Monday, November 20, 2006

Reply to Mr. Mark Mardell for "Historical Guilt"

Reply to Mr. Mark Mardell- BBC Editor for the editorial "Europe diary: Historical guilt"

Mr Mark Mardell
Europe Editor
4 Millbank,
London SW 1

14th November 2006

Subject : Your article titled ‘Historical guilt’

Dear Mr Mark Mardell,

We are an umbrella organisation consisting of sixteen associations representing a large proportion of the British-Turkish community whose population is approximately over a quarter of a million. Our community is saddened by the fact that you have implied that the tragic events of 1915 was ‘genocide’ in your recent article, titled ‘Historical guilt’.

We are well aware that some Armenian lobbyists are carrying out a strong campaign for recognition of the so-called genocide but Turks believe the events that took place during World War I was a ‘War Tragedy’; the consequences of which were that both sides suffered immensely.

Over the last couple of decades, while the Armenian Diaspora attacked with contaminated claims, baseless accusations and falsified evidence against Turks that caused racial hatred in many countries, the Turks kept a dignified silence to prevent internal hatred against their Armenian neighbours. Unfortunately it is very clear that this dignified silence was misunderstood and they found themselves in a position of having to defend themselves for a crime they never committed.

In fact, what Turks and Armenians have gone through since 1828 has disturbed and victimized both sides of the community. It has been the result not of internal events, but of meddling, plotting and intrigues conducted from external forces.

From 1828 to 1915, with varied intensity, it was Russia who stirred up trouble between the “Loyal Armenian Community” and the Ottoman Empire in the six provinces of Eastern Turkey. Other imperialists, including the British and the French, had tried their luck following the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. The French plunged into South East Turkey, creating chaos, doing much harm to both the Armenian minorities and the local Muslims and resulting in the need for the relocation of the

Armenians in those areas. When things turned sour the Russians and the French simply pulled out, taking with them the Armenians whom they had stopped supporting in the field. The Armenians were as much victims as their Muslim neighbours had been.

Due to the events supported and nurtured by the Russians in the six provinces of Eastern Turkey and by France in Turkey’s southeast, no significant Armenian minorities are now to be found in those areas, although, there are still many Armenians living in Western Turkey today.

However the bitterness, anger and resentment caused by outside interferences has consolidated itself within the Armenian diaspora living abroad. Discreetly and occasionally openly, it has been encouraged by the existing Armenian Republic, which itself has achieved ethnic cleansing in the Azeri province of Nagorno-Karabakh.

At present, the Armenian diaspora in many countries has gained enough power to lobby all the leading countries of the world, including the USA and members of the EU, to demand they condemn Turkey for a “genocide” that it never contemplated.
The Turkish community accepts ‘genocide’ as the most vicious crime against humanity. In the same context, one should accept that accusing a nation with genocide is a very serious act as well. Any such act comes with a responsibility to prove such an accusation and rest it on historical facts and international legality.
Those who accept this claim without studying either history or their own records will have to face serious consequences both on the international scene and in their relations with Turkey. This would not do the Armenian Diaspora or the citizens of Turkey and the Armenian Republic any good whatsoever. Nor would it enhance the prestige, influence or economic interests of nations and international organizations to fall into the trap of condemning Turkey for a genocide it never committed.

Turkey’s defamers should now be made to realise they have a moral obligation to carry out systematic research, by impartial and scientific historians, to carry out proper, unprejudiced studies of the archives of all the countries directly or indirectly involved in this sad episode of history.

On the other hand, world public opinion must realise that unsubstantiated accusations cannot be converted into public condemnations demanded by pressure groups of the accusers. Such one-sided action is contrary to modern concepts of international justice.

Coming from a nation, who has lost 2.5 million of its people in that period, we are fully aware of the devastation that war can bring to people and humanity. Having suffered a great loss first hand, we believe that we should all be working towards peace and not generating hatred against any nation.

With that belief, we are sending you some information out of many that present the other side of the coin. We hope you will have time to read them and see the events from facts, not from hearsay stories and base your view accordingly.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information on the subject or any other matter relating to the Turks or the British - Turkish community, we will be more than happy to assist you.

Yours sincerely,

Levent Hassan ( Mr )
The Federation of Turkish Associations in UK

Enclosed: The Armenian File by Kamuran Gürün
Death and Exile by Prof. Justin McCarthy
Dashnagtzountiun Has Nothing To Do Anymore by H. Katchaznouni
Armenian Claims and Historical Facts
The Exchange Between Admiral Bristol and Dr. Barton
Armenian – Nazi Collaboration
Revisiting the Armenian Genocide by Prof. Guenter Lewy
The Ottoman Holocaust by Prof. Stanford J. Shaw
The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story by Prof.H. W. Lowry
The Armenian Problem and International Law ‘Conclusion’ by G. Aktan
100 Books and Selected Magazines on the Armenian Issue
The Armenian Issue
‘Sarı Gelin’ DVD (A documentary film on the Armenian Issue)

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