Taking Grassroots Activism to the Next Level

www.ozurdiliyoruz.com vs. www.ozurdilemiyorum.net

December 16th, 2008 by

Signatories on a petition initiated by Turkish academics and journalists apologizing for the “Great Catastrophe” committed against the Armenians in 1915 passed the 8000 mark today and continues to grow. The petition, titled simply, “I Apologize” (www.ozurdiliyoruz.com) states:

“My conscience does not attempt that (we) remain insensitive toward and deny the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected in 1915. I reject this injustice, share in the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers, and apologize to them.”

The statement, while falling short of properly characterizing the brutal slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish authorities from 1915-1923, shows progress in Turkey’s civil society efforts to encourage Turkish authorities to deal honestly and truthfully with its genocidal past.

So leave it to the blind-followers of Turkey’s multi-million dollar, international genocide denial campaign to launch the rival site – you guessed it – the “I Do Not Apologize” campaign (http://www.ozurdilemiyorum.net/).

Yes, these brave souls (just over 600 to date) have taken the bold step to refute the Armenian Genocide, using the same old tired refrains (“Allegations of Armenian genocide are racist and dishonest history. . .,” you get the idea.)  It is posted prominently on an Armenian Genocide denial page — Armenian Genocide Resource Center — the name twisted and coopted for the purposes of misleading innocent internet researchers and bloggers with genocide denial propoganda.

But just a few paragraphs in you realize that they have drunk the kool-aid. The Turkish Government kool-aid – a poison dispensed by mandate to schools throughout Turkey, by edict of the Education Ministry. They echo the calls by the 60 former diplomats, including many current Turkish parliamentary leaders, who reject Turkey’s civil society efforts to take on the taboo of the Armenian Genocide head on.

And so the speakers of truth and deniers of genocide go head to head. But, where will the U.S. and the international community come down? In support of academics risking their lives to eventually face the truth of the Armenian Genocide head on? Or in support of Turkish government hardliners hoping to quash even a mention of the atrocities.

Over 200 House members cosponsored Genocide legislation last year, adopted but House Foreign Affairs Committee, but blocked by a Bush Administration eager to kowtow to Turkey’s threats. President-elect Obama, on numerous occasions, pledged to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide. In support of an evolving genocide affirmation movement in Turkey, President-elect Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi have a rare opportunity to speak out – in clear and unequivocal terms.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 at 10:38 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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