Number 224 | April 25, 2013
The Turkish Coalition of America expresses its deep disappointment in President Obama's repeat of the same one-sided and historically inaccurate pronouncement as he does on every April 24th to appease certain hateful, single-issue Armenian groups. TCA will again send a package of books and documents to the White House in the hope that they will be read and that the office of the Presidency is not used again for such dissemination of half-truths.
This tumultuous and brutal period of our shared history, during which time innocent Ottoman Muslims suffered even more losses, many at the hands of Armenian militia and Armenians fighting under Russian uniforms, requires more reflection. Repeating narratives that are not based on solid scholarly findings, citing inflated Armenian casualty figures, and unjustly allocating the total blame for this tragedy on the Ottoman Turkish side only serves to reinforce each side's current position and damages the chances of reconciliation.
Examining the complexities of the time and putting these events into their proper historical context does not diminish our respect for all human loss and suffering, regardless of the race, ethnicity or religion of the victims. The tragedies of the 19th and the early 20th century inflicted on the Ottoman populations as the Empire was collapsing must not be forgotten.
Armenians of Anatolia made outstanding contributions to Anatolian civilization. Armenians have particularly contributed to the arts and crafts, architecture, cuisine and music of the Ottomans and have tremendously enriched Turkish culture and society, as Turkish Armenians continue to do today. Therefore, the diminishing of the Armenian community's presence in Anatolia has certainly been a great loss for Turkey today.
As we all seek the most historically accurate narrative leading to the forced deportation of the Armenian population from the Eastern front to the southern part of the Ottoman Empire, we urge all to recognize, first and foremost, the need for reconciliation. Taking time to examine the long history of these events in their proper context allows Armenians and Turks the opportunity to develop a more truthful understanding of their shared history.
To this end, TCA continues to call for the establishment of a joint historical commission tasked with uncovering a complete historical narrative that could pave the way for a new period of positive relations between the Turkish and Armenian people.