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02:07, 28 May 2017 Sunday
Update: 12:53, 29 April 2017 Saturday

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Ottoman Armenians: an inequitable accountability
Ottoman Armenians: an inequitable accountability

If accountability is to take place, then the West cannot compensate for South Africa, the Hejaz, Yemen, the Middle East and the Balkans.

Erhan Erken

After the passing 102 years of the Balkan War and World War I, we find a dozen different countries that were in Ottoman lands previously under Ottoman rule with their own governments. During this changeover millions of our people have suffered incredible grief. The larger population was displaced and today their descendants continue their lives on completely different lands.

One of the most important turning points during this time was the realization this year was that two years before was the 100th anniversary of the Armenian deportation incident. Each year, Western nations and Armenians attempt to register this incident as a genocide and hope to achieve alternative results from this attempt.

In the history of countries and nations, and their relations towards each other, to take upsetting events and view them from only one side and interpret it from just one single sided perspective, and even moreso to condemn that one side of guilt is victimization of that country. In addition, to select only certain parts of an event and to leave it out others with no mention whatsoever is not only insincere but also a massive case of injustice.

Going back in history, we have found that the forced deportation both before and afterwards of the event, we stand facing the reality that this resulted in the deaths of nearly one million Ottoman Muslims.
Ottoman Armenians, who for centures lived side by side peacefully with Ottomans, found themselves at the end of Western provocation to ignite hositilities both through deception and wreak havoc within the Ottoman government.. This in particulation happened at the end of the 19th century and in particular during the beginnings of World War I whilst the Ottoman empire was battling Russia.

The Ottoman Empire mobilized its forces on July 21 1914 for first World War. It called upon all citizens, including Armenians to defend the motherland. Many Armenian committees took advantage of this difficult time creating hostilities. There are many historical documents that are open for all to see regarding this deliberate effort.

Despite this, the biggest betrayal was the occupation of the Van region in eastern Turkey by the Russians and it is during this time the Ottoman administration began to alter its attitude towards the Armenians. It was clear that the Armenians were not to be trusted. Intially, all Armenian committees were ordered to be shut down on April 11 1915, which further entrenched Ottoman enmity amongst the Armenian people and led to an insurgency amonst the Armenians.

As a result, on May 14 1915 the deportation law was issued and implementation of the law began. The entire process of the deportation was handled with sensitivity, precautionary measures were taken due care and the application of the law was handled delicately. Despite all measures however, lives were lost. Just as the death tally of Ottoman Muslims being killed, there were just as many Armenian casualties with official numbers saying that there were up to 200,000 to 300,000 killed during this time. Some documentation claim that the figure is higher with up to 500,000 - 600,000 being killed.

Whichever way it is viewed, the numbers of deaths are important and it is distressing. Armenians are part of our country and have been so for hundreds of years. To not feel sorrow is incompatiable with humanity however to exaggerate the number of deaths as more than a million is also something that cannot be accepted. These very grave events have brought Turks and Armenians who prior to this were friendly and brothers, and now see each other as enemies can only be seen as a tragedy today. For both Ottomans and Turks it is a reality that should be seen as a lesson.

With the centenary commemoration and the yearly ceremonies to remember the removal of the Armenian movement and the provocation by them, one begs to ask why the deaths of million Muslims are not remembered as such? One would think that the forced deportation appeared out of nowhere however nothing could be further from the truth - this makes this view a unilateral approach to a complex case.

If anything it is evident that there was a a very serious war and a serious case of traitorship towards the Ottoman empire by joining with a foreign force. Another historical reality is the joining of many Armenians with urban gangs to murder their neighbours.These points must be weighed in to account when considering the events regarding the deportations, in the same light of how events are taking place today...

Using the same logic, why isn't the forced deportation of millions of Muslims in the Balkans not questioned?

Or the millions of other Muslims from the Hijaz, Yemen and the Middle East, who have been cast out from their lands - are they not human beings?

To continue this immense tragedy, what of South Africa? what of Tripoli in 1911? Which flag was raised by Libyan insurgents during the war against Italians? Weren't thousands of Muslims massacred in these places?

These terrible events took place between 1911 and 1918. And in such a short time, in seven or so years, the entire world became scattered. However the West and the United States, insist on focusing and magnfiying only one point and accusing Turkey which is a grave mistake.

Western countries who make mention of theories of modernism and post-modernism and who assert that the will create a world state that prioritizes welfare will never rid themselves of their colonial habits and it seems that they will never lay to rest their hostilities against Muslims.

It is evident that whilst one speaks of "genocide", the other makes mention only of a "major disaster" but irrespective of this they are united and have an allied approach in building a evil line against Muslims.
Despite turning a blind eye to their mistakes and averting others from seeing their mistakes they make every effort to condemn us.

Yes, we are the descendents of the Ottomans. For this reason, it falls on our shoulders to call to account the issues that concern history, geography and civilization, and whether it be positive or negative, we carry this burden.

What should not be forgotten is the fact that we also have lost millions of acres of land that had countless reserves. Millions of our own people lost their lives and the Republic - despite being a new one - repaid the Ottoman debt and assumed the entire burden of it as well, hand in hand by the public.

At this point, it is our hope that no further energy should be spent in calling Turkey to account. If indeed that is to occur then I take it that Western nations and all elements that are against us, cannot afford the renumeration of South Africa, the Hejaz, Yemen, the Middle East and the Balkans.

 

 



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