Rambo: What about the Armenians? Since you didn’t mention them, and the Armenians always insist they be mentioned or you’re insensitive to Turkish genocide against them in 1915 and thereabouts, could it be said that the Ottoman Turk empire is in denial regarding its’ treatment of Armenians or not? Your thoughts would be most instructive.
Yes, the Turks are absolutely in denial of the genocide of the Armenians (2.5 million people!) along with the genocide of the Assyrians (1.75 million people!) and the genocide of the Greeks (725,000 people!). All of these occurred in roughly the same time-frame and coincided with the Young Turks’ nation-buidling project after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In part, the massacres also coincided with World War 1.
If you notice, it’s no coincidence that all three were Christians. In the process of nation-building, the Turks simply slaughtered the vast majority of the Christians in Anatolia. This was done under the rubric of them being 5th columnists and traitors and working with the enemy during wartime (World War 1), but there was never really any truth to that.
Even Ataturk condemned the massacres in 1924, saying they were crimes against humanity. As you can see, the Turks massacred 5 million Anatolian Christians, mostly in the space of 10 years, 1915-1925, with most of the killings happening at the beginning of the period. The Turks like to call this mutual ethnic conflict, with both sides massacring each other, but there’s no truth to that. The Anatolian Armenians and Assyrians hardly killed a single Turk, and the Greeks killed a mere 15,000 Turks, all in response to 700,000 of their own getting killed.
As a result of these massacres, Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks are quite scarce in Turkey now, whereas they used to have large populations – the Armenians and Assyrians mostly in the East, with the Assyrians bordering Syria, Iraq, and Iran where they lived alongside Kurds and the Armenians bordering the Russian Empire and the Caucasus. The Greeks were mostly living in the Far West in Izmir.
The Greek massacres are disgustingly referred to as “population exchanges,” as most Turks left Greece, and most Greeks left Turkey.
The slaughters of Hindus and Muslims in British India at the beginning of independence and the nakba of the Palestinians in 1947-48 are also disgustingly referred to as “population exchanges.” Very nice, liberal Jewish people will look you right in the eye and talk about “the population exchanges” during this time, but there was a difference. The Arabs didn’t want to leave their lands and wish to go back, and the Jews of the Arab World were more than happy to take off and don’t want to go back. So it’s not the same thing at all.
Every time you hear some Indian, Turkish, or Jewish jerk talking calmly about “population exchanges” as if they were some sort nice human swap meet keep in mind that that phrase is always hiding behind massive ethnic cleansings and massacres, even worse, typically genocides.