I don't believe that in 1915 there was a genocide...
On the 14th of July, an article titled, "Who else objects to the Bundestag resolution on the Armenian genocide" by Renata Akhundova caused great public outcry. Judging by the reactions of readers, their discontent was caused not so much by the controversial and contentious thoughts of the author herself, but by the impression that Meydan TV sympathized with the writer's arguments and thoughts. The editor of Meydan TV English would like to remind readers, that Meydan TV publishes articles on a wide range of subjects in the hopes of providing a platform to discuss the most pressing and important of topics .
The article below, "I don't believe that in 1915 there was a genocide..." is a response to Akhundova's article on the Bundestag resolution.
Doctor Narimanov at the dawn of Soviet power believed that the eternal happiness of Azerbaijan would be found in the North, in Russia. Why?
Because the seeds of communism were slowly taking root there.
But it didn’t work out. Neither for happiness, nor for communism.
Today’s seekers of happiness are sure that eternal happiness has been relocated to the West, to Europe and North America. Why? Because there, we can observe democracy, human rights, high standards of living.
And a certain someone, lacking the patience to await the victory of democracy in their native country (a painful and dubious process), personally emigrated to the West and, of course, adopted these 'high' European standards as their own and became Europeans. And as a result, the backwards opinions of the aboriginals of their home-country have become hateful to them.
They in fact have become so hateful, that this certain someone decided to express their disgust to the entire lot of them.
I’m talking about those aboriginals, those same backwater inhabitants, whom Renata Akhundova decided to enlighten in her article, “Who else is protesting the Bundestag resolution on the Armenian genocide?” As a true and sincere and European, she finds it distasteful that all Azerbaijanis in unison deny the Armenian genocide of 1915, and that they do not submissively bend and twist themselves to fit into the trend followed by other European powers, although she is at least able to guess, that their reasoning might have something to do with the Nagorno Karabakh conflict...
I don’t recognize that the events of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire were genocide, but for a different reason. I admit that there was a massacre, frightful infighting, but I nonetheless assert that there was no genocide. Armenian fighters cut down the peaceful residents of Turkish and Kurdish villages in an attempt to clean out the territory promised to them in the form of “Greater Western Armenia.” In this ‘god-sanctioned’ affair they were supported by the powers of the Entente against the Ottoman Empire.
Remind me: at the peak of war, and even more so during the first World War, who would not have rejoiced at the calamities of their enemies? In just such a fashion, Britain, France and Russia were delighted by the destruction wrought by the Armenian fidayees against the Turks and Kurds. You won’t find a single - I repeat, a single - mention of the brutal acts of the Armenian fighters against peaceful Turkish and Kurdish villagers in the press of democratic France, Britain or Russia of that time. Although honest Russian officers did report on such matters officially.
And then, the Turkish army and administration were ordered to resettle the up-risers, and the remnants of the government in the eastern villayets of the Ottoman Empire displayed its true colors in the ancient and characteristic mid-eastern culture of interethnic relations.
There were brutal acts committed against non-combatants. These facts were trumpeted loudly from the parliament in Istanbul by both Armenian and Turkish deputies. Later, those guilty of the acts against the Armenians were tried and punished in the Republic of Turkey.
The western press wrote about this with large, bold headlines.
Ah, but why am I reminding Ms. Akhundova the history of days long gone? She, in all likelihood, is not a child. And she was probably around to witness the events of 1988 - 1994, when the long-suffering Armenian people, inspired by the support of the ‘new’ Entente (Russia, France and the USA), decided to expand their territory at the expense of Azerbaijan. And she probably also remembers that during the march of this noble mission, traditional ethnic cleansing and pogroms also took place.
On both sides!
And we Azerbaijanis, who now strenuously lay claim to our own sufferance and hardships, and Armenians, who have become highly-qualified sufferers, have done the same thing that was done 100 years ago. As happened then, the West saw the suffering of the Armenians and didn’t see the suffering of the Azerbaijanis. Towards the end of 1988, when the complete deportation of all (!) Azerbaijanis from Armenia was completed — during which more than 200 Azerbaijanis were killed! — members of the United States senate, including current Secretary of State, Mr. Kerry, wrote a letter to Mikhail Gorbachev, demanding that the state defend the Armenians from the Azerbaijanis.
And not a single mention of the oppression being faced by Azerbaijanis at that time.
Politicians and tricksters now use this century - old tragedy for this own use.
Moreover - and I'm not afraid to say this - I believe that there was no genocide in Gugark, or in Sumqayit or in Baku nor, even, in Khojaly: tragedies which are also used by politicians for their own gains.
Genocide is a judicially defined term; you can’t qualify any and every blood conflict as genocide. In Gugark, Sumqayit, Baku and Khojaly mass blood-lettings took place, not genocides.
On the subject of the history of the conflict I have written much, and I don’t wish to repeat myself. If someone is interested in my opinion, take a look at my friend and like - minded brother, Georgi Vanyan’s site: southcaucasus.com and read my articles, including articles on the demand for recognition of the genocide as a valuable component and weapon in the psychological war of the West against Turkey, of which Armenian nationalists, as always, are nothing but tools.
Who is leading this war and against whom? The West is leading it against those who do not belong to the West. By the way, in this ‘West’ reside successful ‘new’ Europeans, former residents of the South Caucasus, and they instruct us -- us, their co-tribesmen of yesterday -- from the position of the interests of their new homelands.
They instruct us and are discontent with our backwards thinking: “Guys! How can you not recognize the genocide of the Armenians, when the Bundestag itself recognized it!”
I don’t know how Ms. Akhundova will react to my words, but I will be brave enough to tell her, that my head is on my shoulders, and the decisions of the Bundestag - and for that matter, those of the entirety of the West - are not an order for me.
I will briefly explain why.
1. I consider myself no smarter but no more stupid than this same Bundestag and the entirety of the West. My aim is not to denounce nor accuse the West — which I respect as a successful part of the world — but to announce that the West, despite the naive expectations of its admirers, is not the ideal of logic, reason, cleanliness and morality. With all respect to the West and to the same Bundestag, where I have been on more than one occasion and spoken with its well - respected members, I would like to relay that often I have noticed with great sorrow the surprising short-sightedness and even stupidity of the elected of democratically run states (not all, of course, but many - and often the majority).
I won’t make examples.
The smartest of individuals in the West have already written tomes on this subject. This is both war and draconian taboos and stupid allowances and so on and so forth. Think. Remember for a second - if you have anything to remember - and you, too, will understand, why I don’t respect the Bundestag and the West as blindly as you do.
As a hint, I will remind you of the current difficulties faced by citizens of the former countries Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.
2. The democratic governments of the West are chosen by their OWN nations and they are responsible before their OWN nations. That is, with all their strength, they try to do well for their OWN people, often at the expense of other nations. If in the course of their attempts to do well by their people other people have to suffer — as suffered the Armenians in 1915, as suffered the Ottomans in 1918 - 1920, and as are suffering the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples now — that is not their problem.
Moreover, the quirky and pragmatic leaders of the West try to gain some benefit from these calamities that have descended on the peoples of the East, and then try to become the middlemen in the reconciliation of the conflicts that they themselves have started. They have ‘honestly’ been trying to regulate the Nagorno Karabakh conflict for 25 years. And try to follow laws that dictate the balance of power in the world…for which reason they give Armenia - a country critically lacking resources - weapons for free…the same weapons for which Azerbaijan has to pay for with its own money.
Armenia receives their diplomatic support, and Azerbaijan receives their advice not to use its UN - given right to self - defense.
In short, all is as it was 100 years ago.
If it would appear to some Eastern peoples living either at home or in the West, that the leaders of the democratic West - including the respected members of the Bundestag - are looking out for their interests, then they are tragically incorrect and have been mislead. And this would also point to a complete lack of logical and systematic thinking, in addition to an incorrect understanding of the picture of the modern world.
3. In this world there is an unending competition for resources and technology. In this fight, it is not in the least bit shameful to trip up your competitor, give him a push from behind or tarnish his reputation. As it is said, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business…”
And for that reason, when the countries of the European Union were discussing with Turkey the question of strengthening their coordination on the immigrant problem created by the West itself, Frau Merkel stood up from her seat real quietly, stood on her tippy-toes in absolute silence and politely spat in the plate of the surprised Mr. Erdogan.
They waited 100 years. They waited 100 years to recognize the genocide, and all of a sudden when things got real: we must recognize the genocide! Ms. Akhundova urges everyone to support this initiative...But, Ms. Akhundova, do you think I’m so stupid that I might rejoice like the majority of Armenians and ‘new’ Europeans at this treacherous act of Germany?
4. On a number of occasions, I have had to listen to the following words from entirely well - educated and respected representatives of the West: “The Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh do not want to live in a corrupt and authoritarian Azerbaijan, and you have to prepare yourselves for the fact that the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh will not be returning into the folds of Azerbaijan.”
By their logic, the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh are able to live in corrupt and authoritarian Armenia - but they couldn’t possibly stand a similar regime in Azerbaijan. When I tell them that one of the main reasons behind corruption and authoritarianism in Azerbaijan is the fact that every time the opportunity for democracy to take hold in Azerbaijan appears, Armenian nationalists appear backed by the West who mobilize their nation not to support democracy, but to “reinstate historical justice” and to enlarge Armenia’s mythical borders from sea to sea.
In the past 25 years of close relationships and discussions with scholars and politicians of the West, I have never heard from them answers to the most simple of questions:
“Why are the rights of 50,000 Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh more important than the rights of half a million Azerbaijanis of Karabakh?”
“Why does the West allow for the existence of a political policy in Armenia that dictates the reinstatement of historical borders, when in Europe itself such a policy would be met with by boycotts and sanctions?”
“Why does the West so selectively and differently assess the same human rights violations in Armenia and Azerbaijan?”
They don’t answer. They can’t. But I know the answer without them: “The Armenian Question” is part of an arsenal of means of applying pressure on the countries of the East. And this valuable instrument has been used on numerous occasions with great success in the past, and must be kept for the future. It wasn’t an accidental decision to carve up the Ottoman Empire by giving away an enormous chunk of its eastern frontiers to the West’s beloved “Greater Armenia.”
Alas, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk got in the way, stirred the nation to arms to save the homeland and with enormous losses won back his country. The West can’t swallow this defeat, and for this reason keeps on trying to replay the same game, using over and over and over again the card of the “Armenian Question” and every year “recognizes” and “marks” the 100 year old blood bath of which it itself was the cause 100 years ago.
When supporters of the recognition of the Armenian genocide are told that “the law is not retroactive, it is senseless to judicially qualify and assess the events of the past with laws that went into force after the fact” the answer is: “an atrocity of this magnitude has no statute of limitations.”
Shall I mention all atrocities of this magnitude? Or is it enough to remind readers of the Vietnam War. Or the Algerian wars of France?
Ms. Akhundova is correct in noting that the position of civil society, the government and the opposition in Azerbaijan on the question of the Armenian genocide is united. And this unity seems to prove to her the backwardness of society itself. In support of her conclusion, I would like to mention that the Armenian question is in fact not the only issue in which you can observe a similar form of solidarity. The opposition, civil society and the authorities in Azerbaijan also agree that: a) the world is round, b) a straight angle is 90 degrees and c) WWII started in 1939.
I can offer a list of other questions and issues on which the opposition, civil society and the corrupted officials of Azerbaijan also agree upon. I could offer a list as large as the British Encyclopedia itself. But this is not a cause for reproach.
Ms. Akhundova is also correct in her observations of the way the Azerbaijani government tries to assert its influence over the diaspora. But there’s nothing wrong with that: the policy of the government has always been directed against the diaspora in one way or another, in the same way that it is directed against residents of the government. The policy is unified and its methods standard: oppression, fear, persecution, isolation…”divide and conquer.”
An indicator of the success of this policy inside the country is that thousands upon thousands of Azerbaijanis leave their homeland every year and correctly or incorrectly migrate to Europe. But the policy of the Azerbaijani government finds them there, too. And thus the canyon widens between our compatriots of yesterday and the “backwards” aboriginals left behind.
New Europeans adapt themselves not only in their manners and clothes, but in their values and understanding of the world. And soon they begin to look at their compatriots of yesterday with disgust, who, despite the calling of the West, do not want to recognize the genocide and augment the traditional lever of pressure of the European Union and the USA on Turkey.
It appears it would be useless to try and convince Ms. Akhundova that the made - up genocide and attempts to tie it Turkey - and thus, partially, to Azerbaijan - are just tools in the political struggle for markets, resources and influence.
Because she’s already the other - she’s far from Azerbaijan, from Karabakh, from Turkey, from immigrants and political - prisoners and shoot outs and revolutions…She is already a part of affluent Europe.
We would like to express our sincerest wishes for her good health.
But she shouldn’t try to become useful to her new homeland at the expense of becoming a traitor to her old one.
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