- Religion, Society And Politics In A Changing Turkey Prof. Dr. Ergun Özbudun
- What The Americans Are Beginning To Understand Sahin Alpay
- Poll Warns Us Over Armenian Resolution
- Faculty Resists Rectorate For Oran’s Cause
- Oran, Returns to University After Dispute
- Top Bureaucrat Irks Americans On Technology Transfer
- Anti-Turkism Has Been Used Everywhere
- If Only She Says Something... Gunduz Aktan
- The Midday Express: Repairing The Turkish Image Via Movies Elif Özmenek
- The Legend 'Ah Tamar' Challenges Time With Melodies Of Karamanukyan Vercihan Ziflioglu
- 3000 Guests Visited Akdamar Church Since Inauguration
- Ms. Samantha Power: Are These The People You Are Still Defending? Mahmut Esat Ozan
- Washington Launches New "Black Sea Strategy" PanARMENIAN.Net
- Turkish Political Scientist About The Terrorist Act Of October 27 H. Chaqrian
- Speaking Out In The Shadow Of Death: Why Turkish Intellectuals Need Armed Guards Nicholas Birch The Guardian
- Taner Akcam: Issue Of Armenian Genocide Is Chinese Torture For Turkey Noyan Tapan
- Aghtamar Reopening Becomes A Celebration Of TurkeyTatul Hakobyan
- Holy Cross Survives, Diplomacy Dies by Talin Suciyan
Religion, Society And Politics In A Changing Turkey
Prof. Dr. Ergun Özbudun*
The headline above came from a research report conducted by two sociologists, Ali Çarkoglu and Binnaz Toprak, along with support from the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) and published in November 2006.
The same researchers conducted a similar study in February 1999, and TESEV published it in 2000 under the title “Religion, society and politics in Turkey.” A comparison between the two studies is interesting because they both show changes that have occurred over the past six years in regards to some of the values of Turkish society, and reveal differences between reality and what is popularly perceived, in regards to politics and religion.
One of the important findings that we got from these two studies, based on opinion polls conducted nationwide, is that over the past six years individual piety in Turkey has become a significant phenomenon. The studies reveal that the number of people who describe themselves as “very religiously observant” rose to 12.8 percent from 6 percent; the number of people who describe themselves to be “fairly religiously observant” rose to 46.5 percent from 25 percent; the number of people who describe themselves as “not religious at all” fell to 3.6 percent from 9.4 percent. The number of people who put their “Muslim” identity before other identities, rose to 44.6 percent from 35.7 percent, while the number of people who think of themselves as “Turkish” above all else, fell to 29.9 percent from 34.1 percent. The percentage of those believing that there should not be religiously based political parties fell to 53.6 from 60.6, while those who want religious views present in the political sphere rose to 41.4 percent from 24.6 percent.
Although an initial look at these figures might tell us that the secular state organization in Turkey is under serious threat, other findings from the researches tell us that such a worry is not logical. Secularism is not opposed by personal piety but rather by the desire to have a theocracy. The study has shown that the number of people arguing for a theocratic rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law, akin to the Iranian “regime of the mullahs,” fell to 8.9 percent in 2006 from 21 percent in 1999, while the number of people opposed to theocratic rule rose to 76.2 percent from 67.9 percent. This finding is confirmed by findings from a 2002 poll, conducted by the Turkish Foundation for Social, Economic and Political Research Foundation (TÜSES), another respectable Turkish think tank. The TÜSES study indicated that the support for a theocratic state based on Islamic law was at 26.7 percent in 1996, it has since fallen to 19.8 percent in 1998, and 9.9 percent in 2002. What is more, there is reason to doubt that the advocates of theocratic rule desire that Islamic laws should be enforced completely, including the legal punishments. While a population of 10 percent is not to be ignored, it would be an exaggeration to argue that this poses a serious threat to the secular republic. The more important finding is that there is a downward and not upward trend in the figures. This could be thought to stem largely from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) embracing secularism, in comparison with the Islamist rhetoric of the parties that were its’ political predecessors. One other finding which points to a discrepancy between the reality and what is popular opinion is that only 12 percent of the AK Party supporters -- in contrast to 49.1 percent of the supporters for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) -- think that secularism faces serious threat.
That Turkish society is divided over religion and politics is highlighted in opinion polls conducted about several aspects of AK Party. Over half of the subjects (53.7 percent) see the AK Party as democratic, 50.8 percent regard the AK Party as the political entity with the strongest support for basic rights and liberties, 53.3 percent see it as a political party which best protects the rights of those people who practice Islam, 50.3 percent see it as a political party which is determined to make the Islamic way of life prevalent, 45.2 percent as a political party which is pursuing full access to the European Union because it seeks to legalize a religiously-based political system, 43.8 percent as a political entity, and 36.7 percent see the AK Party as a political party which is reversing the republican progress towards granting women more rights. These findings point to a serious polarization between secularism and Islamism.
Despite such indications of the divide in Turkish society over secularism in politics, other findings from the poll suggest that polarization between Islamism and secularism has actually been lessening over recent years. For instance, the number of people who responded “no” when asked whether people could practice Islam freely or not, was 30.9 percent in 1999, this number fell to 14.3 percent in 2006. Similarly, the response to the question “Are religiously observant people in Turkey under pressure” was answered “yes” by 42.4 percent in 1999, the same question received a “yes” answer by only 17 percent in 2006. Half of those questioned, who were asked to compare the AK Party government with the earlier three-party coalition administration, thought that there had been a change in the way which people are practicing their religion, and 61.7 percent of them thought that it was a positive change. These findings can be looked at as demonstrating that there has been significant progress in the direction towards social integration. Given that the conflict between secularism and Islamism is a major hindrance to the strengthening of Turkish democracy, there is no doubt it is beneficial to have a lesser degree of polarization between secularism and Islamism.
There are also findings in the Çarkoglu and Toprak analysis that concern democratic values, respect for differences, tolerance and veiling. I hope to deal with these in another paper.
*Professor at Bilkent University
09.04.2007 / Zaman
What The Americans Are Beginning To Understand
Sahin Alpay email@example.com
I spent the last week of March in the US. In conferences, I found the opportunity to meet with some distinguished American diplomats and academics. In these meetings, I shared my views on certain current issues in Turkish politics. On some issues I found a receptive audience, in others not. In response to a high-ranking American diplomat -- who talked about the great disappointment felt in Washington on March 1, 2003, when the parliament in Ankara rejected a motion to allow US forces to use Turkish territory to open a northern front against Iraq -- I said the following:
“If consolidation of democracy is indeed in our common interest, the March 1 decision of the Turkish parliament was an immense blessing for both Turkey and the US. If the motion had been adopted, there would have been a high risk for a “war within the war”, i.e., a Turkish - Kurdish war. Both the Turkish democracy and economy would have been severely damaged, and Turkey’s hopes to join the EU would definitely have come to an end. Turkey’s image as an “American lackey” would have been strengthened in the Muslim world, and that would be the end of Turkey serving as a “model” or “example” for other Muslim countries. A different diplomat came to me after the meeting and said: “It is true that the March 1 decision of the Turkish parliament deeply disappointed us. I could not, however, agree more with you today, given our experiences over the last four years in Iraq.”
At least with some of the Americans whom I had the opportunity to address, I felt I was also able to convey the following message: Perhaps the most valuable lesson learned by Turkey during the last quarter century is that the fight against terrorism cannot be won simply by use of force -- by military means -- and that to defeat the terrorist groups requires struggles on political, economic, diplomatic and other fronts. Even Kenan Evren and Mehmet Agar, the foremost proponents of the military solution to terrorism, seem to have learned this lesson. It is hoped that Washington will understand this point well: unless there is a solution to the Palestinian problem, until the US stops backing the most authoritarian regimes in the Arab world, unless it abides by international law, respects the interests of its allies, and gives priority to diplomacy, the “war on terror” cannot never be won. Reliance solely on military means in the fight against al-Qaeda has only helped to exacerbate terrorism.
I also tried to explain why secularism in Turkey is not in danger. In this context, I noted that even the Ottoman Empire was a secular state, in practice if not in theory, that the laws enacted by the sovereign always weighed more heavily than religious law, that the legal system was gradually secularized beginning with the Tanzimat reforms in the early 19th century, so that by the end of the empire, religious laws had become restricted to private affairs, and that with the founding of the republic, even private law was secularized.
I said that secularism was in fact strengthened in Turkey by the ruling post-Islamist Justice and Development Party, which had grasped the importance of separation of state and religion, and that in Turkey the secular regime now finds its guarantor, not in the military or in the promise of EU accession, but in the people of Turkey who have broadly embraced secular democracy. I explained how in Turkey today, there is an undeclared official religion (a form of Sunni Islam favored by the state), how the rights of religious Sunnis are violated, how the Alevi minority is discriminated against, how non-Muslims are excluded from public employment, and how a true separation of state and religion is becoming increasingly important for the consolidation of democracy. I felt, however, that my arguments about this were not seen as convincing.
Another argument which I felt I failed to get through was this: In Turkey, which has been modernizing since the end of the 18th century, modernization has meant Westernization. Turkey not only adopted Western science and technology, but also Western institutions and culture. In Turkey, even the Islamist movement has been deeply influenced by Western ideas. These factors explain why Turkey is anchored so strongly in the West. Bitter experiences with the West have led Turkey to develop a “love-hate” relationship with the West, but if the West “loves” Turkey -- i.e., if it accepts Turkey as part of the West -- Turkey will reciprocate with even more “love.” It is only natural, on the other hand, that Turkey reacts strongly when it feels discriminated against and that its interests are not respected.
Poll Warns Us Over Armenian Resolution
An overwhelming majority of Turks oppose two different resolutions on Armenian claims of genocide currently pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives, and a massive portion of Turkish society believes relations with Armenia and the United States will be negatively affected if Congress passes the resolutions, a survey of opinion conducted by a US-based group has shown.
The poll, recently conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow, revealed that Turks felt so powerfully about this issue that should a resolution pass, 83 percent would oppose Turkey assisting the United States in Iraq. Almost four-fifths of Turks favor strong action by the Turkish government if a resolution is passed, including suspension of diplomatic relations.
Two similar resolutions, both urging the US administration to recognize an alleged genocide of Armenians, have been presented to both the House of Representatives and the Senate and they are now awaiting a vote. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a strong supporter of the resolution and, contrary to the past, when interventions from the US administration stopped passage of similar resolutions, analysts say chances are high that the resolutions will this time be passed.
Turkey has warned that passage of any such resolution would seriously harm relations with Washington, calling the move "poisonous." Ankara categorically denies Armenian allegations of genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire and says there were killings on both sides when Anatolian Armenians took up arms against the Ottoman Empire in collaboration with the invading Russian army in hope of claiming some part of eastern Anatolia for an independent Armenian state.
Terror Free Tomorrow, whose advisory board is led by Republican Senator John McCain and former 9/11 Commission chairs Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, acknowledges that the alleged genocide took place. "The genocide of innocent Armenian civilians in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire must be universally acknowledged - even if condemning the mass killings as genocide provokes ire of most Turks," wrote Kenneth Ballen, president of Terror Free Tomorrow, in an editorial for the study. "That fact must never be the issue."
He says, however, that passing a resolution on the issue would harden public attitudes in Turkey, as Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, assassinated by a teenage gunman in January in Istanbul, had said.
Analysts say given the widespread sympathy among the US congressmen toward the Armenian allegations, the only way to prevent the passage of a "genocide" resolution is to convince the congressmen on the devastating impacts it would deliver in US-Turkish relations.The Terror Free Tomorrow survey, conducted in 15 provinces in Turkey between January 27, 2007 and February 8, 2007 with a total of 1,021 interviews, showed that some 78 percent of Turks oppose the resolution by the US Congress on the alleged genocide. The most important reason why Turks oppose such a resolution is they do not consider the US Congress to be a neutral judge of this historical issue (42 percent). Some 36 percent say an Armenian genocide never happened and another 18 percent say the issue should be resolved by historians.
Asked why the US Congress would approve a resolution on the alleged genocide, 42 percent of the respondents cited anti-Muslim feelings in the US and some 31 percent said it was due to domestic politics in the United States. Another 12 percent said the “Armenian genocide” was a proven historical fact, according to the poll.
If the US Congress approves a “genocide” resolution, 83 percent said they would oppose or strongly oppose Turkey assisting the United States in Iraq; 73 percent said it would worsen their opinion of the United States; 78 percent said they would boycott American products, vote for candidates that oppose the United States or demonstrate. Only 11 percent said they would take no action.
Asked what measures the Turkish government should take in case the Congress passes the resolution, 24 percent said it should issue an official protest to the US and 29.9 percent said it should suspend diplomatic ties with Washington. Only 6.7 percent said the government should take no action.
On relations with Armenia, 73 percent said they think the passage of the resolution would worsen relations between Turkey and Armenia. 84 percent of those who now have a very favorable opinion of the US would change their opinion for the worse.
The survey also found that although most Turks are opposed to a Congress resolution on the issue, three-quarters of all Turks would accept scholarly study on what happened in that period of history.
Today’s Zaman Istanbul
Faculty Resists Rectorate For Oran’s Cause
A group of scholars from Ankara University as well as directors of the Union of the Ankara University Faculty of Political Science Graduates (Mülkiyeliler Birligi) plan to attend a course tomorrow to be delivered by Baskin Oran, the now-retired prominent professor of international relations, in a show of solidarity with Oran in a heated debate with the rector of Ankara University.
Roots of the debate go back to summer 2006, when Oran requested his name be removed from the jury list of four separate associate professorship thesis upon receiving an invitation from Saint Antony’s College of Oxford University to deliver four conferences at the college in a three month time period. Sending a petition to Rector Nusret Aras’ office, Oran noted that he had been lecturing at the university since 1969, and that he had never taken sabbatical leave since 1974 in order not to interrupt his courses.
After his request was rejected, he sent another petition, yet again to be rejected. Eventually, Oran submitted another petition in which he requested early retirement saying: “I don’t want to stay any longer at a university like this. Now I want to render my time more productive between my works and my wife.”
He added though: “I believe that I can continue giving some of my courses for a reasonable period of time if the department requests -- in order not to victimize my colleagues and my students until I’m replaced.”
In the meantime, while Oran was in Britain, the Faculty of Political Science put his course titled “”Nationalism, Globalization and Minorities” on its schedule for the term, while also notifying the rector of all courses and lecturers.
In late February, the Faculty of Political Science led by Dean Celal Göle received a letter from Aras in which the rector said: “It is not considered appropriate for Prof. Oran to lecture at your faculty”
Rector Aras argued that it would be “inconsistent” for a professor -- who earlier said he didn’t want to continue at the university -- to lecture at the same university.
Yet, Oran said in response: “’Punishing the students after getting angry with the university is against my understanding of university.”
Eventually Dean Göle chose not to implement the rector’s decision, and late last month asked Oran to continue lecturing at the faculty. Tomorrow, scholars from different ideological camps will gather in the cause of academic freedom and will lend support to Oran by attending his course titled “Nationalism, Globalization and Minorities.”
Turning back to the 1980s at a university
Oran’s name is associated with a report titled “Minorities and Cultural Rights” released in autumn of 2004 by the Human Rights Advisory Board. The then-head of the board, legal specialist Professor Ibrahim Kaboglu, as well as former sub-commission chairman Oran resigned from the board in early 2005, amid heavy criticism from those among his former colleagues angered by the report. Both Kaboglu and Oran were both charged with “inciting people to hatred” and “openly belittling judicial organs” due to passages in the report. They were found not guilty on the first charge in May 2005, with the court dropping charges over insulting “Turkishness” due to the Justice Ministry’s failure to approve the case.
As for Aras’ part, his name is associated with an earlier debate this year concerning appointment of the dean of the Medicine Faculty of the Ankara University. After the Higher Education Board (YÖK) insisted on not appointing Prof. Tümer Çorapçioglu as dean although he received the highest vote in a traditionally held survey among academicians at the faculty, Aras announced that he would no longer hold surveys and that he would directly decide on names to be offered to YÖK. So far, two names offered by Aras and approved by YÖK have rejected the dean position.
“This is a kind of continuation of the devastative understanding brought by the Law on Higher Education of November 1981 drawn up following the military coup d’état in September 1980. What he says is basically saying ‘holding elections is harmful.’ Instead of standing firm behind the dean who was elected, he decided to cancel the surveys. When you take his attitude concerning my situation into account as well, it is not a very fine picture in the name of academic freedom,” Oran told Today’s Zaman on Sunday, while also bringing to mind the fact that Aras didn’t support him as a member of his own university when he came under fire due to the report on minorities and cultural rights.
“The rector is feeling encouraged by escalating nationalism and the rising wave of monism, and with this encouragement, he is destroying pluralism at the university. That’s why there is no one at the university -- either from the leftist camp or from the rightist camp -- who backs his stance,” Oran emphasized.
Emine Kart /Zaman
Oran, Returns to University After Dispute
Around 150 students, a group of scholars from Ankara University and representatives from civil society on Tuesday attended a course delivered by Bask?n Oran, the now-retired prominent professor of international relations, in a show of solidarity with Oran in a heated debate with the rector of Ankara University.
As he received a flood of applause from the crowded attending his course, Oran started lecturing by first noting that he would continue to lecture at the university as long as “his faculty and his students stand firm behind him.”
Oran retired last fall after his request to be removed from the jury list of four separate associate professorship in order to be able to study abroad for three months was rejected two times by Rector Nusret Aras.
In late February, the Faculty of Political Science led by Dean Celal Göle -- who put a course titled “”Nationalism, Globalization and Minorities” on its schedule for the term, while also notifying the rector of all courses and lecturers -- received a letter from Aras in which the rector said: “It is not considered appropriate for Professor Oran to lecture at your faculty.”
Rector Aras argued that it would be “inconsistent” for a professor -- who earlier said he didn’t want to continue at the university -- to lecture at the same university. As of Tuesday, Oran said that he had no personal problem with Aras and that he believed that Aras would eventually resolve the issue.
Today’s Zaman Ankara
Top Bureaucrat Irks Americans On Technology Transfer
Since Turkey cancelled three top projects in 2004 before reopening bids based on high local content to boost its relatively poor defense industry, NATO allies Turkey and the US have been at odds over snags in technology transfer issues with the former blocking US companies' entry into Ankara's lucrative arms procurement contests and the latter failing to come up with desired input citing US laws restricting technology transfers.
Exchange of consultations between decision makers of the two countries have so far failed to convince the Defense Industry Undersecretariat (SSM), the civilian arms procurement agency, to soften its contract terms including a mandatory clause for companies to compete in projects only if they come up with government guarantees that there would be no restrictions on technology transfers.Turkey’s request that companies can only bid in arms acquisition projects if they ensure from their governments an export license runs against US laws. Such a request also stems from Turkey’s past experience with the US; when a US company won a project, Ankara had to wait an eternity for the US Congress to approve export licenses to their companies.
Turkey’s stance, what the Americans see as uncompromising defense procurement policy, was again at the top of the agenda at the latest American-Turkish Council (ATC) meeting held in Washington in late March. Participants to the ATC meetings described the ongoing Turkish-US problems on technology transfer issues as a “Dialogue of the deaf.”
While, in his speech, Turkish Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun briefly touched on the issue of technology transfer problems between the two countries when he said that “Turkey is a partner not a market,” SSM Undersecretary Murat Bayar has reportedly been extremely critical of US technology transfer policies, reportedly irking many participants with his allegedly strong-worded statement that some participants claimed was not that polite. Bayar was not available to answer Today’s Zaman’s questions on the issue.
Bayar reportedly outlined to the audience at the closing breakfast session of the ATC meeting three below-mentioned Turkish objections over US procurement policies:
1- Foreign Military Sales (FMS) credits should be overhauled. (According to unofficial figures Turkey owes more than $5 billion to the US from arms sales through FMS sales. FMS do not provide for technology transfers to the country buying arms. Military sources recently told Today’s Zaman that, for example, interest rates to be charged to Turkey for its commitment to buy around 100 Joint Strike Fighters is estimated to be around 28 percent, which they said is too high. FMS conditions that do not contain by nature local workshare to the user country, is one reason why negotiations between the SSM and Lockheed Martin as well as the US government currently stalled on Turkey’s plans to buy additional 30 F-16 fighter planes.)
2- Export license approval should be eased and should be more efficient. The US needs to embrace industrial cooperation. (If any country using US arms needs to make modifications on equipment, for example in line with its changing threat perceptions, it has to apply to the US for changes. The US Congress has a major say in issuing export transfer licenses to US companies.)
3- US limitations on US arms users should not impose bans on where they are used. (The US has been imposing, for example, a ban on both Turkey and Greece for the use of US supplied arms, including F-16 fighters, in and around Cyprus. Both countries are reportedly violating that ban however. Since the SSM has taken the responsibility from the military-packed Ministry of National Defense for the negotiations concerning the additional F-16s purchase, it has been resisting the US ban on their usage over Cyprus.)
US does not signal changes in laws
During the ATC meeting, US participants, including Gen. Kohler of the Defense Support Cooperation Agency of Pentagon, responded to Bayar saying that the US Congress dictates issues such as industrial participation as well as restrictions on the use of US supplied arms, such as in Cyprus, and laws related to those matters could not be changed.
Meanwhile, Bayar’s strongly worded critical remarks made at the ATC gathering closely followed the latest US criticism over Turkey’s defense procurement policy. On March 16, Dan Fata, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO, told a congressional hearing on US-Turkish relations that the SSM’s current acquisition policies hampered Ankara’s military modernization and US-Turkish defense industry cooperation.
“The state of defense industry cooperation (with Turkey) is an issue of concern. While there are a number of promising projects either underway or under consideration, the defense industry relationship has been stagnant for the past several years. We remain concerned that the current approach of Turkey’s defense procurement (agency) towards contracting prevents US companies from bidding,” Fata said.
Due to Turkey’s -- what the Americans see as tough -- terms and conditions, US companies cannot bid in Ankara’s major arms procurement projects, including the acquisition of $2.7 billion worth attack helicopters (On March 30 Turkey decided to start contract negotiations with Italy’s Agusta Westland for its Mangusta A 129 model), $1.2 billion dollar worth long range missile acquisition as well as around $1 billion in spy satellites.
However, on the acquisition of 52 multipurpose helicopters, a project worth around $750 million, the SSM has reportedly been negotiating with US company Sikorsky too, though the company has failed to comply with the SSM’s contract terms and conditions. Sikorsky’s attractive industrial participation offer is said to have played a role in the SSM’s bargain with the US company.
Anti-Turkism Has Been Used Everywhere, And It's Shocking To Find It Being Used In Many Ways.
It has been used as a vice:
- In Italian phrases such as "bestemmia come un Turco" (translit "he swears like a Turk") were often used. One of the most infamous Italian phrase (and one much used by headline writers) was "Mamma li Turchi!" ("Mamma the Turks are coming") this is used to suggest an imminent danger. In addition, Italians regularly use the expression "Fumare come un Turco" (To smoke like a Turk).
- The French called rude behaviour, cruelty and greed "turquerie". There is also another expression "tete de turc" (English: Turk's head) used to mean stubbornness"
- When the Spanish wanted to make disparaging remarks about a person, he/she was called "turco".
- The English expression "to talk Turkey to somebody" means to give a frank opinion to the opposite party.
- The German repertory ranged from "Türkenhund" ("Turkish dog") to "Türkenknecht" ("Turkish farm-hand"), "Kümmeltürke" ("caraway Turk") and "er qualmt wie ein Türke" ("he smokes like a Turk").
- In the Austrian countryside you can still hear today how children are called in from play: "Es ist schon dunkel. Türken kommen. Türken kommen" (translit "It’s already dark, The Turks are coming. The Turks are coming").
I, myself, find this very saçmasapan, particularly the last one. Anyway, let's carry on.
As we may all remember in the Euro 2004 qualifying match (Turkey vs. England), we could easily hear a very racist remark from the audience, which caused offence not only to Turks, but also Pakistanis:
"I'd rather be a Paki than a Turk."
However, here's something I find even more offensive. A "joke" common amongst Greek Cypriot schoolchildren which I consider very racist:
"There was a Turk, a Greek and an American, and they went up a very tall mountain. The American took his shirt off and threw it down. The Turk asked him: 'Why did you throw your shirt down?' And the American told him: 'We have a lot in America.' Then the Turk was jealous and took his watch off and threw it down. The Cypriot [the "Greek"] says to the Turk: 'Why did you throw your watch down? It's so nice!' They were all friends. And the Turk said: 'Ouh, we have a lot in Turkey.' Then the Cypriot takes the Turk and throws him down from the cliff and the American says: 'Why did you throw the Turk down the cliff?' And the Cypriot said: 'We have a lot of them in Cyprus.'"
Not only does it exude an anti-Turkish sentiment, also notice the fact that the Greek is referred to as a "Cypriot" whilst the Turk isn't. Studies have proven that Greek Cypriot schoolchildren view Turks as barbarians, bad, egoists, terrorists, torturers, warmongers, quarrelsome, rapists, wild, murderers, vandals, looters, heartless, revengeful, hateful, malicious, devious, ungrateful, unfair, jealous, illiterate, impolite, dirty, liars, foolish, crazy, and thieves. Teachers, parents, and the Greek Cypriot media have been subliminally reinforcing this defamatory information into these children.
Speaking of the media, films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Midnight Express have caused deep offence to millions of Turks. The real Lawrence of Arabia himself claimed to have been raped by a Turkish soldier, but this claim has been proved to be incorrect, therefore we can see that Lawrence was a slanderous man against Turks. Billy Hayes, the author of the book Midnight Express, has himself claimed that everything in the film adaptation of his book is either false or highly exaggerated, and didn't want all Turks to be portrayed as bad.
Even well-respected figures had something to say. Voltaire called them:
"tyrants of women and enemies of arts"
He has also mentioned the following:
"I wish fervently that the Turkish barbarians be chased away immediately out of the country of Xenophon, Socrates, Plato, Sophocles and Euripides. If we wanted, it could be done soon but seven crusades of superstition have been undertaken and a crusade of honour will never take place. We know almost no city built by them; they let decay the most beautiful establishments of Antiquity, they reign over ruins."
Former British Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, had to say this about Turks:
"Let me endeavor, very briefly to sketch, in the rudest outline what the Turkish race was and what it is. It is not a question of Mohammedanism simply, but of Mohammedanism compounded with the peculiar character of a race. They are not the mild Mohammedans of India, nor the chivalrous Saladins of Syria, nor the cultured Moors of Spain. They were, upon the whole, from the black day when they first entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity. Wherever they went a broad line of blood marked the track behind them, and, as far as their dominion reached, civilisation disappeared from view. They represented everywhere government by force as opposed to government by law.—Yet a government by force can not be maintained without the aid of an intellectual element.— Hence there grew up, what has been rare in the history of the world, a kind of tolerance in the midst of cruelty, tyranny and rapine. Much of Christian life was contemptuously left alone and a race of Greeks was attracted to Constantinople which has all along made up, in some degree, the deficiencies of Turkish Islam in the element of mind!"
Another former British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, said:
The Turks are a human cancer, a creeping agony in the flesh of the lands which they misgovern, rotting every fibre of life ... I am glad that the Turk is to be called to a final account for his long record of infamy against humanity.
Turkophobes can easily be found all over the internet, too, be it an anti-Turkish website (e.g. http://www.boycott-turkey.org/), or on internet forums and groups. A recent example of Turkophobia on the internet has been on YouTube. A couple of Greeks uploaded a video alleging Turks and Ataturk of being homosexual, and showing profanities on the Turkish flag. This fired off a series of videos and begun a "virtual war" between many Greek and Turkish YouTube users. A video uploaded by Turks in response to the aforementioned video was of Greece being the birthplace of homosexuality. This continued until the public Istanbul prosecutor sued YouTube for insulting Turkishness, and a court order got through demanding the block of YouTube.com. It has been blocked in Turkey since.
We need to stop all of this nonsense and show the world who we truly are. Ne mutlu Türküm diyene.
If Only She Says Something...
07 April 2007 /TNA
The judgment of the International Court of Justice dated February 26 once again showed that the Armenians have no legal thesis. In its decision, the Court applied the genocide definition in the Article 2 of the Genocide Convention without broadening its scope. For the commission of genocide, it made a condition that there should be a "special intent to destroy" one group "as such," in other words killing or wounding the group members for no reason other than they belong to that group. And it excluded the crimes perpetrated within the framework of ethnic cleansing from the scope of genocide.
Even though Turkey knew that such was the law, it advocated the genocide thesis in 1992 in order to protect the Bosnians who were then abandoned by the international community and to make pressure on the Serbians. However, we soon discovered that the Serbs were killing the Bosnians not only for ethnic cleansing. While massacring them the Serbs were accusing the Bosnians of being "Ottomans or Turks." This racist hatred constituted the motive behind the special intent to destroy, necessary for genocide. In other words, the Serbs were committing genocide. The Bosnians did not use this argument at the Court and they lost the case.
In his article in Yeni Safak on March 7, Kursat Bumin criticizes the information I had given in my previous columns as comments based solely on "raison d'etat." How can a judgment of the court, whose judges come from states, who try the states, according to the laws made by the states be interpreted in another way?
If Mr. Bumin wants to abstract the Armenian incidents from state affairs and approach the problem purely from the humanitarian standpoint, then he should exclude the Ottoman State from his comments and include the Turks who were massacred by the Armenians. Is he ready for this?
In the book entitled "Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey" written by the great genocide scholar Guenter Lewy and in Lieutenant Colonel Edward J. Erickson's research entitled "Enemies Within," it is proven in details that the Special Organization (Teskilat-i Mahsusa) was not involved "as a state organ" in the relocation of the Armenians. The objection Mr. Bumin makes to this point means that he implicitly recognizes the Armenian genocide.
In her article in Radikal Iki newspaper on March 11, Ms Ayse Hur claims that the parts I've translated from the famous book of Prof. William Shabas on genocide and international law is inaccurate.
The legal aspect is the weak point in the Armenian allegations. Ms. Hur is trying to bolster the morale of the genocide supporters with the tactics of saying "something," even if not substantive.
It is good that Ms Hur included my Turkish translation from Shabas and the original text in English in her article. Even a cursory look at the texts reveals that there is no mistake in the translation. The additions in brackets of course belong to me. Using brackets to this end is a regular practice.
The Armenian genocide defenders who read Shabas for the first time are pleased that the author qualifies the 1915 incidents as genocide. This is natural since Shabas received all information concerning the issue from the books by Dadrian. He has not read even one book from the Turkish side. Ironically, the legal analyses of Shabas show that these incidents are not genocide.
The references made by Ms Hur to Lemkin aim at defending the Armenian genocide thesis. Lemkin also described the Armenian incidents as genocide. However, Lemkin listed many genocide types such as economic, cultural etc. The UN negotiating committee made a rigorous definition on genocide. Despite all the objections by Lemkin, it excluded the "political" groups, which struggle for political aims, from the definition in article 2 and inserted the term "as such" to express racist motive behind the intent to destroy a group. In order to understand what I say, the records of the "travaux preparatoires" should be read.
At the panel of the Turkish Bars' Union, which was also mentioned by Ms Hur, Shabas said in his reply to my question that neither the prosecutors nor the lawyers used the racial hatred as the necessary motive for special intent to destroy at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
During the joint studies which we have conducted under the guidance of Prof. Vamik Volkan at the Virginia University in 1991, we came to know that racism was the force behind the special intent to destroy. We did not need to wait for the book by Shabas.
This view on racism as motive, which we have been defending for years, is now elaborated by philosophers such as Raimond Gaita (Genocide and Human Rights, edited by John K. Roth, Palgrave, 2005).
Those who, like Ayse Hur, allege the Armenian incidents of 1915-16 to be genocide according to law remain silent when it comes to the solution through adjudication or arbitration. I wonder why?
The Midday Express: Repairing The Turkish Image Via Movies
April 7, 2007
The Büyüktürkoglu family, who own the film production company uniCvisions in Los Angeles, figured that the best way to work on the Turkish image was the same way it had been damaged in the U.S.: film!
Over the last three months, the diplomacy traffic of Ankara to prevent the Armenian Genocide Resolution to pass in the Congress drew many parliamentarians, businessmen and politicians to New York and Washington D.C. As a journalist who has been living in the U.S. more than 10 years now, it was interesting but not shocking to hear that every single one of them diagnosed and verbalized the same problem that they saw in Washington: “Turkey is still very little known in the U.S.”Since Turkish-American relations are not at the best level, Ankara now more than ever feels the need for good publicity in the U.S. Awaiting the Armenian Resolution in the House of Representatives, Turkey's ignored demands on Kirkuk referendum, continuing isolation of Northern Cyprus, still passive White House on PKK terror: all these issues that are very important for Turkey can only be brought up in Washington if and only if more politicians take an interest in Turkey.
Enough with Turks a bad guys:
Leslie Bates-Büyüktürkoglu, President and CEO of uniCvisions, is very well aware of the lack Turkey's public image in this country as a Turkish-American. Bates has an interesting idea to improve the Turkish image in the U.S. Leslie Bates- Büyüktürkoglu and her husband-partner, Aclan Büyüktürkoglu who own the film production company uniCvisions in Los Angeles figured that the best way to work on the Turkish image was the same way it had been damaged in the U.S.: film. “It is about time Turks are shown in positive roles as the main characters, not just secondary and bad-guy roles. It is obvious that until Turks are seen as the good-guys – or at least normal people – no one would listen to them on any issue, let alone the Armenian tragedy” Bates says reminding us the effects of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding in the U.S. With this goal in mind uniCvisions has put together a slate of films including a romance, an action thriller, and an epic, all aimed at methodically improving the Turkish image. The first film, Broken Angel, will be shot in Los Angeles, with mostly Turkish actors in all of the major roles starting May 14, to be released during the summer around the world.
Enter Broken Angel:
Adapted from the novel, Rüzgarli Sehir (Windy City) by Tülay Pirlant, Broken Angel is the story of a Turkish girl (played by Nehir Erdogan) who comes to the United States looking for the life she saw on TV, only to find the reality is far different and deadlier. Her only true friend is the only person who doesn't need language to communicate, a deaf artist. uniCvisions' prophecy does not end here. Bates says “many big businesses such as Coca Cola and Nike give back to their community through charitable contributions and programs, uniCvisions can too.” For this purpose uniCvisions chose the Bridge to Türkiye Fund (BTF) as the recipient, enabling them to give back to Turkey. The BTF, established in 2003 as a philanthropic bridge between the United States and Turkey, raises funds from the Turkish-American community which they use for regular charitable organizations or for purchases such as equipment for schools in rural areas.
Vision to Trabzon:This is how Bates summarizes their vision:“The main point about this film is that we are trying to do good for the community in as many ways as possible:
1. Improve the Turkish image by featuring Turkish people in “hero” roles, not bad guys and not just supporting.
2. Give back to our roots and the Turkish community through alliances with the BTF and others.
3. Enable the entire community to participate through investment or sponsorship or donation”However she also adds “in any well-run business, there should be a profit. uniCvisions knows that “Broken Angel” will turn a good profit. By keeping the budget low, it is easier not only to recover the initial investment, but also turn a very sizable profit to roll into the next film in the series, the romance which we hope to shoot in Trabzon.”“So on until instead of hearing “Oh, like in Midnight Express,” when they say they're Turks, the non-Turk? says, “Oh, like in … !” You will be able to fill in that blank with any film made by uniCvisions.” With these words Bates not only perfectly summarizes their purpose as filmmakers but also hints at an important direction that Turkey should consider.
The Legend 'Ah Tamar' Challenges Time With Melodies Of Karamanukyan
April 4, 2007
ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News
Sirvart Karamanukyan, the composer of the vocal and symphonic work Ah Tamar, is not known in Turkey despite being recognized around the world for her talent. Born in 1912, Karamanukyan and her nephew Armenian composer and Steinway artist Sahan Arzruni, who lives in the United States, is also a musician and pianist, are the 36th generation grandchildren of Armenian King Gagik. According to Karamanukyan, Arzruni wrote a letter to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism nine months ago and said that he would like to attend the opening ceremony of the Akdamar Surp Haç Church and play the Ah Tamar piece of Karamanukyan; however, he didn't receive an answer…
Karamanukyan, who was a student of legendary Turkish Classical Music composer Adnan Saygun, Cemal Resit Rey and Ferdi Staze lived in Vienna, the heart of Classical Music, for long time. Karamanukyan later on returned to Turkey and attended the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. She completed her first years in music education at home through special sessions, "During the [World War I] period, I didn't have a toy but a piano," she explained. Karamanukyan started to play the piano at three and at six she was also fluent in a few languages.
Karamanukyan started her education in Üsküdar's historical Bayzar Dayyan School and attended Esayan High School, which still is in service. Üsküdar was an important cultural spot for Armenians in the past and her first piano instructor was her big sister and Isdepan Papelyan. "Then, one of the renowned pianists Adrine Balyan became my second official instructor," says Karamanukyan highlighting that piano is a way of life for her.
‘The war and painful incidents in the aftermath influenced my fate':
During the tough days of the World War I, Karamanukyan's relatives living in Anatolia moved to Istanbul and she had to quit her piano lessons. Since she caught typhoid fever, she couldn't play piano for long time. "The war and the painful events in the aftermath had an impact on my fate," she says. Not only the war and painstaking incidents but also her marriage changed her life. Her husband, who didn't have an education because of the saddening incidents and had to leave Amasya, and his family asked Karamanukyan to quit her duty as piano instructor at the conservatory. Then, she was banned from playing the piano at home, too. She describes those days as "the days in hell." "During the nights, I closed my eyes and moved my fingers in the dark as if I was playing piano and heard the melodies in my imagination," she relates. One of the leading figures of Armenian literature, Adrine Dadryan, helped her and Karamanukyan then started to compose pieces for the congregational activities. "There was plenty that I could do," she continued, "But I had to be satisfied with average routines." Karamanukyan composed the poems of Armenian poets afterwards and created innumerable compositions over the years. The most striking one of these compositions is an opera piece on the poem titled "Ah Tamar," written by Hovhannes Tumanyan.
The works of Karamanukyan, who was awarded with many medals for her achievements, are unfortunately not recognized in Turkey. "If my nephew Sahan Arzruni were not here, my works would have faded away," confessed Karamanukyan, adding that her works are safe and sound because Arzruni recorded them on CD in the United States.
After her stage performances in many countries including the United States and Canada, Karamanukyan will be busy with another performance in Toronto in the upcoming months. The Toronto National Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Hagop Dökmeciyan will performance Karamanukyan's pieces. Keeping many documents and medals of achievements, some are granted by Vasken I, Aram Gatogigos, Karekin II, in the house, Karamanukyan was also awarded by Turkish Armenians Patriarch Mesrop Mutafyan with the medals of Surp Sahak and Surp Mesrop, both are the medals dedicated to the saints exploring the letters of Armenian. In recent years, a documentary film prepared by Arzruni on Karamanukyan's Ah Tamar composition was broadcast live on Armenian state television.
The 95-year-old music lover Karamanukyan cannot play piano due to a disease in her hands, but piano is still part of her life. "I got used to create the rhythm of the music in my mind," she said. She teaches to her students at her house. "They give life to my piano," Karamanukyan adds, "I close my eyes and meet with the notes."
Further information on Sirvart Karamanukyan can also be found through encyclopedias titled "International Who's Who of Women" and "New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians."
3000 Guests Visited Akdamar Church Since Inauguration
April 4, 2007
VAN-Dogan News Agency
After extensive renovation, the Akdamar Armenian church in Van reopened as a museum last Thursday and has had already had 3,000 visitors, reported the Dogan news agency.
The boating operators say that they are extremely happy with the newly reopened church's impact on their business. Because of the overwhelming enthusiasm by foreign and domestic visitors to visit the Armenian church over the last two days, operators raised rates from YTL 3 to YTL 5 for shuttling tourists across the lake between Van and the tiny islet where the 10th century church located.
There is an YTL 2 entrance fee and visitors are warmly welcomed by the museum's personnel upon reaching the island and will during their tour of the church learn about the history of the 1,000-year-old church.
Ms. Samantha Power: Are These The People You Are Still Defending?
There is a fly in the ointment. That fly is known as a mediocre writer and apologist for the Armenian causes , I's you Ms. Samantha Power. You had written a book while back, which is being rehashed over and over again every few months This Turkish Forum article will try to question you on the content of that book:
* * * *
Ms. Power, there is an old adage in the English language which says: “Look before you leap.” The scrutiny of your renewal of the much-heralded but nonetheless, mediocre book you chose to call “A PROBLEM FROM HELL-AMERICA AND THE AGE OF GENOCIDE,” may easily prove my point. Ever since I previewed your June 20, C-Span interview, and its endless repeats polluting the TV screens with your one-sided diatribes aimed at the defenseless Ottoman Turks, I decided to educate you a bit on how to approach to writing of such a pitiful product. Here are a few pointers. First, it was imperative for you to study thoroughly both sides of your subject matter. Without a doubt you were going to write a concealed operation whose content would deal with the real and intended coverage of the alleged “ARMENIAN GENOCIDE.” You may have been advised to disguise a bit your own identity in this venture, and conceal the essence of your real work, thus ‘pull the wool’ over the eyes of millions of inhabitants of this planet, in order to satisfy your Armenian benefactors.
Let us not beat around the bush. It appears that to be able to hide your primary motives (to be an apologist for your sponsors and benefactors, the Armenians,) you had to write in great detail about all kinds of other calamities which had befallen this unfortunate world of ours, in its past. You, apparently, felt it necessary to mention a myriad of scourges, cataclysms, catastrophes and tragedies of all shapes and forms such as the Irish Potato famine and the tribal massacres involving Hutus against Tutsis, Serbs against Albanians, Kmer Rouge against their own people and so on. This, in your estimation, was enough ammunition to prepare the reader for the “Piece de Resistance” of your project which was to be “scapegoating” the Muslim Turk, beating him over the head mercilessly and “why not” you may have said to yourself. Wasn’t it true that in many European languages “Turk’s head” “Tete de Turc”, “Cabeza de Turco or “Turken Kopf” were synonymous for that expression anyway? All you had to do was to mention a few “genocides”, here and there, and at a propitious moment move right in with your intended subject, voila! the ARMENIAN GENOCIDE would be there for everyone to see. Thus you would, most assuredly, give an air of legitimacy to the whole subject. By accomplishing this goal you would be satisfied, your friends would get a good return on their investment, and everybody would end up with a happy ending, just like in a Hollywood production.
Unfortunately, the whole thing is about to backfire on you. Because, without you ever noticing it, the times have been changing , rules are being altered .Your buddies, the Armenians, are having no more access to their monologues which they still adore. But it’s a slightly different story now. For more than 90 years they had the field all to themselves. The Turkish people had remained passive and silent all that time. With no chance of receiving any help or sympathy from anyone in the offing, they preferred to leave the matter to the historians.
In spite of lengthy and expensive campaigns, of the Armenians or perhaps because of them, and with the diligent hard work done by Internet’s legitimate online sites such as this one, the Turkish Forum, and its 200.000 plus active members, finally the world at large is beginning to recognize the flimsy, shaky tenure of the Armenians’ fake claims and sham accusations against the Turks. Those grandmothers’ mythical sob stories they had heard all their lives, day in, day out, were not achieving their expected goals any more. The Armenian charges were one-sided and quite frail. They had to be propped-up like a house of cards. In order to give credence, to this inconclusive historical quandary, Armenians were in need of strong backing. They needed false witnesses and jury ‘temperers’ to defend these shaky accusations. Needless to say, they succeeded to prop up their claims and injected to them a few ghastly cries borrowed from other genocides to make theirs appear to be more believable. In fact these days every Armenian genocide expert is doing the same thing, This time what we see are their crocodile tears shed for the poor Africans in Darfur, Sudan.
I am unable to prove it conclusively, but I have a premonition that either the Armenian Lobby and/or various other Armenian front organizations may have been subsidizing you generously, Ms. Power, re -printing writings and setting up your book signing schedules, your Media appearances etc…in order to publicize their shameless, unproven claims of ‘genocide’ against the Ottoman Turkish nation which was to have ‘decimated’, as you are saying , the Armenian ancestors, almost a century ago. Nevertheless, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and blame the inadequacies of your literary prowess to be an ‘honest’ writer, and the difficult content of your subject matter for your failure to convince the Turks and their friends.
So far, many of my capable colleagues have written to you and to Mr. Brian Lamb of the C-SPAN news network, about the Video program in which you appeared as a guest to be interviewed. They all tried to do their very best to educate you and show you how to write an honest book. You have made the transition from being a reporter to a fledgling writer. But you are not yet a seasoned writer. There are always two sides of a medallion to consider. Because, a seasoned writer first does some research before engaging in putting on paper only ‘hearsay’ and never does show any bias for one party or the other, unless of course the very same writer has a preconceived prejudice against one of the parties and she is enriched by her pay masters, the Armenians.
Even a most- revered TV program such as C-SPAN could be completely fooled by this touchy topic in question. The genocide of the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire is a figment of the imagination of the people who spoon fed you with that ‘pabulum.’ Ms. Power, that genocide had never taken place, but the reverse did happen and the ancestors of your dear friends the Armenians killed 2.5 million Muslim Turks, Sircassians, Tatars, Chechens, Kurds and even non-Muslim Georgians during the same period of time they are accusing the Turks with a so-called genocide. These Armenians, as the citizens of the Ottoman Empire who became traitors of the most ungrateful dastardly kind, have yet to admit that they gave a bloody nose to a single Muslim person. They refuse to accept that they stabbed their own government in the back in order to snatch away from the then dying and now already defunct empire a few miserable acres of land and a meaningless independence parchment paper about an Armenia which lasted a very short time.
The Truth Only Hurts The Guilty Party
“armenia Is A ‘Fake Democratic Republic’ Here Is That Proof Coming From The State Department Of The United States Of America In Washington, D.C.,
To try to be labeled as a true democratic republic, a country must first furnish the following fundamental rights to its citizens:
- freedom of speech
- freedom of the press
- freedom to hold free elections
- Freedom of religion
Armenia today does not permit these basic freedoms to its citizens and it must be classified as an old fashioned typical “terrorist dictatorship.” The following information is from The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor issued its latest annual report on Armenia on March 4. The results found throughout the lengthy of this 15-page official US State Department document prove beyond any doubt that tyranny and terrorism are alive and well in the tiny land-locked state which calls itself Republic of Armenia—the first Christian state on earth.
The document reports that “on September 25, a Georgian citizen of Armenian origin and a Dashnak political leader, Poghos Pogosian, was found dead in a Yerevan (Armenia’s capital city) café. According to eye witnesses, one of President Kocharian’s bodyguards beat Poghosian to death after he made a not so
complimentary remark about the president. On the following day, President Kocharian suspended Harutuyun Aghamalian and several other bodyguards until an investigation could be carried out by the prosecutor’s office. Then, the Procurator General’s office announced that one of Kocharian’s bodyguards would be tried for involuntary manslaughter, a crime that carries a penalty of up to 3 years in prison. On the ensuing investigation the Procurator General, Aram Tamayian, acknowledged that the corpses’ injuries were consistent with torture."
This is proof positive that there is no freedom of speech in Armenia, either. A citizen can be murdered in cold blood, --with the president of the country looking on-- for speaking his thoughts in this tiny “first” Christian state called Armenia. This is also proof positive that there is no freedom of the press in Armenia.
The state owned only official church of Armenia has not spoken out to condemn this brutal murder and this silence is proof enough that there is no freedom of religion in Armenia, because no other church is allowed to fully operate in this country.
The US State Department goes on to declare in its annual report and gives details of “torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and/or punishment” that are carried out in Armenia today. The US State Department reports: “The constitution and laws of Armenia prohibit torture; however, security personnel routinely beat pre-trial detainees during arrest and interrogation, and prosecutors rely on such confessions to secure convictions.” The report goes on to say “most cases of police brutality go
unreported because of fear of police retribution.”
“It seems to me that the Armenians learned well from their Nazi partners during the Second World War. .No real democracy operates under such Armenian state-approved terrorist tactics!”
The most serious findings made by the US State Department are the following:
"There is no democracy in Armenia! Elections are rigged by the cohorts of President Robert Kocharian . There are no laws, whatsoever, protecting women from domestic abuse, and from white trade in Armenia today. Young girls are regularly sold into prostitution and taken to foreign countries with the promise of good jobs. Armenia does nothing to stop this slave trade and there are no laws to stop such traffic in women, besides it is a good source of revenue for the corrupt authorities. Persons with disabilities aren’t provided for in Armenia today, neither are the needs of Armenian children.
The current United States Department of State report is a must reading for anyone who claims Armenia is a democratic republic. Clearly the evidence is overwhelming that Armenia is perpetuating a great fraud upon the Christian world with its bogus claim of being a free and open democratic republic. It is past time for those who make false claims about the pure Christian democratic state of Armenia to go to work and create such a state before deceiving and fleecing Christians of the world out of billions and billions of dollars
This American State Department report clearly shows that Armenia relies upon foreign aid from the Christian world as its number one import. The time has past for the Christian world to cut off funding such a heartless terrorist state until it starts to operating as a democracy the U.S taxpayers should revolt against subsidizing these people who seem to be living in the dark ages of the medieval times of human history but still claim they are a democratic part of the modern world.
No United States citizens with their right mind should ever make tourist visits to Armenia because of the way the Armenians run their dictatorial state.
Finally Ms. Power , I’m almost sure that you have been defending the most indefensible people on earth. Some claim that your family is originally of Jewish stock from Poland.
There is nothing wrong with being a Jewess, other than being an Ashkenazi Jew you do lack the qualifications of the Sephardic Jews who are the friends of the Turks, having lived with them over five long centuries. It seems that if you were a Sephardic Jew you could have never attacked the Turks the way you‘ve been doing.
The story you are about to read illustrate and also demonstrate the horrible nature of your friends the Armenians, and it is quite reminiscent of the Nazi years in the Concentration camps and reminds us of a Nazi Doctor by the name of Joseph Mengele. You do remember him, I presume. He must have trained a few of his admirers to do similar surgical experimentation. Today the unscrupulous Armenians are doing what Dr. Joseph Mengele did then. The difference among them and the ‘good’ doctor is that the Armenians are doing it for big profits in mind, and not for ‘scientific’ breakthroughs.
So , Ms. Samantha Power, you were, after all, somewhat justified to have called your book “Problem from Hell” Now we know which hell you had in your unconscious mind: THE HELL OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA.
You probably would say that I am prejudiced against the Armenians. If that’s the case, my reaction to that would be: “I am not any more prejudiced against the Armenians than you Ms. Power, are prejudiced against my people, the Turks. However, in my situation I have ample reason to be so. Who would not be that way under the graphic circumstances illustrated above, for the whole world to witness and scrutinize?
Mahmut Esat Ozan
Washington Launches New "Black Sea Strategy"
Azerbaijan's inclusion and Turkey's dominant role in this project are meant for weakening Russia's influence in the Black Sea region. 31.03.2007
Washington will present the "New Black Sea Strategy" to the Azeri government. This time the U.S. Defense Ministry has offered Turkey the dominant role in the "New Black Sea Strategy". Though U.S. representatives have repeatedly stated that Bucharest will become their buttress, Romania is placed in the background in the new project.
The American project supposes adoption of new rules on security problems of coastal states and support for Turkey's efforts to establish geo-political dominant position in the region. The cause for this is coincidence of the greater part of interests between Ankara and Washington. According to the Pentagon, without Turkey the United States cannot reach concrete results in advancement to the Central Asia and farther. Washington's new project will be presented to governments of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Greece. The U.S. also urged the costal countries to actively participate in the security program titled "Black Sea Harmony", which is being coordinated by Turkey.
Washington's interests in the Black Sea region proceeds from vital necessity: The Black Sea includes straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles, which are being actively manipulated by Turkey for his interests. Azerbaijan's inclusion and Turkey's dominant role in this project are meant for weakening Russia's influence in the Black Sea region and are one of US's efficient tools in more active anti-Russian policy in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. And finally, this is a way for Central Asia to Western markets. It is also worth mentioning that the Black Sea region is viewed by Iran as a channel to export his gas and oil. Alongside, geographical closeness can make Iran an easier target for warplanes, which will have opportunity to take off from airports of the region.
Naturally the main goal of the United States is to change the balance of powers towards his side and decrease Russia's influence over the region in economic, political and military spheres. The other goal is integration of countries, which emerged after USSR's collapse, in NATO. However the greatest threats in the region are conflicts. Caucasus and the Black Sea are in the region of emerging and developing conflicts: conflicts in Nagorno Karabakh, Abkhazia and Ossetia.
They all are subjects of attention in the light of Russian-Turkish relations. In 1992-1993 calls for military interference in the Nagorno Karabakh conflicts were becoming more and more stronger in Ankara. Commander of CIS Armed Forces marshal Evgeni Shaposhnikov then stated that it will mean World War 3. Turkish Primes Minister of those times Suleiman Demirel said "Turkey's interference in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in favor of Azerbaijan will incite the Soviet Army against Turkey". It is worth mentioning that during meetings in Moscow and Ankara the Nagorno Karabakh problem always is being viewed from the viewpoint to provide stability in the region. However, despite Turkey's all efforts, Moscow is not going to join Ankara to the OSCE Minsk Group, clearly realizing what it can threaten Armenia. It's interesting the U.S. speaks from similar positions. Turkeys participation in the settlement of the conflict not only will upset the fragile balance of powers in the region, but also may provoke new military actions. Feeling "brotherly" support, Azerbaijan may seriously set to "settlement of the conflict", which ultimately will cost one dear both for Azerbaijan and Turkey. PanARMENIAN.Net analytical department
Turkish Political Scientist About The Terrorist Act Of October 27
By H. Chaqrian
AZG Armenian Daily
Recently the "Abhaber" website, the Turkish version of "Euronews", published an article by professor Hasan Koni, lecturer at the International Relations Department of the Ankara State University. In the article, entitled "The Armenian Question and the International Status of Turkey", professor Koni speaks about Turkey's efforts to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia and explains their failure by the interference of Russia.
Koni also mentions the terrorist act of October 27, 1999 in the Parliament of Armenia. We cannot either deny or affirm his statements, but one thing is certain about them: they are rather interesting. "In 1993 a conference of Turkish republics was held. Hasan Hasanov, who was Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan those days, on the conference complained that the promised dollars had not been received yet. He said Azerbaijan was being cheated for two years. Indeed in those times Caucasus expected financial assistance. At the moment Russia appeared on the scene. Russia provoked Armenia against Azerbaijan in the issue of Karabakh. We tried to establish relations with Armenia (then, in the days of Kocharian five politicians, with who we had got in touch, were murdered in the House of the National Assembly of Armenia, for if Armenia established contact with us, Russia would lose the region forever). We were not permitted to establish contact and turn the Armenians on our side (of course, it is uneasy to speak all about this to the international public)."
Speaking Out In The Shadow Of Death: Why Turkish Intellectuals Need Armed Guards
Nicholas Birch in Istanbul
April 7, 2007
· 20 offered protection after murder of editor
· Activists urge end of ban on insulting Turkishness
Abdurrahman Dilipak, an Islamist columnist and outspoken advocate of freedom of speech, has been tailed by the police for years. But these days, they shadow him for his own protection.
"Death threats come with the job," he said. "But I take them seriously now."
Following the murder in January of Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink, who was shot on a crowded Istanbul street by an ultra-nationalist teenager, he is not the only dissident getting used to life with a personal bodyguard.
It seems clear now that the Turkish security services knew of the plot against Dink. His death spurred them to offer protection to about 20 journalists, writers and academics. One of them is Atilla Yayla, a political scientist who was branded a traitor by the press last November for questioning the cult surrounding Turkey's founder, Kemal Ataturk. Though the death threats have now slowed to a trickle, he faces up to three years in jail for "insulting the legacy of Ataturk".
"It's a strange feeling, living with a bodyguard," he said. "He protects me and I look after him. He is so much a part of me that I'm planning to buy him and his family presents." He points to the books lining the walls of the liberal association of which he is president: volumes of John Locke and Friedrich Hayek. "He's improving himself here," he said.
Other Turkish intellectuals find it harder to see the funny side.
Best-selling novelist Elif Shafak, one of the most well known of 50 people taken to court by ultra-nationalists last year on charges of "insulting Turkishness", now makes few trips outside her house .
Dink "was a close friend, and I haven't got over the shock of his death", she said in a recent phone conversation. She declined to talk at length.
Interviewed by the daily Hurriyet in February, her husband, Eyup Can, said she was so upset that she was unable to breast-feed her daughter, born last September.
Meanwhile, Orhan Pamuk, the novelist who won last year's Nobel prize for literature, left Turkey under police escort on February 1, days after the man believed by police to have organised Dink's murder threatened him as he was taken into custody. Turkey's tourism ministry has since said it plans to use Pamuk in a campaign to attract tourists to the country.
When more than 100,000 people attended Dink's funeral procession, many hoped his death might mark the end of what one columnist called "the ultra-nationalist tsunami" sweeping Turkey since the start of efforts to join the EU.
In fact, the mourners and their slogan, "We are all Armenians", further angered nationalists. And one of their key demands, that the law criminalising "insults to Turkishness" should be changed, has been ignored by a government afraid of losing nationalist support in elections due this autumn.
But despite the risks they face, Turkish dissidents say they have no intention of shutting up. "Such a thing has happened that you cannot be cautious any more," said Etyen Mahcupyan, the Turkish-Armenian columnist who took over as editor of Hrant Dink's weekly newspaper, Agos, after his friend's murder. "It is immoral to be cautious."
Unprotected until January, Agos's offices are now under police guard, and a new CCTV camera surveys the patch of street where Dink died.
Like Mahcupyan, Baskin Oran knows his bodyguard will not be able to stop a professional assassination attempt.
"This nice person is protecting me from amateur killers, like the one who killed Hrant," said the political scientist, who co-wrote a 2004 government report on minority rights that many see as the catalyst for today's nationalist surge. He quoted a Turkish proverb: he who fears birds doesn't plant corn. "If you are afraid, you should stop. But how can I look into the mirror in the morning if I do stop? How can I lecture my students?"
He said that the threats and restrictions on freedom of movement were part of the growing pains of Turkish democracy, adding: "The road to paradise passes by hell, and we are walking."
Taner Akcam: Issue Of Armenian Genocide Is Chinese Torture For Turkey
Apr 06 2007
In his interview to the Turkish newspaper "Zaman", Taner Akcam, of Michigan University, Turkish historian, said that he is in favor of the bill on the Armenian Genocide recognition submitted to the US Congress. "The issue of the Armenian Genocide is a Chinese torture for Turkey. Every year we ask themselves the question if the US Congress will adopt a resolution about recognition or not. Let the congress adopt it, and we'll get free," he noted.
According to Akcam, Armenians will also benefit from adoption of such resolution. "In case of the resolution's adoption, Armenians will say that yet another country has joined the countries recognizing the genocide. Everybody in the US is convinced that Turks committed the genocide but they are just reluctant to inflict pain on Turkey. The problem is that in case of the resolution's ratification Turks will not allow Americans to use the Incirlik military base," he said.
The newspaper "Marmara" (Istanbul) reported that the Turkish historian also spoke about the structure of the Turkish government and relations with Armenia. "The current problems with Armenia will be solved if people like Yusuf Halacoglu (NT: director of Turkey's Institute of History), Gyunduz Aktan (NT: member of the dissolved Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission), and Shyukru Elekdag (NT: retired diplomat, deputy from opposition Republican People's Party), who form state policy, are isolated," Taner Akcam expressed an opinion.
Aghtamar Reopening Becomes A Celebration Of Turkey
* The former seat of Armenian catholicoi is now a Turkish museum
News analysis by Tatul Hakobyan
VAN, Turkey - On March 29 the renovated and restored Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Aghtamar Island in Lake Van was re-opened. The church was built in the early 10th century, during the reign of the Armenian King Gagik of Vaspurakan, and served as the seat of the Armenian Catholicos of Aghtamar from 1113 through 1895.
Turkey's Minister of Culture and Tourism Atilla Koc, Van governor Özdemir Çakacak, Archbishop Mesrob II, the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey, ambassadors accredited to Ankara and representatives of embassies, and an official delegation from Armenia headed by the Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth Affairs, Gagik Gurjian, attended the ceremony, which ended up as a celebration of Turkey.
On the day of the opening, Aghtamar Island and the mainland shore across from it were covered in Turkish flags, and only the Turkish language could be heard. Minister Koc, Governor Çakacak, and Patriarch Mesrob spoke, and then, as the Turkish national anthem rang out, they cut a ribbon - which like the Turkish flag was red, the color of blood.
Turkey spent close to $2 million to renovate and restore the Holy Cross Church, but inaugurated it not as an Armenian church but as a Turkish historical and cultural monument, in which no church services will be performed. Moreover, the government, in spite of requests from Archbishop Mesrob, did not allow a cross to be placed on the church. It was with this fact in view that the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and the Catholicate of the Great House of Cilicia both turned down Turkish government invitations to attend the opening. And rightly so.
* Catholicoi not present
The Mother See announced on March 27 that it would "not participate in the ceremonies after having considered that the Holy Cross Armenian Church, recently renovated by the Turkish authorities, will not operate as a church under the spiritual authority of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople and instead will be designated as a museum; and that the opening ceremonies will be conducted solely with a secular program and not in accord with the canonical rites of the Holy Apostolic Armenian Church."
The announcement concluded: "In this new century, when there is a universal desire for mutual understanding and collaboration between peoples, as well as in the context of dialogue between religions and cultures, this action of the Turkish authorities against the pious Christian beliefs and emotions of the Armenian people cannot be perceived as a positive step on the path of bringing the two nations closer."
Levent Bilman, a representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, told journalists that the Foreign Ministry - yes, the Foreign Ministry - is studying the question of whether to place a cross atop Holy Cross.
Archbishop Mutafyan did say in his speech at the opening ceremony that the Holy Cross Church is an Armenian church. He used the terms "Aghtamar" and "Holy Cross" rather than the Turkified "Akdamar" (meaning "white vein"). He entreated that the church-turned-into-a-museum be the site of at least one religious service per year.
* "Respect the history"
Mr. Koc and Governor Çakacak stressed in their speeches that Van is the most likely magnet for tourism in eastern Turkey because many civilizations have thrived in the area over the centuries. They represented the renovation and restoration of the Holy Cross Church as an example of Turkey's respect for history and culture. Everywhere in Van there were signs in English and Turkish reading, "Respect the history, respect the culture."
But how can one speak of respect when Holy Cross - stripped of its cross, and with its historic name altered - embodies Turkey's utter contempt for history and culture?
Turkish television covered the ceremony at length. A clip that was repeated over and over showed Turkey's minister of culture and Armenia's deputy minister of culture sitting side by side, sharing a chuckle. Mr. Gurjian told reporters that Turkey is "a multicultural country," and expressed hope that the opening of Holy Cross could be the beginning of a "cultural dialogue" between Armenia and Turkey.
Official Yerevan participated in the festivity on the level of a deputy minister, which was a message to Ankara that Armenia is dissatisfied. It is not clear, however, whether any delegation should have attended the opening.
On his return to Yerevan, Deputy Minister Gurjian said that in 2008 Turkey plans to begin a five-year restoration project in the ancient Armenian capital of Ani, just across the border from Armenia. Mr. Gurjian said that Mr. Koc had not ruled out the possibility of the participation of Armenian experts in the project.
"Seeing the ruined state of the mother church in Ani, the Arakelots Cathedral, and some other churches, we were once again convinced that the participation of Armenian architects in the restoration is strictly necessary," Mr. Gurjian said.
Pavel Avetisian, director of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, who was part of the Aghtamar delegation, believes "cultural dialogue" with Turkey is necessary, as it is the only way to save Armenian cultural and religious monuments in Turkey from destruction. "If the churches of Ani are not restored in the next 20 to 25 years, there is a danger that they will be lost forever," he said.
* "A never-ending process of gestures"
In a statement issued the day before the opening, Armenia's Foreign Ministry said, "This is a positive move and holds the potential of a reversal of the policy of negligence and destruction." (See full text below.)
"We hope the same kind of approach will extend to cover the nearly collapsed churches of Ani, Mush, Tegor, and a dozen other priceless examples of Armenian medieval architecture, which have been abandoned at best, or more often, intentionally vandalized, simply because of their Armenian identity," the Foreign Ministry added.
"Turkey's announcements about the opening of this renovated church do not include the word 'Armenian' anywhere," the statement noted. "This is an evasion of the Turkish government's responsibility not only to history and memory, but to its own Armenian minority.
Noting that pictures of Aghtamar are being circulated by Turkish lobbyists in Washington, the Foreign Ministry said, "Armenia and Armenians wish for substantive progress with Turkey regarding our painful past and a potential of a shared future as neighbors. Armenia and Armenians do not want to be played in a never-ending process of gestures that do not intend to make real inroads in reconciliation, and instead are simply public relations moves."
Like the catholicoi of Etchmiadzin and Antelias, official Yerevan too could have skipped the opening of Holy Cross as long as the Turkish government declined to place a cross atop the church and treat it as a place of worship, where the faithful could light candles and the clergy could perform services.As noble as Prime Minister Erdogan's original reasons for ordering the renovation and restoration of the church may have been, there is no doubt that the opening ceremony was nothing more than an attempt to undermine the Armenian Genocide resolution under consideration in the United States Congress. The date of the ceremony was shifted around a few times. At one point, a cynical decision was made to hold the ceremony on April 24, the day Armenians around the world pay their respects to the memory of the 1.5 million innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. After Archbishop Mutafyan made a strong protest, the date was shifted to the week of April 11 to 15. But the date was changed again, this time to March 29, which made it timelier for Washington lobbying purposes.
After the official opening ceremony, regular citizens on the shore of Lake Van were allowed to cross over to the island on the boats used to transport the official delegations. A few dozen locals, ranging in age from 15 to 55, arrived to throw rocks at rabbits, the weakest residents of the island. Thus concluded the day's sad and repulsive Turkish celebration.
Holy Cross Survives, Diplomacy Dies
by Talin Suciyan
ISTANBUL - "We started our journey to Aghtamar Island. Lake Van is mysterious, its color changing moment to moment, as we approached the island in a small boat. The little chapel next to the church was almost totally destroyed, but the church's turn had not come yet. The captain commanded [the workers demolishing the church]: 'Until I come back you won't touch the church. I am going to the governor.' The workers came to attention, and their leader said, 'With pleasure commander!' Arriving back in Van, we called [the newspaper] Cumhuriyet, and two days later, Mr. Avni Basman, who was then the Minister of Education, sent a telegram to the governor to stop the destruction. This happened on June 25, 1951: the day Aghtamar Church survived."
This is a quotation from the book Ya sar Kemal Kendini Anlatiyor ("Yasar Kemal Narrates Himself"). It was Yasar Kemal, the legendary Turkish writer, who back in 1951 went to Aghtamar Island as a journalist and saw the workers destroying the church. He immediately called his newspaper, got to the minister of education, and managed to stop the destruction.
Yasar Kemal was not present at last week's unveiling of the renovated Holy Cross Church on Aghtamar Island. He probably was not even invited. But if there was a church left to renovate, he's the one to thank.
Turkey was hoping to have a grand inauguration ceremony, with many guests from the Armenian diaspora and Armenia, hundreds of other visitors, international groups, and the like.
Not one of these expectations was fulfilled.
The border with Armenia remained closed. The cross and the bell were conspicuously missing atop the church. The edifice was opened as a museum, not a church. And so, Armenian religious leaders from outside Turkey skipped the ceremony. Diaspora Armenian groups didn't bother to make the trip.
The name of the church was changed - with the abetment of Turkey's mainstream media - to "Akdamar" instead of "Aghtamar" or "Akhtamar." And with that name change, no one even thought to mention the name "Holy Cross Church."
* Çandar: "Cultural genocide"
Cengiz Çandar, writing in the English-language Turkish Daily News and the Turkish Referans, had this to say: This is the day of the opening of a 'church-museum,' which the Minister of Cultural Affairs turned into a mess. Whatever the intention was, it looks like a 'cultural genocide.'"
Çandar continued, as if to Ministry of Cultural Affairs: "What you do is simply 'cultural genocide.' How come you have the right for that? And why?
Ultranationalist Turkish groups, on the other hand, organized some protests. The daily Yenicag announced the opening ceremony with this headline: "Freedom to Church, Prohibition to Mosque." According to the ensuing news item, a memorial service had been proposed for what the newspaper called "Turkish martyrs killed by Armenians," to be held on the day of the opening. But the authorities had withheld permission.
On the day of inauguration, Archbishop Mesrob II, Patriarch of Armenians in Turkey, went to visit Nareg Monastery in the village of Yemislik - the former Narek village. In the place where Nareg Monastery once stood, today there is a mosque. Six years ago, there were still some remnants of an archway of the monastery. In Sevan Nisanyan's book, Eastern Turkey, Nareg Monastery is called a very important remnant of Armenian architecture, destroyed in 1951.
The renowned Istanbul-born Armenian pianist Sahan Arzruni offered to perform at the opening ceremony, saying that he is a descendant, 36 generations removed, of King Gagik Arzruni, in whose reign the church was built in the year 951. He sent a piece composed by his cousin Sirvart Karamanuk, an Armenian composer based in Istanbul, titled "Akhtamar," to the Ministery of Culture. But the ministry decided that Tuluyhan Ugurlu, a Turkish pianist, should play on the occasion.
*No translation for Armenian visitors
A day after the ceremony, on March 30, Milliyet - one of the rare newspapers to dedicate an entire page to the opening - noted that no translation service had been provided for the Armenian delegation, which thus could not follow the Turkish speeches.
Gagik Gurjian, Armenia's Deputy Minister of Culture, headed the Armenian government's delegation, which made a 16-hour land journey over Georgia. Mr. Gurjian told Agos, the Armenian-Turkish weekly, that the Armenian government has offered to renovate Turkish monuments in Armenia jointly with Turkish experts. Mr. Gurjian said, "For us, all restorations are important. Some years back we renovated the mosque to its original form, in Yerevan. It is important to keep the original form."
In the end, Aghtamar's highly-touted inaugural ceremony turned out to be a local event. And as a news story, Aghtamar seems to be dead again. For the moment.