As the meeting progressed, most of my conversation was actually with Mr. Alkin. Your representation of "the interview" as between you and me is almost entirely fabricated or inaccurate. Unfortunately, we do not have a recording of our interaction to confirm the lack of veracity of your column.
I recall that the main comment I made about the genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks was along the following lines:
I remain hopeful, notwithstanding your highly unfortunate article, that members of both Canadian communities, Turkish and Armenian, can play a positive role in bridging the divide between our people and our ancestral homelands.
By Faruk Arslan
I can not find a clear answer to that question in my mind: Each nation and each community who speaks a different language may establish a state, should they do? In the past, state-building experience poor Kurds and Armenians were the ones whose ideal of an independent state, has to be constantly postponed. Armenians, in 1991, Armenia got this dream with a dead birth.
Kurdistan’s birth is delaying because in the process of pregnancy it had a gestation period that is full of anomalies. Thus, it is inevitable the baby will be born deformed; it will be trouble for its guardian and also his neighbour! Head nurse at the birth of Kurdistan, who had to flee from Iraq, the United States, midwife, the financier, mentors Israel and Germany; the child not crippled but was born dead.
Anyway, let’s leave the Kurds alone with their fate and call them to reckoning with their conscience.
Let’s leave it that if the multi-national intelligence agencies’ Middle East aims behind the nonsense atrocity PKK is continuing correspond with rights of Kurds to judicial values of Kurds in common sense. Let’s discuss the genocide claims of Armenia who will knock at our door soon and another neighbour of us which had given a dead birth.
‘Who is managing the Armenian diaspora in Canada?’ I’d always wondered. Finally, we realized not a monologue but a dialogue meeting in his office with the founder and president of the Institute of Mosaic Vahan Kololian. Anatolian Cultures Federation President Sükan Alkin and I had got under a barrage of questions of Kololian. There, against us we had a rich, intellectual leader of the Armenian civil society even as he was trying to hide the virus of extreme nationalism and hatred that he had in his vessels but not succeeded it. The passion and longing of Turkey in the heart he leaked time to time in his words. Conflicts of interest and a tragic situation! Both love and hate, unrequited love, this should be!
7 years to do journalism of mine in Azerbaijan, close to a thousand news about Karabakh and Armenia, writing books immediately attracted his attention. Living of the father of my Azerbaijany wife in Yerevan for 40 years and knowing Armenian language was thrilled him. I emphasized that as 1996 OSCE Lisbon summit with the presidents Heydar Aliyev Karabakh, Levon Petrosyan was agreed solution, the deep state of Dashnak Armenia-Karabakh that made a bloodless coup in 1998, and the rich Armenian diaspora which can not give them anything other than humanitarian assistance make it more difficult. ‘The problem is not between peoples, between politicians and the deep states,’ I made fixation. He agreed with me and said that I was right.
“For me it was genocide, but I don’t tire my head with this, I don’t waste my energy and my time, I look to the future,” said Kololian didn’t agreed our suggestion we did as ‘come on then let’s look forward and leave the job historians. He claimed that the last Ottoman Sultans got prisoners in the hands of Young Turks of Union and Progress Party, the Turkish extreme nationalists. We hadn’t gone to the interview to discuss the Armenian Problem, so we swallowed, we did not want to answer before. Mr. Sukan reminded politely that millions of people during World War I all-out crisis of humanity depression, died because of the disease or not just in wars. As Vahan made allusion clearly “I feel sorry for the Turks have the genocide hump on their back.”, pandora’s box was opened.
Mr. Sukan expressed that, in 1915 relocation, the Ottoman administration wanted to save Armenians from the blood feud that they had attempted massacre and civil murders in Kurds living area in the eastern region before, and put into words that the issue was not Turk-Armenian but Kurd-Armenian blood feud. He told the disadvantages’ of one-sided hatred stories. According Vahan, Armenians opened archives, Turks hide the facts by not opening their archives, all Turks compose from brainwashed ignorant. We said the situation is not so, and alluded to the Armenian diaspora sabotaged the work with the fear of missing its advantages as it was almost done that historians of the work of the protocol signed between the two countries to leave it to historians. We would tell that allegations of genocide in the Ottoman Empire is not evil intent, but that the omissions and defects seen was punished by deportation, this circuit acts of terrorism of the Dashnak and Hunchak and foreign committees intelligence activities, yet Vahan did not want to listen. As we had started to play the cards open however, Vahan started counterattack from the opposite corner.
When he asked “Let’s trade freely, open the doors. Can’t Turkey convince Azerbaijan?“, it was my turn to explode. I hit the nail on the head by saying ‘Outside Karabakh, 7 occupied cities, more than a million refugees, the United Nations condemning the occupation and the Khojaly Genocide 4 times while in the recent past, to convince our brothers, Azeris, the public of two countries doesn’t appeal to no one’s justice, law and conscience”. He had to say ‘You’re right.’ I asked Vahan why 50 thousand people live in the paradise of the world-Karabakh today, while 150 thousand people were living in the past. He couldn’t answer. I would open the issue more and tell why Armenian state was born dead, why 1 million people left the country. (here I am telling to our Armenian daughter, maybe our Kurdish bride will get it!) I would say that none of you from the diaspora can go and live in that misery but I didn’t want to insult my interlocutor. I wouldn’t say that the guilt belongs to the Armenian Diapora for starving of our Turkish neighbour, Armania.
I would put into words why Armenians started the claims of “The so-called genocide” after the 1960, why the Armenian representative mention just 1 hundred thousand Armenians died during World War I at Lausanne in 1923, then how the zeros added to numbers. However Kololian, “the Turkish public and the state, sooner or late are to accept the (the so-called) genocide,” he was not ready to listen. He loved very much the word “Armenians were the most trustful nation for nine hundred years, they were our neighbours.” So, what happened to the devoted nation and they were driven away? As Mr. Sukan said while ASALA were killing the Turkish diplomats, they did those terror activities on behalf of Armenian Diaspora, and he reminded that the murderer of our military diplomat in Ottawa still hasn’t been found, Kololian’ın face suddenly changed and “They were big mistakes, and they restored,” he said. I tried to read the distinction between a terrorist and a freedom fighter from Kololian’s body language.
We discussed many other topics. Our Turkish Embassy in Ottawa had invited him by emailing to the opening of the Akdamar Church. He accepted it immediately but then when he couldn’t see the statements “Armenian” and “Church” he gave up going. If it had happened so, shame on it indeed! Let’s admit that there is a virus of extereme Turkish nationalism in all our vessels. And Armenian diaspora get together with the hatred of genocide and gains help. Both the two societies must face with the hatred over-pumped with growth hormones, gather and discuss. I think it is a justice of the fate that some nations can’t found a state and have to live under others’ roofs. We made farewells form the meeting as saying “our goodwill is enough for a healthy and long-term dialogue.”
* Faruk Arslan is a column writer at Canadaturk, a Turkish Diaspora Voice in Canada. This article published in Turkish version in his column on November 1, 2011.