Letter: Don’t forget the tragedies

This letter is in response to the ongoing debate on the alleged genocide claims against “Turkey.” I honestly have to say that I have been somewhat startled by the enthusiasm with which “Turkey” is depicted as the mother of all ills by certain individuals. Perhaps a tad naively, I urge these people to keep up their enthusiastic lifestyle in other pursuits like introducing their respective cultures to the UIUC community. Having seen their enthusiasm, I seriously doubt that any obstacle can stand in their way to success.

The reason I have put the name of Turkey in quotation marks above is simple: it’s been twisted and turned to fit whatever claim the authors have tried to make. For instance, one letter that appeared on 5/4 had come up with the amusing statement of “parent government to modern Turkey.” Since the author of this letter seems to be an avid historian, shouldn’t s/he have known that what s/he refers to as “modern Turkey” was born precisely due to the destruction of the “parent government” in question?

Fact of the matter is, the modern Turkish Republic was officially formed in 1923, after the date of the alleged genocide. To this day, the modern republic contains people of many different ethnic origins living together one way or another. Yes, tragic events did occur to different ethnic communities during the hell of WWI and I honestly feel for them. However, I also find twisting and turning the truth to fuel political benefits by the past extremely shameful (i.e. quoting some German consul whom I doubt left his chair in the consulate before writing his telegram).

Therefore, I urge anyone and everyone to not forget the tragedies suffered by their loved ones, but at the same time to not use these tragedies to seek future political benefits either.

Cem Erkul

freshman in engineering