Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Scholars dispute genocide claims

Yusuf Selcuk Ateskan
Armenian terrorists bombed UCLA professor Stanford Shaw’s house in 1977 when Shaw’s research revealed that Armenian allegations about the genocide could not be supported by historical evidence. Turkish diplomats were also victims of Armenian extremists; Gurgen Yanikian initiated a series of terrorist acts toward Turkish diplomats in southern California, assassinating Turkish Consul General Mehmet Baydar and Consul Bahadir Demir in Santa Barbara on Jan. 27, 1973. Kemal Arikan, Turkish Consul General at Los Angeles, was another victim of the terrorist attacks. Armenian militant Hampig Sasunian killed him on Wilshire Boulevard when he stopped at a traffic light on Jan. 28, 1982. Between 1973 and 1995, Armenian terrorists committed 110 acts of terror (70 bombings, 39 armed attacks and one occupation) in 38 cities in 21 countries, according to various newspaper reports. In these attacks, 42 Turkish diplomats and four foreign nationals were killed, while 15 Turks and 66 foreign nationals were wounded. These groups targeted Shaw with the intent of destroying his evidence and documents because he revealed the facts do not match Armenian horror tales. The terrorists killed Turk diplomats, including Baydar, Demir and Arikan, just because they represented the government that the groups blame for the alleged genocide between 1915 and 1923. Throughout the United States - including in front of Tommy Trojan - various Armenian groups will be gathering April 23 and 24 to commemorate the alleged genocide. Most of them will use distortions to offer one-sided misrepresentations of the events that took place between the Turkish and Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I. They will claim that the Ottoman Empire instigated a policy of genocide against its Armenian citizens. But scholars have proven that these allegations are not based on historical facts but on myths, fake documents and forgeries. Bernard Lewis, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, said, “There is no evidence of a decision (of Ottoman government) to massacre. On the contrary, there is considerable evidence of attempt to prevent it.” For decades, Armenian groups perpetuated their childhood horror stories. Yet many incidents of fake documents that these groups use to support their claims - such as the infamous Talat Pasha telegrams ordering the murder of Armenians, or the quote from Hitler allegedly acknowledging the “extermination of the Armenians” - have been revealed as forgeries or debunked by history scholars. For instance, on Aug. 2, 1984, an article in America’s leading Armenian newspaper, “Reporter,” reported: “Historian of Armenian descent (Dr. Robert John) says (the) frequently used Hitler quote is nothing but a forgery” and therefore “should not be used” as the evidence of genocide. Despite the heavy pressure, most American scholars refuse to call the events a genocide. More than 70 American scholars who specialize in Turkish, Ottoman and Middle Eastern studies published an open letter to the U.S. Congress in the New York Times and Washington Post on May 19, 1985 disputing Armenian characterizations of the events of WWI. History professor Justin McCarthy summarized the findings of his research on the Armenian allegations in his testimony in front of the House International Committee: “Assuming one-sided evil has led to an unfortunate approach to the history of the Armenians and the Turks. Instead of investigating the history of the time without prejudice, all the guilt has been attached to one side. Once the Turks were assumed to be guilty, the search was on to find proof. The process has been one of assertion and refutation. “It was asserted that Talat Pasha, the Ottoman Interior Minister, had written telegrams ordering the murder of Armenians, but these proved to be forgeries. “It was asserted that letters published during WWI by the British Propaganda Office showed Turkish guilt, but these have proven to have been sent by missionaries and Armenian revolutionaries, both of whom were less than neutral sources. “It was asserted that courts martial by a post-war Turkish government proved that Turks had engaged in genocide, although careful examination of the records shows that the charges were included among long lists of crimes brought by a government under control of British occupiers lists that include all sorts of actions that are demonstrably false and include anything that would please the conquerors.” Since Armenian claims lack the support of academic research, they have developed a strategy to legislate their version of history by heavily lobbying the U.S. Congress to pass resolutions recognizing their allegations. Furthermore, scholars who attempt to independently and objectively research Armenian claims - such as UCLA’s Shaw - were subject to threats, harassment, intimidation and outright attacks. Turkish students and their guests at USC have also experienced these hostile manners. Outraged Armenian fanatics disrupted the annual Turkish nights twice, in April 1994 and 2000. Turkish night is intended to be merely a cultural event, with no political motivations, yet demonstrators appeared to protest the alleged genocide. Nobody was hurt physically, thanks to the prompt action of the Department of Public Safety and the Los Angeles Police Department, who escorted us to our residences. However, it is not possible to express the extent of our emotional distress due to these offensive acts. As Turkish students at USC, we do mourn for both Armenian and Turkish people who perished during continual warfare before, during and after WWI. However, we do not accept the distortion of the historical facts to promote hatred toward a nation. Let us overcome the prejudice and do our part to create a peaceful world.
USC Daily Trojan
April 23, 2002

No comments: