The story of 100 liars
Reader comment on item: Is Turkey Going Rogue?
Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Oct 8, 2011 at 07:29
Jon the Turk wrote :
> Did I call you a Jew (assuming you are ) in the same tone you called me a Turk? No. Calm down.<
So calling you a Turk doesn't flatter you any longer? It's remarkable as I thought this is the highest praise for a Turk whose feelings must be elated by the very name "Turk" after shouting "Ne mutlu türküm dieyene" a few thousand times in his lifetime. But remarkably enough you seem to find it improper to refer to your Turkish superego,don't you?
>I frankly do not trust your sources. Mine are in fact not Turkish: they come mostly from Bernard Lewis, a British-American historian of Jewish descent.<
It's again remarkable.You imply that the authors of the 1901-1906 Jewish Encyclopedia lied about the real situation of Jews in the Ottoman Empire, don't you, while by quoting today's revisionist scholar on the Turkish payroll you know the Ottoman realities much better? Shall I believe following the path of your denial that the Jewish scholars a century ago "invented" what was the common knowledge among the Ottoman Jews with reference to being victims of Turkish/janissary violence and pogroms disguised as "fires", to all the numberless cases of "outrages,assassinations and robberies" extant in the rabbinical archives and even to the fact " the word "janissaro" was (and still is ) used by Jewish mothers to frighten their disobedient children" ? You make very far-reaching claims indeed and saying that you can prove them on the basis of Bertrand Lewis' silence on them is one of the most remarkable claims I have heard of.
But what I consider still more remarkable is that you also can see no distinction between "source" and "user of a source". Bertrand Lewis is and can under no circumstances be ANY source on the Ottoman Empire at all as he didn't live at that particular time in that particular place and to learn what was going on then he has to use available sources as anyone of his generation.So the major point about him is really how he uses the available sources.
I admit he might be a valuable relevant source indeed if e.g. he disclosed how and how much money he and his 68 colleagues received in 1985 for signing the notorious advertisement paid by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and published in the New York Times and the Washington Post to influence the Congress not to recognize the Armenian Genocide.But knowing his "reliability" I doubt he will ever disclose the sweet secret which the Turks can cleverly use to blackmail him and his co-signing colleagues to continue their propaganda on behalf of Turkey.
> Modern politics is distorting your historical analysis. What is the point in arguing with you? Especially when you already believe that Turks ...<
You are self-referential in the first part of your statement and my point is that exposing Turkish lies, spreading e.g. the narrative of "happy Jews" in the Ottoman Empire but which are blatantly contradicted by Jews themselves rather contemporary to the era you are describing and relying on relevant earlier sources, is worth doing for truth's sake.I am well aware that as a Turk you must care only about propaganda in Turkey's favor and of nothing else ! So you may continue to spread your lies at will and rely in it on dubious agenda-driven informers like Bertrand Lewis who is not a very conscientious and objective user of available sources systematically omitting the ones that contradict his preconceived point.
Anyway, do you know the story of 100 liars who protested their own veracity by solemnly assuring that what their say is based on the reliable testimony of an another witness who happened to be a liar like themselves? In case of Turkey we have got an analogous situation. More than 70 mln liars who protest their veracity by quoting other liars like themselves but sometimes not necessarily of Turkish descent and Turkish education.
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