Esat Ozan has been the rare, tireless voice in the United States, putting up
his dukes in the sea of Turcophobes for many years. Here is a commentary that
appeared in The Turkish
|My Q & A’s With
An Armenian gentleman had seen some of my writings on the Internet.
The following is the true account of our conversations which ensued this. It is hoped that
something positive can be obtained from the disclosure of these exchanges of honest
Dear Mahmut, I am a
seeker of truth and would like to be objective when judging any moment of history. I found
your article quite interesting and different from others I had read before. However, like
the Armenian Scholars, you criticized. You, yourself, are very subjective also.
I know that you are writing in Turkey and of course you would be
writing in favor of Turks. This e-mail is not to criticize you but rather for us to have
dialogue to obtain the truth of the past events, that is, if you are really a ‘truth
seeker’ like me and not just another biased Armenian or Turkish writer.
I would just like to give you some facts about why Armenians today
have this passion in seeking Justice. I am a humanitarian and have no hatred for Turks. In
fact I particularly like Turkish culture, and see beauty in its uniqueness. However, I
also like my Armenian culture and like an endangered species, I am concerned about its
- The Armenians are the
INDIGENOUS inhabitants of eastern Anatolia. Anatolia is one of the earliest centers of
civilization where it is believed that farming began. There have been settled communities
in Anatolia since at least 6000BC.
- Anthropologists have scientifically proven that a branch of the
white race is indigenous to Anatolia and they call it the Armenoid race, named after the
Armenians, as we are the ones who possess this racial type in the most concentration. The
Hittites, the Urartians, etc. ... were Armenoid in racial character as evidenced by rock
carvings and the excavation of skulls. Physical features are flat at the back of the head
together with a prominent nose.
- The Armenian language is a separate branch of the Indo-European
branch of languages, and contains within it the dead language of the Hittites, Urartians,
Phrygians, and Thracians.
- The Armenians were first mentioned in 700 B.C. by Greek and
- Turks, however, are newcomers to Anatolia. They came from central
Asia and they did not come as civilized conquerors, they came as ruthless conquerors,
bringing havoc on extremely civilized Armenians and Greeks, who had been the heirs of
settled communities in Anatolia and contributors to civilization.
1000 years these conquering Turks, who speak a Turkic language from central Asia, make up
most of Anatolia. Eastern Anatolia now has hardly any Armenians remaining, and Western
Anatolia has hardly any Greeks left. So now we have newcomers who have a population of at
least 60 million persons, about 40,000 Armenians left, and a couple of thousand Greeks.
- So we can come up with the conclusion that something has happened
very dramatically. There is a Turkish story and an Armenian story. I am concerned more
with the outcome, rather than the different versions of what happened.
- And, if
you are a truth seeker and a lover of the diversity of human beings than you should
Why are Ancient Armenian churches and monuments destroyed or
converted into Mosques?
Why is it when one travels to the Armenian city of AN! the
historical description at the gates does not mention anything Armenian?
Why is it that there are hardly any more Armenians left in their
Why is it that Turkish history books omit information on Armenians?
Why is it that Kurds are being denied the right to have Kurdish
language schools and broadcasts in their language?
Why is it that Kurds are being denied the right to have Kurdish
language schools and broadcasts in their language?
Why is it that present day Turks don’t have more physical traces
of their Mongoloid origins?
As a seeker of truth and not a propagandist e-mail me back your
This is what I tried to convey to him as honestly as I could:
I am writing a few points as an answer to your very interesting and
enlightening e-mail. Not being too familiar with the abbreviated forms of country names, I
presume you are either in Austria or Australia. Now let me try to give you my honest, and
at times, unnerving rebuttals.
I understand quite well your people’s nostalgia for the days when
Armenians were the sole inhabitants of a part of Anatolian land space your ancestors once
called home, and you probably would be living there today if a more recent generation of
your ancestors had not betrayed their own government, (of which many Armenians were in
official positions) and attacked their own army with the aid of the invading enemy,
If your people could accept the fact that all the misery
that followed began with your ancestors’ treachery, then we would have a starting point
for this debate.
Thank you for the history and language information. I am sure most
people do not know these facts. It just happens, however, that I was a part of a college
department of International Studies, and professor of Foreign Languages for more than 30
years, and have always been interested in, actually been fascinated by, all subjects
involving history and anthropology and languages.
You say that Turks are newcomers to Anatolia since they’ve
only been there 1,000 years or more. I have to smile at that because I live in the
USA, which once was inhabited by Indian nations, and now has been settled by 270
million newcomers, mostly arrived within the last few hundred years. If your email
address suggests that you are writing from Australia, it also has (had) its
indigenous people, the Aborigines of which you surely are not one. What does one
credit or blame for these happenings? Scientists might say it’s survival of the
fittest. Historians and anthropologists speak of rise and fall of civilizations.
Even today, we are at a loss to explain why the (white) European population is
decreasing, while the Hispanic, African, and Asian populations are growing. Is it a
cultural or environmental phenomenon?
You ask why
ancient Armenian churches and monuments were destroyed or converted into mosques. I
would say that where these things happened, the destruction was done by ignorant and
very angry people. However, I think you should be aware of the fact that every
church building and cathedrals in the city of Istanbul are still standing. Also
during all the ‘normal’ times, all the way through the Ottoman centuries and in
modern times, Armenians have been free to worship in their own churches. As a matter
of fact, you have a very kind Archbishop, residing in Istanbul, by the name of
Mesrop Mutafyan, whose newsletters I receive on a regular basis. In one of those
communiqués his Eminence had stated that the Armenians were grateful to Mehmet II,
the Conqueror of Constantinople who in 1461 granted the Armenians, without them
asking him, their own Archbishopric privileges in the city of Bursa. Prior to this
generous grant Armenians had lost in Anatolia their religious representation,
because of the Byzantine oppression which had denied them this right. From that date
on they would get their own Armenian Archbishopery.
Contrary to your figures there are 70,000 Turkish citizens of
Armenian decent, who still call Turkey their home, and they’ve been living there
with full possession of their civil, human, and religious rights and freedoms. On
the other hand, I am not able to answer your question about a city called ANI, since
I don’t know where that is. I do not recognize that name.
|The Census Of
According to a census taken by international specialists in the year
1898, it was found that in the entire Ottoman Empire, which included the Balkan provinces,
as well as the countries of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, the Armenian population
accounted for 1,2 million. There was not a single area where the Armenians outnumbered
Moslems though they lived together in harmony for centuries.
The head of the provisional Armenian ‘government’ in France,
Bogos Nubar Pasha, wrote on December 18, 1918 in his official Letter to the French Foreign
Ministry that at the beginning of the war, there were 600,000 -700,000 Armenians living in
Of these, 390,000 - 400,000 were resettled in the Caucuses, in Iran,
Syria, Lebanon-Mosul and Baghdad. Thereafter, their losses were 300,000.
Among the sources for this and more detailed information, “Eine
bittere Freundschaft,” by Muammer Tukwasul, 1984, Econ Verlag, especially the chapter
“Die Kaukasusfront und die Armenier” would give you an idea of what happened and how
Turks feel about that tragic chapter of Anatolian history.
As for your question regarding Kurds: Being Turkish citizens, Kurds
have the obligation to send their children to school to learn the official language of the
land, which happens to be Turkish. I live in Miami, which has been occupied by Hispanics, mainly Cubans, for a few decades now. The official
public school census in Miami schools, in the year 1993, (when I retired) was 8% White or
Asian English speakers, 16% Black English speakers, 68% Hispanic, 8% Other, (Haitian and
other minority groups). All of these children are taught in English, since that is the
official language of the land. Those, who speak other languages, or wish to learn other
ones, have time to do so during their ‘Electives’ hours.
By the way, in Turkey, there are many Kurdish radio programs on the
air. You can hear their music, sung in their language, all over Turkey. They also have
close to 200 publications in their own language, in the form of books, magazines,
newspapers, and journals.
Another piece of
information about Turkey on which you may not have access is the fact that the Turkish
nation had at least one Kurdish President, several cabinet members and hundreds of
deputies in the Turkish National Assembly. The ex-speaker of the Turkish Parliament was
Hikmet Cetin, a full-blooded Kurdish person, who had served as Secretary of Foreign
Affairs in the past.
Additionally as an answer to your question on why Turks look the way they do, it is
very simple. The Ottoman Empire was vast. Turks lived as colonizers in those
conquered lands, which they had taken over. They married women from those lands,
just as I married an American of German descent. Also, people native to the Balkans,
for instance, came to live in Anatolia.
One final remark I’d like to make here. It is an interesting
as well as an intriguing one. It deals with the many Christian Crusades in general,
but one of them in particular. It is known as the “Children’s’ Crusade.” The
latter has left its indelible marks on the physiognomy of the darker complexion
Turks. It even influenced, one might say, their ‘body language.’ They move and
act more like ‘European’ than the rest of the inhabitants of the Middle East.
In one of the earlier TV documentaries going back to the late
Sixties, by the name of ‘THE PASSING PARADE,” its commentator, John Nesbitt once
explained that when Genghis Khan was invading China, an army of European children
was getting ready to invade Palestine to rescue it from the Infidel. They reached
the Italian ports, looking for transportation to take them over the unpredictable
Mediterranean Sea to what they called ‘The Holy Land.’
Italian ship owners were ready and
eager to sell them ships, and they did. They sold them rickety old ships they knew
would not make the hazardous journey to the Holy Land. John Nesbitt, the commentator
of the documentary declared: ‘The fact that the children belonged to the same
faith as the Italian merchants did not deter them from committing this ghastly
Consequently most of the ships carrying these unfortunate
youngsters sank during raging storms and thousands of them perished. Nevertheless,
since this was a huge undertaking, the remaining other thousands were rescued by the
‘Barbary Coast pirates.’ Nesbitt explained further that these blue-eyed blond
Germanic and Scandinavian children were transported to Turkey and were sold there as
slaves. Those who bought them raised them as their own children instead of using
them as slaves. The story concludes that this is one of the reasons why you see
today scores of Turks with a fair complexion everywhere in Turkey as well as the
This mixture of different bloodlines seemed to produce a very
fertile people in Turkey. The Turkish population is large, and getting even larger
by every passing year. It is very young, strong, and growing in its demographics.