First off, the Armenian Genocide is unequivocally true. The fact that millions were sent to the desert to starve, is true. The fact that the Armenian peoples were brutally slaughtered––slitting throats, beaten to death, raped to exhaustion, and abducted––is true. Forced “turkification” and assimilation really did happen. Their marches to death is a true fact as well. Personally, I believe there is absolutely nothing to doubt. There are written facts, statements, records, interviews, artifacts, and even bones (as we saw today in class) to prove this. How can you possibly deny any of this happened? It began as a religious battle, and turned into a bloody one at the hands of the Turks. This is not an allegation.
When determining if something is false or not, you must consider biases. Yet, even primary sources (for example coming from Turkish leaders) can be manipulated. You must consider who had a dominant position, and those who didn’t. In this instance, the Turkish had a clear ruler and government who enacted the extermination of the Armenians, but the Armenians did not. I believe it’s quite clear that the Turkish were the oppressors, and the most compelling evidence yet, are true accounts from those who survived––those who took photographs, wrote biographies, and told their stories. How can this be denied?
My response to Turkish government (with a bit of zest):
Dear Turkish government,
The points you made simply avoided responsibility altogether. I believe this is called a “straw-man fallacy.” Nevertheless, your first contention focuses on Armenian resistance. You mention the Defense of Van, but it was called defense for a reason. The city of Van was mainly an Armenian populated-city that the Ottomans first attacked. I believe this was the first and final act of resistance on the Armenian’s part, as they were left helpless. Furthermore, there is no causal link between a Russian and Armenian alliance. As I have learned, this was a blatant attempt at massacre––the Ottomans did not want Christianity, and it seems their solution was to exterminate it. Secondly, you argue that this result was a “reality of the war,” but this was not the Armenians’ fight to begin with… The Armenians were not even a part of the Entente Powers. Your statement that “there was no systematic murder, or genocide, inflicted on the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire” is ludicrous. There are statements, documents, and people to prove this. You present a strident and ignorant argument regarding your responsibility in the Armenian genocide: “there was no intent to destroy the Ottoman Armenians.” Massacres, rapes, throat-slitting, abduction, and forced displacement do not just happen without reason––and for so long. Therefore, we cannot simply “move on.” You are right, however, that there can never be genuine closure, but this is because responsibility has not yet been taken. If it is a matter of pride for your government and country, it is a null one.
Sincerely,A disappointed student