1640) MediaScanner 28 Apr 2007

  1. Ankara Slams Canadian PM For 'Genocide' Expression
  2. Not To Discriminate In The Fight Against Discrimination BERIL DEDEOGLU
  3. A Collection Of Armenian Stamps In The Ottoman Empire Elif Özmenek NEW YORK
  4. First Armenian With Access To Ottoman Archives
  5. Turkey Criticizes Canada's Reference To Alleged Genocide
  6. Truth Of Mass Grave Eludes Swedish Professor ONUR BURÇAK BELLI ISTANBUL
  7. US State Department Report Reaffirms Armenia's Occupying Azerbaijani Territories Azeri Press Agency
  8. British Embassy Retaliates To Armenian Newspaper Report YEREVAN, ARMENPRESS
  9. Armenian Genocide: Canadian Premier Does Not Cave In Turkey's Blackmail PanARMENIAN.Net
  10. French Masonic Organization Presses Turkish Peers To Recognize Armenian Genocide Yerevan, April 25, Armenpress
  11. ARF Bureau Meets With Us Democratic Party Leader YEREVAN (YERKIR)
  12. Turkish Armenians' Patriarch Condemns Assault On Turkish Embassy In Russia AZG Armenian Daily
  13. If U.S.-Turkey Relations Worsen, Recognition Of Armenian Genocide Will Be Just A Pretext PanARMENIAN.Net
  14. AAA: U.S. President's Address Is Part Of Shameless Genocide Denial Campaign PanARMENIAN.Net
  15. The EU And Isolating Armenia View by Fatma Yilmaz Journal of Turkish Weekly,
  16. An Armenian Genocide by Kinga Kali Budapest Sun, Hungary
  17. George Bush Did Not Call 1915 Events As Genocide Azeri Press Agency,
  18. US Four Congressmen Decline Their Signatures To Support 'Armenian Genocide' Today, Azerbaijan
  19. Bulgaria's Turkish Party Won't Recognize Genocide In Armenia Sofia News Agency, Bulgaria
  20. Moore Won't Explain Armenian Genocide 'Flip-Flop' Lawrence Journal World
  21. Turkey 'Warned' Canada, US Against Using Term 'Genocide' Assyrian International News Agency
. .
Ankara Slams Canadian Pm For 'Genocide' Expression
The Turkish capital expressed regret over a recent statement by Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- in which he referred to the World War I era killings of Anatolian Armenians as "genocide" -- describing Harper's remark as "unacceptable, unjust and incompatible" with Turkey's and Canada's relations "as friends and allies."

The Foreign Ministry in a written statement released late on Thursday reiterated Turkey's firm stance, sticking to its earlier call to Yerevan for the establishment of a joint commission of Turkish and Armenian historians and experts to study Armenian allegations of genocide, noting that such commission would be open to all concerned and competent historians regardless of their nationality. "We regret Prime Minister Harper's statement, which will contribute neither to the promotion of Turkish-Canadian relations, nor to a possible rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia. We believe that Mr. Harper continues to be misled, and suggest that he encourages competent Canadian historians into studying the events of 1915 on a proper basis," the ministry said.

In a statement released for April 24, which Armenians claim marks the anniversary of the beginning of a systematic genocide campaign at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire, Harper was quoted as saying by Armenian media: "Today we recall the horrible losses of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire, particularly the terrible tragedy of the Armenian nation. Last year I reminded all Canadians that both Houses of Parliament have adopted resolutions recognizing the first genocide of the 20th century."

Today's Zaman Ankara

Not To Discriminate In The Fight Against Discrimination
BERIL DEDEOGLU b.dedeoglu@todayszaman.com
It’s enough sometimes to look at one’s own society to see that discrimination and intolerance can lead directly to xenophobia and racism, and as a result express themselves more and more violently.
Unfortunately the concepts of tolerance and respect are not developing in an equally synchronized manner throughout the world. Muslim tombs in Europe are vandalized, while murders are committed in Malatya, and people from different religious denominations kill each other with bombs in Baghdad while ethnic groups in Rwanda massacre one another. Consequently societies are no longer capable of criticizing each other, because nobody’s hands are clean.

EU member states have been meeting over the last seven years to fight against this situation. One of the results of this effort is the treaty that was negotiated by the EU justice ministers. This document aims to fight against racism and xenophobia, and condemns discrimination, racism, crimes against humanity and those policies which nourish these tendencies. As the definitions proposed by the 27 member states are divergent, a full agreement on the concepts was difficult to reach. It is not easy to completely purify this kind of issue from national egoisms. But it is still notable to see that 27 different countries have agreed on concepts they commonly qualify as threats. That being said, the presented document has some gaps.

In all of the EU countries, as they are all democratic states of law as per the Copenhagen criteria, there are legal regulations about these subjects. It’s not easy to understand why it might be thought that since these issues, which couldn’t be eradicated by existing laws, would disappear with a new treaty, a new legal document. According to the latter, racism, xenophobia and crimes against humanity are not punished simply for being expressed, but from the moment they become violent acts. This presupposes that when we are talking about violence we understand this in the same way. Moreover we know that many neo-nationalist and anti-immigrant political parties in Europe have a legal existence within the political life of these countries, and even accede to power, despite their xenophobic and intolerant rhetoric. We can also see the results of inciting the “us” feeling, which transforms the “other” into an enemy. But when these feelings don’t become actions, the laws prefer to remain silent in front of them to respect freedom of speech.

Concepts like discrimination, xenophobia and racism are slightly different from one another and they are products of a specific mentality. That is why it would be wiser to resolve this problem by “understandings” rather than “treaties.” The effort of taking revenge for historic discriminations through this document is another problem. We should congratulate Europe for its courage in discussing this, and keeping up its efforts for recompense for historic persecution within the time period of the formation of the European Community. When we start to talk about genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Europe, how we will know where to stop? Societies will become more democratic when they start to question their past. But what if this process becomes a fight between societies, in an effort to prove that some of them are guiltier than others? This will lead to discrimination through law. This process will certainly include discussing the Armenian issue and could affect negatively Turkey by blocking its democratization through an internal dialogue.

This issue necessitates a serious change in the thoughts and every penalizing attitude encourages discrimination in peoples’ minds. Do we need examples? If there were any reference to the concept of genocide, Turkey should sign this document and thereby become a country that promises to fight against xenophobia and racism in Europe.


A Collection Of Armenian Stamps In The Ottoman Empire
April 28, 2007
Elif Özmenek
NEW YORK - Turkish Daily News
If there is anyone who thinks that Turkish-Armenian reconciliation is impossible they should get to see Mihran Adman's stamp collection. Adman, an Armenian who was born and raised in Istanbul, now resides in New York and brings two communities together every time he exhibits his amazing collection of Armenian postal history in the Ottoman Empire.

Quite different from the history books when one looks at this incredible collection one realizes that the past of the two communities is inseparable and closely knitted. The stamps in his collection are not only an important part of Armenian history but also Ottoman/Turkish history. “A lot of nations' postal history starts with the Ottoman Empire,” Adman says in explaining the intricate connection.

His collection goes back to 1840, the first year official seals were used as a part of the Ottoman postal service. However Adman also owns every single stamp that was printed in the republic's history. With his remarkable collection one almost travels in time.

Adman started collecting stamps when he was 15. “I bought my first collection of stamps for $1,000. That was an incredibly high amount in 1960. This almost led to a family tragedy,” Adman smiles. As a fifteen year old visiting his aunt in Paris he realized a book of Anatolian stamps and asked his aunt to help him out to buy the collection but of course she said no. Then Adman managed to entice his grandmother as the only grandchild in the family. His father went ballistic when he heard that Mihran paid that much for this one collection. That was the starting point of his life long journey.

I would have never thought a stamp collection could tell so many different stories. “If you do not know history well you won't be able to collect stamps, or let's say you won't be able to form a collection,” Adman says. “For example stamps have deckle edges. In my collection two of the same stamps have different edges. One has twelve punched deckle edges the other one has five. The reason for that was during the war the hole-puncher broke and they used sewing machines instead to punch holes for the stamps in Istanbul.”

The first stamp was published in Istanbul in 1860. “Greece for example published its first stamp in France because they did not have the technical capacity. The Ottoman Empire published its first stamp in Istanbul,” said Adman.

Armenians played a crucial role in establishing such a strong postal service in the empire. Krikor Agaton, the director of general of the Ottoman postal administration in the 1850s, convinced the Europeans to use the Ottoman postal service instead of their own. This way the empire could both control what was being sent and collect postal taxes. However, after Agaton's sudden death the Europeans withdrew from the agreement and never gave up their postal services until the foundation of the republic. Adman says he feels upset that today Armenians' role in such a strong postal service are not remembered at all. “On some of the envelops I collected over the years from the Ottoman years the addresses were only written in Armenian and they reached their destinations just fine because most of the postal service workers knew Armenian.” However, Adman does not want his stamp collection to be a part of a long lasting political debate. The Armenian diaspora asked Adman to give his stamps to be exhibited in the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. He, without hesitating, refused. In May Adman will be exhibiting his collection in the Turkish Cultural Center in New York. He also says one day he wishes to exhibit it in native Istanbul as well.

Adman, who loves Istanbul very much, had to leave his hometown in 1980 because of the increasing attacks on minorities. However, he never lost touch. Adman is very well known and respected among the Turkish community in Long Island as well.

“On this boat ticket,” he says, showing one interesting piece from his collection, “There are four languages, Ottoman, Greek, Armenian and French on four different corners. That is how multicultural the empire was,” Adman says with a hope that one day Turkey can embrace its multicultural past full heartedly.

On April 24 of this year, like the last 92 years, many think that Turkish-Armenian reconciliation is impossible: To those who think this way I recommend that they find Adman and look at his amazing stamp collection.

First Armenian With Access To Ottoman Archives
April 28, 2007
Prof. Dr. Pars Tuglaci, born Parsegh Touglajian, is one of the rare historians to have the chance of examining the archives of the Ottoman Empire

Whether to open the Ottoman archives or not has created discussions through different periods. One rare academic to get the chance has been historian and linguist Prof. Dr. Pars Tuglaci, born Parsegh Touglajian, who has a special permit to examine the archives, granted by Fahri Korutürk when he was president of the Turkish Republic in the 1970s. While preparing the most comprehensive Turkish dictionary of the new Turkish Republic, “Ocean Encyclopedic Turkish Dictionary,” Tuglaci was invited to the presidential palace at Cankaya by President Fahri Korutürk in 1974. Korutürk asked him how they could help him with his work, and Tuglaci said “For a nation's history to be written without mistakes or omittance, the state archive of the country of which that nation is member must to be scanned through. For this, I want the permission from you to scan through the Ottoman State Archive.”

Pars Tuglaci mentions that the studies he did in the Ottoman archives have an inestimable importance for him. Tuglaci also compared the information he obtained from the archives with the archives of other countries to publish the 25 volume Great Turkish Encyclopedia, which covers the history and culture of Turkey before and after 1071.

Pars Tuglaci is “Honorary Professor” of the Paris International Relations Institute, has a “life time honorary professorship” with the American International Bibliography Institute, and is a lifetime member of Cambridge International Biography Association. He also has many titles and memberships worldwide, including “Buenos Aires Diplomacy Academy Member” and “USA Biography Institute Research Association Management Assignee.”

Tuglaci began his dictionary and encyclopedia work right after he graduated from Michigan University English Literature Department in 1960. Known as ‘Master of Dictionary,' Tuglaci's first work in this area is the ‘English-Turkish Idioms Dictionary.' Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's close friend and one of the eminent names of the Turkish Literature, Halide Edip Adivar, sent a ‘Certificate of Appreciation' to Tuglaci for the dictionary published in 1960.

History can't be without documents; the historian has to be candid:

Tuglaci said, “History can't be without source or documents. Equity should be the mission of the historian. In my works, I tell about what happened, I attach its document next to it; there is no interpretation in history.”

Having done research in many countries including Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and the former Soviet Union, Tuglaci is fluent in Armenian, Turkish, English and French.

The Ottoman Empire has great significance in world history, Pars Tuglaci said, with all ethnic components within its boundaries coming together to form the conscience of being Ottoman. In his historical research, he looks at the concept of being Ottoman as a whole, he said.

So far, thirty five of Tuglaci's works have been published. Besides the more eminent ones such as the Ottoman Empire History, English, French and Turkish dictionaries, there are works including “Woman in Turkey - Women of Istanbul in Ottoman Times," "The Ottoman Palace Women," "The Role of the Balyan Family in the Ottoman Architecture,” "Armenian Churches Of Istanbul," "Western Armenians Throughout History," "Istanbul Islands Throughout History” and "Çiragan Palace." Except for "Western Armenians,” all the books have been published in English and Turkish. The comprehensive encyclopedia on the history of Western Armenians will be translated into English shortly.

World Peace is just a Utopia:

Among the works of Tuglaci, who said he has many works ready to be published, is the comprehensive work he prepared on Ismet Inönü, and “Three Chronological Period Histories of Istanbul.” The chronological historical ordering of five volumes, starting from the East Roman Empire Period, covers Byzantine and Ottoman history. Tuglaci, having attended the “International Science, Culture and Art Congress” representing Turkey for seventeen years, will represent Turkey with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the conference to be held in the first week of July in the United States, which will be attended by scholars from around the world.

Pars Tuglaci summarized his opinions on language and history as follows: “Language is the object forming the relationships between people; history is the reason of a nation to exist. The one who doesn't know about his own history cannot like his nation.”

Touching upon recent political and social developments, Tuglaci thinks peace in the world is just a utopia now.


Turkey Criticizes Canada's Reference To Alleged Genocide
April 28, 2007
ANKARA – Turkish Daily News

Ankara strongly criticized Canada on Thursday for referring to the killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as genocide, saying that it was “unacceptable, unfair and incompatible with friendly ties.”

Despite the Turkish government's warning, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recognized the killings of Armenians during World War I years as genocide in a declaration he issued on April 24, a day of commemoration for the alleged genocide.

“We consider such a reference in the statement by the Canadian prime minister to be unacceptable, unfair and incompatible with our friendly ties,” stated a written statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry late on Thursday.

The ministry warned that Harper's declaration would neither contribute to friendly ties between Turkey and Canada, nor to normalization of ties between the two neighboring countries, Turkey and Armenia.

“We believe that Mr. Harper continues to be misled and suggest instead that he encourage competent Canadian historians to study the events of 1915 on a proper basis,” it added. The ministry reiterated the Turkish proposal of setting up a joint committee of historians to study genocide allegations.

Truth Of Mass Grave Eludes Swedish Professor
April 27, 2007
ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News

An investigation to clarify conflicting claims about the origins of a mass grave found near the city of Mardin last year in Turkey's southeast ended in disappointment this week as historians traded accusations and a Swedish expert denounced the excavation as an “expensive picnic.”

The grave first came to light last October when villagers in the district of Nusaybin reported that they had found a mass grave near the village of Kuru. Turkish historians insisted that the grave dated back to Roman times while some Westerners claimed it could be a mass burial site of Armenians, killed around 1915 in a series of massacres that remain the subject of red hot controversy today.

After the weekly news magazine Nokta published photos of the site and international news agencies picked up the story, Sweden's Soderton University demanded an investigation.

Refusing collaboration:

Professor David Gaunt of Soderton, accompanied by Yusuf Halaçoglu, the President of the Turkish Association of Historians (TTK), arrived at the burial site together last Tuesday, April 24. The date is a symbolic day for Armenians who commemorate “genocide” on that day, a characterization disputed by most Turkish and many international scholars.

On examining the grave, Gaunt refused to collaborate with the Turkish historians. It had been tampered with since it was first uncovered, making it impossible to conclusively establish its origins or the circumstances of the human remains.

“I have some photos of the grave, dating back to October, when it was first found,” Gaunt told the Turkish Daily News yesterday. “But the place I saw was totally different from the photos."If proving that the grave is not evidence of Armenian claims, it should have had serious protection, he said. However, it is “full of mud.”“My impression is that this grave is one in which no scientific research can be carried out. The grave has undergone numerous changes so it is unrecognizable," he said.

Soil sample conflict:

The Turkish Association's Halaçoglu, however, said in response that no bones were removed from the place and that the change was due to natural factors such as rain. Gaunt in turn rejected that explanation, saying if indeed scientific standards of protection were used “then it could not have been affected by rain or anything else."The aim of this visit was to make a preliminary survey to establish whether the site is suitable for interdisciplinary investigations in the future by forensic medical experts, archaeologists, physical anthropologists and historians. If such a decision was taken, forensic experts would be engaged to assist the Turkish Historical Society and the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation in their work.Noting that Roman pantheons have their own entrance, which was closed in the grave, Halaçoglu emphasized that the grave represents a typical Roman burial site.

It could not be a site, in his view, of alleged Armenian victims at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. He also chastised Gaunt for flippancy, saying if he is sincere about investigating genocide claims, he should have taken soil samples that could prove the history of the bones. He also recalled that Turkey has made an official proposal to Armenia to set up a joint commission of historians to study such disputed events and all sides should conduct their work impartially.Such impartiality is now impossible, an angry Gaunt argued: “They gave me a shovel to dig and get some soil and some little bones, which were impossible to work on and reach any scientific conclusion. It is an archeological site. The process should continue slowly and gently,” he said “That was when I realized it was impossible to reach any scientific conclusion. Why should I get soil samples? What happened to those bones that are the real source for forensic research?"It could well be a Roman grave, he said, but the point was to examine the remains of 38 bodies there and that is now difficult if not impossible."Our intention was to understand how they got there, but I have heard that they were removed. I cannot accept the claim that mud filled the grave naturally," Gaunt explained.

Understanding the exact date:

David Gaunt also said it is scientifically impossible to understand the exact date from the bones. "It is not possible to say the exact date with scientific and chemical examinations. One can only merge the scientific outcomes with the stories of the local people. Then maybe one may have an answer close to reality.”

Sait Yildiz, a Syriac local of Mardin, said Halaçoglu accused him of manipulating reality and misinforming the media. Yildiz was at the site with Gaunt and Halaçoglu the first time they went into the grave. "I was carrying the photographs taken at that time," Yildiz said. "A villager came to me, looked at the photos and confirmed that the grave looked like this the first time he discovered it," he added, explaining that villager was the one who first found the grave and reported it to the authorities.

The Swedish professor expressed his disillusionment, describing what happened as “childish.”

“This is the most expensive picnic I have ever attended," concluded the professor.

Emre Çaliskan contributed to this story.

US State Department Report Reaffirms Armenia's Occupying Azerbaijani Territories
Azeri Press Agency, Azerbaijan
April 26 2007
The US State Department has again made changes to the initial 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, APA reports quoting US State Department's website.

The State Department restored the first variant of the country report on Azerbaijan that states "Armenia continued to occupy the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories". This variant had been changed by the influence of Armenian lobby.

APA's US bureau reports the yesterday's changes to the initial report for the third time specifies the side [Armenia] which has occupied the territories of Azerbaijan.

The previous changes to the State Department report caused serious discontent of Azerbaijani side which as a result postponed its high-level visit to Washington for the bilateral security talks, scheduled for April 23-24.

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry warned that the issue "may become a serious impediment to further security-related cooperation between our countries".

The changes "distort the essence of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict" and their introduction "puts in doubt the U.S. position of the 'honest broker' in the resolution of the conflict," the statement said US Embassy public affairs officer Jonathan Henick confirmed that the State Department country report on human rights practices has been changed for the third time.

British Embassy Retaliates To Armenian Newspaper Report
YEREVAN, APRIL 26, ARMENPRESS: The British Embassy in Yerevan has retaliated today to a report in the local Russian-language 'Golos Armenii' newspaper, which claimed it disclosed the purported details of a 'confidential' meeting of a former parliament chairman Arthur Baghdasarian, head of the opposition Orinats Yerkir party, with a British diplomat (it emerged today that it was deputy ambassador Richard Hyde) that focused on Armenia's upcoming parliamentary elections.

The newspaper published what it said were excerpts from a secretly recorded conversation of Baghdasarian with Richard Hyde in Yerevan during a dinner in a Yerevan restaurant last February. 'Golos Armenii' said the conversation was recorded on a compact disk sent to it by unknown individuals In one of these excerpts ex-parliament speaker was quoted as urging the European Union to criticize the Armenian authorities' handling of the May 12 vote.

Baghdasarian retaliated in a written statement saying the report was part of a "well-engineered smear campaign" launched against his party by the Armenian authorities.

A statement released today by the British Embassy in Yerevan said the British Embassy 'is dismayed that a clandestine recording has been made, and recently released in part to the press, of a conversation between an official of this Embassy and the leader of an opposition party."

"We do not propose to comment in detail on the gross misrepresentation of a conversation, details of which appear to have been obtained through dishonest and deplorable means."

The Embassy statement said that 'along with the OSCE, European Union, Council of Europe, the diplomatic community and others, the Embassy is interested in seeing elections on 12 May that conform to international standards. In this context the Embassy maintains a wide range of contacts and dialogues with institutions and individuals across the political spectrum in Armenia, in order to be informed of all shades of political opinion. This enables us to form as complete and objective a view as possible of the political process, and is in line with the normal and accepted practice of any embassy anywhere in the world."

"As a member state of the EU, we wholeheartedly support the commitment shared by the EU and Armenia in the European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan to work together to strengthen democratic institutions, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and we welcome Armenia's democratic achievements so far.

In that context, our objective will remain to do what we can to support and promote effectiveness in the performance of democratic institutions and processes in the country. It is not, never has been and cannot be, our business to support the political platform of any specific political party."

Armenian Genocide: Canadian Premier Does Not Cave In Turkey's Blackmail
"We are well aware of the pressure and the threats by Turkey in the Armenian Genocide issue," Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) Aris Babikian stated to the PanARMENIAN.Net journalist. "Fortunately Prime Minister of Canada does not cave in Turkey's blackmail. He stood firm to his principled stand vis-a-vis the Armenian Genocide issue," Babikian underlined. In his annual address in connection with the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Harper reminded the both chambers of the Canadian Parliament have adopted a resolution that recognizes the first genocide of the 20th century.

Canadian Prime Minister Harper was warned through diplomatic channels last week that "repeating these claims annually will not help in normalizing Turkey-Armenia relations and will harm Turkish-Canadian bilateral relations as well." "We hope that the Canadian PM will not repeat this year what he did last year," a high-level Turkish Foreign Ministry official said, the Turkish Daily News reports.

French Masonic Organization Presses Turkish Peers To Recognize Armenian Genocide
Yerevan, April 25, Armenpress: Claude Gedan, who led an official delegation of representatives of top " Grand Orient de France (French-Masonic organization ) that has arrived in Yerevan for the first time to share personally the pain of Armenians scattered all-over the world and address their sympathy to the memory of 1.500.000 victims of the 1915 Genocide, said the Grand Orient de France not only recognizes the Armenian genocide, but will also fight for its international acknowledgment, with a focus on pressing Turkey to acknowledge that crime.

He said the organization's head met last February in Turkey with Turkish organization's top members demanding that they also recognize the Armenian genocide, saying otherwise the French organization would break all ties with them.

"We accept that some Masons were involved in plotting the Armenian genocide, but none was from the Grand Orient of France. We condemn what they did and we find that a Mason that chooses the path of violence and nationalism is no longer a Mason. A glaring example of that was Taleat Pasha," he said.

The Grand Orient de France is one of the biggest French Masonic organizations with 50,000 members.

ARF Bureau Meets With Us Democratic Party Leader
YEREVAN (YERKIR) - Howard Dean, the National Democratic Commmittee chairman, recevied a delegation of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Buereau at the Democratic headquarters in Washington on April 24, ARF press service reported.

The ARF Bureau delegation comprised ARF Bureau members Vahan Hovhannisian, Karo Armenian and Vigen Hovsepian.

During the meeting that lasted over an hour, issues related to cooperation between the Democratic party and the ARF were discussed. The Artsakh conflict settlement, the Armenian-Turkish relations and the Armenian Genocide as well as the parliamenatary election in Armenia were also discussed.

The parties agreed to continue inter-party relations and implement a number of joint projects.

Turkish Armenians' Patriarch Condemns Assault On Turkish Embassy In Russia
AZG Armenian Daily

On April 25 "Lraber", the official newspaper of the Armenian Patriarchy of Constantinople, reported that Patriarch Mesrob II Mutafian condemned the assault on the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, Russia. "I have said that the Armenian and the Turkish people must have respect for each other's national and religious symbols, so as to prevent those symbols of becoming the target of radical protest actions and to contribute the process of establishment of friendship between those nations," "Lraber" reports his words. He said such actions as tearing apart the flag of Turkey and the portrait of Ataturk, which are the national symbols of the Republic of Turkey, cannot be of any use and can only serve to the escalation of enmity between Armenia and Turkey.

If U.S.-Turkey Relations Worsen, Recognition Of Armenian Genocide Will Be Just A Pretext
PanARMENIAN.Net 25.04.2007

The resolution that would recognize the Armenian Genocide should be passed, congressman Adam Schiff stated on the House Floor in connection with the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. As Schiff's Press Secretary Sean Oblack told PanARMENIAN.Net, congressman's statement reads as follows, "Tomorrow marks the 92nd Anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide. In January, I introduced a resolution in the House that would recognize the Armenian Genocide. It should be passed. Ghazaros Kademian is one reason why.

Ghazaros Kademian was just 6 years old when his family was forced into exile by Ottoman Turks bent on annihilating the Armenian people. His father was murdered by Turk gendarmes and the rest of the family was forced to flee on foot to Kirkuk, where his mother died from cold and hunger. He was separated from his siblings and orphaned.

Mr. Kademian's story is terrible, but not remarkable. Over a million and a half Armenians were murdered in the first genocide of the last century as the Ottoman Empire used the cloak of war to wipe out a people it considered alien and disloyal. This mammoth crime was well known at the time; newspapers of the day were filled with stories about the murder of Armenians. "Appeal to Turkey to Stop Massacres" headlined the New York Times on April 28, 1915, just as the killing began. By October 7 of that year, the Times reported that 800,000 Armenians had been slain in cold blood in Asia Minor. In mid-December of 1915, the Times spoke of a million Armenians killed or in exile. Thousands of pages of evidence documenting the atrocities rest in our own National Archives.

Prominent citizens of the day, including America's Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, and Britain's Lord Bryce reported on the massacres in great detail. Morgenthau was appalled at what he would later call the sadistic orgies of rape, torture, and murder. "When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and ... made no particular attempt to conceal the fact."

Even those who have most ardently advocated sweeping the murder of a million and a half people under the rug of history have conceded that the vast majority of historians accept the Armenian Genocide as historical fact. And how could they not - for it was the Government of Turkey that, in early 1919, held a number of well-publicized trials of some of the Young Turk leaders and executed Keimal Bey, the governor of Diarbekir, specifically for his role as one of the Ottoman Empire's most savage persecutors of the Armenian people. The trials, by the way, were as widely covered in the American press as was the genocide itself.

So if the facts are not in dispute, why are so many nations complicit in modern Turkey's strenuous efforts to deny the genocide ever took place?

First, opponents argue that recognizing the unpleasant fact of mass murder risks alienating our important alliance with Turkey. There is no question that Turkey is bitterly opposed to recognition and is threatening our military and commercial relationship, including access to the Incirlik air base. But Turkey has made similar threats to other nations in the past only to retreat from them, and the European Union's insistence that Ankara recognize the crimes of its Ottoman forebears before Turkey is admitted to the EU has not dimmed Turkish enthusiasm for joining the EU.

If Turkish relations with the U.S. do suffer, it is far more likely that the genocide recognition will be a pretext; the Bush Administration has done such a poor job managing our relations with Turkey over the last six years, that we have already seen the limits of the U.S. Turkish alliance tested and found lacking. During the run-up to the war in Iraq, Turkey denied us permission to bring in ground forces from its soil, allowing the Saddam Fedeyeen to melt away and form the basis of a now persistent insurgency.

Oddly enough, critics of recognition decry it as pandering to the victims, but are only too happy to pander to the sensibilities of an inconstant ally, and one that has shown no qualms about accusing the U.S. of genocide in Iraq.

Second, opponents take issue with the timing of the resolution and argue that Turkey is making progress with recognizing the dark chapters of its history. This claim lost all credibility when Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's Nobel Prize winning author was brought up on charges for "insulting Turkishness" for alluding to the genocide, and Turkish Armenian publisher Hrant Dink was gunned down outside his office in Istanbul earlier this year. Yet some opponents go even further, such as a former Ambassador to Turkey who argued that the time may never be right for America to comment "on another's history or morality." Such a ludicrous policy would condemn Congress to silence on a host of human rights abuses around the world. After more than ninety years and with only a few survivors left, if the time is not right now to recognize the Armenian Genocide, when will it be?

But the most pernicious argument against recognition is the claim that speaking the truth would harm relations with Turkey "for no good reason."

How can we claim the moral authority to decry the genocide in Darfur, as we must, if we are unwilling to deplore other genocides when it would inconvenience an ally? Elie Wiesel has described the denial of genocide as the final stage of genocide--a double killing. If you don't think he's right, talk to Ghazaros Kademian."

AAA: U.S. President's Address Is Part Of Shameless Genocide Denial Campaign
PanARMENIAN.Net 25.04.2007
In his annual April 24th statement commemorating the Armenian Genocide, President Bush characterized the events that began on this date in 1915 as "one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century" and honored the memory of the 1.5 million "victims of mass killings and forced exile" but failed to properly acknowledge the incontestable fact of the Armenian Genocide, the statement of the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) says. "President Bush's statement fails to take into account the shameless campaign of denial and distortion," Assembly Board of Trustees Chairman Hirair Hovnanian stated. "In memory of our parents, and grandparents who perished during that time, we will make sure that the Armenian Genocide is universally affirmed. Despite the attempts of the deniers of the Genocide, the truth will prevail," he underlined.

The statement also ignores the political assassination of Hrant Dink, who was prosecuted under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code for "insulting Turkishness" by speaking the truth. Hrant Dink was murdered in broad daylight and became the latest victim of the Armenian Genocide and the consequence of its denial.

The EU And Isolating Armenia
View by Fatma Yilmaz
Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey April 25 2007

Through which way the European Union (EU) and Armenian relations has recently proceeded is the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). If requires to remind, the ENP signifies a newly-established approach of the EU which differs from the existing foreign relations of the Union. Instead, including the neighboring countries on the Eastern and Southern encompassing borders of new expanding the EU, the policy goes beyond the present relations with the intention of sharing the benefits of the EU enlargement with the interested neighbors by means of increase in security, stability and interests. In this sense, the ENP sets objectives based on commitments to shared values and effective implementation of political, economic and institutional reforms. The implementation of the ENP is to be supported with financial and technical assistance. For the benefited side, the prospect of this policy seems to create incentives for the promotion of comprehensive economic and political reforms.

However, the ENP is not just completely new approach of the EU in terms of financial and technical assistance so as to encourage the reforms in the neighboring countries. And Armenia is therefore the country which the EU has made contribution to its economic and democratic transformation in terms of the Caucasus policy for a long time. Since the beginning of 1990s, the EU has been trying to shape the transformation going on within the Caucasus republics through technical and financial aids. Programs such as TACIS, FEOGA, ECHO forms the main tools of this policy. TACIS, among them, is the well-known one due to its big budget. Under TACIS, the EU gave start to two different programs following the EU's strategic interests on the religion. These are TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia) and INOGATE (Interstate Oil and Gas Transport to Europe) programs. Including 13 countries, TRCECA is considered a project of Europe-Caucasus-Asia corridor aiming at regenerating the ancient Silk Road. The aim of the mentioned corridor, which forms the shortest, the fastest and the cheapest road route, was actually to break up Russian monopoly. Whereas on one hand the project is to reinforce both political and economic independence of the Caucasus republics, on the other hand it would enable the EU to access the Far East without being dependent to Russia. Therefore, it is possible for the project to be seemed as an infrastructure program which could possibly have contributed to the Armenian development in theory. But what about the practice?

Having contributed the reconstruction of Armenia, then, what is the problem with the EU policies towards Armenia? In fact, firstly what is the problem? Isolation, needless to say... One of the clear examples of this isolation is the TRACECA project. Although Armenia is mentioned within the project on the paper, it could not benefit from the project in practice. This is mainly because of the Azeri abstention to the project for Armenia. This therefore made Armenia to remain outside the EU project. Naturally, the long-lasting Nagorno-Karabakh issue lies behind the Azeri obstacle. In this sense, Azerbaijan seems to be so decisive not to allow Armenia to participate in this EU project. The EU has no way to deter Azerbaijan to take back its objection since it needs the project whether with or without Armenia for the benefit of its interests. It seems so that Armenia causes its isolation with its own policies. How the EU has contributed indirectly to Armenia's isolation is that the EU does not make any pressure on Armenia in terms of a possible solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue to be reached a solution. Similarly, the EU does not also put pressure on Armenia about the so-called Armenian genocide issue lasting for long years between Turkey and Armenia as it does about the Cyprus issue towards Turkey. In result, the inertness of the EU on the Armenian politics in the region makes this country believe their policies right to be pursued. Then, such situation encourages Armenia to insist on the present policies which actually damage the Armenian both economic and political power in the region. As long as Armenia believes it could stand just with its own power in the region, it on the contrary contributes its own isolation gradually whereas the countries around it have steadily shown considerable increase in economic terms.

Moreover, although Armenia was the most convenient route for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Yerevan unfortunately remained outside of the project. Armenia was not only excluded from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline project but also there are many projects on the way in which Armenia can not be included. For instance, Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey natural gas pipeline which is about to be completed is one of them. Additionally, although there is an already-established railway via Armenia, Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway line will bypass Armenia once more. New projects are also on the way, and it seems that Armenia will be outside in these coming regional co-operation projects.

What is more, the US, thanks to the strong Armenian diaspora lobbies in the Congress, has given generous aids to Armenia, yet the foreign aid creates not strong Armenian economy, but artificial growth and more dependency on foreign sources. Meanwhile, we should note that the US has been one of the most enthusiastic supporters in the regional cooperation projects which isolated Armenia.

If also estimated the Armenian domestic issues, as Armenia's power relatively decreases, the extremists in the country gain the power reversely and it is possible to claim that Armenia has gradually lost its independence. Therefore, there is an Armenia in the region which is gradually isolated itself without having realized the failure of its own policies towards the neighboring countries. And there is also an EU let Armenians to feel sufficient to carry out all problems themselves unnecessarily. In this circumstance, Armenia should be aware of its potential with its so small population and territory and of its small-scale economy. It therefore needs to be active in the region in collaboration with other actors in the region to survive.

Needless to say that it takes great support of the Armenians in diaspora but to be an effective actor in the region necessitates its own power.

In such manner, it actually requires to appreciate the policies of the EU with the motivation of economic and technical aim to its neighboring countries including Armenia. There is no doubt that the EU has made key contributions to the transformation of Armenia. As mentioned above, the EU aid money is mostly channeled through the TACIS. Since 1994 Armenia has enjoyed consecutive economic growth, with a considerable high economic growth rate in 2002-2003 (13.2% and 13.9%), which was preserved in 2004 (10.1%). However, this is partly dependent on considerable flows of international aid and remittances from the Diaspora.

Furthermore, the European Union alone, during the period 1991-2002, has provided Armenia with national grants that amount to 318.36 million Euros and loans totaling 86 million Euros. In addition, EU Member States' total contributions during the same period were 282 million Euro, bringing total EU assistance to Armenia to approximately 686,3 million Euro.[1] Nevertheless, this would not prevent Armenia to play an aggressive role in its external relations which force it to be isolated. As it does in the US case, the EU aids mostly through the TACIS program made Armenian growth to be artificial. The foreign aids to Armenia could not make structural contribution; in contrast, it makes Armenian economy to be dependent on foreign investments.

In such an environment, what the EU might to do against the gradual isolation could be to encourage Armenia to pursue more moderate and collaborationist role in terms of the solution of its problems with neighbors. The EU might use its conditional aids as a trigger to persuade Armenia to agree with the parties of the problems as it does for the benefit of economic and political reforms in the country.

Otherwise, Armenia would be obliged to withdraw its own shell with the risk of isolation gradually.

By Fatma YILMAZ I.S.R.O. (U.S.A.K.) Center for the European Union Studies

[1] European Union Chamber of Commerce in Armenia, retrieved from: http://www.eucca.am/?page=content&parent=EU%20Armenia%20Relationship&link=EU%20Armenia%20Relationship, 22 March 2007.

An Armenian Genocide by Kinga Kali
Budapest Sun, Hungary April 25 2007
The Armenian Genocide of 1915-17 is commemorated around the world on April 24, wherever Armenians are living - and that includes Budapest, where cultural events have accompanied a solemn remembrance of one of the worst massacres of the last century.

After more than 90 years, the Mets Yeghern (The Great Calamity, in Armenian) that killed 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey (as well as many Greeks and Assyrians), it is still a matter of much controversy, officially denied or not recognized by many countries, despite eye-witness accounts, documentary and photographic evidence, the testimony of thousands of survivors and decades of historical research.

Silence often shrouds the issue in Hungary as well and, despite, or perhaps because of, Hungary's 150 years of Ottoman occupation, Hungary still doesn't officially recognize the Armenian genocide.

The Turkish state denies that its Ottoman predecessor committed genocide, and protests vehemently against countries and individuals who insist otherwise.

Armenians may shiver, in fact, that an alley in Budapest's beautiful Castle District is named after Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish state - and if that state is the successor of the Ottoman Empire, then isn't Turkey responsible of the crimes committed by the Young Turk Party, of which Ataturk was once a member?

Ataturk himself was, in fact, scathing about his people's behavior towards the Armenians. At a military tribunal in January 1919, he said, "Our compatriots committed inhuman crimes, they resorted to every kind of despotism, they organized deportations and massacre, they burnt babies alive sprinkled with petrol, they raped women and girls. They brought such insupportable conditions to people, that no other people had seen before in history."

Failing to punish

But, as President of Turkey, Ataturk, failed to punish the perpetrators of those crimes, and the barbarous events of 1915-17 fell into a deep, silent and secure whirlpool of oblivion.

Due to this terrifying ethnic cleansing, the Armenian Diaspora is now much bigger than the population of Armenia itself, and Hungary is home to a significant Armenian community.

Armenians first arrived in Hungary in the 13th century, when legend says 300 Armenian families fled Ani, one of Armenia's ancient capitals, the so-called city of the Thousand Towers, to escape the Tatars.

After wandering in Crimea, Poland, and Moldova, in 1672 they arrived in Transylvania, where they were settled by Duke Mihaly Apafi and functioned independently as traders.

They established four towns and initially used their own tongue, before learning the language of the surrounding people: Hungarian, Romanian and German. In the late 18th century, Armenian traders migrated to the Hungarian Plain, and the descendants of these traders are the foundations of the Armenian community in Hungary.

Over time, they assimilated the culture of the Hungarians they lived alongside and, nowadays, Hungarian-Armenians don't speak the language of their ancestors, although they are well aware of their Armenian origins. "We are Hungarians during the week, and Armenians on the weekends, in church," they often say.

The second "layer" of the Armenian community constitutes descendants of those who arrived after the events of 1915 in Turkey. There is often tension with the earlier arrivals, because the "newcomers" refuse to accept those who use Hungarian as their mother-tongue as real Armenians.

Paradoxically, this year's Week of Armenian Culture was organized by the Hungarian-Armenian group, mainly the Transylvanian Armenian Roots Cultural Association and the Metropolitan Armenian Self-Government, which was not directly affected by the events in Turkey.

Paying homage

They paid homage to the Armenian martyrs of the Mets Yeghern by putting flowers at the Armenian Khachkar (a stone cross made by Armenian monks) near the Danube, close to Petôfi ter, and, from April 19-25, several cultural events commemorated the genocide.

These include an exhibition of archive photos, entitled The First Genocide of the Twentieth Century, in Árkad Galeria (Pest, District VIII, Rakoczi út 30.), at the opening of which a book Nikolaj Hovhanniszjan: The Armenian Genocide, was presented.

On April 22 at Bela Bartok's Memorial House, there was a concert introducing music from the Armenian Miniatures for Piano album, released during the week. The CD includes a selection of music by Aram Hachaturian, Komitas and Bartok.

These events surely deserve the support of all those who would give a belated reply to Hitler, architect of the Holocaust, who allegedly asked his Nazi aides on August 22, 1939, "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"

The First Genocide of the Twentieth Century - Archive Photographs Until April 27. Árkad Galeria Pest, District VIII. Rakoczi út 30.


George Bush Did Not Call 1915 Events As Genocide
Azeri Press Agency, Azerbaijan April 25 2007

On the eve of so called "Armenian genocide" U.S. President George Bush in his annual April 24 speech did not call 1915- 1923 historical events as genocide.

The US president called events of that time tragedy again, not using the word "genocide".

"We commend the individuals in Armenia and Turkey who are working to normalize the relationship between their two counties. A sincere and open examination of the historic events of the late-Ottoman period is an essential part of this process. 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," President Bush said.

U.S. President also touching on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict said : "The United States remains committed to working with Armenia and Azerbaijan to promote a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict."

US Four Congressmen Decline Their Signatures To Support 'Armenian Genocide'
Today, Azerbaijan April 25 2007

Despite stronger efforts by Armenian lobby in US for approval of Armenian genocide resolution in the Congress, some congressmen declined their signatures for supporting the resolution.

Four Congress members-Republicans Denis Moor, Phil English, Adam Purtnam and Democrat David Scot officially declined to support the genocide resolution.

David Scot told the local press that he was unaware of the essence of the events of 1915 in Turkey while signing the resolution, APA reports.

"I was unaware of the history and the real essence of those events. I only signed it at Democrat Adam Shif's request and I joined the campaign for recognizing genocide. I have officially denied my signature after understanding the real essence of the events," the congressman said.


Bulgaria's Turkish Party Won't Recognize Genocide In Armenia
Sofia News Agency, Bulgaria April 25 2007

Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) sparked controversy in Parliament, when they refused to accept the term "genocide" when it comes to the slaughtering of over a million Armenians in 1915.

MP Rupen Kirkoryan, who is on the ticket of Simeon II National Movement (SIINM), suggested that the memory of the killed Armenian citizens be honoured with a minute of silence.

When the Parliament fell silent, all MRF representatives demonstratively left the room. Their act enraged the opposition and Boyko Vatev from the Bulgarian National Union said that it was about time the Bulgarian Parliament adopted a declaration reproaching the genocide. He added that the genocide over the Bulgarian citizens during the April and Ilinden Uprising should also be recognized.

Vatev believes that the adoption of such a declaration and Turkey's possible decision to reread the events of the 19th and 20th century would introduce a European climate in the bilateral relationships between Bulgaria and Turkey. It would also help Turkey advance in its EU accession plans.

The leader of nationalists Ataka (Attack) urged the parliament to officially recognize the events in Armenia as Genocide just as 9 European countries have already done. "This genocide has to be accepted by the Bulgarian Parliament, but I doubt that the majority would do so," Siderov said. "There is a party in the ruling majority that protects the interests of Turkey and this party is MRF," he added. "The representatives of this party are not here and did not honour the memory of a million and a half Armenians."

MRF deputy-head Lyutvi Mestan tried to move the subject with a suggestion for a declaration showing "compassion with the tragedy of all nations and groups of people that had been victims of violence."

Mestan said that Bulgaria's Parliament had no right to assume the powers of an institution that "gives away historical evaluations of events that haven't received consensus and categorical evaluation from historians." He added that Turkey and Armenia are now in a dialogue to find out the historical truth of the events. His words and his tone drove all representatives of the opposition out of the plenary hall.


Moore Won't Explain Armenian Genocide 'Flip-Flop'
Lawrence Journal World, KS April 26 2007

Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:

Rep. Dennis Moore (D)

(Politico.com) Pols sidestep debate over Armenian genocide: Beginning in 1915, more than 1.5 million Armenians died when the Ottoman government forced the relocation of the population. President Bush has a reason not to call it genocide: That would anger the Turkish government, an ally and a Muslim democracy which has threatened to revoke permission for the U.S. to use an important air base over the issue, among other repercussions. Resolutions recognizing and condemning the genocide have been introduced in both the House and the Senate, and the administration is vigorously opposing them. And Turkey's lobbying prowess has already forced four co-sponsors to back off the bill. Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) also supported the resolution before he withdrew as a co-sponsor. His office said he had "no official comment" on the flip-flop.

Turkey 'Warned' Canada, US Against Using Term 'Genocide'
Assyrian International News Agency
www.PanARMENIAN.Net April 26 2007

Turkey warned Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week not to issue an April 24 declaration where the incidents of 1915 are defined as genocide. The Canadian Parliament recognized the Armenian Genocide and Harper became one of the few heads of state to use the word "genocide" in his written statement during 2006.

Wary of these genocide claims spreading to other countries including the United States, Turkey is trying hard to block efforts by the Armenian Diaspora in almost every country in the world.

Canadian Prime Minister Harper was warned through diplomatic channels last week that "repeating these claims annually will not help in normalizing Turkey-Armenia relations and will harm Turkish-Canadian bilateral relations as well." "We hope that the Canadian PM will not repeat this year what he did last year," a high-level Foreign Ministry official said, the Turkish Daily News reports.

Ankara made the same diplomatic attempt with the United States before April 24 where President George W. Bush also issues a declaration.

Turkish officials said Ankara is not expecting Bush to use the word genocide. U.S. presidents prefer to define the incidents in 1915 as a massacre.

Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper made a statement in connection with the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. "Today we recall the horrible losses of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire, particularly the terrible tragedy of the Armenian nation. Last year I reminded, the both chambers of Canadian Parliament adopted a resolution that recognizes the first genocide of the 20th century. This day makes us remember why we should do everything possible to guarantee rule of human rights and democratic freedoms in our times. Today Canadians with Armenian and Turkish descent live side by side and share values of tolerance. We hope Armenia and Turkey will guide themselves with those values in order to develop their relations. Together with you we recall the past and share your hopes for building the future based on peace and mutual respect," said Steven Harper in his statement.

George W. Bush failed to define the events of 1915 as genocide in his annual April 24 statement.


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