After looking at all of the hard evidence we have that it was a genocide that was inflicted on the Armenian people, I find it hard to believe that there is still denial. To say that millions of people perished at the hands of the Turkish government is not to be lightly taken, lots of evidence is required. It is not like we are lacking in this department; we have photo evidence, first hand witness accounts, sourced reports, and archives in multiple countries.
From what I can see, it is hard to falsify the hard evidence. From the photographs of the deceased to the reports of ambassadors and the timeline of events, all signs point to genocide. Turkey tends to bring up the argument of whether or not it was a genocide because of “intent” factor. Were the death marches just merely deportations? If they claim they had no intent of killing Armenians, did they think that the march was a doable task? Would they too survive with little food, water, and rest? It seems that Turkey is condemning the Armenians for not being able to stay alive. Another argument it presents is that there were two sides to the war, Turkish people died too at the hands of the Armenians. But my question is to what extent? If the numbers were nearly as high as the death toll of Armenians, why must it be a competition. Did the deaths of thousands of innocent Armenians become justified because of the actions of a few “Armenian traitors” in the Russian Army? What is stopping us from calling the Armenian Genocide a genocide based off the fact that we call the Holocaust, the Jewish genocide? The events were almost identical. A power figure or figures rises in ranks (Hitler and the Young Turks), appeals to the public with nationalism, and then others and an entire group of people. Both groups told their victims that they would return after sending them away on trains, both groups ended up massacring hundreds of thousands. If we call what happened to the Jews a genocide and not what happened to the Armenians as such, are we saying that what the Turkish government did was an accident? They didn’t mean for that many deaths to occur?
Real history is hard to define. Obviously, there will always be holes in the tales of history, but when there is enough to point to a conclusion, we can’t just ignore it, waiting for something to be discovered that would negate what was done. When multiple countries, like the US and Britain, have these accounts, it shows that the same story exists from different perspectives. How can you argue against that? In response to the Turkish government and their position and response to this event: I want to know how they can evade evidence so effortlessly. What is so bad about acknowledging their past? If they preach that they care about their citizens and democracy, shouldn’t that be for all, not just some? What do they say about the photographs of dying or dead Armenians? How can they deny that? How can they live on knowing that so many Armenians died and call it all propaganda?
I most certainly think that it is the duty of other countries to put their foot down on this. It is sickening to think that we pick and choose which people to stand up for and which to turn a blind eye. I am not sure if this is optimistic to think, but why must we operate in every aspect of our life with the pressures of politics. The US was afraid to say anything that would point to what happened in Turkey as a genocide, for fear that relations would be tainted, for fear that we would lose a big part of our oil industry. We decided to ignore the deaths of millions, for the security of our economy? It is not to say that we should not consider the importance of the economy in our country, but at whose expense? The Armenian people are not even allowed the right to grieve their losses. They cannot express their sorrows or story without being met by backlash and violent attacks. We see this when people try to write books or publish papers about the Armenian genocide, archives burned down and prisons being filled. Countries of influence should use that influence not only for their own gains, but to aid others. Pressure is the only way. The Turkish government is so concerned with their image of westernization and democracy, so if we can have enough backlash against them, it would have to make them feel like their image was tainted and would push them to at least allow recognition of the event.