A Personal Essay & Manifesto
– Part 3
- For Part 1; Part 2 & Part 4
AN OPEN PROPOSAL FOR TURKISH &
A MANIFESTO FOR REVOLUTIONARY
All Wars are Genocide
by Bircan ÜNVER, New York
Dedicated to Devrim/Revolution
For a “Rehabilitation and
Reconstruction Initiative” between Armenia and Turkey, and between Armenian and
Turkish communities around in the world
“Who has profited from this
long-lasting dark play since the day it was first staged? It seems that no one has shown any
interest in examining this, or in naming the producers and directors who pushed
the red button that caused the terrible massacres on both sides of the
divide. Ordinary Armenian and Turkish
citizens were merely the actors in that tragic production.”
Abstracted from Part 2
Since the beginning of the 21st century, complex
multi-national manipulations have increasingly shaped our way of thinking and
our daily lives. They have also
targeted the living rights of every community in every part of the world.
Within this context, if the U.S.
House of Representatives’ approach becomes a part of U.S. foreign diplomacy,
will the House then act as an international court? If so, will this bring the major conflicts the western and
super powers have perpetrated on other nations and ethnic groups – at
least within the last 100 years – to the U.S. Senate?
Such an outcome would provide a
model for various ethnic groups and nations: those who have faced similar
conflicts might attempt to gain politic and economic power by following the
same path. Is this the direction
the United States will go in the coming decades?
If we are to apply the U.N. Resolution
entitled “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”
to any war or conflict – not only physical, but also mental threats
– in any country in the world, we can then conclude that all wars are
genocide. The “Convention on the Prevention
and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (1948) implies this statement. The U.S. House of Representatives must
therefore consider today’s ongoing conflicts and invasions – such as
Darfur, Karabagh, Iraq, Republic of Congo, and Sri Lanka – to be
“genocide” as well. (http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm).
Abstract from the Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:
The Contracting Parties confirm
that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime
under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.
In the present Convention, genocide
is defined as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in
whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group
(b) Causing serious bodily or
mental harm to members of the group
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the
group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in
whole or in part
(d) Imposing measures intended to
prevent births within the group
(e) Forcibly transferring children
of the group to another group
(For the full text> http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm)
The four major outcomes of WWII:
1) Formation of the United Nations.
2) Formation of Israel in the land
3) The Soviet-U.S. Cold War began,
creating artificial internal and international conflicts. It paralleled the ever-increasing
competition for nuclear bomb technology in the name of “national security.” Initially the excuse was “capitalism vs. communism”; now it is “ethnic conflicts.”
4) Space exploration reached the
highest level in research, investment, and accomplishments between 1960 and
1970. This, as well as other
discoveries in science, helped develop technology and communications.
According to some sources, our
investment in space research and exploration has been cut from 4% to less than
1%. Those resources have likely
been channeled to creating and sustaining ethnic and regional conflicts; the nuclear
and biological weapons industry benefits at mankind’s expense.
In the above context, let’s quickly
glance at the last thirty years:
In the aftermath of the Cold War,
nations, communities, and families have been torn apart. This creates animosity, even between
brothers and sisters and neighbors. We are facing a situation where everyone other than “me and my circle”
is considered the enemy.
Consider these ongoing conflicts:
• Palestinians & Israelis
• USA & Iraq
• USA & Afghanistan
• Singhalese & Tamils
• Kurds & Turks
• Azerbaijan & Armenia
• Republic of Congo
It is a shame that these conflicts,
which have caused the death of millions and threatened millions more, have been
deliberately ignored. The U.S.
House of Representatives seems to be more concerned with the Armenian
allegations about the events of 1915 than what is happening today. These
allegations, as well as the PKK conflict, are excuses used to drag Turkey into
Iraq, which could draw Iran into Iraq in reaction.
In order to change the direction we
seem to be headed, we must be aware of, protect, and develop our rights and
responsibilities – and pass this on to future generations. We should enjoy being a “passenger” in
this world, and use our stay here to elevate each other’s minds, souls, and
lives. We should leave a happy and
inspiring track behind us, instead of letting ourselves be used as tools of
In the context of the Armenian
& Turkish Cold War, Turks have been attacked unjustly by a deliberately
seeded hatred. This manufactured
hatred could expand to other communities, thereby threatening global
peace. We live in a world that is
shaped by yesterday’s dreams; we must redefine these dreams if we are to stop
endangering our very existence. What we need are constructive and long-lasting joint projects. Past wrongdoings in the name of
business, politics, and “national security” should be rechanneled to global
security, for the sake of humanity’s coexistence.
Despite the many conflicts in
different parts of the world, we are in a more peaceful era now than we were
during WWI and WWII. Still, it is
clear to me that Armenians and Turks are not the only ones enmeshed in a cold
I am troubled that people seem to have
forgotten that Turks and Armenians lived side by side in harmony, enhancing one
another’s lives and cultures, for more than a millennium. Needless
to say, no living member of either nation deserves these systematic actions,
which arrive through arbitrary channels, and which have served only to increase
the deep hatred and tension on both sides. Only the actors, not the producers, of this game are paying
the price, and only the Republic of Turkey is blamed in the international
All resources – capital,
technology, business deals, political power, human skills, time, and energy
– must be channeled to rehabilitation and reconstruction NOW. Armenians and Turks around the world
need to follow this path. The U.S.
Senate should launch and impose a reconsolidation process; otherwise,
especially if the Armenian-American Diaspora obtains its long-awaited result
from the Senate, new claims of this sort will be opened by other countries that
have faced similar operations. This could easily include the United States’ past operations, too.
To this end, I openly propose to
all interested individuals and organizations to come together to form an
initiative for Turkish-Armenian Synergy. This could be a role model for spreading the reconciliation process worldwide.
The people of Armenia and Turkey, as well as those in all countries in
conflict, desperately need this for their own development and empowerment. It would be a major step toward a
global peace culture within the region and around the world.
We can learn from the exemplary
efforts of organizations that have been working for the reconciliation of the
Israeli and Palestinian relationship. For instance, the Parents Circle –
Families Forum (http://www.theparentscircle.com/),
and their “Offering Reconciliation” Exhibition with 135 bowls, was produced by
a group of Israeli and Palestinian artists. Two key founders of the organization, Roni Hirshenzon and
Ali Abu Awwad, were panelists of the “Promoting Non-Violence in an Uncertain
World” during the UNDPI-NGO briefings at the United Nations on October 11,
It is remarkable that Israelis and
Palestinians, in particular those who have lost sons and brothers, are able to
work side by side toward a common goal. What a terrifying mistake and shame for us all if Armenian-Americans and
Turkish-Americans cannot do the same. Why don’t we seek to bring back the positive experiences of the past,
prior to 1915, when we coexisted for over a thousand years? We must reinvent and redefine that past
and invest in it accordingly.
We should keep in mind that Turkey
and Armenia border each other. Neighbors need one another; a good neighborhood exists only if both
sides are able to turn negativity toward a positive new direction. After all, "If one corner of the
world is in danger, all countries are in danger."
We must be aware that our future is in our hands. If we can stop man-made systematic destruction between nations, communities, and families – as well as work to prevent new conflicts – we will be on a bright journey for centuries to come. Let us be mature enough to work together within our individual capacities to develop and sustain partnerships, and to create synergy for livable neighborhoods and a peaceful world.
= = = = =
(End of Part 3)
For Part 1; Part 2 & Part 4 on the LIGHTMILLENNIUM.ORG
Next: Part 4: Purposes and Criteria
of the Turkish-Armenian Synergy Initiative
Edited by Figen Bingül
Copy editor: Emily Bunker
Part 1 – Can be read at
MYCOMMITMENT.ORG (initial version)
Part 2 – Can be read at
OYTRABZON.COM (initial version)
For Mission & Vision of the
About Bircan Ünver could be read at MYCOMMITMENT.ORG
- E-distributed between November 11 and 13, 2007
Disclosure: This essay was written
by Bircan Ünver as an open proposal to all potentially interested individuals
and institutions/organizations nationwide and internationally, and does not
necessarily represent the opinions of the Board of Directors or the Advisory
Board of the Light Millennium.
Note: The first draft of this
manifesto was written on the 4th of July, 2007, for “a Turkish &
Armenian Synergy Initiative,” to be formed under the Light Millennium
Organization, associated with the Department of Public Information of the
United Nations effective on December 2005. Updated by Bircan Ünver on November 11, 2007, New York.
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