934) Winner Of Media Battles: Armenia And Diaspora

Nowadays, it can be observed that one of the main weaknesses of Turkish media is to touch upon the subjects that are vitally important for , only when these subjects come to the agenda, and to release them from the public opinion afterwards. One of the fields that this weakness shows up the most is the Armenian question. Every year, on March and April, due to increasing activities of the Armenian Diaspora, Armenian question has been brought to higher ranks in the agenda, rarely to the spots. At this period, besides from some interviews with the experts, analysis of archival documents and some news that have been written annually with almost the same words, there is no clear-cut success of journalism regarding the subject. In the rest of the year, unless there is some attempts for the recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide allegations in some foreign parliaments, Armenian question has been dropped off from the agenda of Turkish visual and printed media. . .

On the other hand, Armenian media perceives continuous preservation of this question on the agenda as a national issue. Both Armenian press and the media organs of the Diaspora continue to publish news on the so-called Armenian genocide. Taking into account contemporary internet technology, these news are presented not only the Armenian public opinion but also to the world public opinion. A natural result of this effort was that the international society hears about the Armenian allegations more than the Turkish thesis based on historical facts; thus increasingly believes the accuracy of these allegations. One of the main reasons of the recent acceptance of the Armenian allegations in European and American public opinions is the activities of the Armenian media.

For almost two years, in the Research Institute for Crimes Against Humanity, a daily bulletin has been prepared including the Turkish and English news on Armenian genocide allegations, bilateral relations between and and Karabagh question. Recently, to this daily bulletin, news regarding crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes has been added as well. Being an outcome of a detailed research, this bulletin is unique in its field in . The aim of it is to make the Turkish and international public opinion follow the developments regarding the aforementioned subjects and thereby to contribute better understanding of the Armenian question.

Nevertheless, the process of bulletin-making has been very difficult except March and April. The reason is rare emergence of detailed and persuasive news about Armenian question in the Turkish press. Even, there is almost nothing regarding the Karabagh question. However, when the bulletins prepared by the Armenian press agencies are examined, it can easily be seen that there are many news and interviews regarding Turkish-Armenian relations as well as the Karabagh question. Those, who have examined the daily bulletin published in the website of our Institute, would admit that, although generally being subjective and one-sided, news in English are better in terms of both quality and quantity.

All in all, although Armenian question is one of the most important foreign policy issues of , unfortunately, Turkish press has not paid enough attention to this subject. If we liken the debates regarding Armenian question to a war, the winner of the media battles within this war is clearly and the Armenian Diaspora. What should be done is announcing every new academic research and current developments regarding this subject to both Turkish and international public opinion regularly, not only in some months of the year. Accurate and objective informationalization of the people, which would contribute much to the solution of the Armenian question, could only be achieved by this way.

Comment: M. Serdar PALABIYIK
16 August 2006


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