WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement is being issued by Pax Turcica Institute (PTI):
On Friday, Armenian Americans will commemorate the centennial of the historic catastrophe that befell the Armenian people. On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Young Turk government detained 235 Armenian notables in connection with the Armenian uprising supporting the Russian offensive in World War I. Dealing with the insurrection and the Allied landing at Gallipoli the Ottoman authorities opted to resettle the Armenian population away from the Russian front line, but within the imperial boundaries. Consequently, between 300,000 and 600,000 Armenians fell victim to deportations, atrocities, diseases, and famine amidst the war.
Buried under this Armenian tragedy is the Turkish suffering of no lesser magnitude. From November 1914 through May 1915, the Armenian committeemen and volunteers in Russian army raided Turkish and Kurdish villages, killing tens of thousands in Van Province alone. Over half a million Muslims and Jews perished during WWI when the Armenian nationalists sought to create their exclusive state in Anatolia and the Caucasus. These facts are embodied in the works of prominent American scholars, such as Bernard Lewis, Guenter Lewy, Stanford Shaw, Heath Lowry, Edward Erickson, and others.
Ahead of the Armenian commemoration, some prominent figures and newspaper editorials chastise Turkey for questioning the genocide narrative. Any contrary opinion is being dismissed as a despicable act of denial. California's Armenian-American legislators seek unconstitutional divestment regulations against Turkey, a long-time U.S. ally. Pope Francis and Kim Kardashian suggest that Turks intended to exterminate Armenians after a millennium of harmonious cohabitation. But any genocide verdict requires establishment of such intent through legal due process, as was the case with the Holocaust, not the opinions of politicians, religious leaders, or celebrities.
In February, under pressure from the Armenian American group, a Starbucks store in Los Angeles removed the posters depicting traditional Turkish dancers. In March, Glendale Mayor, Zareh Sinanyan, offended Turks by comparing modern Turkey's renowned founder and reformer – Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – to Hitler. It is unclear how the Turk-bashing euphoria serves any purpose, especially when some 100,000 undocumented migrants from Armenia live and work in Turkey, in addition to the Turkish citizens of Armenian heritage. But as suggested by President Obama, the only path towards reconciliation is through "full, frank and just acknowledgment" of historical facts, which requires fair and open discussion on the subject.
PTI is a grassroots advocacy platform supported by AAC
SOURCE Pax Turcica Institute (PTI)