Saturday 8 June 2013

The Pope speaks out on the killing of the Armenians

Turkey has reacted “furiously” according to the daily Hürriyet at the declaration of Pope Francis, who defined the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks from 1915, as “the first genocide of the 20th century." in which a million and a half men, women and children died, and which, according to some historians, furnished Hitler with an example of how a people could be destroyed with impunity. The Pope had made this statement during a meeting with a delegation headed by the Armenian Katholikos of Cilicia on 3 June. The Turkish Foreign Minister expressed his disappointment.

As Adolf Hitler said

Who now remembers the Armenians?

Fortunately more and more people nowadays do, though not in Turkey.

It was tragic that under Enver Pasha Turkey went to war with England, France and Russia. Think how happy the Middle East would be now were it Ottoman. The Ottoman Empire, with a parliamentary system, would have the oil, there would be no Israel, Syria, Iraq or Saudi Arabia, the Armenians would not have been murdered, the Greeks might still be living in Anatolia and the Caliph would be reigning in Constantinople, so Al Qaeda would not be murdering people to bring the caliphate back. Egypt might be a semi-detached part of the Ottoman Empire, though by 1914 Libya had already been taken by Italy. But perhaps the Libyans would have preferred to rejoin a democratic Ottoman Empire rather than be ruled by Gaddafi.

Enver dreamt of a greater pan-Turkic Ottoman Empire. He died fighting to become an Emir in Turkmenistan after being an agent of Lenin's. Kemal, the creator of modern Turkey, was a Turkish nationalist who overthrew the Sultan and was happy to give up the Arab domains, though he wanted the oil in Mosul. The British prevented that. Enver, like George W. Bush, was one of history's great losers and his country lost under him - Kemal was a great winner.  Luck was the quality Napoleon thought most important in a general. Kemal had it. Enver didn't.


  1. But no one is blaming the current Turkish government or any living citizens. It's like blaming the Nazis for the 6 million Jews (and 6 million others). The blame is laid on the Nazis.

  2. It was not the Nazi party which killed the Jews. It was people, some party members, others not. Most German, but some not. It was certainly the German state that did it. You can say the Germans killed them if you like. I rather prefer this formulation, personally. This does not make Mrs Merkel to blame.

  3. Yes, yes, but you can't blame the current government of Germany was the badly-made point. Just as you aren't blaming the current Turkish regime. Just as America has taken the heat for the treatment of blacks and native American Indians the Turkish regime should be able to find some diplomatic way to acknowledge the wrongs committed by their ancestors.

  4. I do not care in the least. Politicians should leave historical judgements to historians. I simply want the facts to be well known. I have no wish for holocaust denial, for example, to be a crime except in Germany and Austria.

  5. I think holocaust denial, minimizing, discussion, debate, research, scholarship as a crime anywhere is outrageous. This
    is one thing that sometimes creates anti-Semitism where there
    was none. It's not a crime for anyone anywhere to say that
    Jesus Christ did not die on a cross and that he is not Lord.
    I have much more to say about this but for now I will refrain.
    I hope no one immediately response with the usual response.

  6. Since the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic are not one and the same state, I don't see what they get so worked up about.

  7. Killing Christians was an important factor in the Armenian, Assyrian, and Hellenic genocides in the late Ottoman empire, and subsequently, the supposedly "secular" Turkey of the 1920s.

  8. It is peculiar to say the least that it has been made a crime
    in a number of countries to publically "deny" or "minimize"
    the holocaust. To have made this a crime is a peculiar concept.

  9. Let's not forget the force 'turkization' of the kurdish people. THat's a crime that's still ongoing.

    1. I am not speaking as an expert on the history of the
      Kurdish situation. This is only one observation. Several years ago I watched a documentary on PBS America. It was an interview of a father and son who had emigrated from
      Kurdistan Northern Iraq to the U.S. . They were Jews.
      The son was an adult also. They were born and had lived
      in Northern Iraq for generation(s) I don't recall. They spoke of the historical peaceful coexistence of Jews, Muslims,
      and Christians in the region. They interacted as neighbors even helping one another and borrowing and
      lending as neighbors. They agreed that this general
      situation gradually changed with the realization and
      realities of Zionism. This was the reason that the family
      felt they had to leave. They settled in Southern California, U.S. .

  10. The Turks did brutal genocide twice, first the killing of 1.5 million Christian Armenians and second, denying the horrors that they commited!

    It's laughable how Turkey feverishly tries to deny their hideous crimes when the world knows the truth!