Karin Karakaşlı


Mirror mirror on the wall who's the best denialist of them all?

The Armenian Genocide resolution of Bundestag brought the denialist discourse of Turkish politics and “protests” that are conciser than the other in its wake, as it was expected. However, the crimes against humanity manifest themselves through denialism. And sometimes, the official discourse of the state is the very evidence of the truth that it denies in a delusional way. President Erdoğan, while he was targeting Cem Özdemir because of the resolution, said: “Some says that he is Turk. Is it even possible? The blood of such people should be tested.” With these statements, Erdoğan defined the belonging and identity in terms of blood and expressed the reflection of the past on today. 

Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ made his way to the stage by saying, “Armenian Genocide is a clear and self-evident aspersion against Turkish nation, state and history and our precious ancestors. Historical aspersions cannot be turned into truth by the decision of parliaments.” And he called the German politicians with Turkish origin “ignoble” and “of bad blood”. Obviously, forming a sentence without saying blood was impossible.

In such an atmosphere, thus spoke Archbishop Aram Ateşyan through a letter he wrote on behalf of “Turkish Armenians Society”: “The decision that Bundestag made about the events happened during the tragic times of World War I caused regret in our nation. As the Turkish Armenians society, we submit our regret to your dignified office as an expression of our heartfelt and sincere feelings... The ones who are willing to see the truth can realize how Armenian nation has been abused by imperialist powers." The genocide resolution became a mirror which wanders across the entire country.

Let's turn the mirror to Şalom newspaper writer Marsel Russo's article that is titled as “A by-product: 1915 events”: “As known, at the end of the war, huge empires went out of existence. However, here, you see the cost of empires' going out of existence. For instance, you can see that the events that took place in Anatolia in 1915-16 emerged as a by-product of the conflicts between imperialist powers: between Tsarists and Ottomans, Germany and Tsarists, Britannia and Germany and even Ottomans and Germany...” Creating a “spot the difference” game out of these discourses that seem like beads-on-a-string, the prevalence of denialism, poorness of the argumentation and turning the genocide into a industrial by-product...

Here is the reflection of the article by Şalom's editorial writer İvo Molinas on the same mirror: “In an interview that I gave to Agos on February 2015, I made a sincere confession about 1915 events. I said that given the outcome of deportation and massacres, this can be considered as genocide, but in comparison to Holocaust, which was a much more systematic final solution project that was designed to wipe all Jews off the face of the earth, calling the ethnic massacre against Armenians genocide would trivialize the unprecedented horror of Holocaust. The resolution states: 'We are aware of the uniqueness of Holocaust.' With these statements, a linguistic nuance or even distinction is made between the genocide and Holocaust and the uniqueness and singularity of Holocaust is emphasized stronger than ever.”

Really, what kind of a mentality and conscience is expressed through the comparison of the genocides as if it is beauty pageant? Isn't the attempt to annihilate a people in a historical, geographical, cultural and many other contexts horrifying enough in itself? Isn't it an affront to the human dignity as such?

This mirror resembles billboards. There is no escape from it. It is either splashed with blood or its foil wears off by the words reflecting from it. The past isn't passed and people don't let historians deal with the history, because that past is the history of people anyway. No one would sacrifice the truth to language games, fascist discourses, lies and manipulations. Producing counter-arguments won't change the reflection on the mirror. What you hear is the echo of your own mumbles that the cliff sends you back. And you keep tumbling down the cliff. Somehow, you cannot reach the bottom, there is always a new low. Everyone assesses that denied history through the present. Through the very time in which we live. And when you do this, there is no question left.