WHAT IS THE PICTURE FROM THE STANDPOINT OF UN TREATY ON GENOCIDE?
The genocide concept was defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crime. According to the article 2 of this Convention, the genocide is any of the acts of assassination of or inflicting serious physical or mental integrity on the group members or their detainment under living conditions that would result in its annihilation or introduction of measures preventing births within the group or forcibly transferring the children of one group into another in order to partially or wholly eradicating a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. The genocide implies acts and actions under a planned State policy.
When the issue is examined from the viewpoint of genocide Convention, some events in the history should be recalled. For the perpetration of such a serious crime against humanity as the genocide, there should be a certain tendency toward it in the history of the nation concerned. The criminality is as much a personal trait as a national one. A study of the Turkish history reveals no traces of genocide or assimilation. A short historical tour of horizon and a recall of the geography once under the Ottoman rule show us that the Ottomans had penetrated well into Europe all the way up to Vienna, controlled the whole of the North African coast and the entire Middle East for a period from 200 to 400 years. Which nation may be said to have been exterminated during this period? In a era when the sharia prevailed in Anatolia, creeds such as Syriac, the oldest Christian denomination, and Yezidite that idolatrised the fire and had their own free reins and churches were built throughout Anatolia in the 1800s despite the fact that it was against the religion�s commandments. As a matter of fact, one of the brothers of Sokollu Mehmet Pasha, an Ottoman Grand Vizier, was appointed as the Patriarch of Makarije Serbian Church and led the revival of Serbian national spirit. We find examples of genocide in the era of intersectarian wars of Europe, in the people whose languages were forcibly changed (Hindus and Peshtus), in Africa where the language and religion were entirely altered and in South America when the Europeans had set foot there.
The Turkish administration is used to coexist with the peoples of different cultures and origins in all regions where it rules. This is probably a feature acquired by living together with different cultures for long periods in its history.
The Turkish State tradition has justice and preservation or cultures, but no trace whatsoever of massacre or genocide. This is revealed in no uncertain terms in Justin McCarthy�s book titled Death and Exile, in which examples are given of how the Balkan and Caucasian peoples had fled to the Ottoman rule to avoid death. A question needs to be asked to those accusing the Ottoman administration of having perpetrated genocide: Why did the Jews and Moslems leave Spain and Portugal in 1469, why did Tokely Imre and his entourage leave Hungary and seek refuge in the Ottoman Empire in 1680, Racozy Ferenè and his confidantes in 1711 and Lajos Kosuth and his two thousand associates in 1849, and where had the Swedish King Charles and the remainder of his army the same year, the Polish Prince Chartorsky in 1841 and 1856, the Russian General Vrangel with his army of 135.000 in 1917 and even Trotsky sought safety for life? Don�t those accusing Turkey of having committed so-called genocide in 1915 know that the Polish and German Jews had fled to Turkey in the late �30s? Why, only after 20 or 25 years after the so-called genocide, these people preferred Turkey for seeking asylum and finding safety?
Let us remember the genocide and assimilation events in the Balkans some 550 years after Mohamed the Conqueror who confirmed by his firman of 1478 the freedom of and preserving the values inherent in all human beings and for transferring them to the following generations. The Balkanic nations whose languages, religions, churches and schools were put under protection under this firman ousted the Bosniacs, Albanian Moslems, Macedonians and Bulgarian Turks from their countries in the 21st century just for creating homogenous societies. Those accusing Turkey with genocide disregarded the massacres that continued for months and ignored the desperate screams of women of all ages who were raped. The Iraqi people who fled from Saddam�s ire who attempted to annihilate his own people with the mustard gas that he had obtained from the Western weapons manufacturers had found the safety in Turkey where they had fled. The Turkish people, despite their limited means, shared their food with them and received without reservations all humans persecuted in their countries. This is the clean slate that may be shown as an example to all others of the Turkish nation, Ottomans and the Republic of Turkey.
In his talk before the United States House of Representatives, Professor Justin McCarthy indicated with the following words that Turkey also had suffered great pains in the World War I but preferred to keep them deep in its heart:
"The will to avenge is always branded in the minds of those that lose everything in wars. There would be a far greater number of deaths if the new Turkish Republic harped on these feelings. For this reason, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk�s Government adopted a policy whereby the losses sustained in the past were overlooked and peace treaties were signed with its former foes because it had felt that pressure to be applied on the Armenians and other minorities would rekindle the old animosities and led to further wars. Thus the Turks never mentioned their own problems. This was the best decision that could ever be adopted under the then prevailing conditions. The point to which we arrived today is due to the fact that nobody had spoken on behalf of the Turks. What do you expect the Turks to think when they are unjustly criticised for something that they had not done?"