MOSCOW (Realist English). When we talk about fascism, we often remember only Hitler’s Germany with its gas chambers. As if there was no Armenian Genocide, Greek genocide, Assyrian genocide, Arab genocide and Yezidi genocide. One of the organizers of the mass killings, Jemal Pasha, proudly said that “Armenians were destroyed by iron, and Syrians should be destroyed by hunger.”
We have forgotten that pan-Turkism is to blame for the numerous sufferings of these peoples. It’s time to give clear definitions. And I’m going to do it right now.
Pan-Turkism is a kind of Turkish fascism, whose purpose is to preserve the class domination of the ruling elite over its own people and over post-colonial peoples through terror and physical extermination.
What is the reason for the long-term aggression of the pan-Turkists from Baku and Ankara against the Armenians? It consists in their worldview. After all, the consciousness of pan-Turkists is determined not by Muslim canons, but by a pagan worldview, when all people are divided according to the species principle – into their own and others.
At the same time, “strangers”, according to their logic, can be robbed and killed with impunity. So they did with Armenians, Greeks, Arabs, Assyrians and Alawites. At the turn of the XIX and XX centuries, pan-Turkists saw the killings of the Armenian population as a means of profit and personal enrichment, since Armenians controlled 60% of Turkish import trade, 40% of export trade and 80% of domestic trade.
As of 1915, that is, at the height of the genocide, Armenians accounted for 20% of the capital of industrial enterprises — textile, food, paper, woodworking, ceramic and metallurgical plants. To compare, the Greeks controlled 50% of the capital of industrial enterprises, the Jews — 5%, the Turks — 15%, and the remaining 10% accounted for foreigners. In Westernmost Armenia, Armenians accounted for 86% of all trade and 69% of industry. For example, in the Van Vilayet, Armenians concentrated in their hands 98% of the trade.
The ideologist of Kaiser’s Germany, Paul Rohrbach, who even before the First World War advocated an Berlin’s alliance with the Ottoman Empire, was forced to utter the following words about the Armenian people:
“Armenians have much more significance than their number suggests. There is no doubt that they are the most active element both from an intellectual and material point of view… The Armenian is endowed with such energy and steadfastness that contradict everything that we are used to seeing as an oriental appearance.”
The figures that characterize the role of Armenians in the Ottoman economy are important for understanding the motives of the crime. The organizers of the genocide understood that in conditions of equal competition they would never catch up with the Armenians. Therefore, mass killings were used. And where there is a hunt for capital, land is also being encroached upon. A typical class struggle described by Marx in the “Capital”.
By the way, after his overthrow, the executioner of the Armenian people, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, recognized in his memoirs the weakness of the Turkish bourgeoisie:
“The root of all evil is that no Ottoman works to create real values. The Ottoman is used to being a master and leaving work to others. He lives and has fun… Our young people think that they cannot become anything other than officials and officers.”
The pan-Turkist theorist Nazim Bey, who was the Minister of Education in Talaat’s government, spoke more openly:
“The prerequisite for the implementation of the Young Turks’ political program is a radical solution to the Armenian question… Imagine for a moment the creation of an Armenian state in the eastern regions. Such a state is a tombstone on the Turan program.”
The organizers of the Armenian pogroms in Baku and Sumgait were guided by a similar logic — to appropriate the property of Armenians in the industrial cities of Soviet Azerbaijan and to occupy their niches in the regional economy. The collapse of the Soviet Union fully revealed their fascist essence.
Pan-Turkism is not only an ideology of hatred, but also an ideology of revisionism and theft. Did you know that the term “Turan”, which Erdoğan and other pan-Turkists are now flaunting, actually has a Persian origin? In the Avesta, a collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, “Turan” refers to Iranian–speaking peoples — Iranians, Tajiks, Pashtuns, Baluchis and others. They were called “turs”. The Persians called “Turan” or “The Land of Tours” a vast country beyond the Upper Amu Darya, whose peoples spoke Eastern Iranian languages.
They started to use “Turan” as a synonym for “Turkestan” or “The Countries of the Turks” only after the Turkic Khaganate conquered the Central Asian Interfluve in 567 A.D. That is, the invaders privatized the homeland of the Iranian-speaking peoples.
Let’s go back to our time. The pagan pan-Turkists have many shortcomings, but the most important of them is that they forget their roots. Now that the Baku regime receives military and political support from Turkey, Aliyev’s entourage calls its people not even Transcaucasian Turks, but simply Turks. Only this transformation does not fit in with their interpretation of their own history. After all, in the history textbooks, the Aliyev regime heroically privatized Persian history, declaring the current Azerbaijanis descendants of the Kyzylbash. Something doesn’t fit here.
My advice to the Baku plagiarists is to pay attention to the Arabic work “Chronicle of Jar Wars in XVIII century”, the Russian translation of which was published in Baku in the thirties of the last century. I’ll tell you right away. We Armenians do not get involved in the confrontation between Sunnis and Shiites. I believe that Muslim believers do not need comments from the outside. I’m just quoting a historical fact that took place in the first half of the XVIII century.
So, on page 39 of this book, which tells about the wars between the Ottoman Empire and Persia in Transcaucasia, there is a letter from the Turkish Sultan to the Dagestani peoples with an appeal to kill the Kyzylbash wherever you overtake them, because they, making such demands, showed themselves to be undoubtedly unbelievers.” The Ottoman Sultan is referring to the demand of the Persian Shah Tahmasp II to recognize his “Jafarid”, that is, the Shiite faith, as true.
The persecution of Shiites by the Ottoman authorities in the occupied territories is also confirmed by Soviet historiography. In particular, in the textbook “History of Azerbaijan”, which says that “Sultan Turkey forcibly imposed Sunnism in Azerbaijan and persecuted adherents of Shiism.”
Why did I mention this fact? The Baku regime, according to its official statistics, rules in a society where about 85% of citizens profess Shiism and only 15% — Sunnism. But at the same time, Aliyev and his entourage declared themselves Turks.
I am now concerned with only one question: who are they really? If they are descendants of the Kyzylbash, then they are not on their way with the Sunni Turks. If they are Turks, and not Kyzylbashi, then this once again confirms that all the lands that are under the military control of the Baku regime are temporarily occupied territories.
Rather, I shouldn’t be so categorical. The Aliyev regime has long decided on its course. I am referring to the massacre committed by the police against the residents of the village of Nardaran, where, since the summer of 2015, local Shiites have taken to the streets to protest against the arrests of their co-religionists, as well as against difficult social conditions.
Meanwhile, Baku propaganda directs all its forces against the Armenians, covering up numerous repressions against the Talysh and the Tats. The Aliyev regime suppresses any form of dissent. He turned Armenophobia into a smoke screen, Baku propaganda is silent about the facts as to how the Avars and the Lezgins are forbidden to study their national languages in schools. That is, the ruling elite declared war on all the indigenous peoples of the region.
In fact, the Armenians are much more convenient sparring partners for the Aliyev regime than other indigenous peoples of the region, since after the pogroms in Baku and Sumgait, Armenians live on the perimeter, and not inside Azerbaijan. Probably, the leader of the Baku regime forgot that the Armenians in the early Soviet period were officially considered the indigenous people of the Azerbaijani SSR.
Take a look at the flag of Soviet Azerbaijan. There the names of the republic and its autonomous region are indicated in two languages – Armenian and Azerbaijani. You got rid of the Armenians precisely because you didn’t want to share power in the republic with them later. On the ruins of the Soviet Union, you tried to implement the fascist methodology of the Young Turks. But at the most inopportune moment, something went wrong…
At the same time, Aliyev’s regime is trying to turn Muslims around the world against the Armenians. But the Armenian people have a longer and closer relationship with Sunni and Shiite Islam than the pagan pan-Turkists. Do you think I’m exaggerating?
Did you know that, in their ranks, the Young Turks introduced the custom, when praying, to turn one’s face to the East — to Turan, although according to Islamic tradition it is customary to look to the south — towards Arabia, which is the birthplace of Islam? If you don’t believe me, ask the experts. They will tell you more about these pagans.
I want to specifically emphasize that with the exception of the carriers of the fascist ideology of pan-Turkism, which is based on racial hatred, thereby violating the precepts of Islam, the Armenian people have the kindest relations with Tatars, Bashkirs, Turkmens, Kazakhs, Kirghiz, Uzbeks and other Turkic peoples. And we cherish these relationships!
Moreover, the Armenians have no problems with the Azerbaijanis and the Turks who reject the fascist ideology of pan-Turkism. Azerbaijanis in Moscow and St. Petersburg live peacefully with their Armenian neighbors. The same can be said about the Turks in Istanbul and Izmir.
Morethan that, Turkish intellectuals Taner Akçam, Ragip Zarakolu, Ali Bayramoğlu, Orhan Pamuk, Elif Şafak and others were blacklisted by the Erdoğan regime for publicly calling on the authorities to recognize the Armenian Genocide. By the way, among them is Hasan Cemal, the grandson of the same Cemal Paşa. Unlike his grandfather, Hasan Cemal not only recognized the genocide, but also demanded that the Turkish state apologize to the Armenians.
However, еру pan-Turkists do not need the truth. This is how Turkish human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu explains their motivation:
“The Armenian Genocide is one of the foundations of the formation of the Turkish nation. That is why its denial is so strong: if the Genocide is recognized, the whole Turkish history, all the heroes will turn to dust.”
People of the scale of Pamuk and Akçam take a lot of risks, but they are not afraid, which causes respect. Therefore, it would be unfair to associate all Turks with murderers like Erdoğan, Enver, Talaat and Cemal. At the same time, the Armenians should remember that with the Turks who support Erdoğan and fascist pan-Turkism, they are not on the way. If peace with Hitler was impossible, then on what basis do you want to be friends with Erdoğan, who is leading the Turkish people into the abyss?
Sarkis Tsaturyan is the Editor-in-chief of Realist Information Agency, author of the analytical program “Vlast’” (Power).