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Commissions d’historiens et négationnisme
Publié le :

Info Collectif VAN - www.collectifvan.org - L’une des réactions à l’article tendancieux « Une leçon d’histoire à 12 milliards de dollars », diffusé dans l’International Herald Tribune, le Lundi 25 février 2008, a été publiée par le quotidien anglophone. Il s’agit de la réponse de Peter Balakian, publiée le 29 février 2008 dans le courrier des lecteurs de l’IHT. [Nota CVAN : l’IHT a effectué de larges coupures dans le texte original dont nous vous soumettons l’intégralité en fin d’article].












Les Arméniens et la Turquie


La suggestion de Timothy Ryback et Elazar Barkan dans “Une leçon d’histoire à 12 milliards de dollars” (libres opinions, 26 février), à savoir que la demande de la Turquie d’une commission internationale d’historiens indépendante sur le génocide arménien est nécessaire, est dépourvue de contexte et déloyale.

Le génocide arménien a été documenté de manière si complète et avec des preuves si accablantes et une expertise si grande que prétendre qu’il est besoin d’un procès comme celui de Nuremberg est absurde. La réalité du génocide arménien a été prouvée par les archives des services diplomatiques des Etats-Unis, de l’Allemagne et de l’Autriche-Hongrie, ainsi que par les rapports des Cours martiales ottomanes de 1919-1920, et par des décennies de recherches.

Présenter le déni turc du génocide arménien, comme s’il était égal en signification, au consensus mondial sur cette histoire, n’est pas seulement trompeur, mais donne crédit au déni. Vos lecteurs devraient savoir que la Turquie fait le ménage dans ses archives depuis l’époque du crime et a créé une histoire falsifiée sur l’extermination des Arméniens afin de servir ses propres intérêts nationaux.

La Turquie dépense des millions de dollars chaque année pour financer une campagne internationale féroce niant la réalité morale du génocide arménien. On devrait aussi savoir que le refus de la Turquie d’aborder avec honnêteté un bilan sans ambiguïté fait partie d’un contexte plus large de crimes contre les droits de l’homme et de répression de la liberté intellectuelle. Ce n’est là certainement pas un gouvernement qui devrait essayer d’initier un discours public sur des sujets érudits.

Peter Balakian, Hamilton (New York), auteur de « Le Tigre en flammes : le génocide arménien et la réponse de l’Amérique et de l’Occident» [Nota CVAN : en abrégeant le texte, l’IHT a aussi supprimé la mention « Lauréat du Prix Raphaël Lemkin 2005].

Traduction Collectif VAN - 11 mars 2008 - 08:32 - www.collectifvan.org


Lettre publiée en anglais :

Opinion

Letters to the Editor

Bottom of Form

The Armenians and Turkey
Published: February 29, 2008

The suggestion by Timothy Ryback and Elazar Barkan in "A $12 billon history lesson" (Views, Feb. 26) that Turkey's call for an independent international historical commission on the Armenian genocide is necessary is devoid of context and unfair.

The Armenian genocide has been documented so thoroughly and with such overwhelming evidence and scholarship that to claim there is need for a Nuremberg-like trial is absurd. The Armenian genocide has been proven as fact by foreign office records of the United States, France, Britain, Russia and perhaps most important, by Turkey's own World War I allies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, as well as by the records of the Ottoman Courts-Martial of 1919-20, and by decades of scholarship.

To present Turkish denial of the Armenian genocide as if it were equal in meaning to the world's general consensus on this history is not only misleading, it gives credence to the denial. Your readers should know that Turkey has sanitized its archives since the time of the crime and has created a false narrative about the extermination of the Armenians to serve its own national self-interests.

Turkey spends millions of dollars annually in a fierce international campaign to deny the moral reality of the Armenian genocide. It should also be known that Turkey's refusal to deal with the unambiguous record honestly is part of a larger history of human rights crimes and repression of intellectual freedom. This is hardly a government that should be attempting to initiate public discourse about scholarly issues.

Peter Balakian Hamilton, New York Author of "The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response"

==

Texte original entier en anglais :

Timothy W. Ryback and Elazar Barkan's suggestion in "A 12 Billon Dollar History Lesson" that Turkey's call for an independent international historical commission on the Armenian Genocide is necessary is so devoid of context and a fair presentation of the historical facts that it is difficult not to call the authors disingenuous, or at best utterly naïve.

First, the Armenian Genocide has been documented for decades, so thoroughly and with such overwhelming evidence and scholarship that to claim there is need for a Nuremberg-like trial on this 93-year-old history is absurd. The Armenian Genocide has been proven to be fact by foreign office records of the United States, France, Great Britain, Russia, and perhaps most importantly, of Turkey's own World War I allies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, as well as by the records of the Ottoman Courts-Martial of 1919-20, and by decades of scholarship. Every book on comparative genocide in English has a segment on the Armenian Genocide. The 1919-1920 Constantinople court-martial trials concerning the Armenian Genocide yielded major evidence that provided a context for Raphael Lemkin, the scholar who invented the concept of genocide and coined the word, to do so in good part on the basis of what happened to the Armenians in 1915.

Second, to present Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide as if it were equal in meaning to the general world consensus on this history is not only misleading, but gives credence to the denial. Your readers should know that Turkey has sanitized its archives since the time of the crime and has created a false narrative about the extermination of the Armenians to serve its national self-interests. The Turkish government spends millions of dollars annually in a fierce international campaign to deny the moral reality of the Armenian Genocide. It should also be known that Turkey's refusal to deal with the unambiguous record on the Armenian Genocide honestly is part of a larger history of human rights crimes and severe repression of intellectual freedom in Turkey. It is not a coincidence that Turkey has had more writers and journalists in jail over the past decades than any other country, and that Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk was prosecuted for publicly discussing the Armenian Genocide, and Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated for doing so. This is hardly a government that should be attempting to initiate public discourse about scholarly issues.

It is also disturbing that Ryeback and Barkan, in mentioning three organizations, the International Center for Transitional Justice, the International Association of Genocide Scholars, and Elie Wiesel's Nobel Laureate Open Letter, chose not to mention that all three declared the events of 1915, Genocide.

For Barkan and Rybeck to equate a trial of perpetrators such as in the case of Nuremberg with a reassessment of decades of historical research and thousands of documents, is to confuse models; we need not put the scholarship on the Holocaust on trial any more than we need to put the scholarship on the Armenian Genocide on trial-especially at the request of the denialist government like Turkey..

Scholars of genocide note that the denial of genocide is the final stage of genocide because it demonizes the victims and rehabilitates the perpetrators and it sends a message that genocide can be done with impunity. Turkey's assault on the historical truth is an act that is both morally repugnant and cruel, and neither the international community of nations nor scholars and their institutes should be for sale on such issues.

It is far less dangerous to mix history with politics, especially when the history is the truthful record, than to present history and contemporary affairs without context.

Peter Balakian, Hamilton, New York, USA

Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities,
Colgate University; author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response, winner of the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize.




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