By Edmond Y. Azadian
It has been a foregone conclusion in Armenia that the Turks have not achieved the final solution for their Armenian problem and that they are using every opportunity to reach their goal.
The four-day war with Azerbaijan early this April further consolidated that belief, because it was instigated by Ankara and the Turkish military took part in the aggression.
Some analysts, military strategists and historians in Armenia have been thinking about the unthinkable: only the destruction of Azerbaijan can guarantee Armenia’s survival. Azeris have not been hiding their goal. The head of the state of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, has announced and continues to repeat that Armenians have settled on historic Azeri land and that they have to surrender that territory to Baku.
Mind you, this is not about Karabagh or surrounding strategic swathes of territory under Armenian control but the claim is on Armenia proper. And of course, the claim is historically false, but in these days of political expediency, who would care to check historic documents?
In the mindset of Azeris, this is a doable project; if Ottoman Turkey wiped out the entire population of historic Armenia with impunity and if Ilham’s father, Heydar Aliyev, was able to depopulate Nakhichevan under the nose of the Soviet leadership, then Armenia’s depopulation remains within the range of strategic possibilities.
To prevent that doomsday, Armenian analysts are advocating the reverse philosophy.
It is a huge question as to how Armenia could destroy Azerbaijan, liberate Lezqis and Talishes who are agitating for independence and then sign a truce with a rump state of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is backed by Turkey and Turkey is backed by NATO and everything else is protected by oil interests.
Turkish leaders all along have been in the same frame of mind. We should not forget that even in recent history, Turkish President Turgut Ozal threatened to bomb Armenia upon its independence from the USSR, because “Armenians had not learned their lesson in 1915.”
This statement is especially interesting because at no other time have Turkish leaders openly confessed to their state’s prior sins. In the case of this existential threat though, it packed a punch. And that this desire was still harbored by the Turkish state is doubly interesting and worrisome.
In the Syrian civil war, the Turks have targeted the Armenians along with the Kurds. The mercenaries who attacked and destroyed the Armenian villages in Kessab were armed and trained by Turkey. Armenians in Syria have been a thorn in the side of Turkey since the days of the Genocide.
As one of the Kurdish deputies said in the Turkish Parliament, the Turks belong to Central Asia. They have come to occupy Asia Minor, destroying on their way ancient civilizations of the Greeks, Armenians and the Assyrians.
It seems that through the appeal of the extreme form of Islam, to which many young and economically disadvantaged and uneducated youth are particularly susceptible, they flock to Islamic State (IS or Daesh). That organization, preaching unity of that extreme form, endorses, and practically seeks, the destruction of non-Islamic monuments, including the Buddha’s statue in Afghanistan, Palmyra in Syria and the Armenian Church in Sinjar, Iraq.
The esthetic appreciation that the Turks have demonstrated is revealed in their treatment of Armenian architecture. The churches, monasteries, fortresses and other monuments which could qualify for UNESCO preservation list have been used by the Turks as stables and for storage. And for one hundred years, they have been deliberately destroying those monuments to erase all traces of Armenian civilization in those historic lands.
Azeris who claim to be “one nation with two states” are not far behind in their destructive zeal. They have cold-bloodedly destroyed about 10,000 Khatchkars in Nakhichevan in full view of the world.
The city of Aleppo is today’s embattled Leningrad. It is divided into two sectors, one under the government forces, where the remnants of the Armenian community are sheltered and the other section controlled by the Islamic forces, under Turkish command.
The Asia News service reports “Islamic forces in Syria launched an artillery attack on the Armenian city of Aleppo on April 24. The heavy bombardment, an obvious violation of a ceasefire agreement, killed at least 17 people. Residents of the city’s Armenian district stated their belief that the attack was deliberately timed for the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The biggest indicator of the belief is that unexploded bombs were found with the message ‘Martyr Enver Pasha,’ who was one of the leaders of the young Turks movement who perpetrated the Armenian Genocide.”
Enver Pasha is trying to take his revenge from the realm beyond.
Enver Pasha was a member of the Young Turk triumvirate, along with Talaat and Jemal. After the defeat of his Ottoman army, he went to Moscow to offer his services to the fledgling Soviet government. He was dispatched to Central Asia to quell the revolt of the Basmaci rebel forces. Instead, he joined them against his Soviet overlords and declared himself Emir of Turkestan. He was chased out by a Red Army brigade led by Hakob Melkumyan (Yacov Melkumov) and was killed near Dushanbe on August 4, 1922. In 1996, his remains were brought from Turkestan to Istanbul and interred at the Liberty Monument in the Sisli sector of the city.
By the same token, Talaat Pasha’s remains were brought from Berlin to Istanbul, as the Turks were cooperating secretly with the Nazis during World War II.
That is why Parliament Member Garo Paylan was revolted: “There are 2,000 streets in Turkey in Talaat’s name. Can you imagine walking in Germany on a street named after Hitler or Goering?”
While US Secretary of State John Kerry complained about the atrocities of IS, he could not do much. On March 17 he declared that Daesh is committing genocide against Christians.
“We know that in the areas under their control, IS has made a systematic effort to destroy the cultural heritage of ancient communities — destroying Armenian, Syrian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, blowing up monasteries and tombs of prophets, desecrating cemeteries, and in Palmyra, even beheading an 83-year-old scholar who had spent a lifetime preserving antiquities.”
Islamic forces had occupied Palmyra and they began destroying most precious Roman architectural jewels in the area, in a challenge to the civilized world. Russian forces chased the IS militants out, calmed the area and they performed a classical concert.
The latest news is that they are building a military base there.
The most despicable crime was committed in Deir Zor, where 150,000 to 400,000 Armenians met their deaths during the Genocide.
A Martyr’s Memorial complex was built and dedicated on May 4, 1991 by architect Sarkis Balmanoukian. Every year thousands of pilgrims congregated at the memorial and prayed in the church sanctuary. The Genocide Memorial was a large, freestanding sculpture. At its base, the remains of the Genocide victims were buried. The complex consisted of a circular glass display of Genocide victims’ remains, out of which a white marble tower reached for the sky, blanketed by Khatchkars.
Several years ago, this writer visited the monument, tracing the trail in the sand where his mother had walked in 1915. The monument was the last point on earth from where angels soared into the sky. It was such an inspirational location, where living Armenians faced the “living” bones of the martyrs.
On September 21, 2014, the memorial complex was blown up by the Islamic State forces.
The bones collected from the sands in the area were once again broken and scattered in the desert.
Armenian martyrs were murdered — once again.