The Turkish-Armenian conflict is misrepresented by Armenian propaganda, a term for spreading false information to promote or defame a cause. As Dr. Gwynne Dyer put it in 1976, “… The deafening drumbeat of the propaganda, and the sheer lack of sophistication in the argument which comes from preaching decade after decade to a convinced and emotionally committed audience, are the major handicaps of Armenian historiography of the diaspora today…”
Propaganda dates back to the missionary activities of the Catholic church in 1622, but it was first used effectively during the First World War as a formidable psychological weapon to influence people. Thereafter, it was constantly perfected, reaching a high point in Nazi Germany. Alfred and Elizabeth Lee in their 1990 book Sociology For People, classified propaganda devices into seven major categories:
1) Name-calling technique involves giving a bad name to a person, a group to arouse an instant hostility. Examples: “genocide denier,” “fascist,” “ultra-nationalist,” “war-monger,” and others. Playwright David Mamet’s recent comments on Bill Maher’s April 9, 2022, HBO program about free speech were significant:
I Quote “…Without free speech, we have nothing, because if one group takes the high road—it doesn’t matter which group it is—if they’re in power long enough, we’re going to have a police state. So…when people who state an opposing view are not disagreed with but are marginalized and canceled, we’re going to end up with a totalitarian state because that’s the way human nature works.” We, the people of Turkish-American heritage, reject Armenian misrepresentations of 1915 and are ready to engage in a civilized dialogue based on historical facts. We want peace built on fair memory, shared pain, truth, and honesty.
2) Glittering generalities technique is when the Armenian propagandist uses some dazzling but misleading ideas to impress the unsuspecting people, like the “unarmed, noncombatant, peaceful, and loyal ottoman-Armenians,” totally ignoring Armenian revolts, terrorism, treason, territorial demands, and the resulting Turkish suffering at the hands of Armenian revolutionaries.
3) Transfer technique is when the Armenian propagandist presents his or her cause as an integral part of a larger cause. For this, they will use the religion card and falsely claim that Armenia was the first Christian nation, whereas it is even recorded in the bible that it was Ethiopia since 330 A.D. See the 2012 book Abyssinian Christianity written by Portella and Woldegaber (wol-de-gey-bir).
4) Testimonial approach is where the Armenian propagandist promotes a fallacy using the name of some distinguished person like a U.S. president, senator, governor, or a celebrity. President Wilson, who uncritically took every Armenian claim at face value, provides a good example.
5) Plain folks method is where the Armenian propagandists profess that they are just like the plain folks and identify with their common virtues and vices while spreading fallacies. Example: Armenian efforts to brainwash local folks at cultural events.
6) Card stacking is when the facts are twisted by the Armenian propagandist to suit the Armenian cause, weaving a story and presenting it as a true event. The Van revolt by the Ottoman-Armenians is a good example where Armenians claim they only defended Van, whereas they actually caused the deaths of 194,000 Muslims, according to page 246 of Professor McCarthy’s book The Armenian Rebellion at Van.
7) Bandwagon technique is where the Armenian propagandist touts to an unsuspecting person that since everybody is agreeing with Armenians, he or she might as well do it, too. Whereas most well-meaning people who succumb to Armenian intimidation and disinformation do not know that Armenians hide half the story like Armenian revolts, terrorism, treason, territorial demands, and Turkish suffering, and falsify the remaining half.
Center For Eurasian Studies, AVIM, a research group in Ankara, Turkiye, published an interesting letter by an honest Armenian-American truth seeker, IVER TORIKIAN, in August, twenty-twenty-one, by the title “STRATEGICALLY MUM: THE SILENCE OF ARMENIANS.” Torikian stated that he wrote the letter because he wanted to explore why there was so much misinformation about Armenian-Turkish relations. Reflecting sincere views with academic objectivity, AVIM has decided to publish the letter. Torikian has discovered over the years that many Armenians are prejudiced, particularly towards Turks. Throughout his life, all Armenians have been kind to Torikian, including the people in the three incidents where Armenians exhibited their hatred for all things Turkish, which makes it difficult for Torikian to understand how people can simultaneously be nice to him while hating people they have never met. Please watch this episode to learn more.