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An Ever-Lasting Punishment for Us All in Turkey

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  • An Ever-Lasting Punishment for Us All in Turkey

    It has been 92 years since April 24, 1915, since the knock on the door of Krikor Zohrab’s home and those of Komitas, Siamanto, Taniel Varoujan and more than 300 Armenian intellectuals, deputies, writers, musicians and priests—in other words those who represented the best qualities of the Armenian people. The knock on the door was the signal of the first genocide of the 20th century, the annihilation of an entire civilization that would have been, if history had proceeded along a different course, one of the cornerstones—in fact creators—of a democratic, truly multi-ethnic, multi-faith, multi-cultural Turkey, rich in soul, enlightened in mind, and unreservedly open to the best that the human legacy can offer. History proceeded the other way around, however, and honored not the righteous but the strongest. Not only were one of the most progressive, most enlightened people in the world wiped off their homeland, together with any physical manifestations of its age-old existence, but those who were left behind, the Muslim inhabitants of Asia Minor, were condemned to a long-lasting punishment. Since that night, the night of April 23-24, 1915, the descendants of the guilty and the bystanders and all who were left behind have never known what it is like to live in a truly democratic country, where the flag, the territory and the state are not more valuable than human life. They have never known what it is like to co-exist with people of other identities without overt-covert humiliations, prejudices and hostilities. They have never known what it is like to live under the rule of a state that does not subordinate everything to the interests of its continuity, its alleged “survival.” The immeasurable wealth usurped brought no richness, nor did it generate any prosperity or well-being.

    The punishment was not only political, economic or social, but also moral. Those left behind have never been part of a collective identity that knows what it is like to weep and to pray after their fellow countrymen who they once shared a life with. And they have thus never had the chance to achieve a spiritual and moral elevation of this kind. The darkest depths of human nature that enable one to see what one would like to see and to know what one would like to know, combined with a successful official strategy of disinformation, create a society trapped in a world of oblivion and ignorance where basic values are turned upside down and criminal acts are praised as acts of patriotism.

    As for living in a world of oblivion and ignorance, the missing parts can’t simply be replaced with the relevant pieces of knowledge, or by merely learning the facts, because the lack of this kind of knowledge generates, generation after generation, an inability of sharing the suffering of the other and of dissociating oneself from the attributed collective identity. By distorting the facts, the state apparatus distorts the system of values, convictions, and ability to reason and to draw conclusions.

    Many dissidents in Turkey, including myself, discovered late that we were unaware of our ignorance, that we didn’t even know that we didn’t know. It is not a gap that can be bridged simply by reading and learning more. It has caused a delay in our intellectual and emotional capacities to truly grasp all aspects of the loss.

    Ninety-two years after April 24, there seems to be no real hope for improvement in Turkey, at least not in the short to medium term. Improvement can not be measured by economic indicators such as inflation figures, direct foreign investment inflow, or annual economic growth, nor sociological indicators such as the increasing use of mobile telephones. It refers, instead, to the flourishing of a culture of true democracy. There is no hope in the near future because the spirit of April 24 and the elements of this spirit still prevails in Turkey: first, the concept of an omnipotent state ruling over all civil and human rights, a concept widely accepted and enthusiastically supported by the general public; secondly the dominance of violence both as a manner of government and as a popular culture of living, thirdly militarism not only a key component of the regime but also as a common psyche shared by the great majority of the society; and last but not least, a never weakening Turkish nationalism engraved in the tiniest cells of the society and the ruling apparatus.

    Justice and reconciliation, therefore, will remain a distant aspiration until the entire society begins to transform and not just the ruling elite. It is wishful thinking that Turkey will soon confront the truth of April 24 because of the vicious circle that is in operation and in full force: Without democratization, a confrontation is out of the question; and without such a confrontation, no democracy can prevail. So we, the Turkish dissidents, will have to face the fact that every April 24, for many years to come, we will voice our call for the recognition of the Genocide not out of any optimism or hope for immediate improvement but out of a moral obligation and responsibility we must carry as humans.

    Ayşe Günaysu
    Quid est Veritas?

    -----The Democratic Federation of ANATOLIA-----

  • #2
    Re: An Ever-Lasting Punishment for Us All in Turkey

    look!!!armenian stupid gays.You didn't understand history and you will not anytime.Because you are miserable and you are cursed race!!



    • #3
      Re: An Ever-Lasting Punishment for Us All in Turkey

      How long do we let our self insulted by those Turks, how long do we have to endure before we can ban them from this forum
      You should never argue with idiots because they will just drag you down to their level....then beat you with experience!!!!!!!

      "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Voltaire


      • #4
        Re: An Ever-Lasting Punishment for Us All in Turkey

        look!!!armenian stupid gays.You didn't understand history and you will not anytime.Because you are miserable and you are cursed race!!