Why Is Turkey So Invested In Denying The Armenian Genocide?

Note that being “planned” or “systematic” are not part of the UN definition of genocide, just intent (while planning was part of Lemkin’s original definition)

I agree with those who are saying there’s a substantial difference between eliminating a group of people by killing the members of the group and eliminating a group of people by converting them into members of a different group. I think it’s wrong to identify the latter process as genocide.

This is an egregious false equivalence. Comparing that premeditated mass murder of a million over people is pretty offensive.

Not that the treatment of Native Americans and their culture (including the boarding schools, mass adoptions, etc). was OK by any means. Historical actions aren’t divided into “Blatant genocide” and “Completely A-OK nothing to see here” with nothing in between.

Bad acts by other nations, genocide or not, do not let Turkey off the hook.

Debaters should avoid the siren song of tu quoque.

This demonstrates my point pretty well; very few people to admit that any of ‘their own’ (whether it’s country, race, religion, or other grouping) is guilty of genocide, and will contort definitions so that whatever their country did doesn’t qualify. Here me using the term is labeled offensive, apparently under the belief that calling a war of extermination “genocide” is bad. And I’m not the one who called it that, the first governor of California, Peter Hardeman Burnett, said in a speech “That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races until the Indian race becomes extinct must be expected. While we cannot anticipate this result but with painful regret, the inevitable destiny of the race is beyond the power or wisdom of man to avert.” Then last year, the current governor of California said "“It’s called genocide. That’s what it was, a genocide. No other way to describe it. And that’s the way it needs to be described in the history books.”

Attempting to completely eliminate a group of people by killing off a large part of them, then attempting to force them to give up their culture, religion, and even their very names is ‘blatant genocide’. If you don’t accept that as genocide, then the German treatment of Slavs (particularly Russians) doesn’t qualify either, as they didn’t kill all ethnic Russians, and their plan was not to do so but instead to kill most of them, keep some around as sterilized slaves, and leave some untamed land far to the east of German settlements so that future generations of Germans would have somewhere to engage in warfare. They didn’t succeed in complete extermination, and the end goal was not to actually kill all of the Rusisans, so is it ‘an egregious false equivalence’ to refer to the Holocaust in Russia as ‘Genocide’ too?

This thread is not about whether Turkey is ‘on the hook’ for anything. If you look at the title it asks why Turkey is so invested in denying the Armenian Genocide - it says nothing about whether Turkey should be ‘on the hook’ for anything, and indeed none of the discussion has been about whether Turkey is to blame for the Armenian Genocide, as far as I can tell that has been accepted as a given.

When someone points out reasons why a country might deny responsablity for an action in answer to a direct question of why they don’t admit it, that is directly answering the question. When one points out another country engaging in the same behavior as indication that such behavior is common, that is providing an example. The fallacy of Tu Quoque would be making an argument along the lines of “US actions mean that Turkey’s actions are fine”, which no one (certainly not me) has done.

I’ve already cited reasons why Turkey doggedly avoids acknowledging the Armenian genocide.

When a poster(s) start bringing up other purported examples of genocide to show that such actions are “common”, it in no way addresses the OP but instead reeks of tu quoque.

It’s pretty clear that Lemkin thought that what the Turks did to the Armenians was genocide, though it took him a while to coin the term. Lemkin circa 1920: “It is a crime for Tehlirian to kill a man, but it is not a crime for his oppressor to kill more than a million men? This is most inconsistent.”

In 1933 Lemkin wrote a paper saying that if the world was going to prevent the sort of mass slaughter visited upon the Armenians, they would have to update their laws. He proposed such a law based upon, “Universal repression”. His idea went nowhere.

Later he realized he had a marketing problem: he needed a word that captured the full horror of such a crime. He invented it in 1944. Genocide.

Certainly, I agree that the Armenia mess started him off.

But this doesnt really answer the question.

Again, it simply does not and repeating the untrue statement will not make it true. Providing examples of other countries denying their role in genocide in response to a poster wondering why a particular country doesn’t do so is in no way saying ‘so it’s fine to do so’.

Your gripe might have relevance if Turkey’s customary response to being called on the Armenian genocide was that other countries have committed genocide too.

In reality, Turkey consistently denies that the killings were genocide in the first place.

Suggestions here that it’s hypocritical or unwarranted for Americans to criticize Turkey’s genocidal acts because of America’s treatment of native Americans is a form of tu quoque, whether you like it or not.

You also should look up the definition of the tu quoque fallacy. It does not involve justifying a behavior on the grounds that others engaged in it. It’s about trying to dodge or obfuscate a point by attempting to turn it back on the person who made it.

Who, exactly, made such suggestions? Can you provide a post number to the post in this thread where literally anyone does so?

Post 8, you.

You brought up the USA and native Americans, altho there was no need to do so. I dont know why you did that- tu quoque? Hijack? or what, but you were the one who dragged that issue into the discussion.

Literally nothing in that post said “that it’s hypocritical or unwarranted for Americans to criticize Turkey’s genocidal acts”. That particular phrase, which is the sole basis of the tu quoque accusations, did not come from me at all, but was added by others. It is, in fact, a good example of the logical fallacy known as a ‘strawman’, where you invent a bad argument, attach it to your opponent, and then argue with the bad argument.

I think it’s perfectly reasonable if someone says ‘why does this one country do this particular thing’ to point out that what they’re doing is something that other countries do, especially if the person seems to think the action is unique to the country they’re asking about. And using an example of a country that is pretty much in the diplomatically, economically, and militarily in contrast to a country that is in a volatile region with stronger neighbors and with economic and military connections that are fairly weak highlights the point - Turkey has much more to lose than the US in this case. It’s certainly not unreasonable to disagree with that idea, but it is unreasonable to claim that by pointing out a simple fact that I must be making an argument that I don’t even agree with in the first place.

And that’s the last time I’m treating these strawmen as actual arguments by responding to them.

What about cultures who have “better” ways of doing things, things that provide advantages in the modern world?
Education priority, maybe farming methods, maybe crime fighting advantages, reform or rehabilitation methods, financial decision making, child birthing, out of wedlock rates etc etc
Not all would be cultural but different cultures all have differing values for all of these.

What do we call it when those methods aren’t necessarily enforced but are frowned upon when used/not used?

Oh yes, whitewashing and/or cultural appropriation.

Shame shame. To me it shouldn’t be shame shame, but instead highly utilized to provide the best of all cultures with no repercussions. (except of course the loss of cultures that don’t fit or behave in the most effective ways)

No, you didnt use those words. But WHY did you drag in USA and native Americans, altho there was no need to do so. I dont know why you did that- tu quoque ? Hijack? or what, but you were the one who dragged that issue into the discussion.

And no, it is not perfectly reasonable if someone says ‘why does this one country do this particular thing’ to point out that what they’re doing is something that other countries do, that is whataboutism.

What I’m learning is that if someone says ‘Tu Quoque’ or ‘whataboutism’ on this board, they have no idea what the terms are and just want to claim victory because the person they don’t like mentioned relevant information. If you’re going to define “whataboutism” so absurdly broadly that answering a question about ‘why does country/person/group A do X’ with ‘it would hurt them, also it’s pretty common for countries/people/groups to do X here is a prominent example,’ the term is worthless. At that point, anyone emgagomg in the thread about ‘why do my relatives drink until they get sick’, anyone who mentioned common drinking habits and social mores around drinking would be engaged in whataboutism. It’s just silly.

According to Wikipedia,

My post was directly answering the question, so I don’t think there was even an ‘opponent’ at the time I posted, and I didn’t charge anyone with hypocrisy (as I’ve pointed out, that is a strawman that other people came up with). So, definitely not ‘whataboutism’ by Wikipedia’s standards.

Dictionary.com says that it’s

I’m not sure that the OP even counts as an ‘accusation’, and if it does my response fully agreed with the ‘accusation’. It certainly wasn’t a difficult question, and I didn’t raise a different issue, I provided an example of other groups reacting to the issue in the same way in addition to directly addressing (and acknowledging) the issue. For an accusation of ‘whataboutism’ in this definition to stick, it would require that I was in some way defending Turkey’s actions, rather than answering the question raised in the OP - which was not anything like ‘are these actions by Turkey morally justified’ but instead what ‘why does Turkey do this’.

And now I’m filing your ‘whataboutism’ accusation with the strawman nonsense.

Pantastic, it was a pretty irrelevant interjection and not one that helped the thread. I am willing to believe you did not mean to do so intentionally, but let’s not pretend that you did not draw a direct connection or equivocate between your digression and the Armenian genocide.

By saying, “even though active attempts to eradicate Native cultures persisted much later than the Armenian Genocide” you implicitly, and obviously stating that you see a connection and even moral equivalence between the two and that the US can’t reasonably condemn the latter because it has not embraced “it’s history of genocide against Natives” [sic]. Although I am not sure what that means as the history of the United States and the Native Americans / American Indian is taught and absolutely acknowledged.

“The US can’t reasonably condemn” is not my position and was never stated by me in any way shape or form, as I’ve pointed out before. I don’t agree with it, it isn’t anything I stated, and making such a statement would be off-topic for the OP, since the OP doesn’t say anything about US condemnation and whether it should be done.