Genocide only happens on days that end in “y”

Friday, 16 December 2005

Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish author, is to be tried for the crime of “public denigration of Turkish identity.” Three years is apparently the maximum sentence so it’s not completely totalitarian but let’s say 66.6%.

He is being tried because he, a Turk, admitted in an interview what everyone else in the world who cares to know already did, namely that Turkey, as a nation building act, massacred and forced starvation upon around two million Armenians. Quite likely an historical record until the 1944 European census was conducted.

Armenian genocide.

If you ask the Turkish government, however, the figure you will get is 50,000 to 600,000, almost all the unintentional victims of the war at hand (WWI for our generation zero, I mean Y, readers). If you ask the Turkish government, there was no genocide at all. Armenian genocide, interred/starved mother and child.

Supporting a crime—for example hiding a murderer or lying to provide an alibi—is a crime. Depending on the crime, it can be punished as harshly. Even if one did not murder, helping a murderer may make you legally responsible for the murder. As it should.

Until the Turkish government and the Turks as a nation come clean on the genocide, they are guilty of it. If Ferit Orhan Pamuk receives jail time or even censure, Turkey will have committed the genocide by proxy and conspiracy all over again. And the many other nations of the world who either formally or tacitly deny the genocide of Armenians took place, like say Israel, should be considered co-conspirators.


In January of 2006 the Justice Ministry of Turkey dropped the charges without actually addressing the issue at all, citing a legal technicality. It was—not coincidentally I’d say—the week before an EU meeting to discuss Turkey’s justice system. Turkey applied to join the EU in 1987 and only in 2005 entered the formal approval process which may take many years.

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