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Talk:History of Turkey

From Academic Kids

A note on names: I don't think it's accurate to describe people using names they only adopted later. However, it would be pretty confusing to refer to Ismet without the Inonu, so I added it in parentheses after. Does this seem like a sane policy? Perhaps we should make a note?

Completely deleting the mentioning of the Armenian Genocide without any discussion whatsoever doesn't seem very appropriate to me. It should at least be mentioned so unless someone provides some very good justification I am going to put it back with the addition that it is controversial. -- Jan Hidders 10:56 Jan 27, 2003 (UTC)


It is not appropriate to add the information about the Armenian Genocide to this text for 2 reasons:

1.The statement added to this article was scientifically incorrect, impolite and also highly biased. It is not "the Turks" who is suggested to perform genocide to Armenians, but the early 20th century Ottoman government. It also seemed a bit like a political propaganda to me. In the wikipedia articles about vandalism, it has clearly been mentioned that this kind of statements can be called as vandalism. This is one reason why I did not discuss while I was deleting this paragraph. Other thing is that this page is undergoing vandalism so frequently and trying to be filled with incorrect informations and wrong personal beliefs so much that I started to find it boring and impossible to discuss every time I rectify this article.

2.The so-called Armenian Genocide is suggested to be committed by Young Turk government, which is a government of the Ottoman Empire. However, this page is about the history of the Republic of Turkey. So, there is no point of putting this statement in this article (other than giving the wrong information that genocide is related with present Turkey). I am aware of the fact that in many countries, Turkey is erroneously being used to mention any country of Turkic origin that has been established in Middle East. However, this is wrong and it is inappropriate to use this term like that. In wikipedia, there are already several articles about Armenian Genocide and long discussions about that. I am not sure that it is strongly emphasized in these articles that this is a controversial issue. However, I find it highly controversial to coin this concept with the history of present Turkey. User:ErdemTuzun

At least it could have been added to the article Ottoman Empire or History of the Ottoman Empire.
There is also no point about adding some text about the time _before_ a country was established in its actual shape and name. Slovakia, for example, has also some text about the time when it was not a country on its own in its History of Slovakia article. No country's history starts at the day of the declaration of the constitution/independence/....--zeno 08:58 Jan 28, 2003 (UTC)
The UK is a continuation of the British Empire, but Turkey is not a continuation of the Ottoman Empire? They're changes in name only. Btw, the Armenian Genocide wasn't committed just by the 'government' of the Ottoman Empire/Turkey (same thing), crowds of Turkish civilians pulled their Armenian neighbours out of the houses and massacred them in the streets. Trying to detach Turkey from the Armenian Genocide is like trying to detach Germany and the Germans from the "so-called" Jewish Holocaust because there are "various Germanic countries in the region" and today's Germany is on paper a "different country", and that really the "government" did it and not the "Germans". The only circles which find that the Armenian Genocide happened "controversial" are the Turkic peoples and governments, like how the only circles which find that the Jewish Holocaust happened "controversial" being the neo-nazi far-right; where does one define what is controversial/disputed when different groups disagree with what is overwhelmingly recognised by all others?
I also have to advise Wikipedia editors to be very wary about dealing with additions/deletions to do with the Armenian Holocaust, as there are literally tens or hundreds of Greeks and Turks who spend all day on the internet posting outlandish and elaborate misinformation to messageboards and the like to demonise the 'other side' (similar flame-matches happen between Serbs and Croatians). Turkey is said to have in their employment public relations company(s) for dealing with the Armenian Genocide issue.

As I discussed that issue in the discussion section of genocide article, the controversial issue is not whether Armenians were killed or not. The questions are: Can these events be called as genocide and are these events bilateral (or did Armenians kill similar amounts of Turkish people in the same time period)? Since the Turkish massacres by Armenians were not publicized as much as the Armenians deaths, there is a general misunderstanding that the murders were one-sided. I am preparing a long article about these discussion points with references to be added to the Armenian genocide article.

It is also wrong and very poorly designed misinformation that only Turkish people and governments reject the genocide. There is a couple of scholars throughout the world who repeatedly suggest that this genocide never happened. It is unfortunate that several patriotic-minded people accuse these people with being bought by Turkish government without giving any strong proofs about that. Another important historical fact that has always been neglected is that several Ottoman officers were charged by the Allied forces for participating in the genocide in a military court in Malta, right after the First World War. Because of lack of any proofs, all of these officers were found unguilty and released.

I want to clarify one thing. There is a huge difference between Ottoman State and Turkish Republic. The analogy between United Kingdom and Turkey is only misleading. The foundation of Turkey was a revolutionary movement against the Ottoman State. There were fierce fights between the newly founded Turkish army and the Ottoman army. This conflict can also be understood from the fact that one of the first things that the new Turkish government did after establishing the republic was to abolish the Ottoman sultanate and send the members of Ottoman royal family to exile. In this context, Turkey's situation can only be analogous to the situation of United Kingdom and Unites States of America. Perhaps, these points should be clarified in the text to avoid further confusion.

There is a general inclination to coin the genocide with present Turkey and Turkish people, which I find outrageous. This is the major reason that Turkish government is so stubbornly opposing the idea of genocide. It is similarly wrong to coin present Germans with the Jewish Holocaust. Even if a genocide has ever occured, it has occured as a consequence of the personal choices of past time people. Similarly, Turkish people don't have the right to accuse present time Armenians for the past time Armenian terrorist activities against Turkish citizens.

Additionally, isn't it similarly "demonising" to write the Armenian genocide on every article related with Turkey as political graffiti writing on the walls? User:ErdemTuzun


Removed para:

Turkey was modivated by USA and Kissinger. That is why in the CIA Factbook is written that Turkey had a good purpose. The government that Turkey declared as "Nothern Cyprus" is not recognised from no country in the world but just Turkey. With this action Turkey managed to turn many thousands of people into refugees and hundrets into missing persons. Many other were killed including turkish people. Even after so many years (until today) Turkey uses the same excuse as protection to their military presense in Cyprus.

The above makes several affirmative statements as if they were fact when in reality these issues are contentious. The author needs to qualify these statements so that their adherents are known. --mav

Contents

Armenian genozide

I have removed the following sentence During this period, conflict between the Turkish Armenian community and the general Turkish community reached a point where the state relocated the Turkish Armenian population out of its borders into what is now modern Armenia. The relocation resulted in many Turkish Armenian casualties. The actual events of that period remains a contentious political issue within Armenia and Turkey. These are actually weasel words and worse than no mention at all in my view.

Matters are very straight forward - large parts of the world agree that there was a genozide, many Turks (and particular Turkish governments over the last decades) do not agree. So there is a conflict of POVs and it needs to be expressed as such - but not with something which sounds worse than a cop-out.

Secondly "relocation by the government into a neighbouring state" (I presume involuntary?) as consequence of a conflict - this in itself (even if not connected with a genozide) would be a today described crime against humanity and would have been a war crime at the time, therefore needs to be named as such.

Thirdly - User:ErdemTuzun thinks there is no connection between this episode (whether or not it happened) and the Republic, because latter was founded several years after the denied incident. Now this is again an unusual way of argueing - It can not be denied that the incident (whether or not it happened) had profound impact on Turkish/European relations, Turkish american relations and nowadays onto Turkish/Armenian relations. As the impact is there today, the root needs to be examined and at least in its controversy illuminated, but not covered up with weasel words. Further - most people involved in the (debated) incidents would have (if alive) played a further role in the young Turkish republic - I presume. There is a continuity here which makes blanking teh incidents pretty impossible. (at least a continuity of being blamed...)

Fourthly - User:ErdemTuzun believes naming the geneozide a genozide would somehow taint today's Turkish population - How so ? As German I think I can testify to what it means to grow up in a country which was involved in one of the vilest genozides of human history. I ws not involved and so where none I know. But it has impact on the national psyche, on relationships to other countries, on private relationships to foreigners etc etc - nothing of which would go away if we Germans woudl sit there and deny it ever happened - particularly if against better knowledge. At least it is in the out and open and people can learn to judge us younger people by our own merits (or lack of them)

I therefore propose that this sentence will be rewritten - acknowledging the controversy (the pretty much worldwide assumption of a genozide + the Turkish denial and alternative explanation) within one or two sentences - User:ErdemTuzun is right obviously in one aspect - the subjetc has been dealt with and does not need to be dragged out over pages and pages.Refdoc 23:02, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Let's try to be practical about this. How about just a sentence like "It was in this period that one of the socalled Armenian genocides took place." and leave it at that? Then at least the dicussion about the correct wording would be concentrated with the article where it is most relevant. -- Jan Hidders 11:28, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC) PS. It's "genocide", not "genozide".

This issue came up again. If a reference to Armenian Genocide will be done, then the full conflict should be written. Brief statements to the effect of "Turks came out of nowhere and killed the innocent Armenians" is not NPoV and I doubt the motive of these contributions are genuine attempts of writing informative articles. I gave up on editing Armenian Genocide because I do not want to create friction and I believe some people are honestly offended to see two sides of a story, but I will oppose introducing propaganda to this article. at0 15:31, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It will always come up, because it was a very VERY big deal. There was no "full conflict". There was a government that did not want an ethnic group on it's territory, and the unarmed Armenian population of Anatolia went from a couple of million to zero. Man, woman and child. They did not leave voluntarily, they did not die in battle, they were slaughtered, like sheep, by government decree and supervision. When Turkey bocomes a democracy, this will be freely discussed and accepted, rather than the massive and expensive campaign of the government to try to say there was "another side" to the story. No. One side. It was genocide. The people were eliminated. If you say it HAD to be done because the Armenians (after great instigation) actually defended themselves, I'll tell you there is no excuse for genocide. Sorry Ato, but this is a fact, like it or not. It does not make you a bad person because you are a Turk. Denying, hiding, not educating properly... that is what is wrong.
Of course it is a big deal. No one is saying death of millions is a footnote, however it is not appropiately described in this manner. First of all the number of Armenians did not drop to zero. Turkey has an Armenian population and an Armenian church. There is an Armenian village in Hatay Province. Now does this mean nothing happened? No, there were six or seven Armenian villages near the Musa Mountain, there is one left. There were cities whose largest ethic group were Armenians, they are a minority now, if any left. Obviously people forcibly made leave, killed etc. However Armenians did side with the Russians against the Ottoman Empire, Armenian gangs did harass Turkish villages, killed innocent Turkish civilians. Looking at it today, we can say "They were fighting for freedom, that is a noble cause and any reciprocation is unjust". However at that time it was an illegal uprising in a country that lost a war. The immigration order was harsh and brutal, but was not w/o justification. What you are claiming, i.e., this was all planned and was only done to exterminate Armenians, is simply wrong. The Armenians on route were attacked and killed. Ottoman Empire did not protect them as they should have. However this was no planned in advance, this was not an organized extermination operation. Let me remind you, about a hundred Ottoman political leaders, members of CUP, were imprisoned in Malta island, by the British under this charge along with other things. British had to let them go, no one was convicted of genocide, even though all Ottoman archives were open to the British. Whatever happened did happen, many people did die, but it was not planned genocide, as far as I know. Finally, when you quote 2.5 million, remember that number is all Armenians in Ottoman Empire which included modern Armenia, northern Syria etc. Even if no Armenians died during the war, their numbers were bound to decrease. But the numbers do not matter, many civilians were killed out of hatred, and I am sorry for your loss. What I am opposing is 1. calling this genocide 2. claiming this was unprovoked 3. claiming it was organized 4. claiming this is not discussed in Turkey. This last one is provably wrong. I do not know if it is there, but in the Armenian Genocide article I had added a reference, it is an issue of a very popular magazine published in Turkey, they have an online dossier and in at least two issues covered these events. There are many more publications.
Write balanced and detailed, and noone will revert, I will personally make sure the reference stays. Try to make it look like the deaths of Armenians is the only thing that happened in five centuries of Ottoman history, I will remove that. at0 20:56, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps you think I am just some dumb nationalist who can't back up what he is saying. I was in Anatolia 3 months ago. Drove from Adana to Kars, crisscrossing the entire place, asking EVERYWHERE for Armenians, Armenian churches. There were NO Armenians left in Marash, nor church nor mention. That is where my grandfather is from. In Kayseri, I met ONE Armenian from Istanbul - a muslim no less, who was the caretaker of the one Armenian church recently reopened for the non-existant Armenians. Diyarbekir, one childless ancient couple. Van, zero, Bitlis, zero, Kars, zero (as far as I could find). Musa Dagh, that one "pocket" of Armenians is a tiny dirt village of a few dozen people. That is what is left of the over 2 million in Anatolia - which, if you notice is not the same as saying Turkey. There are NO Armenians left, for all practical purposes. The ruins of Ani - an ancient Armenian capital covered with Armenian inscriptions does not mention the word "Armenian" a single time in any of its explanatory plaques.
Now as for the genocide itself - it was not a poorly executed "relocation". The able bodied men were executed first. The helpless were herded along BY GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS and raped, killed and left to rot as they walked towards the Syrian desert. They were clearly meant to die en route, and absolutely no provision or "place" was made at the destination (Der Zor DESERT) because they were not meant to live. The few that often made it were just massacred there. This pattern was repeated a thousand times in a thousand towns and villages. Centrally planned and executed. This is a textbook case of genocide - so you need not protest. You need to educate yourself. Sorry to come off sounding holier than thou, but buddy, this is a serious serious matter which cannot be cast into doubt. Germany has accepted its past and moved on. When on earth will Turkey? Genocide, also, by definition is unprovoked. Man, woman and child of an entire nation cannot be guilty of anything. The Armenians certainly were not. Read "Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian Genocide". My grandparents could tell you they were not guilty of anything, and there sure as hell were no trials!
And finally, adding on to one sentence of the WWI section of the history of the Ottoman Empire is so far from your claim that I "Try to make it look like the deaths of Armenians is the only thing that happened in five centuries of Ottoman history" that I just don't know what to say. RaffiKojian 04:02, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
That last sentence was for your edits to Turkey article. My apologies for the misunderstanding. Please understand that I am not saying this is a trivial matter. However, I do not agree with your conclusions, more importantly with the way you add your conclusions to this article. Of course there are few Armenians left in Anatolia. We won the war, what were you expecting? How many Turks are in Armenia now? I met a couple of Turkish Armenians in my life and I was not looking for them, and I know for a fact there is an Armenian church in Istanbul. I am not saying there are as many Armenians in Turkey as used to be, of course not. But calling a community "zero" or a place where people live "dirt village" is disrespectful.
I am not denying innocent Armenians were killed. What I am opposing is to call that action genocide. You are saying:
Genocide, also, by definition is unprovoked.
My point exactly. Are you denying the Armenians sided with the Russians against the Ottoman Empire? Are you denying Armenian gangs were harassing Turkish villages and the civilians living there? My grandparents are also from Eastern Turkey, they had to leave because of those harassements. I don't know who seeded the hatred there but both sides suffered, believe me. If you think Armenian side suffered more, I'll give you that but that does not make it a genocide.
Also, for these events to qualify as genocide, it needs to be proven that it was organized centrally by the Turkish government. It has been tried before by British and they failed. You feel it must be organized, because there was a tremendeous loss, but a feeling is not proof and hence it does not belong in this article. Note that I am not going on a technicality. There are discussions going on between historians as we write this. I think we should leave it to them rather than two armchair encyclopedicists which is what we are.
Finally, before you think you are holier than me, consider this: I never heard an Armenian saying "yes we did bad things too, but the Turks retaliated in an inhuman way". Armenians never mention how many innocent Turkish lives they have taken. Who is in denial? Where are these statements in articles about Armenians? at0 15:37, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You wrote: "I met a couple of Turkish Armenians in my life and I was not looking for them, and I know for a fact there is an Armenian church in Istanbul." So I ask you, since when is Istanbul in Anatolia? I have only ever said ANATOLIA. I have also meet Turkish Armenians, but that is another conversation in human rights.
Am I denying that "Armenians" sided with the Russians? Who are these "Armenians"? You realize that Armenians were a subject people, with no central leadership, no weapons, no army? There was certainly no consensus on anything, and if after being treated as second class citizens there was "sympathy" towards Russia, then fine. If 1/10 of one percent did anything about it, I'd be greatly surprised. If you are going to use that to justify the wholescale elimination and slaughther of an entire peaceful race from Anatolia, just say so clearly now. Leave the Armenian "gangs" out of this. We are talking about a genocide here, not the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which can only be considered a response to severe oppresion/discrimination, and was for that reason incredibly restrained and insignificant in numbers/effect (again, I'd be surprised if it was 1/10 of one percent). The reason it was genocide is because it was state sponsored. The same pattern was repeated across Anatolia - men arrested and massacred, while women, children, elderly were marched, robbed, raped, slaughtered, kidnapped as they were marched by government troops, with no provisions along the way, towards the desert, where no provisions nor shelter awaited their final massacre. This was no "relocation". It was a well planned, well executed genocide. As I said, read "Survivors". You will see the pattern across the land, you'll read about the evil tortures, and how many Armenians were saved by "good Turks" (pari Turker).
These are the very well known facts, and they are not disputed by anyone but your government, who presumably has a financial interest in not admitting this. There is no "scholarly/historical debate" as those Turks who believe their government's official line love to claim. You can not name one single scholar of any seriousness on this issue, whose payment by the Turkish government I do not have documentation for. That of course includes Heath Lowry, whose embarrassing (for Turkey) exchange with an American author and the Turkish ambassador clearly shows that the Turkish government also knows the Armenian genocide happened, and their only interest in the matter is squelching any mention of it. Combatting it if you will. Not familiar with this? Read: http://users.ids.net/~gregan/pac.html , it was even published in a leading holocaust journal.
I do not consider myself an armchair encyclopediast. I have read, and written enough on this suject to have earned a degree, so if you are not open minded, just tell me now. I am right, there is no grey area, no fuzzy uncertainty. Certain facts are known and established, no matter how much the Turkish government spends on deception to change, fudge, lie and deny. The Armenian population dropped from over 2 million to about zero under CAREFUL control of government troops, while the Turkish/Kurdish population did nothing of the sort. I don't want to get sidetracked to discuss Turkish losses, simply because it is just as irrelevant as the number of Armenians before the genocide, the number killed, whether the telgrams presented in the Tehlirian trial are genuine, whether Morgenthau wrote his biography, whether some Armenians preferred Russian rile, or any other side act which does not have real bearing on the simple question. RaffiKojian 18:02, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Break

We are not making progress in this article or the main Turkey article. Revert wars are harmful. I am taking a break from these two until weekend. Maybe somebody else can step in. Later, I will try to come up with a comprimise which will hopefully be acceptable to everyone. at0 15:54, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I hope we can find something to agree on, but watering the whole subject down is not going to appeal to me, obviously. Anyway, I strongly recommend you read the book Survivors. There has been a campaign of misinformation and coverup in Turkey for so long, that you have to realize it affects perceptions. This campaign continues to this day despite the efforts to join the EU. Here is fresh news on this cover-up:
Moved the following discussions to my talk page per "Wikipedia is not a soapbox" policy for talk pages. at0 04:33, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Comprimise

This is the text that I removed:

Under the cover of war, the Armenian Genocide was carried out, a chapter of Turkish history which the Turkish state has had a hard time coming to terms with. Discussion of the topic publicly in Turkey is still taboo, and the educational system teaches that no such thing ever happened.

We have to come to a comprimise in this issue, or we will simply have an edit war and a NPOV notice. at0 00:13, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Here are my reasons for removing:

  1. This article is supposed to be about history of Turkey, rather than Ottoman Empire, as is stated at the beginning of the article. Only things that are related to current Republic of Turkey should be kept. WWI and the treaties at the end directly shaped Turkey's borders, hence their inclusion is justified. actions of Ottoman Empire during WW does not statify this criterion.
  2. Under the cover of war: There was a war ...
  3. ... and the Armenians were a party to it. They did support Russia against the Ottoman Empire, hence came the immigration order. This is a detail that Armenians generally leave out when making allegations of genocide. It is an important detail though.
  4. ... Turkish state has had a hard time coming to terms with: So Turkish state has come to terms with it now? I think there is a grammatical error here. I'll assume what is being tried to say is ... Turkish state has a hard time coming to terms with. This is again assuming the labeling of genocide is correct and there are no other issues aorund this point. To begin with, Armenia does not recognize Turkey's eastern border. State policy is usually very complex, and stating it one way or the other introduces POV. State policy does not belong in this article.
  5. Discussion of the topic publicly in Turkey is still taboo: This is absurd. There are many publications discussing this issue, there is an institute in Turkey dedicated to this issue. Oooouu, you meant the Armenian POV is not generally accepted in Turkish publications. Yeah, I will give you that. However, the death of Armenians as a result of the immigration order given by the Ottoman government is not denied. The statistics and whether the order was given with the intention to exterminate Armenians in Anatolia are disputed, but discussing these publicly is not a taboo.
  6. educational system teaches that no such thing ever happened.: Turkish education system has many defects, but nowhere in my history education I heard or read anything like "no Armenians were killed in Anatolia". Granted I did not hear anything like "Ottoman Empire carried out a genocide agains Armenians" either, but leaving out a statement is not the same thing as saying the opposite is true, which the quoted portion implies.

In this discussion, please:

  1. Do not make personal attacks.
  2. Do not make accusations of censorship. Both sides of this dispute has a modus operandi and those have nothing to do with the facts.
  3. State the facts, discuss the facts and discuss their relevance.
  4. Try to stay on topic. e.g., Turkey's attempt at entering EU is not relevant to this discussion.

Hopefully we will reach a comprimise, but if not, this time I will not simply walk away from a revert war and will seek other steps in dispute resolution.

at0 00:49, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

My responses - hopefully this remains readable.

1. This article is supposed to be about history of Turkey, rather than Ottoman Empire, as is stated at the beginning of the article. Only things that are related to current Republic of Turkey should be kept. WWI and the treaties at the end directly shaped Turkey's borders, hence their inclusion is justified. actions of Ottoman Empire during WW does not statify this criterion.

This is a major part of Turkish history, which occured directly preceding the establishment of the state, and which the Turkish state has spent a great deal of time and money trying to deny. This is all well documented, and clearly the Republic of Turkey feels that it is indeed very relevant to it, or else it would just ignore the whole subject or brush it off saying it happened before our time. It doesn't.
Turkish history is different from history of Republic of Turkey. The article clearly states it is about the history of Republic of Turkey. We cannot continue before we agree on this point. at0 04:00, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  1. Under the cover of war: There was a war ...
Yes, and the genocide was committed under the cover of it, while the world was rather preoccupied.
  1. ... and the Armenians were a party to it. They did support Russia against the Ottoman Empire, hence came the immigration order. This is a detail that Armenians generally leave out when making allegations of genocide. It is an important detail though.
Now, we get into the actual factual disputes. "The Armenains were a party to it."??? What Armenians? Now you are already jumping right into trying to justify why the eliminatino of every Armenian man woman and child was actually in self defense. There was no Armenia at the time in question. What individual Armenians did was overwhelmingly show loyalty to Turkey. Most were massacred without raising a finger in self-defense. But this line of discussion should end here, because the question of genocide does not have anything to do with possible reasons that it was decided to have a genocide.
  1. ... Turkish state has had a hard time coming to terms with: So Turkish state has come to terms with it now? I think there is a grammatical error here. I'll assume what is being tried to say is ... Turkish state has a hard time coming to terms with. This is again assuming the labeling of genocide is correct and there are no other issues aorund this point. To begin with, Armenia does not recognize Turkey's eastern border. State policy is usually very complex, and stating it one way or the other introduces POV. State policy does not belong in this article.
You are right on the wording. You are wrong saying "Armenia does not recognize Turkey's eastern border". It does, therefor I am confident you cannot back this statement up.
State policy in this case is very simple and can be found on a few Turkish Government websites. Ask for the URLs and you shall receive. This can be (and has been) done easily without PoV.
  1. Discussion of the topic publicly in Turkey is still taboo: This is absurd. There are many publications discussing this issue, there is an institute in Turkey dedicated to this issue. Oooouu, you meant the Armenian POV is not generally accepted in Turkish publications. Yeah, I will give you that. However, the death of Armenians as a result of the immigration order given by the Ottoman government is not denied. The statistics and whether the order was given with the intention to exterminate Armenians in Anatolia are disputed, but discussing these publicly is not a taboo.
Well I disagree, and so does Taner Akcam, and so do the teachers who were arrested in the past two years for saying there was a genocide. So perhaps the clarification would be that it is fine to deny the Armenian genocide, just not to affirm it. Books on the topic have had many obstacles and again criminal cases opened when they tried to go to print. This is all well documented.
  1. educational system teaches that no such thing ever happened.: Turkish education system has many defects, but nowhere in my history education I heard or read anything like "no Armenians were killed in Anatolia". Granted I did not hear anything like "Ottoman Empire carried out a genocide agains Armenians" either, but leaving out a statement is not the same thing as saying the opposite is true, which the quoted portion implies.
Again, I am getting a feeling that I have better access to news on this topic coming out of Turkey than you do. I believe it was last year that a new law was introduced which required every student in Turkey to write an essay denying that the genocide ever happened. Including of course Armenian students. Last year seven teachers stood up and voiced disagreement over genocide denial, leading to criminal charges against them. So I am not implying anything, I am simply stating facts here. The state is teaching there was no genocide, and if you voice dissent, trying to jail you. It seems very simple to me.

In this discussion, please:

  1. Do not make personal attacks.
I think that goes without being said.
  1. Do not make accusations of censorship. Both sides of this dispute has a modus operandi and those have nothing to do with the facts.
I will call them as I see them.
  1. State the facts, discuss the facts and discuss their relevance.

I have only stuck to the facts, and I think questioning the relevance of removing the entire Armenian population from Anatolia to Turkish history is like saying the Holocaust is not relevant to Germany/Poland/France, etc.

  1. Try to stay on topic. e.g., Turkey's attempt at entering EU is not relevant to this discussion.
Certainly it is. Turkey is being forced to change many laws which do not comply with those of the EU in its attempts to join. These include broadcasts in minority languages, restrictions on minority communities, and laws preventing free discussion. Policies on Armenians in Turkey, Armenia and the Armenian Genocide will certainly be affected. But if you don't want me to mention that, I will try not to.

Hopefully we will reach a comprimise, but if not, this time I will not simply walk away from a revert war and will seek other steps in dispute resolution.

I hope so too. Frankly, I believe the Turkish Government will issue an apology in the coming decade, so this is all just a continuing sideshow... but I don't think the policy of denial and eliminating the topic from public view should be encouraged. --RaffiKojian 03:50, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I just posted two articles backing up my points on Ato's Talk Page Hopefully they help show that there is a lot the Turkish government is actively doing in denying the genocide, and punishing those who do it in Turkey. --RaffiKojian 04:10, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

As I have stated in the edit summary, you are diverting from the most important point. I have asked for a third opinion from User:Jerzy on his talk page, and added a dispute notice to the article trying to obtain more third party opinions. I have also removed the taboo statements. Current state policy or the attitude of people do not belong to a history article. If we fail to attract third party opinion, I will again remove the statement and seek protection of the page. at0 07:12, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
In my defense, you did not say what you thought the most important point was in your edit summary, and I am not sure what it is. Can you clarify please? You can seek protection for your version if you like, I will naturally do the same. --RaffiKojian 10:50, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Before deciding on the content and form of reference to Armenian Genocide article, we have to decide whether it belongs to this article at all. I did state this step needs to be taken before further discussion while making the changes, and those comments are still above. I still have to hear a response to those so I am repeating them here, along with original post date:
Turkish history is different from history of Republic of Turkey. The article clearly states it is about the history of Republic of Turkey. We cannot continue before we agree on this point. at0 04:00, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
at0 01:42, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I have changed the reference to Armenian Genocide article. As I said above, I think this reference does not belong in this article at all, and I will eventually remove it. However, I will wait some more time for a third party opinion, before taking that action. at0 01:50, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I am currently waiting for a third party opinion. But it is not coming, therefore I am making changes to this page based on my own opinion. As I stated above, I want to actually remove this reference, the form of the reference is a secondary issue, so this is a comprimise until we can decide whether we keep the reference or not. Please comment on the relevance of this reference. Thank you. at0 18:55, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Law on last names

The family names are selected from a list of "approved" ethnically Turkish names and become hereditary. I do not know the correctness of this claim, but at least in some cases, names of not Turkic origin were allowed to be kept, e.g., Sami Kohen (a columnist in Milliyet newspaper [1] (http://www.milliyet.com.tr/2004/09/29/yazar/kohen.html)), Avadis Hacinliyan (a physics professor in Bosphorus University [2] (http://phys-sun-1.phys.boun.edu.tr/~atolye/yeni/avadishacinliyan.html)). at0 21:19, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This claim might not be true; according to the full text of the Surname Law (http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:oy0iivLXYJcJ:www.nvi.gov.tr/content/attached/nvi/nufusmevzuati/SoyadiNizamnamesi.doc+soyad%C4%B1+kanunu&hl=en)that is unfortunately in Turkish, it is required that "the new surnames should be taken from the Turkish language" (II.5); and "names off foreign races and nations cannot be chosen surnames" (II.7). Sami Kohen (who is Jewish) and Avadis Hacinliyan's (who's Armenian) ancestors must have picked their surnames in 1934 as well, just as my ancestors had chosen my Jewish surname (Pinhas), who all were classified as religious minorities in regard to the Treaty of Lausanne. I did not run into any documents that mention any application of this law enforcing a selection from a list of "approved" Turkish names. As far as I have been told, the freedom of rejecting any selected surnames was given to the register officer, who most probably acted upon his instincts, not by a list. -leandros 19:04, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

There are many people I know who have a Jewish, Armenian or Greek surnames. Anybody who has no knowledge of history, who was just spent some time in Istanbul will see that. I think that sentence was added to back the claim that "Ataturk was in the aim of creating a republic with single-etnicity, therefore he supported the 'genocide'". There are no references to that. I think it is just the idea of some confused people.
(above comments are part of the comments below which were signed as //Darius2, note added by at0 19:23, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC))

Question of succession

ALSO. There was a grammatical coverup which I tried to clarify. The article said "genocide was carried out". BY WHO? Being in this article, the sentence suggests that "The Government of Republic of Turkey carried out the genocide". Can anybody back this claim? The reference may be included here but it's not right to, with some "clever" (!) grammar, try to attribute it to Republic of Turkey.

This is not "Turkish History" or "Ottoman History". Republic of Turkey was formed as a revolt to the Ottoman Empire. It's truly an error to think that Turkey is the succession of the Ottoman Empire. The people who claim this forget that the Republic fought with both Ottoman forces and foreign forces during its independence struggle. //Darius2

I must say I completely disagree on this last point of yours, Darius2. I'd say the Rep. of Turkey is clearly the successor. Many countries have had revolutions, France, England, etc. I think to call this one a "war of independence" is a bit misleading (I know, that is what Kemal called it, and that is now what it is called), but it is just a change in government, as it was the "Ottoman Turkish Empire", to be more exact... --RaffiKojian 17:10, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I must disagree with you Raffi, but the Republic of Turkey is not the successor of the Ottoman Empire according to the very treaty that practically made official the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, the Treaty of Lausanne. According to Article 51.(I), and in many other articles from there on, "As regards the territories detached from the Ottoman Empire under the present Treaty" share the Ottoman debts to be paid; according to Article 90, Turkish nationals are clearly differentiated from Ottoman subjects; the Treaty exclusively differentiates Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey and considers Turkey as among the other states that had been detached from the Ottoman Empire, such as Roumania and Serb-Croat-Slovene State.
You are also mistaken about the "Independence war", since it was a war waged against the then-current invaders, Britain, France and Italy, and also the Greek armies. The Turkish Government was "detached" or "ceded" (whichever you prefer) from the Ottoman Government, and the Ottoman Istanbul Government denounced Mustafa Kemal and the Ankara Government as traitors. Neither government (Istanbul or Ankara) was ever called the "Ottoman Turkish Empire" as you suggest. This is not merely a petty "change in the government" as you put it, is it? -leandros 19:04, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Think of it this way. When the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, it was Boris Yeltsin (as the representative of the Russian province) who knocked heads with Mikhail Gorbachev. The emerging Russian state is not today thought of as related to the Soviet Union any more than the Soviet Union was thought of as related to Tsarist Russia. -Torque Feb. 11, 2005

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

language

Many government documents from this period are unreadable by anybody because they use a language which nobody adopted.

They -are- unreadable because of their heavy use of arabic and farsi- originated words. I kindly request a reference for this. Otherwise it suggests an Ataturk led newspeak, which is quite irrelevant and has funny connotations. //Darius2

Discussion of relevance

Ato - what have I not addressed? Can you please try to be more clear on when you are expecting some response from me, and on the exact matter? As it is, following a half a dozen pages of changes is hard enough. If you are going to change text to something I am completely against, and could never be considered a compromise, that is not right. To say there was a genocide, but that some dispute it is about as "even handed" as I can imagine, when it is 100% proven, and only the Turkish state, with a clear stake in not admitting it, fights recognition. --RaffiKojian 02:44, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

OK, first of all cool down. Keep Turkish state's attitude and policy out of this discussion. I will not stress this point again, and simply ignore your comments. This is about whether a reference to Armenian Genocide article is relevant in this page. I have written this twice already, as a simple check of history of this page will show. I am now writing it for the third time:
Turkish history is different from history of Republic of Turkey. The article clearly states it is about the history of Republic of Turkey. We cannot continue before we agree on this point. at0 04:00, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
If you continue to ignore this, I will no longer assume you are acting in good faith and hence treat you as a vandal, i.e., simply revert w/o further discussion. I have given you enough credit but you have spent it, and the ball is in your court to prove you have good faith. at0 09:54, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I am quite cool, I am just trying to emphasize how confusing it is when references are made to things that I am supposed to know, but are not clear to me at all. This conversation is all over the place, and you can threaten to stop talking to me, but it's not like you are doing anything but what you like anyway. I thought we were going to leave the page as is until Jerzy gave his opinion. You continue to water down the text significantly. It is already watered down to give the revisionist view weight, which I am leaving in there (this article is disputed), but come on, why don't you just write that a million crazy Armenian brainwashed cult members drank poisoned cool aid? I mean, "there were losses on the way"? Who was escorting the Armenians being deported? Ottoman troops of Turkish and Kurdish ancestry. Where were the men? Already murdered for their ethnicity. Where were they being taken? The der el zor desert. What provisions were made for the road? None, ever, for any of them. What housing/provisions were made for their arrival in the middle of the desert? None, except for more massacres if you survived that long. What provisions were they allowed to take themselves? None. Who was escorting them again? Ottoman troops. Can you see why your sentence is so unacceptable to me? I think you know what I just wrote is true, but if you don't you should.
The reference itself is unacceptable to me. And I explained why many times. A comprimise often leaves both parties unhappy. at0 17:57, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Now the next question I have, which you yourself need to answer, is what is the point of asking Jerzy's opinion? You do not agree to abide by whatever he thinks, so what is the point exactly? I don't understand.
I think this is clear. I did state this in his talk page while asking his opinion. We do not agree whether a reference should be made in this article, and an outside perspective can help in coming to an agreement. This is why I asked for a third party opinion, note that I did not ask for a ruling. What you seemingly do not realize is that my acceptance means nothing, this is a wiki, and in the future this argument will happen all over again if we simply agree to a ruling. Actually, as this page is the evidence, it is the second time it is happening. We need to discuss and carry out an action because we find it reasonable. If discussion fails then a ruling may be necessary but there is an arbitration committee for this, and before that we need to go to mediation.
May I point out, that you do not contribute to discussion of relevance at all, but try to defend the accuracy of your claims. What I am challenging at this stage is relevance, we will cross the accuracy and completeness bridge when we come to it. at0 17:57, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I realize you did not like the reference at all, but that is a different issue from completely changing the reference while you wait. I also did contribute to the discussion of relevance. I said that if ANY pre-Republic history was relevant, this was a very important part of it. So that is simply not true.
If you were contributing to discussions I would not take an action. I never promised to preserve the status quo while waiting for Jerzy. Your comments you refer to was on Jerzy's talk page, it is in the wrong place and does not contribute to discussion at all. In contrast, Jerzy's comments are a fine example.
We now have heard from Jerzy, and he has stated quite clearly he feels it should be there (and for that matter that the genocide is an accurate term in this case). So the question is, what next? I think that language saying there was a genocide, which the Turkish government denies is as fair as it gets, since that's the simple truth, and takes in what both sides have to say... --RaffiKojian 18:06, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
No it does not at all. In reference to Armenian Genocide article I want to state the reasons for the deportation order, the following Armenian terrorism towards Turkish diplomats and others, and Armenia's refusal to recognize Lausanne treaty as well. As I have written above, I no longer believe you are acting in good faith to produce an good encyclopedia article about history of Turkey but just to push a your view on others and get the word out so to say. You are saying completely irrelevant things to posed questions, misinterpreting what other people said and do edits to the article inconsistent with what you say. I do not know why you do this, maybe you are attempting a Chewbacca defense, but it is not going to work. I already made it very clear that I will not walk away from a revert war this time. So, instead of reverting, try to understand what the problem is and produce a solution. at0 22:40, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Your allegations of a Chewbacca defense are exactly what you are doing, thanks for making that label clear. You have unilaterally changed the text I added, which I defended the authenticity, and you ignored. You have avoided answering issues I raised about the authenticity of the genocide, by saying you want to hear relevance first. Then, instead of actually addressing my defense of my simple, true statement, you go and completely replace it with lies which you have not (cannot) back up. You can say anything you like about me, our entire conversation is right here and anyone can judge for themselves. What you should do instead is to stick to facts, and be fair.
You cannot show that "the Armenian community" did, it was a massive group spanning mountains and valleys, often completely surrounded by Turks and Kurds. It "did" nothing. It was loyal and obedient even during the massacres and deportations, remarkably voluntarily disarming. Certainly there were some exceptions, some people actually defended themselves, but to write that the "Armenian community backed Russia" is wildly irresponsible and simply wrong. You also cannot say that the Ottoman Government issued deportation orders because of Armenian loyalty. Prove it! You also have not addressed my previous comments about this line:
"there were losses on the way"? Who was escorting the Armenians being deported? Ottoman troops of Turkish and Kurdish ancestry. Where were the men? Already murdered for their ethnicity. Where were they being taken? The der el zor desert. What provisions were made for the road? None, ever, for any of them. What housing/provisions were made for their arrival in the middle of the desert? None, except for more massacres if you survived that long. What provisions were they allowed to take themselves? None. Who was escorting them again? Ottoman troops. Can you see why your sentence is so unacceptable to me? I think you know what I just wrote is true, but if you don't you should.
Your reply was: "The reference itself is unacceptable to me. And I explained why many times. A comprimise often leaves both parties unhappy." Well now Ato it seems the reference is acceptable, according to Jerzy, who also is convinced the genocide is quite true. So why is it you continue to change the reference to something which does not include the word genocide, and perverts what happened? You cannot accuse me of not compromising since I ALREADY have gone along with your claim that the Armenian Genocide does not belong on the Turkey page itself. Now it is your turn to compromise, and behave in good faith. Your accusations about my intentions/attitude are not amusing, in good faith, nor true. Your statement about the events is not true, and does not include the word genocide even. So now, it is you who must show some good faith. I have backed up everything I have said and written, you should now repsond to the issue, rather than attack me and try to avoid the issue by saying it is the "relevance" that concerns you, even as you pervert the events of the genocide on the History of Turkey page. --RaffiKojian 02:17, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Jerzy's comments

I understand the question that has been put to me as being equivalent to "Should an article on the history of the Republic of Turkey link to Armenian Genocide?" The simplest answer to that is "of course", because justly or unjustly, several of that state's long-term problems are

  1. an insurgency that, to my recollection, for more than a few years managed to make assassination of Turkish diplomats abroad a "dog bites man" kind of news story, and which i presume cites those events prominently in its justification;
  2. a reputation (IMO a justified one), among most of the industrialized world's international-affairs devotees,
    • for its own brand of holocaust- (or genocide-) denial, and
    • (among many of them) for having explicitly demonstrated to Hitler that the world will let you get away with genocide; and
  3. (given that it seems widely agreed the future of Turkey rests largely on its relationship to Europe -- or to the rest of Europe if you prefer--) a body of Western popular-cultural assumptions about Turkey and Turks that specifically influences political decisions such as EU participation. (The portion dating from the Crusades to the fall of Byzantium probably is mostly leftover propaganda and involves improperly equating Turks and earlier Muslim rulers, and even the historical portions up to Greek independence are probably under-examined as to whether their relevance continues. But the opinions of foreign fools are an important factor in the life of a state. The overall history -- current, early 20th-century, and perhaps still earlier -- of treatment of ethnic Armenians under Turkish control is inextricably entwined with these assumptions, both as premise and conclusion.)

However, i should add that i think that is a question mostly irrelevant to your dispute, and largely for that reason, an illegitimate one. IMO -- and i think you will find almost all of our history-of-a-country articles will probably fit this pattern -- the "history of a state" is a reasonable unit of study only for specialists in political science, or for popular books looking for "new" angle to promote. Such articles may be viable in WP, but only as articles secondary to the history of the corresponding country. The title History of Turkey cannot be "hijacked" for use as a History of the Republic of Turkey article any more than the history of a head or of a set of genitalia can pass for a biography. I assume our history of Russia is not a history of the Russian Federation, but goes back to the Kievian Rus, and that our history of America (even if it's named History of the United States) goes back to Jamestown and Plymouth, if not to the social and political ferment of 16th- to 18th-century England. In law, the Turkish republic is the "successor state" to the Ottoman Empire, and the biggest reason for that is that either is mostly just a different political bottle to contain the same national wine. In short, IMO the passage about "primarily about the history of the Republic of Turkey" should be removed, and energy found for laying the groundwork to make sense of the republic by describing the continuities and changes within the career of the Ottoman Turks, preferably from their conversion and the early transplantation of some of them to the Islamic power centers of their time.

I don't think the scope of the request put to me really offers me much chance to look even-handed, so i hope Ato won't imagine i'm trying to suggest i'm proving even-handedness with the following small matter. But IMO this bears saying for its own sake: if Raffi wants the high points in Ottoman history, Suleiman, the arts and sciences of their realm, their relations with their Balkan subjects (not necessarily to the exclusion of those with other non-Turkic or non-Muslim peoples), choosing a side in WW I, Gallipoli, and the early career of Mustafa Kemal probably should all be higher on his list, and those omissions are IMO a big hint that he should study more before presuming to judge just where on the list of crucial topics the Armenian genocide ranks. (Frankly, i'd argue explicitly what i think i imply above: it is more important to the history of the Republic of Turkey than to that of the Ottoman Empire!)

Thank you for inviting my comment. Either of you who feels it would enlighten the discussion you're already involved in should of course feel welcome to copy my response to that discussion's location.
Fruitful and happy editing,
--Jerzy(t) 04:32, 2004 Oct 8 (UTC)

A plan for further editing

I am creating a draft page: History of Turkey/Draft. I propose we use this page to create a replacement of the current article with the following points (feel free to add points to this list, but a better place to discuss changes to this draft would be that page's talk page):

  • Comments about foundation of Republic of Turkey, in particular how it relates to Ottoman Empire and in what ways it is a continuation and in what ways it is not. Also very brief (maybe just a list) mentioning of previous states in Anatolia.
  • After this justification, a summary of major events of Ottoman Empire marking its foundation, rise and fall.
  • Special emphasis (possibly with its own subsection) on WWI, since this is the beginning of the transformation. A brief account of all Ottoman fronts, in particular the Eastern front with a reference to Armenian Genocide article. The spirit of making this inclusion as part of WWI is not because it is part of WWI, but rather the time frame. As far as I could follow the discussions regarding this issue, it is undisputed that Armenian civilians were killed completely far from the front and hence these killings cannot be regarded as a natural part of the war.
  • Again special emphasis on Turkish War of Independence. As this is the second part of the transformation. In addition to war itself, a list treaties (at least Mondros, Sevres and Lausanne) and an outline of how Ankara separated from Sultan's government (congresses, parliament's foundation, Sultan's army etc.).
  • Then the foundation of republic etc. etc., as there is no dispute on the rest I do not think there is a need to reach a consensus regarding those parts yet.

I am afraid our revert war will continue while we work on this draft. Before the article gets more detailed, a reference to Armenian Genocide article is not acceptable to me. It is certainly important, but it is not like I am listing that article for deletion, I simply want balance in this article. at0 02:52, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Genocide Conclusion?

People, is there no way for this issue to get settled properly without Ato vetoing everything? This is ridiculous. Every single non-Turk who has commented on this issue seems to agree that it belongs in this article and that it was indeed a genocide. So to mention it, and add a disclaimer that it is disputed seems to be a perfectly reasonable (if not generous) compromise. Why should this go on and on like this? --RaffiKojian 03:36, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Raffi. I am not vetoing anything. I tried a comprimise, but you called my efforts inflamatory and reverted them. You agree that the genocide term is disputed, but when make a reference without using it, you revert. You are not being constructive at all. If you will refer to other people's comments, please read them throughly and try to see what you are missing. Nobody said, "oh yeah, Raffi's edits are perfectly acceptable. i see nothing wrong with it." If they did, I missed it. You consistently (mis)interpret people's words, including mine, in your unique way. at0 20:18, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Ato - yes, your "interpretation of events" was inflamatory for the reasons I stated, and which you ignored, and was far from compromise. You never tried an alternative text, simply removed the entire reference. I agree the term is disputed - by Turks. That is you. Nobody else here is disputing it, and a number have openly said it happened, and should be mentioned. So my compromise, which includes a disclaimer seems quite normal to me, despite the fact that genocide revisionism is so distasteful to me, evil even. But you do not seem to appreciate that fact at all. Perhaps you can arrange a vote of non-Armenia, non-Turkish wikipedians who have been online a while. See what they think. I think this is by far the most sensible compromise. If you have an alternative suggestion, make it, but I have compromised already, and at this point you have not, you simply stated the Turkish Government line. --RaffiKojian 02:57, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I did not interpret anything, I have written events the way they happened, as far as I know. The interpretation is what I am opposing. You want to state that Armenians were killed in Ottoman Empire, do so, but calling this genocide without stating the counterpoint is not acceptable to me. I have changed many edits I made to this article regarding this issue; look at your own edits, almost all of them are reverts. You are still stating things that are deflamatory to me without proof. Turkish Government is not the only body who defends these opinions, I certainly not affiliated with the government, this in itself shows it is not restricted to government. You know many more examples from your discussions here that what you are claiming is not true. Furthermore calling a line of reasoning "government's" and try to refute it by this is ad hominem. Did I ever call you "Armenian nationalist"? Please restrain yourself and stick to the facts. The fact is this issue is disputed, the fact is there is a way to express what happened without attaching disputed labels, the fact is that is what I did. at0 14:57, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Ah, but I do state the counterpoint to the genocide, that is what the "disputed" mention is all about. And you may not like to think you are affiliated with the Turkish government, but I think you have recieved a Turkish Government education, and lived in Turkey. The same Turkey where requiring students to write essays stating there was no Armenian Genocide, and making it illegal to say there was one are issues of today, not ancient history. Whether you call me an Armenian nationist or not does not change very simple facts here. The ICTJ report, commisioned in part by Turks opposed to genocide recognition states very clearly that the events were indeed a genocide. So do any scholars who have not recieved money from the Turkish government. So seems to be the opinion of those unbiased, non-Turks here who have said anything on the subject. If you want to describe the events, you can't sanitize it to the point of dishonesty. You may as well have written some Armenians were asked to move to new homes and some scraped their knees during the move. If you want to describe what happened, you must do it right. Let me know which way you prefer to go, but a description should include that ALL Armenians in Anatolia were either killed by the Ottoman Troops, or marched to the desert without any provisions along the way or upon arrival, under armed government troop escort, being robbed, raped, kidnapped and murdered all along the way. And that now there are no Armenians left in Anatolia. That is what happened. Whether the Ottomans did it out of fear of revolt, or out of Pan Turkic nationalism is debatable, the facts I have stated are undisputed, even by you I think. --RaffiKojian 16:38, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Again you are diverting from the point (that there is a way to state what happened w/o using a disputed term), again you are accusing me with irrelevant evidence (i was never required to write an essay regarding any event to defend a particular point of view, i would oppose it anyways). Now you are accusing me of dishonesty. I will let this pass only because I know you are hurt and are still traumatized and cannot be held responsible for being emotional. I've already written a description of events without labeling it, please check the article's edit history. at0 20:34, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I will let your comments about my trauma pass too :-) Please post your description here. I only remember one, which I found factually inadequate, as I said above. There were countless revisions, so if you post it here maybe we can iron something out. But it was a genocide, and most people agree on that, so something like "Many believe the events were genocide" seems only fair. --RaffiKojian 02:33, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Here is a link [3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=History_of_Turkey&oldid=6461328). at0 20:10, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

As a relatively neutral observer can I make a short remark here? I think the crucial questions are here if most historians (1) refer to the event as "the Armenian genocide" and (2) think that this is a correct way to describe the event. After all, there are always other experts who disagree with the rest and they will always have arguments that they consider to be completely convincing and show that the other experts are completely wrong. However, since Wikipedia is not a scientific forum and the writers are usually not scientists we cannot always hope to settle those questions here by discussing and weighing all these arguments. So for practical reasons the goal of writing the truth is sometimes a little too ambitious and instead we should limit ourselves to just representing the opinion that is currently widely held by the experts. So do you know what the majority view on the initial two questions is? -- Jan Hidders 21:24, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Unfortunately it is hard to decide what the majority opinion is since we are trying to measure distances w/o deciding on a metric. Furthermore it is not the crucial question. In my opinion, it is wrong to refer to events of 1915 as genocide in History of Turkey article in the form Raffi does for multiple reasons. 1) We leave out many other prerepublic events, and including this event gives the impression it is more important than the others. 2) We do not provide the counterpoint, there were killing and harassings by Armenians as well, this is not mentioned at all, in addition Armenian Hincak party made it explicit that they would welcome Russia over Ottoman Empire. The deportation order hence given did cost lives of many Armenians, and I mourn for them, however this was not a mass killing out of blue, and in my opinion it is wrong to give this impression. Stating that the genocide term is disputed does not explain this at all. Why not avoid the term, and stick to description? 3) The Armenian genocide article is biased, if it is not counterpointed here, it will be equivalent to endorsing it. This is especially unacceptable in "History of Turkey" article. An article about the history of a country whose population was always downplayed and ridiculed in the "western" world, because of their religion, their approach to life.
We had a war, and I regret we made our opponents suffer, even though they made us suffer as well. Killing of innocents as regrettable as it is, is not always genocide. The events of 1915, in my humble opinion, do not deserve that stamp.

Withdrawal

I hereby withdraw from this discussion. I will not edit this article on controversial topics. I hope third party opinions will enrich and improve this article. Pushing your PoV is uncool. at0 03:54, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

RfC?

I came here from RfC. Does this page still have an active dispute? If so, can someone summarize it? Maurreen 16:01, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Kurdish question / war

Interesting, that this article does not contain any reference to the Kurdish conflict and the war that lasted 15 years - exept the capture of Ocalan. Ever tried to write american history without mentioning the Vietnam War, for instance?

Why should the "Armenian Genocide" hog the spotlight on the entire history of Turkey?

I'm looking at this page for the first time today and am fascinated. If the article in question is more than the history of the Republic of Turkey (as Jerzy has concluded above), then how amazing that in the thousand years of Turkish history, the topic that has caused near-exclusive discussion on this page is the so-called "Armenian Genocide."

There are a number of ethnic groups who bear a passion against all things Turkish, helped along by a veneer of prejudice in the West, in the days since the Crusades. Thus, the international community that has made such an issue of this "genocide" is almost completely in agreement, because few speak for the Turks. History becomes irrelevant. Thus, when these genocide fanciers point to Hitler's quote -- still a matter of conjecture -- the importance is centered on how Hitler thought up his Holocaust. [Or as Jerzy states above, the "Armenian Genocide" becomes important "for having explicitly demonstrated to Hitler that the world will let you get away with genocide." Never mind that he was referring to the Poles if he said what he said, and never mind that Hitler didn't need the education of the "Armenian Genocide," since his nation had already conducted an extermination policy in the 1900s, with the Hereros.

And note the writer directly above, reminding us that the article has failed to elaborate on the Kurds. The Turks have had relations with a range of ethnic groups within their history, where some weren't treated kindly (extending to different Muslim religious groups as well); is the idea of this one short page to highlight all the Turks' wrongs -- alleged and real -- to satisfy the inner cravings of these Turcophobes?

I see the controversy here boils down to whether the events of the Armenian episode should be referred to on this page, and more importantly, if referred to, whether the word "genocide" ought to be applied to this hotly disputed topic. There are those who have made this tragic historical event a cause; Raffi, for example, has a web site devoted in large part to the topic - legitimizing false history, such as the Aram Andonian-forged telegrams of Talat Pasha. Those as he are specialists in telling one side of the story. What's not mentioned is that the pro-Armenians are so obsessed, they rail about it at every opportunity, with big money support rarely far bahind. (Many genocide institutes have Armenian backing.) Add to this a century of a near-exclusive telling of this tale from one side, and even neutral folks come to accept this mythology as fact. So when Raffi correctly informs us of the "unbiased, non-Turks here" who don't lend their voices in support, it's because few have cared to go beneath the surface of this human tragedy. For example, above he cites the ICTJ report as proof. What's not mentioned is that the lawyers (not historians) who made this determination relied almost exclusively on the omnipresent pro-Armenian history. Their definition of genocide: only one person needs to be killed, which can describe any conflict.

Raffi's faith-based summary is such: "ALL Armenians in Anatolia were either killed by the Ottoman Troops, or marched to the desert without any provisions along the way or upon arrival, under armed government troop escort, being robbed, raped, kidnapped and murdered all along the way. And that now there are no Armenians left in Anatolia." Reality: one million survived, according to Armenians, out of a population of around 1.5 million. As for provisions, today's equivalent of millions of dollars were set aside in the bankrupt nation's refugee fund, not always getting to where it needed to go, thanks to corruption and incompetence. Most Armenians who died were victims of famine and disease, the same causes that wiped out 2.5 million Turks. (Ambassador Morgenthau wrote "thousands of Turks" were dying "daily" from starvation.) Some 50,000 died from deprivations of the march (The Armenian-sympathizing "Le Figaro" investigated in 1977 and figured only 15,000), perhaps 10,000 from massacres, mostly committed by bandits. Some gendarmes acted criminally, and some lost their lives in the defense of the Armenians.

So the question remains: why is so much discussion being centered on this issue? The answer is that the "Armenian Genocide" has become more political than history. Only in the "Turkey" page is the word "genocide" used.

Wikipedia examples: France's campaign to exterminate the Cathars is described as: "The 13th century was to bring the crown important gains also in the south, where a papal-royal crusade against the region's Albigensian or Cathar heretics" in the French_Fourth_Republic page. Why not "genocide"?

The French did a number on some 200,000 Algerians. We have "colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria" on the History_of_France page. Why not "genocide"?

What of the Germans' extermination efforts of the Hereros on the German history page? Here's what we have: "in the Herero Wars it shared the with those empires the phenomenon of armed conflict between natives and colonials." Why not "genocide"? (A separate link to the Hereros does get into genocide. Just like Wikipedia's politically titled Armenian-Genocide page. That's where it belongs.)

The "honor" of "The First Holocaust of the 20th Century" does not go to the Armenians, as usually reported with gusto. It's not the Hereros, but the Filipinos, at the turn of the century. We have "In the 1900-1903 war to conquer the Philippines, more than 1 million people died." (History_of_the_United_States_of_America) The events are not described as "genocide" here, nor in a page with other detail, "Philippine military deaths were estimated at roughly 20,000. Filipino civilian deaths are unknown, but some estimates place them as high as one million." Where is that "genocide" word?

Here's the shocking other side of the coin that's never heard about, because Turkish lives are not considered as valuable in the West: The Armenians massacred 518,000 Ottoman Turks/Muslims and Jews, with a little help from the Russians. (The Azeri Turks are another story; there must have been reason why Sahak Melkonian stated [in "Preserving the Armenian Purity," 1920]: "In Soviet Armenia today there no longer exists a single Turkish soul.") Now, granted, a lot of this took place before the "Republic of Armenia" was established in 1918. However, if we apply Jerzy's logic, these events still form part of the "History of Armenia." But I don't see any mention of "genocide" in the History_of_Armenia page. Nor is that word to be found in the History_of_Russia page; not even a description of the 5 million Turkic peoples expulsed and the 5.5 million slaughtered (in the century ending with WWI) that the Russians were mainly responsible for (as spelled out in Prof. Justin McCarthy's "Death and Exile").

Conclusions: other victims of broadly defined "genocide" efforts, such as the Algerians, Hereros, Filipinos and Turks are not as obsessed and financed to put their stories into the public consciousness, nor are they always as "Christian" and/or "Caucasian" to gain the broad sympathy the Armenians have in the West. This is a page of history. There are other ways of describing the Armenian episode than by using this politicized word, describing the greatest crime against humanity that even the British were unable to prove in the "Nuremberg" of WWI, the Malta Tribunal. -- Torque, Feb. 12, 2005

Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day

What happened on May 19, 1919 ? If events on that day were important enough to have a holiday in Turkey (Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day), how come there is no mention on the History of Turkey page ? May 19 is coming soon, and there will be more people searching for this. Can someone in the know add this info, please ? Thanks. -- PFHLai 20:01, 2005 May 3 (UTC)

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