In my column of June 13, I wrote about the Western propaganda against Turkey. The German Parliamentary Resolution branding the 1915-1916 Turkish action against those Armenians having collaborated with the Western countries and Russia, prompted me to do so. One Armenian gentleman, Jaime Odabachian, wrote to me, clarifying the event and supporting the Armenian stance.
Prof Dr Durmush Bulgur, chairman of the Rumi Chair at Punjab University, Lahore, thanked me for highlighting the truth about the propaganda. I herewith reproduce a translation of his letter to me.
“Dear Dr A Q Khan, kind regards. I read your column ‘Turkey and Western Propaganda’ and highly appreciated it. I was extremely pleased that a person of your stature and fame had such deep knowledge of the matter. I am extremely grateful to you for it. A few months ago I had also written a piece on the subject for the Pakistan media. I am forwarding it herewith for your kind perusal. Yours sincerely, Prof Dr Durmush Bulgur.”
The gist of the write-up by Prof Bulgur, together with my own knowledge on the subject matter, was formulated in my reply to Odabachian. In his email he mentioned that, during that turmoil his grandfather was lucky to survive after receiving assistance from the German embassy. That was exactly the sore point – Armenians collaborating with foreigners. He also said that he loved Istanbul and having meals at Haji (Haci) Abdullah at Thaksim. My reply to him (with facts from Prof Bulgur’s letter) is given below.
“Dear brother, Jaime Odabachian. Thank you very much for your email and comments. I am surprised that my columns are read so widely.
War, no matter under what pretext, is a dirty game and many people suffer and/or lose their lives while there are really, in the long run, no winners, no losers. Usually it is the poor and common people who suffer most. In wars where a section of the population sides with the invaders, they are at great risk. Should the result not be in their favour, they suffer terribly.
In Bangladesh, some locals joined our army in the horrendous acts of murder that took place there. They are now being taken to task for it by the Bangladeshi government. When the Jews were being prosecuted in Europe, it was Turkey who welcomed them with open arms.
Armenia was conquered during the caliphate of Hazrat Umar, the second caliph, when Muslim armies conquered Persia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. With time, this area came under Turkish control and many of the people from the occupied areas moved to mainland Turkey for financial reasons. We know that during the 1877-1978 wars between Turkey and Russia, the Armenians sided with Russia.
After the war, a pact was signed (forced on Turkey) by which the southern Anatolian portion up to the Euphrates River was to be taken by the Russians. According to a secret pact between the Russians and Armenian armed groups, this area was to be inhabited by the Armenians and an Armenian state was to be proclaimed.
In 1912 the Russian Ambassador in Istanbul wrote a letter to his foreign ministry stating: ‘Van, Bayazid, Talis, Rumarea and Tarahzun have a pro-Russian Armenian population and are against the Osmania government. They are waiting for the Russian Army to come to intervene. In addition to this, the Armenian/Russian patriots are also requesting the Russian Government to occupy the area and let the Armenians rule there.’
Thanks to the opposition raised by the Western countries (to protect their own interests), this nasty scheme did not materialise. But the Armenians did not give up and those living in Anatolia and surrounding areas openly sided with Russia, France and Britain during the 1914 attack on Eastern Anatolia by the Russian Army and Armenian armed groups killed many Turks, occupying Van and declaring a state of their own.
At that time, Gen Anwar Pasha reacted and asked the interior minister, Talat Pashia, to round up all armed Armenians and banish them to other places. That was the need of the hour – both for the safety of the Turkish people and for the integrity of the country. This must have resulted in the murder of many people – estimated at being approximately 50,000, not two million.
My purpose in writing that column was to give the background information to indicate that it was not an act carried out in isolation. Best regards, Dr A Q Khan”
My colleagues and I have been to Turkey numerous times since 1977. We found the Turks to be extremely friendly, well-mannered and proud of their past grandeur and history. By not keeping up with the times and with scientific progress, they lost all that and have since been branded by the West as ‘the sick man of Europe’”.
The recent terrorist acts in Turkey are a repeat of what we have been going through in Pakistan, thanks to Musharraf’s policies. Before that, we never faced this menace. In Turkey, this spate of terrorism is a fallout of their meddling in Syrian affairs. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a competent and highly patriotic person. He should not lose what he has achieved after years of hard work. A more pragmatic and balanced foreign policy seems advisable.
Joining the Western crusade against a Muslim Syria does not seem to be a wise step. The downing of a Russian jet was far from acceptable. If the Russian plane had inadvertently entered Turkish airspace by a few hundred meters, a Protest Note would have been a more sensible response. Any Muslim country that has acted as a mercenary for the West is, sooner or later, doomed. See what happened to Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. Turkey has all the potential of becoming a developed, rich, peaceful country and should utilise this to the full.
PS: I am extremely grateful to everyone who sent me best wishes and Eid greetings and I reciprocate them wholeheartedly. It is impossible for me to respond individually to all my well-wishers. May Allah shower His boundless Blessings on all Muslims on this auspicious occasion – Ameen.