Sunday, August 19News For London

The Ugly Truth: The Armenian Genocide

The Ugly Truth: The Armenian Genocide is a documentary about the history of the genocide that took place in 1915 by the Ottomans that Turkey until this day denies.

Later this month, the Armenian communities around the world will commemorate the 103 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

World War I-era mass slaughter and deportation of over 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks

Decades of scholarly research has decisively established the systematic
annihilation of Armenians. However, Turkey refuses to admit it. It also
prosecutes anybody who mentions this historical fact, even if they were Turks.

Taner Akcam is a renowned Turkish historian. In his ground-breaking new book
“Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide”, he
includes a ‘recently discovered document, a “smoking gun,” which points to
the Ottoman government’s central role in planning the elimination of its
Armenian population’. Furthermore, he successfully ‘demonstrates that the
killing orders signed by Ottoman Interior Minister Talat Pasha, which the
Turkish Government has long discredited, are authentic’. The Clark University
professor has been abused by hundreds of Turkish extremists who have even
tried to place him on an American “terrorist” list.

 

Taner Akcam is not the only Turkish anti-denialist. Elif Shafak is the author of
the 2006 bestseller “Bastard of Istanbul”. In her novel, Shafak tells a story
about an Armenian and a Turkish family. Through her book, the writer tried to
illustrate the importance of dialogue about political taboos in the Turkish
society and its amnesia. Shortly after publishing her book, Shafak was sued for
“insulting Turkishness” under Article 301 in the Turkish criminal code. “The
ambiguity of its wording allows the article to be interpreted to stifle freedom
of speech and the freedom of the press; and for the first time, a novel, a work
of fiction, was put on trial. The words of the Armenian characters in The
Bastard of Istanbul were plucked out of the text, and used as “evidence” by the
prosecutor’s office. As a result, my Turkish lawyer had to defend my Armenian
fictional characters inside the courtroom. The whole thing was surreal and I
was acquitted,” Shafak told The Guardian.

Robert Fisk is a British journalist who writes for The Independent and has been
a long-time advocate for the Armenian Genocide. In a recent article, he wrote:
“Only in Turkey is the identity of a citizen a matter of national security. For the
stunned reaction of Turks to the sudden and unexpected opening of
population registers on an online genealogy database three weeks ago was so
immediate and so vast that the system crashed within hours. Perhaps two
million Turks have Armenian grandmothers. But they are supposed to believe
that the genocide never happened,” Fisk said.

There are almost 30 countries that recognize the Armenian Genocide; such as,
France, Switzerland, Greece and Cyprus. The French Senate even adopted a bill
in 2016 that made the denial of the Armenian Genocide a crime. It stipulates a
penalty of a year in prison or a 45,000 Euro fine. The last country who
recognized the Genocide was the Netherlands in 2018. This led to worsening
already tense relations.