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Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

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  • Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

    I am convinced that "Medz Yeghern" has been falsely translated into English as "Great Calamity" by too many people and sources. It is precisely this mistake that made it possible for President Obama to exploit the term as a clever ploy last April 24th to avoid keeping his promise to call the Armenian Genocide by its proper name. The only proper and historically valid translation is "Great Crime". Armenians should get clear and focused about this, especially since President Obama has made it a very vital issue.

    Calamity is an ambiguous word. Crime is not. We cannot afford to be ambiguous about this.

    The Armenian words aghed, portsank, badahar, etc. are secondary meanings of "yeghern" and do not serve. Why would we use secondary meanings to refer to the most devastating event in Armenian history? The primary meaning of "yeghern" (let alone MEDZ yeghern) is clearly a malicious, intentional, destructive human act which, in this case, is the murder of a nation.

  • #2
    Re: Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

    I believe Obama should stop being such a cynical liar and valid the promise he issued to us while he was running for president, he clearly expressed "As president, I will recognize the Armenian Genocide"...back then he never used any other term but Genocide.

    In my opinion, avoiding the use of the term Genocide and instead going for other words, be those Calamity, Crime, or going for the Armenian terms, creates confusion, is a coward act for it means avoiding to call a crime by its rightful and correct name.

    I myself will not be satisfied until they stop trying to mock at us by using secondary terms, or synonyms, or the classic "tragic events", and call a crime by its rightful name: GENOCIDE, we shouldn't stand or accept anything else but the most appropriate term for the crime committed against our people, and that is the word Genocide

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

      Originally posted by ashot24 View Post
      I believe Obama should stop being such a cynical liar and valid the promise he issued to us while he was running for president
      I believe far more that Armenians need to stop being such gullible idiots, and basing their votes on what candidates say they'll do about this issue. Seriously, how many times do Armenians have to be duped till they get it, or stop trusting other powers who couldn't care less about our people? In return for loyally trusting them, we got our asses kicked by the Turks, with the help of the Germans, and quite possibly, the Jews, the Russians certainly didn't do us any favors in the midst of all this, then we're lied to by Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr, and finally, Obama. Are Armenians seriously this dense, or are they just destined to be gluttons for punishment?

      We are wasting an IMMENSE amount of time and resources on getting the genocide recognized in the US, which, honestly, will mean very, very little in the grand scheme of things. Those resources are better spent on strengthening Armenia, and getting the bullshit mafia run government out of our country.
      You suck at life.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

        Originally posted by Crimson Glow View Post
        I believe far more that Armenians need to stop being such gullible idiots, and basing their votes on what candidates say they'll do about this issue. Seriously, how many times do Armenians have to be duped till they get it, or stop trusting other powers who couldn't care less about our people? In return for loyally trusting them, we got our asses kicked by the Turks, with the help of the Germans, and quite possibly, the Jews, the Russians certainly didn't do us any favors in the midst of all this, then we're lied to by Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr, and finally, Obama. Are Armenians seriously this dense, or are they just destined to be gluttons for punishment?

        We are wasting an IMMENSE amount of time and resources on getting the genocide recognized in the US, which, honestly, will mean very, very little in the grand scheme of things. Those resources are better spent on strengthening Armenia, and getting the bullshit mafia run government out of our country.
        I agree that we need to spend our resources elswhere but your not gona get rid of the mafia style government. The best way to change the government is to convince those in power that a richer armenian population will in turn mean that they themselves(the rulers/maphia) will be far richer. All governments are maphias and the more sophisticated ones realize they will make way more money by making their country a strong one economically. The maphia needs to be educated and not threatened-removing the present maphia will leave a powervacume which will only be filled with another maphia or even worst possibly by enemy agents. Running monopolies is all the present rulers understand but they will make way more money by controling finance and allowing a free competative market. This will also get rid of much of the resentment the public feels about being monopolized. I personaly despize capitolism but if thats what your gona go with atleast do that right.
        Hayastan or Bust.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

          Here is a useful article from back in the days when diaspora Armenians in North America actually had newspapers.

          Explaining the Unexplainable: The Terminology Employed by the Armenian Media when Referring to 1915(1)

          By Khatchig Mouradian

          The Armenian Weekly
          September 23, 2006

          What terminology have Armenians employed to describe the greatest
          tragedy in their history? When was the term Tseghasbanutyun (Genocide)
          incorporated into their discourse? I will try to answer these
          questions by looking at the April 24 editorials in three
          Armenian-language dailies' Aztag (Factor), Zartonk (Awakening), and
          Ararad.

          These newspapers, all published in Beirut, express the views of the
          three Armenian political parties that survived in the Diaspora'the
          Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) or the Tashnags, the Social
          Democratic Hunchagian Party, and the Democratic Liberal Party or the
          Ramgavars, respectively. Aztag has been published, without any
          significant interruption, since 1927; Ararad and Zartonk, since
          1937(2).

          Survivors of the Armenian Genocide used a number of terms to refer to
          the destruction of their people in the Ottoman Empire. In the
          editorials under study, the term most commonly and consistently used
          from the 1920s to the present is Yeghern (Crime/Catastrophe), or
          variants like Medz Yeghern (Great Crime) and Abrilian Yeghern (the
          April Crime). Other terms include Hayasbanutyun (Armenocide), Medz
          Voghperkutyun (Great Tragedy), Medz Vogchagez (Great Holocaust), Medz
          Nahadagutyun (Great Martyrdom), Aghed (Catastrophe), Medz Nakhjir and
          Medz Sbant (both, Great Massacre), Medz Potorig (Great Storm), Sev
          Vojir (Black Crime) and, after 1948, Tseghasbanutyun (Genocide), or
          variants like Haygagan Tseghasbanutyun and Hayots Tseghasbanutyun
          (both, Armenian Genocide).

          Yeghern was the word most frequently used when referring to the
          destruction of the Armenians before the term 'genocide' was coined by
          Raphael Lemkin in 1944 and incorporated into the 1948 UN Genocide
          Convention. Even after that, Yeghern maintained its prominence for a
          number of decades.

          It was only in the late 1980s and early 1990s that the expression
          Haygagan Tseghasbanutyun started appearing more frequently than the
          term 'Yeghern' in the editorials under study and, generally, in other
          related articles in Armenian-language newspapers and publications4.

          Hayasbanutyun was used after the Lebanese jurist Moussa Prince
          published his book Un genocide impuni: L'Armenocide
          (Unpunished genocide: Armenocide) in 1967 (5). In the next few years,
          more than one Armenian translation of this book appeared as a book and
          as a serial in Ararad (6).

          From 1978 to 1982, the term Hayasbanutyun was employed at least once
          in every April 24 editorial in Aztag. However, it rarely appeared in
          the other newspapers under study.

          The term Tseghasbanutyun appeared for the first time in Aztag on April
          25, 1948, a few months before the UN General Assembly approved the
          'Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide'
          in December of that year. Titled 'Tseghasbanutyun,' the editorial
          begins with the following question in reference to the xxxish
          Holocaust (7):

          'Was another earth-shaking storm necessary, so that men would learn
          the word Tseghasbanutyun (Genocide)? The attempt to exterminate
          the Armenians en masse 'genocide' only served the purpose of filling the
          pages of books and giving brilliant speeches, while the other [attempt
          of extermination] immediately resulted in a logical ending: trials and
          hanging.' (Aztag, 1948)

          The next time the term was used in Aztag was in an editorial
          condemning the disinterest of the West over the attempted decimation
          of the Armenians (8) was even more evident the next time the term
          appeared in an Aztag editorial:

          'A second World War was needed so that the peoples of the West would
          feel on their own flesh what it means to plot a crime against a nation
          and would condemn it by employing the term genocide' (Aztag, 1950).

          Two years later, another April 24 editorial stated: 'The condemnation
          of the crime of genocide in speeches and on paper is not enough'
          (Aztag, 1952). In this editorial, the term tseghasban (9) (perpetrator
          of genocide) is also employed in reference to the Turks.

          In the following years, and leading up to the 50th anniversary of the
          Yeghern in 1965, the term Tseghasbanutyun was not used in the
          editorials of Aztag. However, it was mentioned, albeit sporadically,
          in other articles dealing with the issue published in the same
          newspaper.(10)

          Zartonk first employed the term Tseghasbanutyun in its April 24
          editorial in 1954 and it continued to use it in subsequent years: (11)
          'The Armenian fatherland was depopulated as a result of the horrible
          crime of Genocide that was unleashed on the 24 of April' (Zartonk,
          1954); no one listened to the few great humanists who were `condemning
          barbarity and genocide' (Zartonk, 1955); `The German-Austrian
          xxxxx-like politics turned a blind eye to this ghastly genocide'
          (Zartonk, 1956); 'Forty-five years after the Medz Yeghern started,
          today, while we deeply mourn the martyrdom of our fathers and mothers,
          brothers and sisters, we also state with endless joy that the
          genocidal Turk has failed in his plan. We should vow to do
          everything to crown our SACRED CAUSE [Emphasis by Zartonk] with
          success, so that no [other] Talaat (12) will ever again even
          contemplate solving `the Armenian issue' through violent genocide'
          (Zartonk, 1960); 'The Ittihadist leaders or the Ottoman ministers had
          already prepared the ground for the unprecedented genocide' (Zartonk,
          1964), etc.

          After 1965, the term Tseghasbanutyun was gradually incorporated into
          the standard lexicon of the three newspapers under study and was used
          interchangeably with other terms when referring to the events of 1915.

          In 1965, stressing the importance of the 50th anniversary of the
          Genocide, the ARF Central Committee in Lebanon signed a declaration in
          Aztag titled 'Our Word,' which appeared in lieu of an editorial. In
          this declaration, the term Yeghern was used five times, while
          Tseghasbanutyun was used only twice. (13)

          In 1966, in a move atypical for the period before the 1990s, an
          editorial titled 'Tseghasbanutyun,' used the term Tseghasbanutyun
          seven times (three in reference to the UN Genocide Convention),
          tseghasban Turk (the genocidal Turk) once, and Yeghern not at all.

          Ararad first used the term Tseghasbanutyun in an April 24 editorial in
          1966. Thereafter, the term appeared with some regularity in the
          newspaper's April 24 editorials: 'The Diaspora Armenians have an
          immensely important role to play in acquiring condemnation for the
          genocide of the Turk' (Ararad, 1966); 'Even the wildest imagination
          would not be able to portray the genocide committed against us'
          (Ararad, 1967); 'The genocide committed against our people is also a
          crime against humanity' (Ararad, 1968); `56 years have passed from the
          genocide and the pillaging of Western Armenia' (Ararad, 1971), etc.

          The expression Haygagan Tseghasbanutyun was not employed at this
          juncture. Typically, when referring to the events of 1915-16, the
          expressions used were 'the genocide of 1915,' 'The Turkish genocide,'
          and 'the genocide committed against the Armenians.' It is only in the
          1980s that Haygagan Tseghasbanutyun becomes the most frequently
          applied expression when referring to 1915.

          Deniers of the Armenian Genocide argue that the Armenians themselves
          never referred to 1915 as 'genocide' before the 1980s. As this study
          demonstrates, their argument, popular in the Turkish media and
          academic circles, does not stand. While it is true that the Armenians
          have employed a number of terms to refer to the annihilation of their
          people, shortly after the term 'genocide' was coined by Raphael Lemkin
          and even before the UN Genocide Convention was approved, the Armenians
          realized that the term was applicable to the horrors their people
          experienced just a few decades earlier.

          Of course, they were not alone in this realization. Lemkin himself
          referred to 1915 as 'genocide' and stated that it paved the way to the
          unanimous adoption of the Genocide Convention by the UN General
          Assembly in 1948. 'One million Armenians died, but a law against the
          murder of peoples was written with the ink of their blood and the
          spirit of their sufferings,' wrote Lemkin in an exclusive article for
          the Hairenik Weekly in 1959.

          Endnotes

          1 This article is an excerpt from a research paper presented at the
          fourth Workshop on Armenian-Turkish Scholarship, held at New York
          University in May 2006. I am indebted to Dr. Ara Sanjian for his
          guidance and invaluable advice from the first day I embarked on my
          research on issues related to the Yeghern and the Armenian media. I
          also thank Dr. Asbed Kotchikian and Dr. Rania Masri for reading the
          drafts of the paper upon which this article is based.

          2 The Tashnag Aztag was published twice a week until 1930, and then,
          three times a week until 1932, when it became a daily publication. The
          newspaper was initially the private property of Haig Balian, but it
          expressed the views of the ARF until June 1965, when it formally
          became the official organ of the ARF Central Committee of Lebanon. The
          Hunchagian Ararad became a weekly in June 2001.

          Aztag, Zartonk and Ararad are not the only daily newspapers that have
          mirrored opinions of the Lebanese-Armenian community. A fourth daily,
          the independent Ayk, published by Tigran Tospat, appeared from
          1953-75. Because of constraints on space and time, this study does not
          deal with Ayk's editorials on Armenian Martyrs' Commemoration Day.

          3 In the 1990 editorial, Yeghern appeared only once in Aztag, while
          Tseghasbanutyun was employed three times. In the 1997 editorial, for
          example, Zartonk employed the term tseghasban 10 times; tseghasbanagan
          (genocidal), twice; and Tseghasbanutyun, three times. Yeghern was not
          employed. In the 2005 editorial, the term Tseghasbanutyun appeared 11
          times in Aztag. It should be noted that even in the 1980s and 1990s,
          one does encounter editorials where the term Tseghasbanutyun was not
          the word of choice when referring to 1915 (see, for example, Aztag,
          1991).

          4 It is interesting to note here that the first ever book with the
          word genocide (as applied to the Armenians) in the title was published
          in 1948. It was Josef Guttmann's 19-page booklet, The Beginnings of
          Genocide: A Brief Account of the Armenian Massacres in World War I
          (New York: Armenian National Council of America, 1948). This was the
          English translation of an article originally published in Yiddish in
          Yivo bleter, the Journal of the Yiddish Scientific Institute, v. 28,
          no. 2, under the title `Di shhite oyf Armener hit draysik yor tsurik.'
          Thereafter, we have to wait until 1965 for Father Jean
          Mecerian's Le genocide du peuple armenien:
          le sort de la population armenienne de l'Empire ottoman, de la
          Constitution ottomane au Traite de Lausanne, 1908-1923 (Beirut:
          Impr. Catholique, 1965). There was one Armenian title published in
          Beirut with the word Tseghasbanutyun in 1959: Tseghasbanutyune
          khorhrtayin mioutenen ners: usumnasirutyun zankvadzayin sbanutyants
          `(Genocide in the Sovet Union: A Study on the [Committed] Mass
          Murders) but that was about the USSR, the translation of a book
          produced by Institut zur Erforschung der UdSSR in 1958. (This research
          was carried out through WorldCat.)

          5 The term `Armenocide' is also used in the title of The Genocide of
          the Armenians by Turks, the Turkish Armenocide, Documentary series,
          v. 1: The Memoirs of Naim Bey: Turkish Official Documents Relating to
          the Deportations and Massacres of Armenians ([Newton Square, Pa.]:
          Armenian Historical Research Association, 1964).

          6 One of the translators is Dikran Vosgouny, an editor of Aztag in
          that period.

          7 The Holocaust and other genocides are seldom mentioned in April 24
          editorials. The Rwandan Genocide, for instance, is mentioned in Aztag
          in 2004, in the context of the 10th anniversary commemoration of that
          genocide.

          8 In the editorials, Western powers are frequently blamed for the
          suffering of the Armenians. Germany is considered an accomplice to
          what befell the Armenians. Britain, France and the U.S. are blamed for
          being bystanders and, prior to that, doing little to fulfill their
          promises to the Armenians suffering under the Ottoman rule.

          9 As this paper demonstrates, for decades tseghasban remains an
          adjective inseparable from `the Turk' in the Armenian newspapers. It
          is worth nothing that Haygazn Ghazarian's book on the Armenian
          Genocide, published in Beirut in 1968, is titled Tseghasban Turke.

          10 See, for example, H.K. Barsalian's `The God-Chosen Armenian' on
          page 2 of the April 23 1959 issue, and the series of articles by
          Yer[vant] Khatanasian titled `Genocide and the Armenian Cause' in
          April 1964.

          11 It should be noted here that the editor of Zartonk, Kersam
          Aharonian, played an instrumental role in making the Armenian Genocide
          a central cause in Lebanon in the 1960s. The 1,116-page book,
          Hushamadyan Medz Yegherni, which he edited in 1965, was regarded as
          the most comprehensive Armenian-language book on the topic of Yeghern
          published until then.

          12 Minister of the Interior Talaat Pasha, the leading figure of the
          triumvirate that came to power in 1913 in the Ottoman Empire and a
          prime architect of the Armenian Genocide, is regarded by the
          editorials throughout the entire period under study as the
          personification of genocidal evil. His name is often cited together
          with the name of Soghomon Tehlirian, who assassinated Talaat on March
          14, 1921.

          13 In the resolution adopted by the 18th ARF General Meeting in 1963,
          the term Tseghasbanutyun was employed for the first time in the line
          of successive General Meeting resolutions.
          Last edited by bell-the-cat; 04-17-2010, 09:43 AM.
          Plenipotentiary meow!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

            Bell The Cat:

            I can't tell you how really grateful I am to you for this treasure of an article by Khatchig Mouradian. Just what I was looking for.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

              Originally posted by Diranakir View Post
              Bell The Cat:

              I can't tell you how really grateful I am to you for this treasure of an article by Khatchig Mouradian. Just what I was looking for.
              Thanks. Your opening post reminded me of that article, and luckily I still had the text of it buried deep in my computer's hard disk!
              The big ommission in the article is an analysis of English-language non-Armenian uses of the word genocide used to describe the Armenian massacres. What Mouradian has done (making a search of article titles that have the words "Armenian Genocide") is not going to locate many articles or books that have used the words in their text. Because the phrases used by Armenians all use Armenian words, probably the usage of the phrase "Armenian Genocide" occured first amongst non-Armenian writers - but when was the first incident of its usage, and to what extent was it used in the days before Turkey embarked on its denialist campaign internationally, and what alternative phrases continued to be used to describe the Armenian genocide after the word "genocide" had been coined?
              Plenipotentiary meow!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

                BTC: There's much to be said for the deeper recesses of your hard disk!

                The important point once again: Armenians should not be a party to diluting the dignified and unambiguous language they have used to name their
                inconceivable trauma. "Great Calamity" is a travesty and a foolish concession to the genociders.

                From his 1920 book of lamentation called "For My Fatherland" by A. Aharonian, the following lines from the earliest pages [transliterated to the best of my ability]:

                Paytz Hayastann! Asvadz im, Hayastann!. . . . Hayastánn: badmoutyan metch oór pndrel ayskan zarhoureli, ayskan egheragan mi badger, vor heravorabess

                hishetsner hai ashkhari Yegherna."

                "But Armenia! Oh my God, Armenia?! Where in history could you find such a hideous, such a tragic picture, one that could remotely give an idea of
                the Crime it suffered?"
                Last edited by Diranakir; 05-07-2010, 08:30 AM. Reason: Correcting spelling of "Yeghern".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

                  Turkish Press Review on the meaning of "Medz Yeghern"

                  In case anyone thought that the battle was not on concerning the meaning of the term, read these articles carefully. Can Armenians afford to be passive?



                  "Calamity" and "Disaster"

                  1. http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/de...ay&link=173578


                  "Tragedy"

                  2. http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/co...s-yeghern.html


                  "Tragedy"

                  3. http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/ne...-april-25.html


                  "Tragedy"

                  4. http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/ne...statement.html


                  "Genocide" [sic]

                  5. http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/10...ack-obama.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Medz Yeghern: Great Crime vs. Great Calamity

                    The European Armenian Federation gets it right. If Armenians in the U.S. had been as clear, Obama wouldn't have been able to use the term as a weasel word.

                    http://eafjd.eu/spip.php?article539

                    Comment

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