By Jonathan Wilson
Hrant Dink, was a Turkish-Armenian journalist. He worked as the editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos. He was extremely critical of both the Turkish Republic’s position on the alleged Armenian Genocide, and of the Armenian diaspora’s campaign for its international recognition. Hrant Dink was murdered in Istanbul in January 19th, 2007. The murderer, Ogün Samast, a 17-year old Turkish nationalist was arrested.
Investigations into why he was killed took place and it is believed that Samast was paid to assassinate Hrant Dink. After his death thousands of Turkish mourners marched the streets with slogans and signs saying “We are all Armenians” and “We are all Hrant Dink”.
Since then, the Armenian propagandists and lobbyists have been using Hrant Dink as an argument in pointing out a Turkish conspiracy and trying to make it seem like he was killed because of anti-Armenianism being rampant in Turkey. The truth is, anti-Armenianism is close to non-existence and only the ignorant or uneducated promote hate. In Turkish education, the media, the government, and television, there is absolutely no anti-Armenianism. In fact, there are many well known famous Turkish-Armenians who are adored in Turkish theater and movies.
Almost all Turks are against the labeling of Armenian deaths in 1915 as genocide, because Turkish historians who have close proximity access to Ottoman archives have studied it extensively and found no evidence of the Armenian Genocide, only of Armenian massacres, but it is acknowledged by even the Ottomans at the time that sent telegrams and orders protesting the killings of Armenians. In essence, if Turkish historians found that the Ottoman Empire had indeed planned and perpetrated genocide against the Armenians, they would have no problem announcing this and teaching it.
The problem is, after decades of research, no evidence proving the genocide appeared; on the contrary, more evidence that the Ottoman CUP government wasn’t as bad as everyone thought was revealed.
The Turkish government is open to new research, and promotes historical research on the Armenian-Ottoman history, just see the following invitation spread all over the world by the Turkish government, targeted at Armenian historians, who are pressured and intimidated by Armenian propagandists not to join this joint-historical research:
Meanwhile, the Armenian government continues to use Foreign aid to promote the recognition of their dis-proven genocide and make friends with dictatorial nations, while starting wars with neighbor Azerbaijan and worsening relations with Turkey.
Armenian citizens around the world, promote this hatred of Turks and make false land claims and reparation demands:
Some Armenians will claim that Turks are pressured by the government to not accept the genocide, but this is quite an absurd assertion. They will use Hrant Dink as an example, or Taner Akcam (A Turkish sociologist who escaped Turkish prison and now seeks revenge against the Turkish government; hence he spreads Armenian propaganda) or Orhan Pamuk (A Turkish writer who told foreign magazines that the Armenian Genocide was true and that many Kurds were killed for no reason; contrary to popular belief, he did this to earn fame and fortune, sell books, and earn a Nobel prize). Many of these people who do this, reach instant fame in the outside world and a high level of infamous in Turkey and other sensible countries; this is why some people are attracted to supporting the Armenian side or the Turkish side, for fame, fortune, or votes.
This argumentation has convinced many that Turks are oppressing or silencing many people, but they fail to explain the motive behind this. The Turkish government has nothing to lose if they were to claim that the Armenian Genocide was true (Since it’s enemy predecessor, the Ottoman CUP government of 1915, is blamed for this unproven crime), because even if Armenians claim reparations or land, the Turkish government would simply have to refuse to such demands. The motivation for rejecting the genocide label is simply historical, because all the Turkish historians actively claim that the Armenian Genocide is a misconception because of how little it’s studied by the outside world. Since usually, only Turkish historians can read the Ottoman language archives; hence, it has been difficult in convincing many Western authors who seem to only rely on Armenian arguments and circumstantial evidence.
Some Armenians will claim that Turkish nationalism is so powerful, that no one in Turkish society can speak openly about what happened to the Armenians. This is also false, because people in Turkey continually discuss whether or not the Armenian Genocide is true or not. After examining the evidence, many Turks conclude themselves that the genocide is a misconception.
Turkey has many political parties, one of them a religious party (the current administration), another is a Republican party created by the first president of the Turkish republic, and another is the nationalist party (this means that there is a majority of religious people, but not as many people who believe in the nationalist party; which means that a minority of Turks are nationalistic). Compare that with the Armenian political scene, where all parties believe and support the Armenian Genocide thesis and Armenian nationalism.
One of the most intelligent journalists in the globe, even though he believed in the Armenian Genocide, said some important things in his lifetime:
Hrant Dink said:
We are two sick nations: Armenians and Turks. Towards one another. The Armenians are suffering an enormous trauma towards the Turks, and the Turks an enormous Paranoia. We are both clinical.
Who will heal us? The decision of the French Senate? The decision of the American Senate? Who will write the prescription? The Armenians are the Turks’ doctor, and the Turks are Armenians’. There is no other medicine or doctor. There is no other solution. No and no.
I am calling out to the Diaspora. Do not get stuck on 1915. Do not define yourself by 1915. Do not chain yourself to the acceptance of the world of this genocide. “Did we suffer? We suffered, our ancestors suffered terribly. I am from Anatolia. There is a good saying in Anatolia: “To bear the pain with honor and to carry it”. Without shouting, without making noise.
I am telling this to world: I am bound by whether you recognize the Armenian Genocide or not. Did the Armenians not kill the Turks? They did. In 1918, with the Russians they had their revenge… Revenge: I damn that word.
I am telling this to the Turks: Ask yourself why the Armenians care so much. Think about this for a while. If you do, you will see and honor in this.
I am telling this to the Armenians: Ask yourself why the Turks say, “No, this was not a genocide”, and try and see the honor in that. What is it? [They say]: “As a Turk, I’m against genocide, I’m against racism. Genocide is terrible. How can my ancestors do such a thing because I can’t.”
… My phone rang. From some village near Sivas, and old man said, “Son. They told me to talk to you, so I found you. An old woman came from France. She stayed here for ten days, and then she died. So we buried her. We prayed, we performed the funeral rights, and we buried her. But we learned that she is one of you. They recommended you, so I called”. Here he gave her name and continued, “If she has a husband, a friend, some relatives, a son or a daughter, we’ll help them move the funeral elsewhere”. I called a friend from Sivas, and told him the name, and he replied, “Look outside your apartment, across the street, you will see a shoemaker”. I went and asked them, and she turned and said, “She is my mother”. I asked, “Does she come to Turkey”, to which she replied, “She does, but she rarely meets us in Istanbul. She usually goes directly to Sivas, her birthplace. She spends fifteen days there, with the villagers, and on her way back, she sometimes visits me, sometimes doesn’t”. I told her, and naturally she cried. Next day she went to Sivas, and called to tell me, “I arrived. It’s true. It’s my mother”. I asked, “Are you going to bring her”, to which she replied, “I was going to bring her but there is an old villager here who said to me…”. At this point she began crying. I panicked. “Girl, why are you crying, what’s wrong?”. The old man took the receiver and I asked him, “What have you done to the girl?” He said, “Son, I did nothing, nothing. I just told her, ‘It’s your mother, it’s your right. You can take her. You can leave. You know best. But if you ask me, leave her. The spring has found its crack. Let it stay'”. That sentence destroyed me. I also began crying. What wisdom. What proverb. The spring finds it crack and it flows there.“
Honorable Hrant Dink
Rest in peace, Honorable Hrant Dink!