Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!)

1] What you CAN NOT post.

You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this forum to post any material which is:
- abusive
- vulgar
- hateful
- harassing
- personal attacks
- obscene

You also may not:
- post images that are too large (max is 500*500px)
- post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or cited properly.
- post in UPPER CASE, which is considered yelling
- post messages which insult the Armenians, Armenian culture, traditions, etc
- post racist or other intentionally insensitive material that insults or attacks another culture (including Turks)

The Ankap thread is excluded from the strict rules because that place is more relaxed and you can vent and engage in light insults and humor. Notice it's not a blank ticket, but just a place to vent. If you go into the Ankap thread, you enter at your own risk of being clowned on.
What you PROBABLY SHOULD NOT post...
Do not post information that you will regret putting out in public. This site comes up on Google, is cached, and all of that, so be aware of that as you post. Do not ask the staff to go through and delete things that you regret making available on the web for all to see because we will not do it. Think before you post!

2] Use descriptive subject lines & research your post. This means use the SEARCH.

This reduces the chances of double-posting and it also makes it easier for people to see what they do/don't want to read. Using the search function will identify existing threads on the topic so we do not have multiple threads on the same topic.

3] Keep the focus.

Each forum has a focus on a certain topic. Questions outside the scope of a certain forum will either be moved to the appropriate forum, closed, or simply be deleted. Please post your topic in the most appropriate forum. Users that keep doing this will be warned, then banned.

4] Behave as you would in a public location.

This forum is no different than a public place. Behave yourself and act like a decent human being (i.e. be respectful). If you're unable to do so, you're not welcome here and will be made to leave.

5] Respect the authority of moderators/admins.

Public discussions of moderator/admin actions are not allowed on the forum. It is also prohibited to protest moderator actions in titles, avatars, and signatures. If you don't like something that a moderator did, PM or email the moderator and try your best to resolve the problem or difference in private.

6] Promotion of sites or products is not permitted.

Advertisements are not allowed in this venue. No blatant advertising or solicitations of or for business is prohibited.
This includes, but not limited to, personal resumes and links to products or
services with which the poster is affiliated, whether or not a fee is charged
for the product or service. Spamming, in which a user posts the same message repeatedly, is also prohibited.

7] We retain the right to remove any posts and/or Members for any reason, without prior notice.


Members are welcome to read posts and though we encourage your active participation in the forum, it is not required. If you do participate by posting, however, we expect that on the whole you contribute something to the forum. This means that the bulk of your posts should not be in "fun" threads (e.g. Ankap, Keep & Kill, This or That, etc.). Further, while occasionally it is appropriate to simply voice your agreement or approval, not all of your posts should be of this variety: "LOL Member213!" "I agree."
If it is evident that a member is simply posting for the sake of posting, they will be removed.

8] These Rules & Guidelines may be amended at any time. (last update September 17, 2009)

If you believe an individual is repeatedly breaking the rules, please report to admin/moderator.
See more
See less

Turkey's Killing Fields

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Turkey's Killing Fields

    Turkey’s Killing Fields

    Published: December 17, 2006
    In July 1915, the American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire sent Washington a harrowing report about the Turks’ “systematic attempt to uproot peaceful Armenian populations.” He described “terrible tortures, wholesale expulsions and deportations from one end of the Empire to the other accompanied by frequent instances of rape, pillage and murder, turning into massacre.” A month later, the ambassador, Henry Morgenthau — the grandfather of the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau — warned of an “attempt to exterminate a race.”

    The Young Turk nationalist campaign against the empire’s Armenian subjects was far too enormous to be ignored at the time. But decades of government-backed denial have created what amounts to a taboo in Turkey today. Instead of admitting genocide, Turkish officials contend the Armenians were a dangerous fifth column that colluded with Russia in World War I; many Armenians may have died, they say, but there was no organized slaughter. Turkish writers who challenge this line, like the novelists Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak, have risked prosecution for insulting Turkish identity. And on the diplomatic front, when Turkey should be polishing its credentials for eventual European Union membership, it is mired in historical fights; this May, for instance, it pulled out of a NATO military exercise to protest the Canadian prime minister’s acknowledgment of the genocide.

    “A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility,” by Taner Akcam, is a Turkish blast against this national denial. A historian and former leftist activist now teaching at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota, Akcam is often described as the first Turkish scholar to call the massacres genocide, and his impressive achievement here is to shine fresh light on exactly why and how the Ottoman Empire deported and slaughtered the Armenians. He directly challenges the doubters back home, basing his powerful book on Turkish sources in the old Ottoman script — including the failed Ottoman war crimes tribunals held after World War I. Although he bolsters his case with material from the American, British and German archives, he writes that the remaining Ottoman records are enough to show that the ruling party’s central committee “did deliberately attempt to destroy the Armenian population.”

    Akcam closely links the 1915 genocide with World War I. The Unionists, as the nationalist leaders were known, dreaded the partition of their empire by the European great powers. Not only did they suspect the Armenians of dangerous disloyalty, Akcam writes, but massacres of Muslims in Christian regions of the faltering empire before World War I had fostered a desire for vengeance.

    While never excusing the atrocities, Akcam does argue that the Turkish leaders chose genocide in a mood of stark desperation. Staggered by a series of early military defeats, and by the Allied onslaught at Gallipoli, they fully expected their empire — driven out of so much of its vast territories over the past two centuries — to collapse. The Turkish heartland of Anatolia was threatened — as was Constantinople.

    The fiercest Ottoman enemy was Russia, which had nearly seized Constantinople in a bloody 1877-78 war and had a storied history of trying to foment uprisings against Ottoman rule. The Turkish nationalist line puts great weight on the internal menace of pro-Russian Armenians. But Akcam argues that there was little real danger from the Armenian uprisings, which were limited and directed mostly against the deportations. (British officials considered the Armenians militarily useless and thus refused to encourage the uprisings.) Akcam allows that the evacuation of Armenians may have been justified by military necessity in areas where the Armenian revolutionaries were strong — but not throughout the empire.

    The killings were a colossal undertaking. Paramilitaries and Interior Ministry gendarmes slaughtered Armenians en masse, while the Interior Ministry under Talat Pasha, who coordinated the campaign, arranged for the deportation of untold thousands more to the blazing Syrian deserts. Many of the deportees were massacred along the way, and those who survived were left without food, shelter or medicine, in what Akcam calls “deliberate extermination.” Akcam cites Ottoman Interior Ministry papers that chillingly call for keeping Armenians to less than 5 or 10 percent of the population. A postwar Turkish investigation found that some 800,000 Armenians perished.

    After the war, Britain pressured the defeated Ottoman government into setting up its own war crimes tribunals. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk himself, the founder of the present Turkish republic, once said that the Unionist leaders “should have been brought to account for the lives of millions of our Christian subjects ruthlessly driven en masse from their homes and massacred.” Today, those who deny the genocide have to dismiss these trial records as mere victor’s justice. Akcam uses the records as important evidence, though he frowns on Britain’s imperialist ambitions and cultural biases.

    This dense, measured and footnote-heavy book poses a stern challenge to modern Turkish polemicists, and if there is any response to be made, it can be done only with additional primary research in the archival records. In 1919, a British general hoped the Ottoman war crimes trials would “dispel the fog of illusions prevailing throughout the country.” Eighty-seven years later, the murk still lingers.

    Gary J. Bass, the author of “Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals,” is writing a book on humanitarian intervention.
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”