By Serkan Engin (Guest Contributor)
Through a collective struggle, I firmly believe that Armenian and Turkish youth can together destroy hatred. I am working to raise awareness through my writing, especially within the Turkish youth, of the Armenian Genocide as well as the Assyrian, Nestorian, Chaldean, and Greek genocides, which were all perpetrated by our Turkish ancestors.
I am trying to change the wrong perception about Armenians and Greeks in Turkey, which have been established by the lies of the official ideology. I am trying to show the awful truths of our history to the Turkish youth, so that we can erase the defaults of racist education in Turkey. We are taught that “One Turk is equal to the whole world,” arising from Fascist-Kemalist ideology, which has forbidden the existence of all ethnic identities that are not Turkish.
Adolf Hitler once said, “The first student of Mustafa Kemal was Mussolini, the second is me.” I believe that only conscience can save this world. We will not find reparation through big ideologies, big leaders, money, weapons, laws, or technology; our progress lies in the cohesive development and realization of conscience. Conscience can be developed by empathy, and empathy begins with recognizing the pain of other people. We all have to develop empathy with those who are suffering and stand behind all humans who are oppressed, ignored, exploited, and abused.
We have to succeed in feeling the pain of other humans across the world and we must refuse to be accepting of discrimination against those who come from different backgrounds and harbor different beliefs.
As the son of a Turkish woman, I accept and recognize the realities of the Armenian Genocide. Although I personally had no participation in this violent crime, I apologize to all the Armenian victims and kneel down in front of you in the name of humanity. Not only do I apologize for the Armenian Genocide, but I also apologize for the Holocaust, Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur, and every other genocide perpetrated by the conscienceless humans of our world. I believe that we shall overcome this hatred and lack of conscience someday.
Serkan Engin is a writer from Turkey whose poems have been published in numerous literary journals. He is an advocate of social change in Turkey and works to raise genocide awareness through his writing.