Saturday, October 27, 2007

Armenia responds to Turkey on 'genocide' bill

Armenia, a formerly occupied territory of the Turkey-centered Islamic Ottoman Empire (1299-1922) which now shares land border with Turkey (but with no bilateral diplomatic relations and the border is reportedly closed), has reportedly described Turkey's reactions to the US Congressional bill on the 1915 mass killing of Armenians "radical and extreme denialist policies". Armenia was the first country in the world which adopted Christianity as the official religion of the state.

According to Bernard Lewis, author of The Middle East - 2000 Years of History from the Rise of Christianity to the Present Day ( London, Phoenix, 2004 ), Armenia retained its " Christian character" while under Muslim occupation but, in 1915 when Armenian rebels rose against the Ottoman Empire, there were massive deportations and relocations of Armenian civilians that caused the deaths of millions of them. (pp. 218; 339-340)
Bernard Lewis, a leading Western historian on Islam and the Middle East, is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. He is also known for his extensive research on the imperial archive of the Ottoman Empire. However, his academic as well as political critics often decry his 'Orientalism'.