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To All the Denialists Here

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  • HayerMiacek
    June 15, 2005

    [English Translation from German]

    German Bundestag Printed matter 15/5689 15th electoral period June 15, 2005

    Motion by the parliamentary groups of SPD, CDU/CSU, BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN and FDP
    Commemorating the expulsion and massacre of the Armenians in 1915 – Germany must make her contribution to the reconciliation between Turks and Armenians.

    The Bundestag may resolve:

    The German Bundestag honors and commemorates the victims of violence, murder and expulsion among the Armenian people before and during the First World War. The Bundestag deplores the deeds of the Young Turkish government in the Ottoman Empire which have resulted in the almost total annihilation of the Armenians in Anatolia. It also deplores the inglorious role played by the German Reich which, in spite of a wealth of information on the organized expulsion and annihilation of Armenians, has made no attempt to intervene and stop these atrocities.

    The German Bundestag honors and commemorates the efforts made both by Turks and Germans who, working under difficult circumstances and conditions and against the resistance of their respective governments, have committed themselves in word and deed to saving Armenian women, men and children. It is particularly the memory and the work of Dr. Johannes Lepsius, who fought vigorously and effectively for the survival of the Armenian people, which is to be redeemed from oblivion and cherished and maintained to improve the relationship between the Armenian, the German and the Turkish people.

    The German Bundestag is painfully aware from its own national experience how hard it is for every people to face the dark sides of its past. But it also believes that facing one’s own history fairly and squarely is necessary and constitutes an important basis for reconciliation. This is true, in particular, within the European culture of remembrance to which belongs the open discussion of the dark sides of each national history.

    Against this Background, the German Bundestag deplores the fact that a full discussion of these events of the past in the Ottoman Empire is still not possible today in Turkey and that scientists and writers who wish to deal with this aspect of Turkish history are being prosecuted and exposed to public defamation. However, the German Bundestag also sees positive signs that Turkey, to an ever-increasing degree, approaches this subject within the above European culture of remembering. Examples include:

    - The Great Turkish Assembly has, for the first time, invited Turkish people of Armenian descent to discussions involving the crimes committed against the Armenians and the Turkish-Armenian relationship - A Turkish-Armenian women’s dialog was held in Vienna - Initial contacts between Turkish and Armenian historians resulted in a first exchange of documents - Minister President Erdogan inaugurated Turkey’s first Armenian museum in Istanbul with the Armenian patriarch Mesrab and publicly suggested the establishment of a bilateral Turkish-Armenian panel of historians.

    However, in this context, the German Bundestag perceives with great concern that the Armenian Conference of internationally renowned Turkish scientists, which was to be held in Istanbul from 25-27 May 2005, has been prevented by the Turkish Minister of Justice and that the positions taken by these scientists, which diverged from the government’s opinion, were defamed as “a stab in the back of the Turkish nation”. The proposal by Minister President Erdogan to set up a joint Turkish-Armenian commission of historians can only succeed if it is implemented on the basis of a free and public scientific discourse.

    Germany, which has also made its contribution to the crimes against the Armenian people falling into oblivion, is now obliged to face her own responsibility. This responsibility involves supporting Turks and Armenians in seeking reconciliation and mutual understanding over the trenches of the past.

    Both major churches in Germany, in particular, have for many years advocated the integration of the Armenians from Turkey. The Armenian communities which have settled here offer the opportunity of reconciliation and remembrance. Particularly in view of the large number of Turkish Muslims living in Germany, it is an important task to bring to mind the past and so to make the first steps toward reconciliation.

    But dealing with these historical events also has an immediate significance for the present. Today, the normalization of the relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia is of paramount interest and importance for the future of the entire region. What is urgently needed is to establish trust-forming measures on both sides as defined in the OSCE principles. Turkey opening the borders to Armenia could, for instance, help to relieve Armenia’s isolation and promote the taking up of diplomatic relations.

    Due to its historic role in the Turkish-Armenian relations, Germany must assume a special responsibility as part of its neighborhood initiative of the EU. The aim must be to help normalize and improve the situation between Armenia and Turkey and so to help stabilize the Caucasus region.

    One important contribution toward remembrance can be made by the German federal states. The duty of the information and education policy involves actions for facing the expulsion and annihilation of the Armenians as part of the whole history of ethnic conflicts in the 20th century, also in Germany.

    The German Bundestag requests the Federal Government

    - to help the Turks and Armenians to arrive at a settlement by remembering, reconciliation and forgiving historical guilt
    - to ensure that Parliament, Government and society in Turkey deal without reservation with their role in relation to the Armenian people in the past and in the present
    - to advocate the establishment of a commission of historians including Turkish, Armenian and international experts
    - to ensure that not only the archives of the Ottoman Empire on this issue are made accessible to the general public, but also the copies of the German Foreign Office archives given by Germany to Turkey
    - to insist on the actual organization of the conference scheduled in Istanbul but postponed under governmental pressure
    - to press for freedom of opinion in Turkey, in particular with respect to the fate of the Armenians
    - to help Turkey and Armenia to normalize their interstate relationships.

    Berlin, June 15, 2005

    Franz Müntefering and parliamentary group Dr. Angela Merkel, Michael Glos and parliamentary group Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Krista Sager and parliamentary group Dr. Wolfgang Gerhard and parliamentary group

    Reasons for the motion
    Ninety years ago, on April 24, 1915, the Young Turkish movement controlling the Ottoman Empire ordered the Armenian cultural and political elite in Istanbul to be arrested, deported inland and for the most part murdered. This day has become the day of remembrance for Armenians throughout the world for the expulsion and massacre of the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire which took place as early as the end of the 19th century and intensified during the First World War.

    When the Ottoman Empire joined the war, the Armenian soldiers drafted into the Ottoman army were grouped into work battalions and most were murdered. Beginning in the spring of 1915, women, children and old people were sent on death marches through the Syrian desert. Those who had not died or been murdered on the way met this fate at the latest when they reached the inhuman camps in the desert near Deir ez Zôr. Massacres were also committed by units specially set up for this purpose. Resistance by high-ranking Turkish officials against this course of action, as well as criticism from the Ottoman parliament, was brutally suppressed by the Young Turkish regime. Many areas from which Christian Armenians had been expelled were later settled with Kurds and Muslin refugees from the Balkan wars. Members of other ethnic Christian groups, in particular Arameic/Assyrian and Chaldean Christians, but also certain Muslim minorities, were also affected by deportations and massacres.

    According to independent estimates, more than 1 million Armenians fell victim to the deportations and mass murders. Many independent historians, parliaments and international organizations describe the expulsion and annihilation of the Armenians as genocide.

    Until this day and contrary to the facts, the Turkish Republic as the legal successor of the Ottoman Empire denies that these atrocities had been well planned and organized and/or that the mass deaths during the resettlement treks and the massacres had been desired by the Ottoman government. The admitted severity of the actions against the Armenians has always been justified by the fact that many Armenians had fought on Russia’s side against Turkey both in 1878 and in 1914/1915 and that there had supposedly been the danger that these Armenians would also have fallen into the back of the Ottoman Empire during WW I. Other Turkish defenses invoked the acts of violence committed by Armenians against Turks which occurred during the armed resistance to the Turkish resettlement measures. The terrorist attacks by Armenians against Turks perpetrated right into the eighties of the twentieth century are also used as justification for the Turkish position.

    In all, the true extent of the massacres and deportations is still belittled and largely disputed in Turkey today. This Turkish attitude stands in opposition to the idea of reconciliation which guides the common values of the European Union. Even today, historians in Turkey are not free in coming to terms with the history of deportations and murder of Armenians and, in spite of some relaxation in the previous criminal liability, still find themselves under great pressure.

    The German Empire as the major military ally of the Ottoman Empire was also deeply involved in these events. Both the political and the military leadership of the German Empire had been aware of the persecution and murder of the Armenians right from the beginning. The files of the German Foreign Office resting on reports by the German embassy and consulates in the Ottoman Empire document the planned and organized execution of the massacres and deportations. In spite of urgent requests by many German personalities in science, politics and the churches, among these politicians like Philipp Scheidemann, Karl Liebknecht or Matthias Erzberger, and eminent persons of the protestant and catholic churches such as Adolf von Harnack and Lorenz Werthmann, the German Reich government failed to exert pressure on its Ottoman ally.

    When the protestant theologian Dr. Johannes Lepsius presented the outcome of his research in Istanbul to the German Reichstag on October 5, 1915, the whole of the subject of the Armenians was censored by the German Reich government. In 1916, the German military censorship banned and confiscated Johannes Lepsius’ “Report on the Situation of the Armenian People in Turkey”. The copies of this documentation which Lepsius had sent directly to the delegates of the German Reichstag were intercepted by the authorities and not handed to the delegates until after the war in 1919.

    This almost forgotten policy of repression by the German Reich demonstrates that this chapter of history still waits to be dealt with in a satisfactory manner here in Germany.

    Leave a comment:

  • Vogelgrippe
    Originally posted by phantom
    Hmm, is that right? Well, why don't you look at it a little more closely:

    In the official explanation of the resolution, the text actually does use the word “genocide,” and describes in great detail the atrocities committed against the Armenians by the Young Turk regime. Furthermore, the resolution uses various other words that are the equivalents of genocide, such as “mass murder, extermination or annihilation, and destruction.” It states that “numerous independent historians, parliaments, and international organizations designate the expulsion and destruction of the Armenians as a genocide [Volkermord].” The resolution also estimates the number of those killed in the genocide as “more than a million,” according to “independent calculations.” It acknowledges that the German Reich, as the chief ally of the Ottoman Empire during WW1, was deeply involved in the mass murder of Armenians.

    Also, if it wasn't such a big deal, then why did the Turkish government make such a big deal out of it when the resolution was passed? Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul described the resolution as “irresponsible, dismaying, and wounding.” Prime Minister Erdogan referred to it as “wrong and ugly.” He said that history would put the German leaders to shame. This undiplomatic name-calling further antagonized the Germans. A spokesman for the German government said he disagreed with Erdogan’s characterization, saying that the resolution was “balanced.” The Turkish and German exchange of words following the passage of the resolution generated more articles on this issue. Thanks to Turkish demonstrations and protests in both Ankara and Berlin, the international media continued to provide extensive coverage of the fall-out from the resolution on the Armenian Genocide.

    As prominent Turkish commentator Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in the Turkish Daily News: “The Armenian genocide allegations are being approved by a new parliament every passing day. The trap we are in is closing on us. One day we will see, we are left alone by ourselves. All Western parliaments will accept the genocide and will be applying pressure on their governments. The recent development in the German parliament is just a typical example of this. Let’s not see this as a stab in the back. Armenians have dominated the international arena to such an extent that the governments no longer feel the need to resist them.”

    Sounds like a Genocide resolution to me!
    Oh yes, that is right! The resolution nowhere says it was 'Volkermord / Genocide', and if there is an 'explanation of the resolution' as you claim, I sincerely do not know what it is, or anything about it. Moreover, when the resolution mentions the works of Johannes Lepsius and Franz Werfel, who had reported about the attrocities committed on Armenians, it uses the words 'Vertreibungen und Massaker' / 'deportations and massacres' (p.2)

    The reaction of Turkish politicians and columnists to this resolution (even though it doesn't contain the 'g' word) is the most normal and expected thing, because they wanted to have the resolution canceled or shelved completely. In another country where the Turkish lobby is less strong, they would probably take the wording of the same resolution as semi-victory.(As you correctly observed, many politicians and columnists like Birand acknowledged Armenians' superior political lobbies in all other countries). But in Germany, Turkish government felt that they could have done better against the Armenian lobbies, and were simply disappointed.

    By the same token, I have to return the question to you. If all the wordings of the German resolution add up to mean genocide, then why are you guys so furious when George W. Bush uses almost identical words, but refrains from using the 'G' word? Or are you the only expert who knows which sequence of words & expressions equals to genocide (even though the word itself is not used), and which ones do not?

    Leave a comment:

  • Kharpert
    I can so deny it.

    The reasons for the United States entering Iraq are numerous and ambiguous, but there's one basic truth about the war on Iraq: it was a mistake and a failure. However, whatever the reasons the U.S. invaded Iraq, whether it be for oil or for any other reason, Kurds were not and still are not of high importance to the United States. As of right now, the United States is having the most trouble with the shi'ite insurgents. They are having trouble with Iran, who is most probably helping out those insurgents. The United States doesn't care if Kurdistan exists or not (and if they did care, they would be AGAINST it. After all, they have stronger diplomatic ties to Turkey and they are trying to make a more stable Iraq).

    Europe keeping Turkey out of the EU is opposite of imperialism because they are denying an annexation.

    Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria are all independent. Iraq barely exists.

    Leave a comment:

  • HayerMiacek
    imperialistic ideals are gone a long time ago, well except Russia

    Now days world politics is driven by energy, economy and geo-politics

    Yes, you are right, nobody wants Turkey in the EU, so the European nations are going to use Kurds, Armenian Question, Cyprus issue or whatever they can get their hands on to keep Turkey out of the EU, it is all politics my friend, not imperialism

    Leave a comment:

  • Aytug
    I talk about neo-colonism. The objectives of US for example, is completed by the Kurds in Iraq. Can you deny that? Barzani gets command from the US. Just like that, the Kurds living in Turkey wanted to used by other emperialist nations for the requests from Turkey during its EU joinment..

    Is Turkey independent? Is Iraq? Is Greece? Or Bulgaria? I don't think so...

    Because emperialism/capitalism hang on to them..

    Leave a comment:

  • Kharpert
    Originally posted by Aytug
    You will become the toy of emperalist nations.
    What imperialist nations are you talking about? This isn't the 1800s.

    Leave a comment:

  • Aytug
    Because Kurds have not got their independence for ages. Turkey is not only for Turks. In Turkey, lots of ethnical groups lived and they all have Turkey. Turks,Kurds,Armenians,Greeks living in Turkey have to work for Turkey. Because the Kurds you talked about is living with the taxes of all Turkish people

    If you try to declare independence - just like nowadays- you will made Turkey and independent side weaker and you came to a point that you can easily ride out by the big countries. You will become the toy of emperalist nations. That is why you musn't declare independence..Tamam?

    Leave a comment:

  • kerkuk_kurdista
    Originally posted by Hellektor
    It's the Symptom I of the Armenian Genocide deniers' forum (mis)behavior
    Thats true, and they do not only do this with the Armenian Genocide, but on many other cases. I have never discussed a Turk that didn't swear, curse or changed the subject when was talking why couldn't the Kurds get an independent state.

    Leave a comment:

  • Hellektor
    Diagnosis of the Psychosis: Symptom I They change the subject

    Originally posted by HayerMiacek
    it is one of their "strategies", changing topics when they see something that they can not answer to
    It's the Symptom I of the Armenian Genocide deniers' forum (mis)behavior

    Leave a comment:

  • HayerMiacek
    Originally posted by Tongue
    Why does the subject always get changed? The original post is about the "International Association of Genocide Scholars" recognizing and confirming the "Armenian Genocide". 4 posts later.. the subject is changed to if there was a genocide committed by France or Russia.. and still, no reply to the original post. Nice strategy.
    it is one of their "strategies", changing topics when they see something that they can not answer to

    Leave a comment: