April 28, 2019
The final years of the Ottoman Empire was a tragic period for the people that made up the Empire. Turks, Armenians, and many other groups suffered immensely. So, this period needs to be understood and analyzed in its entirety.
Concerning the 1915 events, Turkey’s views are based on available archival documents, academic research and oral history works. All these do not support the Armenian narrative of “genocide” According to the documents and research, the Ottoman Government ordered in 1915 the Armenian population residing in or near the war zone to be relocated to the southern Ottoman provinces away from the supply routes and army transport lines. Some Armenians living away from the front, yet were reported or suspected to be involved in collaboration with the enemies, were also included in mandatory transfer.
Ottoman Government took a number of measures for safe transfer during the relocation. However, under war-time conditions exacerbated by internal strife, local groups seeking revenge, banditry, famine, and a failing state apparatus all combined to produce what became a tragedy.
Turkey does not deny the suffering of Armenians, including the loss of many lives during the First World War. However, greater numbers of Turks died or were killed as well. Without belittling the tragic consequences for any group, Turkey objects to the one-sided presentation of this tragedy as a genocide.
It is not rational to politicize history for nationalistic idelogical obsessions. Both Turkey and Armenia should act together to normalize the relationship between each other.Author : Begum Burak