Scholars and Politicians Part II: Turkey
So what is the situation of Armenian Genocide recognition in Turkey?
Well it is common knowledge, and is much discussed. It’s taught by details in the nations schools, and most people have on opinion on it. What’s taught however are apologetics and counter-arguments, and the opinions they have is similar. Basically:
“It was a war, many died. The Armenians had to be deported and relocated for security reasons. It was messy, and many died of famine and bandits”
The Turkish community is sadly still stuck at stage eight .
I blame this deadlock on what I blame most political deadlocks on, treating politics like a football game. We wear our colors, cheer and support our team, hope to score. In this situation the mentality has resulted that any positive step toward genocide recognition is a great loss for the Turkish people, and must be battled tooth and nail.
But there are people bucking the trend, people who know that Turkey or Armenia can’t move forward unless these issues are solved with an objective view.
“Thirty thousand Kurds have been killed here, and a million Armenians. And almost nobody dares to mention that. So I do”- Orhan Pamuk, Feb. 2005
Pamuk, the world famous Nobel-laureate writer, pride of the Turkish community, was suddenly demonized, prosecuted, rallies amassed to burn his books. He had shamed the team, scored an own goal.
“There are Turks who don’t admit that their ancestors committed genocide. If you look at it though, they seem to be nice people… So why don’t they admit it? Because they think that genocide is a bad thing which they would never want to commit, and because they can’t believe their ancestors would do such a thing either.” -Hrant Dink
Dink had a special ability, to see through the two polarized societies. To understand their psychologies, to sympathize. He was a healer. He knew that the endless obsession by the Armenian Diaspora with this cause was hurting them more than helping, making them incapable of building functioning societies, societies that try to look forward instead of looking back.
On January 19, 2007 Dink was assassinated by an overzealous schoolboy. His funeral couldn’t have been more shocking to the skeptical Armenian Diaspora. Over a hundred thousand Turkish civilians marched together holding placards saying “We are all Armenian” “We are all Hrant Dink” in Turkish, Armenian and Kurdish.
If there are people that fed-up with what is being done in their name “for them”, then there is hope for us all…