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TURKEY: CURRENT TEXTBOOKS PORTRAY CHRISTIANS AS ENEMIES OF OTTOMAN STA


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#1 Yervant1

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 08:58 AM

TURKEY: CURRENT TEXTBOOKS PORTRAY CHRISTIANS AS ENEMIES OF OTTOMAN STATE

Independent Catholic News
Sept 15 2014

Posted: Monday, September 15, 2014 10:35 pm

Some history textbooks, still used in Turkish schools today, when
outlining the end of the Ottoman Empire, describe Armenians and other
Christian communities, as enemy forces at the service of foreign
powers - the Armenian magazine Agos has learnt.

Journalists from the magazine, examined text books listed on the
website of the Ministry of Education, for use in primary and secondary
schools in Turkey for the new school year, which just started.

In particular, one history book for use in Grade 8 classes, presents
the pressure exercised by Britain and Russian on Christian minorities
in the Ottoman Empire as a factor which unleashed action against the
Armenians portrayed as "necessary deportation" and never as massacres.

The only Christian minority spared negative reference is the Syrian
community. All the others are described as tools of foreign powers
intent on provoking the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

One passage reads: "The politics of states in conflict, aiming for
the demolition of the Ottoman Empire was efficacious with Armenian,
Greek, Nestorian, Chaldean and Melkite communities, despite its weak
effect on the Syrian community ". .

Source: Fides/Agos

http://www.indcathol...viewStory=25548
 


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#2 onjig

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 01:43 PM

That is very like Infectious Spiralis Bacteria referring to Penicillin, Slime Mold could in some conditions consider the Sun as an enemy. Bandits would consider law enforcement the enemy. The Orcs would of course fear civilized human justice, thinking the finger was pointing at them.



#3 Yervant1

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 11:28 AM

TEXTBOOKS IN TURKISH SCHOOLS NEGATIVE TO ARMENIAN CHRISTIANS

CrossMap / Christian Post
Sept 25 2014

By , Barnabas Aid On September 25, 2014

Some textbooks being used for the current school year in Turkey
contain negatively biased remarks about Christians in relation to
the Armenian Genocide.

In particular, one history book for use in Grade Eight (13-14
year-olds) classes describes the actions taken by the Turkish
authorities during the genocide - in which at least 1.5 million
Armenian and Assyrian Christians died - as "necessary deportations".

Christians are depicted as tools of foreign nations committed to seeing
the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. The only Christian minority spared
negative reference is the Syrian community.

2015 will mark the 100-year anniversary of the worst year of the
Armenian Genocide, in which Armenian and Assyrian Christians were
rounded up, arrested and expelled from their historic homeland in
Turkey. In 1900 roughly 32% ofTurkey's population was Christian, but by
1927 this figure was reduced to 1.8%. Many Christians were deliberately
killed in the tragedy that Armenians call their "Golgotha"; others died
of exhaustion, illness or deprivation as they trudged across the Middle
East, seeking refuge. Turkey will not recognise this as a genocide.

http://www.crossmap....hristians-12358



#4 Yervant1

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 07:38 AM

http://www.todayszam...oks_359935.html


A Group of intellectuals condemn anti-Armenian statements in textbooks
2014-09-26

A group of academics, journalists, artists and intellectuals have
released a statement condemning in the harshest terms what they define
as expressions that include "open hatred and hostility" towards
Armenians in Turkish schoolbooks, which were recently exposed by the
newspapers Agos and Taraf.

The two newspapers recently published reports on hateful remarks
targeting Armenians in the textbooks used in history classes.

A letter accompanying the text of the condemnation, written by
historian Taner Akcam, notes that including such expressions as lesson
material to teach children is a disgrace.

The signees said textbooks in schools should seek to encourage
feelings of peace, solidarity and living together over inciting hatred
towards different religious and cultural groups, Akcam said. He
further wrote: "Standing with integrity in the face of history is the
prerequisite for establishing the future on the foundations of
friendship and peace. I do hope that this signature campaign will be
taken as a scream from all of us for the publication of textbooks that
we would like to see."

The statement said: "The revolutions history and history textbooks
should be collected immediately, with an apology issued to everyone
and particularly to Armenian students. This is where the path to
Turkish-Armenian peace lies, at this time when we are approaching
2015." Revolutions history classes teach students the reforms carried
out by the first government of Turkey after the end of the Ottoman
Empire.

Next year will be the centennial of the events of 1915, when hundreds
of thousands of Anatolian Armenians were forced to walk across
Anatolia into Syria -- a journey that saw most of them perish -- which
Armenia says was genocide.

The signatories include some of Turkey's most respected writers and
journalists. The full list of the supporters of the statement is as
follows: Adalet Agaoglu, Ahmet Altan, Ahmet Hakan, Ahmet Insel, Ali
Bayramoglu, Ali Nesin, Asaf Savas Akat, Aydin Engin, Ayhan Aktar, Ayse
Gunaysu, Ayse Hur, Baskin Oran, Bekir Agirdir, Betul Tanbay, Bulent
Bilmez, Bulent Kenes, Cafer Solgun, Cemal Usak, Cengiz Aktar, Daron
Acemoglu, Defne Asal, Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, Deniz Turkali, Edhem
Eldem, Elcin Macar, Emel Kurma, Emine Ucak Erdogan, Eren Keskin, Erol
Katircioglu, Fatih Akin, Ferhat Kentel, Fikret Adanir, Fuat Keyman,
Gulten Kaya, Hadi Uluengin, Halil Berktay, Halil Ergun, Hasan Cemal,
Hidayet Sefkatli Tuksal, Ibrahim Betil, Ihsan Eliacik, Ihsan Yilmaz,
Ismet Berkan, Istar Gozaydin, Kemal Burkay, Kenan Cayir, Kutlug
Ataman, Leyla Neyzi, Mehmet Altan, Murat Belge, Murat Morova, Nilufer
Gole, Niyazi Kizilyurek, Oktay Ozel, Oral Calislar, Orhan Pamuk, Oya
Baydar, Omer Laciner, Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, Omer Madra, Perihan
Magden, Roni Margulies, Samim Akgonul, Saruhan Oluc, Savas Genc,
Selcuk Gultasli, Selim Deringil, Serra Yilmaz, Sevgi Akarcesme,
Seyfettin Gursel, Sinan Cetin, Soli Ozel, Sahin Alpay, Sanar
Yurdatapan, Sebnem Isiguzel, Taner Akcam, Tarik Ziya Ekinci, Temel
Iskit, Tilbe Saran, Turgay Ogur, Ufuk Uras, Ugur Komecoglu, Umut
Ozkirimli, Umit Kardas, Umit Kivanc, Ustun Erguder, Vedat Turkali,
Yasemin Congar, Yavuz Baydar, Zeynep Direk and Zeynep Tanbay.



#5 Yervant1

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 12:12 PM

This is a very long article about the history textbooks in Turkey, where the author Taner Akcam dissects the parts that deals with the Armenian Genocide and Armenian issues. Please take the time and read it, because not only he points out the lies but gives the truth. Again please read it!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

AKCAM: TEXTBOOKS AND THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE IN TURKEY: HEADING TOWARDS 2015

By Taner Akcam on December 4, 2014 in Featured, Headline, Special Reports //

Special for the Armenian Weekly

Education is extremely centralized in Turkey. All issues, including
setting policy, the administration, and content of education are
decided and implemented by the national government. Textbooks that are
to be taught in schools are either prepared by the Ministry of National
Education (MEB) or must be approved by the Ministry's Instruction
and Education Board.1 For this reason, there's a direct connection
between the books taught in schools and the Turkish government's
policies. The content of history textbooks, in particular, reveals
firsthand information about government policies and goals.

The MEB made elementary and middle school textbooks available on the
internet for the 2014-15 school year. Anyone can now download and
read these books.2 I did a quick review of the history books that are
to be taught this year, to see what is being taught to our children
about the Armenian Genocide. I have to characterize what I found as
both shocking and saddening.

Firstly, the textbooks characterize Armenians as people "who are
incited by foreigners, who aim to break apart the state and the
country, and who murdered Turks and Muslims." Meanwhile, the Armenian
Genocide--referred to as the "Armenian matter" in textbooks--is
described as a lie perpetrated in order to meet these goals, and is
defined as the biggest threat to Turkish national security. Another
threat to national security is missionaries and their activities.

'There's nothing new about the New Turkey. Everything here is a repeat
of what's been going on for decades.'

Secondly, the textbooks are written in a very slipshod and haphazard
manner. Even the most perfunctory Google search would improve the
content, it is so filled with blatant errors. At the risk of offending
some people, it is as if the text was written with an arrogance marked
by the sentiment, "Put out a bunch of crap; the yokels won't know the
difference." In my opinion, these textbooks constitute a supreme act
of disrespect towards the students of present-day Turkey.

The cover page of Unit 2 of the Middle School textbook on the history
of the Turkish Revolution and Ataturk. (Photo: The Armenian Weekly)

Third, these textbooks are required reading in Armenian schools, as
well. The only Armenians schools in existence in Turkey are presently
located in Istanbul. As of 2014, there are a total of 16 schools,
and of these 11 are K-8 schools and 2 are high school level. There are
about 3,000 students in total.3 In history classes, which are required,
these students are taught that they are "traitors and societal elements
that murdered Turks and are easily incited" and that their problems
constitute "a threat to national society." One can't help but see
that this is a purposely driven attempt at "identity destruction"
by the Turkish government. It is also possible to detect a policy of
elimination by examining these schools and the change in the number
of students over the past 40 years: "There were 32 schools during the
1972-73 school year, 7,336 students...during the 1999-2000 school year
the number of schools was 18 with students numbering 3,786. There has
been a 50 percent decrease in the number of schools and a 60 percent
decrease in the number of students over the past 40 years." Those who
present this data consider it "a complete disaster," and that is an
accurate assessment.4

One needs to evaluate what's written in the books in light of another
source of information. Leading up to the prime minister's election of
2015, the AK Party,5 which has been the ruling party of Turkey for the
past 13 years, and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have initiated a
new project called the New Turkey Project. A "vision statement," which
consists of chapters and titles under "Democratic Administration,"
"Prosperity State," and "Trailblazer Country," was also prepared for
this project. A free and democratic Turkey is promised by the New
Turkey Project.

An image of page 23 of the Middle School textbook on the history of
the Turkish Revolution and Ataturk. The section deals with 1915, and
alleges that Armenians committed massacres against innocent Turkish
women and children, while Turkish men were fighting on the fronts.

(Photo: The Armenian Weekly)

The party has also published a book called The Silenced Revolution,
Turkey's Democratic Change and Transformation Inventory 2002-2012,"
which describes its achievements during the 2002-12 period and,
more importantly, explains its philosophy. In order to better
understand what's written in the textbooks and to make a proper
comparison, it's helpful to present a few quotes from this book:
"We have taken significant steps in the fields of democratization,
law, and the fight against terrorism, each of which is deemed the
'silent revolution.' We have never made concessions with regard to
democracy, security, or freedom. We have embraced a paradigm-shifting
approach as our foundation in order to restore peace in the society and
developed a new 'security paradigm'... This revolution has introduced
an understanding that recognizes differences as diversity and puts
the emphasis on serving the citizens instead of a statist approach
which sees its own citizens as a threat."6

Based on both the various claims that were voiced in this book and in
the context of the New Turkey Project, a group of intellectuals and
writers, known for their progressive-democratic views, announced that
they supported the AKP and its project. Additionally, they invited
all Christians and Jews, especially Armenians, to become the founding
pillars of this New Turkey. Those who did not accept the invitation
faced very harsh criticism.7 According to these intellectuals, the
AKP under Erdogan's leadership rolled up its sleeves to establish
a new and democratic Turkey, and the right position to take was to
accept the invitation to become a founding member and support the AKP.

Another major point made by those who believe the AKP is sincere
in working towards a New Turkey is that Erdogan, on April 24, 2014,
extended his condolences for the Armenian losses of 1915. This was
truly a first! Both this public expression of condolence and the fact
that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu continues to make statements
about approaching history with a "just memory" in different settings
(i.e., the idea that both Turks and Armenians have suffered equally)
made it seem as though Turkey was ready to initiate a new phase on
the lingering Armenian-Turkish conflict. After Erdogan's condolences,
Davutoglu made frequent statements to the effect that "we've done
what we need to do on this issue; now it's the Armenians' turn."8 It
would be fair to say that this and similar arguments propelled those
who take a deep interest in the subject, particularly in light of the
upcoming 100th anniversary of the genocide, to begin feeling hopeful.

For all of the above reasons, I decided it was time to take a look
at Turkish textbooks. There's so much you can learn about a country
through what is taught to the young, the custodians of the future. It
is there that we can see for ourselves what kind of New Turkey the AKP
is planning on promoting, and to confirm claims that they have backed
off from seeing and presenting their own citizens as enemies of the
state. Specifically, we can see how they perceive Armenians. As we say
in Turkish, textbooks truly are where "the clarinet toots its tune."

The textbooks characterize Armenians as people "who are incited by
foreigners, who aim to break apart the state and the country, and
who murdered Turks and Muslims."

This is what I found: Turkish history textbooks are filled with
the message that Armenians are incited by foreign sources, want
to partition the country, and kill Turks and Muslims. They direct
their own citizens to view a specific citizen group (Armenians) as
the enemy. In addition, they define the "Armenian Problem" as the
biggest threat to national security and urge Turkish youth to be
vigilant against this threat.

One should add that this information continues to be taught to
Armenian children, without exception, just as had been done in the
past. There's nothing new about the New Turkey. Everything here is
a repeat of what's been going on for decades. The AKP continues to
promote a national security concept that's been the modus operandi
of past authoritarian regimes under military tutelage and the "hit"
team, which was formed by the military, the Ergenekon organization
that AKP claims to have now suppressed.

Without going on too much further let's move on to the textbooks.

Primary school education: Grade 8

'The Republic of Turkey: History of the Turkish Revolution and
Principles of Ataturk'

This book was written for the 8th grade by Salim Ulker. In accordance
with a decision dated May 31, 2013, and numbered 29 by the MEB Board of
Instruction and Education, it was approved as a textbook for a 5-year
period. In actuality, there are two separate books. One is the textbook
and the other is the student's workbook.9 The Armenians and 1915 are
covered in the seventh unit of both books. The heading of the unit is
"Turkey after Ataturk: The Second World War and its Aftermath," and the
fifth topic deals with threats against Turkey. The heading states, "In
this subject we are going to learn about internal and external threats
to our country and that we must be vigilant against these threats."10

The goals of these threats are defined as "destroying the state's
order." What then constitutes the first and primal threat?

"Turkish-Armenian relations." The question children are asked to
debate is, "What should be done to promote our country's justification
against Armenian claims?" Stating that "we have duties in relation
to the internal and external threats against our country," students
are invited to "be conscious of these threats."11

After teaching that the Armenian issue is a national threat, a homework
exercise is presented in the student workbook. The title of the ninth
activity is "The Powers that Threaten Turkey and National Security,"
and the homework given to students is: "Next to the sources of threats
against our country, which are written below, write on the dotted
line what should be done both as a country and as a citizen."12

What did I say was the biggest threat? You didn't read this wrong: It
is the "Armenian matter," "Armenian claims." Students are additionally
asked to research "the primary duties of the National Security Board,
which was formed in furtherance of our national politics because of
the threats against our country."13

I feel compelled to add one more note here. Ever since Hrant Dink's
murder by a young man, frequent soul-searching has led many to wonder,
"Where do individuals who commit murders like that come from?" It seems
apparent what the answer is now. They get trained in Turkish schools!

Middle school education

'History of the Turkish Revolution and Principles of Ataturk'

This second book was prepared for middle school education; there's
no indication which year it is meant for specifically. The book was
written by a commission and approved as a textbook by the MEB Board of
Instruction and Education in a decision dated Dec. 8, 2011 and numbered
261.14 It is a publication of the Ministry of National Education.

In this book, the Massacre of Adana, which ended with the death of
20,000 Armenians in 1909, is identified as "The Rebellion of Armenians
of Adana."15 This is terminology that even the Union and Progress Party
(CUP), which was in power at the time, didn't use. In fact, the CUP
and its ally, the Dashnaktsutyun (Armenian Revolutionary Federation)
released a joint declaration in August 1909 criticizing the massacres
as "enacted against the revolution, as a counter-revolutionary action"
and stating that they would continue to work together against attempts
by counter-revolutionaries to oppose the constitution.16 In other
words, the visionaries of today's New Turkey are way behind the
Unionists of 1909.

According to the book, the law, which authorized the deportation,
arose as a product of necessity, but the deportation had another very
important role--protecting and saving Armenians. From who, you ask?

Other Armenians.

There is a great deal of information in the book that can be
considered outright falsehoods. Stating that the first Armenian
socialist organization, known as the Hnchaks, was "established in
1877 by the Armenian Patriarch Zaven Effendi" is just one example of
the many errors throughout. Neither the year of formation nor naming
Patriarch Zaven as the founder is true. When the organization was
formed in 1887, Zaven, who would later take on the role of Armenian
patriarch of Istanbul, was a mere child of 9. This kind of information
can be easily gleaned from the internet.

The book addresses the genocide under the heading, "1915 Armenian
Events."17 It starts with the kind of banal statements that are
low on facts and that we've heard hundreds of times over--that is,
that the Armenians sided with the Russians during the war. It goes
from there to describing how the Hnchak and Dashnak organizations
instituted rebellions in many parts of Anatolia. Not only that,
but these organizations "didn't hesitate to kill Armenians who
would not join them" and even issued instructions that "if you want
to survive you have to kill your neighbor first." Based on this,
Armenians murdered "many people living in villages, even children,
by attacking Turkish villages, which had become defenseless because
all the Turkish men were fighting on the war fronts."18

The Armenians didn't stop there. "They stabbed the Ottoman forces in
the back. They created obstacles for the operations of the Ottoman
units by cutting off their supply routes and destroying bridges and
roads." Then, as if that wasn't enough, "They spied for Russia and
by rebelling in the cities where they were located, they eased the
way for the Russian invasion."19

According to the book, it was inevitable that certain precautions
had to be taken to prevent collaboration between the Russians and
Armenians, especially when there was a life-and-death battle going
on in Gallipoli. According to the book, the law, which authorized the
deportation, arose as a product of necessity, but the deportation had
another very important role--protecting and saving Armenians. From
who, you ask? Other Armenians. This is not a joke; this is seriously
what the book claims: "Since the Armenians who engaged in massacres
in collaboration with the Russians created a dangerous situation,
this law required the migration of [Armenian people] from the towns
they were living in to Syria, a safe Ottoman territory."20

Not only did the Ottoman government try to protect Armenians from
the Armenian gangs, during the deportations they did everything they
could to ensure their safety: "Despite being in the midst of war,
the Ottoman state took precautions and measures when it came to the
Armenians who were migrating. Their tax payments were postponed, they
were permitted to take any personal property they wished, government
officials were assigned to ensure that they were protected from attacks
during the journey and that their needs were met, police stations were
established to ensure that their lives and properties were secure."21

There are also plenty of inaccuracies and outright lies in the
book about the 1919-23 period, what is known as the Turkish War for
Independence, but I will let other historians write on that issue.

Middle school education: Grade 10

Another history book written for the 10th grade was "approved as a
textbook by the MEB Board of Instruction and Education in a decision
dated May 4, 2009, and numbered 67.22 The book covers the period from
the establishment of the Ottoman Empire through the Republic, and so
the Armenians appear throughout, from the early period of Ottoman
administration until the end of the empire. According to the book,
under the administration of the Ottomans, the Armenians lived a life
that was pure heaven, plain and simple. Since the early Ottoman era
isn't one that I deal with in my research, I will skip what's said
about that period.

However, there's a piece about the Ottoman-Russo War of 1877-78 that's
worth mentioning here. The book clearly states the reason the Ottomans
lost the war with the Russians in 1877-78 was the Armenians. Incited
by the Russians, the Armenians rebelled and surrounded the Ottoman
Army from behind, leading to the Ottomans' defeat. "For the first
time in the Ottoman state, the Armenians, who had been incited by the
Russians, had also rebelled. Working in conjunction with the Russian
Army, Armenian bandit militia were able to place Turkish soldiers
between two firing fronts. Based on this development the Ottoman
state was forced to propose a ceasefire from Russia."23 Needless to
say, there is no historical account of an Armenian uprising, nor of
separate Armenian bandits or militia units attacking the Ottoman Army
from behind. This is a first-class fabrication.

The book is filled with similar nonsense that cannot be taken
seriously. For example, under the subheading "The Incitement of
Armenians and Their Organization," it propounds this claim to describe
how the Armenians were incited by foreign powers: "The Armenians who
were living under the Ottoman administration had not been influenced by
the French revolution. This situation changed after the Russians got
involved."24 Another similar claim is that during the war of 1877-78,
Armenians committed atrocities against Muslims.25

It is extremely upsetting to see that the youth of Turkey are being
educated by way of this heap of garbage that can't rightly be called
scholarly information.

The Massacres of 1894-96 and 1909

It is quite interesting what the book relates of the Abdulhamit period
of 1894-96, when between 80,000-300,000 Armenians were massacred. In
actuality, nothing is said at all because according to the book there
were no massacres during this period; no Armenians were killed. The
only thing that happened was that the Armenians were incited and,
as a result, had an uprising. This information is presented under
the heading, "The Problems that Armenians Created."

To provide a few examples of the information that's presented:
"The Armenian committees instigated their first rebellions in 1890
in Erzurum and Adana. In 1893, they killed 25 soldiers after firing
upon security forces in Merzifon." The most violent of the Armenian
uprisings occurred in Sason and "the Armenian community there was
urged to stop paying taxes to the state and to kill Muslims."

Armenians also "engaged in uprisings in Kayseri, Yozgat, Corum,
Zeytun, and Kahramanmaras." The Armenian organizations spread their
uprisings all over the place and "they even killed Armenians who
wouldn't take part in them." At one point, a heading asks students,
"What could be the reasons the Armenian terrorist organizations spread
the uprisings throughout the country?"26

The information given in the book about the 20,000 Armenians murdered
between April 14-16, 1909, during the Adana Massacre is not much
different. According to the book, Armenians rebelled and murdered
Muslims, and the Ottoman rulers had to suppress the rebellion. It
states simply, "Armenians instigated a massacre in Adana and Dortyol in
1909 by attacking Muslims." The ringleader of the rebellion had been
"Armenian Bishop Museg" and "once the Ottoman state had suppressed
the rebellion, he escaped to Egypt."27

This rather strange bit of information doesn't stop there. After
the events in Adana, "European public opinion again started to turn
against Turkey. The Union and Progress administration of the Ottoman
government signed a treaty that would encompass some reforms to
be performed together with Russia (1909). According to the treaty,
Russia would have the last say in any reforms that were to be agreed
to regarding the Armenians."28 There was neither a rebellion in Adana
nor was there ever a Reform Treaty signed with Russia in 1909. These
are all figments of the writer's imagination.

1915 and the subject of genocide

When it comes to the subject of 1915, the writing gets even more
bizarre. The information on the topic is presented under the heading,
"The Armenian Problem During the World War I Years" and starts with
this sentence: "The entry of the Ottoman state into World War I was
viewed as a great opportunity by Armenians...by invading Erzurum,
Erzincan, Mus, and Bitlis in Eastern Anatolia, Russia further incited
the Armenians in these regions."29

The internal contradictions presented by this information alone are
a serious problem. For example, the Russian units invaded the cities
mentioned above in April 1916 and later. At that date, the deportations
had all been concluded and the Armenians had been annihilated. So,
for example, when the Russians entered Erzurum, there wasn't a single
Armenian around to incite.

When you see what's been written under the heading "Armenian
Deportation," you start to wish things had ended with the account
about Russians invading. It goes: "The Armenians who were armed by the
Russians, started to engage in massacres raiding Turkish villages. ...

While the Ottoman state was in the middle of a life and death
struggle in Gallipoli, Armenians escalated their activities towards a
complete rebellion. "Ararat," the official newspaper of the Armenian
organizations, published the declaration below describing the actions
that Armenians were going to take (August 1914)."30

The book publishes a declaration consisting of 15 articles, which it
claims were taken from "Ararat" magazine. It's helpful to quote some
of the articles word for word here: "1 - Every Armenian, regardless
of who they are, should sell some of their worldly goods and arm
themselves. 2 - Armenians who are called to arms under the announcement
of mobilization shall disobey the command; they shall forbid anyone
around them, including Muslims, from joining the army. 3 - Armenians
who have been conscripted into the armed forces, however this may
come about, shall escape the army and join the Armenian gangs and
volunteer militias. ... 6 - All Muslims above age 2 who are seen
behind army front lines shall be murdered at every opportunity... 7
- The food, goods, and property of Muslims shall be confiscated or
burned and destroyed. 8 - They shall burn down the homes, grains,
churches, and pious foundations that they abandon and spread the word
that Muslims caused it. 9 - They shall set fire to official state
buildings and murder Ottoman police and gendarmerie. 10 - They shall
kill Ottoman soldiers who return from the front wounded. ... 14 -
The price of the rebellions, revolutions, and massacres performed
by Armenians is to be paid by Muslims and this shall be broadcast
to domestic and especially foreign public opinion. 15 - They shall
perform spying and consulting to the Entente states."31

The book goes on to claim that Armenians "immediately began to
implement the declaration" and that "they inflicted the greatest harm
to the Turkish people during the years of the First World War."32
It is meaningless to even engage in a discussion over whether such a
declaration from "Ararat" magazine really existed. It isn't even worth
saying, "Produce this document; otherwise, we'll accuse you of lying."

Those who wrote and endorsed this book did it knowingly and shrewdly
calculated the consequences. Their act brings to mind the Nazi
Propaganda Ministry.

The only reason to spend so much time discussing the aforementioned
document is to show what's being taught to the youth--in the form
of hate-driven emotions against Armenians. Its effect on Armenian
students in Turkey can only be imagined.

The book goes on to describe the so-called massacres perpetrated by
the Armenians against Muslims from 1915 onward. The governor of Van,
Cevdet Bey, apparently "forced a migration of Turks, which was known by
the Ministry of the Interior, in order to save them from the massacres
of Armenians." Turks left all of their belongings behind and started
migrating, but "the migrating Turks were killed en route by Armenian
gangs...without regard for women or children. While most of those who,
for whatever reason, could not leave were killed by Armenians as well,
women in particular were subjected to terrible treatment."33

The first step that the Ottoman state took was to close down "the
Armenian terror...organizations in order to prevent collaboration
between the Armenians and Russians and to stop the massacres." Then
they deported the Armenians to Syria--"temporarily." On April 24,
1915, the government issued a directive "to close down the Armenian
committee headquarters, to confiscate their records, and to arrest
the committee leaders." What's been described as genocide, it claims,
was this directive and the 2,345 individuals who were arrested as a
result of it.

However, when these actions proved to be inadequate, the law on
deportations was enacted and "with this law, only those Armenians
in the region who had been involved in the acts of rebellion were
taken from the war zone and dispatched and settled into more secure
areas of the country." Meanwhile, the communities of "Assyrians,
Chaldeans, Jews, and Greeks" in the same regions were supposedly left
undisturbed. The authors of the book point to this as a piece of grand
truth and state that "it's quite noteworthy that these individuals
were not subjected to deportation while Armenians who had joined in
rebellion were."34

The idea that the deportations were limited to the provinces
where rebellions had occurred--and that even there only rebellious
Armenians were deported, and other Armenians left alone--was quite
prevalent during the 1980's and 1990's. Later, it became clear from
the official Ottoman documents published through the Prime Ministerial
Ottoman Archives that not only were all Armenians, without exception,
deported from the provinces where rebellions were claimed to have
taken place, but that Armenians were deported from every province
and town in Anatolia, and even cities in Thrace, like Tekirdag and
Edirne, located in the European region.35 For this reason, these
theories were abandoned, and the fact that the deportations had
involved all Armenians was generally accepted. It appears that the
AKP, which claims to be readying itself to establish a New Turkey and
is supposedly conducting a "silent revolution," prefers to roll back
the clock to the 1980's when it comes to denialist policies.

Deportation as a means to save Armenians from Armenian gangs

The book puts forth a big claim to justify the deportations. They
were enacted, it says, in order to save Armenian lives! Yes! The
deportations "secured the lives of the Armenian people." But, "Who was
threatening the lives of the Armenians?" The answer provided by the
book is quite simple: other Armenians! The state made the decision
to conduct a deportation in order to protect Armenians from other
Armenians because "these [Armenian] gangs were killing Armenians who
did not join in acts of terror and rebellion."36

Despite being in the middle of difficult wartime conditions, the
Ottoman state took extraordinary precautions! "Through the publication
of regulations, the Ministry of the Interior had planned how the
deportation was going to be conducted down to the smallest detail."

For example, "The elderly, infirm, blind, widowed, and orphaned were
not subject to the deportation. ... Care was taken to ensure that
the locations where migrated Armenians would be settled featured
agricultural fields that were fertile and police stations were
established at these locations to secure their safety...and the
groundwork was laid for them to continue their professions and work
in the places where they were settled."37

Reading this, one can easily conclude that the deported Armenians
were quite fortunate. Not only was their safety secured, but they
were provided with every kind of opportunity despite the difficult
conditions! What more could a person want?

Numbers and mass graves

The figures presented in the book on deportees and deaths are very
important. There's been a bit of a "mark-up" in the figure propounded
by the former president of the Turkish Historical Society, Yusuf
Halacoglu, that 30,000 Armenian casualties resulted from the entire
deportation. The book states that "based on figures from unbiased
researchers, 300,000 Armenians lost their lives due to war and
sickness." Yet, the number of Muslims that were killed and/or forcibly
deported by Armenians is way beyond this figure: Armenians killed
600,000 Turks. "According to official Russian records," it reads,
"Armenians killed around 600,000 Turks in just Erzurum, Erzincan,
Trabzon, Bitlis, and Van and forced 500,000 and to migrate."38

The last claim on the subject of 1915 is like the last curtain of
a comedy: "If the Ottoman state had indeed wished to annihilate the
Armenians, would it have made sense to take so many precautions both
during and after the deportation? Besides, where are the mass graves
of all those people that were supposedly killed?"39 There really isn't
too much one can say after this statement. Maybe one should apply
to the Turkish government for permission to engage in unrestricted
excavations, using the claims in the book as an excuse?

The nonsense doesn't end here, unfortunately. The book claims that
Armenians who were deported were then able to return to Turkey
unscathed and reclaim their properties. We all know this to be untrue.

ASALA and the diaspora

The book also covers the assassination of Turkish diplomats by Armenian
Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), presenting a long
list of these acts.40 There is considerable space given to activities
by the Armenian Diaspora, whose members work "to gain recognition of
a so-called genocide by creating the image of themselves as people who
have been subjected to persecution and injustice." It claims that the
diaspora has been successful in doing so--"In some of the European
states and in American schools, their claims of so-called genocide
have begun to be taught in lessons"--and explains why: "because in
the countries where Armenians are found, especially in the USA, they
have formed a strong political unit by constituting a singular voting
bloc. They have asserted and achieved their genocide related demands
as a condition to any party to which they will give their votes."41

The book also makes some claims regarding the purpose behind both
ASALA's and the Armenian Diaspora's actions. We should read these
claims as reflecting the Turkish government's official viewpoint on
the subject.

What are the 'Four Ts'?

According to the book, the actions of both ASALA and the Armenian
Diaspora have been driven and continue to be driven by the framework of
the "Four Ts" plan: Tanitim, Taninma, Tazminat and Toprak (Publicity,
Recognition, Compensation, and Territory). There must be a struggle, it
says, against these Armenian efforts and lists the Turkish government's
efforts: "To counter the Armenians' claims about genocide, at the end
of 2001 Turkey formed the Commission to Coordinate the Fight Against
Baseless Genocide Claims. This commission started scholarly studies
on the subject of the baselessness of Armenian claims. Additionally,
by placing the Armenian problem into school curricular programs, a
process of informing young people was initiated. Also, the Commission
on Higher Education (YOK) established the National Committee on
Turkish-Armenian Relations."42

Whether or not the Commission to Coordinate the Fight Against Baseless
Genocide Claims is still active has been a topic of curiosity in the
public. Reading these current textbooks, one can conclude that the
commission is still active--and that, in fact, these textbooks were
prepared with the contribution of this commission.

Armenians as the 'Other' in the New Turkey

I have only mentioned what was written about 1915 in these three
books. It would be valuable to conduct a similar review about other
Christians (Assyrians and Greeks) and Jews in a way that covers
the entire Ottoman period up to the Republican years. However, the
picture that emerges when doing a limited review of just the events
around 1915 is quite pathetic.

In these textbooks taught in Turkish (and Armenian) schools, Armenians
are defined as the enemy. The young minds that we will bequeath our
country to are being educated on an image of Armenians as "those who
are eager to be incited, who wish to divide our country and collaborate
with our enemies." Additionally, the historical problems that have been
defined as the Armenian problem continue to be perceived as a threat
against Turkish national security. Even if we set aside for a minute
the diaspora and Armenians in Armenia, it is clear that the government
perceives a segment of its own citizens and their problems to be a
threat against national security, and educates all of its citizens
to engender feelings of hatred and enmity towards this one segment.

The situation is truly desperate. Based upon what's been written,
two questions come to mind: How do Armenians who continue to live in
Turkey, and who are its citizens, manage to live in this country? What
is it like to live as an Armenian in a country where innocent young
minds are taught to be enemies of Armenians, and where Armenians are
presented as a threat against national security?

If I were asked to make a proposal, I would make one single request
of every individual and organization reading this article. The 100th
anniversary of the Armenian Genocide is approaching in 2015. The
Turkish government is going to put up smokescreens, claiming to be
interested in making amends, and claiming that Armenians are the
ones who keep backing away, etc. It is going to try to create the
impression that it is the side that is willing to compromise and to
find solutions. Please place these textbooks directly in front of
them at each and every opportunity, and make it clear to them that
if they want to reclaim any kind of integrity on the subject they
should first pull these books from circulation.

Notes

[1] Talım ve Terbiye Kurulu

2 See
www.meb.gov.tr//2014-2015-egitim-ogretim-yiliinda-okutulacak-ilk-ve-orta-ogretim-ders-kitaplari/duyuru/7013,
Introduction: Sept. 12, 2014.

3 Gunay GokEªsu Ozdogan, Ohannes Kilicdagi, "Listening to the Armenians
of Turkey: Their Problems, Demands and Proposed Solutions" (Istanbul:
TESEV, 2011), 43.

4 Ibid.

5 Justice and Development Party

6 "The Silenced Revolution, Turkey's Democratic Change and
Transformation Inventory 2002-2012" (Ankara: Republic of Turkey Prime
Ministry Undersecretariat of Public Order and Security 2013), 10. The
quote is from the introduction written by then-Prime Minister Erdogan.

7 The most famous of those who issued the invitation and who
criticized is Etyen Mahcupyan. The fact that Mahcupyan was one of
Hrant Dink's closest friends and said that "had Hrant lived he would
have voted for the AKP" led to some very heated debates around the
subject. For an example of what Mahcupyan wrote on the subject, see
www.aksam.com.tr/yazarlar/etyen-mahcupyan/bir-ermeni-olarak-e2-80-a6/haber-334649.

8 For just one example, see
www.todayszaman.com/news-346158-davutoglu-says-turkeys-1915-statement-achieved-its-goal.html,
Introduction, Sept. 14, 2014.

9 Each book can be accessed at
www.meb.gov.tr/2014-2015-egitim-ogretim-yilinda-okutulacak-ilk-ve-orta-ogretim-ders-kitaplari/duyuru/7013.

10 Salim Ulker, Ilk Ogretim T.C. Inkilap Tarihi ve Ataturkculuk 8
(Primary Education R[epublic of] T[urkey] History of Revolution and
Principles of Ataturk 8), Textbook (Ankara: Semih Ofset, 2014), p.

178.

[1]1 Ibid, 179

[1]2 Salim Ulker, Ilk Ogretim T.C. Inkilap Tarihi ve Ataturkculuk
8 Ogrenci Calisma Kitabi (Primary Education R[epublic of] T[urkey]
History of Revolution and Principles of Ataturk 8, Student Workbook)
(Ankara: Semih Ofset, 2014), p. 118.

[1]3 Ibid.

[1]4 Commission (ed.), Ortaogretim Turkiye Cumhuriyeti Inkilap Tarihi
ve Ataturkculuk, (Middle School Education Republic of Turkey History of
Turkish Revolution and Principles of Ataturk) (Ankara: MEB, 2014), 21.

[1]5 Ibid., 21

[1]6 Dikran M. Kaligan, The Armenian Organization and Ideology under
Ottoman Rule 1908-1914, (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers,
2011), 43-81.

[1]7 Commission (ed) Ortaogretim Turkiye Cumhuriyeti Inkilap Tarihi
ve Ataturkculuk, (Middle School Education Republic of Turkey History
of Turkish Revolution and Principles of Ataturk), 23.

[1]8 Ibid.

[1]9 Ibid.

20 Ibid.

2[1] Ibid.

22 Vicdan Turan, Ilhan Genc, Mehmet Celik, Celal Genc, Ortaogretim
Tarih 10 (Ankara: MEB, 2014).

23 Ibid., 186

24 Ibid., 188

25 Ibid., 186

26 Ibid., 188-89

27 Ibid., 189

28 Ibid.

29 Ibid., 210

30 Ibid.

3[1] Ibid., 211

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid., 212

35 For an example of the published records by the T.C. Basbakanlik
Devlet Arsivleri Genel Mudurlugu Osmanli Arsivi Daire Baskanligi
(translated: Presidential Office of Ottoman Archives General
Directorship of the Prime Ministerial State Archives of the Republic
of Turkey), see OsmanlEª Belgelerinde Ermeniler (1915-1920) (Ankara,
Basbakanlik Printers, 1995).

36 Ibid.

37 Ibid.

38 Ibid., 212-213

39 Ibid., 213

40 Ibid., 214-215

41 Ibid., 215-216

42 Ibid., 216

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