Today's Zaman, Turkey
Dec 31 2014

Entering 1915

CENGÄ°Z AKTAR
December 31, 2014, Wednesday


Who knows, all the evil haunting us, the endless mass killings and our
inability to recover from afflictions may be due to a century-old
curse and a century-old lie. What do you think? This is perhaps the
malediction uttered by Armenians -- children, civilian women and men
alike -- who died moaning and buried without a coffin. It may be the
storms created in our souls by the still-agonizing specters of all our
ill-fated citizens, including Greeks and Syriacs and later, Alevis and
Kurds.

Perhaps the massacres that have not been accounted for since 1915 and
the `prices' that have remained unpaid are now being paid back in
different venues by the grandchildren. The curses uttered in return
for the lives taken, the lives stolen, the homes plundered, the
churches destroyed, the schools confiscated and the property
extorted... "May God make you pay for it for all your offspring to
come." Are we paying back the price of all the injustices committed so
far? Does repayment manifest itself in the form of the audacity of
being unable to confront our past sins or in the form of indecency,
which has become our habit due to our chronic indulgence in
unfairness? It seems as if our society has been decaying for a
century, festering all around.

Despite this century-old malediction, 2015 will pass with the debate,
"Was there really genocide?" remaining unanswered. We will watch how
the current tenants of the state exert vast efforts to cover up this
shame and postpone any move to confront it. If it were in their hands,
they would just skip the year 2015. The denialist prose that consists
of three wizened arguments, which amount to upheaval, collaboration
with the enemy and victimization -- it is the Armenians who killed us
-- will continue to be parroted in a series of conferences. And we
will dance to our own tunes. On April 24-25, 2015 an official ceremony
will be held on the occasion of Anzac Day in Gallipoli, not in
connection with the genocide. And we will hear abundant tales about
heroism in the Dardanelles. But we will find none to listen to our
narrative.

How many more maledictions need to happen to us before we will be inclined:
- To reckon with our bloody nation-building process?
- To know and remember how an innocuous, hardworking, productive,
talented and peaceful people were destroyed by the warrior people of
Anatolia and to empathize with their grandchildren in remembrance?
- To feel the gist of the tyranny that made unfortunate Armenians cry,
"Ur eir Astvadz" (Where were you God?) in the summer of 1915, which
was as dark and cold as death?
- To realize that the population of Armenians has dwindled from
millions in 1915's Ottoman Empire to virtually none today. The
remaining Armenians have either concealed their true identities or
were converted to Islam, after sweeping aside the puzzle, "Was it
genocide or not?" or the question "Who killed whom?" and purely
listening to our conscience?
- To understand, as Hrant Dink put it, a full-fledged cultural
genocide and the loss of a tremendous amount of civilization?
- To realize that the biggest loss to this country is that non-Muslim
citizens of this land no longer live here?
- To comprehend why the genocide -- which Armenians of those dark days
would refer to as the Great Catastrophe (Meds Yeghern) -- is a
disaster that befell not only Armenians, but the entire country?
- To see that the loss of our non-Muslim citizens who were killed,
banished or forced to flee amounts to the loss of brainpower,
bourgeoisie, culture and civilization?
- To calculate the curse of the goods, property and children confiscated?
- To duly understand the wisdom of the author YaÅ?ar Kemal, who wrote:
"Another bird cannot prosper in an abandoned nest; the one who
destroys a nest cannot have a nest; oppression breeds oppression"?
- To even realize that those who would reject all the aforementioned
points would do so because of a loss wisdom deriving from the
genocide.

The Armenian genocide is the Great Catastrophe of Anatolia, and the
mother of all taboos in this land. Its curse will continue to haunt us
as long as we fail to talk about, recognize, understand and reckon
with it. Its centennial anniversary actually offers us a historic
opportunity to dispense with our habits, understand the Other and
start with the collective therapy.

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/cengiz-aktar/entering-1915_368487.html



From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress