23 March 2007
We suffer from serious illness due to the poor relations between our people, Turks and Armenians... Armenians live in an unshakable state of paralysis, while Turks live with an uncurable paranoia. We both require clinical assistance.. Who will help to cure us? Is this the responsibility of French Parliament? Or of the United States Congress? Who will prescribe an antidote? Which doctor will diagnose our condition? My answer is this: Armenians must help to cure Turks and Turks must help to cure Armenians. Without exception, there is no other prescription, no other doctor and no other effective treatment.
Speaking openly, to the Armenian Diaspora, I reach out to you and say that you should not anchor yourselves to the year 1915. Do not let the world's acceptance or rejection of genocide imprison you. Is this history painful to you? We lived it, our forefathers lived it. There is an old Anatolian saying.. [We consider ourselves to be Anatolian]
"If we must carry baggage which causes us pain and hardship, we must hoist it upon our backs and carry it honorably, without complaint or protest"
I say to the world: Whether you accept and recognize or whether you dismiss and reject the Armenian Genocide, means absolutely nothing to me..
Did Armenians kill Turks? Yes they did in the year 1918.. when the Russians were advancing with designs on revenge, [a concept which I detest completely]. These events took place..
Why do Armenians persist with their goal of spreading awareness and recognition? Turks should ask themselves this question and approach the answer emphatically. Only then will Turks realize that [our] ambitions are honorable Turks continually deny that a genocide took place and Armenians should also approach this position with empathy in kind, in order to discover the reasons for it, to find the element of pride and dignity which precludes such acceptance. For example: "As a Turk, I am against genocide! I am against racism! Genocide is a crime and a sin! My forefathers could not have possibly commited such acts! because I certainly would not!" Evidently, the Turkish position is also one of self-respect.
One day my telephone rings, and an elderly man from a village in Sivas is calling me because others have recommended for him do so. He tells me of an elderly woman from France who was visiting the village and who spent about ten days there before she suddenly passed away. "We took and buried her. We said our prayers, we paid our respects and we buried her.. Then we discovered that she was Armenian and it was recommended to me that I find you.." The old man gave me her name and asked me to help find her next of kin. He said the village would want to help anyone who came forth and who might travel to Sivas in order to take her body elsewhere for burial. "We buried her but we want to give notice and make it easy for anyone wishing to move her to another location", he said.
I agreed to help find her relatives.
I called an old friend of mine in Sivas and repeated the story, and gave him the woman's name.. He told me to go to a cobbler shop across the street from me and to ask about her there. "They will know". So I went to this place and asked if they knew this woman. I told them her name.. Someone turned around and said "That's my mother". I asked, "where does your mother live?".. I was told she lives in France.. I asked, "Does she visit Turkey?" I was told that yes, she visits Turkey occasionally but that her journeys do not always include a visit to Istanbul.. and that she was in the habit of visiting her hometown and birth place, a village near Sivas.. "She goes there and spends about 15 days with the people in the village, and she sometimes visits us on her way back to France..and sometimes not.." I repeated the story of what had happened.. We called the village and of course she cried and cried..
The following day, they traveled to Sivas and confirmed that it was in fact their mother who died.. I received their call..
"So are you bringing her back?"
"Yes we were going to but there is a village elder here who spoke to me"
"What did he say?"
She started to cry again on the other end..
"Why are you crying? What happened?" I panicked in reply..Then I heard the village elder on the phone and asked what was going on..
"I didn't do anything.. Everything's fine..I just told her it's their choice whether the body is moved to another location or not..after all it's their family and all... but that if you ask me..leave her where she lies...the water has found it's crack.. Leave her in peace.."
This expression really got through to me.. I had to also sit down and cry at this point.. "Water finds it's crack.." What an amazing thing to say..my God.. A literal depth of meaning found only in Anatolia.. one which would require many paragraphs and pages to describe, using only three words [in Turkish].. "Water comes, finds it's own crack and fills it"..
Water has once again found a crack..
Posted by IMA at 3/23/2007