Living together in peace



Ali Sarihan
is a graduate student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and a native of Turkey.

When a person kills anybody, the murderer should be punished by authority because of the crime. It is necessary for a peaceful and just society that people know committing a crime will lead to some sanctions. However, if the crime includes some unclear aspects, nobody should be punished without clarifying all aspects of the crime. Moreover, without clarifying unclear points, nobody should be accused. Doing that is a big mistake, and the mistake might cause other mistakes.

For decades, the Armenian diaspora has demanded that Turkey acknowledge the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1922, that Turkey give soil to Armenia from the eastern part of Turkey and that Turkey pay indemnity to Armenia for the unacceptable behavior. In fact, even though they know the claims are unacceptable for Turkey and that Turkey will never accept the claims, they continue to make the claims insistently. Turkey will not accept since it denies responsibility for the genocide.

Turkey claims Armenians lived happily and in safety under Ottoman rule until World War I but alleges that while the Ottomans were fighting the Allied Powers (including Russia), the Armenians helped Russia in order to establish their country in the eastern part of Turkey. Turkey further claims Armenians killed thousands of innocent Turks in the process and that the guilt lies with the Armenians.

There is a deadlock between Turkey and Armenia since both nations think the opposite side is absolutely guilty.

Why do we hate each other when living as brother and sister is possible?

Armenia has many problems, particularly economic and social problems.

I do not blame Turkey for the poor conditions because Armenia has been accusing Turkey as a murderer despite its need of Turkey’s friendship; the Armenian diaspora continues to make accusations despite Armenia’s problems. The diaspora should try to solve Armenians’ problems instead of improving its position among Armenians.

On the other hand, Turkey should not punish all Armenians due to the actions of the diaspora. Turkey should help Armenia for Armenians’ welfare. However, this does not mean accepting any and all accusations.

Overall, all Turks and Armenians should try to better understand each other. They should not accuse each other. They should live without any bias and accusation.

Historians should research the events of the late 1910s and early 1920s to determine what happened. Although Armenians and Turks killed each other, our ancestors’ actions should not prevent progress.

Since the two nations are not currently attacking each other, they are innocent. This is not to dismiss the history between the two peoples but to emphasize current generations’ welfare.

I believe Armenians and Turks desire to live together as brothers and as sisters. Ancestors’ mistakes should not prevent current generations’ relations from improving.

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