18 September 2006

1017) Turkish Tour Guides Set Armenians Straight

"Why are there more open and operating Armenian churches in Turkey today than there are open and operating Armenian churches in Armenia? Why for example are there no operating and open mosques allowed to function in Armenia today?"

Devoted Baptist and Christian Scholar Sam Weems, in a 2002 letter to Rev. John Hagee; Weems had produced a Christian video at the time ("The Seven Churches Of Revelation"), and conducted extraordinary religious research. Elsewhere, Weems declared: "[T]here are more Armenian churches in Muslim Turkey than there are Armenian Christian churches in Christian Armenia."

One facet of Armenian propaganda is to tell us Armenian churches are being destroyed in Turkey. I've often wondered why Turkey would select these times to destroy such churches after allowing them to stand all of these many years, with practically no Armenian community to make use of them. By the same token, it's also curious why bigoted westerners who are quick to take up this particular cry never ask why there are no mosques to speak of in Armenia, when not all that long ago, Muslims had comprised a significant percentage. (A recent CIA Fact Book tells us Armenia is now some 98% "pure." Wonder what happened to all those Muslims?)

The Letters section of TAT has been neglected, but recently I received a gracious letter from a Turkish tour guide shedding light on this "destruction of Armenian churches" phenomenon. (The rest isn't related, but the letter was so charming, it deserved to be put up in its entirety.)

Another letter from a Turkish tour guide coincidentally followed in my mail box, and while it had no bearing to the church matter, I couldn't resist tacking it on... if only to acknowledge the patriotism of Turkish tour guides.

(26 May 2006)

Turkiyeden selamlar ve sonsuz tesekkurler,

I am just informed about your web-page and tried to read as much as I can. I do not know how to say thank you with all the excellent works and studies you have done. I will always use your informations when I needed.. I am a Professional Tour guide in English so I guide English speaking tourists mainly from USA, Canada, England. I am often asked about the "Armenian genocide" My answer will start by saying this is a big lie the true information is must be as "Turkish Genocide" done by Armenians.

The whole world EU counties, USA have passed legislation accusing Turks of genoside. France just stopped the vote last week I beleive. Turkish Goverment must take action against France we must go to court and must sue France for this big lie because the french historions and some scholars are againist the french goverment they say thats is a lie we must get all these people to on our side. I am sure you have written those sensible french historians. I love to write them as well. I have tried to send an e-mail to frnech goverment with no luck the mail is returned.

All the big liars know that the turks are not a killer .All the Ottoman documents are permitted to find the thrurt but those terrorist mineded Armenians including Hirant Dink are not brave to find out the their lies. We know them very well they are also supported by idiot Turkish people too and I hate more those turks more than Terorist Armenians. They are many here in Turkey.

I forward your web address to all my firends who can read English will learn a lot. I do not know what must I do let every one infrom about your pweb-page. I am going to forwad your web page to CUMHURIYET newspaper reades have organisation we call CUMOK. I hope they will publish all your writtngs and your opinions for the Turkish people. We must read your book every one all the teachers, Students, professionals every single Turkish in Turkey. We must translate your book and your entire web page must be traslated as turkish for those who does not know how to read in English.

I hope that one day my organization will invite you lecture for all the Professional Turist guides to be informative. Every tour guide is being asked about this big lie here in Turkey. This year some political party members are gone to Germany to protest in Germany last feb. or March 2006.

Relevant Part Coming Up..!

I would like to share my experience with you regarding a grp of American representatives who were here 7 years ago I had guided them as an officilal visitors they were all met and welcomed by high rank city officilals such as Governners, Mayors in the easteren Turkey. There was a man among the representative always trying to blame turks that we do not take care of the Armenian Churches in easteren Turkey all the churches are ruined especially in Kars on the border of Armenia he kept blaming and I was trying to be professioinal and hosptable towards him. He never lkistened and belived what I have said to him about the these churcehs in Kars.

We were in Kars and went to visit ANI Armenian site out side Kars. This site almost on the Armenian border the border is a small river between the two country, Turkey and Armenia, We have visited many old Armenian churches there that man was blaming me I was about the loose my patient I told him the true story he did not beleive. The story was that The Armeians just opposite to Ani were digging stone Quarry with lots of explossions that was collapsing the old churches. We Turkish people warn Armenia about the damage they paid no attention they were damaging on purpuse,

The damages are made by armeinans were not excepted by represantatives while we were visiting they have made a big explossion againg and the churche that we were in one second ago just collapsed we were luck at that moment. The Armenians destroyed those representatives witnessed while we were still there my anwers were proved by Thanks God we had just got out of the church which was collopssed the idiot Armenian was begging me to forgive him that he did not belive me. They will one end up seeing their lies on their own I hope.

I think you are the strongest person againist Armenians to show them their big lie we must do the same as you do. This must be a big task every turk in this World. We must be so alert aware about the matter.

Unfortuanatley we Turkish citizens are not that informed about the matter. We do not even know the the answer for Armenians.

We have a documental book written By Turgut Ozakman with title "The Crazy Turks" the story of World War I Gallipoli and Independence War between 1919-1922. The book was first published april 2006 I read 60th published in Sept.2006 Mr.Turgut Ozakman came to Izmir for a lecture I had his signature in my book.

The last published figure for the same book now may be 350th one. People are reading this book. Your book must be read the same way in Turkish.

I am so pleased and proud of you with all the work you have done for Turks are incredible. Thanks a million on my behalf as well on Turkish people behalf who do not know you.

You are our hero and the bravest turk we must learn from you so much.

I just hope one day will get you here in Izmir to lecture all the tour guides this is very impotant for us. I love to contact you regarding Armenian lie some time when I guide special tours regading the Warld War 1 Gallipoli War. I will sent e-mail to those special tour grps who asked the quetion of the Armenian lie.

Thank a Million.
With Kindest regards from land of Peace and Tolerance with hospitable Turkish people
Fatma Acar
Profesional Tour guide in English

And thank you, Fatma!

When I read Fatma's letter, I was greatly helped by my knowledge of Armenia's having engaged in these deafening blasts for the longest time. What a horrible neighbor! Imagine living "next door" to someone who has no consideration whatsoever for your peace of mind, by having their stereo on full blast... making all the glasses and dishes rattle in your kitchen. And since you can't call the police, what can you do? What the Turks have traditionally done... take the high road, and grin and bear it when their adorable Armenian and Greek neighbors constantly get into their latest round of mischief.

Yet it all fell into place. These inconsiderate explosions have been a matter of record for a good while, and it was easy to connect the dots. How very ironic that this inexplicable "sudden" damage to Armenian churches of late would be caused by the Armenians themselves. And, as usual, when Armenians do the harm, the Turks get the blame.

I realized afterwards this topic had already been covered in TAT, albeit under a different theme (the fanaticism of Armenian critics). Please tune in here to read a 2001 Los Angeles Times article that I see has also been reproduced in ANCA's site. ("As a Rare Cathedral Crumbles, Two Rival Nations Point Fingers.") When the Armenians had their turn to explain the goings-on, in the person of Gagik Gurjan, we were told Turkey was using the situation for "political ends," and that because of a gorge, there was no way the shock waves would be reaching Turkish territory and "in any way affect any building or monument."

His dreadful lie was exposed when "In an embarrassment for the Armenian government, an ear-splitting explosion rocked the site in mid-June just as a group of Armenian Americans had gathered to pray at the cathedral. They were part of a 150-member group of Armenian Americans on a pilgrimage through Turkey to retrace the steps of St. Gregory."

Because these pilgrims and the Armenian Patriarch in Turkey complained, the blasts stopped. Gurjan defiantly explained (as paraphrased), "it wasn't because of complaints from Turkey... but because workers [were] now using different quarrying methods." (He was right, actually; complaints from Turkey had been ongoing and had no effect. The Armenians probably deliberately kept at their game just to keep getting the Turks' goat. Once other Armenians started complaining, however, these boors in the Armenian government switched tracks.)

A site called "www.virtualani.org/quarry/index.htm" sheds good light on this episode. A Hurriyet article quotes a nearby resident as saying these awful explosions had been going "three to five times a day" for ten years, since 1991. ("Sometimes the earth shakes. House windows rattle. All the family can feel it. Because of this dynamiting these historical monuments are being destroyed.") What a horribly inconsiderate neighbor!

And how did evidently Hrant Dink (editor of the Armenian-Turkish publication AGOS) whom Fatma referred to, respond (in June 2001)?

"[D]o Turks have a right to speak, did they make any effort for preserving any Armenian Church in their territory, didn't they close their eyes when the churches were turning into ruins?"

There's a huge difference between neglecting maintenance on structures (no doubt a problem throughout the cash-strapped nation; it's not as though the Armenian churches would have been singled out), and insuring their destruction in a small span of time. (Just a little more indirectly than the way the Taliban criminally destroyed the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan.) Ahhh, that rinky Dink Dink.

Tour Guide Story Number Two

Dear Holdwater,
As being a Turkish guide who mostly works with Americans, I wanted to pass my best wishes and thanks to you for designing and building up a web site about proving that we Turks are not barbarians.

In the recent history, we had suffered a lot because of Midnight Express, Fake Armenian Genocide, Cypruss, Kurdish Terrorist Group, The Aegean and so many other things.

I had composed more than 150 trips to the Eastern and Southeastern part of Turkey and I think anyone who is talking about Armenian genocide should see this part of my country. Last year I had taken two American Armenian families to this part of the country and I did a great job as a guide. At the end of the trip, while I was leaving them to Georgian border, they were not believing in this genocide thing. They still keep in touch with me. That is how I found you, they told me about you. We have almost 4 museums in some small towns about Turkish genocide. Almost half million Turks who had been killed by Armenian gangs from 1914 till 1915. We do have all pictures, documents, and some other remaining. If you happen to need any article or anything from that museums, I am all ready to find a way to send them to you.

On the other hand, I will be glad to take you to that part of the country and show you there. This is an offer and I am ready to do it as complimentary for you.

Thanks for millions to carry the flag of Turks USA. Thanks for millions for being the eyes and hands of Turks.
Kind Regards,
Edip Ozcan Arslan

And how do you like that. Edip actually caused some Armenian-Americans to come around with their genocide beliefs. That must have been a first.

More and more honorable Armenians will see through the terrible road of deceit the Dashnaks have put the Armenian people through. Let's hope some will begin to have the courage to start speaking out, and begin the journey to override this mindless hatred most Armenians have been subjected to... and to discover the power of love and reconciliation.

----------------------------------------------------
© Holdwater
The source site of this article gets revised often, as better
information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, and
the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing
the direct link as follows:

www.tallarmeniantale.com/tourguides.htm
-----------------------------------------------------



Source: www.virtualani.org/quarry/index.htm
THE QUARRY OPPOSITE ANI
Armenia Turns The Landscape Around Ani Into A Wasteland


A stone quarry has existed in Armenia about mile or so from the ruins of the medieval city of Ani since at least the early 1990s. Because of its distance from the ruins and the slow rate of stone extraction, this quarry made little impact on Ani beyond being a minor disfigurement on the landscape.

During the Soviet period the city of Yerevan, Armenia's capital, expanded rapidly but very few churches were built. The year 2001 marked the 1700th anniversary of the traditional date of king Trdat's conversion to Christianity by Saint Gregory and the foundation of the Armenian Apostolic Church. To coincide with that anniversary the Armenian Church authorities decided to construct a new cathedral for Yerevan dedicated to Saint Gregory the Illuminator.

To finance the substantial construction costs foreign sponsors were needed. In order to make the project appear more enticing it was decided to symbolically clad the church in stone taken from the vicinity of Ani. The stone was to be taken from as close to the actual historic site as possible, ignoring the inevitable damage to Ani that such a process would cause. The tactic was successful, with the main sponsor of the construction emerging as Louise Simone Manoogian, the chairperson of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).

Preparatory work on opening the new quarry started in 1999. Observers from the Turkish side at first misinterpreted the work as the construction of a viewing area for people in Armenia to look over at Ani. By the summer of 2000 full-scale quarrying had begun. By 2001 the quarry had been expanded to include four separate extraction points, all of them only 400 metres from the edge of the Ani historical site.

What Damage Has Been Caused?
The quarrying has irreparably blighted the once idyllic landscape around Ani. The Armenian side of the border now resembles an industrial scene and large sections of the hillsides directly opposite Ani have been removed. Along with the obvious visual disfigurement, noise pollution from the trucks and machinery associated with the stone extraction fills the air.

For two years blasting explosions occurred several times a day within the quarry (often with multiple explosions within each blasting operation). The use of explosives to extract stone for cladding is not a normal quarrying method because most of the brittle basalt stone will be damaged and unusable for the intended purpose. It is probable that explosives were used simply to save time because the construction of the Yerevan cathedral was behind schedule.

The risk of structural damage to Ani's fragile historic monuments caused by these powerful explosions was obvious. During each explosion the buildings in Ani actually shook, with trickles of dust descending from their ceilings. The 1988 earthquake collapsed the northeast corner of the Ani cathedral and created a deep crack in the southwest corner, damaging the structural integrity of the entire west facade. In recent years, most probably due to the effects of the quarry blasting, the upper half of the west facade has started to lean noticeably out from its original vertical position and there is a real risk of the complete collapse of the whole west facade of the cathedral.

Actions Taken Against The Quarry
No protests against the quarry originated in Armenia or from the Armenian diaspora. On the ground the Turkish military was extremely annoyed about the explosions, but this was mainly because it was seen as a breach of the border treaty. It was from those with an interest in the actual monuments (the Turkish and French archaeologists working at Ani) that a response to stop the quarrying seems to have emerged.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation) is an international body responsible for the legal protection of cultural heritage. In December 2000 the Turkish permanent representative at UNESCO sent a letter of complaint regarding the Ani quarry to UNESCO's deputy head of Cultural Issues, who then forwarded a duplicate of the letter to the Armenian foreign affairs ministry. The head of that ministry, Vartan Oskanian, who was also the chairman of the Armenian National Commission for UNESCO, later said that he requested that Armenian trade and industry minister Karen Chshmaritian look into the matter.

Nothing further appears to have happened until the story broke in the Turkish media as a result of an article in the Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet on the 8th of May 2001 with the title "Taliban Kafasi" ("They Act Like The Taliban"). An English summary of that Hurriyet article, plus a selection of the media responses to it, can be found later in this page.

As a result of the publicity generated by the Hurriyet article, partisan media within Armenia and the Armenian diaspora immediately dismissed concerns about the damage the explosions were causing as mere "accusations" and "anti-Armenian hysteria". Politicians in Armenia attacked Turkey for deciding to "apply to international bodies before approaching Armenia". Given that Turkey currently has few diplomatic ties with Armenia, and that Ani is an historical site recognised by UNESCO, it is hard to envisage a more appropriate route that could have been taken. It is also worth noting that it was six months before Turkish media made the existence of the complaint to UNESCO public - hardly a case of "anti-Armenian hysteria".

Some western media organisations also reported the story. When the Los Angeles Times published an article on the quarry Armenian lobbying groups in America (such as the Armenian National Committee of America) organised the sending of protest letters to the publisher. Other Armenian groups, calling the quarry a "completely invented notion", actually organised protest demonstrations outside the publisher's offices and demanded the dismissal of the journalist responsible for writing the article!

The Current Situation
As a result of the publicity generated by the Hurriyet article Chshmaritian, Armenia's trade and industry minister, stated that UNESCO had been told earlier that blasting would stop by May 31st 2001. This proved to be false and blasting continuing throughout June and into July.

The explosions were eventually halted at the end of July 2001 when enough stone had been extracted to complete the Yerevan cathedral. The cathedral was opened at the end of 2001. However, the quarry was not closed and stone quarrying still continues. Alternative extraction methods that involve only the occasional use of explosives are now used, but as each month passes the environmental damage grows as the area of quarrying expands. In 2002 a fifth quarry was opened - directly opposite the monastry of Horomos.

Placing a quarry so close to Ani indicates that those individuals responsible for it had no concern for the Ani monuments - for this reason it is pointless to expect a concern for Ani's preservation to limit their behaviour in the future. However, the angry response to publicity about the quarry has shown that Armenia was acutely embarrassed about that publicity so it is possible that pressure put on the Armenian government might result in the closure of the quarry. Even if the final outcome is positive, it is unlikely that anything can now be done to restore the scarred environment. In future years it is the blighted landscape around Ani, and not the Yerevan cathedral, that should be seen as Louise Manoogian's principal memorial and legacy to Armenia.

A Selection of Media Reports about the Ani Stone Quarry Reproduced here for archival purposes.
Hurriyet,
Istanbul, 8th May 2001
TALIBAN KAFASI
The article's title is a reference to the destructon of Buhdist monuments in Afghanistan. The full article in Turkish can be read here. The following is an approximate English translation of its most important sections.

TALIBAN KAFASI (They Act Like The Taliban)
"At the border, near the Ani ruins, Armenia has made a stone quarry. Ani which is a protected site is in danger of collapse due to earth tremors because of the Armenian explosions. The Cathedral, dating from 967 and the Church of Tigran Honents, from 1215, have become cracked and masonry has started to fall down.

Ani is located near Kars on the border with Armenia, and it suffers from unpublicised Armenian aggression. Everyday the Armenians explode dynamite which causes artificial earthquakes. The Ani ruins, which date from the 9th and 10th century and which are near the Arpacay river, are cracking from hundreds of dynamite explosions. People from this region are angry because of the hundreds of explosions, and say that both they and Ani have to live with 3 to 5 earth tremors made by the Armenians everyday."

"It has been going on for 10 years"
"36 year old Mehmed Kara, from Ocakli village which is near the Ani ruins, has for the last 10 years lived with these dynamite explosions. He said that the Armenian stone quarry was formerly located 1km from Ani and they could see it from their village. Now it is much closer than before. "Three to five time a day we can hear the dynamite explosions. Not only us, but Esenkent village, 5km from here, and Arasoglu village, 4km from here, can also hear it". Sometimes the earth shakes. House windows rattle. All the family can feel it. Because of this dynamiting these historical monuments are being destroyed."

The article then continues with a distorted version of Ani's history, then a fictional and overtly racist tale about an Armenian King of Ani, "Hairy Ohan", ravishing Muslim brides on their wedding night. It ends with:

"A UNESCO matter"
"The Armenian stone quarry with its dynamite explosions should be stopped. On the 25.04.2001 UNESCO sent to the Turkish Ministry a petition in which they wanted to start reconstruction work. This have been done since 1995 by Baran Building Turizm Enterprise and Commercial Ltd., supervised by architect Mehmet Tuvel. The problem of the dynamite explosions and the destruction of Ani was brought up in a petition from May 1999. On 27.05.1999 the Ministry of Culture via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs again tried to solve this problem. A petition stated that from the start of the dynamite explosions till today the Cathedral, the Tigran Honents church (Boyali Kilise), the city-wall, and the Minuchihr Mosque have all been damaged."

Asbarez Online (www.asbarez.com),
Yerevan, 15th May 2001
ARMENIA RESPONDS TO TURKISH ACCUSATIONS REGARDING DESTRUCTION OF RUINS OF ANI
An article published in the Turkish Hurriet newspaper on May 8 accused Armenia of deliberately destroying the ruins of Ani by means of explosions in the stone quarries near the Armenian-Turkish border. That article was part of the anti-Armenian hysteria raised in Turkey, Secretary General of the National Commission of Armenia for UNESCO Affairs to the Foreign Ministry of Armenia Varduhi Asaturian said. She further noted that blasting operations ceased a month ago.

A statement released by the Armenian foreign ministry, mentions a message that was sent by Turkey's permanent representative to UNESCO on December 18 of last year. Turkey filed a complaint with UNESCO, accusing Armenia of deliberately destroying the ruins of Ani by means of explosions in the mines located 600 meters from the Turkish border. The letter claimed that the explosions are causing damage to the Ani Cathedral, another church, and a mosque.

UNESCO forwarded the letter to the Armenian government, requesting a review of the matter. Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian sent a letter to Industry and Trade Minister Karen Chshmaritian, requesting him to take appropriate measures.

The blasting operations were stopped in case damage was actually being caused to the medieval Armenian capital of Ani, which is treasured by all Armenians. Chshmaritian has stated that the mining will resume till May 31 so that the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan can be completed.

The foreign ministry statement says Armenia understands and agrees with the concerns raised by Turkey. However, the Armenian side does not have the slightest intention of damaging the ruins of Ani. The fact that the Turks chose to apply to international bodies before approaching Armenia is an indication of Turkish efforts to politicize the issue, rather than deal with the actual problem of preserving the landmarks, says the statement.

The Turkish government's concern for historic Armenian landmarks located on its territory is inconsistent with the decades-long official Turkish state policy of intentionally destroying or converting these landmarks into Turkish monuments.

An article in the Turkish-Armenian magazine Agos in June 2001 mentioned the Ani quarry in passing.

The text says that the previous issue of the same magazine contained an article about the quarry - however, I do not have a copy of it. The June 2001 article began with:

It is already seven years that the Turkish-language (with two pages in Armenian) Agos weekly is being published in Istanbul. In contrary to two Armenian-language dailies published in Istanbul - Jamanak and Marmara, Agos pursues a goal to somehow tie Istanbul-Armenians with those Armenians who don't speak Armenian. We met Agos editor-in-chief Hrant Dink in the editorial office of the newspaper.

At the very end of the story is the following:

Question: People say that Turkey also carried out a cultural genocide, hundreds of Armenian cultural monuments were destroyed in Turkey. Does Agos write about it?
Answer: Here is the last issue of our paper, where I wrote how Ani's walls were destroyed when quarries were being exploded in Armenia. Turkish press wrote about it. I wrote that "do Turks have a right to speak, did they make any effort for preserving any Armenian Church in their territory, didn't they close their eyes when the churches were turning into ruins?"
Tatoul Hagopian

Armenian International Magazine,
June 2001
A small paragraph mentioning the quarry, the complaint to UNESCO, and Armenia's response to it, appeared on page 16 of the June 2001 issue of AIM. A photograph of the actual blasting accompanied the article.

The Armenian settlement of Ani Bemza sits just 150 yards across the Akhurian River from the ancient capital of Ani, just inside the Turkish border. In the ancient Armenian Ani, 1000-year-old churches stand in ruins, and are collapsing quickly, according to the Turkish government, which complained to UNESCO that Armenians were dynamiting stone quarries on the Armenian side, just so they could damage the ancient churches on the Turkish side. The Armenian Foreign Ministry wondered why Turkey had not expressed its concerns to Armenia directly. It had also said that all blasts would seize by May 31st. Ironically, Ejmiatsin is using the stones from the Ani quarries to complete the construction of the new St. Gregory Cathedral in Yerevan.

Anadolu Agency: News In English,
15th July 2001
TURKEY TO TAKE MEASURES TO PROTECT ANI RUINS
KARS - Environment Minister Fevzi Aytekin said on Saturday that Armenia was destroying the Ani Ruins on the Turkish Armenian border by exploding dynamites at the stone quarry close to the border and underlined that Turkey would take measures to stop the explosions.

Aytekin went to Digor township of the eastern province of Kars which recently suffered a flood and also visited Brigade Commander Cihangir Aksit and Kars Mayor Naif Alibeyoglu on Saturday.

Aytekin later visited the ancient city of Ani which is composed of historical ruins belonging to Turks, Georgians, Armenians and a number of other civilizations.

"Armenians are destroying these ruins which belong to the whole world by exploding dynamites at the stone quarry. I will discuss the matter with the Culture Minister as soon as I return to Ankara. The government will take certain measures to stop the explosions," he said.

Los Angeles Times,
30th August 2001
AS A RARE CATHEDRAL CRUMBLES, TWO RIVAL NATIONS POINT FINGERS: Turks blame Armenian quarry blasts for damaging church in Ani. The dispute is but one legacy of the countries' bloody, bitter history.
By Amberin Zaman

ANI, Turkey -- Towering above a bleak, wind-swept plateau near Turkey's border with Armenia, the red stone cathedral of Ani has defied wars, earthquakes and time.

But today, one of the holiest sites of Armenian Christian Orthodoxy is facing what an archeologist here calls the biggest threat of its millennium-old existence: dynamite blasts from four stone quarries less than a quarter of a mile away in Armenian territory.

The stone, ironically, is being mined to build a Christian Orthodox cathedral in Yerevan, the Armenian capital, that will look similar to the one in Ani. Turkish officials say the deafening explosions have shaken the area for two years despite their pleas to Armenia for the quarrying to stop. The United States, France and the United Nations have backed Turkey's appeal.

"Not only the cathedral but most of the monuments here will soon collapse," said Beyhan Karamaragli, a Turkish archeologist who has been leading excavations here since 1988. "This is cultural genocide."

Genocide is a particularly loaded word here. Armenians often use it to describe how they say the Ottoman Turks killed 1.5 million Armenians during World War I. Turkish officials today acknowledge that as many as 600,000 Armenians died but portray them as victims of civil disorders, exposure and starvation as they fled southward to escape the conflict.

The dispute over those deaths still stands in the way of diplomatic and trade relations between Armenia and Turkey, as does Armenia's continued occupation of territory claimed by Turkey's closest regional ally, Azerbaijan.

Gagik Gurjan, head of the cultural heritage department of the Armenian Culture Ministry, said geologists at the quarries had been consulted and that they had reported that the quarrying of stone there could not be damaging the cathedral in Ani.

"I think some people in Turkey are using this situation for political ends," he said. "If the Turks hadn't destroyed these monuments themselves over the centuries, they would have nothing to complain about now."

"What's more," he added, "there is a gorge between them, and the shock waves from the explosions could not reach or in any way affect any building or monument in Ani."

Trying to break the ice, retired diplomats and academics from Turkey and Armenia have set up a commission to promote cooperation in educational and cultural projects. At their first meeting last month, in Geneva, they reportedly discussed a joint effort to preserve the ruins of this walled medieval town.

Until the early decades of the 20th century, at least 2 million Armenians are believed to have lived in Turkey, mostly in the east. Today, about 60,000 Armenians remain in Turkey; most of them live in Istanbul.

Nowhere are traces of the Anatolia region's Armenian heritage more visible than in Ani, 27 miles northeast of the Turkish town of Kars.

Ani rises above the emerald green waters of the Arpa River, which separates Turkey from Armenia. Stubby pillars that once supported a 14th century stone bridge between the two countries remain as a symbol of the neighbors' stormy ties.

Armenians and Turks tell different versions of Ani's history.

Turkish historians insist that Ani holds greater significance for Turkey because it was one of the first Anatolian cities to be conquered by the Seljuk Turks when they swept in from Central Asia in the early 11th century. Armenian rule, they say, did not last more than 50 to 70 years before defeat by the Seljuks.

According to Armenian accounts, Ani was ruled for much of its history by a succession of Armenian kings, and it was their capital for at least two centuries. In the 10th century, Ani was glorified by the Armenians as "the city of a thousand and one churches," with the cathedral as its centerpiece.

"If so, why are they [Armenians] willfully destroying it now?" asked Karamaragli, pointing to a 30-foot-long crack in the southwest corner of the cathedral, which she says widens with the tremors from the quarries.

The septuagenarian archeologist says she has records of every blast and every crack and hole resulting from each explosion. The nearby Menucehr, the oldest Seljuk mosque in the region, has suffered some of the worst damage.

In this earthquake-weary country, residents of the neighboring village of Ocakli often mistake the tremors for quakes. "Our children are terrorized. Our cows have stopped producing milk," said Muhammad Sevcan, a local farmer.

In an embarrassment for the Armenian government, an ear-splitting explosion rocked the site in mid-June just as a group of Armenian Americans had gathered to pray at the cathedral. They were part of a 150-member group of Armenian Americans on a pilgrimage through Turkey to retrace the steps of St. Gregory. "They were terrified- they thought it was a bomb" recalled Mehmet Kinacioglu, a Turkish tourist who was present. Pilgrims reportedly sent letters of complaint to the Armenian government. So did the Istanbul-based Armenian patriarch, Mesrob II. No explosions have been heard here since mid-July.

NB: the above part of the article is false and seems to have originated in a Turkish newspaper (possibly "Sabah") published several days after the pilgrimage event. No explosions took place during the two hours that the American Armenians spent at Ani. Nor, to my knowledge, did they make any complaints about the quarry to Yerevan - though the priest that accompanied them was asked to (by me).

Turkish officials, though, say they doubt that the respite will last long. They point to a May 5 report from Russia's Interfax news agency quoting an Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the quarrying would stop by the end of that month. "In June, the explosions were continuing," said a senior Turkish diplomat, "so who is to say they will not resume again?" Gurjan, the Armenian official, said the blasts have stopped. But it wasn't because of complaints from Turkey, he said, but because workers are now using different quarrying methods.

* Staff writer Robyn Dixon in The Times' Moscow Bureau contributed to this report.

Interfax News Agency,
Yerevan, 12th May 2001
ARMENIA AGREES TO HALT BLASTING OPERATIONS THREATENING MONUMENTS IN TURKEY
Armenia has agreed to abide by UNESCO recommendations and halt blasting operations in a stone pit on the border with Turkey.

Earlier, Turkey lodged a request with UNESCO to urge Armenia to halt these blasts.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry has told Interfax, quoting the request, that the demolition endangers historical monuments in the old Armenian town of Ani situated on the territory of contemporary Turkey.

A ministry spokesman warned Turkey "not to speculate on such issues any longer by sending letters to international organizations, but to get in touch directly with Yerevan instead."
"We, for our part, will do all we can to preserve these monuments, since it is in our interest to do so," the spokesman added.

Snark News Agency,
Yerevan, 15th May 2001
HISTORICAL MONUMENTS OF ANI ENDANGERED BECAUSE OF CONSTRUCTION OF ST. GRIKOR CATHEDRAL
The blasting operations in quarries on the Armeno-Turkish border, endangering the historical monuments of the ancient Armenian capital, Ani (in the territory of modern Turkey), can't be stopped till the end of the month, the head of the UNESCO department of the foreign ministry, Vardui Asatouryun, told SNARK, referring to the ministry of industry and trade of Armenia, Karen Tchshmarityan.

The works should be continued as materials are needed for the construction of the St Grikor Lusavorich Cathedral in Yerevan.

Earlier, the Turkish authorities asked the UNESCO to pressure Armenia into stopping the blasting operations over the section.

UNESCO re-sent the message to the foreign ministry of Armenia, which agreed with Turkey on the matter. But the industry and trade ministry of Armenia "giving an understanding to the problem" said it has to continue the works.

Armenpress, Yerevan,
16th May 2001
THE CITY OF ANI TOO DEAR TO ARMENIANS
The Turkish Hurriyet daily has recently expressed some concerns over the explosions, carried out by Armenia in stone quarries located on the other side of the border. The Turkish paper claimed the explosions were damaging the mediaeval city of Ani, which was by the way the capital of the Armenian kingdom of Bagratuni.

The Armenian press has also commented on these explosions providing some explanations. In response to these rumors the Armenian foreign affairs ministry's UNESCO department spread an announcement, which runs as follows: "The Turkish permanent representative in UNESCO sent a letter of complaints to the UNESCO deputy head of culture issues, expressing protest against the explosions realized in Armenia at a distance of 600 meters from the city of Ani. The letter claimed that the explosions were damaging the churches and a mosque in Ani. A duplicate of the letter was sent by the UNESCO leadership to the Armenian foreign affairs ministry, asking to discuss the issue. Armenia's foreign minister Vartan Oskanian addressed the trade and industry minister Karen Chshmaritian asking to stop explosions, stressing the importance of the Armenian medieval capital for all the Armenians.

In response to Vartan Oskanian's letter, Mr. Chshmariatian said that the explosions will continue till May 31 to provide stones for the construction of Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan". Accepting the protest of the Turkish side, the UNESCO department of the ministry of foreign affairs announced that Armenia has never meant to damage Ani, the unique Armenian cultural monument. The Armenian side is also displeased with the fact that Turkey addressed international structures instead of addressing Armenia directly.

GAMK (a French-Armenian magazine),
17th May 2001
LE MONDE À L'ENVERS...
Après avoir, des décennies durant, laissé se dégrader le site d'Ani, accélérant même parfois à coup de canons, les ravages du temps, la Turquie accuse aujourd'hui l'Arménie d'endommager les ruines de la capitale médiévale arménienne, dont on a célébré le millénaire, notamment par une exposition à Paris!

Un article paru dans l'édition du 8 mai du journal turc Hurriyet accuse ainsi l'Arménie de détruire délibérément les ruines d'Ani en déclenchant des explosions dans les carrières de pierre à quelques centaines de mètres du site archéologique, du côté arménien de la frontière, marquée par le fleuve Akhourian. Le représentant permanent de la Turquie à l'UNESCO aurait envoyé un message à ce sujet le 18 décembre 2000 à la direction de l'agence onusienne chargée de la protection du patrimoine mondial, l'avisant des dommages causés par ces explosions délibérées à la célèbre cathédrale d'Ani, à une autre église, et à une mosquée. L'UNESCO avait alors fait part de ce courrier aux autorités arméniennes en demandant des explications à ce sujet, rapporte le ministère arménien des affaires étrangères qui s'est emparé de l'affaire. A la suite de quoi, le ministre arménien des affaires étrangères Vartan Oskanian a adressé une lettre au ministre arménien de l'industrie et du commerce Karen Chchmaritian, lui demandant de prendre des mesures s'il y a lieu. Le ministre répondra que les explosions, qui on d'ailleurs cessé depuis un mois, pourraient se poursuivre jusqu'au 31 mai prochain, les pierres servant à la construction de la nouvelle cathédrale Saint Grégoire l'illuminateur à l'occasion du jubilé du 1700e anniversaire de la conversion de l'Arménie au christianisme, étant extraites de cette carrière. Le gouvernement arménien a bien sûr ajouté que l'Arménie n'avait aucunement l'intention d'endommager le site d'Ani, dont elle lutte au contraire pour la préservation, délibérément négligée par les gouvernements turcs successifs. Il constate que le fait que la Turquie ait sollicité l'UNESCO dans cette affaire sans aviser directement l'Arménie témoignait de sa volonté de politiser la question.

G.ULUBEYAN

Turkish Daily News,
10th July 2001
ARMENIANS DESTROYING TURKISH SITES: STONE QUARRIES THREATEN ANI RUINS IN KARS
The "Turkish Daily News" is an English-language newspaper published in Ankara, Turkey.

Ankara University Armenian Turk Relations Investigation Center manager assistant professor Erol Kurkcuoglu said, "UNESCO and all of the world environmental organizations must pay attention to the Armenian's behaviour." Dynamite used in stone quarries in Armenia are causing harm to the ruins of Ani and other historical locations in Kars. Georgian, Armenian and Turkish historical treasures and many others on the Turkish-Armenian border are being harmed by the stone quarries which opened between 2000-2001 just 100 meters away from the border.

Kurkcuoglu said the Armenian's attitude shows that they are not considering the possibility of destroying historical treasures. UNESCO has to take this attitude into account and launch an initiative to stop the operation of these quarries, he added.

The aim of the Armenian's seems to be to put Turkey into difficult situations in the future. Following this destruction, Turkey will be accused of misinterpreting the Armenian's actions in the international arena, as they did with the so-called genocide. They are expert at accusing Turkey for everything they did, said Kurkcuoglu. Would there be the same silence if Turkey had done it? Ataturk University's science and literature faculty history department chair professor Enver Konukcu said that if Turkey had done it in such a close area to the historical treasures, it would alarm the whole world. These treasures do not just belong to the Turkish people, they should also be saved by other nations.

A letter submitted to UNESCO on the 31st July 2001
First, please allow me to use this opportunity to remind you that several times during recent years, the Armenian national Commission of UNESCO and other governmental bodies have tried to establish contact with relevant Turkish bodies and suggested plans for the joint study and preservation of the city of Ani. Because of the great historical and cultural importance of this monument for Armenia, Armenia was ready to provide such expeditions with the necessary technical expertise and financial support. Unfortunately, each and every time the Turkish side has responded with references to the difficulties in relation between our two countries.

I am aware that even in Turkey there is no common view held by different institutions and the Government concerning Armenia’s cultural heritage on the territory of present-day Turkey. Last year, we received information that the Turkish committee of ICOMOS, while preparing the tentative list of for the WHL (World Heritage List) presented, among other sites, the same city of Ani, capital of medieval Armenia, as well as the Monastery of Akhtamar, located on the island of Lake Van. Regretfully, the Turkish Ministry of Culture deleted these two sites from the tentative list.

With regards to explosions in quarries within Armenian territory (which have already ceased) and which have reportedly damaged historical monuments, I must note that, first, for obvious reasons, Armenian specialists cannot witness the situation on the Turkish side of the border. Secondly, Armenian seismic experts explain that explosions of such magnitude cannot affect any construction at a distance of 600m.

Finally, once again, I regret that our Turkish colleagues did not find it possible to contact the relevant bodies in Armenia directly, rather than to apply to international organizations.

To this end, let me express my hope that the International Conference on Implementation of UNESCO Cultural Conventions and Other International Instruments, which will be held in Yerevan on September 17-18, 2001, and to which Turkish governmental representatives have been invited, might be a proper forum for the discussion of this particular matter.

Vartan Oskanian
Chairman of Armenian National Commission for UNESCO

Asbarez Online (www.asbarez.com),
31st August 2001
LA TIMES DISTORTS TRUTH ABOUT ANI
LOS ANGELES. In an article in the Thursday edition of the Los Angeles Times, entitled "As a Rare Cathedral Crumbles, Two Rival Nations Point Fingers" the author Amberin Zaman, a special correspondent to the Times, discusses a new controversy surrounding the ancient Armenian city of Ani.

The article, filled with distortions and peppered with Turkish accounts of the actual events, reads more like a press release for the Turkish government, than an objective report, using journalistic standards.

The article focuses on alleged damage to the ancient ruins caused by dynamite blasts from four quarries in Armenia.

Several months ago, a war of words ensured between the Turkish and Armenian governments and now the article claims that the Turkish government is concerned about the fate of the ancient. "Turkish officials say the deafening explosions have shaken the area for two years despite their pleas to Armenia for the quarrying to stop. The United States, France and the United Nations have backed Turkey's appeal," reported the LA Times.

"Not only the cathedral but most of the monuments here will soon collapse," Beyhan Karamaragli, a Turkish archeologist told Zaman, adding "This is cultural genocide."

The author then discusses the Armenian Genocide, as a contentious issue between Armenians and Turks, without even a mention that the Turkish government is responsible for the state of disarray of not only Ani, but countless other Armenian churches and monuments, which it is systematically destroying as a continuation of its campaign of genocide.

Gagik Gurjan, head of the cultural heritage department of the Armenian Culture Ministry, told the LA Times that "geologists at the quarries had been consulted and that they had reported that the quarrying of stone there could not be damaging the cathedral in Ani."

"I think some people in Turkey are using this situation for political ends," he told the Times. "If the Turks hadn't destroyed these monuments themselves over the centuries, they would have nothing to complain about now." "What's more," he explained to Zaman, "there is a gorge between them, and the shock waves from the explosions could not reach or in any way affect any building or monument in Ani."

"Turkish historians insist that Ani holds greater significance for Turkey because it was one of the first Anatolian cities to be conquered by the Seljuk Turks when they swept in from Central Asia in the early 11th century. Armenian rule, they say, did not last more than 50 to 70 years before defeat by the Seljuks," reported Zaman for the LA Times.




An Example of Armenian Pressure
What is Wrong with the Following Article?

Here is a puzzle. Spot what's wrong with the following article, from The Los Angeles Times.

As a Rare Cathedral Crumbles, Two Rival Nations Point Fingers

Religion: Turks blame Armenian quarry blasts for damaging church in Ani. The dispute is but one legacy of countries' bloody, bitter history.

August 30, 2001
By AMBERIN ZAMAN SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
ANI, Turkey -- Towering above a bleak, wind-swept plateau near Turkey's border with Armenia, the red stone cathedral of Ani has defied wars, earthquakes and time.

But today, one of the holiest sites of Armenian Christian Orthodoxy is facing what an archeologist here calls the biggest threat of its millennium-old existence: dynamite blasts from four stone quarries less than a quarter of a mile away in Armenian territory.

The stone, ironically, is being mined to build a Christian Orthodox cathedral in Yerevan, the Armenian capital, that will look similar to the one in Ani. Turkish officials say the deafening explosions have shaken the area for two years despite their pleas to Armenia for the quarrying to stop. The United States, France and the United Nations have backed Turkey's appeal.

"Not only the cathedral but most of the monuments here will soon collapse," said Beyhan Karamaragli, a Turkish archeologist who has been leading excavations here since 1988. "This is cultural genocide."

Genocide is a particularly loaded word here. Armenians often use it to describe how they say the Ottoman Turks killed 1.5 million Armenians during World War I. Turkish officials today acknowledge that as many as 600,000 Armenians died but portray them as victims of civil disorders, exposure and starvation as they fled southward to escape the conflict.

The dispute over those deaths still stands in the way of diplomatic and trade relations between Armenia and Turkey, as does Armenia's continued occupation of territory claimed by Turkey's closest regional ally, Azerbaijan.

Gagik Gurjan, head of the cultural heritage department of the Armenian Culture Ministry, said geologists at the quarries had been consulted and that they had reported that the quarrying of stone there could not be damaging the cathedral in Ani.

"I think some people in Turkey are using this situation for political ends," he said. "If the Turks hadn't destroyed these monuments themselves over the centuries, they would have nothing to complain about now."

"What's more," he added, "there is a gorge between them, and the shock waves from the explosions could not reach or in any way affect any building or monument in Ani."

Trying to break the ice, retired diplomats and academics from Turkey and Armenia have set up a commission to promote cooperation in educational and cultural projects. At their first meeting last month, in Geneva, they reportedly discussed a joint effort to preserve the ruins of this walled medieval town.

Until the early decades of the 20th century, at least 2 million Armenians are believed to have lived in Turkey, mostly in the east. Today, about 60,000 Armenians remain in Turkey; most of them live in Istanbul.

Nowhere are traces of the Anatolia region's Armenian heritage more visible than in Ani, 27 miles northeast of the Turkish town of Kars.

Ani rises above the emerald green waters of the Arpa River, which separates Turkey from Armenia. Stubby pillars that once supported a 14th century stone bridge between the two countries remain as a symbol of the neighbors' stormy ties.

Armenians and Turks tell different versions of Ani's history.

Turkish historians insist that Ani holds greater significance for Turkey because it was one of the first Anatolian cities to be conquered by the Seljuk Turks when they swept in from Central Asia in the early 11th century. Armenian rule, they say, did not last more than 50 to 70 years before defeat by the Seljuks.

According to Armenian accounts, Ani was ruled for much of its history by a succession of Armenian kings, and it was their capital for at least two centuries. In the 10th century, Ani was glorified by the Armenians as "the city of a thousand and one churches," with the cathedral as its centerpiece.

"If so, why are they [Armenians] willfully destroying it now?" asked Karamaragli, pointing to a 30-foot-long crack in the southwest corner of the cathedral, which she says widens with the tremors from the quarries.

The septuagenarian archeologist says she has records of every blast and every crack and hole resulting from each explosion. The nearby Menucehr, the oldest Seljuk mosque in the region, has suffered some of the worst damage.

In this earthquake-weary country, residents of the neighboring village of Ocakli often mistake the tremors for quakes. "Our children are terrorized. Our cows have stopped producing milk," said Muhammad Sevcan, a local farmer.

In an embarrassment for the Armenian government, an ear-splitting explosion rocked the site in mid-June just as a group of Armenian Americans had gathered to pray at the cathedral. They were part of a 150-member group of Armenian Americans on a pilgrimage through Turkey to retrace the steps of St. Gregory.

"They were terrified--they thought it was a bomb," recalled Mehmet Kinacioglu, a Turkish tourist who was present.

Pilgrims reportedly sent letters of complaint to the Armenian government. So did the Istanbul-based Armenian patriarch, Mesrob II.

No explosions have been heard here since mid-July.

Turkish officials, though, say they doubt that the respite will last long. They point to a May 5 report from Russia's Interfax news agency quoting an Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the quarrying would stop by the end of that month. "In June, the explosions were continuing," said a senior Turkish diplomat, "so who is to say they will not resume again?" Gurjan, the Armenian official, said the blasts have stopped. But it wasn't because of complaints from Turkey, he said, but because workers are now using different quarrying methods.

Staff writer Robyn Dixon in The Times' Moscow Bureau contributed to this report.

How Many Mistakes Did You Find?
Let's see, now.... first, there was the mistake of Armenia rudely ignoring the request of her neighbor to make such a racket and to destroy cultural landmarks, like their brother Orthodox Serbs, who deliberately targeted the magnificent, centuries-old Ottoman bridge at Mostar during the Bosnian conflict (Which had earlier come under attack from the Bosnian Croats). Oh, hold on. That was no mistake. The Armenians were just being un-neighborly, which is only their custom.

The word "Genocide," as applied to the Armenian experience during W.W.I is used from the Armenian perspective, and then the Turkish perspective... seems balanced, so far.

The head of the cultural heritage department of the Armenian Culture Ministry was sought out and we got his perspective on the matter... that was pretty fair.

The history of Ani is presented from the viewpoints of both sides... so far, pretty good.

Okay, I give up! What is wrong with this article? I can't find a darned thing that is wrong with it..! And neither would any other fair-minded person.

Ahh, but what of an unfair-minded person? That is a horse of an entirely different color.

To wit:

THE EDITORS OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE HAVE REFUSED TO PUBLISH AN APOLOGY OR A CORRECTION.
The L.A. Times is owned by the Chicago Tribune.

The L.A. Times has not yet fired Amberin Zaman.
She uses “Los Angeles Times” underneath her HOLOCAUST DENIER NAME.

If a reporter said the Jewish Holocaust was an “allegation disputed between American Jews and neo-Nazi’s descendants of Germans slaughtered in the ghetto riots,” there would be firings and resignations, apologies and corrections at those newspapers involved. Exactly why is the Armenian Holocaust denial to receive anything less?

Amberin Zaman has DENIED GENOCIDE TIME AND TIME AGAIN! What is going on?
READ ON!
“Reporter" Amberin Zaman - Ankara Turkey's State Tool. She is an Armenian Holocaust Denial MACHINE - prostituting the L.A. Times name to spew her hatred in papers like the Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer. WHY IS THIS STILL GOING ON?

Holocaust or Genocide denial is a hate crime of unparalleled ferocity, as Professor Israel Charny has said, “killing the victim people twice — once with genocide and then again with denial.”

The Armenian Genocide – the most thoroughly documented genocide on the planet -- is nothing but “allegations” according to Ankara, Turkey-based reported Amberin Zaman, published January 5th in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer!

Turkish Denial has become a common topic for High Schools term papers -- largely thanks to the work of System of a Down, a rock group of Americans of Armenian descent-- and in Colleges and Universities -- thanks to Turkey’s interesting, almost amusing omnipresent denial publications sent to colleges libraries from Ankara, Turkey financed by U.S. Tax dollars. They have been discredited and are ridiculed.

The goal of this protest is to raise awareness so as to lead to the immediate termination of the reckless publication of Armenian Holocaust denial by major U.S. newspapers—the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune (owner of the L.A. Times), and the Philadelphia Inquirer—and to increase their awareness of the irrefutably genocidal nature of Turkey’s state’s policies (1893 to 1923, but especially 1915) which removed 5 million Christians from Asia Minor (“Turkey”) resulting in today’s unrepentant and 99.9% Muslim Turkish Republic. This is often called the “Forgotten Holocaust.” (See the petition by 128 of the best and brightest Holocaust Scholars at www.zoryan.org under “genocide documents”)

A simple apology or a published correction by the Tribune, the LA Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer is the kind request of the physical protest.

Telephone and e-mail appeals to these three have thus far fallen largely on deaf ears, although a gentleman from the L.A. Times (Barry Swick) and an editor from the Inquirer did lend their ears and promised to speak with their colleagues. That is just not enough.

Have These People Lost All Contact with Reality?

"Amberin Zaman must be fired or her publishers must publish an apology."

Once again.... the typical Armenian campaign to terrorize anyone whose views they cannot put up with.... as they have done an expert job with historians who give a version of history not to their liking.

These historians are painted with the stroke of being Turkey's tools... as the Armenians succeeded in gathering a bunch of gullible names to agree, in the case of Professor Heath Lowry. Now, suddenly, this reporter has similarly become “Ankara Turkey's State Tool." ("Ankara Turkey's"? Great English there.)

Do these intellectuals actually believe The Los Angeles Times, located in and serving the most powerful grouping of Armenians in the United States, would allow itself to be used by “Ankara Turkey's State Tool"?

(Before I go on... "5 million Christians (removed) from Asia Minor"?? Turkey is "99.9% Muslim"?)

These small-time terrorists have actually created a web page devoted to the newspaper reporter, whose only crime appears to be being Turkish, with the headline:

Turkey's AMBERIN ZAMAN:
She must pay, she WILL pay.

The page is at: geocities.com/van1915/AmberinZaman.html. Unfortunately, there is really nothing more regarding the hideous crimes committed by the reporter, besides the aforementioned article.

We do have links to the adorable Armenian National Committee of America... one of so many Armenian organizations, it's pretty hard to keep track. I know this one mainly because it's affectionately known as ANCA, so named because all it tries to do is to make people they don't like cry "Anca," by applying whatever pressure the faithful can muster.

In this case, the lovable organization is so outraged over this totally unfair article, it calls for action! "As a Rare Cathedral Crumbles, Two Rival Nations Point Fingers" is found to contain "gross historical inaccuracies and significant misrepresentation of the Armenian Genocide." The Genocide is shown "as a point of dispute" (uhhhh... that's only because it hasn't been, like, proven?), and the article "whitewashes Turkey's direct responsibility in the destruction and dilapidation of historic Armenian monuments within its territory." Come AGAIN? It sounds like the Turks are trying to save this building from Armenia's quarrying explosions, and even the greatest Armenian butt-lickers in history (The United States and France) support this notion. Have you guys ever heard of a little concept called, uh, FACTS?

If Turkey wanted to destroy "historic Armenian monuments within its territory," why would this cathedral have been left standing after all of these centuries? Has not the Ottoman Empire (and Turkey) had a historic record of preserving the non-Turkish landmarks within its territory? (Not just property, but the cultures of the people?)

ANCA further urges the faithful to bully The Los Angeles Times by using a form letter as a model, where Armenians are encouraged to claim they are "particularly troubled by the reduction of the Armenian Genocide to the level of disputed hearsay" and by "characterizing the Armenian Genocide as 'how [the Armenians] say the Ottoman Turks killed 1.5 million Armenians during World War I.' "

"The Armenian Genocide is a historical fact."

Massacres occurred, no doubt, on both sides; as far as a government sponsored policy of extermination being a "fact," well.... uhhh.... do you have something like that annoying little necessity called... PROOF?

August 11, 2002

Rev. John Hagee, Pastor
Cornerstone Church
Dallas, Texas

Dear Pastor Hagee:
The Turkish government has done a great job preserving our Christian heritage. In addition to visiting the seven church sites I also visited the Island of Patmos. The Greek Orthodox Church maintains the cave where John received his great revelation. I must say the "Christian" Greeks do not do as good of a job helping Christians as the "Muslim" Turks do.

While working on my video (Holdwater: "SEVEN CHURCHES OF REVELATION"; Judge Weems was a devoted Baptist) I visited many Christian churches in Turkey. They all have total freedom of religion and speech. The Turks' neighbor, Armenia, claims to be the first Christian church on earth. Why are there more open and operating Armenian churches in Turkey today than there are open and operating Armenian churches in Armenia? Why for example are there no operating and open mosques allowed to function in Armenia today? Why doesn't Armenia allow even other Christian churches to operate other than its state owned one church?

Sam Weems (excerpts of letter)

"The Ani Cathedral was not destroyed in the last two years, but has been disregarded and in fact slowly destroyed over the last 80 years, since the Armenians were subjected to deportations and massacres as part of the first genocide of the 20th century."

Okay! Okay, I know you've got to bring up "The Armenian Genocide" in every other breath since it's achingly the cause of your existence.... but how are you tying in the "genocide" with the willful destruction of the cathedral? It makes perfect common sense to believe the church wouldn't even be around if the Turks wanted to get rid of it. (Oh. I apologize for introducing two words foreign to your vocabulary: "Common Sense.") Moreover, are you saying because Armenians are no longer around that the church has so suffered? You know, there are some Armenians still living there. Your pal, Rudy Brueggemann, travelled to the church's neck of the woods and met some Armenian-Turks, with whom he shared a friendly mutual distrust.

If you're going to pick a fight, make sure to do so over a glaring perceived injustice. Simply claiming the Turks have deliberately been neglecting or willfully destroying this cathedral does not constitute proof... especially when what is really going on is sensibly apparent from the article. Likewise, if impartial historians can't agree over the numbers of dead or whether there was actually a state-sponsored policy of extermination, how could Armenians FAIRLY expect a newspaper to present the "genocide" information in any way than they have?

Armenians have gotten so spoiled about having their unilateral views expressed without question for nearly a century, now when the slightest (and this very fair article is truly in the category of the "slightest") deviation from their "Con Job" is encountered, the call goes out: To arms! To arms!

Imagine the editor, whose name is supplied in the ANCA site, getting the same form letter over and over again from fanatical Armenians. Not just during the period shortly after an article appeared, either.... which is the normal period to get letters. No, ANCA is so incensed over the "injustice" of this article, they have plastered their "Call to Arms" to perpetually appear on their web site, which means the editor gets harassed with Armenian junk mail from time to time.

Do you think this poor editor will be persuaded to root for the Armenian cause as a result... especially when he is deadly aware of the utter fairness of the article, as any sane person would be? What kind of a taste would that leave in a person's mouth? Probably the exact same taste Andy Rooney was left with when he was bombarded by fanatical Greeks over a petty, niggling little misstatement he inadvertently made.

Falling Through the Maze of Armenians

You know, every time I click on an Armenian link, a whole new world I have never experienced opens up to me. Thankfully, there is simply no end to these Armenian web sites, and the hysterical insistence that their cause for existence (that is, the "genocide") is indeed a fact.

Here are the new tidbits I have learned through this mini-campaign of terror, trying to see to it that Amberin Zaman — "Ankara Turkey's State Tool"— never works in this, or any other town again.

AN ARMENIAN-AMERICAN HEAVY METAL GROUP HAS INTRODUCED THE "GENOCIDE" AS THEIR MESSAGE.

As a result, "Turkish Denial has become a common topic for High Schools term papers -- largely thanks to the work of System of a Down." The private site of the group's guitarist is geocities.com/pinknshiny/times.html.

Ingenius... Insidious!

Imagine.... reaching out to the hearts and minds of devoted music fans, especially in the rock arena... where, once a band catches on to some extent, many diehard fans can be utter slaves to the pronouncements of would-be John Lennons, and the things they say.

(TAT explores this issue further on this page.)

Jews for Armenians

In addition, I checked out the "126 HOLOCAUST SCHOLARS AFFIRM THE INCONTESTABLE FACT OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE AND URGE WESTERN DEMOCRACIES TO OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZE IT" page of the Zoryan site, mentioned above.

These people "signed a statement affirming that the World War I Armenian Genocide is an incontestable historical fact."

Okay, Armenians. You can close up your thousands of web sites, and rest easy. The Genocide is now a proven fact. Why, if these scholars signed such a statement, that should settle the matter. (I mean, now the issue is "incontestable." That's what it says.) No doubt every single one of them considered the weighty evidence from both sides, in an objective and unprejudiced manner.

In addition, they have helpfully "asked the Western Democracies to urge the Government and Parliament of Turkey to finally come to terms with a dark chapter of Ottoman-Turkish history and to recognize the Armenian Genocide. This would provide an invaluable impetus to the process of the democratization of Turkey."

Oh, thank God! Once Turkey recognizes the "Genocide," the nation can finally complete its process of "democratization." Luckily, we have these scholars to tell Turkey whether she is a democracy, or not.

Further:
"Below is a partial list of the signatories:"

Prof. Yehuda Bauer
Prof. Israel Charny
Prof. Ward Churchill
Prof. Stephen Feinstein
Prof. Saul Friedman
Prof. Edward Gaffney
Prof. Zev Garber
Prof. Dorota Glowacka
Dr. Irving Greenberg
Prof. Herbert Hirsch
Prof. Irving L. Horowitz,
Dr. Steven Jacobs, Rabbi
Prof. Steven Katz
Prof. Richard Libowitz
Dr. Marcia Littell
Franklin H. Littell
Prof. Hubert G. Locke
Dr. Elizabeth Maxwell
Prof. Erik Markusen
Prof. Saul Mendlowitz
Prof. Jack Needle
Dr. Philip Rosen
Prof. Alan S. Rosenbaum
Prof. Richard Rubinstein
William L. Shulman
Prof. Samuel Totten
Prof. Elie Wiesel
Andrew W. Mellon

Let's see now.... that's around twenty eight names; there are supposed to be 126. What happened to the rest of the shy-of-a-hundred?

Could it be most of the rest had "ian" in their last names? Oh, I get it. By singling out only the non-Armenian scholars, the Zoryan people want to make the list appear to have more "legitimacy."
Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel, from "Armenia-- Survival of a
Nation," the pro-Armenian PBS show.

Once Elie Wiesel, "who was the keynote speaker at the (March 3-7, 2000) conference," lends his name to something like this, his reputation no doubt acts like a magnet to pull in the rest. Look at this list... so many Jewish ("If it's good enough for Elie, it's good enough for me") professors. I wonder how many of them actually checked out the truckloads of Western documentation that would have no reason to be falsely friendly to the Turks... since Westerners just aren't taught to be supportive of Turks. (And that's an understatement.) So much evidence, that even if these biased scholars don't become totally convinced that their deeply-perceived outlook on the matter has been just plain wrong, at least doubt should form in the mind of the reasonable among them... as to whether the "Genocide" is truly "incontestable."

Even when one is a professor, it becomes too easy to accept the prevailing point-of-view. What a pity. I can understand these Jews want to express their solidarity and show their sensitivity to what they believe are fellow genocide sufferers (conveniently and hypocritically ignoring the other party in this specific equation, who were truly targeted for systematic extermination)... but they haven't checked out the facts, and they are ironically doing a great disservice to the Jewish people, by cheapening the Holocaust.

It's also a shame that these Jews are unwittingly joining in the slandering/libeling of one of the very few, genuine friends of the Jewish people, the Turks (who have had a history of protecting the Jews, since rescuing nearly all of those persecuted in the Spanish and Portugese Inquisitions) thus aiding in the continuing murder of the Turks' reputation, by committing Rufmord.

I wonder how many of these ignorant Jewish scholars are aware of the misdeeds of the Armenian Nazi "Jew Hunter," General Dro... and the way in which the cowardly general learned his trade in killing defenseless Jews during W.W.II, by targeting -- literally -- Turkish children for massacres in W.W.I. That seems to have been the idea all around... "Murad," a former Ottoman parliamentarian who led Armenian guerilla forces, was not a believer in handing out lollipops to Turkish children. Unless the "pops" came out of the end of a gun.

During W.W.I, the Jews weren't safe from the Armenians, either... since the Armenians felt it should have been the duty of the Jews to support their revolution. (The Jews, grateful for the Ottoman empire for allowing them to prosper and live in security for centuries, were rightly loyal to their nation, until the end.) As a result, Armenians massacred hundreds of Jews around the Hakkari region... along with thousands of Greeks in the Trabzon area, for the same ridiculous "If you're not with us, you're against us" reason.

Even "The Chosen" are entitled to be mistaken... however, there are other Jews who happen to be more studied on the subject, such as the ones who have expressed these opinions.

----------------------------------------------------
© Holdwater
The source site of this article gets revised often, as better
information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, and
the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing
the direct link as follows:

www.tallarmeniantale.com/armenian-pressure.htm
-----------------------------------------------------


An Analysis of Contemporary Armenian Loyalty

Hrant Dink has certainly opened a can of worms with the statement he made in 2005, 'I Am a Turkish Citizen, but I Am No Turk.'

Hrant Dink is the editor of the Istanbul-based Armenian newspaper, AGOS (or "Akos"); this is the one where Taner Akcam had or has been permitted to write a regular column, working to poison the minds of Armenian Turks.

Hrant Dink seemed — from what little I know of him — to be somewhat "reasonable." For example, in this commentary on ARARAT (in the section under "More Criticism"), Dink came down hard on Director Atom Egoyan, for having made a film damaging to the Turco-Armenian relations. Further of my impressions were formed by his statements, as recorded by "A Diaspora Armenian Sizes Up an Armenian Turk" (halfway down this page.)

I fear Mr. Dink has become emboldened over the years, with the increasing power of "Armenian Genocide" forces... the tentacles of which are now threatening to reach Turkish society.

An article written by Tatoul Hakobian informs us Dink (whose name is spelled as "Dinq") was charged with "insulting the Turks" by the Urfa Public Prosecutor's Office; "If the charge brought against him is proved, he will be sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment."

Dink is quoted as having said, "I don't think this is a serious suit." I hope he's right. Not every nation has Freedom of Speech laws protected by the United States Constitution, but to be charged with making unpopular statements is not a policy that should be supported. It would be akin to being charged in countries like France and Switzerland for stating there was no Armenian "Genocide."

But let's focus on the statement itself.

Certainly Dink is making an accurate statement in claiming he is not a racial Turk, particularly if his family tree had avoided any co-mingling through the six or so centuries of co-existence. So he's off the hook if that's all he meant.

But people who live in Turkey are Turks. The nation is composed of many different ethnic varieties. For example, I recently learned there were four to five times as many Abkhazians in Turkey, after many had been ruthlessly driven away with other Muslim minorities (through Russia's 19th century "Death & Exile" campaign), as there are in the Abkhazia region in today's Georgia. Now, racially, these people from the Caucasus are not Turks.

Nor are the Laz, who have also been driven away. Nor Circassians, and all the many others. Among non-Muslims, the majority of Jews who still live in Turkey today can't be said to be of Turkic stock.

Yet whom among these people wouldn't call themselves "Turks"?

Especially if you've lived in Turkey, prospered in Turkey, and your forefathers have lived in Turkey... especially when there was no other nation that would provide refuge for your people, when they were expelled from other lands.

For example, I'm an American, but I don't have a drop of "Native American" blood in me. So I'm not "racially" (or "ethnically") an American. But I don't go off making a statement like, 'I Am an American Citizen, but I Am No American.'

(I guess the only time I would feel that way is if I were a spy. We've seen such scenes in espionage films... where the spy has a handful of passports from different nations, for the purposes of expediency.)

"Our Armenian compatriots are for the most part prosperous; they go to the best clubs and have their island summer houses ... You'd expect them to take the Turkish side against Europe. So why have they remained silent?" wrote Emin Colasan, right-wing columnist in the mass-circulating "Hürriyet" newspaper, whose logo includes the words "Turkey for the Turks".

TIME Europe, "Debating Genocide," Andrew Finkel, Jan.30, 2001

This is the kind of mentality that's peculiar among Armenians.

No matter where they live, the Dashnak-minded among them think of themselves as Armenians first, second, and last. The nations they happen to be living in happen only to be a convenience.

That's horrible!

One of my statements (not always, but too often true) bears
repeating here: "Loyalty and Armenians. Like Oil and Water."

"In the February 13, 2004 issue of Agos, Mr. Dink, in describing the Armenian identity, made reference to 'poisoned blood spilled by the Turk,' contrasting it with 'clean blood in the noble Armenian vein.'"

Dr. Ferruh Demirmen, in a late-2005 letter to Elif Shafak

This attitude is nothing new. Tacitus, the Roman historian, reported in his Annalum Liber:

"The Armenians change their position relating to Rome and the Persian Empire, sometimes supporting one and sometimes the other ... they are a strange people"

After WWI, the Armenians in Georgia didn't even want to register as Georgian citizens in order to vote! (Yet, hypocritically, Armenia required citizenship from the Georgians among them, in order for them to vote.)

Of course! What nation exists on earth that does not require citizenship, before participating in an election process?

How many Armenian-Americans would say, like Hrant Dink, 'I Am an American Citizen, but I Am No American'?

The following is from an interview with Sam Weems:

Has the US political system been used by ethnic lobbies for the interests of Armenia?

Yes! Armenians established in the United States, what they called their "Armenian Colony", in about 1918. Armenia sent thousands of their citizens to the United States to lobby America for money and support from individual Christians, Christian churches and the US Government. This Armenian lobby has been most successful and continues its activities to this day. The reason for their success is because they play the ethnic race/Christian vs. Muslim cards so well. The Armenians know that there is no "Muslim" lobby to refute and oppose them.

Do you think sometimes lobbyists may have put the aspirations of an ethnic group above vital US interests?

I would phrase this question this way: Do you have personal knowledge that Armenian Americans place their special interests above vital US interests? My answer is Yes! Here is but one example of proof certain that Armenian-Americans do such things. President Bush stated after September 11th that it was in the best interest of the United States to reach out and build friendships throughout the Muslim world. One such Muslim country the President reached out to, was Azerbaijan.

Armenian American politicians objected and fought the President's effort to establish normal relations with Azerbaijan. Why? Because the Armenian lobby had been successful in getting the US Congress to cut foreign aid to Azerbaijan after the Armenians' sneak, surprise, cowardly and unprovoked attack on Azerbaijan in 1992. Armenian American special interests were fearful that a new US/Azerbaijan friendship would became strong and Armenia fears such a friendship/partnership. Thus Armenia fought the United States War on Terrorism rather than permit America's building friendships in the Muslim world. Selfish—Yes! Anti-Muslim—Yes! Against the best interests of the United States—Yes!

Weems elaborates further in a separate essay

Aleksandr Sergeyevich Griboyedov, the Russian diplomat and playwright who organized the transmigration of Armenians from Iran, feared the penchant for Armenian disloyalty. As Russian minister to Iran in the early 19th century, he wrote in a letter to the Czar.

"Majesty, I would like to ask you not to allow the location of Armenians in the central Russian regions. Because they are such filthy and shameless clans, they would soon shout throughout the world and claim those lands as their 'ancient motherland'."

(Now he might have been a little harsh with his description of the Armenians, but through this and many other historical records we can ascertain the Russians never intended to help the Armenians and almost always used them as pawns. Armenian leaders' greed and fanaticism almost always permitted them to betray their Ottoman nation, and side with what William Saroyan himself said of the Russians: the real enemy of the Armenians.)

When Armenians betrayed their country and fought — as "belligerents de facto," in Boghos Nubar's words — against their Ottoman nation in WWI, did it matter whether their fighters originated from the Ottoman Empire, Russia, or even as far away as the United States? Absolutely not. Once they came together, they recognized only one nationality among themselves: they were Armenians, first, second and last.

It was this disloyalty that put the Armenians in the terrible position of needing to be relocated, just like what France and America had done with their Alsatian and Japanese populations (respectively) during WWII — with the exception that these people were not disloyal. And it is dishonesty that made the Armenians point to these events to a lazy-thinking and bigoted "Christian" Western world, labeling the events as a "genocide."

"Every year a new star is added to the brow of Ararat." (Painting by Armen Darson)

"Every year a new star is added to the brow of Ararat." (Painting by Armen Darson) I can't be sure what this means; whatever the meaning, this illustration is from the 1950 issue of "Armenian Affairs" Magazine, celebrating the "30th Anniversary of Soviet Armenia." I'm not saying such an anniversary shouldn't have been celebrated; after all, Armenia, "occupied" though it may have been, was the only game in town for Armenians. However, since this page is about loyalty, I thought it was interesting that this American magazine was so proud of Soviet Armenia, especially since the Cold War was red-hot. Shouldn't Armenian-Americans have instead been hollering about being freed from the "Soviet Yoke"?

"Particularly lately, when the talks on Turkey's membership to EU
became more active, Dink is being invited to many conferences, including to those held in Europe. He is being cited in almost all the articles about the Armenian Genocide and the Turkish-Armenian relations published in the Western press," Hakobian's article tells us.

Since Dink is being looked upon as a leader among the Armenian community in Turkey, perhaps that is what is giving him the boldness... or perhaps the sense of responsibility as an Armenian patriot... to shed pretensions of looking upon Turkey as his motherland. This is why the article further tells us that Dink spoke out against what schoolchildren pronounce in Turkish schools, in what seems to amount to a less imposing version of America's Pledge of Allegiance: "I am a Turk, I am honest and hard working,"

In response, in an interview with Azg, Dink is quoted as having stated:

"I said during the conference that I am an Armenian, I am no Turk, I am merely a Turkish citizen."

"Merely" a Turkish citizen. As if it doesn't matter what nation he calls home. The nation he occupies is simply a base from which to further Armenian objectives. In this case, a nation that happens to be the target of worldwide Armenian hostility.

I hope not all Armenian Turks have begun to feel this way. The "genocide" topic was not referred to as national policy since the republic's beginnings, in a mature attempt to stress brotherhood.

But now that the destructive effects of this hateful genocide lie is beginning to penetrate Turkish society, polarization will no doubt be the result. The cycle will continue, just like in the Ottoman Empire; first, people live side-by-side peacefully. Then, greedy and fanatical leaders attempt to wedge the people apart for political purposes. Finally, each side has to choose their own, because one side increasingly tries to do the other in.

At least Hrant Dink is honest about where he stands. But such declarations are not going to help the solidarity among the people in Turkey.

----------------------------------------------------
© Holdwater
The source site of this article gets revised often, as better
information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, and
the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing
the direct link as follows:

www.tallarmeniantale.com/Loyalty.htm
-----------------------------------------------------

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