Posts tagged ‘CUP- Committee of Union and Progress’

May 8, 2011

A peace to be won*

by Azad Alik

 Hans – Lukas Kieser

A book title like The Missed Peace, as I had entitled my book eleven years ago, inevitably raises the question about a peace to be won.

In this talk, dear audience, I would like to say a few words on the sources, topics and the human rights perspective of The Missed Peace, and first on how I came to write it.

While studying history in Basel in the 1980s, I was confronted with unrest in Turkey at the time because I met refugees of my own age who had fled the military junta of 1980, not a few of whom had been tortured. More generally, I met a number of migrant families who had fled situations devoid of prospects for the future in eastern Anatolia and elsewhere.

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May 6, 2011

One Hundred Years of Abandonment

by Azad Alik

By Ayda Erbal and Talin Suciyan

The Armenian Weekly
April 2011 Magazine

The history of the Ottoman Armenians in the 19th century[1] is a history of great promises but also of greater abandonment. More than 200 Ottoman-Armenian intellectuals who were arrested the night of April 24, 1915 and the two weeks that followed possessed the damning knowledge that they were left alone. Zohrab’s Unionist friends, with whom he had dined and played cards, would choose not to stop his assassination. But abandonment will not abandon the Armenians. The survivors in the camps of Mesopotamia were alone, as were those hiding in the secluded mountains or villages of Anatolia. And those who survived through conversion or forced concubinage were left alone not only in the summer of 1915, but also in the hundred years that have followed.

turkey 300x211 Erbal and Suciyan: One Hundred Years of AbandonmentThe surviving Istanbul-Armenians who staged a book-burning ceremony were on their own
too.[2] Compelled to imitate the Nazi party’s book-burning campaigns, they would gather in the backyard of Pangalti Armenian Church, build a book-burning altar, put Franz Werfel’sThe Forty Days of Musa Dagh, along with his picture on the altar, and burn it to the ground. As a last act of symbolic perversion forced upon them, they would not only denounce the author, but also denounce the book’s content, hence denouncing themselves and denying their own history.Hayganus Mark, Hagop Mintzuri, Aram Pehlivanyan, Zaven Biberyan, Vartan and Jak Ihmalyan, and the less famous all shared a similar fate, which happened to be that of Hrant Dink too: abandonment.[3]
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