America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

20 March 2007

Religious Pissing Contest: No minarets allowed

Pete Blackwell's recent post at Parenthetical Remarks just cracks me up. If Iraq ever "returned the favor", these would be among the first "monuments" which should be toppled.

22 comments:

Pete Blackwell said...

And I the first to slap them with the bottom of my shoe!

Sean said...

Murat,

do you know what happened to The Infidel and Gamze? Many Turkish blogs, including yours, stopped talking about the Armenian Genocide, almost on the same day. Was there some pressure applied by some goverment or military or community on all of you? I don't have any proof of this, however, it is interesting that everyone stopped at the same time.

here is an article that I think you should read:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=43&ItemID=12387

The truth should be proclaimed loudly
by Robert Fisk
March 21, 2007
The Independent

Stand by for a quotation to take your breath away. It's from a letter from my Istanbul publishers, who are chickening out of publishing the Turkish-language edition of my book The Great War for Civilisation. The reason, of course, is a chapter entitled "The First Holocaust", which records the genocide of one and a half million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in 1915, a crime against humanity that even Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara tried to hide by initially refusing to invite Armenian survivors to his Holocaust Day in London.

It is, I hasten to add, only one chapter in my book about the Middle East, but the fears of my Turkish friends were being expressed even before the Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink was so cruelly murdered outside his Istanbul office in January. And when you read the following, from their message to my London publishers HarperCollins, remember it is written by the citizen of a country that seriously wishes to enter the European Community. Since I do not speak Turkish, I am in no position to criticise the occasional lapses in Mr Osman's otherwise excellent English.

"We would like to denote that the political situation in Turkey concerning several issues such as Armenian and Kurdish Problems, Cyprus issue, European Union etc do not improve, conversely getting worser and worser due to the escalating nationalist upheaval that has reached its apex with the Nobel Prize of Orhan Pamuk and the political disagreements with the EU. Most probably, this political atmosphere will be effective until the coming presidency elections of April 2007... Therefore we would like to undertake the publication quietly, which means there will be no press campaign for Mr Fisk's book. Thus, our request from [for] Mr Fisk is to show his support to us if any trial [is] ... held against his book. We hope that Mr Fisk and HarperCollins can understand our reservations."

Well indeedydoody, I can. Here is a publisher in a country negotiating for EU membership for whom Armenian history, the Kurds, Cyprus (unmentioned in my book) - even Turkey's bid to join the EU, for heaven's sake - is reason enough to try to sneak my book out in silence. When in the history of bookselling, I ask myself, has any publisher tried to avoid publicity for his book? Well, I can give you an example. When Taner Akcam's magnificent A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility was first published in Turkish - it uses Ottoman Turkish state documents and contemporary Turkish statements to prove that the genocide was a terrifying historical fact - the Turkish historian experienced an almost identical reaction. His work was published "quietly" in Turkey - and without a single book review.

Now I'm not entirely unsympathetic with my Turkish publishers. It is one thing for me to rage and roar about their pusillanimity. But I live in Beirut, not in Istanbul. And after Hrant Dink's foul murder, I'm in no position to lecture my colleagues in Turkey to stand up to the racism that killed Dink. While I'm sipping my morning coffee on the Beirut Corniche, Mr Osman could be assaulted in the former capital of the Ottoman empire. But there's a problem nonetheless.

Some months earlier, my Turkish publishers said that their lawyers thought that the notorious Law 301 would be brought against them - it is used to punish writers for being "unTurkish" - in which case they wanted to know if I, as a foreigner (who cannot be charged under 301), would apply to the court to stand trial with them. I wrote that I would be honoured to stand in a Turkish court and talk about the genocide. Now, it seems, my Turkish publishers want to bring my book out like illicit pornography - but still have me standing with them in the dock if right-wing lawyers bring charges under 301!

I understand, as they write in their own letter, that they do not want to have to take political sides in the "nonsensical collision between nationalists and neo-liberals", but I fear that the roots of this problem go deeper than this. The sinister photograph of the Turkish police guards standing proudly next to Dink's alleged murderer after his arrest shows just what we are up against here. Yet still our own Western reporters won't come clean about the Ottoman empire's foul actions in 1915. When, for example, Reuters sent a reporter, Gareth Jones, off to the Turkish city of Trabzon - where Dink's supposed killer lived - he quoted the city's governor as saying that Dink's murder was related to "social problems linked to fast urbanisation". A "strong gun culture and the fiery character of the people" might be to blame.

Ho hum. I wonder why Reuters didn't mention a much more direct and terrible link between Trabzon and the Armenians. For in 1915, the Turkish authorities of the city herded thousands of Armenian women and children on to boats, set off into the Black Sea - the details are contained in an original Ottoman document unearthed by Akcam - "and thrown off to drown". Historians may like to know that the man in charge of these murder boats was called Niyazi Effendi. No doubt he had a "fiery character".

Yet still this denial goes on. The Associated Press this week ran a story from Ankara in which its reporter, Selcan Hacaoglu, repeated the same old mantra about there being a "bitter dispute" between Armenia and Turkey over the 1915 slaughter, in which Turkey "vehemently denies that the killings were genocide". When will the Associated Press wake up and cut this cowardly nonsense from its reports? Would the AP insert in all its references to the equally real and horrific murder of six million European Jews that right-wing Holocaust negationists "vehemently deny" that there was a genocide? No, they would not.

But real history will win. Last October, according to local newspaper reports, villagers of Kuru in eastern Turkey were digging a grave for one of their relatives when they came across a cave containing the skulls and bones of around 40 people - almost certainly the remains of 150 Armenians from the town of Oguz who were murdered in Kuru on 14 June 1915. The local Turkish gendarmerie turned up to examine the cave last year, sealed its entrance and ordered villagers not to speak of what they found. But there are hundreds of other Kurus in Turkey and their bones, too, will return to haunt us all. Publishing books "quietly" will not save us.

Gulay said...

Robert Fisk is one of the most biased journalists in the UK and based on his history of articles absolutely detests anything Islamic. He has already decided what the real truth is and his mind is totally closed to argument. So I personally (the Husband) take most of what he says with a large grain of salt.

As for your consipriacy theory.....please, ever think people just got tired of listening to the same whining one eyed closed minds spouting the usual tired cliches

Murat Altinbasak said...

sean,
Infidel is taking a hiatus and will surely return to blogging eventually. I don't know about Gamze. So no pressure, don't fret.
It's just a coincidence that we all got a little burned out on the subject..
I read this article. Thanks for sharing it. Sorry but Mr Fisk's supportive position on Taner Akcam made my skin crawl. There's history... then there's also the history of the historian himself to consider..
One thing I began to say very early in my self-education about genocide ws this: "nobody cares".
Cold and insensitive? Sure. But as Elif Shafak succinctly pointed out recently on NPR..(paraphrased) "Turks are more future driven.. and Armenians are more fixated on the past." Rightly so.. But when two people are looking in opposite directions, there is little to no chance for a meeting of the minds.

aytaç said...

Ignore Sean, he cannot understand logic. All full of lies and making ermeni propaganda and anti-islam. I do not have the hatred for christians as they hate us because islam is superior anyway. There can be no peace with Armanians because they are born liars and teach generations all lies.
Armanians kill the Turks all over Anatolia and make a cover up and now the world wil see this. Turkiye is a land of peace.

Sean said...

"Turks are more future driven.. and Armenians are more fixated on the past."

Why is that, Murat? Why do you think the Turks don't want to look at their past? What are they affriad of finding?

I am sure the Germans also try not to look at their past too much, either. Do you think the Jews look at their past too much? Should they just "get over it" and "move on"? Should they just start talking about it? Remembering the dead?

By the way, I think it's interesting that only after my "conspirecy theory", Infidel posted and Gamze fix whatever issue she was having with her blog.

I heard today on NPR about the Egyption blogger who was sentenced to 4 years in jail for posting comments against the government and Islam.

I thought about all of you. I know that some of you live in US (or in other coutries outside of Turkey), but still... You may need to visit Turkey some day, or you may have relatives back home, so be careful of what you post... I would hate to see one of you in jail .... in Turkey of all places...

Gulay & Murat, instead of putting down Mr. Fisk, why don't you discuss the main point of his article. What do you think about the letter he received from the publisher? How does it reflect on your people & your government?


"people just got tired of listening " -- I didn't ask "Why aren't they posting about the Genocide?" I said "Why did they stop blogging all together?" Given Turkish government's reputation of suppressing freedom of speech, I was worried that they had done something about it. I am sure they already read all these pages, keeping track of who says what. It must be driving them crazy that they don't have jurisdiciton over us...

those who are tired of this topic should stop fighting it... Armenians will NEVER give up, until justice has been served.

If we don't get the resolutions passed this year (because Turkey will once against spend millions and billions of $$$ and buy their way in), we will try again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.

I just hope Turkey has lots of money to throw around in Washington. They are going to need it.

cem said...

Murat,

Thank you so much for creating this blog site for Sean.
You have created a platform for a hater of Turks. Good for you.

SHAME ON YOU

aytaç said...

sean says hurtfull things full of hate. It make proof that the only ally of a Turk is another Turk. cem, I think muratbey has good intetion with this site, not for hate but they come to bring hate to us all over.

Sean said...

cem,

Murat sees me for who I am: someone who keeps up to date on Turkey and Turkish people and likes to discuss his views. At no point, in any of my comments, have I ever insulted anyone.

You label me a "hater of Turks". I would expect that you would follow your so-called accusation with some proof, maybe comments that I have made which show that I am a so-called "hater". However, you provide no such proof or evedience. You just make your allegations and run away, like the spineless uneducated closed-minded fool that you are.

cem said...

sean said:

You just make your allegations and run away, like the spineless uneducated closed-minded fool that you are.

You need to stop projecting your insecurities on others and focus on yourself. Sean, if my mind was open to the thoughts of spineless fools such as yourself, I would not be rich with a doctorate. Please stop pretending that you are an erudite. Perhaps you should create a blog of your own my lonely spineless tiny flea.

Let me teach you how to correctly spell "evedience" EVIDENCE

your haterate and ignorance shows, even in your broken English.

Haterate is that a new word you created. Wow, Armenians are some creative people, first a genocide and today a new word. Haterate.

You have so much to say, why not create your own blog. Why impose on Murats blog with your rambling.
What does this particular post have to do with your copy and paste Fisk article.

Are you a pathetic and lonely man? I think so.

Gulay said...

sean, when the Independent was launched in the UK I used to buy and read it as it was a breath f fresh air and Robert Fisk seemed like a well balanced journalist. However with articles like this and many others he has made up his mind about this topic and nothing will change it. Why therefore should I bother to discuss it as he says nothing new but here goes. As usual he focuses on his assertion that 1.5 million Armenians were killed which is based on what exactly. Given the fact that Armenia refuses to allow access to its archives where does this figure come from. Mr Fisk refers to Ottoman records and contemporary accounts but as is common these days eye witness accounts by the victims are generally considered suspect and any history that is being complied or re-written with the benefit if hindsight is questionable in my opinion. I dont think anyone refuses to believe that a large number of Armenians were killed. What upsets me (and this the Husband speaking who is not Turkish by the way) is that this is labeled genocide and put in the same category as the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a systematic attempt to exterminate an entire ethnic population simply because of their religion. The actions in what is now Turkey was triggered by the treason of the Armenian corps fighting in the Turkish army who defected to the Russians. If the tables had been turned would the Armenians have acted any differently. I doubt it given the moral and ethical viewpoints and attitude to protecting the civilian population that existed along your supply lines. There is a complete blind spot to the large numbers of Turks and other turkic peoples being killed by the Aremnians and their Russian allies around the Black Sea, and lets not forget to mention the ethnic cleansing the Greeeks and Bulgarians were engaged in. This rarely gets mentioned and whilst I am not suggesting that two wrongs equal a right I fail to see how one can be labeled genocide if the other is not.

I can also take issue with Mr Fisk's assertion that this was the first genocide. A quick look back through the history books reveal plenty of other acts that could be termed genocide, the extermination of the Cathars in France for example in the 1300's, the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Highland Clearance, the Zulu mefecane, the creation of concentration camps by the British Army during the Boer War....the list goes on and on. The recognition of what happened to the Armenians as genocide and the attention this gets simply allows other countries, mainly Christian, to deflect attention away from their own rather dubious past and once again point the finger at the favorite bogeyman, Islam. It also serves as a convenient stick with which to beat Turkey as it stumbles along the path of EU membership.
My personal opinion for what it is worth is that many, many people of all nationalities and religions died unnecessarily in the period at the end of the First World war. This is fact, although the numbers are open to debate. If your definition of genocide is killing people of a particular tribe, race or religion then many of the acts at that time were genocide. If as I do your definition of genocide implies a deliberate policy of targeting a population with the intent of exterminating them, like the holocaust, then you need to prove that extermination was ordered. I am not an expert in Ottoman history but from what I have read there is debate as to whether in this case such a policy was actually intended or ordered. Absent definitive proof the only reason I can see for labeling this genocide is that immediately that happens Armenians will expect to be recompensed for their land etc. However given that Armenians claim there was genocide there cannot be by definition be any descendants of the Turkish dwelling Armenians.
Anyway I think thats enough for now.

cem said...

Gulay,

Is this the sort of dialogue you were speaking of. Do you believe for one second that sean is even considering what you just stated?

I love how you stated that you were not Turkish. I cant stop laughing.

Gulay, should Murat not be the one who decides what the topic of conversation be. Correct me if I'm wrong but is this post not called
Religious Pissing Contest: No minarets allowed. If so why are we having a dialogue about Robert Fisk?

One more thing Gulay, why dont you put the gun to my head. I Live in NY, and I believe your in NJ, so be sport and help me out.

Gulay said...

Cem, if you bothered to do some research you would find out that Gulay is my wife and we post under the same blog name but when I write I make the point it is the Husband and not Gulay, maybe you missed the bit in the second post about that. Sean asked for dialogue so I gave it and you know something I would rather write what I did and and dare to believe that I can attempt to make a difference than have your version of the world which seems to say, I don't agree with you, shut up and go away. So what is your opinion on these issues, do you have any other opinion than to silence people who you disgaree with or do I not merit a reply because I am not a descendant of the seljuk turks........these comment places are supposed to be for debate like this and I am sure that Murat posts and comments deliberately to get reaction....

Sean said...

Gulay, thanks for the intelligent response. Even if I don't agree with some of your points, I respect your opinion. (cem, pull the trigger.)

It's late, so I am going to keep my response short.

You said: "If the tables had been turned would the Armenians have acted any differently."

You may be right. It's possible that the Armenians would have done the same thing, if the tables were turned. IN THAT CASE, the Armenians would be guilty of Genocide, not the Turks.

You said "I can also take issue with Mr Fisk's assertion that this was the first genocide." I can't speak for him, but I assumed he meant "first genocide of the 20th Century". Would that make a difference for you?

Again, thanks for your comments.

aytaç said...

sean, Armanian hobby was to kill and atack Turks for centuries and make Anadolu a land of blood, Armanian need to forget such so-called genocide lies and to make pease with our mighty nation or Turks wil not forget what you Armanians have done so beware. Turks were always kind to loyal milliyet until Armanian people atack Turks all over our land and kill them. Stop hating us because we are Turks and have most noble blood in the world! Many Turks are afraid to make admition of our great noble blood. Ataturk gave us the way.

Sean said...

aytac,

"beware" of what? what are you threatening? what can you do sitting in front of your beat-up computer, in your dark room, in the basement of some broken down house, in a village in the middle of nowhere?

you say "we have most noble blood in the world!"

what exactly makes YOUR so-called blood more noble than anyone else's? That sounds just like the Germans before WWII. Give me details. What has YOUR so-called blood done that no one else ON THIS PLANET (not just Armenians, Greeks, Kurds, Assyrians) hasn't done?

STOP WITH THE BASELESS IMMATURE THREATS.

cem said...

sean said:

"beware" of what? what are you threatening? what can you do sitting in front of your beat-up computer, in your dark room, in the basement of some broken down house, in a village in the middle of nowhere?

I love the way you view Turks.
Read between the lines folks, this fool is a hater of Turks!!!
A cowardly little man who is drowning in the deep ocean of denial. A lonely and friendless individual, who has no one to talk to, so he spends his time on Turkish blogs, selfishly trying to impose his rhetoric.

Please dont cry sean. I know the truth hurts.

Sean said...

cem, that's how I view YOU, not the Turks. stop puttin words in my mouth.

You are only making your people look bad. Anyone with 1/2 a brain can see that you have nothing of value to add to this discussion.

susan said...

You are only making your people look bad. Anyone with 1/2 a brain can see that you have nothing of value to add to this discussion.

He's making his people look bad, that is such a stupid thing to say.

those who are tired of this topic should stop fighting it... Armenians will NEVER give up, until justice has been served

Stop fighting what young man. You need to hit the scriptures and get God back into your life. I have read many of your comments today and you have to much anger and hate in you my dear. I'll pray for you.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Wow. I've missed quite a bit of action here and I apologize.
Cem, "Shame on me"?? I hope you'll re-consider this judgment.

Murat said: "Turks are more future driven.. and Armenians are more fixated on the past."

sean replied: "Why is that, Murat? Why do you think the Turks don't want to look at their past? What are they afraid of finding?"

My answer: Turks do not need to look at their past, their noses are rubbed into it on a daily basis by people such as yourself who lobby to make every single moment of our lives into an exercise in swallowing pride and avoiding the projection upon us of Armenian self hate.
We are a new generation, led by a new government. We are not the Ottoman Empire. We do not inherit their sins or their crimes, nor do we accept them as our own. Even if everything about genocide were absolute truth (sic), the Turkish Republic is reformed.. tell me, is it healthy for a reformed alcoholic or a reformed drug addict to be reminded daily of their past sins and deviance? Does it serve a purpose to beat them up about it, after they have straightened up and now fly straight? Clearly not.. Now consider if said reformed drug addict was my great great grandfather.. Do the math.
Indeed, our eyes are fixed forward, while yours are on the rear view mirror. Don't crash.

Sean said...

Murat,

I understand your point. However, what you say is true about some Turks, not all. Just read some of the comments on this site (I won't name names.) Just look at what happened to Hrant Dink. I am worried that for some Turks, things aren't that much different.

I have never been to Turkey. I would love to visit, just to see, with my own eyes, that things are different now. But I am not so sure. Look at all the writers who need police protection after Hrant's murder. How is Taner Akçam being treated? I remember that you were unhappy that when Pamuk was in your area, the Turks did not publicize it. My comments are not about 100 years ago.

My comments are about today. They are about today's Turkey and today's Turks. I am actually more worried about tomorrow's Turkey and tomorrow's Turks. We bring up these points, over and over again, to make sure that tomorrow's Turk is educated about the past. (see Oz's comment in your other posting.)

I have started a blog, and I have decided to call it "Your Turkey". I am going to try to make Turkey a better place. I am sure someone will respond to this and say that they are happy just the way Turkey is. That's fine. I am not. I want Turkey, the largest neighbor of Armenia, to be a better place, because that will benefit everyone.

In the process, I expect that some Turks will take my efforts as a sign that I hate Turks or Turkey. I don't think that's the case.

I hate the Turkey of the past, I am cautious about the Turkey of today, and I am hopeful about the Turkey of tomorrow.

aytaç said...

Sean, you are full of hate propaganda. You show true face of Armanians for all. One day you will all pray to be Turks

Why do you let him make comments here!?!?!?