16 April 2007

1613) Letter to Foreign Correspondent - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Ms Dineen,

I would not have expected any less than the fact Foreign Correspondent stands by it’s own report, alas it is the usual response the Turkish Community in Australia have come to expect. However, since you stand by your report in light of my original comment that is “I note your very much one sided interview with Mr Pamuk”, please allow me to examine the transcript and raise certain issues about that interview. . .

Firstly, the synopsis opens with the line, “What I said is true, legally I have the right to say it, and historically and morally this has to be said, if we are decent human beings”. The statement indicates that according to Mr Pamuk, the Armenian Genocide did take place and he takes the moral high ground. Now Mr Pamuk is never questioned as to how he comes to that conclusion or the sources he relies upon in order to reach his conclusion. It is a fait accompli according to the transcript that a genocide did take place from the very outset.

From this very point, the synopsis goes onto criticise the Turkish Government and or people with the statements,

“However, as Pamuk explains to David Hardaker, he has become a pariah virtually overnight for daring to break a 90 year old taboo – talking openly about Turkey’s role in the deaths of more than a million Armenians. Sometimes known as “the sick man of Europe”, Turkey suffers from a deep-seated insecurity about its identity. The heavy-handed state response to Pamuk’s remarks to a Swiss newspaper shows why the country faces so many hurdles when it comes to joining the European Union.”

You see the program never suggests or explains how the Turkish Legal system works and the fact that it was NOT Governmental identities that laid the complaint in the first instance. Similar to Australia whereby an individual makes up a false accusation and attempts to frame another person and the authorities initially take action and eventually at trial under cross examination the tested evidence does not come up to proof. Now I do not think I need to provide you with examples of miscarriages of justice in Australia. Being the well-educated people that you are at Foreign Correspondent you no doubt would know about the vast majority of the matters, which I speak about.

You see there is no problem speaking about the events, which occurred during the material times in the Ottoman Empire so long as you can back them up with hard evidence. The problem is the debate is stifled not by the Turkish authorities but Western Media corporations not explaining the FULL FACTS.

Now you go onto describe Mr KemalKerincsizand his comments but you do not go into any explanation as to who Mr Kerincsiz is nor his part in the Pamuk debacle. You see most Turks throughout the World know Mr Kerincsiz is a Nationalist Lawyer who can at times be over zealous; he is not a part of any Turkish Government institution. He is not a Prosecutor or a member of the Judiciary he is a private individual. That is never explained, according to the transcripts, it deceives the viewing public into believing that Kerincsiz may be a part of the Turkish Institution.

In fact, the entire paragraph and I quote,

“The Turkish state is also vigorously pursuing those who dare to publicly question the official line. Pamuk was charged under the notorious Article 301 - which makes it an offence to insult the Turkish state, and carries a six month jail sentence. His case became a cause celebre in Europe, and the charge was eventually dropped, but Kemal Kerincsiz is appealing. Dozens of other lesser known people have also been charged with the same offence, and we meet some of them in this story.”

Is totally deceptive and misleading, again Kerincsiz is not apart of the Turkish Government nor judiciary. What you have done in the above paragraph is best articulated by Justice Brian Sully formerly of the Supreme Court ofNSW, that is and I quote, “The media deal in lies and worse, "finely calibrated half-truths"; they fuse fact and opinion…”.

Then to end off the synopsis it states, “As Hardaker reports, the cases highlight Turkey’s identity crisis and force Turks to confront their past in a way which up till now, they have refused to do”. Again that statements re enforces the fact that according to Hardaker the Armenian Genocide is fait>accompli, the point being that Turks do not know their own past and in fact if they did know they are in an identity crisis situation denying that their ancestors committed genocide. Where is the evidence of genocide? A pre planned well thought out premeditated initiative by the Ottoman Government to wipe out either in whole or in part of its Ottoman citizens?

Then the transcript of the actual program gets better that is in the character assassination of Turks and the Republic of Turkey in general.

Mr Pamuk states, “What happened to Turkey’s Ottomans is a grave, important issue that the nation should know about and we have to have freedom of speech”. You see there is freedom of speech in Turkey so long as you can back up your argument with facts, but that is never explained or put forward in the program. In Australia, we have the laws of defamation, the Turkish system a sovereign nation has different, and or a varied version of defamation. The defamation laws in Australia are in my very humble opinion in effective and cannot be utilised by the vast majority of ordinary Australian citizens because of varying reasons but primarily due to prohibitive legal costs and the fact, the media are trained in negating these laws and regulations.

Example being when Mr John Marsden Solicitor died the Sydney media went to town on his character knowing full well “dead men can’t sue” they published outrageous comments which if he were alive they could not have, or more appropriately would have been too scared to publish due to the legal ramifications. So not only is the media dishonest but also cowardly. They are despicable by and large with no honour and no integrity. You find very few Journalists with any integrity or common human decency. Now do not misunderstand me here I never knew nor met Mr Marsden but for all his flaws whatever they may have been, the act of assassinating his character after his death was the lowest of the low.

Again, comments attributable to Mr Hardaker state,

“What happened to OrhanPamuk is a salutary tale of state repression, not only of freedom of speech today but of the truth of the country’s past. OrhanPamuk’s sin as such, was to publicly question the deeds of the nation’s founding fathers but the way the Turkish State has handled his case, reveals the deep forces which are pulling at the fabric of Turkish society and it shows exactly why Turkey faces so many hurdles when it comes to joining the European Union. Orhan Pamuk dared to speak of a dark episode in Turkey’s past, the forced removal and killing of over a million Armenians.”

Yet again, another fine example of what Justice Sully states, “The media deal in lies and worse, "finely calibrated half-truths"; they fuse fact and opinion…”. Where does Mr Hardaker get the number of “a million Armenians” being killed? What sources does he rely upon? You see I bet you would NOT be surprised to find out that even in accordance with Armenian Sources the highest estimates were around 600,000 dead and the vast majority were not killed as eluded to they died of other causes. Look at for example what the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenian stated, but no doubt, that is of no relevance because that would be in defence of the Turkish case.

Now I could go on and on but I think you would pretty much get the gist of my argument. However, I could not go past the tear jerking heartstring-pulling comments made by Sarkis Cerkezyan. Firstly the comments, “If one who is guilty is taken to court, he denies everything, doesn’t he? It is like a guilt complex. They found the easy way out – they sit on all their assets, their money, everything – and say such a thing never happened.”

So yet again, the Turkish race and the Ottoman Empire are guilty and they are denying the fact they are guilty like all persons charged with a criminal offence. The only difference being no Ottoman Official was ever charged with the offence of Genocide or anything akin to genocide. There were Ottoman officials charged, tried (under dubious conditions) and hung by the same government for offences OTHER THAN GENOCIDE or INTENTION TO WIPE OUT or EXTERMINATE an entire race in whole or in part. However, what Mr Cerkezyan suggests is that the Ottoman Government in fact pre planned, premeditated an extermination of the Armenian population in whole or in part that is not correct at all. There is ample evidence to suggest to the contrary as depicted by that entire program.

Further, Mr Hardaker’s lies and finely calibrated half-truths know no bounds let me qualify that comment, I quote,

“…capturing the time when rulers of the old Ottoman Empire expelled Armenians from their land and out of their homes and forced them to march into the desert of neighbouring Syria. Men, women and children – their fate was a near certain death.”

The Ottomans NEVER EXPELLED Armenians from their land, it was all one Empire one sovereign nation Syria was a part of the Ottoman Empire they were relocated due to the rebellion the Armenians in that part of the Ottoman Empire was conducting. Have a look at the independent documentary “The Armenian Revolt” which the ABC, SBS, and other Media around the Western world REFUSE point blank to air.

The treatment of the Armenians in Eastern Anatolia during the material times was not unlike the internship of numerous nationals in Australia and America during wartime ala the German and Japanese residents, BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT no doubt. However, what white Australia did to the Aboriginals of this land is Genocide clear cut, most clearly is the fact of the “stolen generation” at law as well as morally.

Then Mr Cerkezyan goes on to describe the horrors, which fell upon his family, well Ms Dineen what makes his personal suffering different from the millions of Turks, Arabs and Kurds that were murdered by the Armenians, roughly 2.5 Million according to the best statistics available. Now I am not trying to diminish the suffering of certain Armenians in that region during that specific time, but let me tell you about my maternal grandmother’s situation.

During that same period, her and her sibling (brother) were small children living in a Village near Kars in Eastern Anatolia named Subatan. When the troubles began, her parents sent both children to stay with relatives near Ankara. Shortly, thereafter my grandmothers parents and other living relatives that remained inSubatan were murdered by the Armenians, some shot, others butchered with knives, others clubbed to death, some taken to a local Mosque and burnt alive inside. These included men women and children of the entire Village. So what makes Mr Cerkezyan’s suffering any more different to mine or my grandmothers. The only reason I able to write this letter to you today is because my grandmother escaped with her life. Why doesn’t the Western Media ever highlight those atrocities committed by the Armenians, instead of making them look like innocent victims, which are quite often compared to the Jews of Nazi Germany?

Well can you imagine Hitler having a person of the Jewish faith as his Foreign Minister, because the Foreign Minister of the Ottoman Empire during that period was Armenian Christian? Further, there was the Nuremberg Trials with mountains of evidence, trials convictions. There was before World War II written propaganda against the Jews of Germany and Europe. Where is the written propaganda or hate of the Armenians depicted in Ottoman Archives? Did the Ottomans just wake up one morning and think well lets kill the Armenians but only those in the East we’ll leave the one’s in the West alone, and in fact we’ll cover our tracks for future historians by keeping our token Armenian Christian Foreign Minister ?

Why is it that the precursor to the Nuremberg Trials, i.e. The Malta Tribunals failed although LordCurzon (a known Turk hater) tried his hardest to find and produce evidence, which would stand up in an English Court of Law? You see these are all apart of the events, which took place, and questions that need to be answered and highlighted but it is not in the interest of the biased Western Media. All that you do is marginalise the Turkish Community living within Australia. The Turks are used to Western propaganda, which has continued from the days of the Crusades, we do not expect anything less from the media in Australia or other parts of the Western world. As for entering the EU, I think if you did a survey in the Republic of Turkey as well as Turks living abroad you would find that most would be against joining the EU. It has been stated to the Turkish nation time and again, that the EU is a Christian club. It is successive Turkish Governments that beg to enter the Club, which they will never be allowed to do. Most Turks know this, if it is not the Armenian issue, it will be Cyprus if not Cyprus it will be the Kurds, if not the Kurds it will be something else.

Most Turks know that the Republic of Turkey’s future, destiny, and economic prosperity lies not with the “Sick Man of Europe” the EU, but in the East with the Turkic Republics and Asia in general.

You see Ms Dineen that program once again compounded the shame on this country, which their Honours referred to in the case of Levon Demirian, which I have previously stated. Your program was another fine piece of propaganda best described by Justice Sully’s comments; you have done a marvellous job at assassinating the Turkish character yet again. I will end by reiterating Justice Sully’s comments,

“The media, as we know, react with savage vindictiveness to any attempt to apply to them those standards of transparency and accountability that they are insistent on applying to other people … The media are not a constitutional arm of government … To suggest that [they are] is legal fiction, a political subversion and a moral absurdity. The media are major money-making cartels. They are not knights in shining armour. Their agenda is power. Their strategy is fear and their tactics are a combination of ridicule, sometimes of the most savage personal kind."

The media deal in lies and worse, "finely calibrated half-truths"; they fuse fact and opinion, and there's been a campaign in recent times in the Sydney metropolitan media "which in my time has never been surpassed for the persistent, wilful and vicious mendacity with which it has been conducted".

It's about time the Bar Association did something about it. It should take the fight to the media by insisting they say not what they are against, but what they are for.”

So you see Ms Dineen, what the Armenians could not achieve via armed conflict, dubious legal means, and acts of terrorism, they are now achieving politically with the huge assistance of the Western media. In turn, the Western media continue to marginalise young Muslim men, which then create, as has been stated a fertile ground to cultivate the uneducated of these into terrorist organisations and their only hope is defending themselves via acts of violence because they do not have the capacity to defend themselves intellectually or through organs of the mass media. People such as yourself are just as much to blame for the rise of radical Islam and the violence certain sections of that community has caused as the actual terrorists themselves. How does it feel to have the blood of thousands on your hands, because you continually refuse to tell the full facts as they are?

I would suggest Mr George Negushad far more integrity than Mr Hardaker could ever dream of achieving. Mr Hardaker has turned Foreign Correspondent into a cheap tabloid current affairs program akin to Today Tonight and A Current Affair, it really is a shame.

I apologise for my typos in advance.

Regards
Ataman


Dear Mr (Ataman),

Thank you for your e-mail . I have fowarded it to David Hardaker in Jerusalem . While we note you comment about his interview with Mr Pamuk , Foreign Correspondent stands by that report.

Yours
Mavourneen Dineen ( Foreign Correspondent Producer )



Turkey - Facing up to the Past
Broadcast: 28/02/2006
Reporter: David Hardaker

LEAD STORY
SERIES 15
EPISODE 22

Synopsis
“What I said is true, legally I have the right to say it, and historically and morally this has to be said, if we are decent human beings.”

Orhan Pamuk, Turkey’s best-known modern novelist, was until recently a national hero, feted both inside and outside the country.

However, as Pamuk explains to David Hardaker, he has become a pariah virtually overnight for daring to break a 90 year old taboo – talking openly about Turkey’s role in the deaths of more than a million Armenians.

Sometimes known as “the sick man of Europe”, Turkey suffers from a deep-seated insecurity about its identity. The heavy-handed state response to Pamuk’s remarks to a Swiss newspaper shows why the country faces so many hurdles when it comes to joining the European Union.

“What Orhan Pamuk has done here is directly insult the Turkish nation and the very idea of being Turkish,” says populist lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz. “He is twisting history.”

Despite the official view of most independent historians, a majority of Turks believe that there was no genocide of Armenians in 1915.

What’s worse, to talk about Armenian genocide is to question the deeds of the nation’s founding fathers, including Gallipoli hero Kemal Attaturk.

Were it simply a war of words, probably none of this would matter much. But Pamuk’s books have been burned, his photo shredded, and there have been threats to his life. He was even forced to leave the country for a time.

The Turkish state is also vigorously pursuing those who dare to publicly question the official line. Pamuk was charged under the notorious Article 301 - which makes it an offence to insult the Turkish state, and carries a six month jail sentence. His case became a cause celebre in Europe, and the charge was eventually dropped, but Kemal Kerincsiz is appealing. Dozens of other lesser known people have also been charged with the same offence, and we meet some of them in this story.

As Hardaker reports, the cases highlight Turkey’s identity crisis and force Turks to confront their past in a way which up till now, they have refused to do.
___________________________________________________________________
UPDATE
Included in the Pamuk report was an interview and sequences with Hrant Dink, who ran the Armenian newspaper in Istanbul.

Dink had long advocated in his paper 'Agos' that Turkey admit and acknowledge the Armenian genocide. He received a six month suspended jail sentence after facing three charges under Article 301.

Hrant Dink was shot dead in Istanbul on January 19th. His death has prompted a large outpouring of grief, public demonstrations and tens of thousands turned out to his funeral.

Responding to the news of Dink's death Turkey's Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan stated that "a bullet has been fired at democracy and freedom."

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