Who Should Apologize ? Turks or Armenians?

Who Should Apologize? Turks or Armenians? The question has been asked thousands of times, usually by foreigners who do not know the history of Ottoman-Armenian and Turkish-Armenian relations. They do not know who to point to and blame. They see the world in black and white, they are looking for an evil to blame. The Armenians want to blame the Turks for an Armenian Genocide. The Turks want to blame Armenians for a Turkish Genocide. Who's to blame?

Most Europeans and Americans grew up learning about the horrible history of the Holocaust. They saw documentaries, videos, and read books about the horrors of Nazi Germany. They see it and they wish they could stop it but know that it is in the past.

Hence, when they are older, they grow up looking for this evil, trying to find where evil is and pretend they can save the world from it.

When they meet an Armenian who tells them of 1915, describing it like the ARF (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) as a systematic genocide equal to the Holocaust, they become activists they decide they now think they know where evil is. Then the Armenian tells them that the Turks "still deny it to this day," and now they have a new "evil" to fight against, the Turks.

What they don't realize is that they are only hearing a distorted story created in 1915 after a gruesome and tragic WWI loss by the Armenians who's rebel groups sided with the Allies against the Ottomans, as a persuasive essay meant to convince Americans and Europeans to bring aid to the poor Christian Armenians.

Using their gruesome stories (some of them true, some of them distorted or exaggerated, and some of them with misidentified villains), for generations they have convinced churches, diplomats, and even nations to send millions of dollars in foreign aid to Armenians and the country of Armenia.

The problem is, they have not been able to accept their inevitable loss in World War I, some of them still think the war is not over and that the Lausanne Treaty of the 1920s will be voided and the outcome of World War I will be different!

Yes, many Armenian nationalists believe they can still win World War I, in the 2000s. Other Armenians believe they can at least seek revenge on Turkey for 1915 by painting the Turks as evil villains equal to the Nazis.

This hate campaign is nothing more than racism combined with Islamophobia, Anti-Turkism, and revenge. It is also a unifying cause for the Armenians, keeping their culture in tact, making Armenians around the world harder to assimilate into the countries they live in.

They believe this unification created by an ancient common foe, will keep them together.

Armenia, in shambles with poverty and political turmoil needs help, and they use the Armenians around the world to send aid to these countries on the pretext that the Armenians suffered genocide because of their neighbors the Turks.

When the reality of their situation was, they fought a war on the Allied side, and when the Allies abandoned them they suffered at the hands of local inhabitants seeking revenge for the Allied-endorsed slaughter.

Hundreds of thousands of Armenians, Turks, Kurds, and other Muslims died in this conflict. And all by fighting rebels, or each other, or the government. There was no systematic genocide. There were no death camps. There were no weapons of mass destruction. And as with all wars, many innocent people died. Many of them from diseases and starvation.

Even the Ottoman army had to go to war hungry and diseased, the Ottoman government was bankrupted but tried all it could to feed its Armenian and Turkish citizens even the ones that were relocated because of hostility or possible rebellion.

Later the leaders of the Ottoman Empire during that time were assassinated one by one by Armenian assassins seeking revenge for what they were led to believe was genocide. Communication being a problem at the time, rumors always spread fast, and when stories of Armenians being massacred spread, it didn't matter who the perpetrators were, historians conclude it was local inhabitants seeking revenge from Armenian rebels or money/food during a time of crisis, but eventually many of them were falsely led to believe it was murder by the government.

The relocation orders only enforced their beliefs in the rumors, even though it was a standard procedure by all European nations at the time to put down rebellions quickly during war-time.

Hence, today we ask who should apologize? The Turks who were fighting for their survival in World War I and whose government tried their best to keep a multi-ethnic society together and stop an Armenian rebellion at the same time? The Armenians who voluntarily rebelled and the Armenians who were forced to rebel by the rebels (they killed their own people and church leaders who opposed rebellion)? What about the Allied powers whose diplomats and leaders encouraged Armenian rebellions while at the same time demanding more rights for Armenians from the Ottoman leaders?

The reality was this was a war. Massacres were common (on all sides). Disease was common. Food shortages rampant. Disease abundant. Survival of the fittest was the only thing that mattered during these times, if you were alone you were robbed or killed for the few pieces of clothes on your back. It was a troubling tragic time, and it all could have been avoided if someone hadn't killed the Archduke.

The fact is, no one needs to apologize, they simply need to move on. Sure you can blame the British for encouraging Arab and Armenian rebellions, you can blame the Russians for killing the Jews, you can blame the Armenians for killing the Turks and Kurds, and you can blame the Kurds and Turks for killing the Armenians, you can blame the Austrians for starting wars, you can blame the Serbs for assassinating Austrians.

The Europeans and Americans understood this blame game, hence why they let it go and stopped thinking about it.

Though when they did seek revenge and punishment, the Versailles Treaty, well that just created World War II! Hence, before you start World War III, stop blaming each other for the past and move on. Before you cry out "genocide", understand that the Holocaust was a very unique case and that no two wars are the same and genocide is a blanket term that can be applied to any war where innocent people died (which is every war)!


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