that it wasn't technically a genocide.
I mean, someone's gotta play devil's advocate for Turkey in this thread.


I understand, and while I'm open to re-evaluating whether or not this was a genocide or a democide (I'm always an advocate for precision when it comes to historical terminology), it bares mentioning that Turkey didn't just argue that the events don't fit the basic definition of genocide set out by the U.N. (quite a few events generally accepted as genocides don't--the term is tricky as hell); they've engaged in historical revisionism. Even if the Armenian genocide doesn't fit the bill (I'd argue that it does, albeit clumsily), Turkey has had a campaign dedicated to generating misinformation about this event for quite some time.

There's a trend in history to lend the testimony of victimized peoples a great deal more weight than they may deserve--for example, how many of us would feel comfortable questioning the historical authenticity of a firsthand account from a Holocaust survivor? So I'm with anyone who wants to resist that trend and approach a difficult subject like this with skepticism. But one of the most telling factors about Turkey's culpability is just how hard they've tried to bury this matter into obscurity. Your government doesn't hire a PR agency when you've got nothing to hide. Regardless of what you call the crime, Turkey's guilty as fuck and they're putting in a lot of effort so they don't have to say they're sorry.

They've also got a shitty human rights record, but that's a whole other box of dead cats.

Edit: Oh, and there's also assloads of testimony from non-Armenians who actually saw this shit going down.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Jarne » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:41 am UTC

Again, I'm not arguing against any of that. Hell, my great grandmother's a survivor of the genocide. I just wanted to clarify Turkey's actual position on the matter, which I think I've done.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby ArmoHavoc » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:26 am UTC

Allow me to say this first:
I do not hold the Turkish people responsible.
I am very reasonable and I understand the differences between what a government does and what a people do.

I am also grateful for the numerous sacrifices my family has made in order to have me born and raised in America, free from oppression, which is a story I would like to share.

My grandmother was born approximately five years after the mass deportation was supposed to have stopped. She grew up surrounded by loved ones who survived by going along with the flow, with almost all of her immediate family around her. She grew up like any other girl in her village, unable to read or write and adept at household chores. She found an Armenian tailor and got married. This is all well and good.

Yaya never learned the Armenian language. Ever. To this day, she is only able to speak Turkish (As a result, my cousins can't communicate with her). Let us disregard many of the sexist divisions of the time and place (where education was quite difficult) and explore why: She grew up in a community that was so anti-Armenian, her family could not run the risk of her misspeaking in public. They had already taken such strides to hide themselves (of major note, changing their last name from the Armenian suffixed X-ian, to the Turkish suffixed X-oglu). By the time the tides changed, she was already married to my grandfather and had my father. Her life was too hectic to go to school for reading and writing, let alone to learn a second language.

My questions for the Devil's Advocates are such:
1. If the Genocide, or shall I say 'Debated Event,' was merely a matter of botched deportation, what of the clear prejudice for the years between it and the Holocaust?
2. How is it that Armenians were able to live amongst Turks in harmony (i.e. look, sound, and work the same) and yet the declaration of Armenian descent would have gotten them killed?
3. How does one explain the trails of influence into similar 'Debated Events,' such as the need to see someone's passport in Rwanda to make sure they are killing the right ethnicity?
4. How does one deport a large mass of people by forcing them to walk three days across a desert without food or water?

Please, excuse me if I have offended anyone.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby gibberishtwist » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:04 am UTC

I'll admit I didn't know anything about Armenia or the genocide until I heard Serj Tankian mention it in an interview years ago. Frankly, I don't know much about any genocides other than the Holocaust, though I'm aware of the ones in Rwanda, Darfur, Serbia, etc. Looks like I need to do some reading.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby telkanuru » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:30 am UTC

I've been aware of the Armenian Genocide ever since I first read the Hitler quote.

I personally agree with Eddie Izzard's take on things, namely that Hitler gets press because he killed people next door. If you kill your own people, well, good job, we've been trying to kill you for ages! After all, the Russian actions during the 1932 famine in the Ukraine which killed 7 million people goes all but unmarked by history, except for Stalin's quotation. He said, "I have use for the Ukraine, but not for the Ukrainians."
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Dream » Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:29 pm UTC

telkanuru wrote:I've been aware of the Armenian Genocide ever since I first read the Hitler quote.

I personally agree with Eddie Izzard's take on things, namely that Hitler gets press because he killed people next door. If you kill your own people, well, good job, we've been trying to kill you for ages! After all, the Russian actions during the 1932 famine in the Ukraine which killed 7 million people goes all but unmarked by history, except for Stalin's quotation. He said, "I have use for the Ukraine, but not for the Ukrainians."

Isn't the Ukraine "next door" to Russia? And I would imagine that more people are aware of the crimes of Stalin than are of the Armenian Genocide,
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby the_stabbage » Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:44 pm UTC

superglucose wrote:
You'd be surprised. I once started a topic on a similar issue in which about half of the recipients saying that yes, the decendents are to blame and must be punished.

As for the op:

The turkish government... eh. To me, they made up for it during WW2 by working their asses off to save jews who could have even said "well once upon a time my grandfather's gardener knew someone from turkey." If anything says "we learned" it's working like hell to prevent another one from happeneing.

At the same time though, the Turkish government denies it occured... which raises another ethical question.

The Armenian Genocide is largely overlooked imo because the Armenian people are mainly white and christian, and nothing bad can ever happen to white christians! I think the Armenian Genocide is one of the greatest hypocracies of the world, what with how much emphasis we place on the famous holocaust that occured thirty, forty years later.

What scares me is that a lot of the Turkish people, when confronted with the Armenian Genocide, will be come hostile and adamant that "it never happened! lies!" See, I believe people need to own their past, be able to say "dude, this happened" before it can never happen again.


I don't think any government in World War II did enough to help the Jews. The SS. St. Louis is a familiar name: a ship of Jewish refugees that was rejected by Cuba, the US, and Canada. But there was also the Struma, which sailed from Romania, landed in Istanbul, was towed back out to sea, and torpedoed by the Soviets.

I think the Armenian genocide should be recognized by the Turkish government, and they should apologize, even if they are only the descendants of those responsible.

Too much of this goes on all the time, and we, the West, ignore it because it's outside of our sphere.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:06 pm UTC

Jarne wrote:
saxmaniac1987 wrote:Yes. And my one relative had to hide underneath his family's dead bodies to avoid being killed was just playing hide and seek.

That came out more bitter than I honestly am about it, but it does piss me off to see the Turkish government just pretending it didn't happen. I mean come on.


They're not pretending that it didn't happen, just that they didn't mean for it to happen so it wasn't their fault. Closer to what the U.S. government did to the Native Americans than Nazis to the Jews, from the Turkish governments perspective. This might seem like nitpicking, but there's a big difference between denying that there aren't any bodies and denying that the bodies are their fault.

Exactly. I'll start condemning them as soon as America becomes so enlightened. Something like the trail of tears is tough to see as anything but a crime against humanity.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby jayhsu » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:32 pm UTC

Recognize or condemn? Just because America fails to condemn it's own failings and atrocities does not make another country's any less significant.
-Jay

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:02 pm UTC

jayhsu wrote:Recognize or condemn? Just because America fails to condemn it's own failings and atrocities does not make another country's any less significant.

Yeah, you're right. I definitely recognize that what the government is doing is wrong, and most attempts to rectify the situation are definitely worth it. However, when congress passes a resolution to call it a genocide, I can't help but get a glass house vibe. I have no problem with any citizens protesting Turkey's position.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby telkanuru » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:49 pm UTC

Dream wrote:Isn't the Ukraine "next door" to Russia?


It's next door to Russia, but was a part of the USSR.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby jayhsu » Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

Iconoclast wrote:
jayhsu wrote:Recognize or condemn? Just because America fails to condemn it's own failings and atrocities does not make another country's any less significant.

Yeah, you're right. I definitely recognize that what the government is doing is wrong, and most attempts to rectify the situation are definitely worth it. However, when congress passes a resolution to call it a genocide, I can't help but get a glass house vibe. I have no problem with any citizens protesting Turkey's position.


Hah, America is nothing if not hypocritical.
-Jay

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Dextrose » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:25 pm UTC

superglucose wrote:What scares me is that a lot of the Turkish people, when confronted with the Armenian Genocide, will be come hostile and adamant that "it never happened! lies!" See, I believe people need to own their past, be able to say "dude, this happened" before it can never happen again.

Do you know any Turks? Because I do know bazı türkler, have talked about this with them, and this is not how they react. What I'm telling you is that you're either talking out of your ass or flat out lying, and I really don't appreciate having things like that said about my friends.

Frankly, the Amerian bias of world understanding on this issue rings more of propaganda than anything the Turkish government may or may not proliferate amongst its own. Nobody - not a single country that I can think of - really wants to hear the Turks' side of things, which is not that it "didn't happen," but rather that the conflict (cfr. inflammatory use of the word genocide) was begun by Armenians.

My estimate is that most of you are being the assholes you accuse the Cumhuriyet of being. I doubt any of you actually live in either of those two countries, which means most of you should be using your ears and eyes more than your mouths and fingers.

Edit: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an amazing individual who accomplished incredible things for the Turkish people; he was also a political figure and a human being, which means he made a lot of decisions in his life that hurt a lot of people. So have many amazing individuals in our world's sordid past. And while Turkey may be at the moment trying to make Islam the national religion, the West is essentially trying to destroy Islam. Vengeance has never historically been a productive tack, and the sooner people shut their goddamn traps about who did what to who else, the sooner we can all start to share and build from the good things our societies have to offer one another.
Buda, sevmekten, güçlüğü keşfemelidi; severek, budayı olmuş.

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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Iconoclast » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:42 pm UTC

Dextrose wrote:
superglucose wrote:What scares me is that a lot of the Turkish people, when confronted with the Armenian Genocide, will be come hostile and adamant that "it never happened! lies!" See, I believe people need to own their past, be able to say "dude, this happened" before it can never happen again.

Do you know any Turks? Because I do know bazı türkler, have talked about this with them, and this is not how they react. What I'm telling you is that you're either talking out of your ass or flat out lying, and I really don't appreciate having things like that said about my friends.

Frankly, the Amerian bias of world understanding on this issue rings more of propaganda than anything the Turkish government may or may not proliferate amongst its own. Nobody - not a single country that I can think of - really wants to hear the Turks' side of things, which is not that it "didn't happen," but rather that the conflict (cfr. inflammatory use of the word genocide) was begun by Armenians.

My estimate is that most of you are being the assholes you accuse the Cumhuriyet of being. I doubt any of you actually live in either of those two countries, which means most of you should be using your ears and eyes more than your mouths and fingers.

Edit: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an amazing individual who accomplished incredible things for the Turkish people; he was also a political figure and a human being, which means he made a lot of decisions in his life that hurt a lot of people. So have many amazing individuals in our world's sordid past. And while Turkey may be at the moment trying to make Islam the national religion, the West is essentially trying to destroy Islam. Vengeance has never historically been a productive tack, and the sooner people shut their goddamn traps about who did what to who else, the sooner we can all start to share and build from the good things our societies have to offer one another.

Are you originally from Turkey? Would you say your views are representative of the rest of Turkey (or maybe certain parts)? Also, are you in favor of or against Turkey becoming more secular? I ask just because I want to know where you're coming from.
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Re: The Armenian Genocide

Postby Dextrose » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:51 pm UTC

Do I look like I'm from Turkey? I mean, I know I'm pretty good at it, but I'm wondering if I'm pulling the outfit off these days.

Yes, I'm in favour of Turkey becoming more secular, I'm in favour of everybody becoming more secular, religion blows. The people I've talked to are not happy about the Islam thing, either, even though every Turk I know was more or less born into Islam. I don't actually know how many of them are practicing.

I just realised, I should probably try to read the Qur'an in Turkish, since my objection with English translations is the language incompatibility....

Edit: To clarify, I think it's important everybody here know that Turkey does not deny the event ever happened. That's a fucking lie, stop saying it. What they deny is that it was a genocide; Turkey does not appreciate being blamed entirely for everything that happened at the time, and the more people try to blame Turkey entirely for it, the longer the wounds will be open. Have some faith in people, give some give, because when your high horse goes to the glue factory, your arse will be as dusty as the rest of ours'.
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