By Rozerin Doğan
The Armenian diaspora targets the series “Atatürk”, that’s release in 6 episodes is planned for October 29, 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye.
Directed by Mehmet Ada Öztekin, Disney Plus currently films the series, in which Bulut İynemli plays the role of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The Armenian diaspora called on Disney Plus to cancel the series with a statement containing severe insults against the founder of the Turkish Republic.
In a Twitter post, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) wrote ““Calling on@DisneyPlus to cancel its series glorifying Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – a Turkish dictator and genocide killer with the blood of millions of #Greek #Armenian #Assyrian #Chaldean #Syriac #Aramean #Maronite and other #Christian martyrs on his hands.”
While the post drew great reaction from Turkish media and many people on social media, we asked United World International author Mehmet Perinçek for his opinion. He has been researching the so-called Armenian genocide in Russian state archives for years and has written numerous books on the subject.
Distorting the historical facts
Perinçek said that the diaspora’s reaction is not surprising. Emphasizing the need to look at the historical foundations of this reaction, he stated that decisions or draft resolutions in the West and Europe do not limit the so-called Armenian genocide to just the year 1915. “It is claimed that Türkiye committed genocide continuously between 1915 and 1923. Therefore, not only the Young Turk government in 1915, but also our War of Independence is declared genocidal. Along with this, Mustafa Kemal and Kazım Karabekir are also labeled as genocide criminals.”
Perinçek attributed the underlying reason to Türkiye’s cooperation with Soviet Russia in the years of the War of Independence which resulted in the elimination of the Caucasian wall: “The main reason behind all this genocide allegation is the joint action of Turkish armies and the Red Army to eliminate the Dashnak Armenia, which collaborated with the British and French forces.”
Film critic and UWI author Tunca Aslan also commented on the issue: “I learned about Disney’s series about Atatürk and that the first episode will be broadcast on October 29, 2023, on the 100th anniversary of the Republic, thanks to a protest call from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). I don’t know the content, whether it will involve the distortion of historical facts, who the script consultants are, etc., but it must be admitted that such a project is quite intriguing.”
“Türkiye should take a strong stance”
“The European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) decision in the case Doğu Perinçek versus Switzerland shows that this slander about the so-called Armenian genocide has no place in international law. Research conducted in Russian and other archives also demonstrates that this slander has no historical basis”, Arslan added.
Doğu Perinçek, Chairman of the Vatan Party (Türkiye), had publicly stated in meetings in Switzerland “the Armenian genocide is an imperialist lie”. Condemned by Swiss courts, Perinçek appealed in the ECHR and won the case – even twice, with the Grand Chamber also ruling on his favor in 2015.
The ECHR has judged that Perinçek’s statement fell within the freedom of expression, by arguing there was no legitimate court decision on the existence of the so-called Armenian genocide. Pressured by the Armenian diaspora’s lawyers present in the hearing, the court expressed that beyond the judicial evaluation, even the historic facts of the events of 1915 were disputed.
Mehmet Perinçek stated that Türkiye is being targeted with this move of the ANCA: “On the political level Türkiye should take a strong stance against these threats and slanders. Because the ANCA is not just a simple Armenian organization, it is completely under the control of Western imperialism, the White House, and the CIA. We need to see the insidious plans of Western imperialism behind these kinds of acts.”
Evaluating Disney as one of the cultural tools of American imperialism, Tunca Arslan said, “The way they approach and reflect the truths about Atatürk, to what extent they will listen to the warnings of the Armenian diaspora will raise important question in the upcoming process. It is clear that this process should be monitored at least at the level of the Ministry of Culture in Türkiye.”
The insults against the Atatürk series from the diaspora coincided with the efforts to resolve the Türkiye-Armenia relations. Following the Karabakh agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Türkiye also started normalization talks with the Yerevan administration. The presence of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the ceremony where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan resumed office gave impetus to the relations between the two countries.
Taking into account these, Tunca Arslan said the following: “ANCA’s absurd statement containing severe insults against Atatürk should be protested at the highest level. The truth is that, at a time when the relations are beginning to soften, Armenia needs Türkiye more than the Armenian diaspora.”