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23 October 2006

Melissa Papantones' Anti-Turkishness Part 2

Here is my reply to the letter from Melissa Papantones :
Dear Editor,
For the second time in the past 30 days, Melissa Papantones has proven to be a habitual racist offender of Turkishness. The title of Melissa Papantones' letter, published October 22nd in reply to a letter written by Ece Koc, is completely mis-leading, as none of the history that is set forth can be attributed to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's "reign". When did it become appropriate to publish such tripe? What have the Spanish Inquisition, the Greek Orthodox sem­inary at Halki, or the European parliament, to do with Ataturk?
The French Parliament has recently passed a bill which criminalizes denial of the Armenian tragedy- an act which has been condemned by the European Union and which is considered an affront to free speech. This is clearly an overture to the the strong Armenian lobby in France, whose national pastime is to stoke pity for their unfortunately high number of casualties, suffered at the beginning of the Allied occupation and their subsequent attempt to colonize Istanbul and Anatolia. The French-boot-licking Armenians are proven to be complicit in contributing to the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, and their pre-meditated exploitation of Turkish weakness reveals their true colors. Regrettably, Turks were under assault from the land-grabbing Russians, Greeks, British, French, Italians, Georgians, Armenians et al, and the untold number of Turks who were killed fighting for their nation's survival is completely white washed and dismissed. Self-pity is not a Turkish national pastime.
It is from under such chaos, misfortune and hopelessness that a new leader emerged. One with an undefeated military record, who introduced the new Turkish alphabet overnight, who abolished Islamic courts and law, who forced complete separation of government and religious affairs, who liberated women and gave them the right to vote decades ahead of France, Italy, Greece and Switzerland, who was the single unifying factor of a country being systematically dismembered and colonized by it's enemies, and who successfully defeated all of the above named aggressors to create a new republic. He is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. To denigrate his name and his achievements is to spit in the face of liberty, modernization, and secularism.
What kind of a leader is praised and honored by the likes of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, John F Kennedy, and Dwight Eisenhower?
What kind of a leader erects memorials to the ANZAC casualties who attacked at Gallipoli, bearing the inscription:
"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in
the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference
between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here
in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway
countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in
peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as
well."
To try to connect any of Ataturks's contributions to the Armenian tragedy or to compare him to the Nazi Hitler, is not only a pitiful attempt to de-humanize one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century and the national hero of Turkey, it is also a forfeiture and blatant violation of Godwin's Law, which states: "...whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress..".
On October 29th, Turks of all ethnicities within Turkey and abroad, will celebrate the Declaration of the Turkish Republic's 83rd anniversary.

-Murat Altinbasak

Published in The Westerly Sun on Sunday October 22nd:

Anyone praising Turkish leader can't ignore the atrocities under his reign
Ms. Koc of New York responds to my letter concerning Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the genocidal atrocities of the Turkish state with non sequiturs and ad hominem attacks. It is she, and not I, who is ignorant of history. Ms. Koc cites as an example of Ataturk's enlightenment the exten­sion of the vote to women. According to my research, women received the vote in Turkey in 1934, many years after women received the vote in the United States, not "decades before" as alleged by Ms. Koc. Ms. Koc either ignores or is igno­rant of the history of both the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. From conscription as slaves and forced conversion to Islam of Christian children ( Kapi kulu or slaves of the Porte) to the depreda­tions of the Janissary Corps, Ottoman history is replete with bloodshed, intolerance, rapine, and plunder. This was the alleged enlightened refuge to which the vic­tims of the Spanish Inquisitor fled in 1491. Ms. Koc clearly is unaware that on Sept. 27, 2006, the European parlia­ment released a report sharply criti­cizing Turkey's application for EU membership and specifically men­tioned Turkey's failure to meet European standards on questions of human rights including freedom of expression and religious liberty. Today, Turks live in Europe and America where they are free to live unmolested while the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has been targeted for extinction by the government created by Ataturk now that Christians have been reduced to less than one percent of the population. In the 1960s, the Turkish govern­ment closed the Greek Orthodox sem­inary at Halki. It has since refused to permit it to reopen while allowing the plunder and decay of its library, art­works and buildings. The Ecumenical Patriarch, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, must be a graduate of Halki and a Turkish cit­izen. Thus, Turkish official policy guarantees that eventually no priest will legally qualify as successor to St. Andrew the Apostle. Presumably, this is the type of religious freedom to which Ms. Koc refers in her letter. I must emphatically point out that Ms. Koc does not deny Ataturk's genocidal campaign against the Armenian population in 1915. Nor does she deny the liquidation of the entire Greek, Jewish, and residual Armenian population of the city of Smyrna (now called Izmir) in 1922 by Ataturk's forces. Praising Ataturk for women's suf­frage while ignoring the atrocities perpetrated by his forces is like citing Hitler for the development of the autobahn or Mussolini for making the trains run on time, while over­looking the carnage of the Holocaust and World War II.
Melissa J. Papantones New Haven and Misquamicut

Please read the title, read the letter and try telling me that replying to this won't be like fishing with dynamite. -AT More later.

172 comments:

Anonymous said...

Her claims regarding the Ecumencial Patriarch are absolutely true. Try defending Turkey's treatment of the the office.

By the way, I'm not Orthodox nor am I Greek or Armenian. I love Turkey, but it is not without its faults. And, it's treatment of religious minorities is a glaring one.

metin said...

Factual: "on Sept. 27, 2006, the European parliament released a report sharply criticizing Turkey's application for EU membership and specifically mentioned Turkey's failure to meet European standards on questions of human rights including freedom of expression and religious liberty."

Opinionated to say the least: "Today, Turks live in Europe and America where they are free to live unmolested while the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has been targeted for extinction by the government created by Ataturk now that Christians have been reduced to less than one percent of the population."

An insult to the Jews: "Praising Ataturk for women's suffrage while ignoring the atrocities perpetrated by his forces is like citing Hitler for the development of the autobahn or Mussolini for making the trains run on time, while over looking the carnage of the Holocaust and World War II."

Such 'simple' minded comparisons show the ignorance of analogous genocide by Ms. Papantones.

Hitler and Mussolini are remembered and revered by their atrocities, whereas Ataturk is referred to as 'the great statesman,' even by those who were his emenies.

Ms. Papantones' argument reminds me of a 'dumb blonde' who thought "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was going to be about fat Greek people. She just can't comprehend the notion that the legend (or myth) of Ataturk is one of inspiring the Turks to look ahead and live in peace.

To blame anyone, Ataturk or not, for the current trend toward tretament of religious minorities (Islam included in such a secular society,) is akin to comparing and accusing Lincoln for the great atrocities committed by the Republican Party of today (and I am not just talking about the restrictions of civil liberties in the name of war against terrorism) by the 'religious right' when religion may not always be right.

Gamze said...

To our anonymous writer:

Every country is in some way flawed and in need of reforms. Every country.

But the point here is that the idiot who wrote this piece is falsely accusing Turkey of a "genocide" that never took place. As for our sad Armenians, they can't even stand the thought of opening their archives and letting historians discuss/debate their claim of a "genocide". Why don't they go to the Hague? Or agree to let the Turkish side of the story be heard? Perhaps because they know that they will easily be discredited? They argue "we know there was a "genocide" because our grandparents said so!" Sorry, but that isn't good enough.

As for the group of racists Greeks out there...they are guilty as sin for persecuting Jews who fled to Turkey where they could openly practice their faith. Something that they could not do on Greek territory. Just read what the AJC or the ADL has had to say about anti-Semitism in Greece which continues today.

By the way, how many mosques are there in Armenia?

Anonymous said...

I notice how neither of you address my point. Please justify Turkey's treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Also, why were there more than 100,000 Greeks in Istanbul 100 years ago and only 3,000 now?

As I noted in the first post, I have close ties to Turkey. I have family in Turkey. I am NOT a Turkey basher, but I hate the blind nationalism I so often see from Turks. They refuse to admit any fault whatsoever with the country and it's history or government.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the question regarding mosques in Armenia is misleading. It's like - have you stopped beating your wife? It's based on a false premise. There is no indigenous Muslim population in Armenia.

metin said...

Is it conceivable that there would be Armenian 'Muslims' similar to Christian Turks?

Regarding yur statement about "i have family in Turkey. I am not a Turkey basher," that's like a white guy saying, "some of my friends are black. I am not racist."

As for Turkey's treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarch, I agree with you, it's a shame. It's also a shame that the Armenian Turkish population gets to be put in the middle of siding with the Armenian cause on the one side of being Anti-Turk no matter what the cost is and at all costs, and trying to live in peace in Turkey even though the doors are open for them to leave if they chose to do so and if they feel so persecuted still.

Oh, the ties that bind us . . .

Anonymous said...

Regarding yur statement about "i have family in Turkey. I am not a Turkey basher," that's like a white guy saying, "some of my friends are black. I am not racist."

***

Not at all. If a white guy said, "I have black family members" it might be an appropriate analogy. I'm simply pointing out I have no ethnic axe to grind. And, considering I have Turks in my family, I might have a predisposition to their point of view.

Gamze said...

Dear Anonymous,

Why don't you answer your own question? Why are there "only 3,000 Greeks living in Istanbul"?

Anonymous said...

1942 - emergency property tax arbitrarily enforced on Greeks, Armenians and Jews.
1955 - anti-Greek riots
1963/64 - deportations of Greeks

metin said...

A lot of 'black' americans DO have white in them through inter-racial relations between black and whites. This is a fact admitted by all Americans, black and white.

The term 'Turks' can also be applied to those of Armenian, Kurd, Greek or Turkish descent. Having a 'Turk-family' relation does not make one less judgemental or more factual in an opinionated state of mind.

Black on black crime is prevalent in Turkey in a similar application of analogical distortion.

And i won't hold your 'anonymity' or your having Turks in your family against you.

metin said...

By the way, did I hear someone say, "There is No Armenian Genocide"

Norman Stone: Famous British Historian says he is ready to be prisoned by France

JTW News (Saturday , 21 October 2006)


"The very first thing to be said is that the business of ‘genocide’ has never been proved. The evidence for it is at best indirect and when the British were in occupation of Istanbul they never found any direct evidence or proof at all. They kept some hundred or so prominent Turks in captivity on Malta, hoping to find some sort of evidence against them, and failed. They asked the Americans if they knew anything and were told, no. The result is that the alleged ‘genocide’ has never been subjected to a properly-constituted court of law. The British released their Turks (meanly refusing to pay for their journeys back home from Malta). There is a counter-claim to the effect that this happened because the Nationalist Turks were holding British officers hostage but the fact is that the Law Officers simply said that they did not have the evidence to try their captives."

"A deportation gone wrong is the verdict of many of the best qualified historians – Bernard Lewis, Heath Lowry, Justin McCarthy, Yusuf Halacoglu."

"Now, there is something very wrong here. If you believe that you are right, and then you will let evidence speak for itself, and if you face opposition you will simply expect to win the argument one way or the other. Attempts to silence opposition, to boycott lectures by, say, Justin McCarthy, to bully or manipulate foreign politicians – all of that surely argues that the Armenians themselves know their case is very far from being overwhelming. In any case it does nothing whatsoever for Armenia."

---
Norman Stone (1941-) is a British historian of modern Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe. He is the author of ''Europe Transformed, 1878-1919.'' Stone was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Between 1984-1997, he served as professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford. Since 1997 Stone has worked at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. After 2005, he transferred to Koc University,Istanbul,Turkey and still continues to teach there.
---
20 October 2006


All I am saying is let the discussions begin. And whatever the outcome is, it is. Both parties should agree to abide by the findings and sign a declaration of intent to agree to this, instead of all the gibberish from both sides.

As for the French, I hear rumors of 'genocidal' experimentations in their past. But whose past is free and clear of any such involvements. Not the Americans for sure. Can we call the 'American Indians' victims of genocide. Or should we allow Armenians in Turkey to operate casinos for profit?

Anonymous said...

All I am saying is let the discussions begin. And whatever the outcome is, it is.

***

So, you will be willing accept the term "Armenian Genocide" if a preponderance of the evidence suggests it's true?

Of course, we'll probably never agree on a standard of proof...

metin said...

That is correct! I've (unlike the 'perceived' Turk) already alluded that many times in my blog posts.

I am all for the truth and admission of guilt and resolution of 'past' crimes. As long as it is duly noted and agreed upon after a thorough investigation by non-politician experts.

It is my belief, however, that massacres have occurred on and by both (or all) sides.

In this country, we punish criminals but not their grandkids. The 'state' is who the 'attitude' should be diverted, not individual citizens, or Americans such as myself, if in fact, the evidence suggests a 'genocide' occurred and not 'massacres' as a result of deportation-gone-bad.

Gamze said...

Dear Anonymous,

Would you be kind enough to cite your (credible)sources? And please don't cite any authors/historians whose last names end something-"opolous". (As I suspect that yours does.) Thanks.

Gamze said...

And like Metin stated, the burden of proof always falls upon the shoulders on the accuser (Re: Armenian "genocide"). Should it be determined that the events of 1915 were deemed to be a genocide by an international court, I'll be the first Turk to say "sorry, we were wrong". Until then, it's nothing more than a very, very tall Armenian tale.

If someone falsely accused me of ANY crime, I can assure you that I'd never plead guilty. Innocent until PROVEN guilty, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Here are some photos of the anti-Greek riots in 1955. The fact that this occurred is not disputed by anyone. If you think it is some sort of anti-Turkish propaganda then you are seriouly deluded.
http://byzantinos.com/Photos_Pogrom_1955/

Gamze said...

Sorry, Anonymous,

But photos don't mean shit! Since you assert that this is an event that is "not disputed by anyone", surely you can cite the NAMES of historians to back up your claim. Stop playing the Armenians game as a way of "proving" that an alleged historical event took place by posting photos! It prooves nothing. But I guess that was your best attempt at showing me that I'm deluded. Lame.

Gamze said...

Hey Anonymous,

I just can't stop laughing at your referring me to an anti-Turkish site. It speaks volumes as to why you would post anonymously.

Well, you've certainly convinced me that you're not a racist, Mr.Anonymous!!

Murat Altinbasak said...

"it's treatment of religious minorities is a glaring one."

You seem to imply that the Muslims in Turkey are free from harrassment.. Before judging, look at how Muslims in the U.S.A. are treated: profiled and detained without being charged.. phones tapped, phone records scrutinized.. What do they call that new law? The Patriot Act?

Murat Altinbasak said...

"They refuse to admit any fault whatsoever with the country and it's history or government."

Who exactly are "they"? I've not spoken to a single Turk to date who did not have something disparaging to say about Turkey or it's government or laws, to other Turks that is. Turks tend to discuss their dirty laundry among themselves.. Personally, I'm not in the habit of admitting fault or weakness either, especially to non-Turks. Weakness is exploited.

Murat Altinbasak said...

"Also, why were there more than 100,000 Greeks in Istanbul 100 years ago and only 3,000 now?"

Because it's Istanbul, not Constantinople.. Why are there so few Turks living in Athens compared to 100 years ago? Population was exchanged at some point.

Anonymous said...

Population was exchanged at some point.

***

The population exchange did not include the Greeks of Istanbul. There has got to be another reason there are so few Greeks left. The racist riots of 1955 might be one of those reasons, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Well, you've certainly convinced me that you're not a racist, Mr.Anonymous!!

***

Gamze, does the fact that I'm married to a Turk convince you that I'm not an anti-Turkish racist?

Anonymous said...

But photos don't mean shit! Since you assert that this is an event that is "not disputed by anyone", surely you can cite the NAMES of historians to back up your claim. Stop playing the Armenians game as a way of "proving" that an alleged historical event took place by posting photos! It prooves nothing. But I guess that was your best attempt at showing me that I'm deluded. Lame.

***

Gamze, my wife's Turkish grandmother has lived in Istanbul for well over 50 years. She distinctly remembers the riots and to this day is ashamed of them. At the time Istanbul was a cosmopolitan city with a thriving international population. Greeks ran the best restaurants in the city. But, that all changed...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_pogrom

Gamze said...

Anonymous,

You are doing it yet again. I asked you to cite credible sources to back up your claims and you have 1) referred me to an anti-Turkish site 2) deferred to your mother-in-law as proof and 3) referred me to Wikipedia, a souce written by the people NOT historians. You do know that I can go into Wikipedia right now and change everything you've read. Right?

This is getting silly.

Anonymous said...

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=22723

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/29/AR2005092902240.html

I can keep going if you'd like. At some point you're going to look like a Holocaust denier...

Anonymous said...

Gamze, do you really think the events of 1955 didn't happen or do you just want to make me jump through hoops.

Do you notice that no other Turks are claiming it's a trumped up charge?

PS I understand how Wikipedia works; neverthless, it provides a good description of the riots.

Anonymous said...

http://www.helleniccomserve.com/bookvryonis.html

I'm sure you'll dismiss him because he's Greek despite his credentials. But, this is the definitive book on the subject.

metin said...

back a few decades ago, there were the riots between blacks and whites, kent state, kosovo, malta, cyprus, etc.

how long will you hold Gamze responsible for the riots against greeks by turks of 1955.

like i said before, if a man commits murder, he goes to jail. his great grand son is not called a murderer. unless it's some kind of 'family feud.'

anonymous, you sound like an episode of 'furious george gone wild.'

Why don't we allow the historians (and the 'state') to figure all this out. And leave the individuals alone from accusations by 'hate' based word play .

I am hoping you have better things to do with your life now, and 'life goes on' even if there are no longer good Greek restaurants in Istanbul. God only knows, we have enough of them in New York (and here in California.) And I thank God for that!

:)

Semih Aydin said...

anonymous, I think the key here is that Ataturk had nothing to do with the closing of Halki, he'd been dead for many years at that point, and the party he founded was not in power. That is what is so glaringly racist about this article. The writer knows there is no connection, but she implies one to discredit a great man. She does not want Turks to have a great man to be proud of. Typical anti-Turkish racism. And the reason for there being less Greeks in Istanbul is possibly the agreement reached after the Turkish War of Independence in which many Greeks in Turkey were "traded" for Turks in Greece. Does the question "why are there less Turks in Greece today than 100 years ago?" have the same implications as the one you asked?

Semih Aydin said...

I also want to point out that Bernard Lewis, probably the most famous American scholar on Ottoman history, says the Armenian relocation efforts were not a genocide.

Anonymous said...

And the reason for there being less Greeks in Istanbul is possibly the agreement reached after the Turkish War of Independence in which many Greeks in Turkey were "traded" for Turks in Greece.

***

I will point out again that the Greeks in Istanbul (as well as the Muslims in Thrace) were exempted. There has got to be another reason why the Greek population has decreased by 95% or so.

By the way, I think the original letter was over the top. But, the point I'm making is Turkey's treatment of religious minorities is notoriously bad. And, no one on this forum will admit it. I only hear excuses and counter-charges.

metin said...

"But, the point I'm making is Turkey's treatment of religious minorities is notoriously bad. And, no one on this forum will admit it."

I have admitted this eons ago. Turkey's treatment of religious minorities does not extend to only those of outside of Islam. Turkey's treatment of 'religion' is bad period. This is not a conspiracy against 'minority' religions. A secular Turkey and its 'military' elite do not believe in extending favoritism to 'any' religion.

Anonymous said...

I'd like Gamze to admit to this since she's the militant one.

Gamze said...

And by minorities, I assume, you are referring to the Sunni Moslem Kurds whose aim it is to establish a "Kurdistan" on Turkish soil.

As for your original posting, you say "it's the treatment of RELIGIUOS minorities is a glaring one". What religious minorities are you talking about?

Gamze said...

And thank you for your most recent post.

Semih Aydin said...

I'm pretty sure anonymous is talking about Christians, especially Greek Orthodox. And there has been inequality in the treatment of this religious minority, but it is important to note that this is neither a problem unique to Turkey, nor a complaint unique to the Greek Orthodox Church. Many Muslims in Turkey claim the ban on headscarves is religious persecution, and at the same time a country like France, generally considered a beacon of civilization, has the same ban (in that country Muslims are a minority). This is a problem that virtually all nations in the world have to improve on, and it is important to point these issues out. On the other hand, it is wrong to use the issue to attack an entire nation of people or a revered leader who had nothing to do with the particular injustices. Ataturk was not about persecuting any religions. He was about separating church and state, and any statement to the contrary is misrepresentation.

The Infidel said...

Mr./Mrs. Anonymous,

like Metin, I have also suggested that we clear this issue once and for all, whether it is for or against Turkish interests. I'm sick and tired of Turkish people being held hostage to charges against our grandfathers, or even fathers for that matter. Let the world figure it out, BASED ON REAL FINDINGS AND REAL HISTORICAL RESEARCH, if they think they can judge it for us.

In fact,I can't wait for the day when this leverage that certain misled elements of society hold against us vanishes into thin air like soap bubbles and we can, finally, move on with our lives.

But I'm afraid that even then the impeachment will not end and some other Joe Shmoe Anonymous will continue further into the wrong-doings of other Ottoman rulers of our past.

Ya, ya, I know. What happened to those Greeks, right? Well, we simply kicked them out of a city they wanted to have but didn't get. So goes history, much to the demise of all minorities of this world. Live with it.

As for the Patriarch, he is still alive and kicking in Istanbul after ALL these years. Can you imagine that? He is NOT dead, and NOT kicked out of the country, and certainly NOT extinct. Wow!!! Either those threats were just empty words, or we are just really incapable of catching this guy.

Papantones is a pathetic excuse for a journalist and just never got over her inferiority complexes from losing. Again, that's life. Let's wish her good luck with that.

Gulay said...

The ironic part of this discussion on religious freedom is that the Ottoman Empire was probably one of the mots tolerant in terms of allowing individuals the rights to practice their own religion, Millet I believe it was called. From what I have read it is only really since the early 1900's and the rise of petty minded nationalism, a concept which hardly existed before then, that this intolerance of other peoples religion and viewpoints has arisen. Its a pity that the Turkish government is so intolerant of any religious freedom and especially as it appears to equate being a good Turk with being a muslim which in my opinion is a step backwards.

Anyway the discussions about the race riots in Istanbul ion the a950's and 60's is somewhat ironic as well if you read Pamuk's Istanbul there are comments about them and pictures. Why did they happen, I don't know but they did . Maybe this idea of National Identity being tied to a religion or similar is to blame. I really wish my country could mature and accept that just because you are not a brown haired, brown eyed muslim that you cannot be Turkish!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'll take Gulay's rational and even-handed tone over The Infidel's shrillness any day.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Gamze, Metin, anonymous,semih, Gulay, Infidel:
Many thanks for all of the comments. Don't know about you guys, but I've read every single one of them with interest.
Religion is a delicate subject, and especially as it relates to peace, it's an effing disaster. I almost want to take a "let's not go there" attitude.. but instead I will simply offer you Iraq as an example of the horrific consequences of religion "left unattended". It's easy to criticize the Turkish government's approach to religion, easy to forget that religion is the most divisive element of society, easy to forget that more peope have died because of violent religious conflict than for any other reason lately. Prove me wrong.

BolsaHye said...

Hello,

I'm an Armenian from Istanbul living in the U.S. The Armenians here call us BolsaHyes, which translates into Istanbul Armenians.

I grew up in the U.S. speaking Turkish and Armenian, and I still speak Turkish fluently. I grew up with many Turkish people (relatives and friends) coming in and out of our dining room, listened to Turkish music, watched Turkish movies with my grandma, listened to Turkish and Armenian folk tales from my grandma, etc.

I thought I'd made that clear so that everyone understands I did not grow up with anti-Turkish propoganda other than the usual gripes about economy, business development, etc.

More recently, I learned from my mom that her family lived through the 1954 pogroms in Istanbul. She told me that she remembers the day when the looting was happening as if it were yesterday. She says that everyone in their building was huddled together in their apartment, and everyone was afraid. She could see out the window that the mob was destroying every store on the street. She said that her apartment building was not harmed because the bottom floor was occupied by their Turkish neighbor flying the Turkish flag, and he was stopping anyone who would come up to the building and telling them that there were no Gavurs in the building, even though there were. If not for him, it is entirely possible that the inhabitants of that building would have been severely harmed, and maybe even killed.

What troubles me is that the 1954 events are still fresh in the minds of many people who are alive, including Turks, Greeks and Armenians. Yet, there are people here trying to argue that they didn't happen.

It's no wonder that the Turkish people have a difficult time believing that the Armenians were intentionally slaughtered when even the 1954 events are clouded with revisionist dogma.

Most of the people here in this blog appear to be rational and intelligent folks. People who are capable of looking at information objectively.

This is what I have tried to do in my life. The Genocide issue was not one that I accepted immediately. I had to study it, and look at the facts that were available and the scholarship that was published in order to come to a conclusion. But I am not a historian, and I can only learn what others have written. I can, however, judge what is plausible and what isn't. I can also perceive inconsistencies or weaknesses and decide to weigh that evidence less favorably than other evidence that is free of inconsistencies. Having done all of that, I believe that what happened during 1915-1918 was a Genocide.

Some of you have said that an independent body should look at this evidence, and that you would agree to their findings. What do you suppose the International Association of Genocide Scholars is? Are they not an independent body of people who are qualified to study and form conclusions on this topic? How about the International Center for Transitional Justice? Didn't both the Turkish and Armenian leadership agree to accept the findings made by that organization? How about the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem?

How many historians have to say it was a Genocide before Turkey accepts it? When does it become beyond reasonable doubt that what the Ittihadists did was intentional?

BolsaHye said...

Hello,

I'm an Armenian from Istanbul living in the U.S. The Armenians here call us BolsaHyes, which translates into Istanbul Armenians.

I grew up in the U.S. speaking Turkish and Armenian, and I still speak Turkish fluently. I grew up with many Turkish people (relatives and friends) coming in and out of our dining room, listened to Turkish music, watched Turkish movies with my grandma, listened to Turkish and Armenian folk tales from my grandma, etc.

I thought I'd made that clear so that everyone understands I did not grow up with anti-Turkish propoganda other than the usual gripes about economy, business development, etc.

More recently, I learned from my mom that her family lived through the 1954 pogroms in Istanbul. She told me that she remembers the day when the looting was happening as if it were yesterday. She says that everyone in their building was huddled together in their apartment, and everyone was afraid. She could see out the window that the mob was destroying every store on the street. She said that her apartment building was not harmed because the bottom floor was occupied by their Turkish neighbor flying the Turkish flag, and he was stopping anyone who would come up to the building and telling them that there were no Gavurs in the building, even though there were. If not for him, it is entirely possible that the inhabitants of that building would have been severely harmed, and maybe even killed.

What troubles me is that the 1954 events are still fresh in the minds of many people who are alive, including Turks, Greeks and Armenians. Yet, there are people here trying to argue that they didn't happen.

It's no wonder that the Turkish people have a difficult time believing that the Armenians were intentionally slaughtered when even the 1954 events are clouded with revisionist dogma.

Most of the people here in this blog appear to be rational and intelligent folks. People who are capable of looking at information objectively.

This is what I have tried to do in my life. The Genocide issue was not one that I accepted immediately. I had to study it, and look at the facts that were available and the scholarship that was published in order to come to a conclusion. But I am not a historian, and I can only learn what others have written. I can, however, judge what is plausible and what isn't. I can also perceive inconsistencies or weaknesses and decide to weigh that evidence less favorably than other evidence that is free of inconsistencies. Having done all of that, I believe that what happened during 1915-1918 was a Genocide.

Some of you have said that an independent body should look at this evidence, and that you would agree to their findings. What do you suppose the International Association of Genocide Scholars is? Are they not an independent body of people who are qualified to study and form conclusions on this topic? How about the International Center for Transitional Justice? Didn't both the Turkish and Armenian leadership agree to accept the findings made by that organization? How about the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem?

How many historians have to say it was a Genocide before Turkey accepts it? When does it become beyond reasonable doubt that what the Ittihadists did was intentional?

Gamze said...

This is becoming rather tiresome but I'll say it again: Why won't Armenia open it's archives?? Why won't Armenia go to the Hague?? Why won't the Armenian Diaspora even allow the Turkish side to be heard?? Why are there so many NON-Turkish historians who believe the events of 1915 cannot be deemed a "genocide"?? Historians such as: Bernard Lewis, Gunther Lewy, Norman Stone, Sanford Shaw, Justin McCarthy, just to name a few?? Why have Armenians turned this into a political issue/debate rather than a historical issue/debate?? Why don't Armenians go to the Hague?? Why hasn't the U.S. recognized your so-called genocide?? Why do Armenians refuse to acknowledge that they revolted against Ottoman Turks and fought along side the invading Russians and other to claim Turkish soil as their own??

Nice to know that you don't hate Turks and that your personal research has lead you to conclude that there was a so-called genocide.

Gamze said...

Bolsayhe,
What part of this commentary/response do you take issue with, if any?

-----Original Message-----
From: TurkishForum Advisory Board [mailto:ADVISORYBOA
RD@TURKISHFORUM. ORG] On Behalf Of Ilyas Botas
Subject:] ARMENIAN GENOCIDE: the EU is picking the wrong battle

Dear Mr. Cartman,

I can't believe that in this day and age the matter of freedom of expression and thought is up for
discussion. I know the calculations of the slick
popinjays residing in the French National Assembly, but your advocacy of a ban on free thought boggles themind. Let me turn around the question you posed in your essay and ask you ( I am sure this question was asked during the Inquisition by people of your mindset) : "What use is freedom of speech when it is used to deny the flatness of the earth?"

In similar vein, people of your mindset asked two thousand years ago : "What use is freedom of speech when it is used to spread the lies of a ne'er-do-well charlatan and his adultering mother who claimed to be respectively, the son and wife of God?"

Since you write with certainty about this topic, I assume you must have done exhaustive research. If so, and since you have given a definitive number of
1.5 million Armenian dead, your thorough research must have produced for you a definite number of the dead on the other side. Tell us, Gareth, exactly how many Turks, Kurds, Jews, Muslims and other non-Armenians were massacred by Armenian terror gangs, brigands and irregular Armenian armies before, during and after 1915? If you can't give a number, you need to do more research. Not to worry, though. I have a definite number of the Turkish dead - along with thenumber of mass Turkish graves still being dug up even as we speak.

You claim "almost every single historian" agrees with the Armenian allegations. Who told you that? My friend, that particular lie is one spread by the slick and well-greased Armenian propaganda and disinformation machine. The octogenarian Bernard Lewis of Princeton University disagrees with the Big Armenian Lie. So does Prof. Guenter Lewy. So does Prof. Justin McCarthy. So does Stanford Shaw of the UCLA. In 1985, sixty-nine prominent American historians signed their names to a letter refuting the Armenian allegations. This letter was run by the NY Times and the Washington Post, among others. Since that time, every single one of these historians and their families were physically threatened by Armenian
goons and terrorists. Prof. Stanford Shaw and his family were forced to go into hiding after their home was bombed by the above-mentioned hoodlums. Today, only a handful of these historians are still brave enough to speak out. There's yourtruth-seeking Armenians for you!

Justin McCarthy of the University of Louisville once said : "Any civil war, including ours, will look like genocide if you count only the dead of one side." So,
my friend Gareth, if you count only the dead of the South in the U.S. Civil War, it can be said that
Abraham Lincoln and his damn Yankees committed genocide. And, also, bear this in mind : The matter of who fired the first shot counts. It was the Armenians who fired the first shot, just as it was the South whofired the first shot by attacking Fort Sumter . If you take that first shot at me, you have forfeited your life. You cannot then complain that while you only fired one shot, I answered back with a volley. That's what they call war. That's what we andthe Brits do in Iraq . When you hear our soldiersspeak of being engaged in a "fierce firefight,"what they mean is that the other side fired twenty shots at us, and we firedback twenty thousand.

Ask yourself this : If the Armenians are so sure of their case, why do they resort to blackmail and even violence to stifle the voices of those who
disagree? What are they afraid of, the truth? If the Armenians have such a strong case, why do they
vehemently refuse to go to the International Court at the Hague , as we have challenged them to do? Why does not Armenia open its archives as Turkey has done.
Why does not the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in Massachusetts open its archives? Why doesn't France ? What are
they afraid of, the truth?

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its boots on. The Turks are just beginning to put their boots on, while the Armenians
have been at this lying game for over a hundred years. The Armenians are world-class champions in playing the victims. No matter what happens, the Armenians are the "Eternal Victims." They claimed victimhood a dozen years ago even as they murdered, raped, pillaged and
plundered as they attacked and occupied 20% of the land of Azerbaijan . Before and during WWI as the Armenian goons were massacring women and children in
Turkish villages and towns, their slick agents in Europe and America were screaming Armenian victimhood.
France , Russia and England were instigating and arming these savage Armenian butchers with their most modern weapons.

Yes, Gareth, they have finally forced the Turk to put his boots on. They will regret having done so. When it's over, it won't be the Turks who lose. The losers will be the hate-mongering, bloodthirsty Armenians and the nation of whores that is France .
That, my friend, you can take to the bank.

If you are a fair-minded person and if you can spare the time, take a gander at this most comprehensive ofwebsites :
http://www.tallarmeniantale. com/index. htm

It is the work of my friend Holdwater . Here you will find much material that you will never hear from the systematic lying machine that is the Armenian
Lobby. What's best is that
practically all the source material is from the mouths and pens of non-Turks, and includes Armenian sources as well. Here's just one quote from the horse's mouth itself. The horse is
Hovhannes Katchaznouni, the first prime minister(1920's) of the independent Republic of Armenia :

"The war with us was inevitable.. . We had not done
all that was necessary for us to have done to evade war. We ought to have used peaceful language with the Turks...We had no information about the real strength
of the Turks and relied on ours. This was the fundamental error. We were not afraid of war because
we thought we could win. Our army was well fed and well armed and [clothed] but it did not fight. The
troops were constantly retreating and deserting their positions; they threw away their arms and dispersed in the villages. ...In spite of the fact that the Armenians had better material and better support, their armies lost......the advancing Turks fought only against the regular soldiers; they did not carry the
battle to the civilian sector....the Turkish soldiers were well-disciplined and there were not any massacres. "

The Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni, First Prime
Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic

Published by the Armenian Information Service Suite 7D
, 471 Park Ave. New York 22 - 1955



Gareth, before you throw around and dilute the word 'genocide,' you might also keep in mind this little piece I received a couple months ago. It'scalled "Genocide for Dummies." :



Genocide for Dummies . . .
Here's when a 'mass killing' can be determined as a 'genocide' and when it cannot. It took me years and years of scientific research. Read, learn!

Killers: Muslims
Victims: Christians
Definition: It's definitely a Genocide

Killers: Christians
Victims: Muslims
Definition: It's definitely not a Genocide. Please
refer to such events as
"War" or "Civil Conflict"

Killers: Germans, French, Dutch, Poles, Greeks,
Armenians, Slavs etc.
Victims: European Jews
Definition: It's a Genocide - But only the Germans are
guilty

Killers: Muslims
Victims: Muslims
Definition: It's a Genocide (If the victims are the
West's allies or the
killers are the West's enemy)
It's not a Genocide (If the killers are the West's
allies or the victims are
the West's enemy)

Killers: Christians
Victims: Christians
Definition: Incomplete data. Unable to make a
judgment. Please provide the
skin color of the killers and the victims.

Killers: The West
Victims: Peoples of the 3rd World
Definition: Definitely not a Genocide. Use terms like
Anti-Terrorism,
Overseas conflict, War against oppressive regimes, etc

All the best,

Ilyas

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paris Link"
To: "Ilyas Botas"
Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2006 5:39 AM

BolsaHye said...

Gamze, I will try to answer your questions one by one, at least to the extent of my understanding of the question and my understanding of the answer.

Why won't Armenia open it's archives??

The Armenian archives are as open as the Turkish ones, and have always been open to researchers interested in the topic. I'd like to ask you a question: Why were the Turkish archives closed for 90 years? What did the Turkish authorities do with those archives during that time? Do you honestly believe that any harmful evidence, let alone smoking gun evidence, would be left in tact under the guidance of those who have been denying that a Genocide occured? Common sense demands that the Turkish authorities would have destroyed anything during this 90 period that would suggest a premeditated plan to exterminate the Armenians.

Why won't Armenia go to the Hague?? It's not Armenia who is demanding acknowledgment. It is Armenians who make up the diaspora. As for why they won't go to the Hague; I suspect it's because the Hague is not equipped to deal with a case that transpired over 90 years ago. Moreover, it is quite certain that Turkey would not accept or care what the Hague has to say about this. If they don't care what the vast majority of experts in this field have to say, why would they care what a court of law that is not an expert on Genocide have to say?

Why won't the Armenian Diaspora even allow the Turkish side to be heard?? No offense, but this is a rather ridiculous question. Turkey is one of the most significant countries in the world. Armenians make up a world population of no more than 8 million. Turkey has a voice that can easily eclipse anything Armenians have to say on any topic. To suggest that Armenians have some power over Turkey's ability to be heard in the world is rather ludicrous.

Why are there so many NON-Turkish historians who believe the events of 1915 cannot be deemed a "genocide"?? Historians such as: Bernard Lewis, Gunther Lewy, Norman Stone, Sanford Shaw, Justin McCarthy, just to name a few?? You just pretty much named all of them who say it wasn't a Genocide. On the other side are literally hundreds of historians who say it was a Genocide. Like every other matter, there are always people who will take a contrary, and almost always wrong, approach. But let me give you a more detailed answer regarding each of these supposedly unbiased historians:

Bernard Lewis: He has an agenda that has nothing to do with Turks or Armenians. He is the favorite academic of the American Hawks who are currently trying to subdue the entire middle east and make it a vasel of Israel. Bernard Lewis' job has always been to protect Israel. He does this, in part, by following the orders given him by AIPAC. One of those orders is to deny the Armenian Genocide.

Gunther Lewy: He also wrote books arguing that the American Indians did not suffer a Genocide, nor did the Romas under Hitler. By the way, his book also argues that Armenians did not rise up in massive numbers against the Turkish government. Hopefully, you didn't ignore that part of his argument when you read his book.

Norman Stone: He is a professor at Bilkent University in Ankara. What would you expect him to say?

Sanford Shaw: He is also a professor at Bilkent University, and is married to a Turkish woman.

Justin McCarthy: He's the laughing stock of this field.

Why have Armenians turned this into a political issue/debate rather than a historical issue/debate?? Armenians haven't turned into a political issue at the expense of the historical dialog. Armenians encourage historians to look at this matter, but the debate among historians has progressed from a question as to whether it happened, to more
fundamental questions. The vast majority of historians are no longer debating whether it happened, because they are satisfied that it did. Now they are studying the whys and hows, and the impact on societies, etc. But diaspora Armenians have felt the need to also politicize it, because the ultimate goal is for Turkey to acknowledge this past, and it has become clear to Armenians since the early 70s that Turkey is not going to accept this unless it is forced to confront its past. In other words, without pressure from the outside, change will not occur organically from the inside.

Why do Armenians refuse to acknowledge that they revolted against Ottoman Turks and fought along side the invading Russians and other to claim Turkish soil as their own?? Because it isn't true. Why do Turks refuse to acknowledge that there were far more Armenians fighting for the Ottoman Empire than there were Armenians fighting against it? Moreover, why don't Turks acknowledge the most of the Armenians fighting against the Ottomans were Russian citizens fighting for their country. My great-grandfather was a soldier in the Ottoman army during WWI, and he wasn't alone. There were thousands of such Armenians fighting for their country, while their country was busy "deporting" their friends and relatives to their graves. Why did the Ottoman government not take them into account when it decided to "deport" the entire Armenian population of Anatolia?

Anyway, I've tried my best to answer your questions.

metin said...

bolsahyeh:

"She said that her apartment building was not harmed because the bottom floor was occupied by their Turkish neighbor flying the Turkish flag, and he was stopping anyone who would come up to the building and telling them that there were no Gavurs in the building, even though there were. If not for him, it is entirely possible that the inhabitants of that building would have been severely harmed, and maybe even killed."

It appears that not ALL Turks are genocide minded creatures. So even if the genocide claims are 'true,' why do the present day Turks (who might be the children of that particular Turk) need to be punished?

But I am all for open dialogue and historical research to setlle this case. However, I don't see the point of investigating every 'genocide' that occurred since the beginning of time involving everyone around us.

When will it stop or is it your impression that there were just one holocaust and one genocide?

Gamze said...

Bolsahye,

Good effort but you get a big, fat "F".

1) Armenian archives are NOT open as the Armenians have repeatedly said they refuse to have an independent, third party (UNESCO) to draw their own conclusion (to which Turkey agreed to), but Armenians opposed.

2) The Hague: Once again, Turkey has encouraged Armenians to go to the Hague. And, once again, Turkey said they would accept WHATEVER the outcome.

3) ASALA: Ring a bell to ya? Yes, this Armenian terrorist organization murdered anyone who spoke out against your so-called genocide. This is why I put up the post after mine for you to read. You must be proud of them for killing innocent Turks as well.

4) The Armenian Revolt: I don't even know where the fuck to begin with on this one. You state that "it's simply not true". Well, okay then...you've convinced me!!?? Listen little darlin', with all the shit that was going on at the time the fall of the Ottoman Empire, why would WE create a civil war and internal strife? Because the Ottoman Turks didn't already have enough on their plate with foreign invaders?? Oh right, "that's simply not true", as you've said. Good argument.

5) The Historians: Since you Armenians have an iron-clad case that's seemingly (to you) a slam dunk , again let a third, independent party sift through all of the historical (authenticated)evidence from both sides. As I've said a couple of times before, TURKEY HAS SAID THAT THEY WILL ACCEPT WHATEVER THE OUTCOME. Don't make me write this again.

6) Political issues: this was already addressed in #5. You are out of your mind if you believe that this isn't a politcal issue for the Armenians. It's easy to pay off government officals or threaten that they'll lose your vote if they don't recognize your so-called genocide. Not as easy to do with an independednt party who has no vested interest in the outcome of the historical debate and truth. But your Armenia would prefer to stay as far away as possible from the FACTS.

7) The events of 1915 took place a long, long time ago. Why didn't I ever read about your "genocide" in my history books? If it's evident that such a "genocide" took place, why hasn't the U.S. recognized it? Or Israel? Surely, Israel can speak to what is or isn't a genocide

8) Stop talking as though this is something established as a historical truth. It's not.

9) Because of that, I have said in a previous comment (right here) that should Turkey ever be found guilty as having committed any genocide, I will be the first Turk to stand up and say "Sorry, we we're wrong". So now let me ask you the same: Should Armenia ever be brave enough to go to the Hague and come out as losers, are you and the rest of Armenians going to do the same? Will you apologize to the Turks?

Don't waste my time by pleading your case. Your government knows what it needs to do to put all of this to rest. Turks are interested in only the facts. Bring us to the Hague. Or shut the fuck up.

BolsaHye said...

Metin,

Who said that all or even most Turks are genocidal? I hope they're not, otherwise I'm going to have to watch my back every time I go to my uncle's house and hang out with my cousins.

I don't think any Armenians think that today's Turks should be punished for anything. We are not blaming today's Turks for Genocide. Moreover, there are as many stories from our great-grandparents and grandparents about how their lives were saved by their Turkish neighbors and friends as there are stories about the torture and killing at the hands of Turkish soldiers.

The better question is, why do today's Turks take sides with the maniacs who orchestrated the Armenian Genocide? Why do you try to hide their or take offense when Armenians try to discuss those crimes. Why not honor the memory of the Turks who saved innocent civilians rather than honoring the memory of murderers?

Finally, why do you think that acknowledgment of this crime is a punishment for you or other Turks of today? How is this a punishment? Will you suffer jail time, or some other disgrace by acknowledging what virtually the entire non-Turkish world sees as truth?

BolsaHye said...

Gamze, maybe Armenians will some day take this to the Hague.

But try to keep in mind, that every time the Turkish government says they will accept it IF, when the IF occurs, they still refuse to accept it. The Turkish government said, leave it to historians, so we left it to historians, and the historians almost unanimously say it was a Genocide. But Turkey still refuses.

Then the the two parties agreed to accept the conclusion of the International Center for Transitional Justice a few years ago. That body conducted an investigation and also concluded that it was a Genocide. Still Turkey refused to accept it.

Now Turkey is calling for another "independent" commission. And I'm sure that eventually Armenians will agree to some form of commission, and surely they will also concluded it was a Genocide, just like every other independent commission or historical academic body has done. And next, as you have pointed out, Turkey will ignore that conclusion and will demand a decision by the Hague. When the Hague says it was a Genocide, then Turkey will demand a time machine be built to confirm such outrageous allegations.

Finally, if you really do feel that it's a "waste of your time" to hear my case, then I guess you are not open to having an honest and civil discussion. If this is the attitude that most of the Turkish population plans to take, it is your loss. Because neither Armenians nor the world are going to stop talking about it, studying it, and trying to learn from it. And as in the past, Turkey is going to find itself isolated and alone on this matter, because it refuses to engage in a mature discussion on the matter.

Gamze said...

Bolsayhe,

What would be the point in having a back-and-forth would someone like yourself? You have already said that that you have concluded that there was indeed a so-called Aremenian genocide.

Your interest is not to have a debate here. Your interest is to pound away at anyone who opposes your position on this issue.

I've already said that I would step up and say "sorry", if Turkey is wrong on this matter. I did not hear you say the same about Armenia, should they be proven to be way off the mark. And then you have the nerve to say that I'm the one not open to having a discussion or a debate!?

So let me be very, very clear: I will NOT have a discusion with anyone who is NOT open to the possibility that they may be wrong.
Why go around and around with someone like that? As I said, that is most definitely a waste of my time.

Anonymous said...

Not being either Armenian, Greek, or Turkish, I have to say I'm impressed by the maturity shown at least by Bolsahye, and equally unimpressed by the immaturity and boorish nationalism shown by most (though not all) of the Turks here. Even the owner of this blog, who has referred in the crudest possible fashion to "French boot licking" Armenians, "shows his true colors," to use his favorite catchphrase.

BolsaHye said...

Yes, but I never said that I could never change my mind. I'm willing to agree that the world is in fact flat if somebody is able to convince me of it. However, I have not seen any arguments or evidence that would cause me to change my mind on the Armenian Genocide issue. If you have some new information, by all means express yourself. I promise to consider all rational arguments.

BolsaHye said...

Thank you anonymous,

I consider this a Turkish house. I would not want to come here and thumb my nose at the people who live in this house.

Furthermore, it is hard to blame Turkish people who are very nationalistic for being nationalistic. It is an attitude that is fostered from childhood: Ne Mutlu Turkum Diyene! Besides, lots of countries are extremely nationalistic, not just Turkey. Armenians are very nationalistic too, even those who have never lived in Armenia and will never live in Armenia.

Anyway, I'm just here to talk, and that's it.

Ve Gamze, hemen sinirlenmen lazim diyil. Senin len dusman diyil im. Butun dunya bugin bu konuyu konusuyor. Siz bile konusuyorsunuz. Niye beraber konusmiyalim, baskalarina birakalim?

Murat Altinbasak said...

Anonymous says: "Even the owner of this blog, who has referred in the crudest possible fashion to "French boot licking" Armenians, "shows his true colors," to use his favorite catchphrase."

DANG! I thought I was one of the "though not all" people you were refering to. Seriously though, there are armies of hackers out there of the ultra-nationalist flavor, targeting sites which exhibit even a glimmer of anti-Turkishness. If I don't cast a few stones once in a while, Amerikan Turk would be taken down right quick. Heck one of them IMs me from Istanbul once in a while to congratulate me for not being on his shit list.. All kidding aside, I make no apologies for the boot-licking remark, and I wasn't saying it about ALL Armenians, just the ones who sided with the French and tried to destroy the Turkish Republic. Oh, and the ones in France too.

Gamze said...

Murat,

I have never had a healthy debate with racists. So, I simply don't bother anymore. You are far more patient, I guess.

Love your posts!!

BolsaHye said...

Who are you referring to when you say racists?

Murat Altinbasak said...

Gamze,
Many thanks.. As tempting as it is for me to patronize enemies of our Turkish Republic, there is little I can add to your many contributions... You have some fire in the belly, and not everyone can take the heat, eh? Thanks again.

metin said...

I've addressed the issue of certain 'skeletons' and taboos in Turkey's closet many times in my blog. I believe the truth will eventually prevail, and everyone will live happily ever after.

And there are militants within all societies, and I for one, do not have any grudges against Armenians who are more Turkish than some of the Turks out there.

The point is, we can debate this till no end. But Turkey needs to admit some of its part in whatever wrongdoings it committed and stop acting as if it is innocent of all charges. And I am sure the Armenians would follow suit if Turkey shows them how to be a role model.

And I am not just talking about the Armenian Genocide issue. I am all for continued dialogue and the meeting of the minds, all in a courteous and respectful manner. I hope I am not disillusioned.

Anyway, Bolsayhe, I do so far respect your opinions on this thread.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Bolsahye,

Turks such as myself, born raised and educated in the US, will be the last ones indoctrinated with the poison pill you are offering. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder... such is the case with many "Amerikan Turks", most of whom are only able to see the T.R. once a year or less.. Turkish nationalism exists all over the world you see.. I'm a little sick of people bird-dogging nationalism as though it were some kind of dreadful ailment which must be cured.. You seem like an intelligent well read person, but I have to read between the lines to figure this out, because your approach and your questions remind me of the Jehovah's Witnesses who knock on my door and try to convert me. If I didn't know better, I'd feel insulted.
There is enough Turkish blood soaking every corner of the Turkish Republic that mourning our own losses is a much higher priority than subjecting myself to the collective guilt and punishment which Armenians want to inflict.

metin said...

By the way, speaking of genocide, "the confessions of two retired French generals published in the daily Le Monde show that the French army murdered at least one million Algerians between 1954 and 1962, while the Indonesian army massacred a full one million communists and their family members in 1965 and 1966, the Red Khmer killed 1,7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979, 500.000 Tutsis were beheaded by Huttus of Ruanda in 1994 and thousands of Moslems were exposed to Serbian atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo."

This, according to:
Armenian Issue.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Metin, thanks for all of your comments. This post was originally about anti-Turkishness of a certain Melissa Papantones, who runs for office this upcoming election day in the state of Connecticut. Judging from my Sitemeter, people are using "the Google" pretty often to find out about her, and the top result is well... you're reading it. She seems to have pulled a "Kerry" with her asinine letters to The Westerly Sun, not that it will make much difference..

The Infidel said...

Bolsahye,

“The Armenian archives are as open as the Turkish ones, and have always been open to researchers interested in the topic.”

-- Wow. I think it’s fair to say that that’s just a crock of bull, by now. If the Armenian archives are that open, and apparently have always been, then why refuse to have a joint commission, possibly even one from the Hague, look at them and see for themselves? If after all these years such an offer from your nemesis is not accepted then what would be? Does it have to be on a silver platter or something? If the Armenian government was indeed telling themselves that they were taking the high road all this time why not take this extremely rare opportunity to, at least, show the willingness to prove to the rest of the world, but especially Turkey, that they were, and are still, right?

“Why were the Turkish archives closed for 90 years? What did the Turkish authorities do with those archives during that time? Do you honestly believe that any harmful evidence, let alone smoking gun evidence, would be left in tact under the guidance of those who have been denying that a Genocide occured?”

-- First question, for all of those 90 years, Turkey had, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, a military system in place that would vehemently pursue any public outcry, criticism, and defamation. It’s only in the last couple of years that such critics have not been treated in the exact same way they were treated during all those years. Turkish laws are becoming more lax, the military influence on politics is slowly being put on the back burner in political discourse, even the death penalty has been abolished, for God’s sake. I’m not saying that things are perfect in Turkey but what I am saying is that now is, by far the best time in our Republic’s short history to accept such an offer and it just makes no sense to refuse it after coming such a long way unless there is something else Armenians are afraid of.
-- Second question, we don’t know definitively what anyone did to those archives. But, again, if you don’t look at them you won’t know either, now will you? Despite what you think may have happened, don’t you think our historical documents still deserve a viewing, at least? Don’t you think that refusing to look at them would take away from their historical relevance although they were a direct and authentic part of the incidents of the same time period in the same geographic region that’s in contest? As far as I’m concerned, this attitude sounds very typical to me. Just claim that the contents of these documents are of inconsequential nature and convince the rest of the world of that. And voila, we are back at square one, if everything goes well. That just sounds pathetic somehow. Oh wait, I actually forgot one critical element to this story.

“Common sense demands that the Turkish authorities would have destroyed anything during this 90 period that would suggest a premeditated plan to exterminate the Armenians.”

-- Of course, indirectly force spectators into the mindset that if they believed contrary to the “premeditated plan” they would, indeed, not be of the crowd that possesses “common sense”. Therefore, in order to have common sense you must agree. But what you are missing is what common sense is really saying. TAKE THE DAMN OFFER AND SEE FOR YOURSELF WHAT’S REALLY IN THERE.

“It's not Armenia who is demanding acknowledgment. It is Armenians who make up the diaspora. As for why they won't go to the Hague; I suspect it's because the Hague is not equipped to deal with a case that transpired over 90 years ago.”

-- Wait a second. The Hague is not “equipped” to look into the archives, do research, and make a judgment, BUT the Armenian diaspora and the International Center for Transitional Justice are “equipped” to listen to stories, read hundreds of books by historians who write about the same stories and who cite dozens of books written by Armenian’s or Armenian sympathizing historians who tell the same stories again and reference a handful of Armenians who tell the original stories. I really can’t make more obvious how ludicrous this situation is, it’s mind-boggling. Last time I checked any public dispute is decided in a court of law that is recognized by the rest of the democratic world.
In my personal opinion, I think the real reason why the Hague is being refused is because just like in any court the judges HAVE to consider evidence and counterevidence equally and then upon deliberation decide which weighs heavier, which apparently in this case represents a dilemma for the Armenians. I do think that the Armenian diaspora fears something in this process, which is the loss of credibility and cause, in fact, the loss of leverage and existence. The loss for the Armenian side I think would be far greater than the loss for Turkey, and that’s why they are refusing. The question is why this fear if they are so sure of their claims? Are we to believe that if Armenians (diaspora or otherwise) given the chance to have an international court settle this for eternity and, at least, gain more international support for their claims that they would refuse because the court is not “equipped” enough? That’s just ridiculous.

“Moreover, it is quite certain that Turkey would not accept or care what the Hague has to say about this. If they don't care what the vast majority of experts in this field have to say, why would they care what a court of law that is not an expert on Genocide have to say?”

-- Oh yeah? What’s so certain about that? If anything, Turkey has shown in last few years that whatever it is that seemed so “certain” to the rest of the world is not so after all; the role of the military, the death penalty, Kurdish minority rights, all of them seemed “certain” but none of them turned out to be set in stone after all. Hint, hint….
-- Yeah, why would Turks care about an international independent court of law whose opinions and judgments are respected by the international community, fill the history books of such communities, and, ah I don’t know, are bonafide to settle a dispute between two countries? Do you really not see how ridiculous this question now sounds?

“But diaspora Armenians have felt the need to also politicize it, because the ultimate goal is for Turkey to acknowledge this past, and it has become clear to Armenians since the early 70s that Turkey is not going to accept this unless it is forced to confront its past. In other words, without pressure from the outside, change will not occur organically from the inside.”

-- Wait, I’ve got it. You know what would make Turkey acknowledge her past whilst being forced to confront it with pressure from the outside, in fact, from a very credible and loud outside force?....... THE FUCKING HAGUE.

“And as in the past, Turkey is going to find itself isolated and alone on this matter, because it refuses to engage in a mature discussion on the matter.”

-- What is the opposite of “refusing to engage” in our case? Take your word for it and run with it? Is this what you should do when I accuse you of killing my people with the support of the Bolsheviks before the conflict started?
-- Ah yes, the mature discussion. Well, I’ve heard from all American-Turks on this comment page that they would be willing to accept an unfavorable outcome, stand out here again, and admit gladly that they are sorry. But we have heard no such comment from you. Why? Are you willing to come back here and do the same?

Ok, I know this has been a very very long comment and I hope that reading it gave you the same headache I’m suffering from right now, but if you don’t feel like answering any of my questions above, although I think you consider some, please answer the following ones if you can:
1. Why do you think Hovhannes Katchaznouni denied that any massacres happened when he, as the first president of the newly born country, was a first-hand original witness to the deportations and the stories that came afterwards?
2. If you yourself were intent on wiping out a whole population, would deportations suffice to kill off an entire minority group whereas you could have not allowed anyone to leave, maybe in mass concentration camps, and then just killed them and burned the bodies, much like Hitler did?

Any takers on any of these questions?

BolsaHye said...

Metin,

What happened in Rwanda and Cambodia has generally been accepted as Genocide. Likewise, many people have been calling the killing of about 8000 Bosnians as Genocide. Yet, we are here discussing whether the killing of at least 300,000 (according to official Turkey today) was a Genocide.

BolsaHye said...

Murat,

I don't understand the Jehovah's witness analogy. Maybe you would be more comfortable if I were more rude and abrasive instead of trying to understand the Turkish perspective.

In any case, I am going to ignore what I perceive as insults . . . for now.

As for Turkish blood soaking, are you saying that Turks don't have the capacity to feel sorry for anyone's suffering other than their own? It seems that's what you're saying, but that would be rather ridiculous. I think Turks, if given the chance, can feel sorry for the millions of Turks who died during WWI while also feeling sorry for the Armenian population which was cleansed. Incidentally, the fault for both losses fall on the same people. The blame is not directed to you or to Turks. It is directed to those who ruled the Ottoman Empire during WWI. Are you defending these people, who at the very least caused the death of millions of Turks, Kurds, and Christian minorities?

metin said...

bolsahye,

. . . and your point is??

my point is that genocide, if used lightly, can be applied by any people over any other people at any time for any time period for any purpose for any agenda.

the Turks may call the killing of Muslim Turks by Christian Armenian Turks genocide as well.

this whole world is genocidal if that's the case. so why don't we sit here and admit to everyone about everything the human race has ever done to other humans, (and animals,) and live happily ever after.

unfortunately, it's not that simple. take a look at the American indians. Just accepting genocide does not solve any problems or stop future ones from occurring.

should Turkey set aside 'reservations' for Armenians on its land, and allow them to operate casinos for profit, as is the case here in the US.

or should there really be a dialogue about human suffering in general, and not particularly simply the Armenian suffering.

i think that's my point! i'm not disagreeing with you. i just want to know where does this end.

BolsaHye said...

Metin,

My point was that the Armenian Genocide is not the only Genocide that ever happened. It is not generally unique. What's unique is that there is an entire nation in denial of it. And another point was that the occurence of other Genocides has no impact on the question of whether or not the Armenian experience qualifies as Genocide.

I think in an effort to not make light of the word Genocide, you are making light of those instances which clearly qualify to be so labeled.

If something is Genocide, we should not be afraid to say so and to say it swiftly even if it is determined later through analysis and study that the term does not exactly fit. I should think that we would want to err on the side of caution and step in as soon as possible to stop any kind of ethnic cleansing, whether it be massacres or Genocide.

As for your question of when does it end, it ends when people stop massacring each other in large numbers. Seeing as that has not happened, and we have not yet become civilized, then we have no choice but to ferret out those instances when it happened and put it on public display for the world to see.

Gamze said...

And if "something" has not been proven to be a "genocide", we shouldn't be afraid to DENY that either.

BolsaHye said...

Infidel,

Here are my thoughts on the Turkish archives and Armenian archives.

1. Turkish archives were closed for 90 years. Now the Turkish government is practically begging people to look at them. Why? If there's exculpatory evidence, why not just spit it out and publish it for the world to see the innocence of the CUP?

2. Does it take a genius to understand that a regime that sees fit to criminalize discussion of this topic would have no interest in an honest review of its archives or an honest discussion with its adversary? Does it take a genius to figure out that Turkey would never release its archives without cleansing them first? Please, let's not insult each others' intelligence.

3. The orders to "deport" were given by the CUP. What are you going to find in the Armenian archives that has any relevance to this issue? How would the Armenians have any of the official Ottoman documents in their possession? Furthermore, if you're looking for evidence of Tashnag treachery, how would that exculpate the CUP from the charge of Genocide?

Now a word about the commission that Erdogan keeps insisting on.

The commission would be made up of Turkish historians hand picked by the Turkish government and Armenian historians hand picked by the Armenian government. How far do you think that will get before talks disintegrate into arguments? This thing that Erdogan is calling for bears no resemblance to in impartial historical commission. It's really no different from what Kocharian responded: this is a political issue between our countries and let's address it through politics and not try to pretend that our historians would be acting as historians.

I agree that an impartial group should look at this issue afresh. It certainly couldn't hurt. And I'm sure that the conclusion, as usual, will be the same. But will Turkey accept that? I, a diasporan Armenian, would accept it whatever the outcome.

Now on to your discussion of the Hague:

1. It is a court of law, as you pointed out. It is equipped to handle cases and controversies, not disputes relating to historical events. This is fundamental.

2. How is a judge with no experience or expertise on this topic a better arbiter on the subject than the experts in the field who devote their lives to the academic study of Genocide?

3. You make it seem as though such a case would be common. If so, please cite a case in which a COUNTRY was sued at the Hague for committing Genocide. Alternatively, please cite a case from the Hague in which a person or group of people who are dead were sued post-mortem for Genocide.

Again, I don't understand why people are fixating on the Hague as the best arbiter of this issue. I would think that the best arbiter would be a panel of expert academics, but I guess many Turks are wary of that since the academics tend to conclude it was a Genocide.

Now I'll answer your last 2 questions:

1. You asked why Kachaznouni denied that any Armenian massacres occured.

He never denied that there were massacres. The quote that you have referenced is him talking about the Turko-Armenian war that started in the fall of 1920. When he says there were no massacres, he's NOT talking about the Genocide that occurred from 1915-1918; he's talking about the war between Turkey and Armenia that started in the fall of 1920. In that same manifesto to which you refer, Kachaznouni does make reference to the Genocide, before that word was invented, and here's what he says:

"The deportations and mass exiles and massacres which took place during the Summer and Autum of 1915 were mortal blows to the Armenian cause. . . The Turks knew what they were doing and have no reason to regret today. It was the most decisive method of extirpating the Armenian question from Turkey."

Now, does that sound like a denial that massacres occured to you?

2. The deportations are a misnomer, because they were never allowed to leave Ottoman lands. Armenians were not "deported" because they actually never left Ottoman territories. They were in fact not allowed to emmigrate at all. All of their passports and travel documents were taken from them, and they were driven en masse to concentration camps where they died from disease, dehydration, malnutrition, and also outright murder. If the Armenians had been allowed to leave (deported) they may have survived in larger numbers. So, it was quite an effective means of cleansing the land of Armenians, and it worked exactly as it was supposed to.

BolsaHye said...

Gamze,

You're right. But both denial and acceptance should be based on an honest and objective personal evaluation, not blind hope or fear.

Gamze said...

Bolsahye,

Oh my God! Can it be that you and I have reached some common ground!?
I'm speechless!!

BolsaHye said...

Gamze, don't tell anyone. They'll blame you for sympathizing with a "racist" like me.

Gamze said...

I've NEVER sympathized with a racist. Of that, you can be sure.

BolsaHye said...

Hm, are you saying that you don't think I'm racist or that you don't sympathize with me?

metin said...

and all this time i thought this thread was about a greek-american's blanket opposition to anything Turkish.

as i have said in the past, i reserve the right to support a greek or an armenian candidate over a Turk, if the issues and the platforms supported are more in line with my interests, and I wouldn't make 'genocide' or any other issue become a deterrent in my smear campaign.

but obviously the other side chooses to not play the game by the rules.

coming back to bolsahyeh, i am sure if we applied as much passion into all of the issues in the order of priority, we can probably solve the 'genocide' issue once and for all.

i am not sure campaigning on this forum is not going to mean anything if we hold the 'state' responsible for past actions, and not individuals.

But collectively, the Turkish people should rise up and demand a resolution to this problem and end the 'delay' tactics imposed by their government. I am all for that. In that regard, I would support your efforts to produce a genuine effort in that regard.

However, as an American of Turkish descent, I am not required, even by your own admission, to agree or disagree to any genocide claims, and my agreement or disagreement would not mean anything as far as the big picture is concerned.

I think you need to clearly clarify your intent in being here and debating this issue. By convincing us of your claims, what will you accomplish?

Murat Altinbasak said...

"Maybe you would be more comfortable if I were more rude and abrasive instead of trying to understand the Turkish perspective."

I think you're right. Ten hours a day of pride swallowing in the face of insult and ridicule by irate, incompetent and back-stabbing general contractors and architects makes me immune to any such treatment.

"As for Turkish blood soaking, are you saying that Turks don't have the capacity to feel sorry for anyone's suffering other than their own?"

Umm yes... Just like the Armenians. We're just not in the habit of trying to force the rest of the world to participate in it or the habit of dispensing mis-placed accountability.

"The blame is not directed to you or to Turks."

Good. Then travel to the past in a time machine and verbally assault someone else. Does this remark offend you? I hope not.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Metin, Did you catch the radio show today- I forget... Bill O'Reilly? He ripped Nancy Pelosi to shreds... talking about how she is not against abortions of fully grown fetuses, meaning those about to be delivered. Seemed to be embellished quite a bit. Sounded disgusting.

Murat Altinbasak said...

"By convincing us of your claims, what will you accomplish?"

More than one Armenian I've chatted with has made the answer to this clear: R-E-P-A-R-A-T-I-O-N-S!!!

metin said...

I am so unhappy about politicians (of both sides of the aosle) lately. I think they need to stop running the country (or countries.)

When will people rise up and decide the US, (as well as Turkey,) cannot be run as a Democracy (where 51% - and in Bush's case less than that - decides how the other 49% lives) instead of as a Republic (as stated in the Consitution) where each individual has a right to be heard and to matter. (Civil Liberties is not, by the way, just Civil Rights alone.)

So Pelosi Melosi, they all stink. And I wish the Government ran more like a successful Corporation. Where each stockholder has the right to hold the CEO accountable for his/her actions (prior to their term being up.)

I really liked you last comment:

"Then travel to the past in a time machine and verbally assault someone else."

The best ride I like still at Universal Studios:
Back To The Future.

And you are right about:
REPARATIONS.

metin said...

Final Word on Ms. Panantones:

As I've commented here eons ago on this thread:

"Ms. Papantones' argument reminds me of a 'dumb blonde' who thought "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was going to be about fat Greek people. She just can't comprehend the notion that the legend (or myth) of Ataturk is one of inspiring the Turks to look ahead and live in peace.

To blame anyone, Ataturk or not, for the current trend toward tretament of religious minorities (Islam included in such a secular society,) is akin to comparing and accusing Lincoln for the great atrocities committed by the Republican Party of today (and I am not just talking about the restrictions of civil liberties in the name of war against terrorism) by the 'religious right' when religion may not always be right."

BolsaHye said...

Murat,

If I could travel back in a time machine, I would do more than verbally assault! If I could travel back in a time machine and do what I wish I could do, we (you, me and the rest of us who live in the Turkish and Armenian diasporas) would all be living in a prosperous Turkey today. We wouldn't be in foreign lands, working for foreign people, and making other countries rich off of our sweat.

BolsaHye said...

Metin,

I'm just here to talk. If you would prefer not to hear another perspective, that's your prerogative. But I find it interesting that you think a historical commission should be formed so that Turkish and Armenian historians can supposedly talk, but you don't want to talk with Armenians yourself, of which I am one.

By the way, if you can't put up with me, then there probably is no hope for reconciliation between Armenians and Turks, unless you represent the ultra-nationalist sort with whom reason and civility has no effect. "Peace at Home, Peace in the World" has no meaning or substance when two people from the same land can't talk about their shared history without preconditions.

Anonymous said...

Complaining about the self-pity of Armenians has got to be one of the more ironic things I've ever heard, because if anything the Turks are the most morbidly self-pitying, self-absorbed, make absolutely no attempt to understand the Christian /secular West or the outside world people I have ever met. Everything in Turkey's relations with the outside world is blamed on "anti-Islamic " or "anti-Turk" prejudice, even though there are a bazillion perfectly sound reasons to be skeptical of Turkey as a fully secular, civilized society ready to join the modern world. The economy's bad? People think we're still a backwards Islamic country? Let's blame those backwards Kurds, They're dragging us down! The Nobel Prize to Orhan Pamuk is a conspiracy against the Turks! Anything except maybe admitting that something could possibly be wrong with Turkey.

metin said...

bolsahyeh,

Let me make one thing clear. It's not that i don't want to talk to yu because you're armenian (and this is a common problem with most minorities,) I don't want to talk to you because of who you have shown me you are.

"We wouldn't be in foreign lands, working for foreign people, and making other countries rich off of our sweat."

Your comment above suggests to me that you don't consider yourself an American or a member of the global community (instead of a nationalist zealot,) if you keep referring to this land as a foreign land, even if you are talking about the past, and even if you are referring to Turks and Armenians working abroad (i.e. Germany, etc.)

I, on the other hand, do not blame the past, or the present, for where I am today. In fact, I am quite happy. And I've stopped feeling sorry for myself, when I was born.

Good Day!

metin said...

Murat, By the way, speaking of Ataturk:

As you may know, Phil Angelides, a Greek-American, is running for Governor in California. (And deservingly, he and his 'liberal' agenda is going down the tubes even in a Liberal State such as California, as Gov. Schwarzenegger will win quite handily it appears.)

Anyway, according to (TAAC) Turkish-American Association of California, Mr. Angelides' office (back in 2003) had a Press Release issued demanding an aplogy from George Will. Why you ask?

Because George Will in a column called 'The Last Word' in Newsweek wrote in 2003, "Californians need an Ataturk."

The reason for the apology:

Not only to "the families of the innocent people that were 'brutally murdered under Ataturk's rule,' but to the people of California for implying that a democratic state like California actually needs an 'atrocious murderer' to govern over its people.

According to Mr. Angelides, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's forces were responsible for 'the murderous campaign of ethnic cleansing against Greeks and Armenians.' "

Now as a member of the Greek and Armenian community that Mr Angelides is referring to, I can understand his representation of the ignorance as such. Even if I have to allow him to represent both the Greek and Armenian communities, when he's simply of Greek descent. But I'll let the Armenians decide if they are Ok with that.

But for him to speak on behalf of the Californians (of which I am one) is against my civil rights as an American of Turkish descent.

This is what I mean by 'Democratically' elected politicians, who become 'history' translators. By the way, Mr. Angelides cannot even do his job right.

He, as the State Treasurer, is responsible for the fiscal irersponsibility he showed leading to his boss' (Governor Gray Davis') early recall elevating Gov Schwarzenegger to the scene.

I do not like (and never have) the idea of a simple majority 'speaking' on behalf of the entire populace. In a Republic, which the US is, and not a democracy, if one studies the Constitution, this type of arrogance would not be allowed to take place. This is the same Democracy that we (America) are trying to establish in Iraq, another nation of differing sects, and ideologies.

Now my Armenian, Kurd, and Greek friends would argue for the same point if they were truly honest. That Turkey, in lieu of the majority rules over the minority concept, they would by virtue of that argument would normally agree with me on this one, since this is exactly what they are claiming that Muslim Turks as a majority are being too restrictive over the minority Turks of other descent.

But being that opposing anything Turkish is what is on their agenda, they would disagree with me on even the issues that they normally support for the benefit of their own causes. Simply because in this instance, it appears to lead to the downfall of their only remaining argument. But hey you cant have your cake and eat it too. Stop being wishy washy (or stop being a politician.)

Anyway, contrary to what my Armenian and Greek friends would do, had the situation been the reverse, I choose not to vote for Angelides because he sucks as a Treasurer, and I don't like his 'liberal' values which make Schwarzenegger, a Liberal Republican no less, appear conservative.

I am not (not voting) for Angelides because of his Press Release (or this one issue only approach that normally supercedes these types of 'ethnic' irresponsibility WHICH IS TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT TO VOTE AS AN AMERICAN FOR AMERICA, and NOT use the same RIGHTS to FUEL FIRE TO A PRE-EXISTING CAUSE that ALL ETHNICITIES tend have and make an issue - or an ass, no pun intended for my democrat friends - out of.)

By the way, an example of this would be how mature the Jewish American citizens have shown to be as some of them who choose Schwarzenegger for Governor do not hold his Austrian background to come into play. And as they should, some of them would vote for Mr. Angelides not out of anger against Schwarzenegger's Austrian background.

But I bet you, if a Californian Turk was running for office, no matter what the positions of the Armenians are that they may approve of the Turk, they would simply choose not to support him because of his Turk-ness.

In fact, when a Turk implies not to engage any further dialogue with an Armenian on the acceptance that world revolves around one such genocide while ignoring the PROBLEMS AND ISSUES OF THE PRESENT DAY that we choose to ignore in lieu of, then the Armenian poses the same expectation of the Turk, implying that the Turk would issue a blanket opposition to anyhting Armenian.

I am the last person to argue that point with. Since I've been asking for civil rights in Turkey for ALL its citizens and not just the Armenian, or Kurd, or Christian ones.

Bolsahyeh, I hope you're taking notes. This is the main reason why I choose no longer to continue my dialogue with you. And not because you're Armenian. I would feel the same way about Turks who have a 'closed' and a 'one-sided' mind, when it is I who have always accepted the 'openness' of discussing and respecting opposing views.

Gamze said...

Well put, Metin and Murat.

BolsaHye said...

Metin,

The real reason why you don't want to speak with me is because you would rather speak for me. That's what you just did in your diatribe on Angelides. Furthermore, you wanted to stop speaking with me the minute I said I believe the Armenians suffered a Genocide, not six posts later when I said that Armenians and Turks are living in lands that are historically foreign to us and making other countries rich.

As for you misrepresentations of the Armenian-American community, most California Armenians in fact support Schwartsi, and not Angelides, even though Angelides is Greek and supports Genocide recognition. We support Schwartsi because he also supports Genocide recognition, and more importantly, he supports many other issues that are important to Armenians living in California, such as maintaining California-Armenia trade office and supporting trade between the two countries.

Now I would recommend that you stop talking on behalf of Armenians, because you clearly have no idea what's important to us. Your suggestion that we would never vote for a Turkish-American or American-Turkish candidate is flat out wrong. Sure, we wouldn't vote for a candidate who says there was no Genocide, because we would find that extremely offensive. Do you think Jews would vote for Schwartsi, an Austrian, if he said the Holocaust never happened? Maybe in your dreams! But give us an honest man like Taner Akcam, and we would vote for him in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

From Terrorism to Armenian Propagandist:
The Taner Akcam Story

Mustafa Artun




You may have heard that the ranks of those who accuse Turkey of having committed a "genocide" against the Armenians now include a Turkish citizen named Taner Akcam. Akcam who is affiliated with a German research center and claims a doctorate in history, has become the darling of the Armenian diaspora activists in this country and in Europe. He has been invited to the United States several times — all expenses paid by Armenian organizations — to give talks and participate in conferences.

Currently, he is a "visiting scholar" at the Armenian Research Center (ARC) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The ARC serves as one of main mouthpieces of anti-Turkey Armenian propaganda in the U.S. Its Director, Dennis Papazian, is a well-known professional falsifier of history who has consistently denied that Armenians were involved in the deaths of thousands of Turks in Eastern Anatolia during World War I.


Taner Akcam

During the past decade, Akcam has published several books in Turkey on the Armenian issue, including Turk Ulusal Kimligi ve Ermeni Sorunu (Turkish National Identity and the Armenian Question). Akcam's publications show no evidence that he knows Ottoman Turkish or that he has ever worked in the Ottoman archives. In his writings, Akcam parrots the familiar arguments that have become the staple of the Armenian propaganda machine. He wholeheartedly endorses the Armenian claim that the Armenians were the victims of a horrible "genocide" that was planned and carried out by the Ottoman government during World War I.

While dismissing the actions of the Armenian terrorist organizations against the Empire's Turkish and Muslim populations, he puts the blame for the tragic events that took place more than 80 years ago solely on the Young Turk leadership. Moreover, in line with the standard Armenian arguments, Akcam asks that Turkey formally apologize for its "crimes" to cleanse its national and collective conscience from this "horrible" burden. In his only publication to appear in English so far — an essay that was translated from German by none other than the well-known protagonist of the Armenian version of history, Vahakn Dadrian — Akcam goes so far as to argue that there was a close connection between the Armenian "genocide" and the national resistance movement in Anatolia led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and that the foundations of the new Turkish Republic reflected the involvement of its leadership in a genocidal policy. At the conclusion of his essay, Akcam wonders how traumatic it would be for Turks to discover that the individuals they regarded as "great saviors" and "people who created a nation from nothing" were in fact "murderers and thieves".

To understand how a person who claims Turkish citizenship can express such outrageous views, it is important to know something about his background. Taner Akcam was born in Kars — a province where there is a sizeable number of Turkified Armenian families — and he is the son of the leftist writer Dursun Akcam. Taner Akcam became involved in radical leftist activities while he was still a lycee student. His radicalism intensified while he studied at the Middle East Technical University in the early 1970s. Akcam moved from student activism into political terrorism by joining the THKP-C (Turkiye Halk Kurtulus Partisi-Cephesi-Turkish People's Liberation Party-Front) in 1972 — a terrorist organization that was implicated in the assassinations and killings of numerous far-right militants, Turkish security officials, and American and NATO military personnel. In the mid-1970s, Akcam became a leading member of DEV-YOL (Devrimci Yol-Revolutionary Path) and the editor of its periodical Devrimci Genclik Dergisi (Revolutionary Youth Magazine). It might be recalled that DEV-YOL was one of
the two principal leftist terrorist organizations (the other being DEV-SOL) that played a major role in the bloody escalation of
political violence in Turkey during the 1970s. In the bizarre ideological divisions among the leftist groups that proliferated on the Turkish political scene at the time, DEV-YOL was known
as following a "pro-Soviet" line in terms of its international loyalties. DEV-YOL's bloody terrorist activities, which claimed hundreds of
fatalities and a large number of serious injuries, included assassinations, armed attacks, bombings, and bank
robberies. The group also achieved notoriety when it set up a so-called "liberated zone" in the town of Fatsa
on the Black Sea coast where DEV-YOL militants established their control for several months before being routed by the security forces.

During this period of heightened terrorism, Akcam was an active participant in the planning of assassinations and armed attacks against the targets chosen by DEV-YOL. He was in the inner
leadership circle of the terrorist organization and worked as the right-hand man of its leader Oguzhan Muftuoglu. In addition, as the
editor of DEV-YOL's magazine, he wrote numerous articles exhorting DEV-YOL militants to engage in violence to bring down "the oligarchy", to punish "the fascists", and to get rid of "American imperialism." By the mid-1970s, as political violence between the far-left and ultra-nationalist groups escalated, Akcam had
become one of the leading "theoreticians" of leftist terrorism and violence in Turkey.

Taner Akcam was arrested in 1976. After a trial that lasted several months he was sentenced to eight years and nine months for his role in fomenting terrorism and political violence. However, Akcam did not stay in jail for long: in a spectacular incident that made the headlines in the Turkish press, he escaped from a prison in
Ankara along with four other convicted terrorists in March 1977. After hiding in Turkey for several months, he managed to find his way to Germany where he asked — and received — political asylum.

In Germany, Akcam continued his involvement in radical leftist activism and became the leader of a group known as Gocmen Harekat (Migrant's Movement) that sought to reorganize the
other leftist terrorists who had escaped from Turkey. In the aftermath of the 1980 military coup in Turkey, Akcam became a leading figure in mobilizing demonstrations and protests against Turkey in Germany.

He also wrote articles in various leftist publications in which he criticized DEV-YOL's leader Muftuoglu for his "pacifism" and called for the renewal of the "armed struggle" in Turkey. He also maintained his fanatical criticisms and attacks against of the West in general, and the United States in particular. In an interview in
1989, he declared: "I consider saying 'yes' to NATO and the European Union the biggest shame for a revolutionary. I am against the West since I consider it an imperialist power...and because I view the technology, culture, and politics of the West
dangerous for all mankind."

Akcam returned to Turkey in 1993 for the first time since his prison escape. Since his 1977 conviction and sentence had expired, he could not be put back into prison. In a press conference that he held upon his arrival to Istanbul, he stated that "DEV-YOL's struggle" was going to continue. However, by the early 1990s, DEV-YOL had become a relic of the past and a new generation of terrorists
had appeared on the scene that did not much care for older militants such as Akcam. Taner Akcam then worked for a period as an "advisor" to another former leftists radical, Gurbuz Cap¹n, who had become the mayor of Esenyurt municipality in Istanbul.

In the 1990s, Akcam decided to reinvent himself as a "scholar" by writing books and articles on the Armenian question. Following graduate work in the university, he became affiliated with a research center in Hamburg. His uncritical acceptance of the Armenian version of the events that took place in Eastern Anatolia during World War I quickly gained him the sympathy and support of
the anti-Turkey groups — Armenians, Kurds, and Greeks — first in Europe, and later in the U.S. At last, after spending years
in terrorist organizations, hiding from the police, and living in exile as a refugee, Akcam had found his true calling in life. By gaining the dubious distinction of being the first "Turkish scholar" to agree wholeheartedly with all the Armenian allegations and claims against Turkey, Akcam finally managed to make a name for himself outside of terrorism and also earn a livelihood through the financial support provided by Armenian diaspora organizations.

Akcam's critical views about Turkey and the actions of the Turkish state is typical of a generation of leftist intellectuals and political activists who emerged on the Turkish political scene beginning in the late 1960s. For them, the Turkish state is capable of doing nothing good and worthy and everything that smells foul and nasty.
As their hopes for a leftist revolution in Turkey faded away with the
disintegration of the Soviet Union and the communist regimes around Turkey, they have searched for new venues to vent
their anger and opposition to the Turkish state. Some former radical leftists have taken up political Islam as their new cause. Others have become supporters of radical Kurdish nationalism and the PKK. And in the case of Akcam, his lifelong opposition to Turkish state has manifested itself through his unabashed support for the Armenian falsifiers of history.

It is lamentable that a person who has been a fanatical critic of the U.S. throughout his adult life and who has worked in terrorist organizations that were directly responsible for the deaths of American citizens is now warmly embraced by Armenians living in this country. Perhaps this should not come as a surprise since the
Armenian activists have shown, over and over again, that they are willing to provide moral and material support to those who engage in terrorist acts directed at Turkey and Turkish officials. As a former terrorist leader with a long record of involvement in activities against the Turkish state, Akcam should feel at home among his new Armenian patrons.

BolsayHye said...

Most people think of Akcam as a human rights activist and historian. But in Turkey he's a "political terrorist". That's an interesting twist to the frightful "terrorist" theme. I have to say it's quite innovative. Whoever said Turks aren't pioneering knows nothing about their ability to expand their vocabulary.

Anonymous said...

"Akcam moved from student activism into political terrorism by joining the THKP-C (Turkiye Halk Kurtulus Partisi-Cephesi-Turkish People's Liberation Party-Front) in 1972 — a terrorist organization that was implicated in the assassinations and killings of numerous far-right militants, Turkish security officials, and American and NATO military personnel."

Read more carefully. This terrorist group is the equivalent of ASALA which may explain why you (Armenians) aren't capable of identifying terrorism. For Armenians, murder is just good, clean fun!!

BolsaHye said...

Taner Akcam was granted political asylum in Germany after receiving a ten-year prison sentence in Turkey for his involvement in producing a student journal. This is what Turkish authorities refer to as "political terrorism".

He is the author of ten scholarly works of history and sociology, as well as numerous articles in Turkish, German, and English.

Wow, what a terrorist!

Of course, if you believe Turkish nationalists, he is equal to Adolf Hitler!

metin said...

bolsahyeh:

last warning to you! stop arguing with yourself!

And instead of showing your true colors slowly, be a man and show who you are for real and not in a 'cowardly' way. . .

Do you even know what 'schwartsi' mean in Yiddish?

Continue your engaging in your crap somewhere else. I'd like to engage with real Armenians, not pretend conspirators and instigators.

You are actually being successful in reversing my thinking about claims of genocide. Unfortunately for you, the real genocide is how people like you continue to mislead and misspeak. Grow up and give peace a chance! And try enrolling in some Hate Management classes . . .

BolsaHye said...

Hm, you have been personally attacking me from the first post I made. Why are you so defensive? Why not stick to the topic and answer my questions? You argued that Jews are mature, because they don't attack Schwartsi (and I don't know what that means in Yiddish, as if that is relevant), and I noted that they would certainly attack him if he denied the Holocaust. Of course, you ignored my rational and went straight into personal attack. Gee, I wonder why someone would do that unless they were out of rational arguments.

As you can see, I am making a concerted effort to have a civilized conversation, but you are making it very difficult by calling me names rather than carrying on a civilized and rational conversation.

metin said...

I am exercising my right to dismiss engaging with someone who is a 'hater' and 'past' offender.

I am trying to understand the end-point of your roadmap? Where are you going with this after you've convinced us of The Genocide. What happens then? What do the Armenians want? And I am sure you can speak for all of them or is that just a presupposition on my part. Or are you just representing yourself?

Maybe it's time you answer some of my questions I posed for you. You may want to use the 'scroll' bar for that.

metin said...

on 11/1/06: metin commented:

"Anyway, Bolsayhe, I do so far respect your opinions on this thread."

You are wrong, my friend. I haven't attacked you since you got here. Unless you under an assumed name at first?

Where you went wrong (in my book) is when you said, "By the way, if you can't put up with me, then there probably is no hope for reconciliation between Armenians and Turks, unless you represent the ultra-nationalist sort with whom reason and civility has no effect."

I wasn't aware that you (all by yourself) represented, or 'stereotypified' yourself, the entire Armenian position.

You see, I thought I was conversing with you as one Armenian out of (I am sure) others with differing opinions (similar to all ethnicities including Turks.)

When you misrepresented yourself as representing all of them, I chose to assign myself a similar responsibility.

Gamze said...

Metin,

This racist doesn't know any better. I agree with you, they should go and spew their venom on the Armenian Forum - where everyone is the same, just with different names. What a bunch of sick fucks.

By the way, this would be considered a "polite" and "civilized" post compared to the hate-mongers on the Armenian Forum.

They are groomed from birth to hate Turks. They shall never change! Disgusting.

BolsaHye said...

Well Gamsiz,

There is only one Armenian here. So far, I've been called a racist, a sick fuck, and a hater, simply for voicing my opinion that what happened in 1915 to the Armenians was Genocide. In the meantime, I've responded with patient, rational observations to every single argument you tried to make to dismiss what most of the educated (on this topic) world calls Genocide. Did I make one single personal attack on any of you? Yet I've turned the other cheek on countless and baseless personal attacks on my character.

Is there anyone here with whom I can have a civilized conversation about Turkish Armenian relations? Please step forward if you're around.

BolsaHye said...

Metin,

What I meant by that statement is that I am considered by most Armenians, at least the ones I know and the ones I've met on the Internet, as being moderate and conciliatory to the Turkish perspective. Thus, if you don't want to communicate with me, then what hope is there that you will be able to communicate with most other Armenians. And if you represent the average Turkish perspective, and I represent the moderate Armenian perspective, then we're screwed, because that means that the average Turk and the average Armenian cannot talk about this subject. That's what I meant. But it seems as though you are bending over backwards to twist my words until they become something sinister.

Now, I'm going to try to answer your questions as nicely and completely as I can. Hopefully, you'll take them at face value and not import some grand scheme or plan into every syllable I utter.

You asked:
Where are you going with this after you've convinced us of The Genocide. What happens then? What do the Armenians want? And I am sure you can speak for all of them or is that just a presupposition on my part. Or are you just representing yourself?

I'll start with the last question. I am only representing myself. So I can only tell you what I want and wish will happen between Armenians and Turks as we move forward in this Earth.

First, Turks must acknowledge that what happened was not an accident; it was not civil war; it was not Armenians' fault; and we did not "back stab" the Turks. The hope is that Turks stop looking at us as backstabbers who deserved what they got, and rather as victims who were intentionally slaughtered for geopolitical reasons and ripped away from the lands on which they had lived for millenia. Turks must fully come to grips with this and truly feel bad about it. The reason is not for reparations or land, the reason has to do with Turkey as a threat. Armenia is a small, powerless nation that is Turkeys neighbor. It will forever be vulnerable to another attack from Turkey, especially if the Turks look at Armenians as they do now. If, on the other hand, the Turkish people eventually come to look at Armenians as victims who are not the Turks' natural enemy, then there is real hope that Armenia can survive and prosper along with is friendly and fully atoned neighbor. Then Armenia can completely let down its gaurd, cut the umbilical cord with Russia, and grow successful knowing that its powerful neighbor to the West means it no harm. Armenians don't need land in Anatolia. We hardly know what to do with the land we have in Armenia, let alone trying to fill up the lands that we lost centuries ago. At least that's my opinion. Some Armenians will disagree and say they want reparations and land. But for me, it's much more important that the Turks truly and deeply feel sorry for what happened and come to look at us in a different light.

Why do you suppose the Ottoman Turks called us the loyal millet? Why are we loved in every country in which we live, whether it be a Muslim country or a Jewish one? Even in Turkey today, Armenians generally enjoy the love and friendship of the Turkish communities with whom they live. It's because we're not trouble makers. And this thing that happened in 1915 was not our fault. Could we be blamed for wanting to be treated fairly? Could we be blamed for wanting protection from Kurds who would frequent our towns and take whatever they wanted from us? If some of us protested or wanted to be free from that type of life, was that a reason to exterminate the whole nation? And yes, there were Armenian massacres of Turks, but going back all the way to the 1890s, the Armenians were being massacred and harrased without relief, of course, in some cases they were going to others what was being done unto them. But again, when you look at the big picture, the Armenians took a lot of abuse before they made trouble. And they contributed to their country more than any other ethnic minority, and that's why they were called the loyal millet. This proves that Armenians never looked at Turks as their natural enemies. And today the only reason why you think we are your enemies is because we want recognition for what happened to our great-grandparents. For me, the reason for that recognition has to do with the survival of the Republic of Armenia, not about getting something from the country of Turkey. Again, I believe the greatest outcome for Armenia is if it can truly ally itself with Turkey and let go of its ties to Russia. And I think that can not happen until Turkey recognizes the Genocide and the Turkish people stop looking at Armenians as back-stabbers that can't be trusted but rather as the loyal millet again.

Now, please try not to twist every word and syllable above so that it has the most evil and sinister meaning. Don't read between the lines, there's nothing there.

Murat Altinbasak said...

"Is there anyone here with whom I can have a civilized conversation about Turkish Armenian relations? Please step forward if you're around."

Let me be the first to salute you for being courteous and respectful to those who you engage here... But to imply that your opponents are uncivilized is a little bit offsides. You expect too much. There are Turks who would sooner spit in your eye than acknowledge your existence.. Give a little credit where it's due. You're being treated with 'kid gloves' here. Again, I appreciate your sincerity, even if I disagree with you.

metin said...

I will try not to make any commentary on what you just said:

"The reason is not for reparations or land, the reason has to do with Turkey as a threat. Armenia is a small, powerless nation that is Turkeys neighbor. It will forever be vulnerable to another attack from Turkey, especially if the Turks look at Armenians as they do now."

Gamze said...

Bolsahye (the racist) said...

"Is there anyone here with whom I can have a civilized conversation about Turkish Armenian relations? Please step forward if you're around."

To you, "civilized" means "agree with me or shut up". Again, go see just how civilized and broad-minded your fellow Armenians are on the Armenian Forum. I'd be ashamed to be a part of that group. It's obvious that even you feel that way and would rather hang out with us("Turkish nationalists", did you say?).

It's also fascinating how you pick and choose the questions that you decide you're going to answer. How Armenian of you!

Gamze said...

Murat,

I don't know that I would go so far as to say that the racist has been "courteous and respectful". Unless, of course, you equate being caustic with "courteous and/or respectful".

BolsaHye said...

Murat, so far I've been called a racist, a sick fuck, and hate-monger. And why? Because I say it was a Genocide. You call this civilized? This is what it is like to be treated with kid gloves here? Is that what you think? Please, either you are underestimating Turkish people, or I don't know Turkish people and I am overestimating them.

BolsaHye said...

Gamsiz,

I'm done talking with you. There's no point. So, as my rahmetli grandma used to say whenever she got pissed off at my dad, "Itim soyler, gotum dinler!" Bundan sonra gotum dinler!

BolsaHye said...

Here's a post from an Armenian-American fellow in one of those Armenian forums that Gamsiz hates so much. It was applauded by everyone in the forum, both Turkish and Armenian. I thought I'd post it here for comments:

----------------------------------

This is a variation upon an old post.

For me, it is inconsequential whether Turks call it genocide or another name. What many Armenians realize on this board, and reading about recent events, is that I think there is a wilingness for is growing Turks to revisit history and look at the history in a critical way. We will probably never come to an agreement and it is an important step.


For Armenians:

1. Turks are not subhuman.
2. There are good Turks and bad Turks just like any other nation.
3. Whether we agree or not, Turks, by their frame of reference, suffered the dissolution of an empire and feel surrounded by hostile enemies or are atleast told so (Serves Syndrome- it is also a way for the government to control the masses). They still have the feeling that people want to carve them up and are not trusting of outsiders and they feel ganged up on. Many see this a paranoia while Turks see this a caution. What happened to the Turks in the Balkans prior to WWI was tragic.
4. They see that there are Armenians with land claims and this is threatening
5. Just as there are some Turks today who deny the Genocide and have ancestors who took part in those events there are also Turks whose ancestors helped save their Armenians friends and neighbors and yet still deny the Genocide.
6. Turks do not learn very much about Armenians. Their textbooks which are uniform and government approved say very little and it is mostly negative. They hardly know us anymore if at all. Thus we are seen merely as guests in what is our original homeland.
7. When Turks come into contact with Armenians, it is usually the Istanbul Armenians (bolsahay) and they have varying degrees of outspokeness on the issue depending on how secure they feel - think of canaries in a cage.
8. The first that many Turks learn about the Genocide is when the travel outside of Turkey and suddenly see their people being accussed of something that most Turks know nothing about, something from the past they don't feel repsonsible for.
9. The ASALA did not help this issue. It may have alerted the world to the issue but it only hardened the offical position of Turkey and gave the Turkish authorities even more of an excuse to stonewall the issue.
10. Turks have just as much pride and love for their families as Armenians.
11. Most people do not like to focus on the negative events of their nations history. Nobody wants to re-visit a nightmare. Although I believe all humans/nations/races, etc. can at one time or another act as beasts, nobody will ever willingly admit that they are capable of this or even fathom such capability.
12. The Turks who are not the first or the last to commit a genocide. It has most certainly happened since and will continue to happen because while human beings can demonstrate acts of love and compassion so can we also commit acts so cloaked in hate and savagery. Many of the EU states who remind Turkey of Armenian Genocide had themselves comitted genocide at one time or another but it should also be noted that by and large, they openly discuss it and when they deny it they look petty and stupid.
13. Culturally Turks take a more collective view and are more oriented towards the group and Armenians are fiercely individualistic. Both traits have advantages and disadvantages.This is a very significant characteristic that should not be overlooked.
14. Turks tend to be very nationalistic and have a lot of pride in their country to the point or worship. This is a good and bad thing (great if you're nationalistic and horrible is you're a liberal)
15. Many Turks don't really care about the issue because it means nothing to them as they struggle to make it day to day.


For Turks:

1. Whether you agree it was genocide or not, Armenians were murdered and cast out of their homeland; the place where their language, church, and culture was born and a place where they lived for thousands of years and this is extremely traumatic. Many of our family structures were ripped apart or destroyed wholesale.
2. The overwhelming majority of Armenians did not commit treason against the Ottoman state. It should also be noted that in certain areas in the Empire things denigenerated to the point were Armenians had no choice but to be slaughtered or defend themselves and many were eventually killed anyway.
3. Armenians, Assyrians, and Anatolian Greeks became scapegoats during the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. This is almost an enevitable consequence especially as reactionary and ultra-nationalist elements took control of the CUP.
4. Contrary to Turkish belief, all was not well in the Empire prior to the 1870's, at least if you were a relgious minority. It mostly depended on who was the Sultan at the time and how benevolent they were (an also on the disposition of local vali's and kamikams). Let's not forget that Armenians were dhimmis, paid three times the amount of taxes not including taxes that had to sometimes had to be paid to Kurdish brigands. Armenians were at best, second-class citizens and in the east, were generally robbed and harrassed with impunity. They were expected to be loyal (read: "servile") even under the worst harrasments.
5. Armenians are mercantile people and this has always produced jealousy and hatred among others, especially in Anatolia.
6. The vast majority of Armenians are not Dashnak of Humchak. Most are apolitical. We may not love the Turks but we don't preach hate either.
7. The Armenians view the Russian as the lesser of two evils.
8. Armenians have just as much pride and love for their families as Turks.
9. Just because a Turkish Republic was founded in 1923 as the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, does not mean that the past ceases to exist or is suddenly erased or that some of those responsible did not take part in Ataturks government.
10. There are quite a few Turks who have Armenian grandmothers and other relatives whether they know it or not. The result of the Genocide produced thousands of orphans who were brought into Turkish families.
11. Armenians are not fanatical Christians. We take pride in our own church but as a cosmopolitan and mercantile people, have generally gotten along with Muslims and Jews and respect them. In the past we have had communities in such places as Amsterdam, Madras, Calcutta, Ulan Bator, Crimea, Isfahan, etc. Armenians get along just fine with Persians and Arabs.
12. Armenians have a right to be paranoid of Turkish intentions since any sign of pan-turanism is to them certain death.
13. There are good Armenians and bad Armenians just like any other nation.


The emnity between Turks and Armenians will not fade out soon and sometimes I think it may even grow. Such is life. Heaven will never be created on this earth. Perhaps one day we will have a magnanimous relationship as we are doomed to be neighbors (yes, doomed). But as Emrah stated in his first post where he basically states that such -hatred would lead to war- I would have to counter this by asking what does it say about the Turkish nation that they would attack another nation just because the attackee does not like them?

Gamze said...

BolsaHye said...
Gamsiz, (I'm sure that was just a typo)

"I'm done talking with you. There's no point. So, as my rahmetli grandma used to say whenever she got pissed off at my dad, "Itim soyler, gotum dinler!" Bundan sonra gotum dinler!"

Well, the apple doesn't fall from the tree, as they say. You really are a class act. It must come from that loving family of yours.

Thank you for leaving since you've run out of people to talk to.

See you at the Hague! Oh right, ArMEANians wouldn't want that.

All of my Turkish love,
Gamze (not that hard to spell, is it?)

Murat Altinbasak said...

BolsaHye said...
"Murat, so far I've been called a racist, a sick fuck, and hate-monger. And why? Because I say it was a Genocide. You call this civilized? This is what it is like to be treated with kid gloves here? Is that what you think? Please, either you are underestimating Turkish people, or I don't know Turkish people and I am overestimating them."

Don't make me copy/paste some of the ugliness at the Armenian Forum which I used to frequent... I was gang-banged by ten motherfuckers the moment I went in there and said 'Hi'. In comparison, this is quite civilized.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Gamze said...
Murat,

I don't know that I would go so far as to say that the racist has been "courteous and respectful". Unless, of course, you equate being caustic with "courteous and/or respectful".

Gamze, let's judge ourselves using the same standards as we use for others. I see a lot of sarcasm being splashed around, but nothing steeped with hate.. I've seen a lot worse... Years back, I was an addicted contributor to one of AOL's message boards called "Israeli Politics". People are pretty much ripping each other's heads off in there. Disgusting.

Murat Altinbasak said...

metin said...
I will try not to make any commentary on what you just said:

"The reason is not for reparations or land, the reason has to do with Turkey as a threat. Armenia is a small, powerless nation that is Turkeys neighbor. It will forever be vulnerable to another attack from Turkey, especially if the Turks look at Armenians as they do now."

Why not Metin? Does it reek of fish bait? I'll be his Huckleberry and swallow it, hook, line and sinker. Here goes: The Turkish Republic can take all of Armenia, annex it, rule it, own it, make it it's bitch whatever, using an air/graound assault lasting maybe 15-20 days maximum. Is this the threat all Armenians live with at the backs of their minds? Makes sense to me, but the Turkish Republic is about as much a threat to Armenia as the US is to Mexico.. Real strength never need demonstrate itself.

metin said...

Murat, that's why I didn't think his comment needed to be commented on. It speaks for itself. Another 'paranoia' master at work. His words alone should speak for himself.

Gamze said...

I admire my own restraint!

BolsaHye said...

How can you compare U.S. Mexico relations with Turkey Armenia relations? The U.S. and Mexico have excellent diplomatic, political, and economic relations, whereas Armenia and Turkey have no relations whatsoever.

In 1993, Turkey came very close to attacking Armenia, and since then has tried to choke (unsuccessfully)the Armenian country with a dual embargo with Azerbaijan. This suggests to me that Turkey could do the unmentionable at any time if it wished to. Furthermore, after what happened in 1915, whatever you want to call it, why is it so inconceivable to you that this could not happen again? Especially given Turkey's belligerent attitude on the whole thing.

Today the world is a safer place, because the Germans have atoned for their past, and they do not pose a threat to any of their neighbors. If Turkey could manage to get this point, then it truly would not pose a threat to Armenia, and Armenia and Turkey could become regional allies.

BolsaHye said...

Gamsiz abi, senin "restraint" ini sevsinler! Af edersin, fazla gotunu sikma! Korkuyorum ki patliyajaksin.

Hopefully you all speak Turkish enough to understand that, if not, let me know, I'll be happy to translate.

BolsaHye said...

Murat,

They're both uncivilized. But do two wrongs make a right? Should you judge me based on the actions of others? Who skewered you at the Armenian forum, and which Armenian forum? I can gaurantee you it wasn't me.

Gamze said...

BolsaHye said...


"Anyway, I'm just here to talk, and that's it."

"Ve Gamze, hemen sinirlenmen lazim diyil. Senin len dusman diyil im. Butun dunya bugin bu konuyu konusuyor. Siz bile konusuyorsunuz. Niye beraber konusmiyalim, baskalarina birakalim"

Seems like a reasonable person. Right? But then says...

"I'm done talking with you. There's no point. So, as my rahmetli grandma used to say whenever she got pissed off at my dad, "Itim soyler, gotum dinler!" Bundan sonra gotum dinler!"

But wait, there's more...

"Gamsiz abi, senin "restraint" ini sevsinler! Af edersin, fazla gotunu sikma! Korkuyorum ki patliyajaksin."

Yup, you were right , Murat. They been nothing but "courteous and respectful"

Murat Altinbasak said...

"Yup, you were right , Murat. They been nothing but "courteous and respectful" "

Gamze I take back what I said, and apologize to you for the offensive remarks by bolshit or whatever his name is.

Murat Altinbasak said...

"Hopefully you all speak Turkish enough to understand that, if not, let me know, I'll be happy to translate."

No need to translate, douch bag. Is that how Armenian men speak to women? You lost me, needle dick. 'Ta.

Murat Altinbasak said...

"But do two wrongs make a right?"

No and neither do three wrongs.

BolsaHye said...

GAMZE'S WORDS:

The Armenian Revolt: I don't even know where the fuck to begin with on this one.

Bring us to the Hague. Or shut the fuck up.

Posted November 1, 2006, 5:42pm

Does that sound like a "lady" to you? Besides, I speak to women the same way I speak to men. This person has called me a racist about half a dozen times. Yet, I have not made one racist comment here. Surely, I can't be expected to take anything "it" has to say seriously at this point.

What's abundantly clear is that many of the people here are afraid to discuss the issues. Personal attacks are the last refuge of desperate men/women/whatever.

Incidentally, I heard your commentary on GlobalVoices. You sounded a lot nicer there. Your arguments in favor of Article 301 were, however, feeble to put it kindly. Particularly in view of your stance on the French law. Can you say HYPOCRISY!

Murat Altinbasak said...

"Incidentally, I heard your commentary on GlobalVoices. You sounded a lot nicer there. Your arguments in favor of Article 301 were, however, feeble to put it kindly. Particularly in view of your stance on the French law. Can you say HYPOCRISY!"

Grrrr.. Now you're just pushing my buttons. I'll play along.. I did not speak "in favor" of Article 301.. Rather, I tried to impress upon the American masses (most of whom are ignorant of the kind of threats the Turkish Republic faces) why the article has a place in Turkish law. (Doesn't mean I support it! I was playing devil's advocate) In such a powder-keg of a country, which is in such a powder-keg of a location, certain protective measures are necessary. You speak of hypocrisy and meanwhile the West leads the way in exemplifying that word. They shudder at the thought of an Islamified Turkish Republic, yet they love to criticise and condemn the methods and means set forth to prevent it. (I am refering to more than just article 301 here)
Nationalism is not a war crime. Patriotism is not a character defect. Secularism is not a sickness. Kemalism is not a cult. Article 301 is not a death sentence either... Turks are free to say whatever they want among themselves.. But when those who have a large audience (such as writers, journalists, politicians etc) exploit their privileges and use their loud and far-reaching voice to insult the Republic, it's a more serious matter. I believe Article 301 was created along these lines, and that it was intended to be a deterrent moreso than a punishable offense.
And if Gamze used the word fuck while addressing you, that's still different from what you put out there, which was a more direct personal attack, one involving body parts.. Ugh. Talk about hypocrisy.. What happened to "two wrongs don't make a right"??

BolsaHye said...

Please, I did not hear one word from you when Gamsiz was calling me a racist for no reason. You sat by and giggled about that no doubt.

So you'll excuse me if I don't find your sob story about personal insults to be genuine.

As for your views of Article 301. If memory serves me correctly, you said that it was a necessary law, and then you proceeded to claw your way into a hole you could not get out of. Your thesis: Turkey has so many enemies that it is ok to have a law that curbs free speech to protect the country. If that were a valid and rational argument, then the U.S. should definitely have a such a ridiculous law too. After all, which country has more enemies in this world than America? And like Turkey, we find our administration trying its darndest to curb our freedoms, trying to scare us into submission of the freedoms that made this country so great in the first place. What amazes me is that someone who purports to call himself an American, can go on a radio program and defend a law that is so utterly un-American. I have to say, as ridiculous as your logic was, it still was a ballsy move to defend that stupid law. In fact, I think I'll start calling you Altintasak.

metin said...

hey bolsa:

I think you need to stop the name calling with your half baked Turkish. The real genocide here is your massacre of the Turkish language.

As for 301, as Murat said, us Turks have different opinions on that. I strongly disagree with it, and in fact, support civil liberties that a true 'Republic' needs to protect, and not a 'Democracy' sacrificing a 49% minority at the hands of the 51% majority.

The minority I speak of would include minorities of ethnic, religious, social, and other segments within Turkey, as well as Turks where they are the minority.

By the way, do you consider one a Turk, if one is an Armenian currently living in Turkey, and if hypothetically there was a war between Turkey and Armenia, what would you desire for those Armenians who are Turkish by citizenry.

Israel has the same issue by having a Jewish population, but Jewish may be an ethnicity also applied as the name of the Judaism religion followers.

Accordingly, if one criticizes Israel's policies, does he/she become an anti-Semite as appearing to oppose Jews or Judaism?

Maybe we need to give it some thought before we demand acceptation of certain rights and opinions presented as facts.

I also want to point out the 'integration' of Turks and Armenians over ages in more ways than one. I believe race mixing and ethnic blending has occurred for many years, and we may be more similar than not in many ways, possibly with the exception of religion, and language of course.

BolsaHye said...

Metin,

Good on on the massacre of the Turkish language. I managed to get a chuckle out of that one.

Armenians who live in Turkey are Armenian-Turks. Some probably feel more Armenian and some probably feel more Turkish. If Turkey and Armenia were to go to war, I would expect Turkish-Armenians to fight with loyalty for their country, Turkey, as they did in large numbers during WWI. And if Turkey were to go to war against Russia, I would expect Armenian Turks to fight for Turkey and Armenian Russians to fight for Russia. This would be natural and would not be a sign of backstabbing in my view.

I have to say, however, that Turks don't seem to care or recognize Armenians for our loyalty no matter what we do. So I think that such loyalty would be lost on the majority of Turks, who would still consider us to be backstabbers, even if we were to fight for Turkey against Armenia.

Even today, the greatest supporters of Turkey's denial are Turkish Armenians. That notwithstanding, Armenians are still viewed as viruses by the majority of the population. Sure, the Turks who have direct relationships with Armenian Turks tend to love us, but for most of the population who doesn't have a direct relationship, what do they think of us?

My great-grandfather fought for the Ottoman Empire during WWI. In addition, he had a large family, and six of his sons died while serving in the Turkish military during their lifetime (not all in combat). All of this, despite what was done to the Armenian people (whatever it is you want to call it). Show me another idiot people like us who got massacred generation after generation and still remained loyal to the country that did not protect them. And what good did it do? Still, all that you learn today is that our ancestors stabbed your's in the back and had to be deported. An obvious lie that even your "enlightened" generation now is trying to perpetuate.

I agree with you that there has been so much mixing between the different peoples that lived in Anatolia. It is not easy to distinguish a Turk from an Armenian from a Greek from an Assyrian. I can tell you that an American or European would never know the difference.

Gamze said...

BolsaHye said...

"What's abundantly clear is that many of the people here are afraid to discuss the issues. Personal attacks are the last refuge of desperate men/women/whatever."

This, from the same person who says...

"I'm done talking with you. There's no point. So, as my rahmetli grandma used to say whenever she got pissed off at my dad, "Itim soyler, gotum dinler!" Bundan sonra gotum dinler!"

But wait, there's more...

"Gamsiz abi, senin "restraint" ini sevsinler! Af edersin, fazla gotunu sikma! Korkuyorum ki patliyajaksin."

Gamze said...

Murat,

Thanks but you needn't apologize for the actions of others. I don't apologize for how I've chosen to express myself. I used the word "fuck". Big deal! And I'm likely to use it again. So what?? Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hey BolsoHye, this is TurQ. I hope you doing well. I am not posting on the other forum for some obvious reasons.
Hey are not getting tired of this? It is waste of time, and getting no where. We Turks and The Armenians and individuals who are in the middle(like yourself) probably wont change our stance. YOu know why? Because we are not on the same page. People who are in the middle(like you) are actually previlidged b`cause they know both sides, and understand both sides. But what are you doing? YOu are just trying to make yourself angry against Turks and disntance yourself slowly. YOu have valid points as well as pretry absurd ones I must say, and partly because you are a practicing attorney, so milk can be black and you can prove it!(Like your claims about Turks are against christians thats why they say "PApazi Bulduk" type of mentality i mean, or Turkish Armenians dont like Jews because Turks teach them to do so etc)

And for my Turkish brethern, Bolso is a Turkish Armenian sometimes being naive in his reasoning, he might be sometimes boring but he is not racist, or he is not hating Turks, on the contrary as I understand he feels the sarrow that "why the fuck these two nations have to struggle against each other".

I also thank Bolso for publishing the "15 points for Armenians, the 13 Points for Turks", the publisher of that article is also among those sensible Armenians.

Anonymous said...

BolsayHye said...
Most people think of Akcam as a human rights activist and historian. But in Turkey he's a "political terrorist". That's an interesting twist to the frightful "terrorist" theme. I have to say it's quite innovative. Whoever said Turks aren't pioneering knows nothing about their ability to expand their vocabulary.

11/03/2006 6:10 PM

While Armenians are investing heavily in the slander and personal life bashing schemes of the few historians that state there was no genocide its funny how much credit is given to his highness Tamer Akcam. Any historian who has ever put forth an argument against the Armenian thesis in the past has been accused of being on the "payroll" of the Turkish Government despite any worthwhile information or evidence he may have given and Akcam who is convicted of murder in his own country and who clearly sits on a throbbing and money providing Armenian phallus is hailed as the ultimate historian by guess who, Armenians. It is habitual of most Armenians to discredit any source, archive and even argument against their own thesis ruthlessly despite any authenticty it may have. So it is not surprising for our fellow Bolsahye to clearly refrain from saying that he would apologise to Turks for years of misinformation and false propaganda if Armenians were proven to be wrong. This would undermine his very existence.

Ece Koc said...

With regard to the original post by Ms. Papantones who targets me in her commentary...

I'd like to point out that her tirade began when she found an article featuring a Turkish woman holding up a photo of Ataturk. In response, Ms. Papantones stated that she found this to be "offensive". I still don't understand why as she was never able to make a case about her negative views about Ataturk.

In that same commentary, she goes onto say that Turkey is responsible for the genocide of Greeks, Armenians, etc...

When I wrote my response, I was incorrect about the year Turkish women began to vote. (Sorry, Melissa.) But I do believe that my response was rather benign in that I merely pointed out that Christians, Moslems, and Jews lived side-by-side during the Ottoman Empire and that it continued on when Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey. I chose not to address her allegation of "genocide" because I felt she was bating some Turk to go off about this very sensitive issue. It doesn't mean that I, in any way, agreed with her.

Ms. Papantones felt compelled to write yet another response, this time to my response which Murat has obviously posted. (Thank you, Murat, I do appreciate it.)

In Ms. Papantones's commentary this time around, she attacks Turks, Turkey, The Ottoman Empire Ataturk and...oh yeah, me! Just want to point out again that this rant of hers all started when someone was innocently and proudly displayed Ataturk's picture.

She has chosen to believe what she's chosen to believe. I only hope that she does not speak on behalf of the Greek-American community. (I was in relationship with terrific Greek gentleman for quite some time and he harbored no anger towards Turkish people)

And sweet Melissa (I once liked that song), so sorry to hear about your crushing defeat in the elections! No one likes an angry candidate.

Bolsa Hye said...

Hi TurQ, nice to hear from you. It's been a long time. The other forum got a huge surge of Turkish activity after the French passed that law, but things have quieted down a little again, now that they have realized nobody is listening to barking dogs.

I guess you're right, in that talking with some people makes me mad at those people sometimes. But I'm not doing it so that I can get mad at people. I'm trying to find Turks who are more moderate like me (even if they deny the Genocide) and talk to them. So far I haven't been too lucky. I thought the Amerikan Turkish perspective might prove more fruitfull. So far, I've come up with a goose egg.

Anyway, your description of my point of view is exactly right. In fact, I couldn't have put it better myself: "why the f--- these two nations have to struggle against each other."

Just think about this one fact: there are more Armenians killed in racist crimes in Russia in one year than have been killed in Turkey since 1954. Most Armenians have lost track of this fact, because our relationship with the Turks has been sour for so long. But when you think about it, Armenians and Turks have a more natural affinity for each other's tastes, likes, dislikes, morals, family values, etc. than we have with probably any other people, especially the more modern and westernized Turks and Armenians. It's not natural for the Russians to be protecting us from Turks, it should be the other way around. It frustrates and saddens me that our relationship is flipped on its head. I am certain this would change if Turkey stopped being belligerent and childish about its history and extended a humble hand to the East.

Ece Koc said...

Dear B.,

I'm so glad that you said "But when you think about it, Armenians and Turks have a more natural affinity for each other's tastes, likes, dislikes, morals, family values, etc. than we have with probably any other people, especially the more modern and westernized Turks and Armenians".

That really is true. I believe that if we spent more of our precious time focusing on what you've mentioned, we may be able to bridge the gap. It would certainly be a good starting point.

Anonymous said...

I think BolsaHye handled this quite well. No more needs to be said.

Amerikan Turk! You stopped posting at Armenian Club. We miss you. :(

Sevgi said...

Komedyen Tamer akcamin yeni davet edildigi bir tiyatro sahnesi -
Newyorkda bir yahudi okulu
Erhan Yildirim

Sevgili Arkadaslar bu Haberi de lutfen ajandalarinizi ekleyiniz
Erhan Yildirim

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law's
Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies And The World Policy Institute, Institute for the Study of Genocide, and the
Zoryan Institute present

DENYING GENOCIDE:
LAW, IDENTITY, AND HISTORICAL MEMORY IN THE FACE OF MASS ATROCITY

Sheri Rosenberg
Director, Human Rights and Genocide Clinic
Deputy Director, Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
55 Fith Avenue, 935
NY NY 10003
212.790.0455
email:sprosenb@yu.edu

TURKISH FORUMUN UNIVERSITEYE YAZISI_




Dean David Rudenstine
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

500 West 185th Street , New York, NY 10033-3201

212-790-0310

Cc: Sheri Rosenberg
Director, Human Rights and Genocide Clinic Deputy Director, Program in
Holocaust and Human Rights Studies Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
55 Fith Avenue, 935, NY NY 10003
212.790.0455

Re: "Denying Genocide" conference, December 3-4, 2006


Are Jewish Scholars At Cardozo Advocating Censorship in America?


Dear Dean Rudenstine,

As an American of Turkish descent, I am troubled by your choice of
speaker(s) at the subject conference. My concerns are about both "the message and the messenger".

How can a controversial subject like the Turkish-Armenian conflict
during World War One be presented to unsuspecting students, faculty, and indeed,public, as "settled history"?

And perhaps, worst of all, by a notoriously biased speaker?

Isn't this akin to presentation Israel's foreign policy by Osama Bin Laden?

Is this your sense of scholarship? Fairness? Decency? Respect for law?

Let me be more succinct with my criticism of your key speaker, Taner Akcam. Did you know he is a convicted terrorist in Turkey? He was one of the leaders of a armed and clandestine group advocating a
Marxist-Leninist takeover of Turkish Republic caught red-handed in a bombing plot in late 1970s. He was tried, convicted, jailed, and serving time when he escaped
from his jail cell. A while later, he surfaced in Germany, apparently having asked for and received asylum there. Hecontinued his studies
in Germany and got a Ph.D. in Sociology (not history) in the university of Cologne in 1995. He has never been a historian and he can not read, write, or understand Ottoman Turkish (a heavy combination of Turkish-Arabic-Persian-and tradition) to study Ottoman history. He has never been seen in the Ottoman archives doing any research. He just
re-circulates Dadrian's (his sponsor coming to America and source for information.) He has never been a professor.

Taner Akcam was first brought to Michigan by the Armenian lobby for his virulently anti-Turkish stance, as he still seeks revenge from Turkey for his failed attempts of 1970s. He is in America probably illegally
becauseof the three very direct questions everyone seeking a visa to enter theU.S. is asked in the INS visa application forms:

1- Have you ever been a communist?
2- Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
3- Have you ever worked against the U.S. interests?

He had to say "Yes" to all 3 questions as he was part of a group which bombed the limousine of the American ambassador Comer in Ankara in 1969. But if he did say yes, then he would not be allowed to visit, let alone work, in America.

That's where his sponsors, the "Armenian falsifiers" came into picture. They sneakily relied on "German papers", which were, indeed. "clean", and got the visa. If those Armenian falsifiers are charged with perjury at some time in future, they are probably contemplating their defense as "ignorance of Taner Akcam's violent history in Turkey" and that they totally believed and relied on the German papers. The plot is still unfolding and one never knows what will happen tomorrow (remember the
Topalian story? A "respected" Armenian leader, rubbing elbows with professors and politicians who turned out to be a leader of a terrorist cell whose task was to supply the explosives? he is serving time inprison now for his offenses.)

That's it for "the messenger" for now. An for your message, please
readthe following that I wrote for a similar situation in California where the an Armenian professor tries to use the cover of "scholarly presentation" at an unsuspecting American college to spread Armenian propaganda:

"ARMENIAN SCHOLAR AT EASE WITH CENSORSHIP",
http://www.turkla.com/yazar.php?mid=868&yid=4
SYNOPSIS: From Ergun KIRLIKOVALI to several African-American students who wanted more information about the Turkish views after the biased
lecture
by the Armenian professor :

"Today, you witnessed with your own eyes how the views of a group of people party to a controversial issue were censored by the organizers and the lecturer. Ask yourselves: How can this happen in the 21st Century at an institute of higher learning in the most advanced and richest state
in the Union, California? And next time someone gives you a lofty lecture about the freedom of speech in America, please remember today!"


Last but not least, genocide is a legal term and a verdict that must bereached by a "competent court", a la Nuremberg. Such a court was
attempted by the British but abandoned in 1921 due to lack of "court admissible evidence" right after the war. Therefore, such a verdict does not exist. Since you have used the term genocide, you either must
producea court verdict by a competent court or chance being labeled the head of a racist and dishonest "lynch mob".

Sincerely,

Ergun Kirlikovali

Gavur said...

Cok guluncsunuz!
http://www.bianet.org/2006/11/13/87656.htm

gamze said...

EAT THIS!!

SYNOPSIS: From Ergun KIRLIKOVALI to several African-American students who wanted more information about the Turkish views after the biased lecture by the Armenian professor :

“Today, you witnessed with your own eyes how the views of a group of people party to a controversial issue were censored by the organizers and the lecturer. Ask yourselves: How can this happen in the 21st Century at an institute of higher learning in the most advanced and richest state in the Union, California? And next time someone gives you a lofty lecture about the freedom of speech in America, please remember today!”

******************

PART 1: THE MISLEADING INVITATION

It all started with an innocuous looking invitation to the faculty members at El Camino College in Torrance (near Los Angeles, California):

“ The History Department invites you and your students to attend a free lecture:
Dr. Levon Marashlian on the Armenian Genocide
Tuesday, May 9, at 1:00 in the Campus Theater “

Shouldn’t that have read the “alleged” Armenian Genocide? Isn’t Genocide a special legal term with a very precise definition, arrived at after many years of diplomatic negotiations, until it was concluded in the 1948 convention in the United Nations? Isn’t it true that the genocide convention was one of the longest negotiated issues in the UN history? Doesn’t it require that a genocide charge must be proven at a “competent tribunal” after proper “due process” before the label of genocide can be used to characterize a certain tragic event after 1948? Isn’t it true that this law, like all proper laws, is not retroactive?

For example, we know that the Holocaust is an incontrovertible fact, not because of those numerous Hollywood movies, but because the charges of crimes against humanity leveled against the German Nazis were subjected to a proper and rigorous “due process” at Nuremberg Tribunal after the World War II. The prosecutors introduced supporting evidence, facts, figures, eye witnesses and more and the defendants were allowed to cross examine them before the final verdict was reached: what Nazis did to Jews during WWII was a genocide ( as Rafael Lemkin, the creator of the term, intended the term to mean). This term now seems to be deliberately misused by partisans to misrepresent almost every human tragedy. Is every killing a genocide? Is every my-grandma-told-me-story, family photo, or crying eye witness account a genocide? Of course, not. There are other laws that deal with such crimes. Genocide is a very special concept where a government acts with “premeditation” to exterminate directly or indirectly part or whole of a group of people for national, ethnic, racial, and/or religious reasons. While individual can take part in a genocide, only governments can launch and conduct genocide. “Intent” is the key word here. Intent to exterminate must be proven at a “competent tribunal” before anyone can use the genocide label. Just because Armenian lobbyists shout the loudest doesn’t make a civil war a genocide.

Where then was this “competent tribunal” for the Armenian allegations of genocide held? And when? Who held them? Was due process allowed to run its course? How come we didn’t hear about it? After all, Turks are a party to this issue and they must have been heard at such a tribunal, right? Turks should have cross-examined the Armenian evidence and present counter evidence, right? Isn’t this what “due process” is all about? Turks can easily prove that most of the Ottoman-Armenians were brutal insurgents, armed to the teeth by the Western allies during WWI, all of whom were intent on destroying the Ottoman Empire and the Ottoman-Armenians did cause the deaths of 523,000 of their Muslim neighbors, mostly Turks, between 1914-1923. Those insurgents did not shy away from using their own wives, kids, elders as “human shields” after their bloody attacks on Turks to escape Turkish investigations or retaliations. As one can easily see, the baseless charges of genocide would be turned on its end and Armenians would be proven to be the bogus victims of a nonexistent genocide. Didn’t a human tragedy take place there? Of course it did, but that human tragedy victimized all peoples of the area, without discriminating them on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, language, or religion. Why cherry-pick the Armenian suffering and losses from the lot and totally ignore or dismiss the much larger Muslim suffering and losses? Is this what genocide meant to be? A selective morality? Applied only to the Christian dead by Christians? I think not.

Could this Armenian lecturer perhaps mean the Ottoman courts martial of 1915-1916 as the “competent tribunal” that rendered a verdict of genocide? Nope, he couldn’t. Those trials prove exactly the opposite of genocide charges where the Ottoman government tried and convicted actually some of its own who did abuse the government’s temporary resettlement order. Most of the defendants in those trials did commit crimes ranging from theft to murder; they were tried, found guilty, and punished severely, some even with death. These court proceedings clearly show that the Ottoman government had no intention of systematically exterminating its Ottoman-Armenians as alleged. On the contrary, they genuinely wanted to temporarily re-settle those Ottoman-Armenian who took up arms against their own government, resorted to insurgency, terrorism, and treason at a time of war of survival. ( Can anyone remember the German-Nazi courts trying German-Nazi officers for mistreating, robbing, and/or killing Jews? Even the most biased Armenian can see how absurd it is for the Armenian lobbyists and their sympathizers to compare the factual Jewish Holocaust with the fictional Armenian genocide. )

Could this Armenian lecturer possibly mean the court proceedings of 1919-1920 as the “competent tribunal” that rendered a verdict of genocide, where the leaders of Union and Progress were all convicted and sentenced to death ? Nope, he couldn’t do that either, because those trials were held in occupied Istanbul, by partisans with an anti-Unionist agenda who happily accepted hearsay and questionable press reports as evidence, allowed no cross examination of such shaky evidence, and violated almost every aspect of the “due process”. These Kangaroo courts were so biased that the embarrassed occupiers, the British, asked the crown courts to step in and take over the prosecution. The Ottoman leaders were exiled to the Island of Malta awaiting trials there when the British desperately wanted to find the evidence which could stand the scrutiny of the crown courts to convict the Turks of the alleged war crimes. Result? No such evidence was found and the Turks were let go free after two years of incarceration without filing a single charge against any Turkish leader. Imagine this outcome, in spite of the following facts:
1-The director of the Ottoman archives was an Ottoman-Armenian who scanned the Ottoman archives with a fine tooth comb to fined at least one “smoking gun” among a body of some one million documents;
2- The British had access to all Armenian records, Ottoman or Russian, clergy or lay, all claims of smoking guns”, all “crying survivors” and “sobbing witnesses”, and more;
3- The British had the Blue Book (a major source still used by Armenians today to prove their genocide claims) at their disposal , having written the book themselves, which book is a compilation of wartime propaganda material and falsified and/or embellished accounts of wartime atrocities all of which were allegedly committed by the Ottoman-Turks;
4- The British had unfettered access to the U.S. ambassador Morgenthau’s and U.S. Consuls’ diplomatic reports and communications;
5- The British had unlimited access to the state archives of their wartime ally, France;
6- The British had easy access to the state archives of their wartime ally, Russia;
7- And more.

Imagine all this enormous body of data, records, books, films, witnesses, diplomats, soldiers, politicians, produced nothing, not one shred of evidence. Malta, technically speaking, marks the end of all speculations about allegations of systematic extermination of Ottoman-Armenians by Ottoman-Turks. That’s why today, after 91 years, Britain still refuses to label the human tragedy that engulfed the Eastern Anatolia victimizing all of its inhabitants, Armenian, Turk, and others, despite Armenian political pressure, threats, and terrorism. That’s why today, after 91 years, only a handful of states recognize the “alleged” Armenian Genocide, as an unfortunate but clear extension of their anti-Turkish historical bias, more than anything. After all, how can politicians decide a controversial debate pitting historian against historian? Wouldn’t short sighted, fascist laws mandating a certain view and censoring all others stifle further research, free exchange of information and thought, and destroy freedom of speech? Didn’t Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and Taliban try similar laws dictating their views to be taught all children to the exclusion of all other views, ideas, and teachings? Did legislating K-12 education along fascist lines in Massachusetts and California to teach Armenian “allegations” of genocide as “settled history”, after tremendous pressure from the Armenian lobby in the last two decades, work for America? Jury is out here. The former is being sued and latter may be next. And if some short-sighted and ignorant French parliamentarians don’t check their attempts to appease their arrogant Armenian constituents (and French bias and bigotry) and pass the anti-Turkish racist law banning freedom of speech on refuting Armenian claims, then France is in for a lot more than it bargained for.

If it is not the courts martial of 1915-1916, or the Kangaroo courts of 1919-1920 in occupied Istanbul, or the 1919-1921 Malta Tribunal that never was, then what court verdict could this Armenian lecturer be basing his “genocide verdict” on? I decided to ask him this very question after his “presentation”.

The inevitable conclusion, therefore, must be this: either the Armenian professor produces a court verdict given by a “competent tribunal” as specified by the 1948 U.N. convention, stating that Turkish-Armenian conflict during the World War I is genocide or he starts using the qualifier “alleged” before the term genocide in his writings and lectures until such a genocide verdict is at hand. Scholarly honesty demands this from him. Either show a court verdict or say “alleged genocide”. It is as simple as that!

Let’s continue reading the invitation sent by The History Department of El Camino College:

“…The Armenian genocide in 1915 was the first genocide of the twentieth century…”

No, not really. The first genocide, or systematic and wholesale massacre (since the term genocide was not invented until 1943 by Rafael Lemkin and therefore can not be used retroactively) was the killing of the Herreros of Southwest Africa (Namibia) by the German colonialists in 1904. The second systematic and wholesale massacre was the killing of the Ottoman-Muslims, mostly Ottoman-Turks, by the Ottoman-Christians during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, where my father’s entire village of Kirlikova was annihilated leaving my father, a one year old baby then, as the sole survivor (you can read more about this tragic story in the archives below.) So, the Armenian professor is wrong again. Where does the tragedy of the Ottoman-Armenians come on this list? No where. Civil wars do not qualify under systematic-and-wholesale-massacre category ( a precursor to post 1948 genocide category.) After all, deaths of 523,000 Ottoman-Muslims, mostly Ottoman-Turks, are directly attributable to wartime atrocities committed by the Armenian nationalists armed by France, Britain, and Russia. (Though the term “nationalist” is not always necessarily a negative one, the Armenian version of nationalism is, as it meant wholesale death and destruction to the Ottoman-Muslims in Eastern Anatolia between 1890-1920.)

Back to the invitation by The History Department:

“… and resulted in about one and a half million deaths; nevertheless, it is often called the Forgotten Genocide…”

In my son’s history classroom during the last open day, I noticed a poster dated 1919 on the wall among many other historical artifacts from different years and subjects. This one solicited funds for the starving Armenians of the Middle East. What really attracted my attention was the number given as the total for the Ottoman-Armenian casualties: 600,000. Knowing full well that even this number is more than double the actual number of casualties ( as Kamuran Gurun gives the figure of 300,000 in his book “The Armenian File” and please compare this with Turkish casualties of 528,000 who met their end at the hands of Armenians, so that you can put this whole civil war reality in perspective), how did this Armenian professor and others like him manage to come up with this figure of 1.5 million? Do dead multiply? I guess Armenian dead do… Is there any other explanation? Then there is this: the entire Ottoman-Armenian population, according to the official Ottoman government sources, was 1,295,000. How can more people than the entire population die? Did some die twice? Even that doesn’t explain where the Armenian Diaspora today came from? If the entire population was killed (and some were killed twice) then where did the Armenians we see today in America, France, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere come from? You see, the Armenian numbers don’t add up. They never did. Just like the non-existing court verdict of genocide, 1.5 million dead do not exist.

The inaccuracies in the invitation continue:

“… Not only is little known outside the Armenian community about the Turkish attempt to destroy the Armenian people, but today Turkey denies that it ever took place…”

“Little known?” Honestly, can anyone watch on TV, hear on radio, read in the press anything other than bogus Armenian claims? What exactly is this professor’s concept of “little known?” Turkish attempt was not to destroy the Armenian people but to defend herself against the fifth column activities of the Eastern Anatolia Armenians at a time of war of survival. Turkey can not deny something that doesn’t exist.

The invitation reads:

“…This issue has become especially important as Turkey seeks entry into the European Union, since France and other nations have called for Turkey's recognition of the Armenian genocide…”

France is one of the six parties that Turks expect to hear apologies from since the end of WWI. France was not invited to Anatolia and did not come bearing flowers or to have a peaceful picnic there. France, along with other allies, rained death and destruction on my people, Turks. Not content, France secretly divided up Ottoman Empire between France and Britain (Sykes-Picot agreement) and used Ottoman-Armenians to kill their Ottoman-Muslim neighbors. France donned French uniforms on Ottoman-Armenian citizens and watched as neighbor killed neighbor. Thus, France, along with her allies, ruthlessly destroyed a “millennium of harmonious co-habitation” between the Turks and Armenians in Anatolia. Such shameless and evil schemes staged in the name of advancing political French interests, fine tuned by the French colonialists in Africa and Oceania costing millions of innocent lives over several centuries, brought enormous pain and suffering to my Turkish predecessors. No less than 2.5 million Ottoman-Muslims, mostly Turks, died during the WWI (528,000 of them at the hands of Armenian nationalists; please don’t confuse these two figures.) This France is telling me what to do now? I think not! While I hold absolutely no grudge against French people today, I place the full blame on the French politicians for the bloodshed in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Americas, and elsewhere. France went to these places uninvited, used brutal military force to rain death and destruction on local people, and exploited their natural and cultural resources. France should learn to be big enough to face her history, before lecturing others on human rights. First France should apologize to Turkey and then I can forgive France. Until then, France has no credibility.

The invitation ends with this:

“… Please encourage your students to attend. Arrangements can be made for sign up sheets, etc. to be available…”

Unsuspecting students, lured with the prospect of extra credits if they attended flocked to the theater where they would be subjected to the unadulterated Armenian propaganda.

And here is the signature under the invitation for the record:

“…Best Regards, Florence Baker, The History Department, El Camino College.” Address: 16007 Crenshaw Blvd. Torrance, CA 90506 Phone: 310.532.3670 Toll Free:1.866.ELCAMINO 1.866.352.2646.

PART II: ATTEMPTS TO INCLUDE THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY FAIL

Some college professors who were also bothered by this one-sided presentation contacted the organizer. They pointed out to her that the scholarly way to cover a controversial subject was to allow both sides of that issue to be heard by the students. Only lively, open, and free exchange of ideas in a thoughtful debate could enable the students to judge a controversy, not partisan monologues or biased choruses. In order to protect these courageous professors from possible violent acts of Armenian terrorists who already claimed the lives of three Turkish diplomats in California alone in the last three decades, countless bombings, assaults, and death threats, I shall refrain from giving their names here. Their reasonable, honest, and scholarly requests were turned down by the organizer with hollow excuses like lack of time to make last minute rearrangements. The stage was thus set for the Armenian professor and his one-sided presentation.

A HEALTY DOSE OF PROPAGANDA DURING THE “LECTURE”

The lecturer showed certain sections of two video films, stopping the films whenever he wished for additional comments. Never mind that the photos, films, and stories he showed were mostly out of context, sometimes even irrelevant, and their scrutiny was not encouraged or invited. The lecturer chose the “blood and gore” segments of those biased films for maximum impact, such as eyes being gouged and bodies hung upside down, etc. Imagine the effects of this on the young minds. That’s exactly what this lecturer wanted: to create a cult following among the youth bent one hate for all things Turkish. I could very well show similar movies where the victims are Ottoman-Turks and perpetrators are Otoman-Armenians. In fact, I can show more recent movies where victims are Turks of the Republic of Turkey and the perpetrators are Armenian-American terrorists. That would be arguing the Turkish-Armenian civil war on the basis of who spilled more blood of the other and would prove nothing, other than a bloody civil war which is what it was in the first place. I would like to call this the “Texas chainsaw massacre approach” to history. This lecture milked the fears and prejudices of unsuspecting young minds so much that Hitler’s propaganda ministers could probably not top it.

After the propagandistic lecture ended – not a moment too soon-- the floor was opened to questions and I asked the first question to the organizer:

“Being of Turkish-American heritage, and having read a lot about the subject, I am unable to agree with the misleading and distorted characterizations embodied in this lecture. Would you please allow me five minutes on stage to refute the lecturer’s allegations for the benefit of the students here? “

Organizer appeared a bit perplexed and before she could respond, I heard the lecturer say something along the lines of this is not a panel and ending with “ Mr. Kirlikovali, please so ask what you want to ask.”

“I didn’t utter my name, how did you know?”

He said he knew me through my work. I thanked him and commented:

“I am afraid I find your lecture racist and dishonest.”

The lecturer asked why.

I said: “ You never mentioned the Turkish dead and suffering. You implied that Turkish dead do not matter, only Armenian dead do. That, to me, is racist. And you did not say a word about Armenian insurgency, terrorism, and treason that caused the civil war and the ensuing temporary resettlement order. You left half the story out. And that’s dishonest. “

By this time the temper in the hall was rising because some Armenian students didn’t want to hear what I was saying. The lecturer argued that his case was accepted by many as the settled history and he spoke the truth.

A few pro-Armenian questions were fielded with which the lecturer was quite happy. Those questions were something to the effect did Turkey recognize the genocide and why did Turkey not recognize the genocide to this date. The lecturer jumped at the opportunity to do more Turk-bashing. He said things like it is not easy to accept genocide for an honorable person because it is a terrible stain in one’s history. More and more Turks are beginning to see the truth about genocide and coming out to embrace it (You wish…)

One innocent question by a student must have annoyed him a bit, though he seemed to keep his cool. He asked why did the Armenians not sue Turkey at an international court to which I added 127 Turkish NGOs recently suggested just that to the Republic of Armenia. Also recently, the Turkish government proposed to the Republic of Armenia establishing a joint committee of historians and opening all archives so that they can study this matter and report on their conclusions. Armenia avoided saying yes to either one of these proposals. What are the Armenians hiding? What are they afraid of? The lecturer said that something like the situation was clearly a genocide and there is no need to go to court.

I asked “Is genocide proven?” This was a trick question and he heard it all right. If he said yes, then I would ask for what court, when, where, where is the supporting documents and sources, which he obviously could not produce. If he said no, then the effect of today’s lecture would be annulled. After all, if genocide was not proven, then why was he presenting it as settled history?

After a brief pause, he motioned to the screen behind him implying the video films and said:

“Of course it is, these films and materials prove it.”

I responded “Those materials could not stand to scrutiny of a any court of law. You know it, I know it.” (I may have also added something like those films and materials “ a bunch of crap” proving nothing…But I can’t recall.)

One professor asked how many Turks were killed in Erzurum. Instead of replying, the lecturer questioned back saying something like since you seem to know the answer, suppose you tell me. The professor said he though this was a question-and-answer session and not a question-and-question session. The lecturer then said what is your source? I waved the book Armenia: Secrets of a Christian Terrorist Nation” written by Sam Weems and I offered to give it to him as my gift to him. The lecturer said that he already had that book and that Sam Weems was not a historian. I waved four more books (by Guenter Lewy, Kamuran Gurun, Salahi Sonyel, Justin McCarthy, and Stanford Shaw) and asked “These are by historians, have you read them?” The lecturer chose to respond other questions ignoring mine.

Another question was about how the Armenian churches cultivate hate for all things Turkish. She gave the example of an Asian woman who had known nothing about Turks until she attended an Armenian church and pretty soon thereafter she found herself hating all Turks everywhere. The question was didn’t today’s lecture also cause the same kind of negative effect on young minds. The lecturer responded by saying that he could vouch for other churches and that if she could identify that church he would be happy to talk to them (Right!). A student sitting in front of the questioner arose to disagree with the questioner saying that she was the daughter of an Armenian minister and she doesn’t hate the Turks.

Another professor asked, after identifying herself as a member of the faculty, that she was brought up being taught to hate the Turks and she did. Until of course she met Turks and she was stunned to find out how pleasant and war Turks were, nothing like the image with which she grew. She felt that the lecturer was aiding the perpetuation of hate among our youth for all things Turkish. The lecturer objected to this by saying that he made it a point of saying that not all Turks were responsible for what happened to Armenians and that some gracious Turks, even some Ottoman officials, did help save Armenian lives. There are Turks today that he loves listing the names of Turkish scholars known for embracing the official Armenian propaganda line such as Halil Berktay, Elif Safak, Fatma Gocek, Zarakolu, and others (He left Taner Akcam out!). I didn’t have a chance to say with the exception of Berktay, none are historians and Berktay has a hidden agenda with the Turkish Republic going back to 1970s when berktay was a “wanted” terrorist, along with Taner Akcam. These people were Marxist-Leninist militants who tried by force of arms and explosive to change the regime in Turkey, from a Western democracy to Soviet style communism. You can see the nostalgic “wanted” poster with Berktay’s and Akcam’s mugshots at www.tallarmeniantale.com today. That is why these “scholars” embraced the Armenian propaganda at face value. Their motivation is not historical truth but spite for Turkey.

CONCLUSION

The session ended after a few more “soft” questions by some students who seemed to have swallowed the Armenian propaganda hook, line, and sinker. If it weren't for the vigilance of one professor, we would never hear about this event. And if it weren't for another professor, who together with the first one went to see the organizer to convince her to allow the other side of the story to also be heard., the Turkish views would not be noticed. Both professors asked the lecturer excellent questions... One professor’s courageous last minute stand criticizing anti-Turkish hate teachings in the Armenian community was truly spectacular. One engineer, taking time from work to attend this lecture, also made the point about teaching of anti-Turkish hate in Armenian churches... All three were brave, determined, well-informed, and peace-loving.

As for me, I knew I would not get straight answers to my questions, but that is fine, because my questions are not designed to change the mind of an Armenian lecturer. They were designed to alert and inform the unsuspecting audience to the nature and depth of Armenian propaganda they would be subjected to by this event. My questions would serve to create a question mark in their minds so that they would not buy the distorted Armenian claims at face value. Dare I say that my questions seem to have worked because a few African-American students came to me after the lecture asking for more information an websites on the Turkish views. This is good enough for me. As the Turkish saying goes “Damlaya damlaya gol olur.” (Drop by drop, a lake forms.)

I left those students with these final remarks:

“Today, you witnessed with your own eyes how the views of a group of people party to a controversial issue were censored by the organizers and the lecturer. Ask yourselves: How can this happen in the 21st Century at an institute of higher learning in the most advanced and richest state in the Union, California? And next time someone gives you a lofty lecture about the freedom of speech in America, please remember today!”

THE QUESTIONS I WANTED TO ASK THE ARMENIAN LECTURER

Question 1 - Historian Guenter Lewy in his article titled “Revisiting the Armenian Genocide” published in Fall 2005 edition of Middle East Quarterly ( http://www.meforum.org/article/895 ) says this:
“…Most of those who maintain that Armenian deaths were premeditated and so constitute genocide base their argument on three pillars: the actions of Turkish military courts of 1919-20,…, the role of the so-called "Special Organization" accused of carrying out the massacres, and the Memoirs of Naim Bey[3] which contain alleged telegrams of Interior Minister Talât Pasha…. Yet when these events and the sources describing them are subjected to careful examination, they provide at most a shaky foundation from which to claim, let alone conclude, that the deaths of Armenians were premeditated….” End of quote.
Based on this, isn’t it a bit dishonest of you to present a complex, contested, and clearly unresolved historical event as “settled history” to unsuspecting listeners? Don’t you think you should qualify your views as those of the Armenian camp?

Question 2 - Same historian Guenter Lewy in his letter of response to his critics of his article titled “Revisiting the Armenian Genocide” published in Winter 2005 edition of Middle East Quarterly ( http://www.meforum.org/article/895 ) follows up with this:
“… the tribulations of Turkish refugees from the Balkan wars and other armed conflicts of the pre-World War I era have not received the attention and condemnation they deserve. The West has been preoccupied with the horrors of the Armenian story, and the suffering of Turks has often been ignored. The same holds true for the wartime famines that took a heavy toll of life among both Turks and Armenians. This double standard in recognizing human misery must be repudiated for the sake of historical truth and to help descendants of these victims live with their pain…”
Isn’t this double standard clearly displayed here again today by your embellishing and magnifying the suffering of Christian Armenians while ignoring, or worse yet, dismissing the more profound suffering of Muslim Turks? Do you think such selective morality is scholarly?

Question 3 - There are millions of Turks today who have similarly tragic stories of entire Turkish families and neighborhoods having been wiped out by Armenian nationalists armed by the Western allies. Some of the Muslim victims, mostly Turkish, were themselves refugees who survived terrible massacres in the Balkans, the Aegean Islands, the Crimea, the Caucasus, and elsewhere and who were resettled into Eastern Anatolia only to be met by yet another cycle of Christian violence at the hands of Armenian bands. Isn’t it true that their stories were never told, their pain and suffering were never noticed, and their tears never seen, due to the endless Armenian propaganda which has saturated the West since 1915?

Question 4 - More than 70 Western students of Ottoman history categorically rejected the appropriateness of the genocide label for the fate of the Armenian community in Ottoman Turkey in an statement published in 1985. Other prominent scholars and intellectuals, including distinguished scholars such as Roderic Davison, J.C. Hurewitz, Bernard Lewis, and Andrew Mango, joined their ranks since. Doesn’t dismissing such awe-inspiring array of learned opinion boil down to bigotry in academia ? Are you comfortable with the dogmatism that ignores the enormous body of evidence disputing Armenian claims of genocide?

Question 5 - Careful reading shows that the reports of British, French, American, German, and Austrian consular officials and Western missionaries, who were on the spot in Anatolia, confirm the occurrence of killings, though in a biased and sometimes even racist manner, but do not implicate the "Special Organization" or any other agency of the central government. Moreover, almost none of these mention the terrible massacres to which the Muslims were subjected and which are documented in the Ottoman archives. When the entire body of evidence put together, the picture emerging explains most non-partisan historians use the phrase “a civil war within a world war” to describe the Turkish-Armenian conflict. Why, for example, did you not dwell on the Muslims suffering at the hands of Armenians? After all, 523,000 Muslim victims, mostly Turkish, were documented in the Ottoman archives to have met their end at the hands of Armenians. Why this double standard on your part here today?

Question 6 - Isn’t your allegation of a systematic elimination of the Armenian population undercut by the exemption of the large Armenian communities of Istanbul, Izmir, Edirne, and Aleppo from deportation? Since Armenian activists like to compare the Turkish-Armenian conflict for World War One to the Holocaust, in an attempt to gain instant credibility by association, wouldn’t this be comparable to Hitler exempting the Jews of Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and Hamburg from the final solution? How can you, in all fairness and honesty, compare the civil war between the Turks and Armenians during WWI to the Jewish Holocaust of WWII?

Question 7 - The alleged telegrams of Talât Pasha contained in the Naim-Andonian book supposedly ordering the killing of all Armenians are exposed as crude forgeries not only by Turkish historians but also by almost all Western students of Ottoman history. Even a Hilmar Kaiser, an anti-Turkish biased scholar popularly cited by Armenian activists, concluded that "further research on the ‘Naim-Andonian' documents is necessary." How scholarly or honest is it to base the serious accusation of genocide on a proven forgery?

Question 8 - If Armenians wish to believe that the verdict of the Turkish courts-martial of occupied Istanbul during 1919-20 is proof of the guilt of the Young Turk regime in the premeditated murder of Ottoman Armenians, they are free to do so. Armenian sympathizers, however, should know that the evidence used by the military tribunals, including but not limited to witness and expert testimony, confessions, searches and seizure is hardly reliable. They were never cross-examined. What’s worse, this evidence simply does not exist and the original documentation of the trials is conveniently “lost” by the Armenians and their victorious “foreign” allies. What we have today are “copies” of some documents in the gazette of the Ottoman government and the press in occupied Istanbul. Could even a single person be convicted of murder based solely on hearsay and press reports? How can the Armenians convict a whole nation of the most serious crime? Isn’t all this a bit to too extreme?

Question 9 - I am deeply saddened and somewhat offended by your anti-Turkish biased presentation of this highly controversial subject. Isn’t presenting only one side of a controversial issue such as this one, while censoring the other side unscholarly, unfair, even unethical ? You would not think about covering controversial subjects, such as abortion, gun control, immigration, war in Iraq, or others with only one side of the story told, would you? Why then would you settle for one side of the story when it comes to the Turkish-Armenian conflict? All we heard is the Armenian views; where is the Turkish point of view here? Why this prejudice against the Turks and the Muslims?

Question 10 - According to the Armenians, Turkish pain does not exist. Turkish dead do not matter; only Armenian dead do. Turks do not deserve a chance to be heard. Do you subscribe to such a blatantly racist approach? And if you don’t, where is the Turkish speaker up there?

Question 11 - I don’t believe I heard much about the well-documented facts that the Ottoman-Armenians resorted to agitation, terrorism, armed revolts, and supreme treason (as in joining and invading enemy), in that order, from 1890 to 1915. Do you deny these facts to make your genocide allegations stick?

Question 12 - The Armenians activists label "deniers” all who rightfully challenge the baseless Armenian accounts of history. Those “deniers” are then harassed even terrorized-- as an unfortunate incident at UCI last week showed where a student was attacked by Armenians just for being Turkish. Some Armenian even go farther than that to categorically label all Turkish-Americans paid Turkish government agents. Do you think such intimidation and terror tactics by Armenians are justifiable?

Question 13 - I believe Armenian accounts boil down to dishonest history with racist interpretations and should have no place at an institute of higher learning such as this college. Wouldn’t it be fair to invite the representatives of the responsible opposing views to challenge the unfounded allegations of the Armenian camp for the benefit of your listeners? Isn’t a thoughtful and lively debate always better than a partisan monologue or a bigoted chorus?

Question 14 - Isn’t Genocide is a legal term precisely defined by the U.N., that can be used only after a verdict is reached by a competent tribunal (such as Nuremberg), after due process where both sides of the conflict are properly represented and heard and cross examined? Does such a court decision exist? Have Turks ever been heard? Shouldn’t this term , in all fairness, truth, and objectivity, be preceded by the qualifier "alleged" until a competent court decides that the term genocide applies to the Turkish-Armenian conflict?

Question 15 - As the table in McCarthy’s book clearly demonstrates, Turkish and Muslim losses are to enormous and spread over too long a period to “casually escape one’s attention” or to be considered an “honest oversight”. Can you appreciate how important it is for the Turkish Americans and Muslim Americans, that any balanced coverage of the Turkish-Armenian conflict during World War One (WWI) mention the truth about the more than 2.5 million Turks and Muslims killed by the allies and their Ottoman-Armenian cohorts? Especially when 523,000 of those victims met their end at the hands of Armenian nationalists between 1914-1918 alone?

Question 16 - Are the atrocities committed against Turks and Muslims not worth your time, attention, and/or respect? Are their lives less valuable than the lives of the Christian Armenians?

Question 17 - Here is what By Justin McCarthy says on page 309 of his book DEATH AND EXILE: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922 (Princeton: Darwin Press, 1995) : Total of 5,060,000 Muslim Deaths and 5,381,000 Muslim Refugees. Have you been just, fair, and honest in covering both sides of this issue for the benefit of your unsuspecting listeners? How can anyone, let alone any scholar, ignore such an enormous human suffering spread over such a long time? Isn’t this bias and bigotry at its worst?

Question 18 - I was deeply disappointed to see a one-sided presentation of a controversial subject here. The right thing would be to allow the “other side of the story”, namely the Turkish side, also be heard by the unsuspecting listeners. Failing that, as was the case, the teachers were exposed to biased Armenian allegations only. Is this fair or even?

Question 19 - Because of all this lopsided coverage of the Turkish-Armenian history in America, a Turkish-American had coined a new word back in 2003, his humble gift to the English language, which word now perfectly describes this lecture: Ethocide. Coined from the words "ethics" and "cide" (killing), ethocide means " extermination of ethics via systematic and malicious mass deception for political, social, cultural, economic, religious, and/or other gain". Isn’t it time that this ethocidal coverage of the Turkish-Armenian conflict riddled with anti-Turkish bias and bigotry gave way to sensible dialogue to properly evaluate a dark chapter in history where my Turkish predecessors paid the highest price in terms of loss of life and property, and 91 years later, it seems, dignity?

Question 20 - Don’t Armenian claims seem to find acceptance only in those platforms where Turkish views are censored? Isn’t it ironic that the truth is not in what the Armenians say , but ironically, in what they don’t say? Where is the Turkish suffering in your presentations? Where are the Armenian terrorism, armed uprisings, treason? Where is half the story?

Question 21 - Isn’t it a fact that most of the Armenian allegations were proven to be exaggerations, embellishments, distortions, fabrications and/or fraud? Aren’t some celebrated examples of bogus Armenian claims include the infamous Hitler quote, the skull-pyramid photo, the Talaat telegrams, the Andonian files, Musa Dagh episode, Morgenthau’s ghost writers, 1.5 million casualty figure, population statistics, causes, and more? Is it right to treat these unchallenged and baseless Armenian claims as “facts”?

Question 22 - Do you know the difference between “allegations” and “judgments”? Isn’t it true that while anyone can make any claim, only judgments are filtered through the “due process” by careful and orderly cross-examination of factual, relevant input? Have the Armenians ever won a court case authorizing them to use the term genocide? How can they endlessly benefit from a nonexistent “judgment” of genocide?

Question 23 - Are you aware that 127 leading non-governmental organizations in Turkey recently suggested to the Republic of Armenia to take the Republic of Turkey to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands? I agree with those NGOs as it makes a lot of sense to me. Since Armenians seem to have many books, films, exhibitions, witnesses and more, they should have no problems having Turkey convicted. So, what are the Armenians waiting for? Is it because the Turkish archives would be opened for all to see in such a court and Turkish views would be heard perhaps for the first time for most?

Question 23 - Are you aware that the Republic of Turkey just recently made an official offer to the Republic of Armenia recently to establish a joint committee of historians and open all the archives, so that this matter can be studied based on facts and figures, not propaganda and hearsay? Do you know that Turkey’s archives are open, but Armenia’s, the Armenian churches’ and the Armenian Diaspora’s are not ? Do you know that Prime Minister Erdogan said the Turkish side would accept the outcome of such a competent research committee, regardless of which way the final verdict goes: genocide or civil war. So what are the Armenians waiting for? Since you are so convinced, why not say yes to this investigation committee?

Question 24 - Are you aware that the British refused to use the Armenian sources in their Malta Trials (1919-1921)? Do you know that the Armenians filed all the documents you now speak of, although mostly hearsay and accusations, with the court clerk when the British imprisoned the Ottoman leadership to investigate the Armenian charges. Do you also know that the British had to let the Ottoman leaders go free, without filing a single charge? Shouldn’t this be the end of all Armenian allegations?

Question 25 - Don’t partisan presentations such as yours today deliberately distort the truth, deepen divisions and polarizations among the Americans of differing heritage (ie Turks, Azeris, Armenians, and others) and prevent peace?

Question 26 - Isn't it ironic, that we have bombed Yugoslavia punish the Serbians for ethnic cleansing; we have fought Saddam first for aggression and then for supporting international terrorism; but we rewarded with US help when Armenia, a Christian terrorist country, committed all three of these crimes? Didn’t Armenia conduct aggression and ethnic cleansing in Azerbaijan since 1994 causing 1 million Azeri refugees to leave their home at gun point? Didn’t Armenia support international terrorism from 197os to present killing, 70+ Turkish diplomats and bystanders worldwide? Isn’t this a double standard on the part of the successive U.S. governments?

Question 27 - Aren’t Armenian allegations of genocide dishonest and racist history? Racist because they imply that Turkish dead do not matter, but Armenian dead do? And dishonest because they deliberately misrepresent as genocide a civil war within a world war caused by Armenian greed, , terrorism , armed revolts, and treason?

Question 28 - Isn’t your presentations typical of the official Armenian propaganda line? Can it pass the "the Four T’s” test:
tumult (as in armed revolts against their own government);
terrorism (both domestic and international, then and now);
treason (as in joining the invading enemy armies); and
Turkish suffering they caused (2.5 million Turks lost their lives during WWI, 523,000 thousand of them at the hands of Armenian nationalists.) ?

Question 29 - Armenians keep saying that they believe genocide is settled history. Since when history has become a matter of “belief”? Isn’t history supposed to be a matter of “scholarship”, as in research, peer review, and debate? One would expect from the organizers to serve the American public by providing a free-speech-platform here where dialogue and thoughtful debate can help to illuminate issues. How does this partisan speech exposing the public only to the biased views of Armenian camp serve the public?

Question 30 - Why do Armenians keep invoking the Jewish Holocaust? Did Jews establish Jewish armies behind German lines? Did Jews kill Germans to terrorize the German population into fleeing? Did they join the invading enemy armies and commit terrorism and stage armed revolts and commit treason? And did they do all that for 25 years prior to 1940 to establish a Jewish state on German soil? Of course, not. But Armenian did all that and much worse between 1890-1915 in Anatolia, victimizing Ottoman-Muslims. How can the two vastly different histories be mentioned in the same breath? How can a civil war be equated to the Holocaust?

Question 31 - Was it genocide or wartime tragedy? If Armenian resorted to terrorism, armed uprisings, and outright treason, and Turks responded to the serious wartime security threats with a wartime measure of temporary resettlement, wouldn’t it make it a civil war?

Question 32 - If it was genocide, where is the court verdict? Where is the proof of intent? If there is no intent, how can there be genocide? Didn’t the Malta Tribunals of 1919-1921 by the British, abandoned due to lack of evidence, prove that today’s Armenian allegations of genocide are nothing more than an afterthought, a new spin on an old event, and a political maneuver?

Question 33 - How come we heard nothing about the Turkish suffering caused by the Armenian nationalists like the Dashnaks, the Hunchaks, the Ramgavar, and others? Weren’t the Turkish losses at least 4 times heavier than Armenian losses?

Question 34 - What about Armenian terrorism, rebellions, and treason? Why didn’t we hear anything about them?

Question 35 - As the prominent Turkish Historian Halacoglu recently said, crying makes poor history. Isn’t it a fact that my grandparents can’t cry on TV today, like those Armenian survivors, because the Armenians and Greeks killed them in Anatolia between 1911-1922 ?

Question 36 - It is well documented that until May 2, 1915, the date of the telegraph by Enver Pasha from the Russian front to Talaat Pasha in Istanbul, there was not even talk of temporary resettlement; so how can it be genocide if there is no intent of killing Armenians?

Question 37 - Where is the right of the Turkish-Americans’ to the freedom of speech with access to this panel denied?

Question 38 - Isn’t New York Times guilty of censoring Turkish views? Didn’t NYT publish 145 anti-Turkish stories in 1915 with zero rebuttals, refutations, or challenges allowed for Turks? Is this the fair and balanced coverage the Armenians are basing their allegations on?

Question 39 - Aren’t Armenian allegations of genocide are dishonest history because they ignore Armenian terror, rebellions, and treason!

Question 40 - How come you always mention denial by the Turkish government when you know we are the Turkish-Americans, not the Turkish government and we also categorically reject the Armenian claims of genocide?

Question 41 - Do you know the first of the six apologies the Turks have been waiting for since the end of WWI which is for Britain to apologize for the wartime propaganda in the “Blue Book” on which today’s genocide claims are built and for raining death and destruction on our grandparents’ in Anatolia?

Question 42 - Did you know that Boghos Nubar Pasha, the Armenian leader, said in a published letter that “Armenians Were de-facto belligerents during WWI”? Doesn’t it prove that it was a civil war?

Question 43 - Do you know the second of apologies Turks have been waiting for since the end of WWI which is for France to apologize for the wartime propaganda in the “Yellow Books” and for raining death and destruction on our grandparents’ in Anatolia?

Question 44 - Do you know the third of six apologies Turks have been waiting for since the end of WWI which is for Russia to apologize for destroying 850 years of harmonious Turkish-Armenian co-habitation in Anatolia?

Question 45 - Do you know the fourth of six apologies Turks have been waiting for since the end of WWI which is for the Protestant Missionaries sent from Boston to apologize for dividing, polarizing, and destroying 850 years of harmonious Turkish-Armenian co-habitation in Anatolia ?

Question 46 - Do you know the fifth of six apologies Turks have been waiting for since the end of WWI which is for the New York Times to apologize for biased coverage of 1915? Did you know NYT published 145 partisan reports defaming Turks versus zero rebuttals by Turks allowed?

Question 47 - Do you know the sixth of six apologies Turks have been waiting for since the end of WWI which is for the Ottoman-Armenians to apologize for destroying 850 years of harmonious Turkish-Armenian co-habitation in Anatolia with their greed, agitation, terrorism, rebellions, and treason?

Question 48 - Did you know the Ottoman Empire loved and cherished the Armenians as “the most loyal nation” but the Armenians betrayed this respect by donning the French and Russian uniforms to kill their Ottoman-Muslim neighbors?

Question 49 - George M. Lamsa, a missionary well known for his research on Christianity, The Secret of the Near East, The Ideal Press, Philadelphia 1923, p 133 said and I quote: "…In some towns containing ten Armenian houses and thirty Turkish houses, it was reported that 40,000 people were killed, about 10,000 women were taken to the harem, and thousands of children left destitute; and the city university destroyed, and the bishop killed. It is a well- known fact that even in the last war the native Christians, despite the Turkish cautions, armed themselves and fought on the side of the Allies. In these conflicts, they were not idle, but they were well supplied with artillery, machine guns and inflicted heavy losses on their enemies…." Isn’t this proof enough of the Armenian fraud and Western complicity?

Question 50 - John Dewey, of the Library Dewey System fame, wrote in The New Republic on 12 November 1928 the following: “...Few Americans who mourn, and justly, the miseries of the Armenians, are aware that till the rise of nationalistic ambitions... the Armenians were the favored portion of the population of Turkey, or that in the Great War, they traitorously turned Turkish cities over to the Russian invader; that they boasted of having raised an Army of one hundred and fifty thousand men to fight a civil war, and that they burned at least a hundred Turkish villages and exterminated their population...” Isn’t this proof enough of the Armenian distortions?

Question 51 - Dr. Gwynne Dyer, a London-based independent journalist, wrote in 1976: “… The deafening drumbeat of the propaganda, and the sheer lack of sophistication in argument which comes from preaching decade after decade to a convinced and emotionally committed audience, are the major handicaps of Armenian historiography of the diaspora today…” Isn’t this a proper description of the Armenian fanaticism?

Question 52 - Georges de Maleville, lawyer and a specialist on the Armenian question, La Tragédie Arménienne de 1915, (The Armenian tragedy of 1915), Editions F. Sorlot-F. Lanore, Paris, 1988, p 61-63, said: “…In all the countries, under all the regimes, the staff of the armies in the field evacuate towards the back, the populations which live in the zone of fights and can bother the movement of the troops, especially if these populations are hostile. Public opinion does not find anything to criticize to these measures, obviously painful, but necessary. During winter of 1939-1940, the radical - socialist French government evacuated and transported in the Southwest of France, notably in the Dordogne, the entire population of the Alsatian villages situated in the valley of the Rhine, to the east of the Maginot line. This German-speaking population, and even sometimes germanophil, bothered the French army. It stayed in the South, far from the evacuated homes and sometimes destroyed until 1945….And nobody, in France, cried out for inhumanity…” Doesn’t this point poignantly to the hollowness of the Armenian claims?

Question 53 - How did “the most loyal nation” in the Ottoman Empire turn into “the most distrusted nation” ? Can Turks be blamed for losing their trust in Armenians after Armenian rebellions and treason?

Question 54 - What about Armenia’s aggression in Karabagh-Azerbaijan since 1988? What about Armenia’s aggression in Azerbaijan since 1992? What about Armenia’s ethnic cleansing both in Karabagh and Azerbaijan since 1992? Why did you ignore one million Azeris expelled from their homes at gun point by Armenian thugs in 1994? Why is everyone so hush-hush about the tragedy of one million Azeri refugees who still brave the freezing Caucasus winters in leaky tents with little food or medicine for the 12th years in a row?

************

Bolsa Hye said...

I love these leading questions; proof that there is, in fact, such a thing as a "stupid question."

As an example, questions 26 and 54. How does any answer to those questions refute the fact of the Genocide? It doesn't. They are completely irrelevant, in addition to being laced with falsehoods. 1 million refugees includes the 400,000 Armenians expelled from Azerbaijan, but Mr. Kirli doesn't mention that.

Question 31: Yes, if that list of facts were true, then one might call it a civil war. Too bad, there is no truth in the underlying assumptions in the question.

Questions 16, 17, 20, and all other questions seeking to discuss Turkish suffering, are also irrelevant to the question of whether what happened to Armenians was Genocide. Why? If Turks were killed by Armenian rebels, one would expect to capture and punish the rebels. One would not expect to punish the entire Armenian population of Anatolia, including innocent peasants, women, children, and elderly.

Question 4, I would be concerned with those 70, if not for the fact, that most later retracted their statement.

Question 50: I didn't realize John Dewey was anywhere near Turkey/Ottoman Empire during the Genocide? Unless you consider 1924 to be part of the Genocide. Funny how you focus on the ramblings of nonparticipants, but you dismiss the literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people who were in Anatolia during the killings, and who paint a much different picture.

Question 25: According to this ingenious theory, it is divisive and against "peace" to tell the truth about a controversial topic. Ok, let's not talk about slavery, the Genocide of Native Americans, and the Japanese internments during WWII, because it might polarize Japanese Americans and Caucasian Americans.

Anyway, I don't even know where to start or where to end in responding to your 54 so-called questions.

I'll leave you with this: In 1915, the Young Turks implemented their plan to "deport" all Armenians from all across Anatolia; not just Armenians near the war zones, and not just Armenians who were at risk of rebelling, but ALL Armenians, without exception. The plan: to make these people walk for hundreds of miles through harsh terrain with no food, water, shelter, or protection to a destination in the dessert with no provisions to sustain human life. Gee, I wonder if the Young Turks were so stupid that they couldn't foresee what would really happen to these people? And what did really happen to these people. Well, go to Anatolia, the historic homeland of the Armenians, and tell me if you find any Armenians there tending to their churches and schools, you should find at least 7 or 8 million if they multiplied at the same level as their Turkish neighbors. Or better yet, look into the Ottoman archives, where you will find a 1919 report by the Turkish Minister of Interior, which states that 800,000 Armenians were directly killed between 1915 and 1916. Today, the Turks complain that the death of 8000 Bosnians or 800 Azeris of Khojaly is a Genocide. I guess to some Turks 1 Azeri is worth 1000 Armenians.

Gavur said...

Yeah but ...
you are still laughable
As a country and its policys and its hired guns.

gamze said...

Ergun KIRLIKOVALI makes 54 points/arguments and you have chosen to (poorly) refute only 10 of them. The more you speak , the more you prove his case.

Bolsa Hye said...

Gamsiz,

Actually, none of them were worthy of a response, but I couldn't contain myself.

BTW, you know you're getting desperate when you worry about what the kids at El Camino College think! If I were Mr. K, I would worry more about what the professors think at Harvard, UCLA, Boston University, UC Berkeley, Univeristy of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Brown University, Columbia University, the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Jerusalem, etc. And we all know what they think!

Gamze said...

Sadly, you will never ever change.

What is your goal by coming onto this site? To cause further division?

The only Turk that you will ever come to get along with is one that agrees with you. You say you loathe the Turkish people on this site yet you keep coming back.

We are tired of your attention-seeking behavior. What is it? Were your parents emotionally unavailable to you?

Gavur said...

Baylar bayanlar
merdivenden kayanlar!

Iste bizim gibi eski Isanbullulular kiyimdan kurtulan oksuzlerin torunlari!

Lastik gibi uzariz fiyakanizi bozariz
Heeeeeeyttttt!!!

Bolsa Hye said...

Nerden de bulursun Gavurcugum!

Gavur said...

Buyurun ,Afiyet olsun!

Osmanlı'nın son döneminde yaşanan acı olayları gizlemenin nedeni de, Cumhuriyeti kuran kadronun İttihatçı olması mı?

Evet. Kopuş olmadığı için, Ermeni katliamı da bu yüzden tartışılamıyor.

1915'teki olayları siz tarihçi olarak nasıl tanımlıyorsunuz?

Ben eskiden de 1915 olaylarına katliam derdim hâlâöyle diyorum. Tapu kayıtları, bu meselenin özüne ilişkin bilgi kaynağıdır.Çünkü 1915 çok sayıda Ermeninin öldürülmesiyle sınırlı değildir. Aynı zamanda büyük miktarda servet de el değiştirdi. Ne boyutta servet değişimi olduğu, Müslümanlara ne boyutta mülk devri gerçekleştiği anlatımdan çıkmaz. Bu ancak tapu kayıtlarından okunabilir. Yaklaşık bir milyon Ermeni yerinden alınıyor ve bir daha dönmüyor. O bağlara, bahçelere, dükkânlara, işyerlerine birileri sahip oluyor. Tapu kayıtlarında bu ortaya çıkıyor. 1915'ten 18'e kadar ki tapu kayıtlarından Ermenilerin o sıradaki mülk toplamı ve bunların kimlere geçtiği rahatlıkla görülebilir. Bunun ortaya çıkmasından çekiniliyor...(ND/TK)
Turksiken
Arcadia, CA Reply »
|Flag for Review Friday Nov 17
http://www.bianet.org/2006/11/13/87656.htm

Anonymous said...

(By TurQ)
ULan Gavur, sana uyuz olsamda mizahi yonunu(zehirli olsada) seviyorum, sabah sabah guldurdun beni pzvnk :)

Ne alaka simdi lastik gibi uzariz :)) Acaba eski istanbul tabirlerinden mi. Neyse yahu sana gicik olmakla, eski istanbul kulturunun Turk'lerde degilde Istanbul/TUrkiye kokenli Ermeni ve RUmlarda sadece kaldigina uzulmek ama ayni zamanda azda olsa birilerinde kaldigina sevinmek arasi gidip geliyorum.
Muamma adamsin vesselam!

Bu arada kimse tehcirde gidenlerin mallarina konan Ittihatci hainleri desteklemiyor, dusmanini yanlis yerde ariyorsun! DAhada kotusu onlara sempati topluyorsun. Kasimpasali gibi Lastik gibi uzuyorsun ama, ancak seyimden asagi KAsimpasa oluyorsun!

Anonymous said...

(by TurQ)
Demek herkez fiyaka bozma meraklisi deilmis!

http://www.milliyet.com.tr/2006/11/21/yazar/temelkuran.html

http://www.milliyet.com.tr/2006/11/20/yazar/temelkuran.html

Bu arada bende o tapu kayitlarini gormek isterim hak gecmesine tahammul eden biri degilim, en azindan biti kanlanan suluklerden hesap sorulabilir. Iste o zaman etnik kokenini dahi tam olarak bilemedigimiz buyuk buyuk annannemin kafkaslardan kacarken biraktigi ailesi ve onlarin mallarinin hesaplarini sorma imkanimiz dogacak, bakalim o zamanda fikir namusunu koruyacakmisin

Gamze said...

From: Ibrahim Kurtulus, Rizeli@aol.com

Turkish Forum Yonetim Kurulu Uyesi





"Racial Hatred at Cardozo; Faculty, "?







November 17, 2006



Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

500 West 185th Street

New York , NY 10033-3201



Dear Dean Rudenstine and Professors of the Cardozo Faculty:



I write on behalf of Dr. Ata Erim the Chairman of the Broad of Trustees of the Federation of Turkish American Association, FTAA and Dr. Kaya Buyukataman the President of Turkish Forum. We are deeply concerned about the ramifications of your upcoming "Denying Genocide" conference (December 3-4, 2006). We ask you to indulge this lengthy communication, as this is an extremely serious matter; it appears that few, if any, of you have considered that such a one-sided conference, accusing a nation of committing a great crime with little regard for genuine history, results in the spreading of racial hatred. Moreover, by ignoring standards of international law and the universalism of human rights, the last place for such a conference to be held should be an institution that prides itself on educating the principles of law.



Dean Rudenstine, this conference serves as the antithesis of what you have proudly written in your statement about what Cardozo stands for: "constant debate with others who hold contrary views," allowing students to "come to know their own minds," and to "gain powers of judgment... Through the scholarly love of truth." Perhaps you are not aware of the forces behind this conference, pretending to be about genocide in general. While some of the participants specialize in the Holocaust (which is good; that is a proven genocide, and we abhor as much as anyone those, not uncommonly with neo-Nazi views, who try to tell us otherwise), a good many are known for their concentration on the Armenian matter. The giveaway for this partisanship is the thanks provided for the Armenian Bar Association, and particularly the Zoryan Institute, for their "generous support."



This is not "debate with those who hold contrary views." The Armenian segment of this conference is a presentation of one-sided, hateful propaganda. (Which cannot speak well for the credibility of the entire enterprise.)



We are sending copies of this letter via e-mail to members of the faculty. Of them, we are told: "Professors at Cardozo are vibrant [and] intellectually curious." While most have nothing to do with this conference, Professors: you each have a responsibility to uphold truth and justice; particularly as professors of law. We are aware, because many of you are Jewish with natural Holocaust sensitivities, and because what most of you have heard has been the near-unilateral presentation of Armenian propaganda, that many of you unthinkingly have put this supposed Armenian genocide on a similar plane with the Holocaust. (By equating a true genocide with a false one, few are aware of the great disservice perpetrated upon the Jewish victims, cheapening their tragedy.)



Most of you are undoubtedly progressive, as are we, but unfortunately, as with the stereotype of the neo-conservative pharisee, those who think they are supporting "human rights" through blind insistence that there is no room for discussion, are actually hurting the human rights of others with such sanctimony, going against the entire concept of human rights. We are hoping that most of you, as intellectuals, will be able to shed your possible prejudices and emotions; we want you to concentrate on solely the facts.



As professors of law, you are aware hearsay is not admissible in the courtroom. Few of you have seriously studied this subject, but when you do, you will discover — aside from forgeries — the case for the "Armenian genocide" is made almost entirely upon hearsay. The diplomats and the journalists whom we are often told were "eyewitnesses" were never on the scene of actual massacres (those few who witnessed anything firsthand mainly saw suffering in a land where everyone was suffering), all obtaining their information from those with conflicts-of-interest, the Armenians and missionaries. Any Westerner, with few exceptions, had been raised with a "Terrible Turk" prejudice (see the second definition of "Turk" in most dictionaries; it alludes to the perception in Western society of Turks as natural born killers), and had conflicts-of-interest with their own, usually "Christian," bigotry.



When you look at what is derided as "Turkish propaganda," you will see the case often being made by these same sources, Westerners and even Armenians (in addition to internal Ottoman documents, not prepared as public relations exercises), who would have had no reason to lie for the Turks. A usually reliable way in which we determine truth is to judge whether the claimant has reason to be untruthful.



One of the ways in which Armenian genocide proponents hope to prove their thesis is by pointing to the 1919-20 courts held by the puppet Ottoman government, eager to please the occupying British. There was no due process, and the British themselves regarded these courts as a travesty of justice. The British conducted a true parallel for Nuremberg , the 1919-1921 Malta Tribunal, and to their credit, considered strictly judicial evidence. Even with the Ottoman archives on hand, and even by seeking the archives from other nations (they examined the representative best from our own State Department, dismissing all of this American "evidence" often cited in Armenian propaganda, as they were nothing more than — in their words — "personal opinions"; in short: hearsay), they could not prove a thing. Every accused, 144 at the process' height, was freed at the end.



Armenian propaganda has an answer to Malta ; they will say it was called off to get back British POWs. (Or "war-weariness," or anything they can think of.) But this is why they call it "propaganda." A reading of the British archives in their entirety tells us the story; not a selective "cherry-picking" of the most damning and bigoted anecdotes, of which there was no shortage. This is unfortunately the style of most Armenian and genocide scholars. Motivated by a political agenda and not by the truth, they have incorporated the "end justifies the means" tactics of the worst of the Armenian terror groups, the Dashnaks. (Est. 1890.)



Dr. Justin McCarthy wrote (almost as a reply to the program's question, "What is historical truth?"): “The historian’s creed must be, ‘Consider all the sides of an issue; reject your own prejudices. Only then can you hope to find the truth.’" (Few of you can argue, as the same principle goes for the honorable jurist.) Now look at the people in your conference who will likely speak for the Armenians: Roger Smith, Gregory Stanton, Henry Theriault, Helen Fein. None are historians. Some, as Theriault, have been known to refer to the proven forgeries of Aram Andonian (the "Talat Pasha telegrams"). Smith enjoys the propaganda of "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story," to demonstrate his "historical proof."



All of these people rely upon propaganda. Taner Akçam (misleadingly labeled in your presentation as "Visiting Professor of History"; he doesn't serve on another faculty, and probably never has, so he's not "visiting"; his Ph.D was "made possible" through the Zoryan Institute's Vahakn Dadrian, and it was in sociology, not "history") was brought into the USA by Dennis Papazian, the director of the University of Michigan's "Armenian Research Center," and has been maintaining his positions in Armenian-friendly universities through subsidies by Armenian foundations, reportedly such as Cafesjian.



We don't want to get into the essentials of the actual history in detail, so let's recruit one of our nation's greatest thinkers (one of the rare Westerners who honorably scratched beneath the surface), Prof. John Dewey, to give it to you in a nutshell (from 1928's "The Turkish Tragedy"):



"Few Americans who mourn, and justly, the miseries of the Armenians, are aware that till the rise of nationalistic ambitions, beginning with the 'seventies, the Armenians were the favored portion of the population of Turkey, or that in the Great War, they traitorously turned Turkish cities over to the Russian invader; that they boasted of having raised an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men to fight a civil war, and that they burned at least a hundred Turkish villages and exterminated their population." In the same article, Dewey warned Americans against being further deceived by Armenian propaganda, and this great educator could turn over in his grave if he learned of how your educational institute has become the willing accomplice of this hateful propaganda.



Shockingly, Armenians murdered many more Turks/Muslims than the other way around, while in control of eastern Anatolia on and off during 1915-1918/1920, with and without their Russian allies. (Since Armenians did not constitute a majority, their idea was to eliminate anyone not fitting into their religious/racial prototype, the same tactic they performed on a smaller scale in 1992.) A British colonel (Wooley) estimated 300,000-400,000 in two districts alone, and the toll was likely over half a million. (Of the half million Armenians who perished, most died of non-violent reasons such as famine and disease, the same causes of death for most of the 2.5 million other Ottomans who died, the ones no one ever speaks of.) Dr. Justin McCarthy's book, "Death and Exile," documents that in the century ending circa WWI, 5.5 million Turks were killed and 5 million exiled, numerically no less catastrophic than the Holocaust. Yet no hypocritical "genocide scholar" will speak of it, because the Turks have been designated the role of the villain, and do not rate as equal human beings.







To demonstrate what a propagandistic tool of the Armenians Taner Akçam is, here is a prevarication he made in a PBS debate, aired earlier this year: "The Muslim that the Armenian killed during that period, the Muslims, is a new legend."



This "genocide" is a synonym for the resettlement of the traitorous Armenian community, moved as we moved our Japanese community during WWII with two differences: [1] our Japanese were not disloyal, and [2] our nation was not bankrupt and had no superpowers at the gates threatening our extinction, and this movement took place in a comparatively modern era where mass transportation was possible. (Most massacres of Armenians took place when they needed to march, and were attacked by renegade forces, such as Kurds and Arabs. Armenians from the west, who could travel on the one-track railroad that was available, arrived relatively unharmed.)



Here is what a courageous Briton (C. F. Dixon-Johnson) of integrity wrote in a 1916 book, "The Armenians," available online: "The Turks had just sustained in the Caucasus a severe defeat. They needed every available man and every round of ammunition to check the advancing Russians. It is therefore incredible that without receiving any provocation they should have chosen that particularly inopportune moment to employ a large force of soldiers and gendarmes with artillery to stir up a hornet’s nest in their rear. Military considerations alone make the suggestion absurd."



Armenian propaganda's answer is that genocides are best committed under cover of war. Given the desperate particulars, such an argument becomes truly silly. Dixon-Johnson further wrote: "But even admitting, all exaggeration apart, the severity of the Turkish Government’s action in ordering the removal of the Armenian population and the methods adopted by local officials to stamp out disaffection, it must not be forgotten how critical the situation was for Turkey: that for her it was a matter of life and death. There is not the slightest doubt that unless the incipient revolution had been immediately crushed and further danger removed, the Turkish army on the Caucasus would have been hopelessly cut off and the Moslem population exterminated at the hands of the revolutionaries. The British Government has never hesitated under much less critical conditions to suppress rebellion within its borders with an iron hand and by measures which, surveyed after the time of stress and danger was past, have appeared both harsh and cruel in the extreme."



The Soviet-Armenian historian Borian has written that such self-defense is the duty of any government. Even our secretary of state at the time, Robert Lansing, conceded the move as "justifiable" in 1916. What do you think would happen if our country was on her last legs, attacked on all sides with the intention of causing our extinction, and a sizeable minority arose through promises of a homeland, massacring our fellow Americans and hitting our armies from the back? (Deceitful Armenian propaganda tells us there was no revolt, but you need look no further than the admission of Armenian leader Boghos Nubar, Jan. 30, 1919, Times of London: "...[E]ver since the beginning of the war the Armenians fought by the side of the Allies on all fronts... (having) been belligerents de facto, since they indignantly refused to side with Turkey .")



One reason why you must be especially wary about compromising the credibility of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with the presentation of this racist propaganda is that the "Armenian genocide" is not legally valid. That is why the Armenians don't dare to take this matter to an international court, and attempt to force it down our throats through the resolutions of legislators not trained in history. Look into it; as broadly written as the 1948 U.N. Genocide Convention (not meant to be retroactive, by the way) is, it disallows political alliances; and perhaps more importantly, it requires "intent" to be proven. (Not through hearsay and forgeries, but through genuine, factual evidence.)



We suggest you consider an enlightening article appearing in the International Journal of Human Rights, entitled, "What Can Be Done about Historical Atrocities? The Armenian Case." It fairly separates the facts from the politics: www.tallarmeniantale.com/international-law.htm



Words of the rare Armenian scholar with integrity, Dr. Robert John (Hovhanes), addressing the harm caused by the genocide industry: "The Armenian, the Jew or the African should not damage their development with a continual conditioning of hate; neither should spurious guilt be vented upon others. These negative preoccupations and obsessions are obstructing our evolution.” (The Reporter, "America's Leading Armenian Newspaper," August 2, 1984.)



The worst reason for the allowance of this propaganda at your esteemed institution is this: the teaching of genocide strives for feelings of empathy for the victims. But one never considers the opposite effect: such teaching also results in feeling of hatred for those designated as the villains. We think an argument can be made for not excessively harping over historic ills; that is the mature decision Turkey took. In order to nurture brotherhood and love, this topic was not taught in the schools. There was no point in teaching the beastly manner in which Armenians and Greeks acted (if you read the real eyewitness accounts provided by these peoples' wartime allies, your hair will stand on end; the most sadistic mutilations often accompanied massacres).



As a result, Turks are free of hatred. Armenians? Here's how Rafael Ishkhanian summed it up, from " Armenia at the Crossroads" [1991]: "[T]o curse at Muslims and especially at Turks, to talk much about the Armenian Genocide, and to remind others constantly of the brutality of the Turks are all regarded as expressions of patriotism. Among the leaders of the past we consider those who curse Turks and killed Turks to be the most patriotic. Our most recent heroes are those who assassinated Turkish diplomats in European cities... [this] is the dominant mentality."



But if this genocide topic is to be harped upon, imagine how immoral it is to do so when the crime is unproven. None of us would like it if we were accused of a ruinous crime we knew we did not commit, simply because someone "said so." We would also hate it when people don't use their brains and accept such claims at face value without taking the trouble to investigate. (An Armenophile from 1895, Richard Davey, who was honorable enough to see through Armenian falsehoods in what he called "The Great Armenian Horrors' Boom" [regarding the tendency of the biased press to publish any sensationalized atrocity story, from his article, "Turkey and Armenia"] wrote, "But surely it is not for us to endorse falsehoods and exaggerations without taking the trouble to verify them." (No ethical lawyer could argue with that.)



The Turks have to deal with this "Terrible Turk" stereotype, but Turkish-Americans, unlike many of their Armenian and Greek counterparts, have assimilated into American society, generally turning their backs on 'the old country." Armenians are obsessed and invest big money (a million dollars promised by one wealthy Armenian during the inception of Washington 's Holocaust Museum , for example; many have shrewdly helped finance the genocide studies departments in universities. Your own “Human Rights and Genocide Clinic” may also not be exempt of “generous support”). Turks are apathetic, along with being politically weak. That's why the voice of the Turks is not heard; it really boils down to prejudice. This kind of conference, falsely equating Turks with Nazis, perpetuates racist hatred against Turkish people.



Honorable people should be outraged. As the Jew has suffered historically, so has the Turk been regarded as "The Other.” Now, if the Ottoman Turks truly were guilty of implementing a systematic extermination plan against Armenians, the following would be completely irrelevant. But if you agree these claims are not backed up by historical truth, the Jews among you should consider:



Before our nation stepped into the role for less pure-hearted reasons, the nation of Turks has historically been perhaps the greatest defender of Judaism. The most famous example is the saving of the Inquisitions' Sephardim, when Christian European nations largely turned their backs on the Jews. But kindness was exhibited throughout the centuries. In 1516, the Turkish sultan offered Palestine on a platter to the Jews, as a homeland. (Rejected, as the Jews felt they would be safer from Christian persecution under Ottoman jurisdiction.) Haim Nahum, last Grand Rabbi of the Ottoman Empire, stated in 1924: "It is actually an understatement that there was no anti-Semitism in Turkey . In fact, there was a pro-Semitism. Ottoman governments treated their Jewish subjects with a special consideration and compassion as one of their own.”



While Armenians of Europe joined the Fuehrer during WWII as fellow Aryans (usually not good enough to serve at the fronts, their soldiers were normally assigned policing duties in occupied countries; you can fill in the rest), the Turks continued their time-honored role as Jewish protectors, saving thousands. The man behind the namesake of one of your affiliate schools, Einstein himself, was slated to escape to Turkey . Ultimately, the USA offered a more appealing sanctuary, but as honorary president of OSE, Einstein knew which country would accept Jews he hoped to find a new home for.



Given this historic relationship, Jewish people in particular who give weight to this mythological genocide and who contribute to anti-Turkish racial hatred should really be ashamed.



Not all Jews buy into this hokum, of course. The tactic of the unscrupulous genocide industry has been to smear "deniers" (when such derogatory labeling takes place, is that not a sign of the loser? If one is certain of one's facts, and unless one's opponent is truly a loon, there is never a need to get personal), in an effort to discourage genuine historians from entering this debate. (A favorite tactic of these partisans is to make it seem as though the "Turkish government" is the "sole denier.") The venerable scholar, Prof. Bernard Lewis, dutifully changed his mind from the common propagandistic "wisdom," when better facts came along. (He was actually taken to court in France .) Shimon Peres has also been smeared, with the charge that he is basically a liar (to preserve Israel 's relationship with Turkey ; does anyone feel Peres would be the kowtowing type?), when he proclaimed in 2001:



"We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through but not a genocide."



A real scholar (as you are aware, one who takes all relevant information before arriving at a scientific conclusion; the "genocide scholar" typically arrives at the conclusion first, and supports the thesis with whatever tainted "evidence" at hand), Prof. Guenter Lewy, wrote a groundbreaking book: "The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide." While throwing a few bones to the genocide industry (by supporting missionary testimony, for example; he understandably took precautions against being labeled), Lewy concluded there was no genocide. He called the Ottoman efforts, which sometimes went awry because of weak central command, a "relatively humane" process. (Dr. Lewy is a Holocaust survivor.)



How could such a conference be held in the first place, when this "Armenian genocide" has no basis in history or law and is so obviously political in nature? Note the inflammatory language of your program: "In Turkey , suggesting that the murder of a million Armenians in WWI amounted to genocide can lead to charges of 'denigrating Turkishness.'" (That bad law is the defensive result of many opportunistic Turks, like Taner Akçam, enhancing their careers by becoming darlings of the anti-Turkish West; Turkey is not a stable country, facing many elements looking to weaken it.



Censorship of thought practiced in countries such as France and Switzerland is, by contrast, referred to as a defense against "racist rhetoric." Most importantly, if you or I were falsely charged with murder, we would consider that to be nothing less than a denigration, and worse.) What repugnant dishonesty: every single Armenian who died of famine and disease (including some 150,000 who accompanied the Russian retreats [as Dr. Richard Hovannisian has written] and the thousands who accompanied the French retreats, when Turks were nowhere in sight), are to be considered "murder" victims; how extremely unethical of the writers.



In addition, according to the consensus of "neutral" (that is, Western) estimates of the period, such as the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, there were only some 1.5 million Ottoman-Armenians before the war. Even the worst Armenian propagandists, like Dadrian and Peter Balakian, concede one million survived. (The Armenian Patriarch had figured 1,260,000 survivors, using his bloated 2.1 million pre-war figure, at the end of 1918; even his number for the dead was less.) If we perform the operation (1.5 million minus one million), a mortality of a million would be a mathematical impossibility. This level of dishonesty offers a low moment for Cardozo's "scholarly love of truth."



Responsible parties should pause before making use of this certain four letter word, but here it may be applied with justification. This conference, under the guise of doing good, is actually spreading "evil." What can be done about it? We expect all of you to look into this issue and honestly determine who the real propagandists are. This is not rocket science. Once you distinguish the sources who had cause for lying from the ones who had no conflict-of-interest, and if you have successfully shed at least some of your possible prejudices, you will see there is no basis in reality for a genocide. Then it is up to each of you, as representatives of the esteemed Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, to not only protect the reputation of the university, but to live up to your personal honor and responsibilities. You must voice your outrage in the same manner as you would if you encounter a program using Ku Klux Klan literature representing the history of blacks or Jews, because that is very similar to what is going on here. (British leader Lloyd George said the Turks were a "human cancer"; our Ambassador Morgenthau felt Turks had "inferior blood," and an American consul, George Horton, enjoyed comparing Turkish people to the "anti-Christ." These were typical views, then and even now, making people more readily believe the Turks were savages possessing a primal need to kill.)



This program has been set in motion, and the genocide forces may be too powerful to give it the cancellation it deserves (or at least to excise the genocide that is unproven). The unethical forces at play prefer to hit below the belt, and you would be faced with charges of "denial." (Sometimes Armenians level that charge at Israel herself: "Holocaust denier"!) At the very least, you can see to it that some balance is incorporated, by inviting speakers that can offer "debate with others who hold contrary views," as Dean Rudenstine tells us Cardoza has reason to be proud of. Perhaps Guenter Lewy; perhaps Dr. Edward Erickson.



(We don't know either of these gentlemen, aside from their honor as true scholars. The problem is, genuine historians have been frightened away by these unscrupulous genocide forces, and it's not easy to come up with qualified candidates. What is telling, however, is that this conference, as practically all hypocritical genocide conferences, never even considered inviting solidly established scholars with opposing views. Does a cowardly preaching to the choir serve "scholarly love of truth," or love of propaganda? By contrast, "genocide" conferences in Turkey have made it a point not to turn away propaganda advocates; one in 1990 invited most industry heavyweights, such as Dadrian, and only Dr. Levon Marashlian attended. Most invitees typically did not dare to show up in one from earlier this year, but the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, Israel Charny, was an exception. He was reportedly shell-shocked by the factual revelations, such as the Ottoman administration's having arrested and tried over 1,600 during the war, for committing crimes against Armenians, some punished to the point of execution; quite a peculiar way to run a "genocide.")



Only then can such a partisan conference that purports the asking of "What is historical truth? Who decides its contours?" may be taken seriously. (To the arrogant foxes in this chicken coop, equating genuine scholars not in agreement as being guilty of "racist rhetoric," the answers are clear.)



We hope Dean Rudenstine will expect the same standards for himself and for his faculty that he attributed to Cardozo graduates in his web page statement: to emerge as "realistic visionaries," and as "thoughtful risk takers." It will take courage for the Edward R. Murrows among you to go up against the bullying forces of the Senator McCarthys who have cowed the lazy-thinking majority to share their hurtful views. Perhaps a better parallel for you as attorneys would be Clarence Darrow; his opponent, William Jennings Bryan, also serves as a more appropriate parallel, because he thought he was serving "good," as does the dogmatic genocide scholar. It can be frustrating to utilize reason and genuine facts against often irrational, faith-based believers.



Sincerely,



Ibrahim Kurtulus, Rizeli@aol.com

Turkish Forum Yonetim Kurulu Uyesi

Gavur said...

Bakimsiz tarzanlar gene ortaya cikti
Gamze siz anca gidersiniz ,
Bre tumunuz mektup yollasa hakikatlardan uzak olduktan sonra neyi degistirir? sizin Ermenilere karsi mevzuyu polikilastirma ithaminizi kendinize dondurmekle anca sonuclanir.
Mektubun cevabini da buraya koymayi ihmal etmeyin lutfen.

Anladimsa Arap olayim!
bu isi.

Buna apacik
Hem suclu
Hem guclu derler!


Turq!
aleykum selam nasilsin umit ederim iyisindir insallah.

Simdiye kadar bildigim Turklerin buyuk kismi senin gibi hakka hakikata kiymet verirler oda mazidemi kaldi bilmiyorum .

Gamze said...

Ne demek istiyorsunuz? Lutfen, ingilizce yazarmisiniz? Tesekkur ederim.

Bolsa Hye said...

Man, this blog is full of ironies. A Turk is asking an Armenian to stop speaking Turkish so that she can understand what's being said. More proof that we are more similar than some may think.

Now, as for the Cardozo tirade. Law professors are trained to see through the bullshite, and they are trained to train others to see through the bullshite, which is a crude way of saying that they are trained to think critically. Consequently, the arguments made by Kurtulus are only going to galvanize loathing by the Cardozo professors for the Turkish denial machine. For example, Kurtulus argues that everything pointing to Genocide is hearsay b/c it is supposedly not coming from direct eyewitnesses. Even if we were to assume this is true, which it isn't, the hypocrisy comes later when Kurtulus quotes Dewey, who was nowhere near Turkey during the Genocide, and only went there on Ataturk's invitation in 1924. Does Kurtulus really think these massive chasms in reasoning and rationale are going to escape the notice of law professors or law students? These are not illiterate farmers Kurtulus is trying to convince. So,

sevgi said...

You call that "Turkish"?? No one can make sense of those posts. They are ridiculous. Even I couldn't get where the heck they were going. And I can read AND write in Turkish!

I also saw your pathetic attempt to write in Turkish.

Bolsa Hye said...

Azeri is not the same as our Turkish . . . Borat!

sevgi said...

Really?? Thanks for clearing that up. I only ask that you be polite. Can you do that?

If you attack me as you have others on this site, I will not hesitate to take you down. I would prefer not to go that route.

Again, I ask that you be civil. Thank you.

Bolsa Hye said...

Who started the personal attacks sevgilim? Your first words were immediately offensive. If you're nice to me, then I'll be nice to you. Same as I've done with anyone else here.

Anonymous said...

(by TurQ)
Sevgi: Bolso is not a bigot or a racist. He's just sometimes being over reactive and be like "Mazeretim var Asabiyim ben" type of person as portrayed in Mazhar-Fuat-Ozkan's song. He is one of those that can and will to communicate with Turks since he does know both sides and actually feels close and part of two nations/cultures.

My Conclusion: Since Armenians and Turks(even whose who are not ill-intentioned) cant discuss this issue b'cause they are not on the same page. They/we are discussing different things, our concerns or grieviences are totally different. This makes things difficult since we lack the basis for the discussion. My understanding is that it's futile at least for now to discuss this, and I also think it is harmful since this kind of discussions turn easily into personal. I think the first step should be to clarify what we/two peoples actually try to mean or understand from the events of 1915. Communications lines should be open and should be clear.

Since I dont believe I am not successful in this I've quited such discussions.

Anonymous said...

(By TurQ)

Gavur iyiyim saolasin. Diger tarafta kaportayi cizdirdigim icin oraya gitmiyorum artikin. Zaman degisiyor, hak hakikat kavramlarida tabi ashiniyor. Ben sahsen baskasinin malinda gozum yok, haram mal yiyeninde iflah olmayacagina icinde yasadigi toplumada faydasi degil zarari olacagina inanirim. Benim eger yemisse biri haksiz lokma bunun bilinmesine karsi degilim. Benim bababin dedesi Sarikamisdan kurtulan nadir askerlerden biri, 6 sene kasabasian donememis dondugunde o guzel evi tarlasi herseyi mahfolmus, cunku etrafda basibozuk talancilar var ve bunlar herkeze zarar vermisler. Sonra o zengin ve gururuna duskun insan cobanlik yaparak hayatini kazanmis ve ailesinin sag kalanlarina bakmis. Bilinecekse hersey bilinsin, etekdekiler dokulsun. Erzincan'in ilcelerinde dostane yasayan Ermeniler ve Turklerin arasini bozan Fedai tayfasida bilinsin, zenginlerin tarlalarina konmak icin 1915'de gelip yataklarinda oldurulen Turklerde bilinsin. Bilinsin cunku tehcire giderken evinin anahtarini Turk komsusuna emanet edenler ve bu komsulugu yasayan o donemin insanlari onore edilsin. Iyi kotuden ayrilsin. Benim acize gorusum bu yonde ve inan hic bir cekincem de yok.

Anonymous said...

(by TurQ)

Bolso buranin kizlarina asilma, "Seni ham yapar bu zilliler" ona gore :)

sevgi said...

(by TurQ)

Bolso buranin kizlarina asilma, "Seni ham yapar bu zilliler" ona gore :)

I think Bolsahye is bright enough to draw his own conclusions. And I'd also like to add that I never said he is a bigot or a racist.

Therefore, please mind your own business, especially if you're going to be unkind.
__________________________________
Hello Bolsahye,

Thanks for your reply. I was wondering why you never responded to Ece's post which she directs to you. From what I was able to gather, she appeared to be interested in having a friendly dialogue with you.

I also agree with both of you that there are many similarities between Turkish and Armenian cultures/traditions. I was just curious about why you would pass up the chance to address a friendly post.

Anonymous said...

(by TurQ)

Sevgi, I didnt direct my comments to you personally I am sorry if I sounded unkind, it was a general comment.

Generally in this kind of discussions one side is thought to be racist when things heat up, I just wanted to clarify to those who are following.

I also warned him to stay in line and not to hang girls by saying "sevgilim" :)

Bolsa Hye said...

TurQ, don't worry my intentions toward the ladies in the house are purely platonic and innocent :), how bout you?

Sevgi, thanks for reminding me about Ece. When I first read her/his post, I was planning on responding right away, but my work got in the way.

Ece said:

Dear B.,

I'm so glad that you said "But when you think about it, Armenians and Turks have a more natural affinity for each other's tastes, likes, dislikes, morals, family values, etc. than we have with probably any other people, especially the more modern and westernized Turks and Armenians".

That really is true. I believe that if we spent more of our precious time focusing on what you've mentioned, we may be able to bridge the gap. It would certainly be a good starting point."

My response:

Most Armenians don't want to start dialog with Turks until Turks accept the truth. Then the feeling is that we can let our guard down and open up to renewed relationships. We don't feel like we owe Turks anything, and that Turks should make the first friendly move.

On the other hand, given how stubborn and belligerent the Turkish government has been on this subject and how it has basically turned its entire population against Armenians, and Armenians haven't helped the situation because of things like ASALA and the new French law, it may be smarter if we make the first move toward Turks and allow ourselves to have discussions starting from our common grounds. I think TurQ is also in favor of something like this. It would be a gamble for us, because at the end, there is no guarantee that Turks or Turkey will change their mind. Also, if we do that, then we know for sure that the Turkish government will thwart our goal to get the Genocide acknowledged throughout the world by pointing out that Turks and Armenians are engaging in discussions and that interference by outsiders can ruin that process. That's what they tried to do with the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission. It was simply a vehicle for the Turks to use to interfere with our progress to get recognition for our murdered ancestors.

Anyway, these are some of the reasons why there is reluctance to open up to Turks by starting from our common grounds. Also, the vehement lies that Turkey has been spewing lately, such as 512,000 Turks were killed by Armenians, does not help the situation. How are we supposed to trust Turkey when its administration spits out this ridiculous crap and the majority of the population blindly believes it!

sevgi said...

Hi Bolsahye,

I think that I understand what you are saying. But isn't it possible for us to be friendly with each other? I'd like to think that EVERY person that I meet is a potential friend, not enemy.

In other words, even if our politics and views on some subjct matters may be in stark contrast, can't we still manage to be respectful and accepting of each other?

I'm willing to bet that if we met and had some project to work on together as a team, we would find things that we would like and respect about each other. I really don't know but this is the way I think.

It's very clear that you are angered by the Armenian issue and I'm not here to change your mind about it.

I'm not sure if my post makes any sense to you. I would like to still see some dialogue. Neither you nor I are responsible for the way our governments handle any issue. Does this automatically make me an enemy to you? I don't at all view you in that light.

And to TurQ, I accept your apology and I am sorry if I've misunderstood you (zilliler - not a Turkish word)

Bolsa Hye said...

Sevgi,

Thank you for your polite and hopeful response.

I think that of course Armenians and Turks can and should be respectful to one another irrespective of their personal views on this or any other subject. I don't believe, however, that I could personally be friends with someone who blindly rejects my ancestors' true fate. I say blindly, because I think I could be friends with someone who rejects this view after considerable research and reflection. Because then at least I know that they cared enough to do some work in trying to find the truth. To me that is a respectful jesture, even if the outcome isn't what I would hope. And I don't consider reading tallarmeniantale to constitute "considerable research and reflection."

I could also be friends with a Turk (or anyone else) who says "I don't know, I wasn't there, and I don't have time to educate myself on the topic."

But it's really hard, for me at least, to be friends with anyone, Turk or Flemish or German or Jew, who reads a few websites and tells me that I'm full of shit.

As for my "anger". I'm not angry at anyone in particular, except for lying sacks of shit who are smart enough to know the truth but continue to perpetuate lies.

For me the facts surrounding this event boil down to the following: Yes, maybe there is no smoking gun document or video tape of Talaat, Enver or Djemal confessing their intentions. But what else could their intentions have been given what they ordered and how they ordered it to be carried out. Were they so dumb that they believed these "deportee" would survive the conditions that the unholy Triumvirate created for them? It's not plausible. To me, a lawyer, they are guilty of Genocide beyond any reasonable doubt. I'm not angry at people who don't see it that way, but I'm angry if people spew their ignorant beliefs without at least thinking about it first.

Lastly, zilliler is a Turkish word. It's slang for shrewish (or bad-tempered) women.

sevgi said...

Hi Bolsahye,

What do you feel would constitute "considerable research"? I've tried to read as much as I can about this issue but there is always more to be researched. I'm not sure where it ends for someone to draw a solid conclusion. It sometimes makes my head spin!

I, naturally, would like to think that this tragedy that seems to have enormously effected both sides does not constitute genocide. However, I really don't know since both sides have strong (and weak) arguments, in my view.

What I do know is that it is sad all the way around. Yes, all of the lives that were lost should be mourned. There aren't any winners here.

But what would you say to the person who, in your opinion, thoroughly researched the issue and felt that it was not a genocide? Can you still be accepting and respectful of that person, assuming they were liked by you before their research?

Also, I was wondering if you go to Turkey to visit. I think I read in one of your posts that you either have or had relatives living there. (Forgive me for not scrolling through the 160 posts to check it again).

Anyway, have a good evening.

Bolsa Hye said...

Hi Sevgi,

I have only been to Turkey 1 time since my family emigrated from there, but my parents have been back many times, and in fact, they are both there right now. I have many relatives living in Istanbul, including a Turkish uncle-in-law and a half Turkish and half Armenian cousin. I also have many cousins living there and some of them are married to Turks.

I think considerable research means that you have read the works of those who say it was a Genocide and those who say it wasn't. There is a much larger body of work that postulates it was, and I think that any person honestly seeking the truth would read at least the seminal works dealing with this subject even if they were written by Armenians. I would expect that person to ask honest questions. For example, Turks love to poop on Morgenthau's memoirs by saying he was racist against Turks. So I would ask myself: (1) why would the U.S. government appoint a man to a country against which he is racist? (2) why would Morgenthau be racist against Turks and not Armenians, Greeks or Arabs? To an American, what's the difference culturally, socially, etc? I mean think about it, why would an American think, oh Turks are so filthy and immoral, but those Armenians are such good, clean folks. Is it possible he became racist when he saw what the Turkish authorities were doing, and what the common people for the most part carried out? That's probably the more likely reason why his memoirs contain certain sentences in which he appears to cast a bad light on Turks in general. Is there any evidence otherwise to dismiss the credibility of this man? Maybe there is, but I haven't heard of any other reason yet.

Another example is Leslie Davis. He was an eyewitness to the deportations. Is there any reasonable explanation as to why we should dismiss his eyewitness accounts?

There are dozens of German soldiers and military officials who wrote to each other worrying that the world would blame them for these slaughters and that they should do something to stop it. Some of their telegrams openly state that the Turks are trying to exterminate an entire ethnic group. What rational explanation is there to dismiss these telegrams?

These are just some examples, but for me, the big question always comes down to these: Why would the Young Turks "deport" Armenians from everywhere in Anatolia and not just the Russian front; why would they deport women, children and elderly; why would they force these people to march hundreds and hundreds of miles through harsh terrain with no food, water, or shelter; why were they sent to places where there was nothing to sustain life; and is it reasonable to believe that the Young Turks could not foresee that such conditions as they created would lead most, if not all, of these people to die? I mean, I'm just a simple man, but even I know that I cannot make you walk from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and then to Phoenix without food, water, and shelter and expect you, no matter how young and healthy you are, to live through it. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, if someone makes an honest attempt to learn the facts and still comes out of it saying they don't believe it was Genocide, then I can be respectful and nonjudgmental unless they are lying about what they really believe.

So, do you know any Armenians? Do you think you could get along with an Armenian who openly says it was a Genocide?

Bolsa Hye said...

Can someone suggest a way to reconcile this with the Turkish government's supposed request to teh Armenian government for a commission to study the events:

PRESS RELEASE

Gomidas Institute
42 Blythe Rd
London W14 0HA

board@gomidas.org
www.gomidas.org
15 November 2006

Turkish MPs Avoid Meeting British MPs to Discuss Armenian Genocide

Over the past year, a group of British MPs and peers have been
considering allegations made by the Turkish Parliament (TGNA) that
Great Britain was responsible for articulating the Armenian Genocide
thesis; that this thesis was a wartime propaganda fabrication
published in the British Parliamentary Blue Book series in 1916 (The
Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-16); and that the
British Parliament today should rescind that report.

A group of British MPs and peers who looked at these allegations
disagreed with the Turkish position and invited the latter to a
face-to-face discussion. To date, Turkish Parliamentarians have
avoided any such discussion with their British counterparts.

Earlier today, the Gomidas Institute (London) issued a detailed
update on this on-going saga. See www.gomidas.org

In a press statement, Lord Avebury, Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary
Human Rights Group, stated:

"I very much regret the failure of every one of the 550 MPs of the
Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) to reply to an invitation to
discuss the events of 1915-16, in which a million and a half Armenian
subjects of the Ottoman Empire lost their lives.

"Following a Letter from the TGNA to the British Parliament
challenging the veracity of the evidence published by the British
Government in 1916 in the Blue Book 'The Treatment of Armenians in
the Ottoman Empire 1915-16', a group of MPs and peers wrote proposing
a dialogue between British and Turkish MPs, with academic experts on
both sides, to examine the authenticity of that evidence.

"When no reply was received, I wrote to every Turkish MP
individually, asking if they would be willing to participate in such
a dialogue. Not a single one replied.

"Since neither the TGNA collectively, nor any of its Members, was
ready to defend their position in an open and critical forum, it
became obviously that they would not stand up to an intellectually
rigorous examination. I believe the original Letter fromthe TGNA was
an attempt to stimulate wider Turkish denialism, rather than to
establish communication between Turkish and UK Parliamentarians which
might have clarified interpretation of the events of 1915-16. But the
invitation remains open, and I hope that by publishing this
statement, I may yet prompt some Turkish MPs with the courage to
engage in dialogue."

sevgi said...

Good Morning, Bolsahye (am I spelling that correctly? - it looks like it's 2 separate words in your last post)

Anyway, I agree that some of what you said does not make sense to me either (the women, children and elderly being deported).

It is my understanding, however, that Armenians had the greatest stronghold in and around Istanbul, yet they were not deported because they did not take up arms to fight the Ottoman Turks. My confusion is that one might think that they would be among the first to be deported, but weren't.

Also, as you already know, the Ottoman Empire was falling apart as it was deperately trying to fight off the many foreign invaders. My thinking is that they needed their army in the front lines. So I can't understand why they would feel the need to use what manpower they had to deport Armenians, unless they some reason for it.

These are are just a couple of things that I'm trying to wrap my brain around in an attempt to understand the events of 1915.

And yes, I agree that eye-witness accounts should be heard and do matter.

As I said in a previous post, my brain is in information overload at this time. So I don't know how much I'm capable of absorbing at this time to be honest. But I am interested in your thoughts.

To answer your question about my relationship with Armenians... Some have been very warm, others not so much. I have Armenian friends who firmly believe that Ottoman Turks committed a genocide against their ancestors. But they like me as a person and I care for them just as much. On the other hand, I've met Armenians who liked me up until they asked me what kind of name Sevgi is and when I answered, "Turkish", the nice conversations we had been having came to a screaching halt.

Well, I hope that you and your family have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Bolsa Hye said...

Hi Sevgi,

It's Bolsa (of Istanbul) Hye (Armenian), which in Armenian means Armenian from Istanbul.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

I'd like to give you my understanding of some of the issues you brought up.

First, the question of Armenians living in Istanbul. The first signal that something terrible was to happen came on April 24, 1915. On this day, the Young Turks rounded up all of the Armenian notables (teachers, lawyers, politicians, musicians, poets, writers), basically the brains of the Armenian Ottoman society living in Istanbul. They took approximately 300 of these men, shipped them off into Anatolia somewhere. Only a few were ever seen again. One of them was Gomidas Vartabed. He was one of the most famous classical musicians of the Ottoman Empire. The only Ottoman artist who so famous that he conducted symphonies in not just the Ottoman Empire, but throughout the great cities of Europe. He was a source of inspiration for all Ottomans, yet he was not excluded from the Genocide. He managed to escape death, but he saw most of his friends massacred and lived the rest of his life in a catatonic state. In other words he lost his mind. So the notion that Istanbul Armenians were not harmed is untrue. The Armenian intelligentsia in Istanbul were the first to be killed.

Why would the Young Turks kill the brains of the Ottoman Armenians first? I'll let you ponder that.

Some Turks like to speculate that these 300 men were all Tashnag conspirators who were stabbing the Turks in the back. I'd like to know on what authority this conclusion has been made. Were these 300 men ever charged with a crime? Were they ever taken to court? Were they put in jail? No! In one fell swoop, all of them disappeared overnight. If they were Tashnag conspirators, I'd expect them to be jailed, not carted off into oblivion and killed.

The remaining Armenians of Istanbul lived in terror after that. But fortunately, Istanbul, being the cosmopolitan city that it was, had way too many foreign diplomats and journalists milling around for the Turks to get too bold. If it was not for that, the Armenians of Istanbul would not have been spared.

Your second point. It was important for the Young Turks to get rid of the Armenians of Anatolia. They were the only significant minority left in Anatolia. They feared losing Anatolia, or a big part of it, to the Armenians in case they lost WWI. This fear was based on the losses that they had suffered in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania over the previous 50 years. They fear that Anatolia would go the same way unless they disposed of the only large minority that was left in the East. So, it was tremendously important to them that no Armenians be left in those lands in case they lost WWI. That's why they made the effort and put the manpower in place to do what they did. The problem is that the vast majority of these Armenians were simple, peaceful peasants or small business owners who had no grand designs on seceding from the Ottoman Empire. So they did have a reason for doing what they did, but it's not a reason that excuses or changes the fact that the result was a Genocide. Before 1915 Anatolia (the land where Armenians were originated dating back to 600 B.C.) was filled with Armenians, and by 1918, there were only 200,000 Armenians left in all of the Ottoman Empire. The destruction was so complete, that in Anatolia today, few people know what an Armenian is, where he comes from, or what his contribution to society is, except as a backstabbing traitor. Today, the churches, monastaries, and historical architecture that our ancestors built centuries ago (structures that would be considered national treasures in any civilized country) are left to crumble, are called Urartian, or are converted into mosques, gymnasiums, and barns where animals live.

Now about the Armenians you have met. Obviously, it's wrong and sad that you have met people who dislike you because of your nationality. I too have met Armenians who sometimes voice their disgust when they learn that I speak Turkish better than Armenian, or that I have Turkish friends and relatives. But most Armenians, despite the miserable history and continued disgusting denial by the Turkish govt., are more intelligent than that. To put some perspective on it, I know many Jews, some of whom are my friends, that even today refuse to buy anything that is German. That's even with the many apologies and reparations Germany has paid and the law against Holocaust denial that Germany has passed.

Anyway, I hope that during your lifetime you meet more of the Armenians who look at you for who you are and not where you come from. If we are ever going to become closer as a people again, it's going to be through the proliferation of individual friendships and business relationships that we form over the next decades. Hopefully, this will either lead to or come out of Turkey's honest assessment of our shared history, both good and bad.

My best to you and your family.

sevgi said...

Hi Bolsa hye,

Thanks for the info. I'm not familiar with the Tashag conspirators that you mentioned. Can you send me some links about that whenever you have the chance?

I'd like to go way, way back in time for momement. We all know know that Ottoman Turks and Armenians co-existed peacefully for a very long time. During the Ottoman Empire, as you know, there were Kurds, Arabs and Jews who also lived on Ottoman soil. My question is how is it that (or why is it) that only Armenians were singled out for deportation?

Also, do you believe that there was never an Armenian revolt? And, how do Armenians account for the deaths of so many Ottoman Turks, Kurds, Arabs and Jews during the events of 1915?

You said something in your post that really saddens me. You mentioned that even after Germany acknowledged the Holocaust, apologized for it, and made reparations, that there are Jews who still harbor so much resentment that would not buy, say, a German-made automobile. I don't doubt that what you've said is true. But what troubles me is that if Turkey did the same, Armenians (some) would still be waging this war, if you will, against Turkish people. In other words, where does it end? Would it ever end?

Bolsa hye, I have been reduced to tears in the past by the way some Armenians have treated me just because of my ethnicity. I have a 5 year old son and would like for him to be proud of his Turkish ethnic heritage. I fear that he will be subjected to the same kind of cruel treatment that I have experienced. I know that I can't protect him from that. But as a mom, I don't want for him to grow up in a world like this. I'm sure that you can understand this. He is just a sweet and innocent child and I want him feel that the world is a friendly one, not one that can be so cold and cruel. I am misty-eyed as I write this because it saddens me that much.

I know that you are not responsible for the way that others behave. So please don't think that I am asking you to defend or explain why some people are wired the way that they are. I'm just sharing my feelings with you.

Bolsa Hye said...

Thanks Sevgi,

I'm sorry that my response has taken so long, but I didn't have any spare time over the weekend, and even now I'm swamped at work, but I want to take some time to continue our discussion.

Your first question was why only the Armenians and not the Jews, Kurds and others. The main concern of the Young Turks was Anatolia, the heart of the Ottoman Empire and the heart of the ambitious expansion plans of the Ottoman Empire into the East. The Ottomans had already lost virtually all of their European holdings. The only territory left was a small peace of Europe (now part of Istanbul), Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Palestine. The Young Turks figured that their future was not in Europe, but in a great Islamic Turkish empire stretching from the Aegean to China. The heart of this empire would be Anatolia, which also happened to be the historical homeland of roughly 2 million Christian Armenians and 1 million Christian Assyrians. The Jews were congregated in Istanbul, Izmir and Palestine. They did not live in Anatolia and their numbers were not significant. The Kurds, meanwhile, were also Islamic and could be used as tools for the destruction of the Christians, and later discarded or marginalized. The Young Turks knew that if they did not get rid of the Anatolian Christians, the heart of their fantasy empire would be forever vulnerable. This was because they believed that the Christians would always be sympathetic to Christian European ideas, and that the Christian Europeans would always try to use the Anatolia Christians to destroy the Turkish empire. Ties between the Anatolia Christians and Europeans were better formed at that time than ties between the Europeans and Kurds. This was due to many reasons, some of which have to do with the propensity of Armenians to be merchants and travel outside of their homeland for economic reasons. Thus, the Armenians had more ties with the Europeans than any other ethnic group in Anatolia.

For that reason, the Young Turks set out to eliminate this threat (does preemption ring a bell?) well before it could ever become an issue. You know the famous story of Nasretli Hoja who spanks his child before the child does anything wrong. Well, the Young Turks apparently were great fans of Nasretli Hoja, as is George Bush apparently.

Anyway, that's why the Armenians and Assyrians were singled out for extermination. Which, by the way, brings up a good point. It was not just the Armenians that were slaughtered, but the Assyrians too. Anatolia was once their homeland too, but now there are only a handful of them left who still live there.

Now to answer your question about the death of others. There were Armenian revolts, but all of them were done either in revenge of what had already happened to their people, or in defense of what was about to happen to their people. There is no signficant evidence otherwise.

Let me give you an example of how we know this. On October 19, 1918, Senator Ahmed Riza, the President of the Ottoman Senate, made a speech in the Parliament in which he said that during the previous years, the Young Turks "savagely" massacred the Armenian people. Riza was challenged by a retired general Osman Pasha, who stood up and asked Riza why he didn't mention the Turks that were killed. Two days later on October 21, 1918, Riza took the opportunity to respond and stated that yes, Turks were killed too, but that there is a big difference, because the Armenians were killed by the State, and the Turks were killed in isolated acts of revenge after the massacres. This is coming from the President of the Ottoman Senate.

So, the idea that there were massive revolts that necessitated deportation are a complete myth. Keep in mind that most of the able-bodied Armenian men were conscripted into the Ottoman army. The idea that massive revolts could be carried out by women, children, elderly and infirm sounds like a myth to me.

Now, there were certainly millions of Turkish deaths during WWI (I don't know about Jewish and Kurdish). But to blame them on Armenians is again, mythological.

In the last couple of years, Turkish "historians" have been trying to say that Armenians killed 512,000 Turks at that time. There is no rhyme or reason for this number. No evidence to support it, but it's thrown out and consumed by the voracious anti-Armenian appetite of the Turkish masses. Keep in mind that these are the same historians that say that there were only 1.2 million Armenians in all of the Ottoman Empire, in their argument that 1.5 million could not have been killed. If you knew nothing about the Genocide, and only used your common sense, you would immediately see through the nonsense of these historians.

If there were only 1.2 million Armenians, that would come out to AT MOST 200,000-300,000 able bodied, fighting-capable men. Even if none of them were conscripted into the Ottoman Army (which wasn't the case), how could 200,000-300,000 men, dispersed throughout Anatolia, with no formal army, military, government, or rapid means of communication (remember no blackberries or even phones in those days) manage to kill 512,000 Turks in a country with one of the biggest armies in the world; an army that managed to thwart the advances of Russia, Europe, the Greeks and Arabs, all virtually at the same time? Even if you knew nothing about this history, all you would need is common sense to realize that killing 512,000 Turks was an impossibility for the Armenians, and that's why it's nothing more than a myth that only Turks seem to believe.

Now, about what you said about this war of ideas. There are many Jews who still refuse to consume German products out of principal. But at least they are able to move past this history, and the Germans and Jews mostly have reconciled. The Germans have apologized, and the world does not look at them as murderers anymore. The modern German is able to point the finger at a different entity, the Nazis. As if they were someone else, and the world mostly buys this. We don't think of Germans as bloodthirsty creatures. In fact, I would say that the perception of the modern German is one of an industrious and peaceful, if not stoic, character.

What is the perception of the Turk in the world today? When the world thinks of the Armenian and Assyrian Genocide, do they link it to the Committee of Union and Progress, or do they link it to Turks. It's the latter. Turks have not been able to shed this burden, because their government refuses to let them. Rather than identify with the myriad of Turks who wanted to save and did save innocent Armenian civilians during the Genocide, the Turkish government has decided to identify itself with the murderers who committed the crime. Talaat, Enver and Djemal are not seen as disgusting pigs, but are venerated in Turkey. Their tombs are enshrined. So symbolically, the Turkish government is saying that they agree with and identify with these murderers. Is this the legacy that Turks want to leave to their children? If so, then they should be prepared to leave their children in a world where Turks are scorned.

So, I feel for your predicament. It's not your fault these things happened. It's also not your fault that our peoples have been put in this position by circumstance, geopolitics, and denial machine that won't let up. I, and every Armenian alive today, wishes this had never happened, and that if it had to happen, that amends could have been made long, long ago. It sucks for both of our communities, and it does have an affect on individuals like you. Obviously, you and your children have countless reasons to be proud of your heritage. And we Armenians also have our sources of historical pride. If we didn't have this issue causing the riff between our people, I think we could each take pride in each other's mixed accomplishments.

For example, Armenians like to point out that we were among the greatest architects of Istanbul. Yet, we rarely point out that we learned to be architects in a system that was ruled and put in place by Ottoman rulers. And Turks like to point out that their ancestors were the rulers of one of the largest empires ever seen on Earth. Yet, they never tell you that that empire was sustained and fed by a multi-ethnic and multi-religious system that included Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds, Arabs, etc., and that it was the hands of these various peoples that built some of the amazing and lasting structures and works of art of the Ottoman Empire, even the Turkish alphabet was invented by an Armenian. If we didn't have the Armenian Genocide issue separating us, we could bask in each other's glory, instead of constantly denigrating each other's history or ignoring it altogether.

I think that would be a better world for your son, and you wouldn't have to be sad about what he may confront in the future.

Anyway, I'm sure you will teach your son to be compassionate and thoughtful. And I'm sure that he will learn that none of this is personal or has any bearing on him as an individual. Besides, he'll learn soon enough that the transgressions of his ancestors are just one in a long list of transgressors throughout history.

if he were my son, I would prepare him for what he will confront in the future by

Murat Altinbasak said...

I apologize for not contributing to the comments - it's been hard work just keeping up with you guys! Besides, lately it seems I can mess up a cup of coffee, so why rock the apple cart? Many thanks for all of the time and effort which has gone into this.. One day in the near future I plan to feature my favorite past contributions at Amerikan Turk, and this one will be at the top of the list, for the comments moreso than for the original post. Thanks again.

Bolsa Hye said...

We should thank you for starting the blog.

Bolsa Hye said...

Who is this woman, I want to kiss her?

TURKEY SHOULDN'T TAKE ANY STAND ON KARABAKH ISSUE

PanARMENIAN.Net
29.11.2006 16:56 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The European Union and Turkey speak much of the
Cypriot issue but the hope for the resolution of the problem is
vague, Nursun Erel, a political observer of The New Anatolian told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. In her words, certain hopes are anchored
with the UN plan that can get things moving. However an atmosphere of distrust and disappointment reigns among Cypriots and Turks. We should undertake joint steps to improve the situation," she remarked.

As to Azerbaijan's role in the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations, Ms Erel said 'Turkey should not take any stand on the apple of discord, that is the Nagorno Karabakh problem'. In her opinion this fact impedes badly the establishment of neighborly relations in the whole region. Azerbaijan is very jealous of the Armenian-Turkish
contacts. The Milli Mejlis chairman was very 'discontent' with the meeting of the Turkish and Armenian parliament speakers. I think that we should communicate with Armenians at all levels. This nation left a deep trace in Turkey's history and culture. Let us take, for example, the temple of Akhtamar, which has been recently reconstructed by a
Turkish architect of Armenian origin," Erel said.

Anonymous said...

(Turq)

Her husband might break your legs :)

Eventhough I believe that Armenia occupies Karabag and guilty of ethnically cleansing Azeri Turks from the region between Nahjivan and Azerbeyjan, the solution should be thru diplomatic relations. Right now the Armenian government can play the "We are sieged, we are threatened by outside powers" to its citizens, and Turkey can prove that it is wrong(actually proved by allowing 40,000 Armenians to work in TUrkey). And overall strategically it's in Turkey's interest to contact Armenians in Diaspora and in Armenia seperately, and should use seperate language to both. The current strategy pushes all walks of Armenians into one side, but the reality is different.

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