IV. Armenian Question in a Psychological Context
The Psychological Dimension of the Armenian Problem (the unnoticed side) (summary of the Turkish Article)
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erol GÖKA*
This article will explain the unnoticed psychological dimension of the Armenian problem in order to facilitate the study of the subject.
Armenians are claiming that they have been victims of a genocide. As oppose to this, the Turks are stating that there is no “genocide” as the result of a premeditated policy. During World War I, a civil war had occurred as the Armenians collaborated with the enemy and fought against state forces. The displacement policy has been adopted as a measure to overcome that situation.
The Armenians at present are full of hatred towards the Turks. After World War I, they have murdered the leaders of the Union and Progress Party and much later on assassinated Turkish diplomats during the years 1970 and 1980.
Besides terrorism, the main activity of the Armenian diaspora is concentrated on the recognition of the Armenian “genocide”. The recent increase of the Western countries’ recognition of that “genocide” is due to the activities financially supported by the diaspora Armenians. Every decision that has been adopted on that subject causes great tension between the concerned country and Turkey, also negatively affecting Turkey-Armenia relations. On the other hand, the claims on compensation and territorial demands could cause dangerous tensions between the two countries.
Caucasia’s jeo-stratejic and geo-economic importance plays a great role for putting forward the Armenian issue on today’s agenda. Apart from this, there is the psychological dimension of the issue that has been unnoticed until now.
The Jewish holocaust constitutes the frame of this issue. This holocaust has caused for generations a victimization and a sense of guilt among Western Christian countries and especially among the Germans. Some try to take advantage of victimization since it is accepted to be a positive condition by the public opinion. This pseudo-victimization should be prevented, otherwise the parliaments and the international law courts of justice will be full of “genocide” claims.
Under the victimisation psychology lies the “excuse psychology”. To claim that Hitler learned to commit genocide from the Turks is equivalent to saying that “We do not do such things, we have learned this from the Turks”. That kind of thoughts leads to excuse himself and to get rid of his own sins. In such a situation it is the real victims who will suffer. The Israelis who support the Armenian “genocide” could be a good example in this case.
Saying that Hitler is not a first degree culprit, supports the thesis that Armenians founded the first Christian state. This is in fact the Western Christian conscience which takes advantage of the Armenians to absolve himself.
The Armenian diaspora is in a real identity crises and is trying to cure this by a victimization psychology and by hostility towards the Turks. The second and the following generations of the diaspora Armenians have never seen Turkey. Consequently their hostility is based on imagination rather than reality thus this leads to deeper feelings of enmity. The first Armenian generation who had suffered is not so deeply opposed to Turks.
The Turks and the Armenians should realize that by emphasizing their respective negativeness, they are kept in constant conflicting status.
*Head of Psychiatry Clinic at Numune Education and Research Hospital, member of ASAM.