Armenian Genocide Allegations is a Misleading Statement

New York Times Letters to The Editor

Dear Sir/Madam

Re: "Armenian Official Criticizes Turkey for Genocide Denial" New York Times International, Friday May 8, 2015 p A12

The above mentioned article has several shortcomings:

Global acknowledgement of Armenian genocide allegations is a misleading statement: Out of 192 countries in the world, only 22 acknowledged the allegations under political pressure.These acknowledgements have no significant bearing  other than the propaganda effect. The Armenian genocide claims were never proven in a court of law as, for instance, Holocaust was. What’s more, the Turkish government has repeatedly invited the Armenian government and whoever interested in studying the events of 1915 to investigate and jointly examine the Ottoman archives, and present the findings and conclusions, if any, publicly, with which official Ankara would agree in either case. The Armenian government and vocal Armenian lobbying groups in the West have rejected the offer to not only study the archives, but also to accept the fact that more than 500,000 ethnic Turks were massacred by the Armenian paramilitary during the same period. Furthermore,  the claims for the so-called genocide of Armenians were twice rejected by the UN (1985 and 2000).

This year's 1.5 million figure and wording (the figure varies every year) appear directly copied from the Auschwitz-Birkenau commemorative plate. See below.

Credible Ottoman historians  (Guenter Lewy-The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide 2005) and other  authors put the total population of Armenians in the entire Ottoman Empire in early 1900s less than 1.5 million. During the conflict large number of Armenians in Western Anatolia were unharmed. A significant number made it to Syria, an Ottoman region at that time.

What the Armenian propaganda machine fails to mention is that Armenians had been allowed to freely practice their religion and be a vibrant part of the Ottoman community of nations for 600 years and any actions by the Young Turks government was taken due to the insurgency of Armenian guerrillas betraying their homeland and fighting on the side of the invading Russian Imperial Army. The Armenian propagandists will also omit the fact that only the Armenians  in eastern part of Anatolia were relocated  due to their proximity to the border districts with the Russian Empire. There is no evidence of an orchestrated genocide by the government, something that could be the reason for rejection to jointly study the archives.

As to the relations between the two countries,Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Armenia's independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, despite the fact that Armenia to this day does not recognize the international border of Turkey, calling the boundary a “de-jure border". In June 1992,  Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) was signed  in Istanbul  by 11 countries, Armenia being one of them.The objective was to bring  peace, stability and prosperity encouraging friendly and good-neighbourly relations in the Black Sea region.

In 1988, Armenians laid open claims to another state, Azerbaijan and by the time Soviet Union dissolved, Armenia, backed by Russia invaded Azerbaijan ethnically cleansing its Nagorno Karabakh region from more than 700 thousand ethnic Azeris. The numbers added to the 220 thousand Azeris who fled Armenia itself, thereby creating the largest refugee crisis during the period. The brutality of Armenian troops against the civilians speaks for itself. On February 26, 1992, Armenian army units supported by Russia’s 366th motorized rifle regiment massacred 613 Azerbaijani civilians, including 106 women and 86 children, in the town of Khojaly and its surroundings. By May 1994, when the volatile ceasefire was signed, Armenian army occupied not only Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan that they initially claimed but also 7 adjacent districts which were systematically cleansed from its Azerbaijani populations. Despite scores of international documents, including the four UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, demanding an unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Armenian occupying troops from Azerbaijani territories, creating conditions for the internally displaced persons to return to their homes and non-use of force, Armenia has ignored the calls of the international community and to this day continues illegal occupation of the territory of another sovereign state.

In fact, May 8 is the anniversary of  Armenian forces' occupation of city of Shusha of Azerbaijan. The city, once home to over 50,000 predominantly (98%) Azerbaijani Turkic residents, has been destroyed, its population was massacred or expelled. Any trace of Azerbaijani heritage in Shusha, once the cradle of Azerbaijani music and culture was erased after the occupation.

In 1993, Turkey closed its borders with Armenia to protest the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and violation of international law and norms. To day there are 70,000 plus Armenians living in Turkey, many slipping from Armenia to find jobs and have a decent life in Turkey. Armenia is the only country in the region which has territorial claims to Azerbaijan (Nagorno Karabakh region), Turkey (Eastern Turkey) and Georgia (Javahetia region). 

This gives a summary of the relations between the two countries. 

Genocide claims had no bearing on the closing of the border and break down of the relations. Turkey has recognized Armenia in 1991 in spite of the "Armenian genocide revenge terror"  against Turkish diplomats since the 1970s.

Inaccurate and biased information on this complex issue does not serve your readers well.