REGARDING THE REPORTING IN THE GEORGIAN MEDIA ABOUT THE PROTESTS BY THE ARMENIAN GROUPS AND THE EVENT HELD BY THE TURKISH EMBASSY
On 24 April 2019, a group of Armenians held a protest at the outside of the Embassy as they have done for couple of years on every 24th of April. As every year, in their protests they demanded the Turkish Government to acknowledge the events of 1915 as “genocide”. Further, similar to the Armenian diaspora’s rhetoric in other countries, during their chants, speeches and slogans, they voiced threats against territorial integrity of Turkey and insulted the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
On the same day, Turkish Embassy organized a concert by the Turkish children and a small exhibition of their paintings with the theme of World peace and friendship on the occasion of the 23rd of April which is celebrated as the international day of children in Turkey.
During the Embassy activity, World children’s songs were also broadcasted. Among these songs there were also 2 Armenian songs as well as Turkish, Azeri, Russian, English, German and French children songs.
Before the Embassy event, a reporter of the Georgian-Armenian media requested to have an interview with me. Here is the link of that interview:
In that interview, I mentioned a message that I shared in social media and referred to the legacy of late Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink who was assassinated in 2007. As also will be seen from the Aliq media interview, I have stressed that the message of the children’s festivity was peace and a call to give all children of this region a perspective for peace. Interestingly, my words in the Aliq media interview were not reflected in the Georgian media.
Therefore, I present you the link and the aforementioned text of my message on the social media below.
I sincerely hope that Georgian public opinion will have the chance to read this message through your publication.
Message in social media:
“I want to share two speeches by Hrant Dink below the text. They are in Turkish. Here is a summary:
He says Turks and Armenians are each other’s medicine.
He says both sides need to try to understand each other’s pride and pain.
He calls for Armenian diaspora not to get chained by the word of “Genocide”, while he, as an Armenian felt the pain the loss of his people. He tells Turks to try to understand the trauma of Armenians.
He reminds the horrible deaths on both sides caused by imperialism of Great Power politics.
His strong, wise and valuable message and legacy should be respected.
He was assassinated.
As were 32 Turkish diplomats and their family members from 1973- 1984 in Los Angeles, Vienna, Paris, Beirut, Vatican, Madrid, Belgrade, Ottawa, Den Haag, Athens, Sydney, Boston, Lizbon, Brussels, Teheran by ASALA & JCAG for so called revenge of a so called genocide.
I defend the view that it was not a genocide. It was a fratricide, it was a deportation in WW1 that led to deaths of thousands, the memory of victims should be remembered.
M. Philips Price, the author of
“War and revolution in Asiatic Russia”, published in 1918 , concluded in his memoirs of his time in the Caucasus as the correspondent of the Manchester Guardian :
“ I now see clearly that the guilt of the war atrocities upon civilian populations cannot be put down to any one combatant…The more one dispassionately looks at the facts, and collects the stories told by sufferers of all races and creeds on the spot, as I have done in the course of 18 months, the more it becomes clear that it is impossible to charge any one government with the crime.”
I mourn for all the deaths, Armenian, Turkish, Kurdish who found themselves in the midst of a war which was not of their making.
I feel for all those families who had to leave the lands where their forefathers had lived. That includes millions of Muslims- Georgians, Circassian, Turks, Albanians, Crimean Tatars who were deported or driven out from their ancestral lands to Anatolia in 19th-20th century.
I mourn for 32 Turkish diplomats.
But I hope Turkish and Armenian children will one day celebrate peace together and learn to respect and understand each other’s pain and pride, as Hrant Dink had called for. I fully share his view that we must not allow this painful memory to be exploited by others.
We have to teach our children to protect what’s theirs while respecting the others. We have to teach empathy not hate. We have to leave them a vision for future and not an obsession with their past. They must not forget, but first they need to learn the whole story, devoid of propaganda. Perhaps it is also not too late for our generation as well.
That is why I became a diplomat, anyway.
Stay in peace.