GREEKS AND ARMENIANS IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Mahmut Esat Ozan

In the past, when we, as Turkish people, tried to answer the
relentless unfounded salvos of Greeks and Armenians attacking us, we
were invariably confronted with a willful, systematic, but at the same
time a cowardly propaganda. In each and every one of those encounters
we were made uncomfortable by their vociferous claims that our words
were nothing more than meaningless utterances of revisionists, and
falsifiers of historical records, and that they, themselves were the
true adherents to history and to true facts.
In order to remedy, once and for all, this manipulation of the
truth, something had to be done. Someone had to tell them and all the
other detractors of the Turks, in plain language, that their struggle
had always been centered around a bogus indoctrination of people with
little or no knowledge on the subject at hand: The so-called “genocide”
for the Armenians and the oft-repeated “invasion” of the island of
Cyuprus. Their efforts in maligning Turkey and Turks had to be refuted
in such a way that neither the Greeks nor the Armenians could extricate
themselves from the argument, without losing face. With this point in
mind I decided to employ a new method, using only their own words to
refute their unsubstantiated claims. Thus, I would use the statements
expressed by their own kind, with a pertinent commentary or two made by
historians, anthropologists and statesmen exclusively from the Western
camp

A NEW APPROACH
AND A NEW CASE

A chance for a trial run on this issue presented itself recently as
an answer I had posted on-line, on the Internet, replying to the
uncalled-for attacks of Greeks and Armenians about a British movie
producer who had plans for a full length film on the life of Mustafa
Kemal Ataturk. Those plans had to be postponed because thousands of
e-mail letters, faxes, and telegrams accompanied by threatening phone
calls had finally intimidated the movie star who had accepted to portray
Ataturk on the silver screen.
Having read my above-mentioned on-line reply, a Greek-American
confronted me with an ugly personal message. The following is a small
sample of his diatribe:
“You Turks are pathetic. You can’t even accept the fact that our
Western civilization is founded on the pillars of Greek thought and
mind. ONE PLATO IS WORTH A THOUSAND ATATURKS. Where are your
Aristotles, Socrates’, Euripideses, Aristophaneses, Archimideses and the
Euclids? Both science and civil administration of the Western world is
of Greek origin.”
Given the promise I had made to myself earlier, I brought in the
expertise of a foreigner by relying on the “mongrelization of the
present-day Greeks” theory, espoused by several chroniclers of history
in the past, but best interpreted by a German anthropologist and
historian, Jakob Phillip Fallmerayer, who lived between 1790-1862.
Fallmerayer, in his book FRAGMENTE AUS DEM ORIENT BYZANS UND DES
ABENDLANDES, published in 1861, re-printed in 1900 wrote the following:

“Contrary to the views of the revisionists of ancient Greek history,
today’s Greeks do not have any continuity with their namesakes, the
Greeks of antiquity.”
According to the records of ancient history of the Balkans, several
respected historians believe similarly, that the inhabitants of Greece
of our day have no more connection with the ancient Greeks of the
mythological times than the ordinary FELLAHINE who live in Egypt today,
could be related to the descendants of the Pharaohs themselves.
It was King Philip II of Macedonia who had united the Thracian
Greeks and the rest of the natives of the areas he had conquered to
prepare them for an expedition against the Persians. His son,
Alexander, founded, later on, his vast dynasty on the ruins of the old
empire built by his father. Historians are unanimous on this one point
that the ancient Macedonians as well as today’s citizens of the
independent country of MACEDONIA are not Greeks at all. In reality, the
ancient Greeks had a name for them, “Barbarians'” a word which simply
means an alien, a foreigner.
The great Athenian statesman and orator Demosthenes spoke of King
Philip II of Macedonia in very pejorative terms when he said in part:
“…he,(Philip) not only is no Greek, nor related in any shape or
form to Greeks, but he is not even a true ‘barbarian’ from any place
that can be named with honors, but a pestilent knave from Macedonia,
whence it was never yet possible to buy a decent slave.”
This very same “Macedonian barbarian” referred to by Demostenes in
his speech, defeated his enemies, the Greeks, at the battle of Chaerones
in August 338 BC and appointed himself “Commander of the Greeks.”
Nonetheless, today’s inhabitants of those lands unabashedly call his
son, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, a noble Greek.

ARMENIANS ON ARMENIANS
AND SOME OTHER VIEWS

One more irate Armenians Turcophobe, who may have seen again
something I wrote on-line, was lecturing me in length about his
displeasure of my “hatred of everything non-Turkish.” Why was I the
target of such a harsh indictment?
“You deserve all that,” as he put it, “because you are a descendant
of that ‘wily and crafty redheaded Turk, born in Salonica of Greek and
Jewish parents and died of dreadful syphilis.” He went on saying,
“ataturk,”(notice how he spelled his name with a lower case letter ‘a’)
“He may be a hero to you, but actually he was a Genghiz Khan, who in
1920-22 ordered the complete destruction of the port of Smyrna, that
annihilated hundreds of thousands of innocent Greeks and Armenians”
His hysterical venom not yet depleted, he continued, “If you could
only get off the hashish for just long enough and stop deluding
yourself, you will realize that you are shooting yourself in the foot.”
The rest of his diatribe was as garnished with falsehoods and
fabrications as were the previous portions of it.
“Ever since” he said “the Turkish hordes with their scimitar – the
curved swords, marched from Central Asia into Asia Minor and Europe,
they have robbed, pillaged and destroyed every pillar of civilized
life. They have stolen Greek and Armenian lands, butchered their people
and raped their women. It was sad times for the Armenian people. That
was 900 years ago. But again in 1914-22 Talaat, Enver, and Hamid Pashas
followed suite with the genocide. Your people today are still at it
with the Kurds of Anatolia. Renounce the hashish-inflicted propaganda
of Turkey. Permit your adversaries to exercise their civic rights by
speaking their minds on a stupid movie about a sexual deviant and a
military misfit called ataturk. I don’t indulge in hate, but I hate
thieves, liars, and butchers of innocent children.
P.S. If you want a movie, go make one. And stop complaining.”
Again, in order not to deviate from my earlier plan, I told him, “I
do not wish to waste my time trying to refute each and every one of your
accusations. They were all either totally false or slanderous.
However, I will let you listen to the venerable Armenian historian
ASOGHIK, who recorded his impressions on the arrival of Seljuk Turks to
Anatolia. After that, when you lie again, you may feel a bit of remorse
of conscience.”
ASOGHIK wrote, “The Armenians of Byzantium have welcomed the Seljuk
conquest with lengthy celebrations in the streets and thanksgiving to
God for having rescued them from long years of Byzantine oppression.
Seljuk Turks gave protection to the Armenian Church, which the
Byzantines had been trying to destroy. They abolished the oppressive
taxes which the Byzantines had imposed on the Armenian Churches,
monasteries and priests, and in fact exempted such religious
institutions from all taxes. The Armenian community was left free to
conduct its internal affairs in its own way, including religious
activities and education, and there never was any time at which
Armenians or other non-Muslims were compelled
to convert to Islam. The Armenian spiritual leaders in fact went to
Seljuk Sultan Melikshah to thank him for his protection.”
Another respected Armenian historian MATHIAS of Edessa related,
“Melikshah’s heart is full of affection and good will for
Christians; he has treated the sons of Jesus Christ very well, and he
has given the Armenian people affluence, peace, and happiness.”
After the death of another Seljuk Sultan Kilic Arslan, the same
Armenian historian MATHIAS wrote,
“Kilic Arslan’s death has driven Christians into mourning since he
was a charitable person of high character.”
MATHIAS also related, “How well the Seljuk Turks treated the
Armenians is shown by the fact that some Armenian noble families like
the TASHRIK family accepted Islam on their own free will and joined the
Turks in fighting Byzantium.”
It was, however, the world-renowned historian Arnold Toynbee who
centuries later reinforced the words of ASOGHIK and of MATHIAS by saying
the following:
“The Ottoman institution came perhaps as near as anything in real
life could to realizing the ideal of Plato’s Republic.”
“Edson L. Clark, the British philosopher and historian, had this to
assert, “The Turks were far better men and far abler rulers than the
wretched tyrants they superseded…” “The Turkish dominions were better
governed and were more prosperous than most parts of Christian Europe.”
And the well-known American historian and novelist, Harold Lamb,
wrote this, “Few Europeans realized that the Turkish Ottoman Sultan
Suleiman was the head of the most democratic government of their time.”
An article which appeared on My 15, 1991 in this very newspaper had
another revelation. This time the person who was doing the revealing
was HOVHANNES KATCHAZNOUNI, the Prime Minister of the Soviet Armenian
Republic during World War I:
“At the beginning of the fall of 1914, when Turkey had not yet
entered the war, but had already been making preparations, Armenian
revolutionary bands began to be formed in Transcaucasia with great
enthusiasm, and especially, with great uproar…they fought against the
Turks because they could not refrain themselves from fighting. This was
an inevitable result of psychology on which the Armenian people
nourished itself during an entire generation that mentally should have
found its expression, and it did so…
“We overestimated the ability of Armenian people, its political and
military power, and importance of the services our people rendered to
the Russians. And by overestimating our very modest worth and merit, we
were naturally exaggerating our hopes and expectations…”
The Armenian historian VARTANIAN relates that “Ottoman Armenians
were completely free in their traditions, religion, culture and language
in comparison to Russian Armenians under the Czars. “The Ottoman Empire
was the Armenians’ only shelter against Russian oppression.”
Finally, here are the prophetic words of another Armenian writer
BORIAN, who says, “Czarist Russia, at no time, wanted to assure Armenian
autonomy: For this reason one must consider the Armenians who were
working for Armenian autonomy as no more than agents and spies of the
Czar, to attach Eastern provinces to Russia.”
The Russians thus have deceived the Armenians for years; and as a
result the Armenians have been left with nothing more than an empty
dream.

* * *

US ARMENIAN HATE GROUPS AND THEIR UNENDING MALEVOLENCE

The Livingston amendment, seeking to end a US aid ban on
Azerbaijan, Section 907, was defeated yesterday in the US House of
Representatives. V.Sonentz-Papazian, the executive director of the
Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region, began to
celebrate the fruit of their sinister machinations in the House, and
gloat over this malevolent deed of theirs, calling it a victory for the
Armenian-Americans.
Before going any further on this subject and offering comments on
this dastardly act, I, as an American tax-paying citizen, would like to
take this opportunity to thank first and foremost Cogressman Bob
Livingston (R-LA), for his amendment, and Congressmen Dana
Rohrabacker(R-Calif), Gerald Solomon(R-NY), and Sunny Calahan(R-Ala) for
their splendid efforts in trying to end the ban against Azerbaijan,
Section 907, which prohibited unfairly any aid to that country until it
lifts the economic blockade of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
I also feel I should send a heart-felt expression of thanks to the
members sof the US Congress who voted for the ill-fated attempt to lift
the restrictions dictated by Section 907. Their numbers, 20
Republicans, and 10 Democrats, and their names will be etched indelibly
in my mind and heart. I thank dearly each and every one of them for
their heroic effort.
On the other hand, I’d like to convey my feelings to all who want to
listen,that the likes of Frank Pallone(D-NJ), George
Radanovich(R-Calif), John Porter(R-IL), Peter Visclosky(D-In), and
others such as Fazio, De Lauro, Palosi, Lowey, Skaggs, Walsh, Wolf,
Yates from different sections of the country have only one thing
mutually common in their make-up. Their knowledge of recent history of
the world is imperfect, to say the least. Their avarice for the
financial support they need to be elected and re-elected to their
high-salaried, lucrative posts is legendary. Unfortunately the
financial backers of theirs which keep them electable, time and again,
have been adamantly hostile to Turkish or Azeri causes.

FROM A MORAL LEGAL JUNGLE
TO AN IMMORAL DESERT

These political animals, these detractors of Azeris and of Turks,
who associate themselves with the members of the Armenian lobby, is
comprised of a bunch of morally-challenged, pathological
Turcophobes,who have little or no idea of what they are up to, and they
don’t seem to care, either. They’ve been offering their souls to the
highest bidders, and in this particular case the highest bidders are the
lowest adherents to truth and morality.
Their hate for anything Turkish can only be described as
unfortunate. They, like their brothers-in-hatred, the Greeks, have been
spending a major portion of their lives in the pursuit of hatred for
Turks. What a waste of precious time and human emotions. There is a
popular American saying: “You have to be taught to hate.” It was in
this country that I first noticed, with horror, the hate in the eyes and
the voices of some Armenians and Greeks. It was a sad lesson for me to
learn. However, the saddest thing for me to observe even today is the
fact that I feel I am devoid of any weapon to defend myself facing
these professional haters of Turks.
Many a time in the past,after I arrived to the United States of
America from Turkey, I agonized over a curious situation. From birth
to adulthood, I felt no one had prepared me there to fight these
adversaries who show no mercy or compassion towards me. I was a mere
descendant of Turks, whose ancestors were forced to share a common
destiny and sorrow with them in a time of war,an almost civil war-like
hostility period which took place almost a century ago. I often ask
myself “Why can’t I hate these people the way they hate me, openly,
incessantly, mercilessly, with the zeal of the most devout religious
missionary around.”
There were even times when I manifested a disgust against my
parents, against my relatives, against my teachers, against my
preachers, in other words, against all Turks who, from infancy took me
in their arms, fed me at their bosoms, taught me in their schools,
educated me in their society. I cursed them all!…aplease don’t
misunderstand me, not for them doing all those things to me. No!…I
cursed them for not teaching me how to hate my fellow men,(my enemies),
robbing me of my basic weapon to fight back, consequently, leaving me
naked, powerless against the unrelenting salvos of these programmed
assassins of the tolerance and culture of the nation of Turks.
These people, who foam at the mouth every time they hear the word
‘Turk” are none other than some sub-human characters which never existed
in any of the ficticious works of, say, Victor Hugo, Edgar Allen Poe,
Dante Aleghieri, or Dostoyevski, or for that matter, in Mary Shelly’s
Dr. Frankenstein. Neither one of those highly gifted writers could have
possibly created more evil, and hateful monsters than the enemies of
Turks. By the description of a well-known Greek scholar, Alexander
Pallis, we learn about this centuries-long bias against Turks, which
seems to have no end:
He says: :”From the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century
the Ottoman Empire was almost continuously at war with the Christian
Powers of Western Europe. The terror inspired by the Turkish name
among all the European peoples was largely responsible for the widely
spread popular belief that the Turks were a race of uncivilized
barbarians who, wherever they went, left nothing but smoking ruins
behind them and stamped out every vestige of civilization. Religious
fanaticism, coupled with the fear born of unbroken Turkish military
successes, resulted in creating among some detractors of the Turks a
state of mind which rendered them for the most part incapable of viewing
Turkey and the Turks with an objective and unbiased eye.”

Mahmut Esat Ozan
Past President, FTAA,
Florida Turkish-American
Association for Cultural Exchange
Miami, Florida