The Magnum State Terror – Genocide

Prof. Khatchatur I. Pilikian
Universal Peace Federation, London UK, 25 April 2014

In a masterpiece of a poem titled An Evening Promenade= Akşam Gesintisi, written soon after he was released, in 1950, from prison, Nazim Hikmet, posthumous 2002 Nobel laureate, remembered his Armenian friend whose father was butchered “in the Kurdish mountains.” Hikmet versified his rage against such crimes, calling them “this black shame brought on the Turkish people.” (bu karayı sürenleri Türk halkının alnina).

Kemalist Turkey had kept its greatest poet, Hikmet, incarcerated for 13 years.

The original inhabitants in their ancestral lands being wiped off, Western or Turkish Armenia, and parts of Eastern or Russian Armenia, eventually became part of the Kemalist Republic of Turkey in 1923.

The eminent British member of both The Balkan and The British Armenian Committees, Bishop Harold Buxton, assessed the human cost of the Genocide of the Armenians. He wrote: “In the First World War, the Armenians lost as many lives as did the whole British Empire”.

Let me confess, both of my parents, who dared outlive the Genocide of 1915, never entertained hatred toward the Turkish people. I feel serenely proud of that ethical heritage. That magnum crime was, my parents believed, the essence of the rabid nationalist politics nurtured among the late-Ottoman hierarchy, eventually sanctioned by the proto-Nazi Young Turks.

Prof. Khatchatur I. Pilikian
Universal Peace Federation, London UK, 25 April 2014

In a masterpiece of a poem titled An Evening Promenade= Akşam Gesintisi, written soon after he was released, in 1950, from prison, Nazim Hikmet, posthumous 2002 Nobel laureate, remembered his Armenian friend whose father was butchered “in the Kurdish mountains.” Hikmet versified his rage against such crimes, calling them “this black shame brought on the Turkish people.” (bu karayı sürenleri Türk halkının alnina).

Kemalist Turkey had kept its greatest poet, Hikmet, incarcerated for 13 years.

The original inhabitants in their ancestral lands being wiped off, Western or Turkish Armenia, and parts of Eastern or Russian Armenia, eventually became part of the Kemalist Republic of Turkey in 1923.

The eminent British member of both The Balkan and The British Armenian Committees, Bishop Harold Buxton, assessed the human cost of the Genocide of the Armenians. He wrote: “In the First World War, the Armenians lost as many lives as did the whole British Empire”.

Let me confess, both of my parents, who dared outlive the Genocide of 1915, never entertained hatred toward the Turkish people. I feel serenely proud of that ethical heritage. That magnum crime was, my parents believed, the essence of the rabid nationalist politics nurtured among the late-Ottoman hierarchy, eventually sanctioned by the proto-Nazi Young Turks.

Deep in my heart I wish Armenians had no such experience to talk about. I would have been happier if people all over the world also had no such terrorizing experience. But most importantly, I truly believe that our precious and only world will be a much better place to live, and die for that matter, if that ultimate state terrorism is banished out of existence for all times to come. No wonder this plea, mentioned in an Armenian dictum: “I pray God not to let this evil befall my worst enemy.”

Whenever and wherever it happened, and alas it still happens, genocide is always premeditated, conceptualized and its execution meticulously organized at the highest governmental levels.  

Significantly, implementing genocide’s execution always demanded a world turbulence characterizing each epoch. 

During centuries of colonial expansions and endemic wars, genocide and slavery were the necessary masts of the pirating strategy for the conquest of land and raw material. All colonial powers were engaged in it. World opinion, still in its infancy, was no more than a feeble gesture.

The imperialism of the 20th century made a world war somehow the ‘prerequisite’ for any attempt to implement the execution of genocide as a ‘final solution’. World opinion was starting to bite. The UN was founded and ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ had finally a name—Genocide, and an international tribunal (Nuremberg) was set to condemn and punish its perpetrators.

But even after the Second World War another epochal turbulence–the Cold War era–‘acted’ as a ‘shock absorbent’ for horrendous genocides…

Toward the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, the Cold War finally melted away in the heat of the arrogance of globalization, while genocide persists to remain on the threshold of rampant conflicts in all corners of the world.

The new world turbulence is now labelled the Long War, the latest neo-con synonym for the war on terror.

Wars were not and are not causes but excuses for Genocides.

In the case of the Genocide of the Armenians the crucial vicious acts were already initiated and were being executed before the Ottoman Turkey's declaration of War on Nov. 5, 1914.

In a nutshell, the Armenian tragedy did not start  because of the WWI  in 1915–as the Ottoman Young Turk government and subsequent Turkish governments were and are still keen to link the  magnum historical criminal act with 1915 WWI,  hence their claim of  the 'betrayal' of the Armenians. And even, alas, our In Memoriam April 24 1915, took the date of the rounding up of Armenian intellectuals as the 'starting' point of our magnum tragedy, thus unwittingly, albeit apparently ‘yielding’ to the criminal excuse. Here are the stages of that man’s Inhumanity to man before 1915.

A. Preliminary Implementation

Kâmil Pasha (1838-1912), Grand Vizier or the Prime Minister of the Ottoman Empire and four times Sultan Abdul Hamid’s prime minister, declared in late 1870s, the following:

"If we nurtured snakes in our midst in Europe, we should not repeat the same folly in Asiatic Tajkastan [Turkey]. […]Thus, we must eliminate, leave behind no traces of that Armenian nation.  And to accomplish this task, we are lacking in nothing; […]We can declare a religious war–waged against a nation that has no arms, no army, and no defender, whereas, in contrast, we have one of the greatest and richest states of the world as our comrade-in-arms and the guardian of our Asian world." (Quoted in the Armenian literary monthly, Ports=Trial,  Tiflis, 1879)

From 1894-1896 in Sassun, Van, Zeitun and Diarbekir, Turkish attacks on Armenians resulted in the massacre of 300,000 Armenians. Some 3,000 villages were burned. Prof. Em. Dillon (1854-1933), the Irish linguist and journalist, sketched the tragedy and concluded thus: “It is already proven that the pillage and the massacres of Sassun is the deliberately organized act of the Sublime Porte, an act planned meticulously and executed mercilessly .” 

B. Preparatory/tactical executions

The massacres in Adana (Cilicia) of April 1909 resulted in 30,000 Armenian deaths. “This massacre was more terrible than those in the days of Abdul Hamid . . . Those Armenians who had succeeded in escaping the first carnage are now destroyed. Adana has become a veritable inferno.” Helen Davenport Gibbons, eyewitness to the Adana massacres.

On July 27, 1914 the government of the Young Turks started conscripting Armenians, before the First World War broke out. The move was intended to deplete the Armenian nation of its able-bodied male population who were herded into amele tabourou=labour battalions, eventually to order them to dig their own mass graves…

On August 2, 1914 the Young Turks decided to create, out of its Teshkilati Makhsusa=special formation, a new structure to deal with ‘interior matters’, so as to start and implement their proto-Nazi party conference decisions.

On August 6, 1914 a secret agreement between Turkey and Germany promised Caucasus (including Eastern/Russian Armenia) to Turkey.

Before Ottoman Turkey’s declaration of war on the Entente powers (November 5) and until December 1914, 200,000 Armenian civilians, mostly women, the elderly and children were already uprooted and decimated, not counting the imminent tragedy, as mentioned above, prepared for the 300,000 conscripted Armenian male population. Few thousand Armenians had managed to flee and reach Russian occupied Eastern Armenia. Many of them served in the volunteer regiments of the tsar fighting in Western–so-called Turkish Armenia. An estimated 300,000 Armenians fought alongside the Entente powers in Europe and the Middle East, including Palestine–a classic example of cannon fodder of 600,000 Armenians sacrificing their lives, country and all for the imperialist appetites of both the Entente and the Central Powers.

The First World War set the stage for the Final Solution.

C. Strategic Executions / Final Solution

Thus declared Nazim Bey Selanikly (1870-1926), the executive secretary of the Young Turks Central Board, early in 1915, during a Central Board meeting presided over by his comrade-brother Talaat:

“It is imperative that the Armenian people be completely exterminated; that not even one single Armenian be left on our soil; that the name, Armenian, be obliterated. We are now at war; there is no more auspicious occasion than this; this country must be purged of all non-Turk elements”.

Starting on April 24, 1915 and until mid-May, the Armenian civic population was practically depleted of its intellectuals; 196 writers, 575 musicians, 336 doctors, 176 teachers and college professors, 160 lawyers, 62 architects, 64 actors…were arrested, deported, disappeared for good…

On June 15, 1915 twenty prominent members of the Armenian Social Democratic Hnchakian Party were hanged in Bayazit Square, Istanbul. The Hnchakians stood in opposition to the Ittihadists. That was a mortal sin.

The culminating act of the genocidal scheme was thus set in motion. The elderly, the women and the children, nearly the entire Armenian population of Asia Minor was ordered out, southward toward the deserts of Northern Syria.  

Vandalism, rape, extortion, torture, starvation, murder raids…ad infinitum. The rest is…the scream of humanity at its most infernal.

The basic question remains: what kind of world are we living in?

UNESCO has been warning, for decades, that the greatest shame of the current civilization is that thousands of children die of hunger every single day. Today that number has reached the staggering 44,000 hungry children dying each day, as if a Hiroshima bomb is unleashed every single day just to kill children.

Can there be any doubt that this child cleansing is also the unmentioned genocide of humanity, ongoing and authentic, which surely is the outcome of our socio-economic and industrial military system, now coined with cynical panache as Globalization, whereby tens of thousands of nuclear warheads, each averaging at least 20 times the destructive power of a Hiroshima bomb, are already in deployment all around the world.

Meanwhile billions pour into the pockets of the warmongers of modern metropolises. These warlords of mammon would eventually thrive in an ‘Inorganic Paradise’—a ‘paradise’ void of universal human rights and sustained by legalized torture; glorification of violence geared toward maximizing profit at any cost; xenophobic state terror protected with religious fervor. And, topping as if the macabre orgy, genocide has been already tested, for a century now, to become the collateral damage of its inorganically modernized and sweat-shopped ‘global village’ of hunger and debt.

When genocides, torture, poverty and wars are justified as “human nature” or as a historical and economic necessary evil, nay even as historical inevitability of the “so called” clashing civilizations, then and there silence acquires an obscene eloquence in support of inhumanity– sheer barbarism of total terror.

Unless, of course, humanity will ‘rage against the dying’ of its dreams and refuses to become cannon fodder for the ‘profane patrons’ of genocide: mammon, racism and terror, thus guarding its deeds of tolerance and justice, fair share and good care, compassion and conscience—the true wealth of the world, hence the health of nations.

1 comment
  1. Appreciating Prof. Pilikian

    Hearty appreciation to Prof. Pilikian's great knowledge of our past and his honest defense of our rights. After all, I am one of the loyalists of Prof. Pilikian, whether professional or family. He can never be out of the minds of hundreds of Armenians in Lebanon as he can never be away from my heart.

    All the best dear Professor and hoping to hear more from you.
    Regards.

    Hovig Nersissian

    Saudi Arabia
     

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