Jun 252008
 

As I write, the match between Germany and Turkey has just kicked off, but you know by now I’m not going to say much about football.

This is certainly a touchy one though, isn’t it?  With 3 million Turkish gastarbeiter living in Germany and relations tense at the best of times, German police are on high alert for trouble in the streets.

Now, Germany is a paradox.  Germans tend to be civilised, reasonable, tolerant and cultured, yet their society gave rise to one of the greatest abominations in history: the genocidal Third Reich.  After the country’s complete destruction in the war, the German nation faced what it had done, and acknowledged the gigantic crime it had committed in attempting to wipe out the Jews, and with them to eradicate a major portion of European culture.  As a consequence, Germany went into a fifty-year-long spasm of remorse and guilt.  It became the powerhouse of European reconstruction and turned its back on its militaristic past.

In Germany today, it’s a crime to deny the Holocaust, though in some ways, this is an uncomfortable concept, since it ignores all other genocides, including the Armenian genocide perpetrated by Turkey.  But still, what a nice symmetry.

In Turkey, you can go to jail for criticising the army.  Popstar Bulent Ersoy is on trial right now for saying I am not a mother, nor ever will be, but I would not bury my child for someone else’s war. In Turkey, such sentiments are not permitted and if you say a thing like this in public, you’ll find yourself in front of a judge and facing time behind bars.

Turkey has a cult of the military bordering on religious fanaticism, and it exists in a state of constant warfare.  So far, 40,000 people have died in the last 25 years of fighting with the Kurdish Workers’ Party, and there’s no sign of an end to the slaughter.

During and after the First World War, the Ottoman Empire engaged in a systematic genocide of Armenians and murdered up to 1.5 million people, but to this day Turkey denies that any genocide occurred, preferring to call the death marches a relocation.  What does that remind you of?

The first writer who called the Armenian genocide a Holocaust was, maybe surprisingly, Winston Churchill:

As for Turkish atrocities – massacring uncounted thousands of helpless Armenians, men, women, and children together, whole districts blotted out in one administrative holocaust – these were beyond human redress.

Churchill didn’t know how right he was.  Among the Germans who served in Turkey was Rudolf Hoess, who witnessed the Armenian Holocaust at first hand, later commanding Auschwitz and going on to become deputy inspector of all Nazi extermination camps.

Franz von Papen was chief of staff of the Fourth Turkish Army during WW1,and later became Hitler’s vice-Chancellor in 1933.  General Hans von Seeckt was chief of the Ottoman General Staff and was subsequently one of the principal architects behind the creation of the Wehrmacht.

Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, the German vice-consul in Erzerum, wtnessed at first hand the slaughter.  He reported to Hitler that the Armenians of Turkey had been exterminated.  He described in detail the methods used to conceal the crime and the ways in which Armenians had been entrapped.  He even referred to the Armenians, in one letter to Hitler, as the Jews of the Orient.

Scheubner-Richter was a racist who called for a ruthless campaign against the Jews so that Germany could be cleansed.  He went on to become a close supporter and friend of Hitler, so it’s hardly a coincidence that the Fuhrer could ask in 1939:

Who today is talking about the destruction of the Armenians?

Chilling words.  Within a decade, the lesson Hitler had learned from Turkey would lead to the annihilation of five million European Jews.

So where does that leave us today?

Well, we have two nations, playing a game of football as I write.  Both have brutal, genocidal histories that are intertwined with each other.  One country is at the heart of the European Union, while the other is still an applicant to join the EU.  One of these countries is peaceful, stable,and conscious of its appalling past.  The other continues to brutally oppress an ethnic minority within its borders.

In one of these countries, it’s a crime to deny that a genocide occurred, while in the other it’s a crime to report it.

________________

Update.

Well that didn’t last long.  I had a brief burst of comments attacking me for suggesting that the Armenian genocide ever happened, but then my Turkish visitors stopped complaining and settled back into their usual pattern of visiting this post:

Animal Sex Horse Fuck Gay Horse Sex

I wrote that as a joke.  What is it with Turkey and animal sex?  Why are the Turks and the Saudis reading this post more than anyone else in the world?

______________________

Hitler in Turkish shampoo ad

  15 Responses to “Euro 2008. Germany, Turkey And A Tale Of Two Holocausts”

Comments (14) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    Interesting post, bock. Perhaps naively, there is a hope that Turkey could improve its human rights record to be allowed to join the EU in 2013. But is it realistic to hope that Turkey could express the same level of remorse for its crimes that Germany did after WWII? Probably not.

    Either way, I think the game last night went without hitch, in terms of clashes amongst fans. I was actually rooting for Turkey so was gutted they lost! But isn’t it funny how feelings about a country’s administration can be pushed so easily out of mind when it comes to sporting events? I’m certainly guilty of it. Thanks for bringing the reality of it back to mind.

  2.  

    I have to confess that i too was rooting for Turkey last night,in the context if a debilitated team against one of recent histories finest.
    I am well aware to the Turkish states history and the Ottoman’s extermination of the Armenians..
    I found myself able to separate the 2 things for the duration of the match,although i was wary that there may be trouble afterwards (i dont know if there was or not)
    Very good post though and a timely reminder of the history between the 2 countries..

  3.  

    Turkey is still at it with the Kurds, their music and language is criminalised, I think.

    The contrast in Kurdish fortunes on the other side of the border with Iraq is very illuminating of US policy: a) Turkey is a NATO pal and allowed do as it like to Kurds irrespective of rights violations, b) Iraqi Kurds are allies against resurgent Ba’athist militias and are allowed a degree of self-determination, having once been subject to Saddam’s genocide when he was a US ally.

  4.  

    Fascinating post Bock.

    Re: Saddam, Conan:

    Churchill suggested using chemical weapons “against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment.” He said, “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes to spread a lively terror” in Iraq.

    (As far as I know this is an accurate quote.)

    Looking at the world today and looking at history makes my head, um … swim. Don’t they say about Nuremberg, “the winners make the rules”.

    And they’re still making them: cf, the USA and the ICC.

  5.  

    Aftr your analysis of Croatia, Germany and Turkey I can’t wait for tonight’s contribution. Spain and Russia, a fair few holocausts between them. Pity Ireland didn’t get through as apart from the odd pogrom just the spreading of religious mumbo-jumbo. Everyone could support us with an easy conscience.

  6.  

    Helen: Nice to see you. I’m afraid I can’t tell the difference between sport and politics, but of course, I also can’t see the difference between politics and life.

    OD: I don’t think there was any trouble. For the rest, same as I said to Helen.

    Nora: Precisely. If Churchill called it a holocaust, it had to be bad. This was the man who invented the idea of concentration camps, in South Africa.

    Dan: Shout for America in Euro 2012. Or the Vatican.

  7.  

    Hey people!!What the hell u are talking about??It seems that everyone here already accepted that imaginary “Armenian genocide”.
    In archieves the Armenian people couldn’t find any proof for that “Genocide”..BUt in turkey side we have many documents and articles to proove that some kind of that didn’T happen..
    the thing happened is, Armenians under the control of Ottoman empire rebelled against the management and killed many officers,villagers,children and old people.. And Ottoman empire just punished these rebels..
    We were never barbar and cruel,and I think it’S time for the world to accept this..Noone believes such lies against Turkey and Islam..Don’T convert this to a war of religions,like the EU never accept Turkey as a member for years which I strongly believe thatS’ the only reason..

  8.  

    Musti: Nobody said anything about religion except you.

  9.  

    Yes nobody did..But actually in Crusade Wars,it was not also named as “war of religions”, but everyone knew it was.Ok if u claim that there WAS a genocide here are my proofs that it DIDN’T happen unlike it happened in Germany in WWII….
    First the background and the story of Turkish-Armenian relationship:
    Armenians were treated like slaves and used as peons by Romans and Persians long time ago..They started to have LIVES and are treated as HUMANS since the Ottoman empire conquered anatolia.Ottomans let them live like Armenian,gave them jobs and they lived in peace until the Ottoman empire started to lose its power at the end of 19th century.Until this time they were never treated as “Foreigners”,they were one of the parts of Ottoman empire..BUt when The ottoman empire started to lose its power,some european countries tried to use Armenians against Ottomans by using provoker missionary religion men..That time Armenian people started to become enemy rather than an ally..They wanted to have their own country,which Ottoman empire already gave them.They rebelled that time and killed many turkish people in different cities of Anatolia,usually in east.Turkish people answered this rebellious actions back and they started to fight.The empire prepared a migration law to protect both Turkish and Armenian people..During this migration to the west,many fights happened and many people from the both sides died.During World War I, the Ottoman Empire was fighting against Russian armies in Eastern Anatolia, where the Armenian revolt was at its peak; and also against Armenian forces which supported the Russians. On the other hand, behind the lines it had to continue to fight against Armenian guerrillas that were burning Turkish villages and towns and attacking military convoys and reinforcements. In spite of this violence, the Ottoman Empire tried to solve the Armenian problem for months by taking local measures. Meanwhile, an operation was made against the Armenian guerillas and 2345 rebels were arrested for high treason. When it became evident that the Armenian community was also in rebellion against the state, the Ottoman Empire proceeded with the last resort of replacing only those Armenians in the region who actively participated in the rebellion. With this measure, the Ottoman Empire also intended to save the lives of the Armenians who were living in a medium of civil war because Turks started to counter-attack the Armenians who had performed bloody atrocities against Turkish communities.
    Today, Armenia and some states using Armenians for their economic and political benefits have launched a massive propaganda campaign to present the replacement decision and the 24 April arrests as genocide to the world public opinion.
    At the end of the World War I, when the armies of Allied States occupied The Ottoman Empire and the British officials among them arrested 143 Ottoman political and military leaders and intellectuals for “having committed war crimes toward Armenians” and exiled them to Malta where a trial was launched. However, the massive scrutiny made on the Ottoman, British, American archives in order to find evidence to incriminate these 143 persons failed to produce even the least iota of proof against them. In the end, the detainees in Malta were released without trial and even any indictment in 1922.
    The United States archives contain an interesting document sent to Lord Curzon on 13 July 1921 by Mr. R.C. Craigie, the British Ambassador in Washington. The message was as follows: “I regret to state that there is nothing that may be used as evidence against the Turkish detainees in Malta. There are no events that may constitute adequate proofs. The said reports do not appear to contain even circumstantial evidence that could be useful to reinforce the information held by His Majesty’s Government against the Turks.”
    On 29 July 1921, the legal advisers in London decided that the intended indictments drawn up against the persons on the British Foreign Ministry’s list were semi-political in nature and therefore these individuals should be treated separately from the Turks detained as criminals of war.
    They also stated the following: “No statements were hitherto received from the witnesses to the effect that the indictments intended against the detainees are correct. Likewise it does not need to be restated that finding witnesses after so long a time is highly doubtful in a remote country like Armenia which is accessible only with great difficulties.” This statement was made also by none other than the legal advisers in London of His Majesty’s Government.
    Yet, the efforts to smear the image of Turks with genocide claims did not come to an end as the British press published certain documents attempting to prove the existence of a massacre claimed to have been perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire while efforts were being made to start a lawsuit in Malta. It was stated that the documents were found by the British occupation forces in Syria, led by General Allenby. The inquiries subsequently made by the British Foreign Office revealed, however, that these documents were fakes prepared by the Armenian Nationalist Delegation in Paris and distributed to the Allied representatives.
    The Armenian Diaspora, who left no stone unturned to keep the genocide claims on the agenda despite all these facts, resorted to terrorism in the end. The so-called Armenian issue, which started to attract the attention of the world and Turkish public opinion through the smearing campaign launched by the Armenians against Turkey after 1965, in the ‘70s turned into terrorist attacks directed against the Turkish representations abroad. In Santa Barbara on January 27, 1973, the first individual terrorist attack was launched by an aged Armenian named Gurgen (Karekin) Yanikian. He murdered Mehmet Baydur and Bahadir Demir, the Turkish Consul General and Vice Consul in Los Angeles, and these murders turned into an organised campaign after 1975. The attacks against Turkish embassies, officials and institutions abroad gradually intensified.
    A major increase in the attacks was noted after 1979 when an internal unease started in Turkey. The Armenian terrorists staged a total of 110 attacks at 38 cities of 21 countries. 39 of these acts were committed by small arms, 70 of them were realised by bombs and one was an outright occupation. 42 Turkish diplomats and 4 foreigners were killed and 15 Turks and 66 foreigners were wounded in these incidents.
    As these actions received a strong reaction from the world public opinion, the Armenian terrorist organisations changed their tactics in 1980 and began to co-operate with the PKK terrorist group which was pushed into the scene by the Eruh and ªemdinli attacks as the ASALA and Armenian operations were stopped. The documents and evidence from Beqaa and Zeli camps show that the PKK and ASALA militants were trained there together.
    The success achieved by the Turkish security forces made the Armenian terrorism pursue the so called genocide claims through the Armenian Diaspora and attempt to make the world believe in the existence of such an event by inducing several parliaments to adopt resolutions and laws which recognise it.
    The goal of these terrorists is to plant into minds of people the existence of a genocide, to force Turkey to recognise it, to receive indemnity from Turkey and, finally, to snatch from Turkey the land needed for realising the dream of Great Armenia.
    Now the proofs of this IMAGINARY Genocide:
    1-The number of ARmenians said to have died in genocide is 1,5 million..Check this
    http://www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/answers/casualties.html
    2-Turkish government always refused this claims and always told u can check the archieves of Turkey to proove this and opened the archieves..The armenians never opened their archieves..If u wanna check about some documents check this:
    http://www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/archive/index.html
    3-The main reason for this IMAGINARY genocide is to form the Great Armenia,not to make the history “RIGHT”.Check this one:
    http://www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/intro/four_t.html
    These are just small parts of this project.
    In conclusion,please don’t make a comparison between Germany and Turkey about a genocide.I love Germany and German people,but I know what Germany&Turkey did and didn’T..So please make a more deep research..Cause ur article is more likely a slandar rather than a comparison..
    Thank You
    Musti

  10.  

    Now Musti, that’s a very long article, but I’ll allow it through this time because I want people to see how some Turks delude themselves about their genocidal past. I won’t give you space a second time for denial of the Armenian holocaust.

    The sooner Turkey faces up to its history and acknowledges its role in genocide, the sooner it can move forward as a modern democracy.

  11.  

    Dear Bock
    If The thing u call “modern democrasy” is giving a big part from ur country to Armenians and accept something that NEVER happened,I don’T want it,u can call me unmodern.. U already believed what u wanted…I have nothing to say about it…Just understand this,none of the Turks can accept something that NOT happened..As a German,please don’T try to find a “friend-country” that share this Genocidial Shame…Cause Germany did,Turkey NEVER did..If the meaning of “delude” is “saying and claiming the truth always” let it be like that..
    Thank You

  12.  

    Musti: I’m not German. The whole world knows about the genocide, except, sadly, the Turkish people.

  13.  

    The people who claims that genocide happens can’T show me a proof of it.BUt I can show many proofs that it didn’t.

  14.  

    Musti….some Turkish quotes on the Genocide that you say never happened.

    Beginning with multiple quotes from the 3 rulers of wartime Turkey, Cemal Pasha, Enver Pasha and Talat Pasha.
    …………………………
    Enver Pasha
    One of the triumvirate rulers publicly declared on 19 May 1916…

    The Ottoman Empire should be cleaned up of the Armenians and the Lebanese. We have destroyed the former by the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation.
    In reply to US Ambassador Morgenthau who was deploring the massacres against Armenians and attributing them to irresponsible subalterns and underlings in the distant provinces, Enver’s reply was…

    “You are greatly mistaken. We have this country absolutely under our control. I have no desire to shift the blame onto our underlings and I am entirely willing to accept the responsibility myself for everything that has taken place. ”
    …………….
    Talat Pasha
    In a conversation with Dr. Mordtmann of the German Embassy in June 1915…

    Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate (grundlich aufzaumen) its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.
    After the German Ambassador persistently brought up the Armenian question in 1918, Talat said “with a smile”…

    ” What on earth do you want? The question is settled. There are no more Armenians. ”
    ………………….
    Cemal Pasha
    To a German officer upon seeing the deportations in Mamure said…

    I am ashamed of my nation (Ich schame mich fur meine Nation)
    Minister of the Interior of Turkey publicly declared on March 15 that on the basis of computations undertaken by Ministry Experts…

    “800,000 Armenian deportees were actually killed…by holding the guilty accountable the government is intent on cleansing the bloody past. ”
    ……………………
    Prince Abdul Mecid
    Heir-Apparent to the Ottoman Throne, during an interview…

    “I refer to those awful massacres. They are the greatest stain that has ever disgraced our nation and race. They were entirely the work of Talat and Enver. I heard some days before they began that they were intended. I went to Istanbul and insisted on seeing Enver. I asked him if it was true that they intended to recommence the massacres which had been our shame and disgrace under Abdul Hamid. The only reply I could get from him was: ‘It is decided. It is the program.’ ”
    …………………….
    Grand Vezir Damad Ferid Pasha
    Equivalent rank in the US would be head of the cabinet I think. He described the treatment of the Armenians as…

    “A crime that drew the revulsion of the entire humankind. ”
    …………………..
    Mustafa Arif
    Minister of Interior stated on 13 December 1918…

    “Surely a few Armenians aided and abetted our enemy, and a few Armenian Deputies committed crimes against the Turkish nation… it is incumbent upon a government to pursue the guilty ones. Unfortunately, our wartime leaders, imbued with a spirit of brigandage, carried out the law of deportation in a manner that could surpass the proclivities of the most bloodthirsty bandits. They decided to exterminate the Armenians, and they did exterminate them.”
    ………………….
    Orhan Pamuk
    Famous Turkish author stated (and was put on trial for making this statement) in February, 2005…

    “one million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it. “

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