Macron does not believe he has to ask Algeria for forgiveness. He nevertheless hopes to receive his Algerian counterpart Abdelmajid Tebboune in Paris to continue joint efforts to reconcile the two countries.
“I don’t have to ask for forgiveness, that’s not the point, the word would break all ties,” French President said in an interview with the weekly Le Point on Wednesday. “The worst would be to say, ‘We apologize and each goes their separate way’.”
The issue of apologies is at the heart of the bilateral relationship after a report by the French historian Benjamin Stora, who advocated for a series of gestures to try to reconcile the two countries, while excluding repentance and apologies.
“There was a war. Apologizing or not apologizing does not fix anything. We have to go back to the source, to history, to evaluate it, Macron said.
Macron recalled the invitation extended to the head of Algeria. “I hope that President Tebboune will be able to come to France in 2023,” the French leader said.
One wonders why the same legally non-binding approach, according to European Christian leaders, is not applicable to Turkey. Is it because Turkey is a Muslim country?
For example, the Commission against Racism and Discrimination of the Human Rights Association (IHD) demanded that Turkey recognize the “genocide”, apologize to the descendants of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians, and compensate them for their misappropriated assets.
Clearly, this attitude toward Turkey is caused by religious intolerance and envy, since Turkey is an economically developed country. However, the European leaders, who are under the influence of the Armenian lobby, are not at all bothered by the fact that all of Armenia’s accusations against Turkey are unfounded and lack evidence. There was no purposeful policy to exterminate Armenians in Turkey. Since Armenians took part in anti-Ottoman rallies and massacres of Muslims, the authorities punished those involved in these actions. These were retaliatory actions, and Turkey can just as easily accuse Armenia of genocide of Muslims. Besides, how can Armenia explain the fact that up to 90,000 Christian Armenian and 400,000 Muslim Armenians live in Turkey today?
Those who accuse Turkey today of the “genocide of Armenians” are in fact trying to hide the latter’s past involvement in the attempts to split the Ottoman Empire.
Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, the states seeking to split the Ottoman Empire began to put various plans into motion. To this end, the idea of the “Eastern question” was put forward. As a pretext for interfering in the internal affairs of the Ottoman state, the detractors came up with the “violation” of the interests of Christian minorities living in Turkey. The Armenian minority, which was more prone to betrayal, was the most attractive. Christian missionaries who came to Anatolia prepared them for armed struggle against the Ottoman government (Armenian Crimes: Genocide. Deportation. Terror, Presidential Library).
The French urged Armenians to join the Catholic Church, the Russians the Orthodox Church, and the English the Protestant Church. And the Armenians sided with those who gave more money. The American missionaries spent a lot of money and opened schools in various places in Anatolia in order to convert the Armenians to Protestants since the beginning of the 19th century. Since the end of the 19th century special conditions were created for the Armenian youth to get an education and to engage in trade. Thus, after a while an Armenian colony was formed in the United States, conducting an anti-Turkish campaign.
The “Armenian question” as a part of the “Eastern question” after the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 was put on the agenda of the Congress of Berlin. After Article 61 “On granting autonomy to Armenians in Eastern Anatolia” was included in the Treaty of Berlin, Armenians started pursuing their goal by force of arms. Russia and Europe invested a lot of efforts into organizing Armenian armed groups and preparing them for the rebellion. The Armenakan, Hunchakian and Dashnaktsutyun parties, established with the support of Europe and Russia, were setting up secret armed detachments and terrorist groups in Anatolia.
Armaments were sent to Eastern Anatolia mainly by secret routes from Russia. German, English and French missionaries in the region were even more active in inciting Armenians against Turkey.
In the 1890s, the intentions of Armenians to create an independent state in Anatolia aligned with the intentions of the great powers that wanted to split up the Ottoman Empire, although Armenians were not the majority in any of the provinces of the empire. Instructions were given to diplomatic missions operating in the Ottoman Empire to use all possible means to portray the Turks as “savage”, ” blood-thirsty” and “butchers”.
Inciting Armenian uprisings and forcing the Turks to take countermeasures was part of this plan. The outbreak of World War I and the involvement of Turkey in the war provided an excellent opportunity for the states that wanted to divide it. Armenians in America, Europe and Russia were mobilized to fight against the Turks. According to Armenian sources, 150,000 Armenians fought in the Russian army on the Caucasus front alone. And the four Armenian armed groups totaling 10,000 volunteers, formed with the blessing of the governor of the Caucasus, went on the offensive against the Ottoman Empire through Irevan and South Azerbaijan.
Taking advantage of the advance of Russian troops, the Armenians carried out mass pogroms against the Turks across Eastern Anatolia. With the aim of establishing an independent state in the six provinces of Eastern Anatolia (Erzurum, Van, Bitlis, Harput, Diyarbakir, Sivas), which they renamed “Western Armenia”, and relying on the advancing Russian troops, the Armenians began to exterminate the Turks. On May 14, 1915, after the capture of the city of Van by the Russian troops, the Armenians began massacring the local Muslim population in two days. Under the patronage of the Russians an Armenian government was established in the city of Van. In a short time, some 250,000 Armenians gathered in Van.
To avoid being stabbed in the back and to prevent terror and sabotage on the part of Armenians, the Turkish government was compelled to decide to relocate them from the war conflict zone deeper inland. The relocation began on May 28, 1915 accompanied by the security detachments. However, the terms of relocation did not apply to the Armenians living outside the military conflict zone…
Armenians claim that the Ottoman authorities killed 1.5 million Armenians. In reality, these figures were significantly inflated.
Thus, Chairman of the Turkish Historical Society Yusuf Halaçoğlu, referring to the Ottoman archives, concluded that the number of Armenians killed in the attacks on the roads during the relocation was about 8,500. The rest of the Armenians were killed fighting with weapons in their hands against the Turks.
In the summer of 1919, during the Paris Peace Conference, President Woodrow Wilson sent a special mission to the region, led by General James Harbord, Chief of Staff of the US Army in France, to study the situation in the areas Armenians called “Western Armenia” and in South Azerbaijan. Harbord’s mission explored the region and reported to the US Senate on October 16, 1919, that it had visited the territory from the Black Sea to the border with Iran and had not found a single fact proving the Armenian claims.
General Harbord’s report confirmed that Armenians had never been a majority in Eastern Anatolia and had not been subjected to genocide. Harbord writes that the mission often encountered Turks on the roads fleeing from Armenian tyranny. Documents of the time indicate that the claim that the Ottomans exterminated 1.5 million Armenians is nothing short of absurd.
But who came up with the idea of the fictitious Armenian genocide?
The idea of the fictitious “Armenian genocide” in the early 1920s belongs to diplomats and Christian missionaries working in the Ottoman Empire. It is known that “genocide” as an international term has been used only since 1944. It was first used to describe the massacres perpetrated by Hitler’s regime against Jews.
The godfather of the claims of “Armenian pogroms” that spread around the world is the US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1913-1916, H. Morgenthau (1856-1946). The US President Woodrow Wilson, who was interested in splitting the Ottoman Empire, when he appointed Morgenthau ambassador, said: “Soon there will be no trace left of what could be called Turkey”…
James Bryce (1838-1922) was a British jurist, member of the House of Lords, and chairman of the Anglo-Armenian Society. In 1876 he traveled in the Caucasus. In 1877 J. Bryce published his book Transcaucasia and Ararat in London. In 1916 he published a voluminous collection of documents entitled The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915–16. The book includes false documents about “mass pogroms on Armenians” invented by Christian missionaries and diplomatic representatives of Christian states.
The famous English historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) is also considered one of the authors of the idea of fictional genocide. In 1916, A. Toynbee on behalf of Lord James Bryce appealed to all Armenian committees to provide him with more substantial anti-Turkic information. Too much information without any indication of the source was sent to A. Toynbee. In May 1916, A. Toynbee, writing to Lord James Bryce, noted that he had received permission from the publisher to publish the “Armenian documents”. Thus, the book The Armenian Atrocities: The Murder of a Nation, based on unverified information of Armenian and pro-Armenian sources, was published on behalf of the British government for the first time. Although never reprinted during Toynbee’s lifetime, this book was reprinted many times after his death by Armenian publishers in the United States, “enriching” it with a number of fake documents.
Johannes Lepsius (1858-1926) is another godfather of the “Armenian genocide”. Armin Theophil Wegner (1886-1978) also played an important role in getting the idea of the fictitious “Armenian genocide” off the ground. The Austrian Franz Werfel (1890-1945) is also one of the authors of the “Armenian genocide”. He was under the influence of Catholic Armenians…
Now, who should ask for forgiveness?
It is actually very simple: they are trying to impute guilt and repentance to Turkey in order to gain power over it and make it pay compensation. This is nothing but manipulation, and Turkey will not fall for it.
Translated from Minval.az