10/12 Wall Street Journal: Letters to the Editor

Turkey Must Own Up to Armenian Genocide

October 12, 2007; Page A15

It's interesting that The Wall Street Journal, bastion of free
enterprise and U.S. ideals, seems to have a blind spot when it comes
to Turkey ("Politics and Genocide," Review & Outlook, Oct. 4). After
years of work by the Armenian community, a resolution is co-sponsored
by 226 members of Congress. The resolution basically does nothing more
than to have the U.S. government acknowledge the 1915 genocide of the
Armenians by Ottoman Turkey. This is considered an "inappropriate
signal to our Turkish friends" -- the same Turkish friends who refused
to allow the U.S. military to operate out of our bases in Turkey
during the Iraq invasion and is threatening incursions into Kurdish
Iraq to make sure Kurds in Turkey know their place. I guess our
national interests and security don't matter when Turkey has internal

The Armenian genocide is an historic fact that Turkey refuses to
acknowledge. A declaration by our government standing against a past
injustice should hardly be enough to destroy a relationship that is
certainly beneficial to Turkey. In fact, it just may be the act that's
needed to prod a country that is trying to join the EU into
acknowledging its past misdeeds and moving toward a future based on
democracy and personal rights.

Garo Kholamian
Barrington, Ill.

I can't quite understand why so many congressmen are against the
Armenian genocide resolution working its way through the House for
fear that it would offend Turkey. I was taught a long time ago to do
the right thing and speak the truth; if this offends one's "friends,"
then they probably aren't friends anyway. It's one of the first
lessons most people learn in life and Congress should follow it.

David Sayian
Chevy Chase, Md.

No one has a problem accepting the Jewish Holocaust of World War II as
fact. When someone like Iran's President Ahmadinejad denies the
Holocaust, there is severe backlash. What is different with the
Armenian case? Germany made peace with what some Germans did more than
60 years ago. Turkey still has not made peace with its forbears'
actions 90 years ago. How can the U.S. try to be a beacon of hope and
fairness in the world if it will not recognize what any respected
historian will state as fact -- that the actions against the Armenians
in World War I was an undeniable act of genocide.

Chris Manoukian
Kingston, Ontario

There never is a good time to pass resolutions condemning genocide,
and apologists for Turkey can always claim that times are particularly
delicate for bringing up such inconvenient matters.

Condemning the genocide is an American matter, as many of the
survivors of the genocide emigrated to America, not to Armenia. As an
American of Armenian descent who served in Istanbul with the U.S.
foreign service, I can attest firsthand that the Turks have neither
apologized for nor come to terms with this brutal, embarrassing and
defining moment in their history.

Your recap of the genocide is too kind to the Turkish government. Not
only did the Turkish government directly cause a huge number of
Armenians deaths, it benefited from the slaughter by seizing
Armenians' private property. The house of my massacred great-parents,
for example, is now a government building. My family has not received
any restitution, even though the Turkish government has been using the
building for almost 100 years. Until the Turkish government makes an
apology and provides restitution for the genocide, Americans should
not be hesitant to scold the Turks about atoning for their brutal
past, no matter how sensitive the time.

L.A. Eldemir
San Francisco

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119214946322356737.html