Friday, December 28, 2007

The Case of Armenian Genocide

A good book on the Armenian genocide is “The Case of Misak Torlakian” by Vartkes Yeghiayan and Ara Arabyan (here). Misak Torlakian, an Armenian Ottoman subject, was tried by the British Military Court on August 11, 1921 on charge of murdering the ex-minister of interior of Azerbaijan. Through the court case, through witness accounts, the dark and unbelievable picture of the Armenian genocide is revealed. Another famous case similar to this was the case of Soghomon Tehlirian.

For those interested to learn more about the Armenian genocide, I would recommend using British and German sources, in addition to the Armenian ones. Since Turkey has been vigilantly trying to rewrite history in its attempts to justify denial, it is important whose sources we are using to get to the truth. While history cannot be rewritten in the abstract, in reality the new generations in Turkey and Azerbaijan have been getting a completely distorted ‘rewritten’ history of the Genocide. They are even trying to sell to the world their ‘version.’

As far as the US-Turkey relationship that has been affecting the issue of recognition of the Armenian genocide in a major way, I would really call it a ‘necessity’, not an alliance. While Turkey is a member of the NATO, the US could never really consider Turkey its ‘ally’ the same way as it would consider Great Britain, for example. But since the US interests in the Middle East are serious, Turkey for a while will be a necessity. But time is soon approaching that the US will not have to ‘need’ or ‘depend’ on Turkey.

Of course, the role of Russia is of major importance here. Russian-Turkish relations have a long history of animosity. Due to the Cold War, the military bases of the US were in Turkey to countermand the perceived expansionism of the Soviet Union. To this day, Russia uses the Caucasus as a buffer against Turkey. Thence the location of Armenia is strategically important to Russia. While the US and Russia have their historic tendency to compete for world hegemony, Turkey will be ‘used’ by the US as a buffer against Russia. But again this is not necessarily settled.

World politics is constantly shifting and in flux. Therefore, today’s friends are tomorrow’s foes. I only wish justice prevailed in this process more often than it does.

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