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Turkey must reconcile herself not only to the fact of the Armenian Genocide, but also to all of her 700-year history

For the Ottomans, to recognize the Armenian Genocide would mean to totally erase the invented and embellished story of the Empire, show its true colors and the barbaric laws that provided for the murder of all the brothers and their sons after each sultan’s accession to the throne.

On April 24, Commemoration Day of the Armenian Genocide, protest actions, processions and other events will be organized in Istanbul, Ankara and other Turkish cities to commemorate the victims. This was stated by Professor of Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Cengiz Aktar at the conference “Armenian Genocide Awareness Building in Turkey”. Cengiz Aktar is an initiator of the campaign “Armenians, We Apologize”.

PanARMENIAN.Net - According to Aktar, earlier April 24 events were held only in Istanbul and did not receive publicity, while today more and more openly are people talking and remembering the events of 1915 in Turkey. “Oftener than before are the Armenians spoken about in Turkey. Of course, there are people who deny the events, but it’s for sure that the concrete wall of denial has cracked. Memories about Armenian families are fresh specifically in Turkey’s villages. We must realize that not only the Armenian people, but also the Turks suffered,” Aktar said. The statement by the Turkish Professor on the day of the 90th anniversary of destruction of Talaat Pasha is more than symbolic. Probably, there are Turks, who know what the Young Turks did to the indigenous people of Anatolia. Maybe their number mounts to tens of thousands. But we should not delude ourselves - Turkey and the Turks will never officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. And the thing is not that they fear the consequences of recognition in the form of reparations, and territorial claims. For the Ottomans, to recognize the Armenian Genocide means to erase all the invented and embellished story of the Empire, to show its true colors and the barbaric laws that provided for the murder of all the brothers and their sons after each sultan’s accession to the throne.

In order to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Turkey has to reconcile herself to the 700-year-old history of its own, this being what no one can get from Turkey. There is nothing new in this. Even Europe knows about it and, perhaps, this is why France and Germany are so resolute in the issue of Turkey’s non-acceptance into the EU.

But let us revert to the killing that occurred 90 years ago. The murder of Talaat Pasha was the first in the chain of planned destructions of the Armenian Genocide perpetrators. Let us recall that the operation was called “Nemesis” and was headed by Armen Garo and Shahan Natalie. On the decree of December 16, 1918 of the Ottoman Empire, leaders of the party “Unity and Progress” and leading figures from the Turkish government Talaat, Enver, Nazim, Jamal, Behaeddin Shakir and others were tried on charges of drawing Turkey into war and organizing the Armenian Genocide, and were sentenced to death in absentia. However, they managed to take off to Germany and Russia.

In the autumn of 1919, at its 9th World Congress held in Yerevan, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) approved a secret resolution to execute the verdicts against leaders of the Young Turks. There were considered 650 names of perpetrators and accomplices in the genocide, out of which 41 main culprits were selected.

On March 15, 1921 Soghomon Tehlirian shot dead in Berlin former Interior Minister Talaat Pasha. In June of 1921 the Berlin court acquitted Tehlirian. On December 5, 1921 Arshavir Shiragian killed in Rome former Grand Vizier and Prime Minister of the Young Turks, Said Halim Pasha. On April 17, 1922 Arshavir Shiragian and Aram Yerganian in Berlin did away with former governor of Trabizond Jemal Azmi and founder of the criminal organization “Teskilat-i Mahsusa” Behaeddin Shakir Pasha. One of the guards of Shakir was killed too. A few months later Kemal Pasha, Fourth Army commander, was shot dead in Tiflis.

On July 25, 1922 Bedros Der Boghosian and Artashes Kevorkian in Tbilisi executed the verdict against former Minister of Marine Jamal Pasha. His accomplices in organizing the attempt were Stepan Dzaghigian and Zare Melik-Shahnazarian.

The avengers had also tracked down former Minister of War in Turkey Enver Pasha, but he managed to escape from Germany to Central Asia through Baku. There Enver headed the Basmachi movement, and in 1922 was killed in Turkestan by a Red Army Armenian commander Hagop Melkumov.

In addition to the Young Turks, Armenian avengers also did away with a number of figures of Musavat Azerbaijani government, guilty of organizing massacres of Armenians in Baku in September of 1918. In May 1920, an Armenian terrorist shot Nasib bey Yusifbeyli, prominent political and social activist of Azerbaijan. On June 19, 1920 Aram Yerganian killed in Tiflis former Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Fatali Khan Khoyski. On July 19, 1920 Hasan bey Agayev was shot dead. On July 19, 1921 Misak Torlakian eliminated in Constantinople former Interior Minister of Azerbaijan Behbud Khan Javanshir, organizer of the Armenian massacre in Shushi.

Much has been written about the operation “Nemesis” and still more yet awaits. We write about this almost every year and not because of our love for masochism. We write it for other nations to understand why people, rather peace-loving in general, decided to take up extreme measures. One should not repent to the Ottoman Turks, but must try to understand how far a nomad can be from a civilized nation.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News
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