The Armenian protestors burned a Turkish flag in front of the Turkish Embassy in Selanik while in Moscow, another group of Armenians threw molotov cocktails at the Turkish Embassy.
And These are Some of the News Items Diaspora Reads Today
- Armenian Genocide Debate by Johan Huizinga Radio Netherlands
- Turkey And The Armenian Genocide: Contemporary Reflections by By Dr. Harry Hagopian www.newropeans-magazine.org
- Greek Police Clash With Armenian Demonstrators Outside Turkish Consulate International Herald Tribune,
- Fired For Saying The Word "Genocide" LAist,
- Assyrian Genocide Memorial Monument Proposed In Sweden EasternStar News Agency
- Bush Commemorates Armenian Genocide Washington Times
- President Bush Marks Remembrance Of WWI-Era Armenian Killings Herald Tribune
- Los Angeles Mayor Calls On U.S. Congress To Adopt Resolution On Genocide And Persuades Federal Government To Recognize Armenian Genocide Los Angeles, Noyan Tapan
- Process Of International Recognition Of Armenian Genocide Continues ... And Quite Actively Yerevan, Noyan Tapan - Armenians Today
- Only By Mourning We Cannot Heal Our Wounds, Clu Chairman Hrant Khachatrian Says Yerevan,
- Turkey Will Never Recognize Armenian Genocide Without Intervention Of International Community, Ysu Rector Convinced Yerevan,
- Quick Restoration Of Diplomatic Relations With Armenia Proceeds From Turkey's Interests, S. Grigorian Considers Yerevan,
- Bush Assures Erdogan That He Will Do Everything Possible To Prevent Passage Of Resolution On Armenian Genocide Ankara,
- "Turkey Scared By Armenian Youngsters" A1+
- Screamers Shown In Four Countries Panorama.am
- Western Armenia - Lost Motherland Panorama.am
- "Armenia" Altered To "Armenian Armed Forces" In US Department Of State Report By A. Haroutiunian AZG Armenian Daily
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: Armenians Enrich Diverse History And Culture Of California PanARMENIAN.Net
- Governor Of California: I Have Repeatedly Recognized Armenian Genocide PanARMENIAN.Net
- The Los Angeles Times: President Bush Will Not Utter The Word "Genocide" On April 24 PanARMENIAN.Net
- Memory About Genocide - No Matter Recognized Or Not - Must Become Warning For All PanARMENIAN.Net
- Devoted To Turkish Values Or Intolerant Freak? Sylvia Tiryaki TDN,
- Turkish National Tv Channel Initiates Showing Of Documentary Denying Assertions About Armenian Genocide Noyan Tapan
- "Diaspora Should Be Main Claimant Of Armenian Cause," Director Of Unity Of Compatriotic Unions Says Noyan Tapan
- ARF Is Strong Because Of Its Supporters By Karine Mangassarian Yerkir.am
- Turkey's Responsibility Should Be Focused Yerkir
- Armenia/Turkey: Still Divided On Genocide, But Signs Of Warming By Luke Allnutt Radio Free Europe
- Turkey: Do The Killings Constitute Genocide? Abbas Djavadi Radio Free Europe
- Genocide Resolution Gets Second Chance Modesto Bee, CA
- Turkey At A Crossroads, As Always ZNet, MA Khatchig Mouradian interviews Amberin Zaman
Armenian Genocide Debate by Johan Huizinga
Radio Netherlands, Netherlands April 24 2007
The Dutch Armenian Committee for Justice and Democracy march in The Hague for the victims of the genocide (Photo ANP)
"Let's unearth the truth about what happened in 1915 together". That was the headline of a page-wide advertisement from the Turkish government in some international newspapers. Ankara hopes to win public support over the issue of the Armenian genocide in 1915.
The proposal to let Armenian and Turkish historians investigate the matter together, however, is not new and neither is the support from Washington for this idea. But the timing of the adverstisment, just before the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, was very clever.
In the advertisement, Ankara invites Armenia to establish a joint commission of historians to investigate the 1915 killings of thousands of Armenians in the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Estimates range from 800,000 to 1.2 million Armenians who have died between 1915 and 1917 in the mass killings and deportation of Armenians. However, for mainly nationalistic reasons, Ankara still refuses to acknowledge that what happened was genocide, the planned extermination of an ethnic group.
The genocide denial remains a thorny issue in Turkish relations not only with Armenia, but with the US, the EU and several European countries as well. That explains the advertisement, which also quotes US President George W Bush and his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice who are backing the proposal. But according to Professor Eric Jan Zurcher, Turkey expert at Leiden University, neither the proposal, nor the American support is new.
The proposal is a few years old and has been categorically rejected by the Armenian government. The Armenians claim no extra research is needed to establish the historical facts. The Americans support the Turkish proposal since they are bound by the need to maintain good relations with Turkey and the demands from Armenian pressure groups.
So in the end, the advertisement very much looks like a publicity stunt to win time for Turkey.
And the chances of any joint commission of historians reaching the same conclusions are still very small, fears Mr Zurcher. Historians appointed by the Armenian and Turkish governments will first of all be selected for their loyalty to the national points of view on this issue. So the attempt to find a common conclusion will most likely end up in some fruitless debates.
Then there remains another possible pitfall, warns Professor Zurcher.
In the initial stages, Ankara hinted that such a joint commission of historians would get exclusive rights on the issue.
That could bar independent historians from using Turkish archives, for instance and it would possibly silence the debate on the Armenian Genocide for the time being which might be exactly what the Turks are after.
This leaves the Armenians, demonstrating at the Turkish embassy in The Hague, with their clear demands: a penalty on denial of the Armenian Genocide and no Turkish EU-membership without acknowledging the genocide by Ankara. Whether the Armenians will have it their way remains very doubtful however. Although more than 90 years have passed since the atrocities took place, the discussion is a long way from reaching a conclusion.
Turkey And The Armenian Genocide: Contemporary Reflections by By Dr. Harry Hagopian
Today, on 24th April, Armenians will commemorate the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. They will remember their forbears - well over one million Armenian men, women and children - who were killed in various odious ways by Ottoman Turkey under cover of WWI.
The serious academic world is well beyond 'researching' the Armenian Genocide. Many international associations and individual experts specialising in the history let alone psychology of genocide have established time and again the unarguable veracity of this event.
However, the modern-day Turkish establishment and its cohorts continue relentlessly to deny this genocide with rehearsed and glib arguments that are truly farcical were they not also shameful. Simply put, Armenians were almost wiped off the Ottoman map during the period 1915 till 1923 in a dual policy that blended a Turkish Ottoman desire for dominion over a pan-Turkic region with vengefulness for its bitter defeat in WWI. One need only read Donald Bloxham's thoughtful The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism and the Destruction of Ottoman Armenians or Taner Akcam's trenchant A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility that uses Ottoman Turkish state documents and contemporary Turkish statements to corroborate that the genocide against Armenians was a gripping historical reality. The city of Trabzon for example, where Hrant Dink's killer purportedly originated from, is simply one example amongst countless others of "killing members of a group" or "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part" (according to Art II [a] & [c] of the Genocide Convention 1948) where Turkish authorities in 1915 herded thousands of Armenians on boats, set them off into the Black Sea and later drowned them with sheer impunity.
Given this sobering reality, I believe that Turkish contemporary refusal to admit the guilt of its predecessor regime of the crime of genocide is due in part to a psychological phenomenon of individual and collective defensiveness against the perception of being accused by its enemies (Armenians) and by its non-friends (supporters of the Armenian efforts for recognition). As was written in an editorial I read only last week, if Turkey were to be candid about its past rather than hide behind threats, intimidation and obfuscations, it would recall that the Sultan tried to distance himself in 1916 from the actions of the CUP, the 'state within the state', and reassured the British Government that the perpetrators of those egregious crimes would be punished -as was the case with the four trials whose proceedings were included in the government gazette.
Today, this phase of denial intensifies once more despite the encouraging initial steps adopted by Turkey when negotiations for its possible accession to the EU started formally in 2005. Now, however, instead of moving forward, Turkey shows perceptible signs of regression as it passes laws such as Articles 301 or 312 of the Turkish Penal Code that have prosecuted Turks and non-Turks alike, those living in the country or abroad, either for "defaming Turkishness" or for "insulting Ataturk". Those who have suffered the brunt of such laws include the likes of Orhan Pamuk, Perihan Magden, Murat Belge, Ismet Berkan, Hasan Cemal, Elif Safak, Semih Sokmen, Ibrahim Kaboglu, Baskin Oran, Halil Altindere, Murat Pabuc, Eren Keskin, Ragip Zarakolu, Ahmet Onal, Fatih Tas, Rahmi Yildirim, Erol Ozkoray, Osman Tiftikci and Sirri Ozturk, Osman Pamukog(lu, EU Commissioner Joost Lagendjik, HH Karekin II, Michael Dickinson, Ipek Calislar, Abdullah Dilipak and Mehmet Sevki Eygi, Yalc?n Ergundog(an and Ibrahim Cesmecioglu, Attila Yayla, Belma Akcura, Cuneyt Arcayurek, Tuncay Ozkan, Taner Akcam, Attila Tuygan and Mehmet Ali Var?s,. In fact, merely defining the Armenian deportations in 1915 as "genocide" is interpreted as "defaming Turkishness". One such instance occurred when Erhan Akay was convicted to five months of prison for his article in Cagri entitled Time to Confront the Armenian Question After 90 Years.
But it is even more disgraceful in the institutional politics of denial pursued by Turkey when international organisations that are meant to uphold International law and speak out against genocide kow-tow to the political pressures of denial. I cite here how the UN, under its new leadership, bowed recently to Turkey's demands and blocked a scheduled opening of an exhibition at UN headquarters commemorating the 13th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide solely because it had mentioned the mass murder of the Armenians. Ankara was offended by a sentence that explained how genocide came to be recognised as a crime under international law: "Following World War I during which one million Armenians were murdered in Turkey, Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin urged the League of Nations to recognize crimes of barbarity as international crimes." The British-based organisers of this exhibition were willing to omit the words "in Turkey", but this was clearly not enough for the UN aficionados, and the exhibit has been put on hold. Nearer to our own European shores, I also cite the [heretofore successful] Turkish pressures exercised over Germany, as current President of the Council of the European Union, to remove the case of the Armenian Genocide as an illustrative example (the other two are the Jewish Holocaust and Rwandan Genocide) for a pan-European law that is currently being drafted to outlaw genocide denial in all twenty-five EU countries.
When will Turkey decide to follow a post-nationalist attitude to history? When will it realise that every time it strives to curtail any discussion of the Armenian Genocide, it only draws wider attention to the subject and links today's Turkey with the crimes of its predecessor regime? When will certain elements within Turkish society realise that their campaign of vilification, libel, lies and smut on different Internet websites against prominent Turkish and foreign scholars or journalists the likes of Taner Akcam, Robert Fisk or Mike Joseph is not only scurrilous but depicts Turks in the least favourable light? Should Turkey not underline - rather than undermine -its Eurocentric credentials as it seeks to join the EU fold?
Indeed, it should revise the Turkish Criminal Code and stop applying its Anti-Terror Law (TMY). It should also stop confiscating books, suspending or trying writers, journalists, publishers, intellectuals, translators and human rights activists, muzzling the press and discriminating against its different minorities instead of protecting them.
Once those rudimental changes are implemented and begin to take root, when Turkish judicial chauvinism expires, and when the Turkish establishment listens to some of its own academics and comes clean on the genocide by recognising it, Armenians would then express their responsibility by showing a necessary measure of soul-searching and dealing politically with their ninety-two-year-old emotional pain.
Who knows, such a devolution might well lead toward neighbourliness let alone prosperity and ultimately forgiven friendships between Armenians and Turks - as was the case largely before the heinous pogroms of the late 1800's and the subsequent genocide.
Greek Police Clash With Armenian Demonstrators Outside Turkish Consulate
International Herald Tribune, France April 24 2007
THESSALONIKI, Greece: Riot police clashed briefly with demonstrators outside the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki Tuesday, during a protest over the mass killings of Armenians by Turks in the early 20th century.
Police said some 200 Greek Armenian protesters tried to break past a police cordon outside the consulate building. No injuries or arrests were reported.
Demonstrators chanted slogans and burnt a Turkish flag during the protest, held to commemorate the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1919 in what is now eastern Turkey.
Fired For Saying The Word "Genocide"
LAist, California April 24 2007
John Marshall Evans became the US ambassador to Armenia in August 2004. Six months later he visited California and was convinced by Armenian-Americans here to cut the political B.S. and simply say that the 1.5 million Armenians who were the victims of genocide at the hands of the Turks from 1915 and 1923... were indeed victims of genocide.
Today President Bush will tapdance around the word in fear of insulting our ally Turkey, a country that is critical in our actions in the Middle East. Infact over the last 13 years on April 24, ridiculously but officially dubbed "National Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man", US Presidents acknowledge the Armenian tragedy without ever saying the G-word. Whereas most of the EU recognizes the genocide, Switzerland and France have taken it to the next level making it a crime to deny the genocide.
Ambassador Evans' crime was saying the word. In a interview with the LA Times today, he explains that because no one ever really said the word he didn't really know what the punishment would be.
Clearly when I was here in February 2005, I knew that by mentioning this word, I could get myself in trouble. I didn't know precisely what the degree of that trouble would be, but I knew that it could range from a slap on the wrist to being immediately canned. And as it turned out it was something between those extremes: I got more than a mere slap on the wrist, I wasn't immediately canned. I basically was eased out after about 18 months, although I had more time on my clock. [...] I was basically asked to go ahead and retire.
The entire interview with the Times' Matt Welch is fascinating, as is Welch's piece on Sunday explaining the dilemma President Bush faces today as to how he will approach the G-word.
We're sure the president will handle it as gracefully as he normally does when slamdancing with the English language.
Assyrian Genocide Memorial Monument Proposed In Sweden
EasternStar News Agency, AINA Assyrian International news Agency April 24 2007
On 24th of April, on the 92nd anniversary of the start of the Turkish genocide of Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks, the Left Party in Orebro, Sweden proposed a genocide memorial monument to honor the Armenian and Assyrian (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) residents in Orebro.
The Armenians and Assyrians form a substantial and significant minority in Orebro and are an important part of the city's life and culture. Years of persecution and harassment in their native countries have forced the Assyrians to flee, and with the genocide as a traumatic memory, the Left Party's genocide monument proposal is intended to honor the communities.
The genocide monument would facilitate the dialog about the genocide among Assyrians, Armenians and Swedish residents, and insure that this important historical event is not forgotten. Residents of Orebro would get a clearer picture of the Armenians and Assyrians and of their shared genocide in 1915.
"Today there are 5000 Armenians and Assyrians living in Orebro and it is essential that we notice their history," says Murad Artin, a municipal commissioner in Orebro.
The proposal from the Left Party involves an artistically designed historical monument that would convey the background of the Armenians and Assyrians and their past of persecution and harassment.
Bush Commemorates Armenian Genocide
WASHINGTON April 24 (UPI) -- U.S. President George W. Bush marked the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians, calling the mass killings among "the greatest tragedies of the 20th century."
"All who cherish freedom and value the sanctity of human life look back on these horrific events in sorrow and disbelief," Bush said in a statement Tuesday.
The mass deaths occurred in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire, and Turkey has worked hard to keep the world from labeling the killings genocide.
"Each year on this day, we pause to remember the victims of one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, when as many as 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, many of them victims of mass killings and forced exile," Bush said.
"The world must never forget this painful chapter of its history."
President Bush Marks Remembrance Of WWI-Era Armenian Killings
Herald Tribune, France April 24 2007
WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush issued a statement of remembrance Tuesday for the estimated 1.5 million Armenians killed at the end of the Ottoman empire but stopped short of using the word genocide.
The wording followed long standing U.S. policy on the politically fraught word. The statement comes as Turkish and Armenian interest groups wrangle over a proposed congressional resolution calling for recognition of the World War I-era killings as genocide.
Also on Tuesday, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, who reportedly had his tour of duty cut short because, in a social setting, he referred to the killings as genocide, said that Turks need to confront the facts of the killings and to show contrition before there can be reconciliation.
"I think there can't be reconciliation before there is truth telling," he said.
Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century.
Turkey however denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated, and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
The issue is highly charged in both Turkey and Armenia. Turkish officials have said that passage of the congressional resolution will harm its relations with the United States.
Bush's statement came as tens of thousands of Armenians marched in Yerevan Tuesday to mark the April 24 anniversary as the day in 1915 when Turkish authorities executed a large group of Armenian intellectuals and political leaders, accusing them of helping the invading Russian army during World War I.
"I join my fellow Americans and Armenian people around the world in commemorating this tragedy and honoring the memory of the innocent lives that were taken," Bush said in his statement.
He said that an open historical examination of the facts is essential for normalizing poor relations between Ankara and Yerevan.
"The United States supports and encourages those in both countries who are working to build a shared understanding of history as a basis for a more hopeful future," Bush said.
In a speech in Washington, Evans said that he believes that genocide is the best word for the killings. He said that following his comments while he was ambassador in 2005, a clarification renouncing his phrasing was posted on a State Department Web site. He said that that he did not write the clarification but did not object at the time to its posting.
Evans said that it was made clear to him that he could not remain at the State Department and he left to write a book on his experience late last year.
Bush's nominee to succeed him has been held up in the Senate with Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, blocking the nomination of Richard Hoagland over the career diplomat's refusal to use the word genocide at his confirmation hearing in June.
Evans said that he thought Hoagland was an appropriate choice for the position, but declined to comment on the process of his confirmation.
Los Angeles Mayor Calls On U.S. Congress To Adopt Resolution On Genocide And Persuades Federal Government To Recognize Armenian Genocide
Los Angeles, April 24, Noyan Tapan - Armenians Today. Hearings on the theme "Recognition of the Armenian Genocide" took place at the Los Angeles City Council on April 20, within the framework of the events dedicated to the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The resolution on the Armenian Genocide was adopted by the Council during the hearings.
As Noyan Tapan was informed by the RA Foreign Ministry, the main speaker, the Chairman of the Los Angeles City Council, condemning the Armenian Genocide, attached importance to the resolutions adopted by the lower house of the legislative body of California and the Los Angeles City Council. The Los Angeles Mayor in his turn called on the U.S. Congress to adopt a resolution on the genocide and persuaded the federal government to recognize it.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council Chairman Eric Garcetti, Council members, RA Consul General to Los Angeles Armen Liloyan were also present at the event.
Process Of International Recognition Of Armenian Genocide Continues ... And Quite Actively
Yerevan, April 24, Noyan Tapan - Armenians Today. The process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide continues to expand. It proceeds rather differently in various countries and instances, which makes the classification of the respective phenomena quite difficult. In the summary below we have tried to present a brief description of the process, not always following strictly the legal accuracy of the term "recognition." Indeed, one state adopts a parliamentary resolution, another - a statement, yet a third one passes a law. In our opinion, all these are forms of recognition, even though the term "genocide" is not always used. We have only classified these legal acts by their adoption time and the bodies that adopted them, providing comments if necessary.
THe first official reactions to the Armenian massacres committed by the Turkish government in 1915 and the following few years came immediately in those years. To recap, the term "genocide" did not exist at that time: it was adopted in 1948 in the text of the UN convention of the same name. The following acts are noteworthy:
- the joint declaration adopted by France, Great Britain and Russia on May 24, 1915, stated that massacres were committed in a number of Armenian settlements in mid April, and the government of the Ottoman Empire took certain steps against the Armenian population of the country. The governments of the Entente declared that all members of the Ottoman Empire's government are responsible for all the crimes.
- the US Congress and Senate turned to Armenian massacres several times, particularly by appealing to the US President to take measures aimed at helping the victims. These were: the Senate's Concurrent Resolution of February 9, 1916, the Congress' Act to Incorporate Near East Relief of August 6, 1919, as well as the May 11, 1920 decision of the Senate to recognize the independence of the Republic of Armenia, which said that "the truth about the large-scale massacres and other crimes committed against the Armenian people was clearly uncovered."
- The Sharif of Mecca Al-Husayn Ibn 'Ali in 1917 condemned the Armenians' massacre0. The verdict of July 5, 1919 by Turkey's Military Tribunal that found the Young Turks' government guilty of Armenian massacres can also be included in this list.
The first act of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide took place in a country and at a time quite unexpected in every respect. This was in Uruguay, a country situated very far from our region. The recognition came 50 years after the Genocide when this issue was not "definitely solved" even in the Soviet Armenia. It happened as follows:
- the parliament of Uruguay on March 26, 1965, passed the Law on Day of Remembrance of Armenian Martyrs.
Later the following acts were adopted:
- the April 29, 1982 decision of the House of Representatives of Cyprus,
- The April 14, 1995 the statement of the Russian Federation State Duma on condemnation of the Armenian Genocide: April 24 was declared Day of Remembrance of the Genocide Victimes.
- Canada's House of Commons on April 23, 1996 passed a resolution in connection with the 81st anniversary of the tragedy of the Armenian people. By the resolution, April 20-27 is declared and commemorated as a week of inhuman treatment of people. The Senate's House of Representatives also adopted resolutions on June 13, 2002 and April 21, 2004.
- the Greek parliament on April 25, 1996 made a decision, according to which April 24 is a Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide Committed by Turkey in 1915.
- the Lebanese parliament adopted several resolutions, including those of April 3, 1997 and of May 11, 2000.
- Belgium's Senate in March 1998 passed a resolution on recognition of the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey in 1915.
- The Italian parliament did the same on November 16, 2000.
- Switzerland's National Assembly - on December 16, 2003.
- Slovakia's National Assembly - on Novemeber 30, 2004.
- The Netherlands' House of Representatives - on December 21, 2004.
- The National Assembly of Venezuela - on July 14, 2005.
- The Lithuanian Seimas - on December 16, 2005.
- France adopted numerous acts: on May 29, 1998, the National Assembly of France officially recognized the Genocide - the bill was passed by the Senate on November 7, 2000 and became the law on January 29, 2001. On October 12, 2006 the National Assembly passed the bill determining criminal responsibility for the denial of the Armenian Genocide. In order to come into force, the bill has to be approved by the French Senate and signed by the country's president.
- Argentina also passed numerous acts: on May 5, 1993 the Senate adopted a resolution, in which it expressed its solidarity with the Armenian community that became the victim of the first genocide in the 20th century. Statements and resolutions were also adopted on April 22, 1998, August 20, 2003, March 31, 2004. In January 2006, a law declaring April 24 Day of Tolerance and Respect among Peoples was passed in Argentina.
- The House of Representatives of the US Congress on April 9, 1975 adopted a resolution, by which April 24 of the same year was declared an international day of inhuman treatment of people, and requested the U.S. President to make an appeal, in which the president will urge to mark April 24 as day of remembrance of all genocide victims, particularly, Armenians subjected to genocide in 1915. Similar resolutions were adopted on September 12, 1984 and June 11, 1996. U.S. presidents, starting from Ronald Reagan (on April 22, 1982), have included the issue of the Armenian Genocide in their annual addresses. In 1994-2000, U.S. presidents made statements in connection with April 24 every year, using the wording "displacement and mass killings" instead of the word "genocide."
- the Permanent Commission of Foreign Relations of the Swedish parliament on March 29, 2000 passed a resolution, in which an opinion was expressed that it is necessary to conduct an impartial international study on the genocide committed against the Armenian people.
- Pope John Paul II and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II on November 10, 2000 issued a joint communique, in which the Armenian Genocide is referred to.
- The British government mentioned for the first time the Armenian Genocide during the ceremony of the Holocaust commemoration in January 2002.
- The German Bundestag on June 15, 2005 passed a resolution, in which it paid a tribute to the memory of the Armenians killed before and during World War I, not using the word "genocide." Interestingly, the resolution contains an accusation not only against Turkey but also against the German government of that time, which "did not attempt to intervene in these atrocities and stop them."
Local (Inter State) Acts
There have been many cases when parts of a country (its cities or provinces) made decisions recognizing the Armenian Genocide in some way or other. Such cases mostly take place in the countries which have not recognized the Armenian Genocide at the national level (for example, the US), but there have also been cases of adopting local decisions in addition to a decision at the national level (Argentina is a typical example).
- In the U.S., acts on recognition of the Armenian Genocide have been adopted by 46 states and many cities.
- 35 subjects of Italy (cities, provinces, regions) have already officially recognized the Armenian Genocide.
- The legislative body of Buenos Aires passed the respective declaration on April 16, 1998.
- The government of the Swiss Canton of Geneva officially recognized the Armenian Genocide on December 10, 2001.
- The parliament of the Australian state of New South Wales on April 17, 1997 adopted a resolution on recognition of the Armenian Genocide and declaration of April 24 as Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide Victims. There have been many such cases in Canada, France, Great Britain (Wales).
Interstate Statements and Statements of Other Organizations
- The issue of the Armenian Genocide was addressed in the report of the UN Commission on Military Crimes (May 28, 1948), and in the report of the UN Subcommittee on Discrimination Prevention and Ethnic Minorities Protection Issues (July 2, 1985).
- A report on extermination and deportation of Armenians was made at the 6th Assembly of the World Council of Churches on August 10, 1983.
- The Europeam parliament recognized the fact of genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1917 in its resolution of June 18, 1987. The parliament admits that the present-day Turkey may not bear responsibility for the crimes against Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and no political, legal and material claims towards Turkey may proceed from the fact of the Genocide recognition. Resolutions related to the Armenian Genocide in some way or other were also passed on November 15, 2000, February 28, 2002, etc.
- The Union of American Hebrew Congregations adopted a resolution on the issue of the Genocide on November 7, 1989.
- The Association of Genocide Scholars examined the issue of the Armenian Genocide on June 13, 1997. In its opinion, the 1915 Genocide corresponds to the criteria of the UN Convention on Genocide Prevention and Punishment.
- Expressing their personal opinions, 51 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on April 24, 1998 passed a written declaration, which states that April 24, 1915 marked the start of implementation of the plan of exterminating Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Among those who put their signatures to this declaration was Lord Russell Johnston, the then PACE President. Another 82 MPs joined the document on May 14, 2001.
- The People's Permanent Tribunal on April 16, 1984 returned a verdict, which recognizes the genocide of Armenians as an international crime, for which the Turkish state must bear responsibility.
- The Executive Committee of the European Alliance of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) on March 18, 2001 passed a resolution in Yerevan, in which it recognized and condemned "the genocide committed against the Armenian people at the beginning of the 20th century."
- An international conference of the European Interparliamentary Orthodox Assembly (EIOA) member states condemned the Armenian Genocide committed in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire (the conference was held in Yerevan on February 21-22, 2001 with the participation of EIOA member states and over 20 European countries).
- The 57th session of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva on April 25, 2001 unanimously adopted the resolution "convention on prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, which was presented on Armenia's initiative.
- The organization International Center for Transitional Justice on February 10, 2003 presented the results of an analysis made at the request of the Armenian-Turkish reconciliation commission, according to which the events of 1915 entirely correspond to the definition of "genocide".
- The Chief Rabbi of Israel Iona Mezger on November 22, 2005 visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex of Armenian Genocide Victims and stated that he recognizes the 1915 Armenian Genocide.
Only By Mourning We Cannot Heal Our Wounds, Clu Chairman Hrant Khachatrian Says
Yerevan, April 24, Noyan Tapan. Recognition and condemnation of Armenian Genocide is not only the problem of Armenians, but is the problem of the mankind of the whole world, as everything possible should be done for excluding such cases. Seyran Avagian, Chairman of Democratic Liberal Union of Armenia, said in his interview to Noyan Tapan correspondent. In his words, recognition and condemnation of the Genocide are a guarantee of security for Armenians.
"Recognition of Armenian Genocide will give us confidence that our neighbors have recognized the rules of this world and wish to live by them," S. Avagian said.
In the words of Hrant Khachatrian, Chairman of Constitutional Law Union Party, only by mourning we cannot heal our wounds. "As national hero Movses Gorgisian said, "mourning is eternal when there is no struggle," he said adding that "we should demand from the world not to consign to oblivion, not to deny this issue and not to misrepresent the history."
Turkey Will Never Recognize Armenian Genocide Without Intervention Of International Community, Ysu Rector Convinced
Yerevan, April 24, Noyan Tapan. The solution of the Armenian Cause is first of all the duty of our people. Professor Aram Simonian, Rector of Yerevan State University, expressed such opinion in his interview to journalists on April 24 in Tsitsernakaberd. In his words, only with Armenian people's unity and striving for seeing country's free future it will be possible to achieve international recognition of Armenian Genocide.
As A. Simonian affirmed, Turkey will never recognize the crime committed by it of its own free will. "The international community, the European superpowers should exert pressure even if proceeding from their interests, which in that issue may coincide with the interests of Armenia," he said.
Quick Restoration Of Diplomatic Relations With Armenia Proceeds From Turkey's Interests, S. Grigorian Considers
Yerevan, April 24, Noyan Tapan. An exclusively good situation has been formed today in the issue of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, to which, unfortunately, Hrant Dink's murder contributed. Ashot Grigorian, Chairman of Representation of Armenian Organizations of Europe, Head of Armenian community of Slovakia, said in his interview to Noyan Tapan correspondent.
In his words, quick restoration of diplomatic relations with Armenia proceeds from Turkey's interests. Admission of the term "genocide" and liquidation of consequences of the genocide also will serve for Turkey's interests.
"Otherwise some conditions will be forced, which will become a sourse of great losses for Turkey," A. Grigorian stated.
The Chairman of Armenian community of Slovakia considered as necessary consolidation of Armenian lobbying structures and activization of activities in response to the goal outlined at the first Conference of Azerbaijani and Turkish Diasporas held lately in Baku to undertate steps against the Armenian Diaspora working very actively and effectively in the whole world. The conference was held with participation of Presidents of Azerbaijan, self-proclaimed republic of North Cyprus and Turkish Prime Minister. The proposal to activize the work of Turkish and Azerbaijani lobbying was made at the conference by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. As A. Grigorian estimated, for the purpose of coordinating the efforts of Armenian lobbying it is planned to restore the activities of Forum of European Armenians, as well as to enlarge the activity of World Armenian Congress.
Bush Assures Erdogan That He Will Do Everything Possible To Prevent Passage Of Resolution On Armenian Genocide
Ankara, April 23, Noyan Tapan. The US President Bush sent a letter to the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he says they will do everything in order to prevent passage of the resolution on the Armenian Genocide. "Hurriet" reported that this letter was sent in response to Erdogan's letter to Bush, a letter requesting support of the US administration.
In his letter, the US president indicates the US administration's unchanged position on this issue, assuring that they do not consider such initiatives positive and are not going to give any support to them.
"Turkey Scared By Armenian Youngsters"
A1+ [03:21 pm] 24 April, 2007
Thousands of youngsters, headed by Reverend Ter -Tajad uttered the holy prayer altogether at the Genocide Memorial at midnight. This was all illuminated by thousands of torches and candles.
The participants were marching both with excitement and anxiety. The march was accompanied by slogans ' Recognition of Genocide', ' Armenia' and the like. The citizens joined the action by lighting a candle on their window-pills thus expressing their demand for recognition and condemnation of the Genocide.
Gegham Manukyan, representative of the ARF party (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) stated that if 8 years ago only a few people would raise torches, today there were thousands to do so.
Kiro Manoyan, leader of the Armenian Question Committee of ARF Bureau made speeches in front of the crowd, and assured that Turkey was scared of our unification.
Students were holding the flags of the countries to have recognized the Armenian Genocide, whereas schoolchildren were holding the RA flag. "My friend is a Russian, that's why I am holding the RF flag,' Volodya made a joke but at the same time couldn't help showing his pride to carry the flag.
Hrant from Constantinople was holding the poster with Hrant Dink's picture. "It is already 100 days that Hrant Dink was killed: we are here to commemorate his death, too. As Armenians we will not feel secure in Constantinople, until the criminals are punished. A terrible atmosphere is reigning in Polis," he told "A1+".
'Dink's assassination comes to prove that there is a great splitting in Turkey. There is a great struggle for one's identity. We hope sooner or later this struggle will make Turkey reflect upon its sins and they will truly try to receive absolution.' Kiro Manoyan informed "A1+".
The Reverend Ter-Hakob Khachatryan explained the essence of the torch-marches.' This is an initiative to inform the historical events and commemorate and speak about their responsibility towards Fatherland.'
Karla Karapetyan, director of the famous movie "Screamers" announced, "This is not an action only for the sake of Armenians but also that of the whole world. Darfur is still suffering genocide."
To mention, the inspired and enthusiastic youngsters stayed at "Tsitsernakaberd" till 1:00 a.m.
Many of them were even willing to spend the night as guards of honor.
Screamers Shown In Four Countries
Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan received today Carla Karapetyan, producer of "Screamers," a documentary film on genocide. Foreign ministry press services say Karapetyan confirmed that the film is shown in Yerevan. It is also shown in Canada, France, Lebanon and in near future in Russia and Argentina as well. The minister underscored the fact that the film touches upon not only the issue of the Armenian genocide but similar crimes as well.
Western Armenia - Lost Motherland
Lost Motherland is documentary about the historical Armenian land, now part of Turkey. It tells about the 12 main cities of historical Armenia, their cultural and historical heritage. The film-makers have tried to look at the history of Armenia from a different point of view.
The documentary features a detailed description of architectural monuments, as well as the colorful peculiarities of each area.
Lost Motherland is another step to capture the historical truth of Armenia, describing the historical past of the Armenian nation. In the multi-aspect contents of this film you are sure to find something dear to your heart!
"Armenia" Altered To "Armenian Armed Forces" In US Department Of State Report By A. Haroutiunian
AZG Armenian Daily 24/04/2007
The US Department of State revised a mistake in the 2006 Human Rights Report, which said that "Armenia has occupied the Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 regions of Azerbaijan."
As Foreign Minister of Armenia Vardan Oskanian informed on April 22, the statement is altered to the following: "Armenian armed forces are holding several territories of Azerbaijan, adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian officials state that Armenia 'has not occupied' Nagorno-Karabakh".
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Armenians Enrich Diverse History And Culture Of California
PanARMENIAN.Net California is home to nearly one million Armenians. Throughout the decades, the Armenian-American community has contributed to California agriculture, business, education, public service, sports and the arts, Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger stated at the interview to PanARMENIAN.Net. He said, Armenians of California have retained their distinct heritage, language and religion, greatly enriching our State's diverse history, industry and culture.
The largest and most influential Armenian community of the U.S.A. resides in California. In general they are descendants of the Armenian Genocide. Representatives of the Armenian community actively participate in political and economic life of the state. Today one of the most authoritative Armenian English-language newspapers -The California Courrier and "Masis" newspaper are being published in California. A number of Sunday schools function in the state. The Consulate General of Armenia is located in California.
Governor Of California: I Have Repeatedly Recognized Armenian Genocide
"I have repeatedly recognized the Armenian Genocide and continue to urge all freedom-loving people in America and around the world to do the same," Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger stated at the interview to the PanARMENIAN.Net. He reminded from April 22 till 29 a number of events will be held in California in the framework of "Days of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide". "There are numerous observances and events being organized and sponsored by a range of Armenian and non-Armenian organizations -- from the State Legislature and local cities, to religious and community groups, and educational and cultural institutions," Schwarzenegger said.
The week of April 22nd through April 29th is proclaimed as "Days of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide" in California by the state's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. His statement particularly says, "Between the years 1915 and 1923, during the chaos of World War I, over one million Armenian men, women and children living within the Ottoman Empire's borders were killed; forcing hundreds of thousands of Armenians to flee to foreign countries after being stripped of their possessions, their national identities and their homeland. Scores fled to the United States, and California was fortunate to become home to one of the largest populations of Armenians outside the Republic of Armenia. Many of California's Armenian-American families are the descendents of these courageous genocide survivors, whose hope for a life independent war and violence was realized on our soil. Like their family members before them, the Armenian-American community bravely flourished and contributed much to our state and nation.
Documented as the first instance of genocide in the twentieth century, the Armenian Genocide remains unacknowledged to this day. I strongly echo the sentiments that all nations must examine their own painful histories, as the denial of genocide further wounds a nation's ability to heal. Though over ninety years have passed since these mass killings took place, present day atrocities resonate throughout the world. It is our responsibility to recognize the brutal slayings of so many innocents, remembering their suffering and vowing to help prevent future genocides. I join California's Armenian-American communities and all Armenians worldwide in remembering those who were killed and persecuted during the Armenian Genocide, and urge people throughout the world to never forget these horrific crimes against humanity.
Now, Therefore, I, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim the week of April 22nd through April 29th, 2007, as "Days of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.""
The Los Angeles Times: President Bush Will Not Utter The Word "Genocide" On April 24
President Bush will be obliged, by law, to wrap his double-talking mouth around one of the most curiously persistent debates in modern geopolitics: Whether to call a 92-year-old genocide a genocide. As The Los Angeles Times reports, the 2007 may be the year that the cop-out finally blows up in a president's face. "What was once the obscure obsession of marginalized immigrants from a powerless little Caucasus country has blossomed in recent years into a force that has grown increasingly difficult to ignore.
In 2000, the Armenian issue helped fuel one of the most expensive House races in U.S. history; two years ago, it turned a mild-mannered career U.S. diplomat into an unlikely truth-telling martyr. Now the question of how to address these long-ago events is having an impact on next month's elections in Turkey," analyst Matt Welch writes. He thinks President Bush won't say "genocide" on April 24. In the words of Condoleezza Rice, the administration's position is that Turks and Armenians both need to "get over their past" without American help.
"But this issue won't go away. Of all issues subject to realpolitik compromises, mass slaughter of a national minority surely should rank at the bottom of the list. Hitler reportedly said, just before invading Poland, "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" It's a chilling reminder that forgetting is the first step in enabling future genocides. Yet Hitler was eventually proved wrong. No temporal power is strong enough to erase the eternal resonance of truth," The Los Angeles Times underlines.
Memory About Genocide - No Matter Recognized Or Not - Must Become Warning For All
"April 24 is the world day of commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
This day thousands of Armenians worldwide mourn for the people who died at those tragic days of the 20th century. Armenian Cultural Association of Irkutsk annually holds commemorative evenings dedicated to that tragedy. Armenians of Irkutsk mourn for their compatriots, expressing condolences to descendants of those who died in 1920-ies of the last century and invite all Irkutsk residents to participate in commemorative evening," the statement of city administration says.
On April 24 all who wish may pay homage to the Armenian nation, which was subjected to extermination, light a candle on the khatchkar for the peace of victims' soul. Representatives of the Armenian Cultural Association of Irkutsk hope city residents will not be indifferent to the pain that the Armenian population feels. Today the memory about Genocide - no matter recognized or not - must become warning for all of us.
The statement reminds that crimes against humanity do not have statute of limitation. "The internationally recognized Holocaust, genocides in Rwanda, Yugoslavia and Iraq are those green wounds, which will bleed and which will be remembered and mourned in the whole world for a long time. However, the first genocide of an entire nation in the history of the 20th century is the events between 1915 and 1923 in Turkey. The monstrosity of this crime against the Armenian nation has been officially recognized by the world community," says the statement of the Armenian Cultural Association and Irkutsk City administration.
Devoted To Turkish Values Or Intolerant Freak? Sylvia Tiryaki
Turkish Daily News, Turkey April 23 2007
Whatever happened to the finely defined fundaments of the religiously tolerant environment laid down back in the days of the Ottoman Empire's millet system?
The southeastern Turkish town of Malatya these days enjoys the kind of popularity which probably no city would like to be endowed with.
The bells had barely stopped ringing after the funeral of the famous Malatian Hrant Dink - who was murdered in Istanbul in January this year - when yet a new slaying shook the foundations of the city.
Three people (two Turks and one German) working for a publishing house based in Malatya and run by Christian missionaries were executed in a rather "Hezbollah manner" by a group of teenagers. This "news" almost instantly covered a substantial medial space not only in Turkey but also abroad, especially in the European countries, with European politicians suggesting how much "the case" harmed Turkey's image. Yes, the way other countries perceive Turkey is indeed very important -and not only because of the psychological dimension.
Needless to say, there always are ways more than one in which a country's reputation impacts the daily life of its citizens, especially when this is a "scrutinized state."
Turkey is talking Turkey:
Yet, the opinion of foreigners is not inevitably a cursor currently determining the character of an ongoing debate in the Turkish society: nowadays, Turkey is talking Turkey. There is a gloomy atmosphere left behind the recent killings in the country - accompanied by still fresh memories of the deadly shooting of the Italian Catholic Priest Father Santoro last year in Trabzon and the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink earlier this year.
The course of the events is very embarrassing for everyone basing a part of his or her Turkish identity on the principles of religious tolerance. Politicians, religious leaders as well as representatives of various civil factions all express their outrage at the homicides.
Meanwhile, society is asking where do we go from here. Where will we end up if this situation, which has already shown hints of snow-balling, is not hampered? What has happened to the finely defined fundaments of the religiously tolerant environment laid down back in the days of the Ottoman Empire's millet system? What has triggered and what is fueling a shift from the values of such a progressive scheme -as millet system was - providing a relative (but still great) autonomy for various religions under "one roof"? Why could it exist for some hundreds of years but finds it so difficult to place itself within 21st century outlines? Is there anything unknown during those times but having a significant behavioral impact in our modern days?
The official list of 'threat's:
Well, there is an ample degree of paranoia in every nationalist's mind, which results in overprotective tendencies. Besides, each mind is unique in the way it processes definitions of categories or objects. Therefore, when an official list of a National Security Council (MGK) comprising "all" potential national threats was made public, one might have logically presumed that a great number of minds with overprotective tendencies would find it a matter of a national pride to become "guardians" against the "enemies". In order to prevent things from further deteriorating, a real source of such brutal and intolerant behavior needs to be detected. Punishment as a post-reaction is not enough. A deterrent approach is needed instead. Otherwise this type of crimes - and even their consecutive punishments - will soon gain the glory of a heroic rebellion within certain social circles. In my view, supporting, abusing, tolerating or even overlooking such popular tendencies is hazardous. If there is any imminent peril that modern Turkey is facing today, it is nationalism of this sort. Perhaps, much more impending than any other of the national threats listed in the MGK's file...
Turkish National Tv Channel Initiates Showing Of Documentary Denying Assertions About Armenian Genocide
Noyan Tapan Apr 23 2007
The Turkish National TV Channel initiated showing of a documentary called "Great Lie" about assertions of Armenian Genocide. The TV Channel also decided to show within the framework of the film episodes not shown before about editor-in-chief of Agos weakly Hrant Dink, where he speaks about some subjects, but provides no information about their content. However, according to the Sabah, Dink's family is against the initiative.
They applied to TV Channel's management through their lawyer, Ayshe Bejariki demanding that "materials on Hrant Dink got by unknown way and kept secret not be broadcast in the documentary to be shown on April 27."
"Diaspora Should Be Main Claimant Of Armenian Cause," Director Of Unity Of Compatriotic Unions Says
Noyan Tapan Apr 23 2007
Currently favorable geopolitical conditions have been created for international recognition of Armenian Genocide.
Therefore, now all Armenians should already plan their future steps to be taken in the direction of demanding recognition of Armenian Genocide and decide what to do after recognition of the Genocide by Turkey. Andranik Arshakian, Executive Director of Unity of Compatriotic Unions, stated at the April 23 press conference.
In his words, mainly the heirs of Western Armenians having escaped from the Genocide should be the claimants of the Armenian Cause. Therefore, as A. Arshakian said, an empowered body composed of representatives of Diasporan Armenians should be created. As he affirmed, "the main claimant should be the 8-mln Diaspora in the status of internationally recognized subject."
Alexander Manasian, corresponding member of Armenian National Academy of Sciences, said that the third congress of heirs of Western Armenians having escaped from the Genocide will be held in the coming months in Paris. Issues related to creation of the above mentioned body will be discussed at the very congress. He said that the congress will be held on the initiative of Steering Committee of Western Armenians' Heirs, the Armenian members of which are A. Manasian, A. Arshakian and assistant to editor-in-chief of Armenian Encyclopedia Henrik Khachatrian.
ARF Is Strong Because Of Its Supporters By Karine Mangassarian
Yerkir.am April 20, 2007
"ARF is strong because of its supporters. Vote for the ARF and you will see that the ARF is a party that takes responsibility," Rector of Haybussak Univeristy in Yerevan Anahit Harutyunian said at the meeting with the students on April 19.
Hrayr Karapetian, the leader the ARF faction in parliament, who runs for the parliament from a single-mandate constituency in Arabkir, was invited to the university to present the ARF's platform.
Anahit Harutyunian informed the heads and students of 22 universities, colleges and private schools accredited by Intellect Association have decided to support the ARF in the upcoming elections.
"We have always supported this party because we know that we should give our votes for work already implemented and not empty promises," Harutyunian said. The Council of Rectors of Intellect Association was unanimous in its decision because the ARF's contribution to the sphere of education is obvious.
When the Law on Education was passed in 1999 there was no mentioning of private education in the law. Minister of Sceince and Education Levon Mkrtchian did his best to ensure that the law also regulates private education. "The rights of 25 thousand students were violated at that time. So we turned to our old friends, to the ARF's parliamentary faction. It is due to their support that we have equal rights in all issues.
We will be returning our debt on May 12. If we do not appreciate all the positive things that the ARF has done we will face a vague situation in the future. The ARF is the only political force on which we can rely. Every Armenian who is concerned about the future of his country and knows its history must vote for this party, and Hrayr Karapetian who runs in Arabkir community under the single-mandate system," Harutyunian said.
In his speech addressed to the students and faculty of the university Karapetian stated that the National Assembly should be an exclusively political body, therefore, only political means of campaigning must be used in the pre-electoral period. "We can distribute food and money like other parties do but we will not do so because we believe it is immoral to manipulate the population' s difficult economic situation."
Karapetian believes there are individuals and political forces that want to get into the parliament at any cost with the purpose of gaining profits from their private businesses and using the legislation for their personal interests and goals. Personal and party interests should not be placed above national interests. Karapetian is the only candidate nominated by the ARF in Arabkir community.
All governmental and opposition forces of Armenia are represented in this constituency. Karapetian said he was nominated to ensure that exemplary elections are held in at least one constituency. ARF is active in nation-wide political campaigning and will denounce any violations of the electoral process.
Almost all political forces offer the same thing today. Let me stress once again why you should vote for the ARF. You should vote for the ARF because it is an experienced political party. During its history of 117 years ARF has many times proved its dedication to the Armenian nation. ARF never goes against its principles no matter if it joins the government or is in the opposition," Karapetian stated.
The ARF's parliamentary faction has initiated laws of great importance and passed them in the National Assembly with great difficulty. Karapetian pointed out the law on Teaching Armenian Studies Courses as an example of such laws.
"We felt that teaching of Armenian language and Armenian history is threatened because of subjective reasons. No matter who becomes the Minister of Science and Education no one has the right to interfere with teaching of the Armenian language and history because it is now protected by the law." Due to ARF' s efforts to pass the law on citizens who have not served in the army 3 thousand young people were able to return to the country.
"Our recent surveys have shown that ARF is very popular among the young people. This shows that the young generation has no complexes related to the national ideology. We are ready to cooperate with all national forces," Karapetian stated.
The Lebanon representative of the International Academy of Education Mrs.
Jemma is an Armenian citizen who lives in Beirut. In her speech she noted that she had decided to postpone her trip to Lebanon to be able to vote for the ARF. Mrs. Jemma is not a member of any parties. She told about the guys from the ARF's Lebanese structure who were defending the Armenian families from the bombings during the war in Lebanon.
Diana Balassanian, student, told her friends that she had returned from Spain where she is now studying to be able to participate in the elections. "You can guess for whom I am planning to vote - the force that is always with the people," Balassanian said.
Turkey's Responsibility Should Be Focused
YEREVAN (YERKIR) - Kiro Manoyan, the director of the ARF Bureau's Hay Dat and Political Affairs Office, presents the international situation on the Armenian Genocide on the eve of April 24.
Among the recent developments, Kiro Manoyan mentioned the letter to the Armenian and Turkish people signed by 50 Nobel Prize winners, which, according to him, is more against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The letter urged both people to pressure their governments to establish relations. Manoyan said that the letter had shortcomings, one of which is that Armenian and Turkey are equally held responsible for not having relations.
Another shortcoming is that the letter speaks of the Armenian elections making an impression that Turkey is more democratic.
This is not only incorrect but it has nothing to do with the Armenian Genocide. The only positive thing is that the authors of the letter call on Turkey to review its own history and recognize that the events constitute genocide.
Besides, the American media continues to cover the Genocide and the resolutions in the Congress.
When asked what would be the next step if the US recognizes the Armenian Genocide, Manoyan said that the US has already recognized the Genocide in 1973, 1984 and 1992.
The resolution that is in circulation since 2000, urges to reaffirm the recognition by the US and call on the president so that he would call the events of 1915 genocide in his annual speeches. So the resolution is not for recognition but for reaffirmation.
Armenia/Turkey: Still Divided On Genocide, But Signs Of Warming By Luke Allnutt
Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, Czech Republic -April 23 2007
PRAGUE, April 23, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Armenians around the world are commemorating the 92nd anniversary of the mass killings and deportations of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.
Armenians refer to this chapter in their history as genocide --a term the Turks firmly reject.
It's an issue that continues to blight relations between Armenia and Turkey. The two countries do not have diplomatic relations and the 268-kilometer border between the two countries has been closed since 1993.
Armenians say that Turks killed up to 1.5 millions Armenians in 1915-18 as the Ottoman Empire was beginning to crumble. Turks say the killings were part of the wider conflict of World War I, and that only 300,000 Armenians died.
Today, the controversy has gone global, with a number of countries debating whether the killings can be called genocide -- the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.
Many countries, including Russia, and Canada, have passed legislation recognizing the killings as genocide. In France, the courts can impose a one-year prison term and a fine of about $64,000 for anyone found guilty of denying the genocide -- the same penalty for denying the Holocaust.
'I think we should live in the present, since there are more important issues, real issues, today.'In the United States, the Congress --dominated by the opposition Democrats -- has endorsed a bill to officially recognize the Armenian killings as genocide. The bill has met with stiff opposition from supporters of the presidential administration, which is eager to maintain smooth ties with its NATO ally Turkey.
But even as the genocide debate has occupied international politics, some Armenians believe it's time for their country to move on.
Davit Gevorgyan, a 21-year-old computer programmer from Yerevan, says he thinks that pushing the issue of genocide is no longer appropriate.
"We should remember everything that's happened, but we don't need to use that to create a certain political course. I think we should live in the present time, since there are more important issues, real issues, today," Gevorgyan says.
"It would be better to solve these than to devote all our energy and efforts to those old issues. Many politicians are using the Armenian genocide to create their political platform in Armenia and it serves as a trump card, a way to manipulate people. They simply abuse it."
But politicians in both countries aren't likely to shift toward a more moderate stance on the genocide issue in the months ahead.
Armenia holds parliamentary elections in May; Turkey will have presidential and general elections this year.
A dramatic policy switch on such an emotional issue could prove a massive political liability in a season when officials will be fighting to hold onto votes.
Soner Cagaptay, who heads the Turkish research program of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, D.C., says that "the public is as staunch, in some ways, on this issue and in their entrenched commitments, as the politicians are."
An Armenian woman mourns the death of a boy during the deportation (epa) Officially, Turkey has said that to establish diplomatic relations it would require Armenia to drop its policy on seeking recognition of the genocide internationally.
However, some Turkish politicians have said that Turkey should not attach such preconditions to the opening of the border.
That is mirrored by recent Armenian comments. Speaking at the OSCE in Vienna recently, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said that in order to normalize relations with Turkey, the Armenian side has no preconditions and expects that Turkey should not have any either.
What complicates the issue is the powerful and wealthy Armenian diaspora. The diaspora has huge lobbying power in the West, particularly in the United States.
Cagaptay says that Armenia and the Armenian diaspora do not always have the same position.
"Armenia seems to be more pro-dialogue with Turkey -- unconditional dialogue, that is. Whereas the Armenian diaspora will not start a dialogue or a normalization of the relations unless Turkey unconditionally recognizes there is something called the Armenian genocide," Cagaptay says.
Another complication in relations between the two countries is Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian enclave that Azerbaijan, Turkey's traditional ally, and Armenia fought over in the beginning of the 1990s.
Despite the impasse, however, there are significant business links between the two countries.
The border, while officially closed, is quite porous in places.
Traders also travel from Armenia via Georgia to sell their goods in Turkey. Some Armenians labor as guest workers in eastern Turkey and there are regular flights between Yerevan and Istanbul.
Many in the business community in Armenia and Turkey have lobbied for the border to be opened. They say it would have a huge effect in revitalizing poor regions on both sides of the border.
Noyan Soyak from the Turkish-Armenian Business Development Council says trade has grown significantly, from $35 million in 1997 to well above $150 million now.
"The free flow of people, the free flow of commodities, would definitely have a great impact on the development of the region, of the economical development of the region," Soyak says.
In the troubled relationships between Armenia and Turkey, there have occasionally been brief periods of hope for reconciliation.
Turkey's earthquake in 1999 was one of them, when Armenians sent truckloads of aid. The murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in January 2007, when tens of thousands of Turks turned out for his funeral, was another.
Turkey also recently completed a $1.5 million restoration of an ancient Armenian church located on an island on historic Lake Van in Turkey's eastern Anatolia region.
Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called the reconstruction a "positive" message. But a better one, suggested Armenian Foreign Minister Oskanian, would be to open the border.
(RFE/RL's Armenian and Azerbaijani services contributed to this report.)
Turkey: Do The Killings Constitute Genocide? Abbas Djavadi
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Czech Republic April 23 2007
On April 24, Armenians around the world will commemorate the 92nd anniversary of the mass killings and deportations of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Armenians refer to this chapter in their history as genocide -- a term the Turks firmly reject. The issue has strained relations and closed the border between the two countries. RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service director Abbas Djavadi gives his perspectives on the issue. The views are his own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.
"Few in Turkey would deny that Armenians were killed in 1915 during the course of World War I. Opinions vary, however, on how the deportations and killings of Armenians came about; and whether the killings can be labeled a 'genocide' in a similar vein to the Holocaust.
While only a few extreme nationalists dispute the mass killings of Armenians, some liberals have recognized it as a 'genocide.' Most Turkish intellectuals, political analysts, and historians believe that local Armenians, with the help of Russia, were trying to create an independent Armenian state in eastern Anatolia.
Despite the ensuing chaos, they maintain the Turkish state acted accordingly to save mainland Turkey from being swallowed up by the victors in the war, Russia, Britain, and France.
They also say that Armenians, traditionally described by Ottomans as 'the loyal nation,' were not targeted because of their race or religion, but due to the 'treason' of a large group of local Armenians who fought, some with the Russians, against the Turkish army in the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire.
The Turkish side says that in 1915, Russian troops, accompanied by Armenian armed militias, advanced through Turkish territories. They say that tens of thousands of Turks were also killed or deported from their homes during this period.
Turkey has said that Turkish, Armenian, and other international historians and intellectuals should openly discuss the history. They say they have opened their archives and asked for the Armenians to do the same.
The Turks believe that the Armenians have used the 'genocide' issue as a political tool, and have shown little desire to reach an understanding and move forward. 'Moving forward' would also include the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border, which all Turkish governments have said will not be possible as long as Yerevan maintains its genocide-related claims against Turkey and as long as Armenia does not recognize the two countries' current borders. Ankara says that Armenia's 1991 declaration of independence considers eastern parts of Turkey to be 'western Armenia.' "
Genocide Resolution Gets Second Chance
Modesto Bee, CA April 22 2007
Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, expected the House to pass a long-debated resolution he sponsored in 2000 to recognize the Armenian genocide almost a century ago. But President Clinton, citing concerns about Turkey's security, stepped in. Seven years later, the resolution's backers believe they stand a better chance of winning passage.
Turkey At A Crossroads, As Always
ZNet, MA April 22 2007
Khatchig Mouradian interviews Amberin Zaman
"Turkey is always at a crossroads," I said. "That's what we have been reading in the newspapers in Turkey and in the West for years now. It seems it is convenient to stay at a crossroads."
There is no choice but to take the road to EU integration, he insisted. It is the only way to bring freedom of expression, minority rights and democracy to Turkey. For Turkish-Armenians, too, it is crucial. "There are people in this country who-if given the chance-would slaughter us again," he told me.
This was in June 2005 in Istanbul.
On Jan. 19, 2007, I woke up from a phone call from Turkey. "It is all over Turkish TV," I was told. "They killed him."
Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was slaughtered in front of the editorial offices of his newspaper Agos. He had met one of the people who was "given the chance" and acted upon it.
Three months have passed since Dink's murder, and-you guessed it-the country is still at a crossroads. I talked about today's Turkey with Amberin Zaman, Turkey correspondent for The Economist.
"Even I, as a journalist, have to measure my words very very carefully, because I don't know when some extremist will consider what I said to be 'insulting Turkishness' and take me to court on that," Zaman says in this interview. " It's a very nefarious, poisonous atmosphere that we live in today, and all the more so because we really can't pinpoint where the danger is coming from. And what's really obscene about it is that these people use Turkish law to attack intellectuals," she adds.
*** Khatchig Mouradian-How does an election year differ from typical years in Turkey? What makes this election year special?
Amberin Zaman-In a typical election year, you have all of the issues in the country being debated and politicians claiming that they have the solutions to these problems. There's a lot of noise, a lot of propaganda. But this is a quite unique year because we have both presidential and parliamentary elections.
For the presidential elections, the government is in a position to elect its own candidate, because the ruling party has a majority in the parliament. We haven't seen this for a long time in Turkey, not since former Prime Minister Turgut Ozal managed to elevate himself to the presidency back in the early 90s.
The ruling AK [Justice and Development] party has brought political Islam closer to the political center; and despite all the scare mongering that's going on, it will win the next election. People don't buy the Islamist bogeyman stories anymore. That is not to say that the forces that oppose democracy won't keep pulling deadly tricks out of their bag. But I truly believe their days are numbered.
The real threat to Turkey in my opinion comes from instability on its southern border. The worst thing that could happen would be for Turkey to intervene militarily in Iraq, and there is no dearth of hotheads calling for this. The other big issue is corruption and sadly the AK party is not as "white" as its name claims. The parallel economy, which accounts for roughly half of the economy by the Economy Minister's own admission, is sucking up huge resources that could help alleviate poverty in the southeast, for instance.
This time around, the issue has taken a particular significance because the secular camp, led by the military, is arguing that if the AK party manages to elect its own candidate, and particularly if this candidate happens to be Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's secularism, its westward orientation, will be at stake.
On the other hand, there are liberals who argue that if Turkey is a democracy and if a party has a majority, then it is perfectly legitimate for it to have its own candidate-be it the Prime Minister or somebody else-and elevate him to the presidency.
In this case, there is the added twist of the Islamic style headscarf. Critics argue that the scarf, worn by more than half the spouses of members of Erdogan's cabinet, is a sign of Islamic militancy and not just an expression of personal piety. So there is incredible debate revolving around, I must say, a woman's head.
K.M. -It has become a cliche to say that Turkey is torn between the East and the West, Islam and secularism, totalitarianism and democracy, etc. What are your thoughts on this duality paradigm?
A.Z. -I disagree with that paradigm because over the past few years, and particularly with the AK party's rise to power, modern democracy, rule of law and human rights have all found expression in ways that have also captured the imagination of pious people in this country. I think the people who tend to portray overtly pious politicians as Islamic fundamentalists are just afraid of losing power. They are scared of change. They don't want a Turkey that's open and transparent.
K.M.-Does the ruling party push the democracy project because it is aware that this is the only way it can survive?
A.Z.-Yes, they fully understand that democracy is the only way forward for the country and indeed for their own survival, because the forces that oppose them can only be countered through democracy and the EU project.
Let us also not forget about market forces. The market economy has also played a big role in helping cement democracy in this country.
The average Turk can now project 4-5 years into the future, something they were unable to do just a few years ago. The Turkish lira is now stable and inflation has been brought under control The Turkish consumer is rather happy and does not want to see any of that threatened by political tension. And I think that lesson has been taken on board by the Turkish military, especially after the huge financial crisis in 2001 when everyone woke up to the reality of globalization-that what happens in Turkey has an impact abroad and vice versa.
K.M. -What are the main challenges Turkey faces on its path to democracy?
A.Z. -The Kurdish issue is a very key one. Being able to deal honestly with the past-the Armenian issue-is another key challenge.
Accommodating Turkey's non-Muslims, non-Turks and non-Sunni Muslims is also a big challenge facing Turkey. And we still have quite a long way to go before finding solutions to all of these problems.
K.M.-You use the term democracy quite frequently when you talk about Turkey. How loosely are you using this term? How much of a democracy is Turkey?
A.Z. -If Turkey is to become a full democracy, there are several things that need to be fixed. First of all, it needs to reduce the role of the military. Unless you do that, it's pretty hard to fix the other problems.
K.M.-During Hrant Dink's funeral, tens of thousands of mourners chanted, "We are all Hrants, We are all Armenian." Yet, a nationalist backlash was also evident in the aftermath of the killing. What has changed in Turkey after January 19 [the day Dink was assassinated]?
A.Z. -I don't know if anything changed. I think it is a question of what emerged. I think what emerged during Hrant's funeral was that a lot of Turkish people-despite all this nationalism, despite all this fear of the other-were able to empathize with the Armenians who have been portrayed as the enemy even though they happen to be Turkish citizens and have lived on these lands for thousands of year. This is an extremely important development.
Yes, there has been a backlash, but the very fact that over 100,000 Turks took to the streets raising placards saying they were all Hrant, were all Armenians is something quite extraordinary. At Hrant Dink's funeral, the mourners-mostly middle-class Turks-felt horribly guilty, horribly ashamed. I think the forces that are opposed to change in this country were quite shocked and disturbed by that.
Yes, we have all these weird, creepy ultra-nationalists organizing across the country, but there is a parallel protest by an increasing number of Turks who want a more democratic, less paranoid country for themselves.
Regarding the Armenian issue, people are just trying to block what they suspect might have happened. There is "collective amnesia," as Elif Shafak calls it, carried down from generation to generation. I don't think it's a conscious denial. It's buried in the people's collective memory and now, finally, self-questioning has started in this country.
You also have to give credit to popular culture in this regard. A widely popular series called the "Valley of the Wolves," which appealed to all of our worst nationalistic instincts, has been taken off the air. This didn't happen because the EU told us to do so, but because hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens believed that this was very harmful. And I think that Hrant's tragic death helped us realize this. And it was probably one of the very few instances as a journalist in this country that I ever saw this kind of spontaneous civic reaction actually materializing to something concrete.
We have this explosion of TV series that depict love affairs between Greeks and Turks. Indeed, one piece of extraordinary news emerged in the past few days that the very same production company that put out "Valley of the Wolves" also has a project to air a show about a love affair between a Turk and an Armenian. Popular culture is a very effective way to overcome stereotypes and taboos. It is not overtly political so people are much open to accept messages through popular culture than through the voices of various politicians and Western countries that lecture Turkey. I do believe civil society is really taking root in this country.
Still, there is this great resistance on the part of certain great forces to deal honestly with the past, because in fact it will challenge some of the notions on which the republic was founded.
There is this almost existential fear about the issue-a siege mentality, a sense that these Western forces are using these "local collaborators" (Armenians, Kurds, non-Muslims) to dismember Turkey.
Eighty years on, we still seem to be immersed in that sort of paranoia, which is very recklessly exploited not just by the army but by politicians as well.
It is my firm conviction that until Turkey deals honestly with its past, it will not be able to move forward. And I believe it is now all coming to a head with Hrant's death. There is a collective malaise in this country born of the knowledge buried somewhere deep in the Turkish psyche that some pretty horrendous things happened before the Republic was formed. That is what propelled so many to take part in Hrant's funeral. It's almost as if they were trying to say, "We aren't all murderers." But then, so many other horrible things followed, though they were far from being on the same scale, that people didn't really have a chance to take stock. It's only now, after 6 years of largely uninterrupted democracy and a cooling down of the violence in the southeast, that we can reflect on the past.
There has been a profusion of films and TV series questioning military interventions. Despite the intimidation campaign unleashed by the ultra nationalist thugs and their mentors, I think it's only a matter of time before the Armenian issue is debated in its proper context as it should be.
K.M.-But most people are still afraid to speak out in Turkey...
A.Z. -Even I, as a journalist, have to measure my words very very carefully, because I don't know when some extremist will consider what I said to be "insulting Turkishness" and take me to court on that. It's a very nefarious, poisonous atmosphere that we live in today, and all the more so because we really can't pinpoint where the danger is coming from. And what's really obscene about it is that these people use Turkish law to attack intellectuals.
K.M. -What are the prospects of Article 301 being removed?
A.Z. -The Prime Minister keeps saying that he is open to the idea of amending it, certainly not scrapping it altogether. It is an election year and like all politicians, the Prime Minister is very wary of losing nationalist votes. I frankly can't say with any certainty that we will see change in that law, but even if we amend Article 301, there are other laws out there that extremists can use to continue attacking intellectuals. What really needs to change as much as the law is the mentality in the country.
K.M. -How do you envision this change? Will it come from civil society, or are the powers that be so strong that change will only happen when they are ready to allow it?
A.Z. -I think it's a two-way process. There is a civil society that seems to be bearing fruit and at the same time there is some readiness to change at the top.
What makes the Turkish military very unique when you compare it to other militaries in developing countries is that it has always drawn much of its popularity from the Turkish people. Let us not forget that it continues to be the most popular institution in this country and I think Turkish officers and generals would never want to lose that support. They understand that as Turkey becomes more open and democratic in this global world, people's perceptions are changing and that they, too, have to change. Reasonable people in the military fully appreciate and understand that their actions now have a very direct impact on the economy, and that there's no better way to antagonize your citizens than to make them poor.
K.M.-Let us talk about the Kurdish issue. What does the average Kurd suffer from in Turkey?
A.Z. -First of all, there are the very real problems of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment in the regions of Turkey mainly populated by Kurds. That is a very big challenge. Also, if you are an ordinary Kurd living in the southeast and you want to express yourself on the basis of your very distinct ethnic and cultural identity, you still run into problems. I've been down to that region countless times. I can give you the example of a private radio station in the province of Hakkari, where the owner told me that he is constantly in trouble with Turkish authorities because he plays Kurdish music on his channel, even though the lyrics of the songs are in no way offensive or threatening.
There are so many other examples that I can give you. In recent weeks, we have seen an enormous amount of pressure brought to bear on the leaders of the largest pro-Kurdish party. The president and co-president of the party were sentenced to six months in jail because they had handed out flyers in the Kurdish language.
Also, you still need to have 10 percent of the national vote in order to make it into parliament. This needs to be lowered to a reasonable level because it automatically excludes pro-Kurdish parties. A Kurdish politician cannot go to parliament and represent the cultural demands of the Kurds. Until you allow this people to be a part of the political system and empower them in that way, there will always be non-political actors such as the PKK who continue to advance these goals on behalf of the Kurdish people.
K.M.-How is the U.S. intervention in Iraq viewed in Turkey?
A.Z. -I think that everyone-from the leftists to the centrists to the rightists to the Islamists-is pretty much opposed to the U.S.
intervention in Iraq. Insofar as how they view Turkey's interests in light of the situation there, you have different voices, but the strongest one says that the emergence of an independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq is being encouraged by the U.S., and that this poses an existential threat to Turkey. The strongest evidence of this, they argue, is the fact that the U.S. has not taken military action against the PKK. The common perception is that the U.S. favors Iraqi-Kurdish leaders Massoud Barzani and Jelal Talabani over the Turks, and that this is partly due to Turkey's refusal to allow U.S.
troops to open a second front against Saddam Hussein using Turkish territory in 2003.
There is this tunnel vision on Iraq. They see everything through the PKK lens.
K.M.-What about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? On one hand, there is popular support for the Palestinian cause, and, on the other, there is the strategic alliance with Israel...
A.Z. -There seems to be a contradiction between Turkey's strategic alliance with Israel and this huge wave of support and sympathy for the Palestinians. But that contradiction in many ways exposes broader contradictions in the way Turkey thinks about itself and the world.
Because on the one hand, they believe that the alliance with Israel will make Turkey stronger in the region. Before the Iraq war, it helped Turkey gain favor in Washington and gave it a lot of maneuvering space, certainly vis-a-vis the EU. You had that sort of structure in place, that sort of idea that if you have good relations with Israel then America will always be behind you and you can flex your muscles more effectively vis-a-vis the EU, Iran even, and the entire region. Certainly, that whole paradigm has shifted following the U.S. occupation of Iraq. It's one that was already beginning to unravel after the first Gulf War. I think that we are now seeing significant realignment of that power equation.
K.M.-Talk about Turkey's relations with Iran, especially in the context of the nuclear issue.
A.Z.-Turkey is increasingly seeing this as an opportunity to exercise its regional power and influence. It seems to have portrayed itself as an honest broker in this crisis. As a Muslim, pro-Western country and a member of NATO, Turkey has credibility on both sides, and certainly its credibility in the Muslim world has been greatly enhanced by the AK party. There are many examples of Turkish behavior that suggest it wants to embrace the Muslim world in a way that none of its predecessors did. I think the Turks see all of it as more of an opportunity than a problem.
K.M.-If the confrontation deepens, will Turkey be forced to choose sides?
A.Z. -I think Turkey will be on the side of European governments and the U.S. as long as it's confined to non-military measures. But beyond that, Turkey will remain decidedly neutral. In my opinion, Turkey will not allow the U.S. to use its territory or airspace to launch attacks against Iran.
K.M. -Where do you see Turkey going? Will we witness more EU integration or will extreme nationalist feelings and growing pressure from the EU will take the country in another direction?
A.Z. -I like to remain optimistic and hopeful that Turkey's general direction will be towards a modern democratic society. There is going to be plenty of towing and throwing along the way. That's what we are witnessing now, strong nationalist pressure. But you have to look at the historical perspective. Turkey has been trying to modernize since the 19th century and from that time until today we have had reactions and counter reactions.
Today, the military enjoys more influence than it should in a democratic society but I think the winds are blowing in the direction of more democracy and not less.
Khatchig Mouradian is a Lebanese-Armenian journalist, writer and translator. He is the editor of The Armenian Weekly (www.armenianweekly.com), published in Boston, MA.
RFE/RL - CIA Radion Central - Yet again being as Anti-Armenian as ev
Apr 25, 2007 4:29 pm (PST)
The CIA and their cohorts never cease to amaze me with their constant and incessant insistence on eradicating the Armenian identity in stages.
See this article and the selective "testimonials" on largely ignorant Armenians who have not an iota of knowledge on what is going on in Turkish power circles, the most significant of which is the ever growing Military.
Of course, as is always the case, never is it mentioned that Turkey is now running the Azeri military. It is also not written in this typically whitewashed CIA propaganda article that the Turko/Azeri alliance is preparing to strike at Armenia at the next opportune moment.
Nowhere is it mentioned that what is considered to be "Turkish extremism" is actually Turkish mainstream with regards to pan-Turkism and anti-Armenianism.
The whitewashing continues with the Turkish style "renovation and restoration" of Akhtamar, which is yet another ploy to distort history and essentially vandalize an Armenian landmark.
Yes, friends, no one respects a willing slave.
Apr 25, 2007 4:30 pm (PST)
I agree with hat too many Armenians do not think enough about the geopolitics of the region. They have become focused on the genocide, which is OK, but their approach is a sentimental one which more or less begs Turkey to simply acknowledge the genocide and then walk away, as if that would solve anything.
Tuirkey poses a danger to Armenia in the present day, not just because of genocide denial, but because the thrust of US, European, and Turkish policy is to push Turkey into the Caucasus and Central Asia, to get at the oil and gas and push Russia as far out of the region as possible.
Recall that in 1915 Turkey, by itself, tried to do the same thing, removing Armenians from the path by killing them. That eastward thrust has actually been reinforced now by the West. At least in 1915 the West opposed Turkey. Now the West is actually Turkey's ally in this eastern adventure.
One would be surprised - if you actually talk to them - how little of this some "famous" Armenians actually understand, perhaps because they have been too close to the US State Department and establishment and write the same old sentimental garbage year after year.
Some Armenians continue to believe without question if Turkey joins the EU then it will become fully reformed, like a monkey becoming a human.