21 May 2006

686) Media Scanner May 2006

The Armenian question at a Swiss Embassy lunch

The Swiss ambassador in Ankara, Walter Gyger, invited Gündüz Aktan and myself to a lunch for four that included his counselor, Mr. Beer, to discuss what Switzerland can do next on the Armenian question, which had involved his embassy negatively. His suggestion, in a nutshell after a long discussion, was to follow the Swiss example and entrust the question to an international commission of reputable historians for an advisory opinion on the basis of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo�an's offer. Aktan had reservations about the idea because of the surprising report of the self-appointed Armenian-Turkish Conciliation Commission.

As I reminded Ambassador Gyger, who must already know from his Turkish wife, the Armenian diaspora has been on the attack for the last 80 years or more. First the Ottoman, then the republican reaction against it for at least four decades was to avoid the question as if it did not exist. My generation of educated people and intellectuals woke up overnight to the tragic reality when the Armenian terror organization ASALA started assassinating Turkish diplomats in San Francisco, Vienna, Paris, Belgrade, Sydney, Madrid, The Hague, Lisbon and Los Angeles.

I told him that better late than never the Turks have now started to defend themselves against a heavy barrage of Armenian propaganda -- thousands of publications many with exaggerations, fabrications and even lies presented as facts to the Western world. In fact, the West was more than willing to accept the Armenian allegations without even bothering to question their validity, whether or not they were true or false. After all, the ground was fertile as far back as the 1860s when European and American missionaries first came to eastern Turkey to train, convert and mobilize the Armenians in their interest against "the terrible Turk." Ambassador Gyger listened, nodding his head with apparent interest in what he heard and what he doubtless already knew.

Against all these years of Armenian propaganda there was a deafening silence on the Turkish side that was taken by the Western world as an admission of guilt. When the Turks eventually, during the '70s took up a defensive position, it was already too late and the guilty-without-trial verdict was already hanging around their necks. "Turks were guilty of the crime of genocide of over one-and-a-half-million Armenians." Nobody questioned whether there were that many Armenians in Anatolia then, and until recently it did not matter, but the allegation stuck without a question mark. The West never bothered to ask why the Ottoman Turks, all of a sudden, after a cohabitation of 600 years, started to slaughter their Ottoman neighbors overnight (there were no Armenian ghettos) after centuries of togetherness.

I reminded Ambassador Gyger that the Armenians were promised an Armenian homeland in eastern Turkey at the expense of the Turks at the Sevres conference in Paris by the victors of World War I. This was to be stillborn, never to see the light of day, a treaty never to be ratified by any of the participants. In that conference "the Armenian delegation claimed that there were combatants during the war," which was an admission of the fact that it was a civil war within World War I. Armenians joining forces with the enemy Russians knew they were traitors to the sultan, who had mistakenly described them as the most loyal nation of the empire -- "Milleti Sad�ka."

The Armenian Ottomans had lost a bloody revolt within a civil war but then successfully engineered it to turn this defeat into an international propaganda victory at the expense of the Turkish Republic. It was because of the instigation of this diaspora lobby that the United States did not recognize the young Turkish Republic until 1927, four long years after the establishment of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's republic.

Turkey's efforts at defense fell on deaf ears, so much so that 16 national parliaments in Europe passed similar resolutions claiming that "what happened to the Ottoman Armenians during the years of the World War I was genocide." Thirty-six states in the United States passed similar resolutions. France passed a one sentence law declaring "France recognizes the Armenian genocide," the denial of which is proposed to become a criminal act. It is an outrageous and preposterous move by a national parliament against freedom of expression.

Ambassador Gyger stressed that the Swiss case is somewhat particular. While two local parliaments have recognized the Genocide at federal level, only one chamber of its Parliament has passed a resolution. Since Switzerland has a bicameral system, no legally binding decisions can be taken without the approval of both chambers. This is, according to Ambassador Gyger, not the case. However, there is an article in the Swiss penal code prohibiting racist statements, and within this article there is a subparagraph specifically prohibiting the negations of genocides which has never been applied until now. Following statements made by Professor Halaço�lu and Do�u Perinçek while they were in Switzerland legal procedures were opened against them, and these are still under way. No indictment or sentence has been pronounced as yet and it may take quite some time for the Swiss judges to issue their opinion on this matter. Ambassador Gyger explained to us the position of the federal government, which is the only body in charge of formulating Swiss foreign policy on this. The opinion of the Swiss government, while regretting the tragic incidents which occurred at the end of the Ottoman Empire and condemning those who were responsible for them is that the whole matter should be studied by historians. This explains the position of Ambassador Gyger in suggesting the establishment of an international commission of reputable and independent historians.

I explained to the ambassador that Turkey is now facing a pro-Armenian international front joining forces with the Armenian Diaspora, which is organizing, encouraging and supporting the whole campaign, though this is in fact contrary to the interests of Armenia proper.

Turkey has now opened most of its archives as a new line of defense and proposed the same be done in Armenia and elsewhere. The Erdo�an government proposed a commission be established, consisting of historians and others, to research the historic facts, which the Armenian side rejected offhand as "the matter is long established and there is nothing to research -- it is established fact that there was genocide committed against the Armenian Ottomans by the Union and Progress Party and its leaders, so there is no room for further debate or discussion."

I also observed that a new era of research and debate in Turkey is obviously here, with or without Armenian participation, moreover there are some Turkish academics who sympathize with the Armenian view that a crime was committed against the Ottoman Armenians by the Ottoman Turks, which demonstrates that the Turkish side is ready to question stereotyped opinions and hear opposing views, with new facts and research coming out every day, especially from the Russian archives.

An international commission of reputable historians and intellectuals should be carefully selected to research the facts, with the aim of reaching a conclusion on the issues. This may sound theoretically to be a good idea, but bearing in mind all the dangers inherent, even the most objective of eminent personalities may be laden with human bias. The Armenian side cold-shouldered the idea proposed by Turkey's Prime Minister Erdo�an, though it was generally welcomed by the international media and interested governments.

It was the well-read and much respected columnist of Radikal daily, Gündüz Aktan, who originally put forward the idea of submitting the question to the International Court of Justice of the United Nations with a proper question, perhaps something like: "Does what happened in the 1915 war conditions within the Ottoman Empire amount to genocide or not? Is the U.N. Convention on Genocide applicable to 1915 or not?" His proposal found no echo on the Armenian side and received no support at the time but is now being seriously considered and convinced Dr. �ükrü Elekda�, a former career diplomat of established repute, now a member of Parliament, who has studied in detail the viability and validity of this idea and concludes that it should be pursued in the International Court of Justice at The Hague. I suggested Ambassador Gyger should meet him and read the scholarly paper he has prepared on this proposal. His main premise, as I understand it, is to have the question removed from the political propaganda arena and put to test on a legal platform either through the International Court of Justice or through international arbitration, which the Armenian side have been shying away from by keeping the question in the political arena.

Aktan said to Ambassador Gyger that Elekda� contends, and quite rightly, that Turkey has nothing to fear from the 1948 Genocide Convention of the U.N., as it cannot be applied to the 1915 tragedy for various legal reasons, as the Armenian side know full well.

As Ambassador Gyger also agreed, at least an advisory opinion of the International Court at the Hague would clear the air once and for all. But I stressed that the Armenian Diaspora does not see any gain in solving the problem and wish to continue using, misusing and exploiting it against Turkey.

Sunday, May 21, 2006
YÜKSEL SÖYLEMEZ

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=43896



Brussels shies away from Turkey-Armenia genocide dispute

The French parliament on Thursday suspended a vote on a law that would criminalise denial of the alleged Turkish genocide of Armenians in the early 1900s, with Brussels shying away from seeing the event as a political criterium for Turkish EU entry.

In 2001, French lawmakers passed a bill which accuses the Ottoman Turks of committing genocide against the Armenians between 1915 and 1923, with Armenians asserting the campaign cost 1.5 million lives.

As a consequence, French MPs were on Thursday (18 May) set to vote on a law similar to already existing legislation against holocaust-denial, which could see an individual facing a sentence of up to five years in prison and a €45,000 fine.

The president of the French parliament, Jean-Louis Debré, however interrupted the session in the middle of a heated debate, saying there was "no time" to deal with the initiative put forward by the socialist opposition party.

The announcement caused uproar in the visitor's grandstand, where dozens of members of the French 400,000-strong Armenian minority clapped their hands for over five minutes, while shouting "The vote, the vote!"

For its part, Ankara denies the genocide charges, recognising only 500,000 Armenian deaths during the Ottoman war, and rejects the genocide tag saying both sides suffered severe losses in the war.

Addressing the plenary in Paris, French foreign minister Philippe Douste-Blazy following his party's line, stressed the "serious political consequences" an adoption of the law would mean.

"The Armenian cause is righteous and it should be defended and respected. But the national representation must keep France's interests in mind, and the methods it uses to defend its principles," Mr Douste-Blazy told deputies.

Ankara has announced that Turks could boycott French products and French firms could lose lucrative contracts if the legislation is passed, just as the country did in 2001 when the alleged genocide was officially recognised by French law.

Political criteria in EU talks?
The topic has come up several times in the discussion on a future possible EU membership of Turkey, which started accession negotiations last autumn.

A number of European parliament reports urging Turkey to admit to the genocide have been adopted by MEPs since as far back as 1987.

In September last year MEPs backed a resolution on the matter to be forwarded to the European Commission, which monitors Turkey's readiness for EU accession, urging the latter to include the genocide in Ankara's EU membership negotiations with Brussels.

"The proposal that the recognition of the alleged Armenian genocide as a political criteria has arisen from time to time throughout the accession process with Turkey," a commission official told EUobserver.

Brussels has however so far taken a hesitant approach to include conditions on historical events as political criteria for EU accession, because of the European continent's motley war and border history.

The official said that during the bloc's last enlargement round, several eastern European member states had- and in some cases still have- ongoing disputes about "who did what to whom during the war", and that therefore it was important to Brussels to stay out of such disputes.

As for Armenia, the official said "We do not take a stance on the Armenian case, we leave it to historians to study what happened."

The official said a number of EU countries were sceptical to a commission defining historical events, explaining that to add such a criteria to the current demands would need unanimity among member states.

He pointed out however that the commission has underlined the importance of "good neighbourly relations".

The so-called "accession partnership" text, adopted by EU member states in January this year, suggests that candidate states "address any sources of frictions at their borders".

"That is the closest we get to addressing the matter," the commission official said.

Some MEPs have followed along the same line of argument, pointing out that it would be insensitive and unfair to demand political criteria for Turkey other than those used for the last round of enlargement.

"The recognition of the Armenian genocide should not be political criteria for EU accession of Turkey," leftist German MEP Feleknas Uca told Euobserver, adding that compliance with the so-called Copenhagen Criteria should continue to be the sole measure of EU-accession for Turkey.

19.05.2006 - 09:53 CET | By Teresa Küchler
© EUobserver.com 2006
The information may be used for personal and non-commercial use only.
http://euobserver.com/9/21647



Armenia-Turkey Border Issue: Open Sesame Open

“I pray to Jesus every morning for the opening of the borders!”
Anait has a spontaneously smiling face. She is a strong woman, but her voice is quite soft. In a clothing bazaar, she prefers Turkish while speaking among the clothes she brought from Laleli (Istanbul) to sell.

The surprise during the first trip
“We are alone now. It will be good for both for you and us when the border is opened. Trade with Turkey is vital for our economy. When they say ‘the border remains closed’, it gives us big pain.
Anait is one of the oldest merchants. She had started visiting Turkey in 1993. Firstly she was bringing automobile components to Turkey. She reached to Georgia via bus and then to Ardahan from there. She never forgets her first trip:
“I was afraid. I didn’t know how the Turks were. Would they attack me? The bus got out of order in Ardahan. All the passengers were women. A Turk came and gave water melon and cheese to everyone. He also got the bus repaired and demanded no money. He said “sell your goods and then you may pay”. “Now, 90 per cent of the goods in Armenia are coming from Turkey.”

Dream of a job in Marmaris
Anait says “if there were 100 people who had visited Turkey in 1993, now there should be 1 million”. She says “all the goods of Turkey are fine” and she is dreaming to have a job with her unemployed son at a Marmaris hotel for this summer. Anait tells about the feelings of the Armenian men and women praying for the opening of the border: “It will be very good. Both for you and us!”

Translated by Murat Sogangoz
Tuesday , 16 May 2006
By Ece Temelkuran, YEREVAN (Milliyet)



Armenian Economist Safaryan: ‘Turkey Should Make Investment in Armenia’

Jan SOYKOK (JTW) - Armenian Economist Aram Safaryan told Turkish daily Milliyet that the Armenian businessmen have no problem with the closed-Turkish borders, but the Armenian people (middle and poor classes) suffers a lot.

”There is no diplomatic relations, the borders are closed. However everything is open for the Armenian businessmen. But the problem is that not all of the Armenians are businessmen” he added.

Aram Safaryan is economy analyst and producer of a program in Armenia’s Canal 2.

Safaryan argues in Milliyet that the trade between Turkey and Armenia is annually 120 million US dollars. Turkish expert Dr. Sedat Laciner on the other hand argues that the figure reaches about 200 million dollars every year.

Safaryan continues:

"The annual trade between two countries is 120 million dollars. Armenia exports about 1 million dollars good to Turkey, while it imports 119 million dollars goods from Turkey. Does Turkey want to change this balance! However 49 percent of my country lives in poverty level.

Safaryan argues that both countries should establish direct relations:

“Neither US nor the EU could bring both countries together. Turkey looks at Armenia as it looks at its Armenian society in Turkey. However Armenia is an independent country. If Turkey abandons policy of getting US or American support and if Turkey abandons the policy of dominating the Middle East, it will enter the EU faster. Armenia should not be a market for Turkey’s chip goods. Armenia should not wear dresses that no one wears in Turkey.”

Safaryan further said that “Turkey should make investment in Armenia”. He added:

“There is no room for small investment in Armenia. However there is great need for bigger investments here. Armenia devotes about 50 million dollars every year for the high tech investments. Turkey could establish a Silicon valley like in the US. Turkey could make investments in energy area. However as far as there is no diplomatic relations, the sources are being wasted.”

Safaryan says that 80 percent of the PVC used in windows, almost 100 percent of good made from paper materials and 100 percent of chocolate come from Turkey.

Safaryan argues that Turkey has to find a solution for the ‘genocide’ issue:

“Turkey should recognize the right of existence of Armenians who once lived in those territories. These people should have the right to live in those territories with the condition of not seeking those territories… Those territories (Eastern Turkey) are not like we left behind. People have good dreams regarding those territories because there is a ban. However if they go there, they would return in 15 days. Yet a revolution would be done in Armenian mind, and the hostility era would be closed down. Thus we can protect our common history and what left behind this history”.

“THERE IS NO BAN”

Turkish experts share Safaryan’s many ideas, however they say that there are still some biases and misinformation in his interview. Dr. Sedat Laciner for instance does not agree that there is a ban for Armenians to enter Turkey:

“Turkey is a free country and all of the borders are open for anyone. Turkey-Armenia territorial borders are an exception. However Armenians can visit Turkey by airplanes, and they do in fact. Actually more than 50,000 Armenia Armenians live and work in Istanbul and some other Turkish cities. Most of them work illegally here and Turkish people employ them. Many of them are baby sitter, which means that Turks trust Armenian illegal workers a lot. Apart from the Armenia Armenians many Armenians come from Northern America and Western Europe to visit the Armenian historical monuments in Turkey. No one has disturbed any Armenian yet. In fact no one understand that you are an Armenia as long as you do not mention. No Turk wants to kill an Armenian or insult him or her. There are great differences between politics and real life. Turkish people are ready to make trade with Armenians from anywhere”.

“ALL ARMENIANS ARE WELCOME HERE”

Dr. Nilgun Gulcan on the other thinks that Armenia needs more than Turkey needs Armenia:

“Armenia is a tiny country. If there was no ‘genocide’ claims, no one gives importance to Armenia. In fact even today no one cares Armenia state in Turkey. It does not affect Turkish economy or politics. Just 2,5 million people, a tiny country with no significant natural source. Turkey has more interests in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran. Armenia could be neglected, and Turkey loses very little from ignoring Armenia. Armenians have to understand that Turkey is a giant near Armenia and Armenians should benefit from this giant market. However they prefer to start a combat against Turkey. If they do prefer a real dialogue, they would get more even in the ‘genocide’ issue. Turkey is a more open country than Armenia is. For example, I cannot travel to Armenia. No Turk defending Turkish perspective could go to Armenia. A Turkish historian was in Armenia last year and spent months in an Armenian prison. You can find any Armenian book in any big Turkish bookshop. Almost all ‘genocide’ literature have been translated Turkish language. We clearly understood what the Armenians think about the 1915 Events. But Armenians have no idea about Turkish perspective. They do not listen. They think that, if they listen to the Turks, they would commit a great sin. All Armenians are welcome in Turkey. Turkish people are against secret political agendas. If you want territories they live on, of course they would be against your ideas. But we are not in a war, and there are millions of foreigners in Turkey. More than 200,000 Germans, British etc. live in Turkish coasts. They have houses, they work here and they plan to die in these territories. Armenians of course have all the rights a British has. If Armenians want to live in Ararat or Van, they should come and establish a life here instead of insulting us”.

ARMENIAN DIASPORA

Davut Sahiner similarly says that Armenians are welcome in Turkey. Dr. Sahiner invites all Armenians to live and to make investment in Turkey. Yet he has very little hope:

“If Armenian diaspora had made investments in Turkey and in Armenia for more than a decade, about 500,000 Armenians would have lived in Anatolian territories. They do not want any solution because they are good with their problems. Armenian Genocide Claims create heroes in Armenian diaspora. There are many Armenian politicians etc. whose only income source is Armenian peoples sorrows. Some of the Armenians make a lot of money from the Armenian issue. This is an industry. Armenian Genocide Industry. Armenian Diaspora does not care Armenia’s economic or political problems. They do not come to Armenia. They want to live in US or in France. The diaspora Armenians can combat against the Turks till the last drop of Armenia Armenians’ blood.”

Dr. Laciner argues that Armenia could be rich country in couple years if Turkey and Armenia could give up discussing the disputes of a century ago:

“Nothing wrong in discussing the past. The problem is we are sacrificing today for the past. If Armenia and Turkey solved the genocide debate 15 years ago, Armenia would have been a rich country. Turkey is a great market and a bridge for European routes. Armenians are talented traders, and the Armenian workers are high-skilled. Both Turks and Armenians could have made Anatolia and Caucasus a better place to live in. However the ultra-nationalist Armenians, Russia and diaspora have manipulated the Armenian politics and led Armenia to disasters. When Russia looks at Armenia, it sees only a military base and people to be abused economically and politically. That’s all. Diaspora is happy with the existing problems. They are against opening the borders, even dialogue with the Turks. If you do refuse to speak how can you solve your problems. And the ultranationalist groups like Tashnaks want more and more territories. Territory is nothing if your people are suffering. Principle should have been ‘first people’, not ‘first territory’. Turks lost an empire and no one in Turkey wants more territory. We have enough territory and Armenians have enough territory too. Armenians cannot use properly the existing tiny Armenia, and ultranationalist Armenians want more and more. Let’s say, let’s imagine that whole Eastern Anatolia was given to tiny Armenia… If Armenia expands more the Armenians would be minority in their country. All Armenians should remember that there are more than 100 million Turks around and about 3 million Armenians. We cannot solve our problems by killing each other. We have to learn to live together.”

JTW
16 May 2006
Safaryan’s interview was translated to English language by JTW staff.
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=31824





Harper’s appeasement of Armenians comes at a cost

AS THIS IS obviously an incredibly sensitive issue, I wish to state from the outset that I have close contact and a good relationship with a number of senior Turkish officials. Turkish intelligence officers successfully negotiated my release from the hands of Iraqi insurgents in September 2004 and, having visited the Turkish residency in Ottawa on numerous occasions, I consider Ambassador Aydemir Erman a personal friend.. The fact that Erman has temporarily been recalled to Ankara in protest over comments made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper has hit close to home. I believe the recent statement made by Harper concerning the Armenian tragedy of 1915 was not only damaging to Turkish-Canadian relations, but unnecessary.

Two years ago, Bloc MP Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral brought forward a bill condemning the mass deportation of Armenians from eastern Anatolia during the First World War that resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands. According to the bill, it was genocide on the part of the Ottoman Empire.

While some may wonder why Canadian parliamentarians would spend their time passing judgment on events 90 years ago in the Middle East, Bill M-380 was passed on April 21, 2004, after a free vote in the House of Commons.

The Turkish government voiced its opposition and offered up its own version of events. While not denying that the Armenians died in droves, the Turks pointed out that in 1915, eastern Anatolia was being threatened by Czarist Russian troops, the Ottoman Empire was crumbling and Armenian nationalists chose to rise up in open revolt. The forced relocation of the potentially hostile Armenian population into northern Iraq and Syria was undertaken by an Ottoman administration so cash-strapped and inept that 80,000 Turkish troops died that year on the Russian front from frostbite and starvation.

The Armenians claim the resultant death of their refugees was genocide, while the Turks say it was a regrettable tragedy exacerbated by brutal wartime conditions.

Realizing that Bill M-380 was an impediment to Canadian-Turkish relations, the cabinet of then-prime minister Jean Chretien voted against the motion and the bill was considered non-binding.

In the interim, the Turkish government has proposed a joint commission of historians from Armenia and Turkey to attempt to thoroughly re-examine the past to determine a "true" account of the 1915 tragedy. Although modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, the actions of the former ruling Caliphate leadership still affects the nationalist psyche of the Turks. For this reason, Turkey has agreed to reopen the archives and share the documentation with the Armenians. Surprisingly, the Armenians have yet to agree to participate in the study.

Nevertheless, on April 18, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan forwarded a letter to Stephen Harper urging him to support the study. Instead, Harper reaffirmed his support of M-380 at a press conference the next day. Somewhat prophetically, Erdogan had written warning Harper that "the Armenian lobby has not given up its intention to create problems in Turkish-Canadian relations."

Although the prime minister’s official website only briefly displayed Harper’s statement concerning M-380, Armenian-Canadian websites continue to post the comments. Turkey responded by temporarily recalling Erman and withdrawing from a NATO fighter jet exercise in Alberta.

While these actions may seem harmless and petty, remember that Turkey is a key NATO ally and a vital partner to the mission in Afghanistan. More importantly, if Stephen Harper is anxious to mend fences with the U.S. State Department, he should have consulted their position on the issue. The U.S. does not insist on using the word "genocide" and is prepared to wait for the study’s results. As a secular Muslim democracy that recognizes Israel, Turkey is the cornerstone to America’s Middle East policies. Maintaining good relations with Ankara is a high priority for the U.S.

Closer to home, the fanatical elements of the Armenian nationalists have not always resorted to diplomatic measures to bring attention to their cause. In 1982, an Armenian assailant gunned down the Turkish military attache, and in 1985 the Turkish ambassador narrowly escaped when Armenian gunmen forced their way into the official residence.

Historical records are all too often written by the victors at the expense of the vanquished. However, in the case of the Ottomans and Armenians, both sides lost that war and suffered terrible casualties. Clarification of this tragedy needs to be addressed by historians examining the facts, not politicians appeasing a lobby group. Canada’s current relations with a vital ally and trading partner should have taken precedence over passing judgment on a 90-year-old incident.

( staylor@herald.ca)

By SCOTT TAYLOR / On Target

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/503696.html



Bulgarian Parliament Rejects Genocide Bill

An Armenian genocide resolution, presented by the racist and ultranationalist ATAKA party, was rejected by the Bulgarian parliament on Wednesday..

The resolution which called on the parliament to recognize the so-called Armenian genocide, were discussed today at the parliament general assembly. The Ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party and ethnic Turkish Movement of Rights and Freedoms (HOH) opposed the resolution.

In today's vote, 79 lawmakers rejected the resolution, 55 voted in favor, while 40 lawmakers abstained.

By Cihan News Agency
May 10, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=hotnews&alt=&trh=20060510&hn=32996



'Historical injustices' or the history of injustices

Today all the progressive part of mankind, all the peaceful peoples of the whole, world hope and believe that the new 21st century will be the century of peace and progress as well as the epoch of friendship and cooperation between peoples. As usual, the Armenian chauvinists are pushed around by evil forces and hope to find a good historical occasion to make their plans come true, as the one to create “Great Armenia” at the expense of neighboring countries.

Since the beginning of the last century Armenian chauvinists have incited hostility and disseminated overblown propaganda about the 1918 genocide slander, made up during the years of World War I and the period of the allies' intention to destroy and split Turkey into small nationally separated states and thereafter investigated by various international institutions and recognized as having no confirmation. At the same time, some objective scientists laid bare this groundless idea with indisputable facts. It has been proven that during 1918-1920 Turkey did not pursue any genocide policy against any people in its country. During the war a certain section of national minorities, among some of which were Armenian, moved abroad, to Africa, Europe, Asia and America as a result of bloody collisions, unbearable living conditions and armed riots supported by external enemy help. The sudden increase in the number of Armenians living in those countries proves this fact.

The Armenian side rejects every time, through different pretexts, the proposition to objectively investigate the problem of the “Armenian genocide” on the basis of archive documents of that period and with the participation of both Armenian and Turkish scientists. This fact gives grounds to be sure that the Armenian chauvinists do not need truth but overblown calumny for malevolent purposes.

Besides the calumny of the “Armenian genocide,” the Armenian chauvinists, unwilling to recognize the international borders of neighboring countries, repeatedly addressed different international organizations and U.S. senators and congressmen, as well as the Council of Europe, claiming that allegedly “Armenian” historical and cultural monuments are deliberately being destroyed in Azerbaijan.

Armenian Architecture Research Association head Armen Haghnazarian appealed to the secretary-general of UNESCO (letter dated Dec. 16, 1998) and to the deputy director of UNESCO Herman Cresto Toral (letter dated March 1, 1999). The aim of this intricate propaganda campaign is to justify Armenian invaders' claims to the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, which is the part of Azerbaijan, and to mislead international opinion. This campaign is the continuation of a world-scale calumnious and hypocritical propagandist war carried out by the Armenian Republic, which occupies 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory. Trying to use the tribune of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) as a propagandist megaphone, Haghnazarian claims in his letter sent to this organization on Jan. 14, 2003 that “it is historical injustice that Nakhichevan is part of Azerbaijan. The Nakhichevan region situated in the south of Armenia had been consolidated with Azerbaijan by the order of Stalin and we have felt this political injustice until now. This occupation must an end as soon as possible.” After these empty and senseless claims it became clear to everybody what Haghnazarian's purpose is in raising such a clamor around the destruction of gravestones (xachkars) allegedly belonging to Armenians in the Julfa district of Nakhichevan.

Haghnazarian baselessly claims that there were tens of thousands of xachkars in 1648, and about 6,000 at the beginning of the 20th century in the Julfa cemetery. All the photos presented by him to ICOMOS as “incontrovertible facts” are forged. Supposedly most of the photos presented to ICOMOS were taken not in the Julfa cemetery but in Armenian cemeteries situated in the territories of Armenia and Iran. It is absolutely certain beyond a doubt that the photo presented as a general view of Julfa cemetery is forged and a photomontage. As this cemetery was situated on the U.S.S.R.-Iran border, it was forbidden to enter it or take photos except for frontier guards. It is senseless and funny to blame Azerbaijanis for the destruction of buildings and cemeteries in the Middle Ages and other measures carried out in the 1960-1970s along the border territory, which was under the control of the U.S.S.R. State Security Committee.

Falsifying historical facts, Haghnazarian has sent false, slanderous and calumnious information to UNESCO in which he writes that Nakhichevan allegedly was an Armenian region and Julfa (Juga) allegedly an Armenian city, that Shah Abbas I destroyed the city in 1605 and sent its population into exile to Iran to improve trade there.

The name of the populated area of ancient Caucasian Albania, Bikhichevan was “Naksovana” in “Geographical Guidance” by Claudius Ptolemy, who lived in the second century. Scientists of the Arabian Caliphate Al Xvarezmi (780-847) in his “Kitab suret al-ard,” Abdul Abbas Al-Farangi (833-861) in his “Kitab al-semaviyye” and Ak Battani (877-910) in his “Kitab zie as-sabi” called Nakhichevan situated in the territory of Azerbaijan “Nesheva.”

As everybody knows, Armenia lost its independence and became a vassal province of the Roman Empire in 66 B.C., during the governance of Artavaz II. Confirming this fact the Roman author Fest writes in his “Short Content of the History of the Roman People,” “The Armenian Czar was overthrown during the governance of Emperor Trajan: Armenia, Mesopotamia, Assyria and Arabia became provinces.” Armenian historian Movses Xorenatsi, while talking about the events that happened in the first century confirms that the southern border of Albania was the River Araz. The peace treaty concluded in 387 had put an end to the existence of Armenia. Its territory had been divided between Rome and Sassanids. In the Middle Ages there was no independent Armenian state. The Sisakan-sunik Princedom, a part of which was Nakhichevan, became a province of Atropatena in 571 and then a province of Albania again. The territory of Nakhichevan was a part of the Arabian Caliphate in the seventh to ninth centuries, Karakoyunlus and Akkyunlus in the 15th century, Savavids in the 16-17th centuries, the Russian Empire from the 19th century until 1917, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918-1920 and the Azerbaijan S.S.R. in 1920-1991. The Armenian invaders are those who are afraid of these historical truths.

Venerable scholar and researcher Professor Davud Akhundov has long explored steles-xachkars -- memorial monuments that were religious and tumulus symbols in Caucasian Albania in ancient times. He had proven that from the standpoint of the context and symbolism most Julfa xachkars belonged not to Armenians but to Caucasian Albania, the official state religion of which was Christianity. It is absolutely illogical and baseless to blame Azerbaijan for the destruction of Julfa xachkars, which are part of Azerbaijan's cultural heritage. Haghnazarian, who considers all Caucasian Albanian Christian architecture and decorative monuments to be Armenian cultural monuments, is demanding the expulsion of Azerbaijan from UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The world-scale calumnious campaign against Azerbaijan is the official state policy of Armenia today.

We would like to recall the long-established historical truth that not only the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic but also the Caucasian territory had never been the homeland of the Armenians. According to influential Orientalist scientists, the Armenian ethnos was formed at the end of 2,000 B.C., in the upper valleys of the Euphrates. Armenians were relocated in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic by the Russian government in the first part of the 19th century after the Russian-Iran and Russian-Turkey wars. According to the Turkmencay Treaty, concluded in 1828, tens of thousands of Armenians had been removed from Iranian provinces such as Maraga, Xoy, Salmas, Urmiya to Nakhichevan and Garabagh.

Russian historian N. I. Shavrov wrote that from 1828 until 1880 more than 40,000 Armenians had been removed from Iran and settled in Nakhichevan and Garabagh for the purpose of providing the empire's security. This fact was also mentioned in the annual statistics of the Caucasus calendar published in St. Petersburg. The colonial policy of czarism had appreciable impact on the demographical balance in the region. Armenian chauvinists who occupied the territories of the Azerbaijan Republic to justify their aggressive actions declare the most part of our historical and cultural monuments to be their own monuments.

In the 1920s, after the establishment of the Armenian state in Western Azerbaijani territories, Azerbaijanis who were the local population of these territories were forcefully deported from their historic motherland with the help of authorities at first informally, then formally. In these ancient Azerbaijan lands architectural and national hand-fashioned monuments belonging to our nation's cultural heritage -- monuments, tombs, hundreds of decorative gravestones from the Middle Ages -- have been destroyed by Armenian vandals.

In the beginning of the 1990s, Armenian military forces contravening international norms occupied more than 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory and after this occupation Armenian armed forces destroyed our national cultural monuments. In the territory of Shusa city, a historical and architectural reserve, invading vandals destroyed the Ashagi, Yuxari Govharagha, Kocherli and Merdinli mosques, the house-museums of great composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov and world-renowned singer Byulbyul, the palace complex of Xurshudbanu Natevan, the domains of Firudin bey Kocherli and Zohrabbeyovs, the house of poet, artist and scientist Mir Movsum Nevvab, most of the lived-in houses constructed in the national style with characteristic architectural features of the city reserve. At the moment our tangible monuments are being destroyed in the occupied territories. Hundreds of monuments included on the state list have been removed in the occupied territories.

As Azerbaijan's cultural heritage is an important part of the culture of humanity, the protection of the historical and cultural monuments in Azerbaijan is a problem of international importance. Destruction and intentional deterioration of our historical and cultural monuments by Armenian invaders in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is against the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Event of Military Conflicts dated 1992 and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural Heritage and Natural Heritage dated 1972. The scientific and cultural community of our republic demands from UNESCO observance of requirements in international conventions on the protection of cultural heritage. UNESCO should adopt a principled attitude over the Armenian Republic, which breaks international conventions.

Armenian aggressors who in 1992-1993 occupied the Nagorno-Karabakh territory and the Shusa, Lachin, Kelbejar, Agdam, Fizuli, Djabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan regions are currently leveling Nakhichevan. The aggressors ignore international acts and U.N. Security Council decisions and rely on Christian solidarity, on their northern neighbor -- Russia, being their military strategic ally -- as well as on the insignificant and double standards policy of the member states of the U.N. Security Council towards the Karabakh problem. They characterize the fact of Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakhichevan being part of Azerbaijan as “historical injustice.” However, the history of the acts of Armenian chauvinists who made use of political games between big countries led for meaningless purposes and the history of designing the encouragement of bloody conflicts with neighboring peoples are actually the history of injustices.

* Vagif Asadov is chief expert at the Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Ministry's Protection and Utilization of Cultural Monuments.

Vagif Asadov *
May 7, 2006
ISTANBUL - TDN Guest Writer

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42701



Turkey extends condolences to Armenia over accident

Ankara yesterday set aside its deep political differences with neighboring Armenia to extend sympathy over the tragic death of Armenian citizens in a jet crash.

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul sent a message to his Armenian counterpart Vartan Oskanian and expressed sincere condolences to relatives of Armenian citizens killed in the crash, The New Anatolian learned.

Turkey and Armenia do not have diplomatic relations and the two countries are at odds over the Armenian claims of genocide. The Armenian diaspora accuses the Ottoman Empire of deliberately massacring up to 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1919. Turkey stresses that these figures are inflated and says that far fewer Armenians died, due to civil unrest under the conditions of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Ankara suspended its diplomatic relations with Yerevan a decade ago due to Armenian occupation of the Azeri territories of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Turkish sources confirmed to The New Anatolian yesterday that Gul's message of condolence to Oskanian would be sent to Yerevan through diplomatic channels. They didn't provide any more details.

Last year, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to Armenian President Robert Kocharian suggesting putting an end to the dispute over genocide claims through a joint study of Turkish and Armenian scholars. But the Armenian president turned down the suggestion, asking first that Ankara revive diplomatic relations and discuss all issues of concern on an intergovernmental platform. At that time, the messages were sent through the embassies of both countries in neighboring Georgia.

Clash leaves 113 dead

A total of 113 people are dead after an Armenian-owned Airbus plunged into the Black Sea in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

According to the report by RIA Novosti news agency, the A-320 passenger jet, which was flying from Yerevan to an airport servicing the popular Russian resort of Sochi, disappeared from radar screens at 2:15 a.m. local time (Tuesday, 10:15 p.m. GMT).

Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said that the most likely cause of the crash was bad weather -- the Armavia Airlines plane had reportedly been trying to make its second landing attempt in heavy rain -- and an expert with Russia's Air Traffic Organization concurred that poor visibility may have caused the accident.

"These were the actual weather conditions at the moment of the crash: the lowest level of cloud lay at 100 meters, visibility was at four kilometers, and it was raining heavily," the expert said.

Prosecutors ruled out the possibility of a terrorist attack and a representative of the Interior Ministry in the southern Krasnodar Territory said investigators were considering three possibilities.

"We are considering several versions: a mistake made by the pilot, a technical malfunction or a mistake by air traffic controllers," Igor Zhukov of the North Caucasus transport police said.

However, Artyom Movsisyan, the head of Armenia's main civil aviation department, ruled out the possibility of a technical error. He said the A-320 had undergone a complete technical overhaul last month and experts from Sabina Technics had given a positive report on its technical condition shortly before takeoff.

Movsisyan said the plane had been filled with 10 metric tons of fuel and a flight to Sochi lasting less than an hour needed only 3.5 tons.

The New Anatolian / Ankara
http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6077.html



EU’s Poland suggests mediation between Turkey and Armenia

Warsaw conveys to Ankara list of proposals aiming to assist normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia. Turkish govt welcomes Polish offer, which includes mediation between Turkish and Armenian govts, conference on genocide claims with participation of Turkish, Armenian and Polish scholars.

Poland recently offered Ankara its services to act as a mediator between Turkey and Armenia to overcome their differences over genocide claims and to normalize relations, The New Anatolian learned yesterday.

Diplomats said that Warsaw's proposals include the Polish government acting as a mediator between the Turkish and Armenian governments, organizing meetings and conferences between Polish, Turkish and Armenian scholars and further sharing Polish experience in conflict resolution and reconciliation with neighbors.

European Union member Poland is also an important ally to Turkey in NATO. The Polish Parliament's decision in April last year to adopt a resolution backing the Armenian claims of genocide triggered a sharp response from Ankara at the time. Later statements by Polish government officials disassociating themselves from the resolution and further steps by the two countries prioritizing their common foreign policy goals brought relations back to an even keel. Poland has become one of the main supporters of Turkey's EU accession process, and Turkey has offered humanitarian assistance as well as transportation to Polish troops in Iraq.

According to diplomats, Polish Foreign Minister Stefan Meller, during his visit to Ankara two weeks ago, conveyed to his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul a list of proposals including mediation by Poland aimed at a normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia. Foreign Minister Gul reportedly responded positively to Meller's ideas and stressed that Turkey is willing to overcome differences over genocide claims and normalize its relations with Armenia. Gul further said that Ankara's suggestions so far have not received positive response from Yerevan but also added that he is willing to go forward with the Polish proposals if they will facilitate proper grounds for the normalization of relations with Armenia.

Diplomatic sources told TNA yesterday that due to talks of a new coalition government in Poland and the foreign minister handing in his resignation, Ankara now waits for the new government before having more detailed talks on the issue.

AYHAN SIMSEK
ayhansimsek@abhaber.com

ABHaber 02.05.2006 Ankara

http://www.abhaber.com/news_page.asp?id=2542




Would you throw us in prison, if I or Turkish President said "genocide accusations are lies" Turkish FM to French FM

In Sofia, FM Gul discusses Armenian genocide matter with French FM.

At an unofficial meeting of NATO ministers last week in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul touched on the Armenian genocide matter in comments to French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy.

Referring to the drafts of 5 different bills in the French Parliament which propose jail sentences for people denying the Armenian genocide, Gul said to Blazy: "You are planning on giving prison sentences to those who deny the Armenian genocide. But let's say that either I or the President of Turkey make an official visit to France, and that at a press conference there, upon questioning from reporters, we say 'The accusations of genocide are lies. They have no ties to reality.' What would you do, throw us in prison? Would this suit France, a country which is one of the champions of freedom of expression and thought in Europe? So you are essentially giving one side the right to do whatever they want, while you deny the other side the right to express its feelings about lies that are being told about it. This perspective runs contrary to European values."

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/4343384.asp?gid=74



No court decision has been issued about Perincek's ''denial of genocide or crimes against humanity'' Case

ANKARA - No court decision has been issued regarding Turkish Labor Party (IP) leader Dogu Perincek, Swiss Embassy in Ankara announced on Monday.

Embassy executives indicated that the prosecutor dealing with the case has applied to the authorized court, and said that a person is considered innocent until a court rules out the opposite.

There is separation of powers in Switzerland like in Turkey, the executives stated. Therefore, the embassy cannot make any statement about the procedures or contents of the case, they added.

Meanwhile, the file regarding Perincek has been submitted to a local court in Lausanne.

Perincek was detained in Switzerland on July 23rd, 2005 for his remark against the so-called Armenian genocide. He was released after an interrogation.

Under Swiss laws, a person who ''denies genocide or crimes against humanity'' is either fined or sentenced to prison terms.

5/1/2006

http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=121377



To normalize relations with Turkey, Armenia has to look forward and not to use the past as a blockade for the future

PACE President thinks to normalize relations with Turkey Armenia has to look forward and not to use the past as a blockade for the future.

To normalize relations with Turkey Armenia has to "look forward and not to use the past as a blockade for the future and to try to find peaceful solutions," President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Rene van der Linden, said in the exclusive interview with Mediamax.

"The fact that both countries are members of the Council of Europe creates an opportunity that members of Armenian and Turkish parliaments can meet each other, come together and address the problems from both sides. To my mind, if you live in a region and you don't have real open contacts, trade-economic relations, personal, cultural relations, tourism, then you don't serve your country for the future. It's impossible to build a sustainable future in the region where you are isolated from your neighbors. So, I am sure, I said this also when I was in Armenia, that it's in the great interest of Armenia to look forward and not to use the past as a blockade for the future, and to try to find peaceful solutions.

Of course, if you want to find a solution, you will find it. But you can never find a solution that gives you 100%. There is always a compromise. The other side also has its arguments, and if you stick to your arguments, to your feelings only, and you don't try to find a solution and take into account also the other's position, it will be very difficult to find a sustainable, peaceful solution, necessary to build a prosperous future," PACE President said in the exclusive interview with Mediamax.

29.4.2006

Yerevan, April 29. /Mediamax/



Armenian history hotly disputed

Contrary to Armenian allegations, the "Armenian genocide" has never been historically substantiated.

Respected scholar Guenter Lewy, whose latest book is The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: Disputed Genocide, says documents created by the Armenians are an "incomplete historic record and excessive politicization associated with the issue." Professor Justin McCarty also disputes the Armenian-Americans' view.

Powerful Armenian groups are trying to rewrite history by donating to election campaigns and influencing politicians and the media as well.

Yilmaz Erolgac
April 27 2006

South Florida
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news


US Recalls Armenian Envoy for Saying 'Genocide'

United States President George W. Bush recalled the United States Ambassador to Erivan, John Evans, who termed the incidents that occurred during World War I as genocide.

The White House announced in a statement that it nominated United States Ambassador to Dushanbe, Richard Hoagland, as replacement ambassador to the Armenian capital Erivan instead.

State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said Evans will leave his post in Erivan, but offered no explanation as to why ambassador Evans was leaving the three- year position after only two years.

More than 60 deputies from the Armenian lobby in the House of Representatives reacted against the decision in a letter they wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, which cited they are worried about the development and asked for a clarification about Evans’ condition.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), an umbrella organization for radical Armenian institutions in that United States, announced Evans was unseated because he called the Armenian incidents genocide.

By Anadolu News Agency (aa), Washington
May 26, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060526&hn=33440



Turkey gives Armenia 10 Points Not 12 This is Psifocide

Turkey gives Armenia 10 Points Not 12 This is Psifocide



Copyright : Bulent Duzgit /
23 May 2006 Hurriyet Newspaper

Psifos (ψήφος) in Greek means "ballot, vote"
Genos in Greek means "race"

Psifocide is a made up word relating to a "vote" rather than a race as in "genocide"





Turkey needs political determination, persistence, tactics & a good presentation not just pure history for the "Genocide"

The French Parliament has decided to hold the leverage in its hand by delaying a decision on criminalizing denial of the so-called Armenian genocide. Depending on many factors, it may be re-debated this November. That means until this case is completely closed, Turkey has to bow its head to whatever our French friends (!) demand from us. November isn't the exact date. When Paris decides that it's the time, they will discuss it again.

Typical blackmail.

If you lack sufficient political and economical strength, you’re subject to this kind of blackmail all the time. On the other hand, even if you're economically strong, in some cases you still should defend yourself logically, with words everyone can understand.
Since we have no money and no logic, we will always be in trouble, just like sitting on a nail.
I’m sure that after the French Parliament’s delay of the bill, we aren’t going to deal with the Armenian claims until the next bill appears.
Let me remind my readers of a couple of things.

The Armenian genocide claims aren't a purely historical matter. They're a completely political issue. Presenting material supporting your case isn't enough. You also need political determination, persistence, tactics and a good presentation of your thesis. It requires contingency plans, good conduct, etc. What I mean is that this matter has two faces: the first is the study of history, while the other consists of political and PR activities.
There's another, equally important point.

It isn’t solely the job of the Foreign Ministry to deal with the so-called Armenian genocide claims. Research, preparation and organization should also be carried out in support of diplomatic efforts. Collective work should be undertaken from the prime ministerial and even the presidential offices right down to census bureaus of the most remote towns. I don't want to mention the state archives, since I’ve figured out that they will never finish their job. Armenia’s keeping its archives off-limits shouldn’t be used as an excuse for us.

Dividing the issue into two separate categories, historical points and political points, doesn’t mean we should undervalue either. Work on both of them should be carried out side by side.

The last point I'd like mention in this article is about the Armenian and Western worlds' projects about this.
It is 2006. In 2015 it will be the centennial of what they call the Armenian genocide. By that time some of the countries in the world, if not all of them other than Turkey and Azerbaijan, will have recognized the so-called genocide.
The pressure will mount, and the blackmail will be even worse than it is today.
What will Turkey do?

If nine years from now our mentality is the same as it is today, not caring what happens in the future, then as usual we’ll leave the problem for future generations to deal with.

Special note: My two-part article last week entitled "Lesser-known facts about the Armenian genocide claims" got a lot of attention. I received many e-mails. Thanks to everyone who sent them. I'd like to mention an Armenian reader in Canada who called me "a hard-headed Turk.” I thank him as well, because at least he didn’t call me an "empty-headed Turk.”

Recep Guvelioglu

rguvelioglu@thenewanatolian.com
22 May 2006
http://www.thenewanatolian.com/opinion-7232.html



What! Ten points for Armenia?

This week was such a mess and yesterday night was the crème of the whole week. Eurovision song contest 2006 was a near-tragedy for Turkey. Honestly, it was a tragedy. But there is a good news and a bad one. Good news is we just gave 4 points to Greece and they gave a miserable 3 points to us. That means we are still enemies, so my columnist career can survive.

Bad news is, and it is really bad, we gave 10 points to Armenia. Read it: Turkey has given 10 points to Armenia. What is happening? You lazy Turkish viewers, learn something from the holy Armenians, don’t you! No points to Turkey. That is the enemy spirit. Well done boys!

So how come Turks have given 10 points to their troublemaker neighbors? Before analyzing that, I will try to find out the reasons.

First theory is, there are lots of Armenians living in Turkey, but there are no Turks living in Armenia. In the past, two Turks to save Armenian allegations have visited Armenia. One of them attacked, the other one jailed. Actually they were secret Turkish agents to manipulate the voting in Armenia. Our grand national strategy was to accommodate them in Yerivan and let them vote for Turkey during this year’s Eurovision final. But our plan has been disrupted by clever and drunk Armenians.

Second one is, Armenian cell phone users can use Turkish mobile operators, but Turkish cell phone users can not use Armenian operators. Hmm, I have no idea about this theory, but this is the beauty of being a journalist. If you have a reliable source, it becomes news, if you do not have, it becomes newsiction (news+fiction)

The third and the least likely one is, we love Armenians but they hate us. Actually this is the opposite. Armenians need their compassionate love for Turks to unite in the Diasporas or to brainwash their kids with their unilateral view of the history. But we do not need Armenians for defining our national identity. But, they love us such that they build monuments around the world with both our nations name on it: “Armenians & Turks”…. Not reaaally a love…. we only have problems with the verbs on these monuments!

So, what made Turks vote for Armenia! If this was a question in the Turkish secondary schools entrance exam, the likely answers will be : 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1st and 3rd, none of them, all of them. The answer is none of them.

Before writing some more nonsense about the Armenian entry, I would like to say a few words about our song. “Superstar”, the Turkish entry, was not really bad. But it was missing what Sebnem Paker and Sertab Erener’s songs achieved. And that is something about Turkish culture!. I do not expect doner&kebap and baklava there, but at least there should be something related to Turkish music culture. We have a rich culture and we should have made the best out of it.

Now back to subject. This year’s Armenian song and last year’s Greek song were having more Anatolian sounds than the Turkish songs of these years. Last year, the Greek song was popular in Turkey even months after the Eurovision final. Don’t get surprised, if Armenian song repeats that.

Nevertheless, there may be a political voting effect as well. In the last three years (or more) Turkey has given at least one of its big points to Orthodox world. The other one has gone to culturally close friends. (Like Bosnia this year-12 points). But the Anatolian-familiar sound was the dominant effect, I guess.

It is this familiar sound and Turkish people’s good intention -which I lack because I was sleeping during the contest- that awarded 10 points to Armenia. Now reverse the previous sentence and it explains the 0 points that Armenia generously gave to Turkey.

As a result, I am proud of my fellow citizens and not very proud but fine with the Turkish song. Turks has something that most of the world needs now. As (lazy) Turkish viewers demonstrated last night, Turks have the positive attitude and constructive efforts that is nearly extinct in this world. Maybe Turks are not good song writers or performers, but still Turkish people have better intentions to build a peaceful future for the next generations. That is what I was proud of, this morning.

You can send your curses to : barissanli2@gmail.com

21 May 2006, Sunday
JTW Ankara
http://www.turkishweekly.net/baris.php?id=164

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