Turkish Racism

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian


In case the ongoing, periodic, massacres of Armenians in and/or by the Ottoman Empire and its willing and eager collaborators weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the 1905 massacres of Armenians by “Tatars” (which were reciprocated), as Azerbaijanis were referred to back then, weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the Armenian Genocide wasn’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the simultaneous genocide of Assyrians and Greeks wasn’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the 1918 Baku massacres by locals and Enver Pasha’s “Army of Islam” weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the 1920 sacking of Shushi, a vibrant Armenian cultural center, and its accompanying massacres weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the 1937 massacres of Alevi Kurds, (or the Zazas, a term that no longer seems to be in use) weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the depopulation/expulsion of Armenians from Nakhichevan during the Soviet era by Azerbaijani authorities wasn’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case discriminatory practices in Azerbaijani controlled Artsakh during the Soviet era wasn’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the discriminatory Varlik Vergisi (a tax invented by Ankara in 1942 to impoverish and drive out Armenians, Greeks, and Jews) wasn’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the 1955 (premeditated and “fake-news” instigated) pogroms of Greeks (with some spillover on to Armenians) in Constantinople weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the mutilation of Greeks during Turkey’s 1974 invasion of Cyprus wasn’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the 1989 February and later pogroms in Baku, Gandsak (Ganja as Turkified), Sumgait, and elsewhere weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

Then let’s look to this century for… more of the same!

How about Victor Bedoian’s septennial sojourn in Van as he tried to open “Hotel Vartan” and was blocked at every turn from the vali (governor) who boasted that no Armenian would start a business in Van on his watch to the Turkish Supreme court that shut down his final appeal?

How about Hrant Dink’s 2007 murder?

How about Turkey’s sealing of its border with Syria at Kobane, blocking assistance and escape for the Kurds of that area in their life-and-death struggle against Daesh/ISIS?

How about the mutilation of civilians and beheadings by Azerbaijan’s forces during the April 2016 Four Day War??

How about Erdoğan feigning outrage at being called an Armenian (which is a really bad slur in Turkey, it turns out)?

How about the hatred spewed against Jews from all corners of Turkey’s polity?

How about the episodic appearance of hate graffiti on Armenian institutions in Turkey?

How about the ongoing desecration of Armenian cemeteries and churches in Turkey?

How about the recent video from Azerbaijan with children expressing their hatred of Armenians?

How about the comment that “Raping Kurdish women is a moral obligation. No one should abstain” by a leader of a Turkish group in Holland?

How about the Estonian citizen who was Armenian being denied entry into Azerbaijan, just days ago, because of her ancestry, despite having travelled to Baku with a properly issued visa?

It’s not only unfortunate, but utterly tragic, that current Turkish identity (including Azerbaijan, less its persecuted minority populations- Avars, Jews, Lesghis, Tats, Talysh) is unimaginable without this all-encompassing racism, The only glimmer of light in that darkness is the small portion of the population which constitutes civil society and its efforts to defend human rights, in the broadest sense of the term.

This reality must permeate the halls of (at least) Western governments so their foreign policy for Azerbaijan and Turkey is more rational and effective. The above can serve as talking points during any encounter with our elected representatives. Use them.

And just in case anyone you’re speaking with has doubt as to whether there exists a significant difference between Ankara’s and Baku’s ethos, ideals, and morals, here’s a joke to help convey this reality:

“What’s the difference between an Azeri and a Turk?”


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  1. State of Emergency said:

    If you know anything about the Turkish language, they are the masters of racism. They have derogatory names for almost every race, people, and culture. In fact, most of our unfavorable terms for certain peoples are mere translations from Turkish.

  2. Raffi said:

    “What’s the difference between most Azeris and most Turks?”
    There are good Turks and good Azeris.

  3. Dr. Sylva Portoian said:

    Thank you, Garen Yegparyan, well said…
    please add more… since 1064 from Wikipedia…
    *The 11th Century Genocide of 1064: in 1964 a large Seljuk Turkish army, headed by Sultan Alp Arslan, with the help of the Caucasian Georgians headed by King Bagrat, attacked Ani and after a siege of 25 days they captured the city and slaughtered its population. The Arab historian Sibt ibn al- Gawzi, who quotes an eyewitness saying, gives an account of the sack and massacres in Ani: “The army entered the city, massacred its inhabitants, pillaged and burned it, leaving it in ruins and taking prisoner all those who remained alive . . . The dead bodies were so many that they blocked the streets; one could not go anywhere without stepping on them and the number of prisoners was not less than 50,000 souls. I was determined to enter the city and see the destruction with my own eyes. I tried to find a street in which I would not have to walk over the corpses, but that was impossible.”
    Ani is a ruined and uninhabited medieval Armenian city-site situated in the Turkish province of Kars, beside the border with Armenia. It was once the capital of a medieval Armenian kingdom that covered much of present-day Armenia and eastern Turkey. The city is located on a triangular site, visually dramatic and naturally defensive, protected on its eastern side by the ravine of the Akhurian River and on its western side by the Bostanlar or Tzaghkotzad- zor Valley. The Akhurian is a branch of the Araks River and forms part of the current border between Turkey and Armenia. Ani is called the “City of 1001 Churches”, it stood on various trade routes and its many religious buildings, palaces, and fortifications were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world. (Wikipedia 2013)
    **“Denial Is A Crime”:
    French Parliament Bill on Armenian Genocide, October 12, 2006.
    France lost trading rights with Turkey in the year 2007.

    The stanza is from the Sylva’s Historical Poetry Collection . . .
    “A Poetic Soul Shined of Genocides” (2008) . . . of her poem –
    Armenian Sun on
    ‘The Rise’ with the
    Help of Bastilleians
    France’s commitment was extremely brave;
    Bastilleians do not glitter for metals in a safe.
    Liberty is in their genetics, thus abide.
    Their pride transcends in liberation rights.
    (Sylva Portoian, M.D
    April 2007

  4. Ararat said:

    Q. What’s the difference between an Azeri and a Turk?
    A. Azeris, former homeless non-native Caucasian Tatars aka Turkified Mongols, are prostitutes to their non-native Central Asian Turkish pimps. AND vice-a-versa!