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When Will Turkey Admit the Armenian Holocaust?

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  • When Will Turkey Admit the Armenian Holocaust?

    Dar Al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia
    June 30 2005

    When Will Turkey Admit the Armenian Holocaust?
    Turki Ali Alrabi'u Al-Hayat - 30/06/05//

    I was too young when I learned about the Holocaust that happened
    against the Armenians, when I realized the existence of the "Armenian
    other" living among us. Our neighbor Mubarak - that was his name- was
    Armenian. He was really "mubarak" (= blessed, in Arabic), since he
    had the chance to have relations with four women. He was one of ours
    in the tribe. Miriam, our generous aunt used to feed us with fresh
    bread strait from the bakery. Her four offsprings used to share with
    us the same normal life. I never heard a single remark of
    discrimination against them based on the fact that their mother is
    Armenian. I was really surprised later when I read the auto
    biography of Yassine El Hafez that he wrote in his book entitled
    "Defeat and the defeated Ideology" published back in 1978. The author
    was called 'the son of the Armenian' in Deir El Zoor City, despite
    the fact that this Armenian was known always known as "the aunt" in
    that city. The most important is that my concern about the Armenian
    Holocaust started growing later when I began to become acquainted
    with more Armenians, who live among us in the tribe or in nearby
    zones inhibited by Armenians who settle in their own villages. I
    recall that I ran barefoot all the way in order to say good bye to
    Armenians in the "Abu Jalal" village before they went back to
    Armenia. This was back in 1963. The Armenians still feel these strong
    ties with the Arabs, especially with members of the Arab tribes who
    received and hosted them in dire moments of their life to protect
    them from the intolerant bigotry.

    I accompanied my friend Abu Zuba', who became an Engineer, to listen
    to uncle Mubarak, who used to tell us about his dilemma. We were
    circumspect to keep in mind what he has to tell us. We were even
    determined to tape his memoirs before it may be too late since the
    man was elderly. Nothing happened because we lost sight of each other
    in the course of time.

    The Holocaust was vivid in the collective memory in cities like "Al
    Qamishli". Victims recognize their tyrants or, specifically, those
    who participated in the Holocaust. Some books like "the Utmost in the
    Catastrophes Against Christians" mention the names of families that
    participated in the massacres against the Armenians. The will to
    coexist was given high priority, which allowed the Armenians to
    succeed in the various disciplines they worked in. Some went in
    Diaspora over the hemisphere. They were adept and innovative after
    their new settlement. It is as if they are the salt of the globe as
    said. Other nations seem to have forgotten what happened to the
    Armenians despite the continuous reminders of the Holocaust. It
    appeared to some that the Jewish Holocaust is paramount. We Arabs
    have no interest in denying the Jewish Holocaust; we followed Roger
    Garaudy to adopt his opinion mentioned in his book "The Founding
    Myths of Israeli Politics". As a matter of fact, the Jewish efforts
    to monopolize the use of the term Holocaust is vain, both
    intellectually and ethically. One wonders about Norman Fenkelstein's
    claim in his book "The Holocaust Industry" that promotes the
    exclusivity of the Jewish Holocaust model. What makes the monopoly?
    Fenkelstein opines that the exclusive suffering yields an exclusive
    privilege. The exclusivity of the Holocaust make it an "ethical
    asset". The Jews must claim the right to this "Sacred Property".
    Claiming exclusivity for the Holocaust is tantamount to claim
    exclusivity for the Jews. This claim led to minimize other Holocausts
    and genocide. Fenkelstein scorns, "one cannot compare the loss of
    the life of a Gypsy as compared to the life of a Jew." Moreover,
    admitting the mass murder of the gypsies means losing the Jewish
    privilege. The Armenian case follows the same rationale. Later, the
    eminent British Orientalist Bernard Lewis came to deny the
    perpetuation of the Armenian Holocaust by Turks, the matter that led
    him to be condemned by a French court of justice.

    The Armenian Holocaust remained a taboo. At the end of the Second
    Millennium and as the Third Millennium started its day break the
    Holocaust industry is undermined by pressures and new lobbies. These
    new factors forced the United States to build a museum for the Red
    Indians next to the Congress. The Museum was inaugurated on
    21/9/2004. It is located on the last green field, gathering several
    museums. It is called the "Potomac", which means that good people may

    I believe that denying the Armenian Holocaust has been subject to
    political and ideological factors. Since Turkey is still a NATO
    member and has established friendly ties with Israel, the U.S. does
    not exert any pressure. The question that may be raised is: What if
    the Justice and Development party of (AKP), led by Turkish PM Recep
    Tayyib Erdogan goes to admit the Holocaust against the Armenians,
    regardless of its size. The Turks say that only three hundred
    thousand Armenians were killed and not one and a half Million. Still,
    this does not justify the Genocide. The question that comes to mind
    is: Why Turkish PM Recep Tayyib Erdogan, who is currently visiting
    Lebanon, does not admit the Armenian Holocaust? Why modern Turkey
    does not admit the Armenian Holocaust?

    *Mr. Ali Alrabi'u is a Syrian writer.
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