03 04 2009 -20 TALL TURKISH TALES
By Lucine Kasbarian
Top Twenty Tall Turkish Tales
1.That Turks, who turned up in Anatolia from Central Asia thousands of years after the ancient Hittite, Urartian, Armenian, Assyrian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine structures in present-day Turkey were constructed, are somehow responsible for having built them.
2. That Turks and Armenians lived in peace, brotherhood, and equality ever since the Seljuk Turkish invasions, and that the Ottoman Empire was a model of tolerance towards its subject peoples.
3. That the Ottoman massacres of hundreds of thousands of Armenian civilians in 1894-1897 and 1909 were simply examples of Turkish self defense.
4. That there was no Armenian Genocide. The deaths were just an unfortunate consequence of civil war or wartime conditions. But if there was a genocide, it was Armenians who committed it.
5. That US Ambassador Morgenthau, American and European diplomats, missionaries and others who witnessed and wrote about the Genocide were not credible since they disliked Turks. Even German eyewitnesses (allies of Turkey in World War I) were not credible since they disliked Turks too.
6. That the hundreds of historians and genocide experts who confirm that there was an Armenian Genocide have all been duped by Armenians.
7. That those peoples who “revolted” against the Ottomans or Turkey deserved whatever the Turks did to them because all such revolts were unjustified. (The Young Turks’ revolt against the Ottoman Sultan in 1908, on the other hand, was entirely justified.)
8. That the Armenian death toll was “only 600,000,” not 1.5 million, hence the deaths could not be considered a genocide.
9. That due to wartime necessity, the “deportations” were limited to Armenians from the eastern part of the Ottoman Empire (even though, in fact, Armenians from all parts of the Empire were “deported”).
10. That the Ottoman Turkish archives are fully open, haven’t been tampered with, and prove that Turkey did not commit the Armenian Genocide.
11. That the Genocide survivors and their descendants seek recognition, reparations, restitution, restoration, and return of their so-called historic homeland out of delusion and greed.
12. That the enormous amount of territory allocated to Turkey in the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres was somehow inadequate.
13. That teaching and talking about the Armenian Genocide is a form of hate speech.
14. That Turkey and Armenia would be “reconciled” by now were it not for the malevolent Armenian Diaspora which, instead of acting in Armenia’s best interests, vilifies Turkey with baseless allegations. (Naturally, Turkey acts only in Armenia’s best interests.)
15. That Turkey’s proposal to hold a joint historical commission on 1915 — which would include denialist historians — is not a delaying tactic, but is sincere and would arrive at a truthful verdict.
16. That the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR) is not historically Armenian; that it was the Armenians in Karabagh who initiated pogroms against Azeris; and that NKR is not entitled to self-determination.
17. That Turkey is qualified to be a member of the European Union and should have been admitted years ago (even if it violates the human rights of its population, stifles free speech, and condones torture).
18. That Turkey is a loyal NATO ally (even if it threatens the United States and Europe and rejects US requests for military cooperation).
19. That if the Genocide resolution passes in the US Congress, Turkey will severely punish the United States.
20. That Turkey’s efforts to penetrate the Caucasus and Central Asia are not attempts to fulfill a longstanding ambition to create a Pan-Turkic empire.
Lucine Kasbarian is an Armenian-American writer.