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Comparing 1915 events with Holocaust not ‘appropriate’: US professor

It may not be “appropriate” to draw a comparison between the events of 1915 and the Holocaust, an American professor has said.

Since the terms “Holocaust” and “genocide” are very nuanced, care should be taken when using such terms, Mark Meirowitz, professor for the Humanities Department in State University of New York Maritime College, told Anadolu in an interview.

He said the matter has a “personal meaning” to him because his parents were held in Auschwitz Concentration Camp. His grandmother died in Auschwitz camp and his mother fled to Belgium, while his two aunts fled to England and Argentina.

He pointed out that the term “genocide” should not be used “very loosely to cover many different things,” noting that “when we are not careful and use this terminology, we tend to diminish the significance of the Holocaust.”

The professor said the events of 1915 should be investigated by historians with a historical approach, and recalled that Ankara opened its archives.

Stating that it was “probably a good thing” that the US presidents did not use the term “genocide” in their statements regarding 1915 events until President Joe Biden did so, Meirowitz said the term is “very nuanced, and complicated” and “has a lot of meaning.”

“I’m not so sure if I’m comparing that to the Holocaust, that is a genocide as there were many other things in the world. … because to me, the Holocaust is a unique genocide of the world history,” said the professor.

Türkiye’s position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Türkiye and Armenia as well as international experts to tackle the issue.

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