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09 October 2006

French: Denial of Armenian genocide is criminal

Demonstrators shout anti-France slogans as they face riot police during a march towards French consulate in Istanbul October 8, 2006. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has added his voice to a growing chorus of Turkish protests over French plans to make it a crime to deny that Armenians suffered "genocide" at the hands of Ottoman Turks in World War One.
(TURKEY)08 Oct 2006 REUTERS/Stringer

In other news, did you know that there are plans to erect an Armenian Genocide Memorial in Centennial Plaza in downtownLas Vegas??? Yes, our friend Ergun KIRLIKOVALI has been single handedly lobbying the mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar B. Goodman, to help stop the Armenian addiction to their national past time: Stoking pity for their dead, dismissing all Turkish casualties as irrelevant, and dreaming of claiming and collecting reparations... Ugh.

Check comments for the dialogue between Mr Ergun Kirlikovali and Mr. Oscar B. Goodman.


Murat Altinbasak said...

Dear Mayor Goodman,

Thank you for your kind response below. I am not convinced that
dedicating a memorial to Armenian dead only and leaving out the Turkish
victims of Armenian atrocities -thus judging history in a partisan manner -
is a proper thing to do for politicians.

If you must insist on a genocide memorial, for the reasons that you say you do,
then why not include Turkish dead directly attributed to Armenian brutality
during World War One (523,000 according to Prof.Halacoglu in his book
"Death and Exile"?)

While you are at it, why not include the indians massacred and systematically
destroyed by European and Americans since 1492?

Honesty and fairness are all I ask, Mr. Mayor.


> Thank you for your e-mail concerning the erection of an Armenian Genocide
> Memorial in Las Vegas. Personally, as an American, I am violently opposed
> to the crime of genocide, be it the holocaust or the slaughter in Dafur.
> Any reminder of such behavior can only make the world a better place.
> This will not be a slight to any group, but rather a positive statement that
> genocide is abhorrent.
> Sincerely,
> Oscar B. Goodman
> Mayor
> City of Las Vegas

September 24, 2006

Mayor Oscar B. Goodman

City Hall, Tenth Floor, 400 Stewart Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 229-6241 Fax: (702) 385-7960 E-mail

cc: Sen John Ensign Email Senator Ensign

cc: Sen Harry Reid Email Me

cc: Rep. Shelley Berkley e-mail

cc: Rep. Jon Porter Click here to send me an e-mail

cc: Rep Jim Gibbons Email Jim Gibbons

cc: Lois Tarkanian, Councilwoman, City Hall, Tenth Floor, 400 Stewart
Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101, Phone: (702) 229-6405 Fax: (702) 382-8558

Erecting a hate monument in Las Vegas is highly improper

Dear Mayor Goodman,

As a concerned American of Turkish heritage, I was deeply saddened and hurt
by the news that you have "... announced the city's commitment to dedicate
land..." for an Armenian Genocide Memorial in Centennial Plaza in downtown
Las Vegas. An Armenian newspaper boasts that you have made this
announcement "...during the annual April 24 commemoration, which was also
attended by all three Nevada congressmen, Rep. Jon Porter, Rep. Shelley
Berkley, and Rep. Jim Gibbons, as well as a representative from Sen. John
Ensign's office..."

I oppose the use of the term genocide in connection with the
Turkish-Armenian conflict during World War I. Genocide is a highly charged,
technical, legal term, precisely defined by the United Nations in 1948, and
can only be used after a "competent tribunal" reaches that verdict after
proper "due process". There are no court verdicts, such as Nuremberg,
clearing the way for this term to be used in connection with the
Turkish-Armenian conflict during WWI [1] The British had attempted to try
the Turkish leadership of the alleged war crimes during 1919-1921; failed to
come up with any supporting evidence that could stand the scrutiny of a
court of law; and eventually had to let the Turkish detainees go without
filing a single charge. [2] That is why the British government, to this
day, will refuse to regard this human tragedy that engulfed Armenians,
Turks, and other inhabitants of the area a genocide despite pressure and
threats from the Armenian Diaspora. [3] Similarly, neither the United
States [4] nor Israel [5] will bow the intimidating pressure by the Armenian
Diaspora to call the tragedy a genocide.

Dear Mayor, you hold a law degree and have been a successful trial lawyer in
the past. You, above all else, should know the difference between
allegations and facts. Armenian charges of genocide are yet-to-be-proven
"allegations", not incontrovertible facts. In the absence of a verdict by a
competent court, therefore, all the civilized and decent people of the world
must use the qualifier "alleged" before the phrase "Armenian Genocide", let
alone erecting a monument for it on public land.

No one is trying to minimize the suffering of the Armenians; but Armenian
suffering must not blind one to the much larger suffering of the Turks and
other Muslims of the same era and area, mostly caused by the brutal acts of
greedy and vicious Armenian revolutionaries supported by invaders bent on
destroying the Ottoman Empire ( Britain, France, and Russia and their
Ottoman-Christian proxies.) Calling it genocide would unfairly place all
the blame on Turks whereas it was the Ottoman-Armenian revolutionaries that
first poisoned the 800 years of mostly harmonious Turkish-Armenian
co-habitation in Anatolia with their revolts and treason. [6] I would not
oppose Armenians' recognition of Armenian losses if their memorial was named
a more realistic "The Armenians' War Memorial."

Dear Mayor, I am sure you would agree that Las Vegas is hardly the place and
its politicians are hardly the expert historians to settle the old scores of
history or fanning the flames of anti-Turkish hatred among some Armenian
groups. Armenian terrorists in our midst have already assassinated four
Turkish diplomats on American soil since 1973 and tried to justify without
remorse their heinous acts by the false charge of genocide, while wearing
ugly grins and flashing victory signs in American court rooms. [7] Do you
really want to provide more ammunition to these Armenian terrorists with a
hate monument in Las Vegas? Do you wish to make Las Vegas the new capital
of Armenian hate crimes victimizing more Turks and Turkish-Americans? Don't
people love to visit Las Vegas for entertainment, fun, and recreation? Do
you now want to offer visitors the stress and intimidation of political
rallies featuring unresolved old world conflicts? Is this your new mission?

Insisting blindly on such anti-Turkish biased policies and programs based on
partisan Armenian propaganda and un-substantiated historical claims will
almost surely offend and anger the good citizens of the Republic of Turkey,
a staunch ally of the United States since the Korean War. Turkey has been
with us, standing shoulder to shoulder with America in all conflicts,
including but not limited to Korea, cold war, Cuban missile crisis, Somalia,
Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. This memorial serves no benefit other
than further polarizing Turkish and Armenian communities in America as well
as adding to the apprehension and anxiety felt in Turkey over America's Iraq
policies. Your move to support a hate monument in Vegas will only add to
the tension in the already troubled Balkans- Caucasus- Middle East triangle
at a time when we need friendly cooperation and support more than ever. Is
this proper? Wise? Necessary?

I am one of the eight children of a sole Turkish survivor of a Turkish
village of Kirlikova (hence my last name) during the Balkan Wars of
1911-1912 that preceded the WWI. My father barely escaped to Anatolia
under deplorable conditions as a one year old baby - along with other
children packed into a train and whisked to Istanbul for relative safety -
and lost his whole family, relatives, neighbors, and indeed, the entire
population of Kirlikova. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims also fleeing
Ottoman-Christian excesses in the Balkans were confronted with yet another
cycle of Ottoman-Christian violence in Anatolia: by the Ottoman-Greeks in
the West and by the Ottoman-Armenians in the East. My story is by no means
unique; in fact, it is quite typical of almost every Turk's. One might say
that those poor, starving Ottoman-Muslim refugees jumped from the frying
pan right into the fire. Turkish losses were unfathomable: 2.5 million
dead; many times that number wounded; a country left in rubble; starvation
and disease everywhere... And here is the rub: 523,000 thousand of those
Turkish dead met their tragic ends at the hands of the Armenian
revolutionaries. And due to endless, senseless, baseless, and fraudulent
Armenian propaganda in the West since 1915, like this hate monument in Las
Vegas for example, one hardly ever heard Turkish side of the story, felt the
Turkish pain, or noticed the Turkish tears. [8]

If the missionary reports did not mention my father's tragedy and million
others like that, if the Western diplomats' reports to their capitals
ignored the enormous Turkish suffering, if the New York Times dismissed the
Turkish losses, if Las Vegas did not offer land to erect a monument for
Turkish dead, does that mean the Turkish suffering does not exist? On the
other hand, since the much larger Turkish suffering exists - and I am the
living proof of that - why this selective morality and double standards of
paying respects to only Armenian dead? What about the Turkish dead
resulting from Armenian brutality and excesses? Why not pay respects to all
human lives lost? Isn't that the proper, decent, and human thing to do?
Why play politics with peoples' dead?

According to most Armenians, Turkish dead do not matter at all, only
Armenian dead do. Such a clearly racist approach, unfortunately, seems to
have found its way to Las Vegas politicians as indicated by the support
given to the upcoming Armenian hate monument. It is a well-documented fact
that the Ottoman-Armenians resorted to agitation, terrorism, armed revolts
[9], and supreme treason [10] (as in joining and invading enemy), in that
order, from 1890 to 1915, laying the grounds for their temporary
resettlement into non-war zones of the Ottoman Empire. Ignoring all of
these historical facts in order to justify the charge of genocide would
simply boil down to dishonest history. There is ample evidence already of
Armenian deception plaguing Turkish-Armenian history. [11], [12] It is not
up to Las Vegas politicians to sort all of this out with simplistic partisan
declarations and posturing. There are historians, experts, and scholars
for that who use current facts and research to sort it out.

It was a civil war within a world war [13], a terrible human tragedy [14],
that engulfed and victimized all the people of the area, not just the
Armenians. Calling it genocide, approving a hate monument for the alleged
genocide, and assigning it a parcel of "publicly owned land" would be a
racist, dishonest, and un-American posturing, as well as an outright insult
to all Turkish Americans and Turks around the world. (Why, it might even
be illegal.)

World is a powder keg as it is. If you can't help build more peace, then
please, at least refrain from sabotaging the existing peace. What have or
Las Vegas have to gain from more polarization, division, hostilities, and
conflicts? Please stop this "hate monument" in its tracks. It is not good
for Vegas, Nevada, or America.

Dear Mayor, I know you will do the right thing.


Ergun Kirlikovali

[1] Revisiting the Armenian Genocide - Middle East Quarterly , Guenter Lewy

[2] , "The Malta Tribunal :
Case Closed Due To Lack Of Evidence", Bilal N. Simsir

[3] , British Sources
Refuting The Alleged Armenian Genocide

[4] , American Sources
Refuting The Alleged Armenian Genocide

[5] , Israeli and Jewish
Sources Refuting The Alleged Armenian Genocide

[6] "The Armenian
Issue Revisited: Testimony" by Justin McCarthy at the House International

[7] , Armenian Terrorism: Then
And Now

[8] , "Turkish Last Names :
Honest Story Tellers", Ergun Kirlikovali

[9] ] Why it was a tragedy of war, Bruce Fein,

[10] , Connecting The Dots On
The "Alleged" Armenian Genocide

[11] , The Andonian
"Documents" Attributed to Talat Pasha Are Forgeries, By Professor Türkkaya

[12], Heath
W. Lowry, Institute of Turkish Studies, Inc. Washington, D.C., Political
Communication and Persuasion, Volume 3, Number 2 (1985)

[13] , Boghos
Nubar Pasha Letter to The Times of London (1919)

[14] : The Armenian
Revolutionary Federation (Dashnagtzoutiun) has nothing to do any more. The
Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni, First Prime Minister of the Independent
Armenian Republic.

Anonymous said...

My objection to the memorial is it has nothing to do with American history. This is between the Armenians and the Turks.

seph said...

"My objection to the memorial is it has nothing to do with American history. This is between the Armenians and the Turks. "

Then maybe we should also bulldoze all of the various Holocaust museums that have been built in Canada and America over the last fifteen years. After all, what has that event have to do with North America? It's relevance is about as great to Americans as the Armenian Genocide's is...

Murat Altinbasak said...

"Then maybe we should also bulldoze all of the various Holocaust museums that have been built in Canada and America over the last fifteen years. After all, what has that event have to do with North America? It's relevance is about as great to Americans as the Armenian Genocide's is..."

As any Jew will tell you, there is no comparison between the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian national past time of remorseful self-pity. No shame! This memorial has no business being erected in the United States. None. Nobody cares.

Seph said...

"As any Jew will tell you, there is no comparison between the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian national past time (sic) of remorseful self-pity."
Well now that's rather odd, I seem to recall that Yair Auron and Elie Weisel are both two Jewish gentlemen in good standing, and yet both of them seem to be able to see the obvious connections between the two events. Not to mention the Jewish scholar who coined the term "genocide" back in the 1930's, Raphael Lemkin, did so in reference to the Armenian Holocaust.

"This memorial has no business being erected in the United States. None."
We'll stop caring about the Armenian Holocaust at about the same time you stop caring about the Palestinians. If anyone has thrown a great big pity party for themselves over the last few decades, its the Palestinians.

"Nobody cares."
And if noone cared, then this wouldn't be an issue then, would it be arkadas?

Anonymous said...

Public funds shouldn't be used for an Armenian genocide or Holocaust museum. Private funds - different story. If those respective communities want to build museums or memorials, then more power to them.

BolsaHye said...

I believe the memorial is being built with private funds on land that is donated by the city.

And Mr. Altinbasak, you are wrong about nobody cares. Armenians care. Anybody who is against Genocide also cares.

Anonymous said...

i can not understand that all the world focuses on the armenian losses.. it is NOT fair. And still can not understand that Turkish archives are all opened for researchs but armenians always refuses to open their archives.
and another thing about the armenian losses. If you know something about East Anatolia's geography and the time armenians were deported you will see that ottoman empire was falling not only armenians but also turkish people and europeans also were dying because of illness they always want to forget these situations. The country was all in war from everywhere and if you know what war is trading is forbidden and medicines can not come inside the country.. What happens next? death is unevitable.. in Turkish archives armenian losses are around 300 000-500 000 (the number can not be 1.5 million because in all over anatolia at that time all armenian population was 1.2 million) and the Turkish losses just because of the armenian rebellion is around 500 000 - 600 000. And i cannot understand why they are trying to make people blindly believe that turkish people are guilty. And why France is so involved with this problem between armenia and turkey because they were the one who washed our old armenian neighbours' brains elder armenians still remember that good times.. ask them why Turkish people are so angry about them Can you forgive the persons who deceived their countries when the country was falling? is it possible? May be one day we can be friends again with them remembering the old good days..