Posts tagged ‘Armenian Genocide’

December 9, 2011

The Endlessness of Crime and Apology

by Talin Suciyan

Translated by Vartan Matiossian

Last week, Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan’s statement about Dersim was immediately well received in the mainstream press, and we had to wait until the weekend to read more critical articles about it. Two articles by Ayşe Hür and Prof. Taner Akçam were like an “introduction to the literature of apology,” especially for the Prime Minister himself.[1] There may be aspects in both articles that are worth discussing, but what I want to deal with now is something quite different.

First and foremost, by apologizing you cannot undo things that have already happened. In other words, no one can be cleared of a crime, or have himself/herself absolved of it, just because he/she apologized and expressed repentance, especially if it is a genocide – a crime that has achieved the purpose of annihilating a certain group of people in line with a carefully planned and organized manner. Apology is about repentance for a situation which is irreversible and the responsibility borne in connection with it. Be it an apology given to the people of Dersim, or Armenians, or Assyrians, or Pontic and Asia Minor Greeks, or the victims of systematic torture, or Alevis, or Kurds, an apology duly given is not an end in itself, but the beginning of an endless journey against regeneration of denial by the state and amongst the general public. This is because Turkey will never be the society that it was before 1915, just like Germany will never be the Germany

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May 13, 2011

Critical Interventions: Kurdish Intellectuals Confronting the Armenian Genocide

by Azad Alik

Bilgin Ayata

The Armenian Weekly
April 2009 Magazine

In my contribution to last year’s special issue, I had argued that an intensified Armenian-Kurdish dialogue carries the promising potential to become an alternative approach to the ongoing Armenian-Turkish discourse on reconciliation, which has traversed dialogue into a form of domination and containment. [1] I also argued that the compartmentalization of the Armenian and Kurdish issues into separate discussions represents a continuation of a divide-and-rule mentality that only serves the interests of the Turkish state and weakens the position of Armenian and Kurdish intellectuals in these isolated debates. In order to overcome this compartmentalization, I called for an intensified Armenian-Kurdish dialogue, and the cultivation of an empowering alliance to confront the atrocities of the past and engage with them as a challenge of and for the present.  One year after that last issue, I believe that such an Armenian-Kurdish dialogue is ever more important, especially in light of the following three developments: At the intergovernmental level, the diplomatic traffic regarding Armenian-Turkish relations has intensified with the election of President Obama who had pledged during his campaign to address the Armenian Genocide as a genocide.

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