They’re committing "genocide" against you, too; what a pity!

Such an easy use of genocide undoubtedly empties the word and even simplifies and normalizes the phenomenon.

The leader of the CHP (Republican People’s Party), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, made new statements regarding the ongoing discussions within his party. I will not put any obstacle in front of the renewal," Kilicdaroglu said, claiming that there is a “genocide” against his party in the media.

Referring to criticism against him and the party, Kilicdaroglu said, “Of course, we consider all criticism. Criticism that guides us has a place above our heads. But criticism should also be made at a reasonable level and with respect. Some people insult me when I criticize. This is not acceptable. I would also like to tell you that there is a genocide against the CHP in the media”.

Due to “backstage information,” many people talk about the party’s changes and stir up controversy every day. However, I will focus on the genocide because it receives little attention.

There are a few countries where many attacks and policies are categorized as genocide but where people are united in rejecting the essence of the term.

The Armenian Genocide can be easily refuted as “an imperialist lie,” “a lobbying game,” or even “they cut us down, not us” by those who can define the confrontation and coercion of their group, caste, or political organization against the state as genocide.

These two approaches can go arm in arm in Turkey.

Before starting this article, I typed “Kilicdaroglu genocide” into a search engine to quote the chairman’s exact words. Look what came up.

2021: Before his April 24 speech on the events 1915, U.S. President Joe Biden was urged by Kilicdaroglu to use common sense and support measures to bring peace to the South Caucasus. Kilicdaroglu emphasized that Biden’s description of the deportation decision and the ensuing suffering as the “so-called Armenian genocide” was “an unfair and unjust attitude,” adding that this discourse could not be accepted.

2019: In his speech at his party’s group meeting, Kilicdaroglu evaluated the US House of Representatives' adoption of a bill “officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide” and said, “If you carry the painful events of history into the present and turn them into a means of political revenge, this will not work.”

2016: Kilicdaroglu sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders ahead of a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the German Bundestag, calling for a halt to the initiative. “I would like to express my disappointment with the provocative attempt to vote on the resolution describing 1915 as the so-called Armenian Genocide in the German Bundestag on June 2, 2016... Undoubtedly, it is not and should not be the duty of parliaments to write and interpret history. Controversial periods of history can only be resolved by competent experts who examine and evaluate archives and historical records impartially, uncensored, without bias, and using scientific methods.”

There is no point in further evaluating these remarks. Kilicdaroglu’s position on the issue is the classic denial we are familiar with: Start with “painful events may have happened, but they happen in every country,” warm up with “it cannot be called genocide,” approach the finale with “it is not the business of other countries,” and end with the dessert of “let a historical commission be established”...

In recent years, I have tried to explain in several articles why 1915 was a genocide and why history should not be left to historians.

Genocide is undoubtedly eviscerated by the meaningless use of the word, which also simplifies and normalizes the phenomenon.

When I look at those, who say “genocide is being committed against us too” in Turkey, I see two dominant groups.

The first group is those who think like Kilicdaroglu. They claim that “there is no genocide in our history, but this is a genocide against us.”

The second group is more rational: “If this state did this to us, who knows what it did to the Armenians?” but I don’t know how sincere they are.

There are more and more people who say: “I could not say it before; I used to say that we would never do such a thing, but now I know that what happened in 1915 was a genocide!

How did we come to this “enlightenment”?

Experience is a method of learning. Avoiding the illusion that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” compassion, knowledge, and confrontation (with the true) are valuable no matter how late they come.

If it is a moment of anger and resentment that leads us to examine official policies more closely, there is no improvement there. But personal experience can be a milestone for us to understand, learn from, and confront.

To understand, sometimes certain conditions have to be met, such as becoming the new other to understand the other.

Although Kilicdaroglu might feel isolated, the group he represents might experience rights violations, and the ruling party might “terrorize” his party; this is not genocide.

If Kilicdaroglu wonders what genocide is, we can suggest sources to read, at least to help him realize that what has been done to him is not genocide.

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