Steve Jobs took the Armenian Genocide personally

“On Friday, wrists around the world will welcome the most anticipated gadget since the iPad came to our fingertips five years ago. The Apple Watch has stirred breathless speculation, imitation, and excitement long before its reveal last September,” Nina Strochlic reports for The Daily Beast. “But the date chosen for its release has caused a too-bizarre-to-be-true historic collision that Apple’s founder would likely never have allowed to happen.”

“One hundred years after Steve Jobs’s adoptive family escaped the Armenian Genocide, the company he created is releasing its biggest new product on the centennial of a mass killing that left 1.5 million dead at the hands of the Ottoman Empire,” Strochlic reports. “And activists are worried that Apple’s latest masterpiece will distract an audience from an anniversary that they hope will finally force the Turkish government — which has long refused to call the slaughter a genocide — into accepting its bloody past.”

“Steve Jobs’s birth parents weren’t Armenian, but he was raised in the shadow of that heritage by an adoptive mother whose family escaped the killings for safety in America in the 1910s,” Strochlic reports. “And Jobs, though he never spoke publicly about his ties, appeared to feel a deep connection with his family’s heritage and the historic bloodshed they experienced. He even spoke conversational Armenian.”

“In 2007, Jobs and his family traveled around Turkey on a private yacht tour and spent 10 days visiting the country’s sites with guide Asil Tuncer. It went smoothly until the last day, Tuncer told The Daily Beast, when the group visited the Hagia Sophia. Once a Byzantine church, it was later converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire, and is now one of Istanbul’s must-see tourist destinations,” Strochlic reports. “‘What happened to all those Christians, suddenly gone like that?’ Tuncer recalls Jobs asking him as they gazed at the minarets. Then, he reframed the question: ‘You, Muslims, what did you do to so many Christians? You subjected 1.5 million Armenians to genocide. Tell us, how did it happen?'”

“Tuncer says he felt trapped, unsure whether to answer with his opinion or evade an argument in the polite manner he was trained to use as a guide,” Strochlic reports. “‘To expect from a Turkish guide to accept that , even if true, it’s not very good. For example, it’s like if I come to U.S. and ask, ‘Tell me how, you killed the Indians?” But he says Jobs insisted he respond.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tragic.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

23 Comments

    1. Oh Lord, here we go – No American presidents including the Republicans have formally referred to this as genocide – they are all afraid of alienating our NATO ally, and one of our few Muslim allies in the turbulent Middle East. If he had pissed off Turkey then the right wing haters would be pointing out how amateur and dumb he was about Middle East realpolitik. My god you guys are so predictable.

      1. This might elaborate further on your very true statement, pay close attention to the part about the US funding the FSA which is the largest source for ISIS. The area closest to Turkey’s boarders are where many of the fighters are coming from.

        Guess which ethnic minority group was most recently attacked in Syria by ISIS. Guess where they were in relation to Turkey’s borders. Guess how that ethnic minority got to the specific region of Syria that so closely borders Turkey. Go ahead… deny so we can continue to send more troops over seas.

  1. And the guide should have merely answered him.

    I happen to live in the shadow of a Native American reservation in the United States. The history of what happened to these people is sad. Their statistics on alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, suicide, drug abuse and unemployment in the years since — also sad.

    But I do not feel personally responsible. Most of my ancestors were still in Europe when it happened. At some point, history must be our guide rather than our fault.

    Had this person answered him in that context, I think a man like Steve Jobs would have respected that and embraced the historical information and perspective. Forgiveness, however, is not within our power nor our responsibility so many generations removed. Repeating history, that’s all on us.

  2. MidWestMac: Thank you for your insight from first-hand experience. I’m sure most would nod their heads in agreement. Yet so few would be willing to give back the land or forgo the many social and economic advantages which have compounded with interest, generation after generation because of the American Genocide.

  3. What was the systematic eradication of Natives here in the US and Australia? Not genocide?

    What was the killing of over a million Iraqis on false pretences and lies? Not genocide? Then theres Vietnam and the unnecessary dropping of TWO Atomic bombs on an already defeated nation.

    1. Hitler learned a powerful lesson from the Armenian genocide: it is not only possible, but a fact of history, that a nation can kill over a million people while the rest of world does nothing about it.

      Other commenters brought up other genocides and massacres. Every genocide matters and should not be forgotten. That’s no excuse to forget or denying the Armenian genocide.

    2. Paul,

      If you’re implying that the USA was responsbile for the genocide of millions of Vietnamese and Cambodians, then you need to do a serious review of your history. The genocide in Cambodia in the late 70’s was carried out by the Khmer Rouge and their leader, Pol Pot. I am not here to justify America’s entrance into Vietnam, but to imply it was America’s “genocide” is seriously misguided. Also misguided is your belief that Japan was “already defeated” in WWII. Look in the history books at the extent that Japan was willing to go to continue the war — to include the build-up and preparations for an island assault.. An invasion of Japan by American troops was estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of lives. No issue if you want to debate the ethical justification for the bombings, but to cite the “TWO atomic bombs” as evidence of genocide is once again, seriously misguided.

  4. Crap article. What, she couldn’t find ANY real historian, or ANY perspective of the other side? Maybe that explains the author’s problems with dates: Artinian was “branded” by the fire in Smyrna which happened at least three years after she left. Or that she conflates the Armenian massacre of a hundred years ago with the conquest of Constantinople five hundred years ago. Then there is the unquestioning acceptance of 1.5 Million killed, when the Turkish census only counted 1.2 Million Armenians. And finally there is the standard problem with many Armenian stories: that they usually ignore the biggest event of 1915: something called World War 1.

  5. “Welcome to Turkey’s Museum of our Vision of History to all of our American tourists friends. Hey, it’s not thanksgiving in your country so don’t eat our country. Hahahaha. Im your travel guide, Tayyip Endorgan, and wish to thank you all for taking this Tour of our Vision of Turkey; the land of the former Ottoman Empire; which we lost after WW1.

    NOTE – As a precaution, i’d like to remind you that even today, saying anything bad or negative about Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatuk, could get you in Jail and possibly worst; unlike in your U.S of A where you can say any gossip about your “Kenyan” President (uppssss) and nothing happens. Don’t worry, be happy.

    Come. Come. Over here a former Byzantine chapel, then a Musk, now a tourist trap. I’ll give you 5 minutes to buy anything you want while I attend a parliamentary meeting on how NOT to do anything to help Kurdish in Syria.

    I’m back…!!! Move along, move along, over here a map of what was the Ottoman Empire, which during its colapse, its leaders killed Armenians because their “lineage” sounded like “Arms”; and since we where in a war, we needed casualties on the other side (if you know what I mean…) so they died, like more than a million, but not to much. Oh. You know these actions well; it’s like in the U.S of A and Native Americans because… hmmm, Why did you kill the first settlers of the U.S of A…? Well, has history, stop living in the past.

    Now lets go to our next room to see a picture of Atatuk (remember, don’t say anything bad about Atatuk or someone will decapitate you.. i’m kidding, only go to jail and be raped). Now lets move to this next room where you will see the size of our armed forces and how today they don’t get involved in wars where innocents die by the hundreds; who’re peaceful people.”

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