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Turks, Armenians And Forgiveness


Turks, Armenians And Forgiveness

In 1996, when visiting my Armenian friend in Vienna, we went to a Turkish restaurant. There he did not hesitate to express in a loud voice his animosity against Turks.

I told him it is not right to state the hate of 80 years past to a people with whom he shared many good years in Istanbul. That attitude was not only leading to anywhere or to peace.

My Armenian friend’s mother approved my theory, saying to her son: Anesti is right. You are not achieving anything by regurgitating the hate.

But human seems to have enough seeds to continue through the centuries.

Before I tell you an unbelievable story, I want to state my mother’s Albanian proverb: “What the government does to you, God doesn’t do to you.”

When I moved to Hartford I read a story of the memories of old Armenian ladies, saying they survived the Armenian genocide because a Turkish soldier was hiding the little girls and dropped them in Syria. From there they came to the U.S.

Some time after I was introduced to an Armenian businessman who was staring at me when he heard I was from Turkey. I felt the strong hate when he said his father would turn in his grave if he talked to me.

I responded: I respect your sufferings, but after Ataturk’s Republic you are wrong to keep the hate growing. I said the latest news was that neo-Armenians murdered the young Turkish council as revenge for the genocide. Can you image that this young Turkish council could be the grandson of that Turkish soldier who saved the little girls?

One wonders, when people claim to be Christians, why they cannot find in their hearts to practice the forgiveness that Jesus taught us.

One more thought, this regarding the April 18 editorial “Obama should call massacred of Armenians what it was.” Before being judgmental about Obama’s decision on this subject, know the history: 100 years ago 1n 1915 the Ottoman Empire (not led by Turkey) was responsible for these deaths. It doesn’t matter if today’s Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is moving away from the West. We have to respect that modern Turkey under Ataturk became America’s strongest ally against communism and all the Christians, including Armenians, had many good and prosperous years in Turkey.

If we don’t move past the old hate – to forgive and be friendly with other cultures – we can never be strong against terrorism.

Anesti Nova / South Windsor


Bizim Anadolu / June 2015

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