Gündem Haberleri

    Conference held at U:S. Congress on "Ottoman Turco- American Tragedy"

    Hürriyet Haber
    23.03.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    A row broke out during a conference organized at the U.S. Congress building by the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA) on ''Ottoman Turco-Armenian Tragedy'' on Tuesday. Speaking at the conference, Prof. Dr. Turkkaya Ataov from the Ankara University said that the western press had always been in favor of Armenians who were recognized as the first Christian state, and turned a blind eye to losses of the Muslim world. Ataov also briefed the conferees on historical facts that laid the ground for 1915 incidents. Although organizers of the conference asked participants to convey their questions with a written note, Armenian participants including Elizabeth Chulciyan, a member of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), jumped to their feet at the end of the conference and started shouting at Prof. Dr. Ataov. When an Armenian participant claimed that a person in Turkey was sentenced to 15 years in prison because he used the words of ''Armenian genocide'', Ataov replied, ''I do not know from where you get all these wrong information.''  Chulciyan said that academicians such as Halil Berktay and Taner Akcam were more open-minded about the Armenian issue, calling on Turkey not to reject the issue any longer. Then, Prof. Dr. Ataov approached the Armenian participants and showed them some documents.     When Chulciyan said that Adolf Hitler's ''Mein Kampf'' became a best-seller in Turkey and it was an example of Turkey's attitude, Prof. Dr. Ataov responded her, ''this is totally wrongful. Nobody reads that book in Turkey. I read it because I try to read all kinds of books. Hitler was a fool.'' Chulciyan said that she got that information from the American press, and in response, Prof. Dr. Ataov told her, ''this is a generalization. Such kinds of generalizations are extremely dangerous and they can mislead people.'' ''After Turks conquered Istanbul, not only Greeks, but the whole Christian world mourned. Turks have always been seen as barbarian because of the impact of their power. In the Webster Dictionary of 1953, the word of Turk was defined as barbarian,'' he said.      Ataov kept on saying, ''under its expansionist policy, Russia incited the Christian minority in Turkey. Catholic and Protestant missionaries coming from the western world poisoned the mind of Christian minority in Turkey with the idea that non-Muslims were more eminent than Muslims. An Armenian person served as foreign minister in Turkey in 1913. Can you imagine a Jewish minister in the Nazi Germany in 1940s?'' ''We cannot talk about unilateral loss in a warfare. Today, we know how many American soldiers died in Iraq. Do you know how many Iraqis died in Iraq? The foreign forces' attempts to use the Armenian minority in Turkey lays behind the events of 1915. Armenians destroyed buildings, staged assassinations and used schools as their arsenal. Today, we call such acts as terrorism,'' Ataov added.  


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