Like any other community, Armenians side with groups that voice their grievances in a more radical way. One reason for this is Turkey's denial over the years of the 1915 events. This situation justified radical Armenians whose rhetoric dominated the majority of discussions in the Armenian community. Although this did not necessarily require Armenians to develop a maximalist strategy, it was the easiest way toward which the Armenian diaspora was inclined.
The strategy in question consists of three parts: Moving the issue of recognition away from its historical context and reducing it to the acceptance of genocide, regarding the Turkish state as an addressee that is supposed to accept it as genocide and considering activism as a sufficient policy.
The description of the matter as recognition of the genocide relieved Armenians considerably. It enabled Armenians to escape the complicated structure of history and, for instance, it made them leave the politics of Dashnaks to the sphere of "experts." For Armenians, it became a kind of historical knowledge that the 1915 incidents were genocide, so much so that we Armenians do not have to know about our own history. For a vast majority, it might be enough to know that what was experienced was genocide. Unfortunately, this preference means the estrangement of Armenians from their own history and experiences. Perhaps, one reason why they cling to the term genocide is their wish to conceal this alienation.
It was exhausting to regard the Turkish state as an addressee, as this situation doomed Armenians' emotional world to a superficial politicization. This is because forcing a state to take a certain step implies that you yourself are acting like a state. Indeed, the Armenian diaspora dedicated all its energy to lobbying. It strived to convince foreign governments and parliaments to accept the Armenian genocide. Thus, the issue gradually became an interstate topic and Turkey's denial politics became legitimate. It was nonsensical to talk about the goodwill of states that acknowledged the genocide. Nation-states are the parts of a world where non-ethical institutionalizations and interests are prioritized. Therefore, the presence of countries that accept the genocide said something to Turkey about their policies on Turkey, but they did not say anything about 1915. Moreover, it moved 1915 further away from its historical context and made it a part of current opportunistic politics.
The fact that the Armenian diaspora eventually found activism sufficient overwhelmed the debate. They failed to understand that the repetition of norms and moral principles was not politics. As Armenians were victims, they thought that the recognition of their sorrows and the alleviation of their grievances was their incontestable right. However, history is not a fair judge. Obtaining the things that you think you deserve is directly related to what you are doing here and now. The recognition of 1915 requires Armenians to develop a correct political strategy today.
The logic of this correct strategy is possible with going beyond the three mistakes that have been made so far - understanding and recognizing concrete life experiences, rather than genocide, in all their complexity; expecting this recognition from Turkish society, rather than from the state and accepting particularly the conservative wing of society as an addressee and escaping the comfort of activism, trying to understand the current Turkey and to get in touch with it. Such a strategy will rapidly make Armenians' experiences the property of Turkey's community and will make statist resistance meaningless. Then it will be up to each individual to call it genocide or not. Yet still, we can manage to look at history together.
to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the
used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan
ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen