Posts tagged ‘Assyrians’

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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