Monday, April 30, 2012

Dig out more on killing of Armenians: Fisk

(My report in The Gulf Today)
SHARJAH: Photographs have an unstoppable power to convince and there is a dire need to search for more documents and evidence on the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks during the First World War, noted British writer and journalist Robert Fisk said on Friday night.
He was delivering a lecture entitled “Reporting the Middle East: Lies and Genocides” to commemorate the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at Pierre Keusseyan Community Hall, Sharjah.
The killings were carried out between the years 1915 and 1918. The Armenian people were subjected to deportation, abduction, torture, massacre and starvation.
Turkey acknowledges that many Armenians died during those years, but questions the 1.5 million toll and refuses to term the acts “genocide.”
The term “Genocide” is defined by the United Nations as a state-sponsored attempt to “destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”
Talking exclusively to The Gulf Today on the sidelines of the lecture, Fisk said many photographs on what he called the “Armenian Genocide” are yet to be recovered and perused. “We need to go back to details, keep digging and investigating.”
The noted journalist, who is the Middle East correspondent for “The Independent” and has perhaps won more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent, also suggested that Armenians should honour those Turks who saved Armenian citizens during the troubled times.
“The world is changing. There are more and more Turks now talking freely about their Armenian relatives and grandparents. It will be a great step to compile a list of Ottoman Turks who saved Armenian citizens during the 1915 genocide,” he noted.
Citing the example of countries like Germany, England and Austria which confessed to their genocides, Fisk insisted that Turkey too should follow suit.
At the function, Robert Fisk signed a selection of his books that were available for sale, including the “Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East.”
He outlined details  about his indepth investigation into the “killing fields.” He described how he visited various spots like Yerevan and unearthed unpublished images.
Some of the photographs were also screened for the select audience, who were mostly Armenians.
The photographs included those of frightened people, of  women and children, and even animals, walking at the beginning of their “death march.”
“Such rare photos are a perfect witness to the terrible events. The photographs’ poor quality, thanks to years that have passed by, actually adds to power. They are authentic and have a major impact,” Fisk pointed out.
On other topics, Fisk said he doubted a State of Palestine would come about, considering the “lack of will” of some prominent world leaders.
Talking about the tragic scenes that wars leave behind, Fisk cited the example of Fallujah.
“Many children of Fallujah are being born with appalling birth defects, most probably due to the phosphorus shells used by the American forces during the wars there,” he said.
Asked about being “technologically-challenged” as he describes himself, Fisk was critical of the Internet, saying it took people away from the reading habit.
“It is because of the Net that words are misspelt and are ungrammatical. I receive around 250 real letters a week and that gives me lots of satisfaction,” he told this correspondent. 


  1. Genocide is worse than war, its terrible to even think of such mass murders, its a pity that history saw such inhumane activities which still have an impact on the present day!!

    Hope people realize that such crimes leave behind worst effects whose outcomes are suffered by future generations!!

  2. The article is very well written and very depressing and sad!

  3. Tragic to hear about the armenian genocide of the last century....and by the way what has the world done abt the Srilankan genocide of this century? Always, Nobody speaks when it happens...but a lot is spoken after 50 years!

  4. Tragic to hear about the Armenian genocide of the last century....By the way , what did the world do abt the Srilankan geonocide of this century? We never speak when it happens....

  5. What happened is inhuman. It is such reports that make one stop and reflect if the World really has progressed.

  6. Awwww its so very disturbing :(

  7. The sad part for me is that we don't seem to learn from the past. War, genocide and massacres still happen and will continue, rulers are not willing to discuss and nobody seems willing to give.

  8. That only proves what someone has said;
    Everything is fair in war and love

  9. This post has made me more knowledgeable.