Dov Ivry

Erdogan And The Armenians

Perhaps the most astounding development in the wake of the Gaza incursion was the revelation that Turkey had suddenly discovered that there is such a thing as  “the conscience of humanity.”

Those were the very words used by that country’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

They surfaced during the endless ranting and raving by him and Turkey’s pathetic farce of a prime minister  Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Israel.

The other astounding development is that Erdogan actually used the word “genocide.”

It’s been a century now since the Turks committed genocide against the Armenians and until this day, although the event was reported daily in the world’s press as it happened, they have denied that it occurred, have never apologized to the Armenians, and certainly not compensated them in any way for their dreadful losses. “The conscience of humanity” demands at least recognition that the event occurred and an apology to the descendants of the victims.

Genocide? They still don’t know what that word means. It is defined as the murder of an entire people in cold blood as in the case of 1.3 million Armenians. Erdogan acts as though it refers to any civilian casualties that occur when Israel is forced to defend itself from terrorist attacks. I won’t say that no one in the world can be that stupid because Erdogan obviously is.

There is a direct connection between the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust. Up to that point there had been genocides but all of them perhaps were related in some manner to the spread of religion. That who declined what was on offer were simply wiped out but they could have saved themselves by capitulating. The old Prussians refused Christianity and after 60 years of bloodletting they were no more although remnants may have escaped east. The Muslims tried for centuries to persuade the Hindus of the truth of their revelation; the Hindus resisted at a cost of 80 million lives.

Then along came Darwin. He mixed in his theories which went under the heading of science his own racist views which were also packaged as science.

This is from “The Descent Of Man.” ‘The careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman multiplies like rabbits: the frugal, foreseeing, self-respecting, ambitious Scot, stern in his morality, spiritual in his faith, sagacious and disciplined in his intelligence, passes his best years in struggle and in celibacy, marries late, and leaves few behind him. Given a land originally people by a thousand Saxons and a thousand Celts — and in a dozen generations five-sixths of the population would be Celts, but five-sixths of the property, of the power, of the intellect, would belong to the one-sixth of Saxons that remained. In the eternal struggle for existence, it would be the inferior and less favored race that had prevailed — and prevailed by virtue not of its qualities but of its faults.”

Social Darwinism was a political movement that flowed from Darwin’s views which said essentially that you benefit the species by favoring the superior races. For the first time in history extermination of peoples was justified on the basis of “science.”

The Young Turks or CUP who ruled Turkey during WWI were Social Darwinists. They decided to exterminate the Armenians as a matter of policy. These are eyewitness reports.

Walter M. Geddes: “They were going in ox-carts, on horseback, donkeys and on foot, most of them children, women and old men. … They told me that they had travelled for two months. They were without money and food and several expressed their wish that they could die rather than go on and endure the sufferings that they were undergoing.” “There are hundreds dying daily in Aleppo from starvation and the result of the brutal treatment and exposure that they have undergone on the journey from their native places.” “Several Turks, whom I interviewed, told me that the motive of this exile was to exterminate the race, and in no instance did I see, any Muslim giving alms to Armenians, it being considered a criminal offence for anyone to aid them.”

Halil Berktay: “By 1912-13, and especially after the traumatic Balkan wars, the CUP leadership had already acquired a comprehensive ethnic cleansing mentality. They had arrived at the crystallization of their own version of Social Darwinistic, violent, anxious, and, therefore, malicious and malevolent … nationalism. That is to say, it was their ideology that was telling them we cannot have a patriotic self defense unless and until we have an Anatolia that has been comprehensively Turkified. That is to say, they had acquired a nationalist ideological perspective of regarding all non-Turks as suspect, hostile elements. It was this ideology that led to … orders. It was this ideology, in turn, which lead to the horrors of 1915… it was the Ottoman state versus all Armenians. It was state declaring war on its subjects.” The Turks lost the war.

The Allies arrested the perpetrators of the genocide. These were for held for a period of time and then released without having to stand trial or having to answer for their crimes in any way.  They had gotten away with it.

Who was watching? Hitler.

Even today there is a lot of confusion as whether the Nazis were nationalists or socialists with both titles in the name of their party, or what. There is no confusion over that the fact that they were Social Darwinists who were inspired by the Turks.

Hans-Gunter Zmarzlik: “‘Struggle for existence,’ ‘weeding-out,’ ‘selection’ are terms that owe their origins to Darwinism; and this is by no means accidental: anyone who spends a little time browsing in Mein Kampf, the book in which Hitler set forth his political views and philosophy, will at once perceive how strongly a social Darwinist form of monism helped to determine the intellectual horizon of the National Socialist leadership. And the historian must add that this vulgarized Darwinism is among the few ideological elements which Hitler did not manipulate arbitrarily to suit his power political tactics but which instead governed his mental attitudes throughout his career as a politician and demagogue.”

There is reason why living generations as in the case of the Germans who are not responsible for what their forebears did apologize. It lets the world know that they understand right from wrong and they will resist evil from happening again in their country. The Germans even went back to apologize to what is today Namibia for what they did to them prior to WWI. There they opened concentration camps where they issued death certificates in advance and conducted medical experiments on the local people.

The Turks? We have gotten to the point finally where Turkish leaders are aware of the concepts of “the conscience of humanity” and “genocide.” But in actual fact they don’t understand what the words mean. If they did they would be using them in the context of an apology to the Armenians and not bundling them in incendiary propaganda against Israel.

About the Author
Dov Ivry is from the Maritimes in Canada, born in Nova Scotia, raised in New Brunswick. He worked as a journalist there for 20 years with a one-year stop at the Gazette in Montreal. He's been hanging out in Israel for 36 years, doing this and that, and managed to produce 66 books.
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