18 October 2007

2086) Media Scanner Oct 2007 (44 Items)

 © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site
  1. Pelosi Backtracks On Armenia 'Genocide' Bill
  2. How 'Genocide' Vote Lost Steam
  3. US House To Drop Genocide Bill
  4. President Bush Urges Dropping Of Armenian Bill
  5. A War On Two Fronts
  6. Congress Helps Create Diplomatic Headaches For Bush In Turkey And China [News Analysis]
  7. More On Other Side Of The Medallion Of Armenian Genocide
  8. Turkish Leaders, Envoy To Usa Discuss Us Resolution On Armenia
  9. After Genocide Dispute, France Smoothes Relations With Turkey
  10. Russian Finger Inside Capitol Hill : Armenian Lobby?
  11. Decision On H.Res.106 Vote May Be Reconsidered?
  12. Don't Offend Turkey, Our Ally
  13. No Way To Treat A Friend
  14. Us House To Drop Genocide Bill
  15. Pelosi Says Armenian Genocide Bill's Fate Uncertain
  16. Support For Resolution HR106 Decreasing
  17. Democrats Split on Armenian Genocide Resolution?
  18. Turkey's Role In Armenia Resonates
  19. An Open Letter To The Armenian Diaspora
  20. US Lawmakers Urge Dropping Resolution
  21. Letters To The Editor October 18, 2007 Democrats Just Playing Politics
  22. My Armenian Friend Called David
  23. US Plans?
  24. Turkey’s Dangerous Dance With Isolationism
  25. Azerbaijan In Panic
  26. Stung By Armenian Resolution, Turkey Mulls Options
  27. Bush Blasts Congress On Several Fronts
  28. Support Wanes In House For Genocide Vote
  29. Erdogan: Bill Just A Political Gesture
  30. Frattini Sheds Light On Genocide Division In EU
  31. 'A New World Would Be Founded'
  32. Armenia's Foreign Policy Must Be Based On A Comprehensive Response To The Armenian Question
  33. Armenian Diplomacy’s Task Is To Competently Bind Condemnation Of Armenian Genocide With Karabakh Conflict Resolution
  34. Pushing The Armenian Genocide Resolution Through Congress Is A Reckless Act That Reflects The Corruption Of The American Political System
  35. The Voice of a Decent American Craig Barnes
  36. Mesrob II To Take Resolution Concern to US State Dept.
  37. "Genocide" Or "Massacres" - Sf Chronicle
  38. The Relations Should Be Intensified
  39. Please Stop This Unhealthy Trend
  40. The Provocation of the Ottoman Armenians by the External Forces
  41. They Do Not Burn Their Hands When There Is A Tool
  42. The Armenians Who Bring Their Children Up With Hatred And Revenge
  43. Trap Of “Problems” In Front Of Turkey
  44. Turkey Should Demonstrate Her Power



Pelosi Backtracks On Armenia 'Genocide' Bill
October 17, 2007
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday backtracked on her support for a congressional resolution that has infuriated Turkey's government, amid doubts over whether the measure would ever be approved.

As recently as the weekend, Ms Pelosi said she planned to take the bill, denouncing mass killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire as genocide, to the full House this year.

Ms Pelosi is a longstanding backer of the measure, despite the anger it has caused in Turkey.

But, on Wednesday, facing increasing criticism and high-profile defections from among the bill's supporters, she toned down her commitment to take it to a full House vote. "Whether it will come up or not and what the action will be remains to be seen," she said.

This week declared support for the bill fell below the level needed for House approval - at least 10 members of Congress withdrew their backing, in addition to several others who peeled off earlier this year. As of Wednesday, the bill had 215 sponsors or co-sponsors in the 435-member House.

"If it came to the floor today it wouldn't pass," said Representative John Murtha, an influential Democratic legislator, at a press conference on Wednesday with four other Democrats who also called on Ms Pelosi not to proceed with the bill.

The legislation, backed by the House's foreign affairs committee last week, has sparked concerns that US influence on Ankara could be weakened at a time when the Turkish government is contemplating a large military incursion into northern Iraq, to Washington's dismay. The US military is also alarmed that the Turkish government could reduce logistical support for its troops in Iraq.

"Congress has more important work to do than antagonising a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one that's providing vital support for our military every day," said President George W. Bush yesterday. after having made a phone call to Ms Pelosi on the issue the day before.

"Turkey's threats of base closures and supply route disruptions in our Iraq action are simply shameful and, once again, expose the unreliable nature of the US relationship with Turkey," countered the Armenian National Committee of America.

"Members of Congress who argue against Armenian genocide recognition citing timing and geopolitical considerations are missing the point. It is always the right time to condemn genocide."
Copyright 2007 Financial Times


How 'Genocide' Vote Lost Steam
October 18, 2007
A House vote to condemn mass killings of Armenians as 'genocide' has stumbled on pragmatic concerns.
By Howard LaFranchi | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

The sudden misgivings about a popular House resolution condemning as "genocide" the large-scale killings of Armenians more than nine decades ago illustrate a recurring tug of war in US foreign policy: when to take the moral high ground and when to heed the pragmatic realities of national interests.

The measure, which would put the House of Representatives on record as characterizing as genocide the deaths of more than 1 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, appeared on track to passage by the full House after the Foreign Affairs Committee approved it last week. But pressure from the White House – worried about the impact of the nonbinding measure on relations with Turkey, a crucial logistical partner in the war in Iraq – is now causing Republicans and Democrats who had supported the measure to reconsider.

"We regularly see the impulse of Wilsonian idealism, the emphasis on democracy and human rights, counterbalanced by the pragmatic demands of realpolitik. It's one of the constant dynamics of American foreign policy," says Thomas Henriksen, a foreign-policy scholar at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, Calif. "We want to be the city on the hill, but then some overriding interests come up and we say, 'Oh, that's different.' "

In this case, the overriding interest appears to be keeping on good terms with Turkey, a NATO ally that opposed the war in Iraq but that allows the United States to use bases there as part of crucial supply lines to US troops and personnel in Iraq.

Prospects for a full House statement on Armenian genocide have been feeding nationalist flames in Turkey. The government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already been battling heavy anti-American public opinion as it acts to address the problem of recurring attacks by Kurdish rebels from across the border in Kurdish Iraq.

For many in Turkey, including in the government, the US has not done enough in next-door Iraq and with its Kurdish allies to address the activities of the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the PKK – a group the US lists as a terrorist organization.

On Wednesday, the government won a vote in the Turkish parliament authorizing the military to undertake cross-border incursions into Iraq where the PKK is based. The destabilizing potential of such military operations is as worrying to the Bush administration as Turkish threats to end use of its air bases by the US.

US cautions Turkey

President Bush said at a press conference Wednesday that the US is making it clear to the Turkish government that sending large numbers of troops into northern Iraq would not be productive.

All these factors are beginning to weigh on House members, some of whom last week predicted easy passage of the genocide resolution. On Wednesday, a group of prominent Democrats from subcommittees on NATO and security in Europe urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to bring the Armenian resolution to a full House vote. Majority leader Steny Hoyer (D) of Maryland said Tuesday he still thought the resolution would be brought to a vote, but he acknowledged that "a number of people … are revisiting their own positions." He said that would prompt a reevaluation of support for the measure and of timing of a vote.

"The fact is, if you get an increasing number of Democrats joining Republicans who already oppose this measure, it's not going to pass," says Lawrence Korb, a foreign-policy specialist at the Center for American Progress, a Democratic-leaning think tank in Washington.

The intense politicking on the issue further exemplifies how national interests tend to supersede all other concerns in international relations, experts say. "The United States, like any other great power, seriously considers moral issues only to the extent that those moral issues coincide with substantive interests," says Andrew Bacevich, who teaches foreign policy at Boston University's Center for International Relations.

Mr. Bush referred to a "genocidal campaign" against Armenians in 2000 before becoming president but has since avoided the G-word in the Armenian context. Yet he has been willing to call killings in the Sudanese province of Darfur "genocide."

Some say that only proves the point that taking such a stance is possible when less is at stake. "Although there's been much speechifying about the Darfur situation, for instance, the US has taken no effective action to respond to the suffering of the people there simply because the US has no serious interests in Darfur. It's not uplifting or inspiring," Mr. Bacevich adds, "but it's the way international politics works."

Other examples: Burma, Dalai Lama

Other recent examples of taking the moral high ground when there appears to be little practical risk include Burma, as well as official reception of the Dalai Lama on his visit this week to Washington, experts say. "The recent case of Myanmar or Burma demonstrates that it's easiest to take the moral high ground when there are no countervailing interests to take into consideration," says Mr. Henriksen. "We don't have strong ties or significant trade with that country, so we're not risking a lot there."

The White House did make an effort to assuage China's concerns about the Dalai Lama's visit by emphasizing his place as a religious and not a political leader, and by keeping his Tuesday visit to the White House to private quarters and not the Oval Office. Bush said his admiration of the Dalai Lama stems from the leader's support for religious freedom. "I do not think it's going to seriously damage relations" with China, he added.

Although national interests may reign supreme in determining conduct on such issues, a contributing factor is domestic politics, including the influence of one-issue lobbying groups. In matters of foreign policy, the power of ethnic organizations in a nation of immigrants also enters the picture, experts say. "The truth is that this action by Congress, on a historical event they have no competence to render judgment on, has nothing to do with foreign policy and everything to do with domestic politics," says Bacevich.

The measure has been sought by representatives from districts in California, New Jersey, and Michigan, with large concentrations of Armenian-Americans. That aspect of the issue points up what Henriksen calls "ethnic politics." "It true with the Cuba issue, where a pragmatic approach might say we should open up their system with more trade and exchanges," he says. "But the Cuban-Americans have a tight check on that."

The Armenian resolution also raises the question of what place the US – and in this case the US Congress – has in prompting other countries on moral issues. In supporting the Armenian resolution, Rep. Brad Sherman (D) of California says, “If we hope to stop future genocides, we need to admit to those horrific acts of the past.”

Some countries such as Cyprus would also like the US to use its close ties to Turkey to influence it in its actions in the region. The Cypriot government says Turkish forces in the northern portion of the island have systematically destroyed Orthodox Christian churches and icons – acts it says should interest the US.

But others say overt US pressure and high-profile symbolic measures are unlikely to prompt countries on sensitive issues. “The question becomes, if you pass this [Armenian resolution] is it going to make the Turks more or less likely to face the past, and the answer is, probably less likely,” says Mr. Korb. Noting that Argentina is “coming to grips” with the human rights violations of its military dictatorship, he adds, “Imagine if we had passed a resolution telling them to do it. It’s hard to see how that would have helped.”


US House To Drop Genocide Bill
Democrats in the US House of Representatives have dropped support for the resolution calling the massacre of Armenians as genocide.

In an apparent retreat from their initial stance, influential Democrat John Murtha said the US was in no position to be thinking of moral values at such a crucial time because it is already suffering from a lack of credibility across the world.

House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said on Wednesday the prospects of a vote on Armenian genocide were uncertain, after several members pulled their support amid fears it would cripple US relations with Turkey.

In a White House news conference Bush warned lawmakers against further inflaming US relations with Turkey.

Turkey's military chief General Yasar Buyukanit has warned the United States that the alliance between the two nations will be at risk if the House of Representatives approves the measure. The resolution's passage could also prompt Turkey to scale back its assistance in the Iraq war.

Earlier this week, Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, had sharply denounced the resolution adopted by the US House panel and called it an unacceptable move by some American politicians who ignore common sense and sacrifice greater issues to petty games. 18 Oct 2007 MMS/MMN


President Bush Urges Dropping Of Armenian Bill
Apparently worried over further antagonizing Turkish leaders, at least half a dozen Democrats have withdrawn their support from a committee resolution labeling World War I-era killings of Anatolian Armenians as genocide, leaving a floor vote in the US House of Representatives in jeopardy, while US President George W. Bush on Wednesday urged the Democrat-controlled Congress to drop the resolution.

Several other Democrats implored House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold off on the resolution to avoid damaging relations with Turkey.

"One thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire," Bush said at a hastily arranged press conference, branding the measure "counterproductive."

"Congress has more important work to do than antagonizing a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one that's providing vital support for our military every day," in places like Iraq, he said.

The reaction from within their party appears to be a major setback to Pelosi and other Democratic leaders. They have fiercely defended the resolution to Republicans and the White House as a moral imperative to condemn the deaths of Anatolian Armenians during the era of the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

Bush called Pelosi on Tuesday to ask her not to call for a House vote on the resolution. The future of the resolution appeared in doubt on Wednesday after Pelosi said whether it would come to the floor for a vote remains to be seen.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday that the plan remained to vote on the measure before Congress adjourns by the end of the year. However, he added, “There are a number of people who are revisiting their own positions, and we’ll have to determine where everyone is.”

The most notable Democratic challenge mounted this week came from Representative John Murtha, an anti-war ally of Pelosi, and chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Murtha fought against a similar measure 20 years ago.

“From my discussions with our military commanders and foreign policy experts, I believe that this resolution could harm our relations with Turkey and therefore our strategic interests in the region,” Murtha said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday, calling the resolution another “irresponsible” foray into foreign policy.

When she traveled to Syria in April, Pelosi drew withering criticism for visiting a country the State Department accuses of sponsoring terrorism. The Armenian resolution prompted criticism from analysts and editorial writers, too.

“I’ve known about their position for a long time,” Pelosi said when asked whether the resistance from Murtha and another leading Democrat on defense matters, Missouri Representative Ike Skelton, would cause her to reconsider.

Also this week, at least six Democrats withdrew their sponsorship of the resolution, and two other Democrats, representatives Alcee Hastings and John Tanner, asked Pelosi to forgo the vote.

Hastings, who has voted against combat funding for Iraq, and Tanner, a member of a conservative Democratic coalition known as the Blue Dogs, said they feared a backlash from Turkey would lead to a cut-off of US access to the critical air base at Incirlik in southern Turkey near Iraq.

“More than half of the cargo flown into Iraq and Afghanistan comes through Incirlik Air Base, and this base would be a key component of any plans for redeployment of our troops in the future,” the lawmakers wrote.

In response to last week’s approval of the nonbinding, largely symbolic resolution by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs despite opposition from the White House, Pentagon and former secretaries of state from both parties, Turkey summoned its ambassador from Washington for consultations in Ankara and asked the Bush administration to stop the resolution from passing in a final floor vote.

‘Whose genocide counts?’

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings during the last years of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey categorically rejects the claims, saying that 300,000 Armenians along with at least as many Turks died in civil strife that emerged when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with the Russian troops which were invading Ottoman lands.
18.10.2007 Today’s Zaman


A War On Two Fronts
Fehmi Koru f.koru@todayszaman.com
I happened to observe President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan from close range all day long on Sunday, and what I saw did not help to boost my morale. They were understandably very apprehensive.

The occasion was a merry one: The daughter of President Gül was getting married, and we were there to witness the happiness of the young couple. The invitees at the daytime reception did not seem to be enjoying themselves as is more customary for such festive occasions. All gave the impression that more important business was awaiting them afterwards. The relatively smaller crowd of dinner invitees was in no better mood, either, speaking among themselves of all the likely scenarios and giving little attention to the cause for their gathering there.

Turkey is engaged in an undeclared war on two fronts, and the people who will lead the country in a time of crises of this magnitude were at the wedding reception trying to look carefree and jubilant and failing to do so.

The Armenian resolution that is being pushed through US Congress by Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house, is the first war front for Turkey. The claim that the Turks killed huge numbers of Armenians during World War I and that the act constituted one of “genocide” is not acceptable in Turkey. What happened in 1915 was a sorry page in our history books, but it was nothing more than mutual killings by two communities, one betraying the other’s trust and the other trying to save the country in combat on all fronts. Forgetting one party’s murderous atrocities and accusing the other party of “genocide” is considered blasphemous in Turkey.

All previous governments struggled very hard to block passage of the “Armenian resolution” in Congress and were successful in their quest; the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Erdogan does not want to be the first to fail to stop the resolution.

If this happens, the country’s warmest government to the US in recent Turkish history would be penalized by the US Congress.

Is this the retribution for an act by the Turkish Parliament when the US demanded assistance of Turkey for opening a second front from southeastern Anatolia in its quest to topple Saddam Hussein and that demand was denied? Or a simple political maneuver by Democrats who gained the upper hand in Congress at the last election and are after cornering President George W. Bush and using Turkey as a tool?

The answer is not that important really since in both alternatives Turkey is the one that suffers.

Maybe the proposed Armenian resolution is not retribution for the Turkish Parliament’s decision not to allow US troops to be stationed on Turkish soil, but the retribution would be the renewed PKK terrorist activities against Turkey. The PKK militants found safe haven in northern Iraq after Iraq came under US occupation, and now the militants have been making deadly incursions into Turkey. Ankara’s grievances on the issue of the terrorist activities by the PKK militants who use Iraqi territory as a sanctuary always fall on deaf ears in Washington.

Well, this is the second front Turkey is fighting.

A story proving the American connivance is vivid in my memory. I remember the day when David Satterfield, US State Department special advisor to Iraq, met with three Turkish journalists after his visit to the headquarters of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. He was in Turkey to allay the misgivings of the Turkish public about US reluctance to go against PKK terrorist cells in Iraq. He did not mince his words but said very clearly that the PKK is a terrorist organization and that the US will use all its political and military force to make good its promises soon: the promises to stop every terrorist activity towards Turkey stemming from Iraqi territory, closing down the PKK offices in northern Iraq and delivering its leaders... “How soon?” I asked. “Within weeks, not months” Mr. Satterfield replied.

This was in late April, and from that time on the situation has worsened. In the last two weeks alone at least 30 people have fallen victim to PKK terrorist activities.

Fighting on two fronts Turkey is doing everything to block a resolution that is in the process of going through the US Congress and at the same time it is trying to pass a resolution in Turkish Parliament giving a mandate to the TSK to combat terrorists on foreign soil that has been under occupation by the US military.

Although the US and Turkey are supposedly allies, not adversaries, they are nevertheless at loggerheads in this two-front battle.

Which war is retribution for the Turkish Parliament’s refusal to assist the US military before the Iraqi occupation: the passage of a resolution by the US Congress accusing Turkey of “genocide,” or the allowing of PKK militants to conduct deadly raids into Turkey from Iraqi territory under US army occupation? Who do you think will lose in this war and which of the two will benefit from this confrontation?

The high-level Turkish politicians I observed from a safe distance on Sunday gave me the impression they were thinking over these questions very hard, on a day when everybody was supposed to be joyous.
18.10.2007


Congress Helps Create Diplomatic Headaches For Bush In Turkey And China [News Analysis]
The Democratic Congress, a thorn in President George W. Bush's side on Iraq, now is contributing to diplomatic headaches for the White House in other parts of the world.

President George Bush (R) urged House and the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (L) to reject legislation aimed at labeling the century-old deaths of Armenians “genocide.”

A Capitol Hill ceremony on Wednesday was to confer the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal on the Dalai Lama. The reaction from China, which reviles the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet's Buddhists as a separatist, was swift and angry. Beijing pulled out of an international strategy session on Iran -- a subtle reminder to the Bush administration that China's vote will be the key to winning the new United Nations sanctions on Tehran sought by the United States.

Turkey, meanwhile, is considering retaliation for a House resolution labeling as genocide the World War I-era killing of Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey denies the deaths were a systematic campaign to eliminate Armenians and considers a committee's passage of the resolution last week an affront. The State Department says it fully expects the US relationship with Turkey to suffer consequences.

Both actions amount to a sharp poke in the eye to countries whose cooperation is sorely needed by the United States on issues including the Iraq war and the fights to contain Iran and North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

They lessen Bush's ability to wheel and deal abroad, where leaders and publics make little or no distinction between US policy that originates in Congress or at the White House. These are only the latest examples of Congress, in Democratic hands since January, doing what it pleases on foreign policy with little ability for the White House to change the outcome.

This summer, for instance, the House passed a resolution that urged Japan to more clearly and formally apologize for forcing thousands of Asian women into sex slavery during World War II, increasing tensions with Tokyo and contributing to a rise in anti-American sentiment in Japan. And lawmakers are blocking approval of a pending free-trade deal with South Korea because of barriers erected by Seoul to keep out U.S. autos and beef.

"It entirely weakens the administration's leverage in these countries," said Mike Green, who worked on Bush's National Security Council and is now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. "It looks like a gratuitous political attack on an ally."

The accolades for the Dalai Lama in Washington this week have provoked an unusually blunt response from Beijing, which particularly resents Bush's role. To be sure, Congress had a Republican majority last year when it approved adding the Dalai Lama to the list of those given its highest civilian honor. Yet, it was not until Democ-rats took over that the decision was made to stage a public presentation ceremony.

But unlike the vote that angered Turkey, Bush supports the move to honor the Tibetan leader and will deliver brief remarks at the festivities in the Capitol Rotunda. He had little choice; he has only missed other Congressional Gold Medal ceremonies because of travel. Skipping one for the Dalai Lama could have produced worse consequences than following precedent.

But Bush also chose to host the Tibetan spiritual leader for a private meeting on Tuesday in the White House residence -- again following precedent, but one that mightily displeased China. In one small nod to Beijing's concerns, the White House decided against following the previous practice of publicly releasing a photo of Bush and the Dalai Lama together.

The White House argues that the Washington-Beijing relationship won't be overly harmed by the ceremony. The issue of religious freedom in China, and particularly Tibet, has long been on the US-China agenda, and Bush told Chinese President Hu Jintao in September that he would participate in Wednesday's ceremony, spokesman Gordon Johndroe said. "While the Chinese are concerned ... they also know that our relationship is much larger than this," he said.

Ankara is one of Washington's most-valued Muslim allies, even more critical now because of the many supply lines to US troops in Iraq that go through and over Turkey. The United States also wants to keep Turkey from launching a military offensive against Kurdish terrorists across the border in northern Iraq, fearing it would destabilize one of Iraq's most stable areas.

It is unclear how Turkey will react to the resolution, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi' has promised to bring up for a full House vote soon despite an aggressive protest campaign from Bush and a slew of top administration figures and an apparent change of heart by some Democrats who fear the resolution would harm US-Turkish relations.

Turkey called its US ambassador home for consultations, but has not yet followed through on what US military officials have said is a threat to pull the plug on the important Incirlik air base or to throttle the US supply lines to Iraq. Helmut Sonnenfeldt, a guest scholar at Brookings and a National Security Council aide during the Nixon administration, explained one possible reason.

"They also need us."
The Armenian issue in the United States House of Representatives

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, says she intends to press ahead with a resolution calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide, despite White House concerns it will damage relations with Turkey, a key NATO ally.

On Oct. 10, the House Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution branding the massacre of Armenians from 1915 to 1923 as genocide. The full House is expected to vote on the non-binding resolution sometime this autumn. Following are some facts about the issue in the United States:

* Similar resolutions have been introduced in the House for years, with Armenian-American groups pressing for passage. The resolutions have sometimes passed committees, but when Republicans ran Congress they blocked a floor vote, saying they did not want to embarrass Turkey.

* The resolution recognizing the 1915 killings of Armenians by Turks as genocide was introduced in the House by Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who has a large number of Armenian-Americans in his district. The resolution has 218 co-sponsors, about half of the House.

* The late Ronald Reagan, a Californian, was the only US president to publicly call the killings of Armenians genocide. Other presidents have avoided the term out of concern for Turkey's sensitivities.

* There are an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million Americans with Armenian heritage and many grew up hearing horrific stories of the massacres. Nowhere is Armenian influence more visible than in Glendale, California, a city of 200,000 near Los Angeles where 40 percent of the population is Armenian.

* One of the Bush administration's fears is that the resolution could weaken US influence as it urges Turkey to refrain from a major military operation against Kurdish terrorists based in northern Iraq. Washington also relies on Turkey as a logistics hub to supply its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Washington Reuters
18.10.2007 Jennifer Loven ASSOCIATED PRESS, Washington


More On Other Side Of The Medallion Of Armenian Genocide
http://mvdg.wordpress.com Oct 17th, 2007 by turkishdigest

Our Armenian friends of the Diaspora, are always quick to dismiss and label every journalist, writer, historian, or anyone who write or say things which debate Armenian views, as people who work for the Turkish Government, thus who gets paid zillions by Turkey. As absurd and untrue as it is, Turks are able to understand this odd behavior because, for the Armenian Diaspora everything happened exactly as they were made to believe from the day they were born. Their medallion has only one side, and anyone who debates and says “every medallion have two sides” is a villain, a liar and definitely paid for by the Turkish Government!!

How I wish, for those of us who have been crusading for years to find a solution to establish peace and harmony between Armenians and Turks, who in reality are similar type of people except for their religion, were paid for their time and efforts by the Turkish Government, then we all would have been filthy rich and retired by now!

Au contraire to general belief, every educated Turk believes those were extreme tragic times, there were many deaths on both sides as a result of the perhaps unfortunate decision taken by the central Ottoman Government to ‘relocate’ the Armenian population, however, it was war time, the vast empire was at the verge of collapse, and the circumstances of that time were different, therefore, we cannot really judge the correctness of that decision.

What Turkish people debate is, the alleged fact that the ‘relocation’ decision was a death warrant to exterminate the Armenian population, hence a genocide. Since Turks and Armenians lived in perfect harmony for centuries, why would Turks decide to exterminate a whole nation from the face of the earth overnight? Furthermore, unless provoked or forced into self defense, why would anybody take such drastic decisions? It does not make sense.

In the beginning of my post I mentioned how, according to the Armenian Diaspora, anyone who writes about the other side of the medallion is paid for by the Turkish Government. How about Norman Stone, who is a historian and the author of “World War I: A Short History? Can anyone truly allege he’s also a paid spokesman for the Turkish Government? I think not.. So let’s see what he has written in an article titled “Armenian story has another side” published in the Chicago Tribune:

All the world knows what the end of an empire looks like: hundreds of thousands of people fleeing down dusty paths, taking what was left of their possessions; crammed refugee trains puffing their way across arid plains; and many, many people dying. For the Ottoman Empire that process began in the Balkans, the Crimea and the Caucasus as Russia and her satellites expanded. Seven million people — we would now call them Turks — had to settle in Anatolia, the territory of modern Turkey.

In 1914, when World War I began in earnest, Armenians living in what is now Turkey attempted to set up a national state. Armenians revolted against the Ottoman government, began what we would now call “ethnic cleansing” of the local Turks. Their effort failed and caused the government to deport most Armenians from the area of the revolt for security reasons. Their sufferings en route are well-known.

Today, Armenian interests in America and abroad are well-organized. What keeps them united is the collective memory of their historic grievance. What happened was not in any way their fault, they believe. If the drive to carve out an ethnically pure Armenian state was a failure, they reason, it was only because the Turks exterminated them.

For years, Armenians have urged the U.S. Congress to recognize their fate as genocide. Many U.S. leaders — including former secretaries of state and defense and current high-ranking Bush administration officials — have urged Congress either not to consider or to vote down the current genocide resolution primarily for strategic purposes: Turkey is a critical ally to the U.S. in both Iraq and Afghanistan and adoption of such a resolution would anger and offend the Turkish population and jeopardize U.S.-Turkish relations.

Given this strong opposition, why would Congress, upon the advice of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, make itself arbiter of this controversy? What makes the Armenians’ dreadful fate so much worse than the dreadful fates that come with every end of empire? It is here that historians must come in.

First, allegedly critical evidence of the crime consists of forgeries. The British were in occupation of Istanbul for four years after the war and examined all of the files of the Ottoman government. They found nothing, and therefore could not try the 100-odd supposed Turkish war criminals that they were holding. Then, documents turned up, allegedly telegrams from the interior ministry to the effect that all Armenians should be wiped out. The signatures turned out to be wrong, there were no back-up copies in the archives and the dating system was misunderstood.

There are many other arguments against a supposed genocide of the Armenians. Their leader was offered a post in the Turkish Cabinet in 1914, and turned it down. When the deportations were under way, the populations of the big cities were exempted — Istanbul, Izmir, Aleppo, where there were huge concentrations of Armenians. There were indeed well-documented and horrible massacres of the deportee columns, and the Turks themselves tried more than 1,300 men for these crimes in 1916, convicted many and executed several. None of this squares with genocide, as we classically understand it. Finally, it is just not true that historians as a whole support the genocide thesis. The people who know the background and the language (Ottoman Turkish is terribly difficult) are divided, and those who do not accept the genocide thesis are weightier. The Armenian lobby contends that these independent and highly esteemed historians are simply “Ottomanists” — a ridiculously arrogant dismissal.

Unfortunately, the issue has never reached a properly constituted court. If the Armenians were convinced of their own case, they would have taken it to one. Instead, they lobby bewildered or bored parliamentary assemblies to “recognize the genocide.”

Congress should not take a position, one way or the other, on this affair. Let historians decide. The Turkish government has been saying this for years. It is the Armenians who refuse to take part in a joint historical review, even when organized by impeccably neutral academics. This review is the logical and most sensible path forward.

Passage of the resolution by the full House of Representatives would constitute an act of legislative vengeance and would shame well-meaning scholars who want to explore this history from any vantage point other than the one foisted upon the world by ultranationalist Armenians.

8 Responses to “More on other side of the medallion of Armenian Genocide”
on 18 Oct 2007 at 1:21 am
1 John Rohan

Similarly, I also think Hitler was not a paid agent of the Armenians (or the Turks). Yet when trying to justify the Holocaust he once said:

“Our strength lies in our intensive attacks and our barbarity…After all, who today remembers the genocide of the Armenians?”

on 18 Oct 2007 at 2:11 am
2 Mike C.

I don’t believe the Armenian genocide was really a genocide and I know the situation is more complex than Armenian historians portray it but it would help tremendously if the Turkish government would toss its law against “insulting Turkishness,” open its archives, and if it wasn’t always downplaying the suffering of the Armenians during the event.

on 18 Oct 2007 at 2:35 am
3 Nihat

Mike, the archives are open. Even Taner Akcam concedes that much (and goes further by saying the staff were very helpful to him despite his contrarian position).

But you’re absolutely right about that absurd article of law. It’s totally unnecessary and counter-productive.

on 18 Oct 2007 at 2:49 am
4 Peter N

The Ottoman archives have been fully opened since the late 1980s. Substantially more so than either Russian or Armenian archives either in Armenia or diaspora records in Boston. Even British records of British activities in Turkey during WW1 seem largely unavailable, so the last country to be blamed for lack of access should be Turkey.

Remember the Turkish Republic tried and convicted the organizers of the massacres, they didn’t execute the leaders because they needed generals to fight the Greeks who busily massacring muslims in their march towards Ankara.

The law about insulting Turkishness, unfortunately is in the Constitution, but as the case against Orhan Pamuk, and several others have all been thrown out, the law is consistently interpreted as protecting authors who bring up the massacres. The justice system, however is forced to deal with it when enough prosecutors bring up complaints, it is an effort by Turkish extreme nationalists to drive a wedge between Europe and Turkey.

The language of this resolution comes directly out of very biased amnesic diaspora Armenian propaganda, so it can’t be considered a legitimate human rights effort.

Any genuine resolution must contain references to the roles of Russia and Armenians in the civil war and ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Russian controlled areas, as well as the British and the French and the Greeks in their efforts to stir up rebellions and divide the Anatolian sub continent, and the massacres of muslims in Greek controlled areas.

on 18 Oct 2007 at 3:06 am
5 Mike C.

Nihat, Peter N,

Thank you for that information. I wasn’t aware of the current status of the archives.

on 18 Oct 2007 at 4:23 am
6 turkishdigest

John,

Armenians keep writing everywhere what Hitler supposedly had said, but it has never been proven to be true.

The Allied legal staff at the Nüremburg War Crimes Tribunal had rejected the claim as they knew it to be false, having captured Nazi documents and even people who were at Hitler’s meeting (August 26, 1939). Also, the statement made no sense since Hitler was vilifying the Poles, the people whose nation he was about to order invaded. Finally, Hitler didn’t even mention the Jews in his speech. The Nazis were not ready to make the official decision for the Final Solution (die Entloesung) of the Jews; that decision would come about two years later, at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin.

Mike C,

The online version of the archives related to the Armenian events could be found here: www.devletarsivleri.gov.tr/kitap/ unfortunately they are Turkish as you can imagine.

on 18 Oct 2007 at 4:31 am
7 Jacque

Yes, the turkish archives might be open, but, i personally know 2 scholars who have visited the archives for their books to cross reference some of the archival citings in various “scholarly” works by Turkish historians; the citings either do no exist (”empty”/false archival numbers) or they point to marriage certificates or other clerical archives that have nothing to do with the subject of these “scholarly” works.

on 18 Oct 2007 at 6:41 am
8 Patrick

The supposed “quote” of Hitler mentioned above about “Who remembers the Armenians” has long been exposed as bogus:

http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/hitler-quote.htm

The Van Der Galiën Gazette


Turkish Leaders, Envoy To Usa Discuss Us Resolution On Armenia
Anatolia News Agency Oct 16 2007 Turkey

Ankara, 16 October: President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan received the Turkish ambassador to the United States, Nabi Sensoy, on Tuesday [16 October].

Ambassador Sensoy was recalled for consultations after last week's approval of the resolution regarding Armenian allegations on the incidents of 1915 by the US House of Representatives committee on foreign affairs.

Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Erdogan said, "We hope that the US full house will turn down such an unfortunate resolution. I believe that Turkey - United States relations will not be dragged into a deadlock. We will continue holding talks with the US administration, as well as some lobbies to prevent passage of the resolution."

Meanwhile, Sensoy told reporters following the meetings, "I will return to my office in Washington, DC, after the consultations in Ankara."

Upon a question about Prime Minister Erdogan's planned visit to the United States in November, Sensoy said, "Prime Minister Erdogan is planning to pay a formal visit to the United States on 5 November.

Preparations are under way."

"We will continue holding talks with US congressmen and draw their attention to the likely results of the approval of the resolution on the bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States. Turkey is powerful enough to prove how wrongful the resolution is."


After Genocide Dispute, France Smoothes Relations With Turkey
By Katrin Bennhold October 17, 2007

PARIS: If the U.S. Congress has doubts about Turkey's threats to punish any country that calls the mass murder of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire genocide, they need look no further than France.

Ankara circulated unofficial guidelines discouraging business with French companies after Parliament here passed a first Armenia bill in 2001; exports plunged by nearly 40 percent. When a second bill - which would make it illegal to deny that the Armenians suffered genocide - was drawn up last year, the Turkish government cut off military relations with Paris, scrapping automatic overflight rights and port access.

Now relations are slowly warming up again - and not because President Nicolas Sarkozy, an outspoken opponent of Turkish membership in the European Union, has softened his stance, but because his administration has quietly made it clear that it will keep the second Armenia bill from going to the second and final vote in the Senate.

"The issue is very sensitive and has the power to affect relations with Turkey," warned Egemen Bagis, foreign policy adviser of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The new French administration has appeared eager to mend relations with Ankara. Within weeks of being inaugurated in May, Sarkozy sent his top diplomatic adviser, Jean-David Levitte, to Turkey and in September he met Erdogan on the margins of the UN General Assembly. This month, it was Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner's turn to travel to Ankara where he and his counterpart started preparing a formal summit of the two leaders.

There is a paradox here: Sarkozy's predecessor Jacques Chirac unequivocally favored Turkish membership in the EU. But it was under Chirac that relations turned icy, following the first Armenia bill in 2001 and the lower house vote approving the second in 2006.

The furor over the vote last week by a Congressional committee to designate the Armenian killings as genocide has underscored the extent to which the Armenia issue trumps any other in Turkey - even EU membership, which Turkey has sought for decades.

Officially it is up to French lawmakers to decide the fate of the second Armenia bill. It was approved by a majority in the National Assembly, and now only needs signing off by the Senate. But the president sets the voting agenda of the Senate and can stall the legislation by simply not scheduling it, officials say.

In return, the Turkish government is considering reinstating France's permanent overflight rights and reinforcing business ties with France, Bagis said.

But the shift in France's Turkey policy goes further. Not unlike Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who shifted her language once in power, Sarkozy has backed away from blunt campaign demands to suspend Turkey's EU membership negotiation.

He has signaled that France would allow some 30 of the 35 negotiation chapters to go ahead. He is even seeking a politically feasible way of removing a clause from the constitution that demands a referendum for every future enlargement of the EU - a clause that was added under Chirac in a bid to reassure voters opposed to Turkey's accession and that has irked Ankara.

French officials say it is not in spite of his opposition to EU membership, but because of it, that Sarkozy has been able to go on a diplomatic charm offensive. As one French diplomat put it: "It takes a president who is opposed to EU membership to create closer ties with Turkey."

French public opinion remains overwhelmingly hostile to the idea of Turkey joining the EU, fearing that a large, overwhelmingly Muslim country would not be compatible with European values, overstretch the bloc's finances and send waves of poor migrants westward.

But Turkish goodwill matters for at least three of Sarkozy's declared strategic priorities: beefing up Europe's defense capacity alongside NATO, of which Turkey has been a member since 1952; building a Mediterranean Union; and helping French industry win new business, especially in the energy sector.

Turkey has the second-biggest army in NATO and is a regular contributor to EU peacekeeping operations. Some 250 Turkish soldiers are in Bosnia as part of an EU force and Paris has asked Ankara to join an operation that will go to Chad. A Muslim country that is an ally of Israel, Turkey is also crucial to uniting the countries around the Mediterranean.

"There are a lot of reasons why Turkey remains a country of great importance to France," said one ambassador from an EU country. "The Turks are militarily competent and make a real contribution to European missions."

At the same time, companies like nuclear power giant Areva and Gaz de France are eager to win contracts in Turkey, which is not only a bridgehead to the energy-rich regions of the Middle East and the Caucasus but is also preparing to launch its own nuclear power sector, an investment opportunity estimated by some at $10 billion. Hervé Novelli, the minister of trade, is taking at least a dozen business leaders to Turkey in February.

Against that backdrop, Sarkozy and Erdogan appear to have struck what the conservative daily Le Figaro last week called "a gentlemen's agreement": They have set aside a question that may only arise when both leaders have left power.

"The membership question is 10 or 15 years away. Why let that get in the way?" said Bagis. "Today there is a mutual will to mend relations."

The potential for misunderstanding remains. On the Turkish side, many are hopeful that Sarkozy has actually softened his position on the question of membership.

"I sense that Sarkozy wants to slowly turn from his anti-membership stance to a more objective stance. But he can't do it overnight," a senior Turkish diplomat said.

In Paris, meanwhile, Sarkozy and his administration insist that their insistence on a close association with the EU for Turkey, rather than outright membership, will win the day.

"In 10 years' time the question will not even be asked anymore," predicted Henri Guaino, Sarkozy's personal envoy on Mediterranean affairs and long-time speechwriter. "Turkey is too big. It's impossible to absorb."

Whoever prevails, there are many on both sides who concur that Turkey benefits from aligning its political and legal system with that of European countries.

"The road to accession - democracy and human rights - is much more important than accession itself," said Can Paker, a member of Turkey's biggest employers' group. "Who knows what will happen in fifteen years? Turkey may not even want to join Europe anymore."
Copyright © 2007 The International Herald Tribune | www.iht.com


Russian Finger Inside Capitol Hill : Armenian Lobby?
Baris Sanli, 17 October 2007
"When I and Khachatur entered the house, our soldiers had nailed a 13-year-old Turkish child to the window.He was making much noise so Khachatur put mother's cut breast into his mouth. I skinned his chest and belly. Seven minutes later the child died. As I used to be a doctor I was humanist and didn't consider myself happy for what I had done to a 13-year-old Turkish child. But my soul was proud for taking 1percent of vengeance of my nation. Then Khachatur cut the body into pieces and threw it to a dog of same origin with Turks. I did the same to three Turkish children in the evening. I did my duty as an Armenian patriot. Khachatur had sweated much. But I saw struggle of revenge and great humanism in his and other soldiers' eyes. The next day we went to the church to clear our souls from what done previous day. But we were table to clear Khojali from slops of 30 thousand people."

This text is from Zori Balayan’s book “Revival of our souls” from 1996 , pages 260-262. This paragraph is the most disgusting thing I have ever read. I haven’t even heard of an Armenian response to this paragraph.A nation proud of a massacre is joyfully dropping a note to the history!

And then we see the Armenian representatives lecturing in America and Europe about humanity, human rights, genocide. And policy makers are applauding. Not even one of them dare to ask the question “What has happened in Khojali?”, “Why are you still occupying your neighbour’s land?” .Yet, poor Armenian policy makers are expressing their security concerns about Turkey.

If it is just to pressurize Turks more, then humanity is nothing but a lip service. If humanity is degraded to a lip service, and eyes are closed to what has happened in Khojali, how come we believe that Armenian lobby is true in its aims about human history, human rights and other humanized terms that they recklessly waste to gain political power. Cutting his mother’s breast, silencing the boy by stuffing the cut breast into boy’s mouth and skinning the boy alive! And yes, honourable men and women in Capitol Hill. Raise your fingers to award the worst criminals of the near history. Do not even mention Khojali. Do not think of the brutually murdered thousands!

Now you may be thinking that, the title is irrelevant to the content. After thinking about Khojali and an Armenia occupying its neighbour’s land, how sincere do you think the Armenians are? With the blood of Khojali on their hands, they are forcing politicians to accept Turkey to EU if Turkey accepts Armenian claims. No, Armenians should first accept Khojali and then they should start spelling Ottoman Armenians. There is no sincerety in any of the Armenian claims.

Now, ask yourselves another question. Who will gain most from the Armenian lobby’s pressure on Capitol Hill. United States or Putin’s Russia? May be this is just like an ordinary debate for American readers. But for Turkish people the debate is very emotional and politicising such a debate will not help. Turkish people always showed their good intentions for historians to decide on this. Very understandably(!), Armenia rejects to discuss the issue with Turkish historians.

I believe what we will read 3 months later will be a comment of an analyst from an institute in Washington claiming how the religious groups are affecting Turkish American relations and rising anti-Americanism in Turkey, but no mentioning of the current Armenian provocation’s results on Turkish public. Then US will think that the problem in Turkish-American relations are because of a political party and eventually she will act wrongfully.

After 9/11, Americans became more paranoid. Years ago, when I first wrote about US’s failures to understand Iraq, I was accused and blamed for being Anti-American. But what I claimed has turned out to be true. Because it was obvious. And it is obvious in this case again.

The Armenian lobby’s favour to Russia is very clear. America is losing one of the most important allies in the Middle East. Not only the stability in Iraq will be risked by such an act, but also the security questions related to Georgia, Iran, Syria and Central Asia will be at stake. A Turkish public deceived by Washington will be very hard to persuade for supporting US policies. And this will be a wonderful opportunity for Russia to increase its power and cooperation with Azerbaijan and Turkey. What is the US’s interest in this?

Just answer one question, for whom the Armenians of the Khojali are lobbying for in Capitol Hill?
barissanli2@gmail.com Journal of Turkish Weekly JTW


Decision On H.Res.106 Vote May Be Reconsidered?
17.10.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ With support for the Armenian Genocide resolution rapidly eroding, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer indicated that he’s reconsidering plans to bring up the measure for a floor vote.

“I want to check [the votes] before we make a determination” about floor action, the Maryland Democrat said Tuesday, stepping back from comments he made earlier that the resolution would come up for a vote by the middle of next month.

The non-binding resolution would urge the president to recognize as genocide the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in the former Ottoman Empire nearly a century ago. It has drawn sharp opposition from Turkey, and the administration has warned that House adoption of the resolution would harm U.S. foreign policy efforts in the region.

7 cosponsors have recently withdrawn their support for the measure (H Res 106), which the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved, 27-21, on Oct. 10.

Also, Democrats Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, who chairs the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and John Tanner of Tennessee, who chairs the House delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to block a floor vote on the resolution.

Most Republicans oppose the measure.

Lincoln Davis, D-Tenn., cosponsored the resolution but pulled his support, saying the resolution is not worth losing an ally in the Middle East. “They are the only country with a large Muslim population that has consistently been our friend,” Davis said. “I want to keep them there.”

Despite the Democratic splintering, a spokesman for Pelosi said Monday that the Speaker still intends to bring the resolution to the floor before the end of the session.

Pelosi has long supported genocide recognition for the Armenians, thousands of whom make up a vocal and influential community in her home district.

Jane Harman, D-Calif., who cosponsored the resolution, wrote Pelosi a letter last week urging her not to bring it up. Harman said she would not remove her name from the bill but would vote against it on the floor.

Those who pulled their support were adamant that they still believed that the Armenian murders were genocide, but thought the timing was bad.

“I would normally be anti-genocide,” Sanford D. Bishop Jr., D-Ga., said. “But the issue has to do with the support of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Bishop also cosponsored the measure but pulled his support.

Other members who removed their names as cosponsors were Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich.; Allen Boyd, D-Fla.; Wally Herger, R-Calif.; Marion Berry, D-Ark.; Mike Ross, D-Ark.; Hank Johnson, D-Ga.; and Harry E. Mitchell, D-Ariz.

“This is not the time to stick our finger in the eyes of the Turks,” Ross said.

The Bush administration and Turkish government officials, who visited several congressional offices last week, have put intense pressure on Congress not to take up the measure.

The committee vote sparked huge protests in Ankara and Istanbul and prompted Turkey’s top general Monday to threaten that ties between the two nations would be forever changed if the House adopted the resolution.


Don't Offend Turkey, Our Ally
Oct. 17, 2007
Edward Schumacher-Matos' Oct. 16 Other Views column, Owning up to its history, about the bill condemning the Armenian genocide, was right on, but not forceful enough. It is absurd and irresponsible for politicians to appease a small minority in this country while insulting one of the few allies we have in the Middle East. It is a most inopportune time.

It will destabilize our campaign in northern Iraq and put American lives there at risk. If the bill is approved, the signatories should be held accountable for the damage in diplomatic relations with Turkey, our strong ally.

Although the column briefly highlights Turkey's strategic importance and its historical ties to the West, it failed to stress the critical role that a democratic and secular Turkey has played, or can play, as a moderating force in the Islamic world.

Also, in terms of the European Union's foreign policy, a democratic, secular and relatively free Muslim society admitted into the EU will send a clear message to the Muslim world that we are willing to work with it as equals. Moreover, Turkey's admission into the EU can be a counterbalance to the spreading menace of political, intolerant, militant and undemocratic Islam.

The key to avoiding the predicted clash of civilizations, a replay of the Crusades, is to embrace a peace-loving secular and democratic Muslim nation that sits precisely on the geopolitical fault line between East and West.

As far as the Armenian genocide under Ottoman rule is concerned, Turkey itself understands that it must eventually come to terms with this historical event, release all government documents pertinent to it and examine openly the truth of what happened. The truth will inevitably set Turkish society free.
ERNESTO A. PRETTO, Coral Gables Copyright 1996-2007 The Miami Herald


No Way To Treat A Friend
Europe Has Just As Much To Lose As Turkey If The Doubters Prevail In The Membership Battle
Chris Patten, October 17, 2007,The Guardian

For the third year in a row, Turkey's annual hurdles on the winding path of convergence with the EU - a progress report early next month and the European Council in December - are likely to be bruising. Doubters will seize on gridlock over Cyprus and a pause in legislative reform to allege that Turkey is not changing and should be pushed back outside the EU's gates. They will point to Ankara's response to US efforts to declare the 1915-23 killing of Armenians a genocide, and the political push for an incursion into northern Iraq to deal with cross-border terrorist attacks, as evidence that Turkey is not ready to join the club. So it is worth stepping back and considering why Europe needs Turkey.

Turkey was critical to Europe in the cold war. For 40 years, it stood lonely guard on the south-eastern third of Nato's frontline, paying the price in military-heavy government and delayed development. There was little carping about its Muslim identity then, and a cultural variety that included Turkey was considered a European strength. After communism's collapse, Turkey kept contributing to Europe's security, giving troops and legitimacy to EU-backed missions in Afghanistan, Lebanon, the Balkans, and even Congo. If EU-Turkish relations had not stumbled (for which all sides are responsible), it would likely be supporting a force for Darfur.

The process of convergence has been strongly in Europe's interest as well, especially the golden period between 1999 and 2005: wide-ranging reforms fashioned a more European political system; peace and cooperation replaced friction with Greece; annual economic growth of 7.5% benefited European companies; Turkey's new trust in the EU brought a turnaround on Cyprus that nearly solved the problem; and basic freedoms of religion and expression improved. The EU won credibility as a fair-minded player in the Muslim world.

But the sum of these many parts is not seen by European publics and politicians, consumed by doubts about enlargement, immigration and their own economic security. Election campaigns - notably those of Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel - featured a demeaning of the Turkish "other" and proposals that Europe drop its promise of membership. Conservative EU politicians admit privately that Turkey is more benefit than threat, but that to say so out loud would be political suicide.

Fears about instant membership are misplaced. Nobody suggests Turkey will be ready for a decade or more. Incomes are less than half the EU average, and EU norms are far from implemented. Accession will be imminent only when the stiffest conditions applied to any candidate are fulfilled (and every EU state will still have a veto). Indeed, depending on how the EU develops, Turkey may have second thoughts.

Most important for both the EU and Turkey is to relaunch the process of convergence that has brought so much benefit to both sides. Turkish voters have shown their faith in this process, returning the pro-reform AK party to power. It has gone straight back to work, tackling in an open spirit one of the key problems in Turkey's democratisation: the 1982 military-era constitution.

As EU leaders prepare for the annual debate over how much reform Turkey has done and how much it should do, they should do all they can to renew Turkey's trust in the EU. The cost of restoring the motivational goal of membership is not high, and the reward great. Turkey is not fundamentally different to Greece, Spain and Portugal, where EU leaps of faith were essential to a transition from military authoritarianism to stability and democracy.

· Lord Patten, the former European commissioner for external relations, is chairman of the board of the International Crisis Group Crisisgroup.org

EamonnMc

October 17, 2007 1:19 AM

very good piece, especially this,


Turkey was critical to Europe in the cold war. For 40 years, it stood lonely guard on the south-eastern third of Nato's frontline, paying the price in military-heavy government and delayed development. There was little carping about its Muslim identity then, and a cultural variety that included Turkey was considered a European strength.

http://eamonnmcdonagh.wordpress.com


nyoped

October 17, 2007 4:26 AM

If Turkey meets the EU accesion criteria and becomes a EU member, Europe's distressed-muslims would flow into Turkey assuming a Muslim population would welcome them.

When we start to discuss the possible scenarios we will probabaly see that this is not what we bargained for. And along the way we are losing everything that can be used as a leverage in a negotiation with EU.

I think we should keep working on the reforms for ourselves, not for Brussel. And I personally like having the EU watching the progress closely like consultants (as long as they do not patronize us).

However, we desparetly need to build strong relationships with Russia and Turkic countries in Central Asia, and maybe Iran if they become a secular democracy. Countries cannot survive alone and US seems like an untrustable ally.


VoiceofGoodReason

October 17, 2007 5:38 AM

Turkey shouldn't be in the EU. The EU has done fine without Turkey and will continue to do so even without Turkey. The EU is the world's largest economy and the most progressive world power (admittedly much work needs to still be done) at this stage. The entry of Turkey to the EU would be a bad idea and a step backwards. A nation that isn't mature enough to admit the mistakes of its past such as the Armenian Genocide and has laws against insulting "Turkishness" has no business being in the EU. Also Turkey didn't pay for protecting Europe with a military-heavy government. Turkey never wanted to protect Europe, the only reason Turkey has such a big military is so they can constantly threaten and be belligerent to their neighbours, the Greeks, and to oppress the minorities within their borders like the Kurds.

History has also taught us how the Turks treat minorities. Events such as the Armenian Genocide, where over a million Armenians were slaughtered and the Istanbul Pogrom, where Greeks were murdered and their properties destroyed show the national character of the Turkish people.

Turkey should stay out of the EU.

More information can be found at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_Pogrom
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide


RogerINtheUSA

October 17, 2007 5:40 AM

A number of recent Guardian articles have attacked the US for not having earlier declared the Armenian Genocide to have been a genocide. While the Guardian has slammed the US political system for declaring the Armenian Genocide to have been a genocide, pointing out that this shows the corruption of American politics. In general, the Guardian seems to have favored the declaration.

Instead of welcoming Turkey, why doesn't Parliament condemn Turkey instead?

Amadeus37

October 17, 2007 6:01 AM

In these troubles times, Turkey could be the gateway to the future. It is quite unique.

usini

October 17, 2007 7:08 AM

As so often in this argument British commentators confuse the EU and NATO. It is indicative that the two countries which are pressing for Turkish membership are the USA, which is not a member of the EU, and the UK which sees it just as a customs union, and has not even joined the Schenken agreement.
The essential criticism of Turkish democracy is the weight of the Turkish army in Turkish politics. This was not the case for Spain, Portugal or Greece when they applied for membership.
While commentators like Mr. Patten skate over the Cyprus problem how can the EU even contemplate membership for a country which is occupying part of another member state and which is refusing to open its ports to that state?

attempt

October 17, 2007 7:52 AM

Turkey is a wonderful success story in many ways, a rising giant in international relations, and it is vital that Europe have close and friendly relations with the country. But Patten focuses too much on vague geopolitical and economic considerations and too little on specific social and foreign-policy considerations.

It is not unreasonable to think that at least half a million Turks would suddenly move to the UK after joining the EU. Does anybody think that the sudden arrival of half a million new Muslims in a country where relations with Muslims are already stretched to the breaking point would go easily? It would go badly, even though Turks are much more moderate in their religion than many other Muslims. And telling Britons that they ought to be more open-minded would be precisely as effective as telling the Turkish immigrants that they should drop their Turkish culture on arrival. I think it's better to take Britons for what they are and Turks for what they are (both decent, but very different) and be friendly from a distance. Of course, if EU membership could be arranged without immigration rights, that might be a different story.

But then there are foreign policy considerations. If the EU is to have a coherent foreign policy, and if that policy means needing to stand up to tyrants in the Middle East and the rise of Islamic militancy, will the fact Turkey is the largest country in the EU make such a policy viable?

Telling people that Turkey wouldn't join for another 10 years anyway doesn't do much to change these questions.

Plataea

October 17, 2007 8:31 AM

Using Patten's logic then the US should be part of the EU cause it played a key role in stopping the SovU from rolling into Europe. A look at an atlas will show why Turkey would not be one of the smartest of places to try and invade. Turket's role was minor during that period (although US siting of missiles in Turkey in the early 1960s was a key contributor to the Cuban missile crisis - weel done Turkey & the US!)
The EU does not need Turkey, the desire to join is all one sided. However, surrounding Turkey are countries that certainly could do with help from Turkey (oh by the way Ankara - I don't mean armed invasion). Indeed, there is an argument for Turkey to be helped in building a Middle-East Union (MU?) to bring peace and stability to that benighted place. But no, Turkish politicians much prefer the easy option (I don't blame them). However, if the EU wants to get some stability into the Middle-East then helping Turkey work with other countries in the region to form an economic block would be a real step in the right direction.

And finally, funny isn't it, how it is only the Brits that seem to want Turkey into the EU. Could this be related to its desire to have the EU as a simple trading block? and continued dilution is a great way to do this. Patten stick to your books in Oford (or whereever) your views on Europe are neither needed nor appreciated in Europe.

Perpinian

October 17, 2007 9:06 AM

Turkey made the mistake of siding with Germany in the First World War.
This exacerbated her internal problems when Russia stirred the Armenians to revolt. Greece, and other countries, had been expanding into Turkish territory for decades and the birth of modern Turkey was, consequently, not a bloodless process. Both Greeks and Armenians dislike Turkey because the Ottomans ruled them for centuries: don't we all know this? Hell, even the US digs up memories of 1776 when it suits. Ex-colonial powers always leave a legacy of dislike, whatever the outcome.
Modern Turkey has proved a good friend the the West. NATO is, and was, no small thing, and Turkey is modernising fast. Most Turks want to be accepted as the developing, sensible, decent people that they are. To keep railing against them for being Muslim, culturally alien, strange, distant, 'other', and the myriad other excuses constantly tricked up serves us all ill. Greece will do everything to block Turkey. She continues to blame it for the policing action in Cyprus in 1974, which saved the lives of thousands of Turkish Cypriots who were being massacred by Greek Cypriots, and Greeks, in an act of proto ethnic cleansing. Greeks won't hear of this though and use all the lobbying power they have in their diaspora to undermine Turkey.
With a hostile and injured Turkey Europe would suddenly seem a very small place indeed, and Greece, Romania and Bulgaria would be Europe's bulwarks against the great mass of Eurasia.
Is that what we really want?

amaridas

October 17, 2007 9:35 AM

However you look at it, Turkey is NOT a European country. It is not European geographically, not European ethnically, not European economically. It is also governed by a bunch of Islamists in disguise, who are slowly, but inexorably, eroding the secular nature of the country. And on the whole, European populations do not want it the EU. So, stop banging about it. Just let it go.

magnolia

October 17, 2007 9:55 AM

Deleted by CIF moderator.

steg

October 17, 2007 10:04 AM

If Germany had failed to admit to the holocaust would we still say 'well they were agood ally in the cold war?'. Turkey has to stop denying the Armenian genocide.

zangdook

October 17, 2007 10:08 AM

This reads as a hack job rather than an expression of genuine feeling. What does Turkey's role in NATO have to do with the EU? My sympathies are with the Turkish Prime Minister who said the EU should make its mind up one way or the other, doesn't matter which, just stop teasing them if you're not going to get your knickers off.

Waltz

October 17, 2007 10:31 AM

@Amadeus37 - "In these troubles times, Turkey could be the gateway to the future."

Yeah, but a future we should dread rather than welcome.

It's not a European country. Keep it out.

emmanuelgoldstein

October 17, 2007 10:42 AM

Waltz,

[It's not a European country. Keep it out.]

I take it, then, that I can count on your support for my petition to kick Greenland out of Europe?


LessPeopleMoreTrees

October 17, 2007 10:47 AM

"Europe has just as much to lose as Turkey...."

What exactly, does not seem to be addressed in the article.

staybrite

October 17, 2007 10:49 AM

nyoped
"If Turkey meets the EU accesion criteria and becomes a EU member, Europe's distressed-muslims would flow into Turkey assuming a Muslim population would welcome them."

One question nyoped. Do you really believe that? That English and Urdu speaking Pakistani-Britons or French/Arabic speaking French Algerians would flow into Turkey upon accession?

georgeat4

October 17, 2007 10:56 AM

I'd just like to echo the poster who asked what it was, exactly, that Europe had to lose by not allowing Turkey into the EU. It's a genuine question, I'm not being anti-Turkish, anti-Muslim, anti-EU or even anti-Patten.

Emmanuelgoldstein:
I'd love to join your 'Greenland out of Europe' campaign, but I think they left the then-EC back in the 1980s. Or did they sneak back in when nobody was looking?

Auric

October 17, 2007 11:01 AM

"Turkey is not fundamentally different to Greece, Spain and Portugal, where EU leaps of faith were essential to a transition from military authoritarianism to stability and democracy".

Spot on, Chris, Greece, Spain and Portual have a great deal in common with Turkey.

E.g.
A not part of Europe
B soon to have bigger population than any country in Europe
C population virtually all Muslim
D borders with real flashpoints like Iraq

The Turks are nice people - but so are Thais and no-one is suggesting they should be in the EC.


exliberal

October 17, 2007 11:02 AM

I'll keep this simple: Turkey is not a European country.


Waltz

October 17, 2007 11:06 AM

@ emmanuelgoldstein - "I take it, then, that I can count on your support for my petition to kick Greenland out of Europe?"

Certainly not. "Campaigning to kick Greenland out of Europe" comes between trainspotting and planespotting on the list of pointless dweeby pursuits best left to anoraks.

Knock yourself out, though.

Pilou

October 17, 2007 11:16 AM

The EU is big enough and has enough problems. Wanting to make it bigger is megalomania. It needs 10 years to consolidate after the latest intake.

If Turkey, why not Israel? Why not Morocco? They have close links to Europe and have been allies. Where will it stop?

diplodocus

October 17, 2007 11:26 AM

Lord Patten follows the distinguished line of British Empire officials who tried to block Russia's access to warm seas by supporting Turkey. Since 1945, that role has been taken over by John Foster Dulles and his successors who got Turkey, not only in NATO but also in CENTO (remember that one ?). The Turkish bid for membership in the EEC and later in the EU was concocted by the Pentagon to "better anchor Turkey to the West". It has nothing to do with Europe's interests but a lot with America's interests.
If "complying with the Copenhagen criteria" was the condition for membership, New Zealand and Costa-Rica would be better candidates but, like Turkey, they are not in Europe while another Muslim country, Albania, definitely is, as is Bosnia.
Prime minister Erdogan said that Europe must admit Turkey "to prove that it is not a Christian club" but he forgot that the Arab league is a "Muslim club" and the Organization of American states another "Christian club".
Lord Patten should ask the men in the street whom they consider more European, the far-away Icelanders or the nearby Turks. He should also remember that the EU flatly rejected King Hassan of Morocco's bid to join by stating that Morocco was not a European country. Turkey's only connection to Europe was the Ottoman empire's conquest of European territories.

bobdoney

October 17, 2007 11:41 AM

Plataea: "And finally, funny isn't it, how it is only the Brits that seem to want Turkey into the EU."

Really? You do know that the real Eurocrazies (not the ones our Poll was referring to yesterday) see the EU as encompassing North Africa and the Middle East in due course?

Suck this and see what you think:

http://www.medea.be/index.html?page=10&lang=en&doc=1543

"Under this name, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the 11th of March 2003, setting out a new framework for relations over the coming decade with Russia, the Western NIS and the Southern Mediterranean - countries who do not currently have a perspective of membership but who will soon find themselves sharing a border with the Union.

"The Communication proposes that, over the coming decade, the EU should aim to work in partnership to develop a zone of prosperity and a friendly neighbourhood - a 'ring of friends' - with whom the EU enjoys close, peaceful and co-operative relations. It suggests that, in return for concrete progress demonstrating shared values and effective implementation of political, economic and institutional reforms, all the neighbouring countries should be offered the prospect of a stake in the EU's internal market. This should be accompanied by further integration and liberalisation to promote the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital (four freedoms)."


zavaell

October 17, 2007 11:47 AM

Chris Patten is right and politicians in the EU should listen.

BrusselsLout

October 17, 2007 11:48 AM

"Turkey's new trust in the EU brought a turnaround on Cyprus that nearly solved the problem; and basic freedoms of religion and expression improved."

Then what's the problem Chris, what's the problem?

We're nearly there aren't we? Turkey, a former preditory nation, now needs to reconsider that little bit extra it needs to do to help solve the Cyprus problem completely.

Loyola

October 17, 2007 12:00 PM

Comparing Turkey (75m) which has a doubling time factor of less than a generation (i.e. the time we can calculate the population of a country doubling in less than 100 years) to Greece (11m); Portugal (10m) and Spain (40m) (which all have respectively decreasing populations for the last few decades now) is blatantly wrong. If Turkey were to join eventually the EU it will in all likeliness be the end of the EU as we now know it no matter how much of an improvement in the GDP/per capita the Turks can achieve (this is due to the growth in their population especially in remote, poor and religious (Muslim) parts of the country). Can someone in the present day European Union imagine in 30 years time 140m Turks being 1) the most powerful country in the EU - politically speaking that is (and militarily as well for that matter) - and 2) all Turkish citizens having the freedom of movement in all other EU states (the right to live and work). The UK is presently complaining about a few hundred thousand Poles (Poland only has 38m) that have entered their country in the last few years - can one imagine (at least) twice that amount from Turkey in a few years time (even if that is in twenty years). The cultural impact would be unimaginable: a tremendous increase in women wearing the headscarf; mosques being built in all parts of the country; hallal butchers becoming the norm, the list is endless (one most just look at the difficulties the Germans and the Dutch are having in integrating their Turkish population which frankly at present -as a whole- the numbers are still extremely low). Surely countries such as the UK, Germany and France will want to opt out of such a union. Undoubtedly there are clear advantages in Turkey joining the EU (one can also argue there are clear advantages in Mexico joining the US for that matter) but unfortunately the disadvantages clearly outweigh these advantages. Europe cannot take the risk of jeopardizing (and eventually dismantling) one of the most important political accomplishments in recent history: that being the very fragile European Union.

JuanKerr

October 17, 2007 12:05 PM

Let's have them sort out their human rights record first.

camera

October 17, 2007 12:05 PM

"Turkey is not fundamentally different to Greece, Spain and Portugal, where EU leaps of faith were essential to a transition from military authoritarianism to stability and democracy".

Umm right Chris.... so at the time Spain was considering invading Morroco to chase after the Andalucian pro-independence rebels which were killing dozens of Spanish soldiers in the mountains of Southern Spain; Portugal was prevented from becoming a fundamentalist catholic state because of the tight reign of its secular nationalistic army; and Greece was considering criminalising adultery to placate its orthodox fundamentalists.

I don't think so...

Cyprover

October 17, 2007 12:13 PM

Mr.Patten avers that; "Turkey's new trust in the EU brought a turnaround on Cyprus that nearly solved the problem". I take it he refers to the now wholly discredited Annan Plan, which was, of course, a UN initiative and not anything to do with the EU. Had it been, it would have complied with the norms of the EU, as regards human rights;democracy and the right to work and own property anywhere within the EU.

The "gridlock over Cyprus", to which he also refers, could be eased if Turkey would act on its customs agreement and cease the boycott of Cyprus registerd ships and aircraft. Cyprus has the third largest merchant fleet in the EU and would no doubt be ahead of Malta, were it not for this embargo. It would be constructive if commentators would not dismiss this as a small matter and explain the full truth, which is that any vessel which has Cyprus as it's last port of call, will be refused entry into any Turkish port. In other words, a British registered ship, carrying British goods, which stopped off at Limassol Port to load or unload part of it's cargo, would then be denied entry.

As to whether Turkey has any place in the European Union, any and all efforts to bring the government and people of Turkey into line with the standards of behaviour expected of EU citizens has to be in the best interests of everyone. I applaud their efforts so far but they do have a long way to go.

The "leap of faith" required by the EU would be that much easier to contemplate if Turkey was to accept responsibility for past actions e.g. the Armenian genocide (referred to as a "holocaust" by Winston Churchill, long before A.Hitler, esq. got going); to show respect for human rights by recinding Article 301 and also allowing dispossessed people to return to their homes in Cyprus and to allow free and unfettered trade, which is the backbone of the EU, by ceasing the absurd boycott of Cypriot shipping.

magicfan

October 17, 2007 12:33 PM

The UN and other International Organisations have got Turkey under Europe. So who is right and who is wrong?

babygeorge

October 17, 2007 12:34 PM

Why not hold a Europe-wide referendum about it? Then the Euro-elite can ignore the result when it does not go their way and carry on regardless.

Then we will see the riots in the streets.

Auric

October 17, 2007 12:36 PM

magicfan
Congratulations for the dimmest argument so far. Wasn't Israel in the Eurovision song contest too?

MartynInEurope

October 17, 2007 1:16 PM

I think Chris Patten is right on the money, and I only have one issue, that before more members are added to the EU we have a fully ratified constitution that new applicants must also fully sign up to.

In addiiton, I think its about time we considered the possible membership of Morocco, and take note of a stream of political thought in Israel that also advocates membership of the EU.

Ieuan

October 17, 2007 1:20 PM

Would just like to point out that the Moroccan government has already announced - "If Turkey is accepted [into the EU] it will be impossible for Europe to turn down Morocco" (Morocco has had an application to join the EU in for many years and its application is heavily supported by both France and Spain).

And if Morocco gets entry, then what of Algeria...Tunisia....Libya....Egypt.....Isreal.....Lebanon....Syria....
where will it end??

Much as I love the countries of North Africa and the Levant, they are not in Europe and should not (IMHO) be allowed into the European Union. Turkey is more difficult as part of the country is in Europe, but if it means all the Mediterranean countries seeking membership.....

duramater

October 17, 2007 1:36 PM

Loyola: "The UK is presently complaining about a few hundred thousand Poles..." Er, I think you'll find that it's more like one million, a figure even the Polish government has suggested is closer than the much trumpeted number you give. Many people I speak to already think that the last expansion was an expansion too far. We have enough problems to sort out now without giving even more people the right to come and settle here.

bicker

October 17, 2007 1:54 PM

Deleted by Moderator.

undead

October 17, 2007 2:03 PM

If Turkey can join, why not Lebabon and Israel?

DriveByAbuser

October 17, 2007 2:15 PM

Israel is more European than Turkey - it's Evil therefore it's Western. Bingo !

Picatrix

October 17, 2007 2:18 PM

"Turkey was critical to Europe in the cold war. For 40 years, it stood lonely guard on the south-eastern third of Nato's frontline,

Err only because they backed the loser in the W war1.
Japan too helped NATO by allowing USA bases to keep check on
threats from that region, maybe Japan can join to. Taiwan did the same.

"There was little carping about its Muslim identity then"
Well maybe that's because Muslims had not started flying planes into tall buildings and set off explosives on underground trains. Or maybe the threat of having host country stepping back to the 6th century to placate its Muslim immigrants.

"Turkey kept contributing to Europe's security, giving troops and legitimacy to EU-backed missions in Afghanistan, Lebanon, the Balkans, and even Congo."

Only because it was in its interest, the weak in that region
get invaded. If I had Saddam for a neighbour and Afghanistan
Pakistan close I to would like as much muscle behind me as well. Plus it always had its eyes on Cyprus and the Kurds.
"
Turkey is not fundamentally different to Greece, Spain and Portugal, where EU leaps of faith were essential to a transition from military authoritarianism to stability and democracy."
This has got to be on par with Tonybee lunacy.
all those countries are in Europe Doh! Unlike Turkey.
Turkey's claim EU is a Cristian club well sorry mate that's history. Are they going to let you build cathedrals in Turkey when they join like Muslims desire to build mosques in Europe?
Lebanon was far more like a EU country, some would say still is so lets get them on board. Brazil too for that matter.
Not that any of them are located in Europe, but hey cheap labour and more markets to exploit which is what its all about. Plus on the energy stakes poker game it kinda helps the EU with their hand when playing Russia.

If Turkey is so keen on the "join a club" thing why not start one in that region one with similar culture. Be far more benefit to that region than jumping ship and joining the EU. I wonder how the rest of the middle east would view Turkey if it was an EU member. And what new issues would come to surface.

The EU has enough to sort out already. Not to long ago the Dutch wanted the Italians out as they couldn't run a bath.
Romania, Bulgaria,Baltic states to name but a few new members. And here we are still arguing over is it a Treaty or is it a constitution.

Just because the UK has an open door policy to alien culture and is happy let it flourish unchecked does not mean the rest of the EU is happy to follow suite.

Russia, is that in Europe and a possible EU member?
Now that would piss the Yanks off. Turkey would be good for the EU, was what MR Bush reckons and on that alone makes me worry. Tony Blair confirmed and that made me worry more.

AusTurk

October 17, 2007 2:24 PM

"Europe has just as much to lose as Turkey if the doubters prevail in the membership battle"

How true, but you ask an average Turk in the streets of Istanbul response will be, WHO CARES. Turkey fastest growing economy, a lot of political reforms for the benefit of Turks not EU, foreign investment expeditiously expending, 70 million population huge market.
You talk economics the facts are there.

However, lets take EU,
Internal power hungry turmoil, in effective constitution, do as I say don't do as I do mentality toward Turkey, double standards toward Turkey, provocative actions like Greek Cyprus accession before the Cyprus issue is resolved (and have good look at the location of Cyprus on the world map), harboring and aiding terrorists likes of PKK, countries likes of Greece, France, Britain, Greek Cyprus deny their dark past but enforce Turkey to accept the Armenian propaganda.

Well my friends, WHO CARES. Turks will continue to walk tall as we did for many years and let's also not forget the Turkic nations, the hidden giant powers to be .

oalexander

October 17, 2007 2:57 PM

I a democratic society I am supposed the souvereign. So far the theoretical bullshit.

Fact is, I will not invite Turkey to share my home, the European Union. Foremost for a very simple reason: I sincerely don't like Muslim immigration - for numerous reasons which are not to debate here. I am in support of treating the Muslims already in most decently, but I am against adding to them.

If there were a European plebiscite about Muslim immigration the matter would be decisively decided. The ame can be said about a potential EU membership of Turkey.

I quite simply repeat: it is my home, and I let in whom I want to let in. For numerous reasons, foremost but not solely their Muslim background, I say, visiting yes, staying no!

Stuff the economic benefits!

Clavis

October 17, 2007 3:02 PM

As Chris Patten well knows, EU enlargement is largely a British construct designed to dilute the power of France and Germany and give Britain - whose commitment to Europe has always been lukewarm and out of synch with its neighbours - some breathing space. We can see the consequences of this today: an ever enlarging Europe, and an ever increasing difficulty in reaching any consensus. The EU is becoming unwieldy and ungovernable, which is precisely what Britain wants.

So no, Mr. Patten, Turkey must not join the EU. Historically, geographically and culturally it is not Europe. The European Union is not the United Nations and there have to be finite borders. Instead of enlargement, the EU should focus on formalizing a sort of favourable agreement status for those countries bordering Europe such as Turkey which would encourage economic development without the voting rights membership entails.

nimn2003

October 17, 2007 3:08 PM

attempt. I think Germany fears Turkey more. there are already something like 2 mllion Turks working officially in Germany. If the gates were opened that would rise significantly (And germany is a much more likely destination than the UK) as other family members etc. join those already there. Germany has almost 20% immigrant population.

IMHO I do not consider Turkey as part of 'Europe'. IF Europe is just an 'idea', then why not Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbajan, Russia, Mongolia, China? Europe is a geo-political entity. It has 'natural' borders, it has a predominantly Christian social-cultural heritage, and quite clear principles of secular political structures. I simply can not see how it would be possible to integrate in any meaningful way, such a large, muslim country.

I realise this makes me sound like a typical xenophobe, but this is about the practical realities. If we want/need to expand our trading relationships, then offer Turkey prefered trading status or something. For the same geo-political reasons, I think that at some point Albania SHOULD be a candidate country for the EU. This is not just about religion.

repunzal

October 17, 2007 3:28 PM

Ieuan
October 17, 2007

On the money!
----

There are some I/P pundits who very much believe Europe is the answer to their specifics. It is not. Europe would not solve their problems, it would only bring them further in to an increasingly socially fragmented Europe.
The UK itself is becoming "Balkanised," and it isn't only happening here. Patten and assorted euroniks believe Europe's economy should be modelled on the American, despite the many obvious and ominous warnings to the contrary, they are pressing on.
Scary as hell.

Perpinian

October 17, 2007 3:38 PM

If Turkey isn't part of Europe, then neither is Russia. Turkey in Thrace is geographically European, just like Russia west of the Urals is - as for the east of these countries, they lie in Asia. Therefore, be logical and tell the Russians they are not European.
Ethnically the Turks are as European as anyone else in Europe. Their DNA is indistinguishable from the rest of the people in the Eastern Mediterranean. Yes, about two percent have Turkic bloodlines, but that leaves a lot left over! As for language, Turkish is an Asian language; like Hungarian and Finnish. So will these countries be kicked out of the Union? Indo-European languages are spoken by the rest of Europe, but Indo-European languages are also spoken in Iran, and India and Pakistan for that matter.

So, all this nonsense about race and Europeanness is a red herring. We are discovering an atavistic hatred of Turks here; plain and simple.


bs747

October 17, 2007 4:14 PM

I am all for suppporting and welcoming Turkey but it does have to come to terms with its past in the same way we have to (the shame of empire, the apology for Slavery etc etc) but what do we do if Turkey votes to take unilateral action in Northern Iraq (as it may do if their parliament votes today)? Do we support them attacking the Kurdish rebels possibly leading to a wider conflict?


MartynInEurope

October 17, 2007 4:15 PM

Well Mister Chris, with your objective, no-nonsense and measured article you certainly have stirred up a hornet's nest of bigots, racists and rabid nationalists. Well done!


bobdoney

October 17, 2007 4:28 PM

Clavis: "As Chris Patten well knows, EU enlargement is largely a British construct designed to dilute the power of France and Germany and give Britain - whose commitment to Europe has always been lukewarm and out of synch with its neighbours - some breathing space."

I'm sorry to say it but this is complete rubbish. Please see the link I gave above to the Medea website. If you read the excerpt I gave, it categorically says that the COMMISSION (not exactly a British-dominated forum) adopted the following policy goal:

"... under this name, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the 11th of March 2003, setting out a new framework for relations over the coming decade with Russia, the Western NIS and the Southern Mediterranean - countries who do not currently have a perspective of membership but who will soon find themselves sharing a border with the Union.

"... the EU should aim to work in partnership to develop a zone of prosperity and a friendly neighbourhood - a 'ring of friends' - ... in return for concrete progress demonstrating shared values and effective implementation of political, economic and institutional reforms, all the neighbouring countries should be offered the prospect of a stake in the EU's internal market. This should be accompanied by further integration and liberalisation to promote the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital (four freedoms)."

Note that all these countries are to be offered, inter alia, FREE MOVEMENT OF PERSONS. Anyone here realised that we've signed up for unlimited access by Russians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians and North Africans? Is that what you think you voted for? Is that what Gordon means by administrative tidying up?

The cabal at the heart of the Union have two agendas: ever closer union and ever expanding territory. When they have to they will consult and manipulate the Council of Ministers, who are usually too busy and confused to see what is really going on. And now and again they will throw a few crumbs to the Parliament to pacify them. But meantime the project progresses without the electorates needing to be consulted or even informed what is going on.

Still think we don't need a referendum? Well, clear out your spare rooms then. You're going to have some extra guests if these people get their way.


Ieuan

October 17, 2007 4:28 PM

Perpinian said: "We are discovering an atavistic hatred of Turks here; plain and simple."

To be fair, Perpinian, I think the majority of people are just looking at the map. Europe should be a geographical, rather than political, concept. Turkey is 'special' as part of the country is in Europe...perhaps an associate membership of some kind?
As for anywhere else which is outside the geographical boundaries of Europe, the answer should be a very firm NO.

However, this is not to say that other unions should not be formed and work together with the EU. For example, the Nordic Union (which came into being before the EU, I think) includes the non-EU state of Norway, but functions very well (no tariffs, free movement of peoples etc) in harmony with the EU. Citizens of the NU can move and work in each other's countries, citizens of the EU can do the same. So a Brit (EU citizen) can work alongside a Norwegian (NU citizen) in Denmark (member of both EU and NU) and neither needs a work permit (well, they do after time, but in principle movement is free).

I seem to remember hearing that there are some moves towards a grouping of Mediterranean countries, let Turkey and the other countries of North Africa and the Levant join that, and have that Mediterranean Union work/co-operate with the EU. Being a member of one need not stop countries being a member of the other (in fact Spain, France, Italy etc would be members of both) PROVIDING THEY MEET THE GEOGRAPHICAL REQUIREMENTS!


AusTurk

October 17, 2007 5:00 PM

"Ieuan"
October 17, 2007 4:28 PM

"To be fair, Perpinian, I think the majority of people are just looking at the map. Europe should be a geographical, rather than political, concept. Turkey is 'special' as part of the country is in Europe...perhaps an associate membership of some kind?
As for anywhere else which is outside the geographical boundaries of Europe, the answer should be a very firm NO. "

I find it hard to understand your geographical logic. Where the hell is Cyprus? And secondly how can EU admit a country like Cyprus which is still an unresolved issue and which do not represent whole of the Island?

For those who are ill informed, there are over 5 million migrant Turks living in EU countries and over 9 million Ottoman Turks reside in various European countries and have been for centuries. Therefore, you make the assumption, who is European.


Ieuan

October 17, 2007 5:19 PM

AusTurk said: "I find it hard to understand your geographical logic."

I am not going to defend the EU's position on Cyprus. I just happen to live in a North African country, which I love and do not want to move from....but I think for Morocco (and the rest of the Maghreb, to say nothing of the Levant) to become a member of the EU would be disastrous, both for Morocco and EU.

The Moroccans simply are NOT Europeans (thank goodness). The elite wish they were, but no matter how they behave, how they dress, what they drive etc. etc. they are NOT Europeans. And most of the population, which considers itself African or Arab, not European doesn't want Morocco to turn into a carbon copy of Spain.
It's just the elite who want to be 'members of the club'. They make quite enough money as it is, the rest are quite happy where they are, so why ask an African/Arab country to join the EUROPEAN union?

I would be interested to hear if the rural and urban poor in Turkey are as enthusiastic as their politicians and business leaders....I suspect that, like here, the chance of free movement (out of the country) is interesting....but not much more.

"there are over 5 million migrant Turks living in EU countries and over 9 million Ottoman Turks reside in various European countries and have been for centuries."

Now I don't understand your logic. There are hundreds of thousands of Indians in the UK, India was part of the British empire - should India be invited to join the EU? We'll end up with the entire world enrolled in the EU, which rather negates it, I would have thought.


Perpinian

October 17, 2007 6:17 PM

Good point leuan.

I consider that Turkey, and Morocco, are doing fine without the EU. Their greatest problems lie with their burgeoning popuations, which is where demographically stable countries, such as Norway and Switzerland, fare so much better. Nonetheless, the Mediterranean basin has been a melting pot of peoples and cultures since the beginning of time. In many ways Greece and the balkans might hardly be considered culturally European either, being that they are mostly Muslim and Orthodox by confession, and have been functionally detached from the west for the best part of fifteen hundred years. For centuries the European nations of the west have looked towards the Atlantic, and turned their backs on the east, and this has led to a perception that the eastern end of the inland sea is somehow more alien than, oh, India and South America for example.

No, I see fear, brought on by ignorance, as the greatest motivator in the rejection of Turkey. I'd be happy to see north Africa included in the EU as a matter of fact, but my impetus is cultural, not economic. I believe we, in northern Europe, could learn much from these regions. Add in the levant and you have a reconstruction of the Roman Empire! It won't happen though. The Empire was an unmanagable totalitarian monster and couldn't hold together, and the EU will likewise implode, but it will have been a good try.

usini

October 17, 2007 8:10 PM

@martynineurope that is an oversimplification, I think, of some of the objections. Personally I want a far more closely integrated EC and I think that endless expansion makes this impossible, or at least very difficult. I also have doubts about British commentators because as I said they often seem to only really want a customs union. There are serious doubts about the validity of Turkish democracy, and certainly its position on Cyprus must change radically.

sasboy

October 18, 2007 4:30 AM

Excellent article and a voice of reason. Turkey deserves a fair opportunity to be part of the European Union, if it so wishes and successfully satisfies the criteria for membership and even though it has a very long way to go in order to satisfy the political and economic criteria for membership, there can be NO EXCUSE for discriminating against any EU candidate country on perceived cultural differences.


http://www.presstv.ir

Us House To Drop Genocide Bill
18 Oct 2007
Democrats in the US House of Representatives have dropped support for the resolution calling the massacre of Armenians as genocide.

In an apparent retreat from their initial stance, influential Democrat John Murtha said the US was in no position to be thinking of moral values at such a crucial time because it is already suffering from a lack of credibility across the world.

House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said on Wednesday the prospects of a vote on Armenian genocide were uncertain, after several members pulled their support amid fears it would cripple US relations with Turkey.

In a White House news conference Bush warned lawmakers against further inflaming US relations with Turkey.

Turkey's military chief General Yasar Buyukanit has warned the United States that the alliance between the two nations will be at risk if the House of Representatives approves the measure. The resolution's passage could also prompt Turkey to scale back its assistance in the Iraq war.

Earlier this week, Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, had sharply denounced the resolution adopted by the US House panel and called it an unacceptable move by some American politicians who ignore common sense and sacrifice greater issues to petty games.
MMS/MMN


Pelosi Says Armenian Genocide Bill's Fate Uncertain
Reuters, AFP
The future of a U.S. House resolution calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide appeared in doubt on Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said whether it would come to the floor for a vote "remains to be seen."

Support for the resolution has eroded sharply since it was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week. Critical Iraq war ally Turkey warned it would damage relations with the United States and President George W. Bush condemned it.

"Whether it will come up or not, what the action will be, remains to be seen," Pelosi, a California Democrat, told reporters on Wednesday. She previously had vowed it would get a vote of the full chamber sometime this year.

Pelosi said on Wednesday she had always supported the nonbinding, largely symbolic resolution, but she would be working with other advocates to see what they wanted to do now.

Lawmakers from both political parties have been withdrawing their names from the resolution in recent days in the face of criticism from Turkey and Bush. Some key Democrats as well as Republicans oppose it.

Looking to defuse tensions with a key US ally, Bush on Wednesday urged the Congress to drop the resolution. "One thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire," Bush said at a press conference, branding the measure "counterproductive."

"Congress has more important work to do than antagonizing a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one that's providing vital support for our military every day," in places like Iraq, he said.

Turkey calls the resolution insulting and rejects the Armenian position, backed by many Western historians, that up to 1.5 million Armenians suffered genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks during World War One.

The United States is highly dependent on Turkey's Incirlik air base. About 70 percent of the U.S. military air cargo into Iraq transits that base, according to the Defense Department.

Key Democrats in the House of Representatives on Tuesday joined Republicans to warn that the resolution could harm U.S. strategic interests. Democrats, including Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a longtime member of Pelosi's inner circle, urged her not to bring the proposal to the floor and Republicans called the resolution another "irresponsible" foray into foreign policy.
17, October 2007 www.armenialiberty.org


Support For Resolution HR106 Decreasing
Oct 17th, 2007 by Michael van der Galiën
The Van Der Galiën Gazette http://mvdg.wordpress.com

Shortly after the House panel approved resolution HR 106, calling the massacre of Armenians from 1915-1917 ‘genocide,’ the pushback began. Conservatives noticed that the US is dependent on Turkey for success in Iraq: if Turkey would decide that the US can’t use Turkey anymore to supply the troops, etc., it would become incredibly difficult for the mission in Iraq to succeed, to put it mildly. The Turkish government was angered and worried by the panel vote and started lobbying against the resolution. Supporters of the bill suddenly realized that what they thought would be a quick and easy way to help a fellow Democrat get reelected realized - because of the reaction of the Turkish government and the backlash from conservative bloggers and journalists, and the opposition of eight former US secretaries of state to resolution HR 106 - that they were profoundly mistaken and that things like condemning a country for committing a genocide may actually have implications in the real world. Republicans who didn’t quite the understand the impact approval of this resolution would have changed their mind as well and today we see the following headline at the New York Times: “Support Wanes in House for Genocide Vote.”

Almost a dozen lawmakers had shifted against the measure over the last 24 hours, accelerating a sudden exodus that has cast deep doubt over the measure’s prospects. Some representatives made clear that they were heeding warnings from the White House, which has called the measure dangerously provocative, and from the Turkish government, which has said House passage would prompt Turkey to reconsider its ties to the United States, including logistical support for the Iraq war.

Until today, the resolution appeared to be on a path to House passage, with strong support from the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California. It was approved last week by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. But this evening, a group of group of senior House Democrats had made it known they were planning to ask the leadership to drop plans for a vote on the measure.

John Murtha worded his opposition to the resolution thusly: “This happened a long time ago and I don’t know whether it was a massacre or a genocide; that is beside the point. The point is, we have to deal with today’s world.”

Pelosi and the other main supporters of this resolution made a gigantic mistake. They miscalculated tremendously. Nancy Pelosi has once again shown that she knows partisan politics, but that she doesn’t know a whole lot about foreign affairs.

More at the Weekly Standard, Wake up America, and Sister Toldjah. Also be sure to read this article at the Wall Street Journal.

5 Responses to “Support For Resolution HR106 Decreasing”
on 17 Oct 2007 at 1:50 pm
1 Tully

Well, I said that those 236 226 225 224 214 co-sponsors would diminish once an actual vote approached and the likely real-world results of same became more obvious.

on 17 Oct 2007 at 5:17 pm
2 kritter

I’m not saying that the resolution should have succeeded, (though the consensus of historians is that it was genocide and its irritating to see the Turks attempt to rewrite history) but there are also real world consequences for the president’s recognition and meeting with the Dalai Lama, despite pressure from the Chinese. They are vital partners in the 6-party talks with North Korea and our biggest trading partner. To Bush’s credit, he didn’t respond to the pressure from the Chinese.

I believe the resolution was the right thing to do, but the timing was terrible, as Turkey could cut off necessary supply lines for our effort in Iraq. I think some of the rationale also had to do with the presence of survivors of the massacre who are now in their late 90’s and wanted to live to see the tragedy recognized. But some, of course was to respond to political pressure from the Armenian-American community.

WaPo quoted Steny Hoyer as saying that after a briefing, he had decided not to bring the resolution to the floor. If this was done in error, it is being corrected.

on 17 Oct 2007 at 5:26 pm
3 Tully

though the consensus of historians is that it was genocide

But the “consensus of historians” is dating the events to 1914-1918, not 1914-1923 as the resolution did. And the “consensus of historians” is for numbers somewhat lower than (while still massive) the 1.5 million of the resolution. If the resolution does not reflect the “consensus of historians” save in that one regard of the label being applied, the “consensus of historians” argument is greatly weakened.

Once you leave the labelling issue aside, it seems to me that BOTH sides are attempting to establish a one-sided view of events (their own) as THE historical “consensus,” when the realities of the events are somewhat more complicated than either version offered.

on 17 Oct 2007 at 6:50 pm
4 kritter

Well, I agree- if the resolution contained inaccuracies- they shouldn’t have sent it to the floor like that. Doing so just diminishes the strength of their case in the long run.

on 17 Oct 2007 at 10:43 pm
5 Braden

This may sound crazy, but why is it so important for Congress to make “official resolutions” recognizing things that another country did 90 years ago? It’s not like we can go back and change them. To me, this legislation seems like a total waste of the taxpayer’s money. It should be disregarded altogether.


Democrats Split on Armenian Genocide Resolution?
The Van Der Galiën Gazette http://mvdg.wordpress.com
Oct 16th, 2007 by Michael van der Galiën

Some Democrats don’t support the resolution HR 106:

Democrats are split on the value of bringing a controversial Armenian genocide resolution to a floor vote.

Five House Democrats plan to hold a news conference Wednesday to urge their leadership not to bring the resolution to the floor, although the measure passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week with strong Democratic support.

Reps. Alcee Hastings of Florida, John Murtha of Pennsylvania, Robert Wexler of Florida and Steve Cohen and John Tanner, both of Tennessee, will participate in the news conference. They plan to urge House leadership to “reconsider its decision” to bring the Armenian genocide resolution to the floor.

Pelosi, meanwhile, is determined to let the full House vote on the resolution. I guess this:

California is home to a significant number of Armenian-Americans, including some who came to the United States after fleeing the World War I-era upheaval.

Has nothing to do with it.

We’ll see where it goes, but the pushback seems to be quite severe. Pelosi probably didn’t anticipate it; she probably regarded this as an excercise in unity and simplicity.

There are several reasons for people to oppose this resolution, and the timing is certainly one of them.

3 Responses to “Democrats Split on Armenian Genocide Resolution?”
on 17 Oct 2007 at 12:38 am
1 Thom Davis

I saw a bumper sticker today with “support our troops not the armenian lobby.” Do you know who is making these?

on 17 Oct 2007 at 7:34 am
2 Jennifer

What’s a little genocide between friends?

This is what we are fighting for in the Middle East, a country with a history of genocide/jihad it still covers up, with laws that penalize “insulting Turkishness” and minority rights (even speaking their own language in public) denied. Some ally for our hope for the region! Is that what we’re fighting a war for? Funny I thought we were against genocide.

on 17 Oct 2007 at 3:26 pm
3 Neo

I suggest Pelosi invoke “Deja Vu” ..

Citing claims by President Clinton that the consideration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.596) would endanger American lives, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert today broke his pledge to bring the measure to the House floor, acceding to the President’s request that he withdraw the resolution. This action was taken only moments before the resolution was to come to the House floor for a vote, reported the H.Res.596 Committee. 2000-10-19

dailypress.com


Turkey's Role In Armenia Resonates
October 17, 2007
It goes without saying that the House resolution condemning Turkey for the "genocide" of Armenians in 1915 will serve no earthly purpose and that it will, to say the least, complicate if not severely strain U.S.-Turkey relations. It goes without saying, also, that the Turks are extremely sensitive on the topic and since they are helpful in the war in Iraq and a friend to Israel, that their feelings ought to be taken into account. All of this is true, but I would feel a lot better about killing this resolution if the argument wasn't so much about how we need Turkey and not at all about the truthfulness of the matter.

Of even that, I have some doubt. The congressional resolution repeatedly employs the word genocide, a term used by many scholars. But Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-Jewish emigre who coined the term in 1943, clearly had what the Nazis were doing to the Jews in mind. If that is the standard –– and it need not be –– then what happened in the collapsing Ottoman Empire in 1915 was something short of genocide. It was plenty bad –– maybe as many as 1.5 million Armenians perished, many of them outright murdered –– but not all Armenians everywhere in what was then Turkey were as calamitously affected. The substantial Armenian communities in Constantinople, Smyrna and Aleppo were largely spared. No German city could make that statement about its Jews.

Still, by any name, what was done in 1915 is unforgivable and, one hopes, unforgettable. Yet it was done by a government that no longer exists –– the so-called Sublime Porte of the Ottomans, with its sultan, concubines, eunuchs and the rest. Even in 1915, it was an anachronism, no longer able to administer its vast territory –– much of the Middle East and the Balkans. The empire was crumbling. The so-called Sick Man of Europe was breathing its last. Its troops were starving and both in Europe and the Middle East, indigenous peoples were declaring their independence and rising in rebellion. Among them were the Armenians, an ancient people who had been among the very first to adopt Christianity. By the end of the 19th century, they were engaged in guerrilla activity. By World War I, they were aiding Turkey's enemy, Russia. Within Turkey, Armenians were feared as a fifth column.

So contemporary Turkey is entitled to insist that things are not so simple. If you use the word genocide, it suggests the Holocaust –– and that is not what happened in the Ottoman Empire. But Turkey has gone beyond mere quibbling with a word. It has taken issue with the facts and in ways that cannot be condoned. Its most famous writer, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk, was arrested in 2005 for acknowledging the mass killing of Armenians. The charges were subsequently dropped and although Turkish law has been in some ways modified, it nevertheless remains dangerous business for a Turk to talk openly and candidly about what happened in 1915.

It just so happens that I am an admirer of Turkey. Its modern leaders, beginning with the truly remarkable Ataturk, have done a Herculean job of bringing the country from medievalism to modernity without, it should be noted, the usual bloodbath. (The Russians, for instance, never managed that feat.)

Furthermore, I can appreciate Turkey's palpable desire to embrace both modernity and Islam and to show that such a feat is not oxymoronic. (Ironically, having a dose of genocide in your past –– the U.S. and the Indians, Germany and the Jews, etc. –– is hardly not "Western.") And I think, furthermore, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should have spiked the House resolution in deference to Turkey's immense strategic importance to the United States. She's the speaker now, for crying out loud, and not just another House member.

But for too long the Turks have been accustomed to muscling the truth, insisting either through threats or punishment that they and they alone will write the history of what happened in 1915. They are continuing along this path now, with much of official Ankara threatening this or that –– crossing into Iraqi Kurdistan, for instance –– if the House resolution is not killed. But, it may yet occur to someone in the government that Turkey's tantrums have turned an obscure –– nonbinding! –– congressional resolution into yet another round of tutorials on the Armenian tragedy of 1915. Call it genocide or call it something else, but there is only one thing to call Turkey's insistence that it and its power will determine the truth: unacceptable.
Copyright © 2007, Newport News, Va., Daily Press


An Open Letter To The Armenian Diaspora
Mustafa AKYOL October 18, 2007
If we will start listening to your narrative, that will not be because we are pushed into a corner by the politics of a powerful lobby, but because our hearts are touched by the memoirs of a terrible tragedy

Dear all,

A few days ago a new friend of mine who happens to be an American Armenian played some beautiful songs for me that come from the deepest roots of her ethnic tradition. While I enjoyed the numinous rhythms of that magnetic Armenian music, I realized how similar they were to the tunes of the Turkish classical music that I have grown up hearing. “Despite all the political warfare,” I said to myself, “alas, look how similar we are.” I actually have a similar feeling when I drive along the magnificent mosques and palaces of Istanbul, some of which were built by Armenian architects – men in fez who devoutly worshipped Christ and proudly served the Sultan.

Well, we were the children of the same empire, weren't we? We actually lived side by side as good neighbors for centuries until the modern virus called “nationalism” descended upon us. And then hell broke loose.

A war of two narratives:

I know what you think about that hell, especially about its most horrific episode, the one that took place in the year 1915. Your grandmothers must have told you about the plunderers, killers and rapists who attacked them and countless fellow Armenians. You call the whole tragedy “the Armenian Genocide” and try to convince the parliaments of the world to accept that definition. You also think, I presume, that we Turks are monsters who not only committed that horrible crime, but also refuse to take responsibility for it even after nearly a century.

This is how you see history and the present moment, right? Well, as a Turk, let me say that I understand you. Because I see that you sincerely believe in the accuracy of the historical narrative that you were raised on. How else could you have responded to that?

However, please note that there is another narrative about the tragedy of 1915, and that is what we Turks have been raised on. Our grandmothers told us that Armenians of the time collaborated with the Russian invaders and started to kill our people. Then, the narrative goes, our people started to kill the Armenians in order to both to protect themselves and to take revenge. “They killed us and so we killed them” is the summary of what 99 percent of the Turks know and think about what you call genocide. And just like you do, they sincerely believe in the accuracy of their historical narrative.

So there are two different accounts of what really happened in 1915. I know that in the Western academic world your narrative has gained much more support, but there are serious non-Turkish scholars who tend to agree with the Turkish version, too. When I read the works of professor Guenter Lewy recently, for example, I was convinced that what my grandmother told me was really true.

Of course I am no expert on the issue. I don't have enough knowledge to decide whether the truth lies in your narrative, in our narrative, or somewhere in between. But I am open to learning more and reconsidering my position. “Follow the evidence,” one of my core principles reads, “wherever it may lead.” And, believe me, that there are so many people in Turkey who think the same way.

Pushing the wrong way:

Now since we are getting to know each other, let me be a bit more blunt and take on what you have just done by convincing the U.S. Congress to pass a resolution on “the Armenian Genocide.”

If you think that acts like these will push us Turks to be more self-critical and initiate an internal discussion that will lead us to consider your narrative about 1915, you are daydreaming. The reality is quite the contrary. Foreign pressure will make Turkish society only more reactionary. Grounds for internal discussion will vanish. Moreover, our ultra-nationalist nuts will go crazier than ever. Their most militant ones might well target, once again, liberal intellectuals and our Armenian citizens. You are simply fuelling the fire.

The leaders of Turkey's Armenian community, including Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan II, have been warning you about these dangers and urging you to stop playing this resolution game. But sadly, you don't ever listen to them. You accuse them for lacking courage and having a defeatist psychology. But how do you know that you yourselves are not the victims of another psychology – that of the diaspora? Social scientists repeatedly say that diaspora communities tend to go fanatic. Have you ever considered taking a hint?

If you would like to hear some friendly advice, here it is: If you really want to see more Turks reflecting on your narrative about the tragedy of 1915, initiate a genuine dialogue. Try to convince not Mrs. Pelosi and her colleagues, but us, the Turks. Write more books and articles, create better movies and Web sites, and organize fair conferences and seminars telling us about your story. And do these not as propaganda tools against the Turks, but as communication efforts toward them.

Convey your message calmly, in other words, and it will be heard. But don't try to impose it onto us. We are not a nation of monsters, but we do have a stubborn side. When foreigners start to dictate our history to us, we tend to revert back to our grandmothers' stories. And if we will start listening to your narrative, that will not be because we are pushed into a corner by the politics of a powerful lobby, but because our hearts are touched by the memoirs of a terrible tragedy. Sincerely,
Mustafa Akyol A fellow Anatolian TDN


US Lawmakers Urge Dropping Resolution
October 18, 2007 ANNE FLAHERTY WASHINGTON - The Associated Press

The wisdom of a proposed floor vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to label the deaths of Armenians a century ago as genocide was brought into question Tuesday after at least a half-dozen Democrats withdrew their support and several others implored Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to let it go to a floor vote to avoid damaging relations with Turkey.

The reaction from within their party appears to be a major setback to Pelosi and other Democratic leaders. They have fiercely defended the resolution to Republicans and the White House as a moral imperative to condemn the World War I-era killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

President George W. Bush called Pelosi on Tuesday to ask her not to call for a House vote on the resolution.

"The president and the speaker exchanged candid views on the subject and the speaker explained the strong bipartisan support in the House for the resolution," Pelosi's spokesman Nadeam Elshami said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday that there are a number of people who are revisiting their own positions, adding that they will have to determine where everyone is.

The most notable Democratic challenge mounted this week came from Rep. John Murtha, an anti-war ally of Pelosi, and chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Murtha fought against a similar measure 20 years ago.

"From my discussions with our military commanders and foreign policy experts, I believe that this resolution could harm our relations with Turkey and therefore our strategic interests in the region," Murtha said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

Also this week, at least six Democrats withdrew their sponsorship of the bill and two other Democrats, Reps. Alcee Hastings and John Tanner, asked Pelosi to forgo the vote.

Hastings, who has voted against combat funding for Iraq, and Tanner, a member of a conservative Democratic coalition known as the Blue Dogs, said they feared backlash from Turkey would cut off U.S. access to a critical air base in southern Turkey near Iraq.

More than half of the cargo flown into Iraq and Afghanistan comes through Incirlik Air Base, and this base would be a key component of any plans for redeployment of our troops in the future, the lawmakers wrote.

Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Solomon Ortiz, another Democrat, sent Pelosi a similar letter last week.

In response to last week's approval of the resolution by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Turkey summoned its ambassador from Washington for consultations in Ankara and asked the Bush administration to stop the resolution from passing in a final floor vote.

Turkey denies the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and those killed were victims of civil war and unrest as the Ottoman Empire fell into disarray. TDN


Letters To The Editor
October 18, 2007
Democrats Just Playing Politics

I have been to Turkey and love the land. The House Democratic panel that passed this terrible thing is just playing politics. They want the Iraqi war lost so they can be the party in power. Recently the Iraqi people have aligned themselves with us against al-Qaeda and those people may become a freedom-loving nation. The Democrats can't stand that. They do not wish well for the Iraqi people, they don't care as long as they get into power. Our government under them would be horrible as they adhere to socialist ideas and downplay going to work and earning a pay and progressing for all the people. They run on the notion that to earn money and do well for your family and you making alms to the poor through our churches, that government can do it better for you. They want all our money in taxes for the government. They figure if enough people depend on the government, they will never be out of power again. This is an endplay to make all of our friends in Turkey mad at us so we cannot use the bases we have in Turkey. Please do not fall for their evil trick.

Terry Hanger, USA

What about Azerbaijan genocide?

It is not enough that this country had not learned from Vietnam and Iraq, but now the House wants to re-write history concerning the Armenian Turkish conflict. The problem is that the West is trying to judge history with respect to its own historical and cultural references.

Racism is a Western concept, which didn't have a place in Turkish or Ottoman history and the West cannot understand anti-racist Ottomans. Annihilation is a Western concept and the West cannot understand the Ottomans, which chose to let live instead of wipe out. Assimilation is a Western concept and the West cannot accept the fact that different ethnic groups could live together.

Mainstream Western understanding has given the word "culture" a specific meaning and does not understand culture beyond that. And it chooses to denigrate what it does not understand. The problem is, the last real empire that the West had was the Roman Empire. Later so-called "empires" were only colonial formations, not real empires, and depended on exploitation and repression. Like Ilber Ortayli said, the last Roman type empire was the Ottoman Empire.

You can't really expect the (declining) Western powers to understand and appreciate something that is really different from their understanding of politics. That's like Americans appreciating Martian culture and politics. However while the House voted acknowledging the Armenian Genocide, it disregarded the Azerbaijan Genocide of 1905-1907 by the Armenians.When will the House stop robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Renee Abramson, Framingham, MA, USA © 2005 Dogan Daily News Inc. turkishdailynews.com.tr


My Armenian Friend Called David
October 18, 2007 Hakan ÖZCAN

"Is it ok if I introduce an Armenian friend of mine called David?” muttered a Spanish colleague almost inaudibly during a networking event in Beijing on a beautiful April evening in 2007.

He received his response with a single nod of my head as I suddenly started wondering how I could be inapproachable in a room filled with over 100 professionals, most of whom I knew personally.

Watching closely the body language involved in the conversation, it was nothing but disappointing to reach the conclusion that neither the Spaniard nor David were completely confident that David could approach me without the thought of rejection. The events that took place in the turmoil of the World War I in Anatolia were having an impact on a conversation that was being held in the capital of China almost 90 years later.

On the way back to my apartment in the Chaoyang district, I was still thinking about the awkward situation and trying to analyze whether my values garnered from my Western education helped differentiate my ideas from my compatriots back home who were educated at local universities and exposed to the same domestic media mediums throughout their lives. Was I more receptive and open to different points of view and discussions?

Today, the border between Turkey and Armenia is closed. Armenians have their own political agenda that includes the Turkish government accepting the events of 1915 as “genocide,” apologizing for what happened and paying reparations.

The Turkish government does not deny that massacres that affected both sides of the conflict took place but rather deny that there was any intent to destroy a group or a nation, which is a pre-requisite for an incident to be labeled as “genocide” instead of a “massacre.” The term “genocide,” due to its nature, requires central planning and machinery to execute the plan. Current attempts at a resolution between the two countries are at a dead end.

Many world politicians today are using this incident as an ethnic tool to score political points and win cheap votes in their jurisdictions. These political partnerships mostly take place in locations like California or France, where large numbers of Armenian voters are permanent residents. These politicians entice Armenian and Turkish voters into supporting their parties while, in a sense, stripping these people of their right to freely choose who they believe can better serve those jurisdictions.

The Turkish Republic gets embroiled in diplomatic disputes with different governments of the world every time they officially take steps to acknowledge the 1915 events as “genocide.”

The give-and take game of international politics results in a future commitment or repercussions for the Turkish government every time it manages to save the day by being able to stop a government from doing so. And this is a game that is being replayed every few years with each country's government.

Difficulties for expat Turks

Current conditions also make life very difficult for expatriate Turks who reside in various countries. Denial of the Armenian genocide can get you prosecuted in France or Switzerland for breaching anti-racism laws. Meanwhile in Turkey, under the penal code article 301, you can get prosecuted for using the word “genocide” to describe the events of 1915. Being open to discussion is not welcome in either of these countries.

The majority of Turks feel that there is more to this dark period in our history than just a simple answer of whether it was genocide or not. While Armenia, in credit to its politically active Diaspora, has made clear where it stands, Turkey has long complained about not being heard or that the events are misunderstood.

Denial without presenting further evidence and prohibiting open debates looks only like acceptance on an international level. However, Western counterparts do not make it possible to hold open debates by passing legislations that make it a criminal offense to hold opposite views.

Reiterating uncompromising arguments and remaining adamant by both sides have yet to bear any fruits in reaching a resolution. Both Turkey and Armenia, for the benefit of both nations, must stop their nationalist ideologies from getting in the way of resolving past misdeeds. The only hope for reconciliation at this point is for both countries to initiate a new era of increased communication and take steps toward recreating bilateral ties.

Today, David is one of my closest friends in China. We not only share a common background but can also freely discuss politics, history and business with a similar point of view. Building the foundations of strong economic and political relations will prepare both nations for a better understanding of each other and create common ground to express their point of view.

We wish to see the Turkish government, the Armenian government and the Armenian Diaspora take positive steps on the path of bringing the two nations closer. Only after that, can they utilize their political influence to develop the region into a gateway between Asia and Europe without being voting tools for world politicians.

* Hakan Özcan, has a B.S. Degree in Management and Political Science from Bryant University in Rhode Island. He is presently an associate consultant at Creativity, Innovation & Design Labs in Beijing, China. He can be contacted at hknozcan@gmail.com


US Plans?
Given the fact that the US has not done anything concrete against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the region for four years and the recent developments in the US Congress concerning the Armenian resolution, one cannot stop but ask:

Why are US authorities still reluctant to take the steps suggested by many distinguished US and Turkish figures wherein they could allay the fury of the Turkish society by delivering several terrorist leaders to Turkey? Is it their intention that by not doing so they are trying to urge Turkey to choose a side with respect to Iran and Syria? Or is it that the US has already estranged itself from Turkey and is trying to create psychological excuses for such a move? Assuming that the antipathy toward Washington will increase as a result of social change, does the US want to create a new organization in the region that will exclude Turkey? Do they have strategic plans that are solely based on Kurds to the exclusion of the other three basic national components -- Turks, Arabs and Persians? Nobody should ask why all these questions have arisen after all the ill-treatment Turkey receives from the US with respect to terrorism and the Armenian issue, in contrast to its past glorification as a strategically important country.
18.10.2007 ABDÜLHAMIT BILICI, ZAMAN


Turkey’s Dangerous Dance With Isolationism
Lale Sariibrahimoglu loglu@todayszaman.com
It is true that Turkey has recently been suffering from its own mistakes on thorny foreign policy issues such as the Cyprus-related Turkish-Greek disputes and the Kurdish problem, as well as Armenian allegations of genocide.
Turkey has missed several opportunities to turn those issues to its own benefit.

But when we look at the flipside of the coin, it is also fair to say that Turkey's interlocutors on the above-mentioned problems are also if not equally to blame.

On Cyprus, as senior European Union leaders have admitted on various occasions, it was a big mistake to accept the Greek Cypriot section of the island as a full member to the union in 2004 instead of encouraging the Greeks to accept the UN plan. This EU policy played a key role in the prevention of the advancement of talks with Turkey in furthering its democratic process, while causing deep disappointment among Turkish Cypriots.

On the decades-long Armenian dispute, the Turkish state has done very little to tell its own story of the World War I events, that the deaths of Armenians were not genocide, let alone convince the world. But the Armenian state and the Armenian lobby also failed to realize that a democratic Turkey can only benefit them. Instead they insist on playing with their people's nationalistic fervor by intermittently feeding the genocide allegations.

On the Kurdish problem, Ankara has dedicated most of its time to the use of force in dealing with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists, neglecting the grievances of the region.

But neither the Iraqi Kurds nor the Iraqi government or even the US has taken serious steps to prevent PKK infiltration into Turkey of the group's staging attacks inside the country. They should all have tried to cut the PKK's lifeline in northern Iraq.

Despite policy failures, which have also been committed by Turkey's interlocutors on all the above-mentioned foreign policy issues, those shortcomings do not currently prevent the danger of Turkey's isolation from the world, which may possibly result in an inward-looking country in this strategically important part of the world.

Unfortunately common sense does not seem to be currently at work in Turkey, from the media and the military establishment to the political leadership and the opposition parties, dangerously playing with the nationalistic fervor of a society in which anti-Americanism is at a peak and the invasion of a neighboring country is perceived as if it will remedy the terror problem.

Disunity among policymakers as well as among some state actors on both the critical issues of a cross-border operation and the Armenian resolution, which only contribute to an increase in nationalistic fervor, is not going to serve Turkey's long-term national interest, which is to continue to further democratization efforts in all spheres of life.

All the policies currently being pursued by the opposition parties on the two critical foreign policy issues have centered on weakening the current government at a time when we need a national consensus to act in a cool and a responsible manner. Similarly the government has appeared to play into the hands of those trying to weaken it through the two critical foreign policy issues, despite the fact that both issues have the wider implication of a danger of isolating Turkey from the rest of the world.

It is time to realize that Turkey's acting responsibly and with common sense will not only benefit the Turks themselves, but also those outsiders who see advantages for themselves from a democratic Turkey.
18.10.2007


Azerbaijan In Panic
Vardan Grigoryan Hayots Ashkharh Daily Oct 16 2007 Armenia

Baku Is More Anxious Than Ankara
The adoption of Resolution # 106 recognizing the Armenian Genocide by the US House of Foreign Affairs Committee has given rise to such pessimistic moods in Baku that onlookers may get the impression that the decision made by the world's number 1 superpower concerns Azerbaijan and not Turkey.

The October 12 statement of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry says that the official Baku "condemns the decision, considering it wrong and subjective and finds that the Resolution will have a negative impact on the world's current global and regional processes."

Together with this traditional step of lending a helping hand to their elder brother, the Azerbaijani politicians and political scientists are trying to predict through their publications the probability of the House of Representatives' adopting Resolution # 106 as well as the new challenges awaiting Turkey and Azerbaijan as a result.

The majority of the Azerbaijani experts and politicians are convinced that there is in the near future a very little likelihood of torpedoing Resolution # 106 in Congress.

This opinion was particularly expressed by Assim Mollazade, a Mili Ìajlis Deputy, whereas Jahid Orouj, member of the Defense and Security Committee even managed to conclude that Turkey has already put up with the idea of defeat. Moreover, he believes that "Azerbaijan is expressing its counteraction towards this issue in a more furious manner than Turkey."

The Azerbaijani political scientists have arrived at the conclusion that Armenia will in the near future use Resolution # 106 not only against Turkey but also against Azerbaijan in the Karabakh peace process.

With regard to the prospect awaiting Turkey, their brother nation, the Azerbaijani politicians and political scientists advance the following main postulates: First: the adoption of Resolution # 106 by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives is the result of a mutually agreed policy, because as claimed by the former Azerbaijani State Secretary Vafa Gulazade, George Bush and Condoleezza Rice "are both good actors."

Second: such a step is a serious blow to Turkey's international reputation and testifies to the fact that the United States no longer considers the country as its irreplaceable strategic partner.

Moreover, in the context of the programs to be implemented in Iraq, the United States views Turkey as a principal rival, since it is fearful of the extensive military operations directed against the Iraqi Kurdistan.

Third: it is quite probable that the United States may, in the near future, do its best for Turkey to plunge into the Iraqi Kurdistan for a long time, become internationally isolated and find itself in a deep financial-economic crisis.

Fourth: the current American policy aimed at discrediting and weakening Turkey has a final goal to split the country into smaller national states, so likewise Russia assisted Armenia in the process of solving the Karabakh issue, the United States may do the same in the near future, to make some part of the Turkish territory annex Armenia.

Together with this kind of strictly gloomy predictions, the Azerbaijani politicians and political scientists arrive at the realistic conclusion that in order to make a serious counteraction to the US policy, Turkey may currently liven up its cooperation with Russia and Iran to a certain extent; however, in strategic terms, the country is still unable to turn to their side, as it has chosen the path of European integration. J. Orouj, Deputy of the Azerbaijani Milli Majlis has to confess on this occasion that "Despite Ankara's rough statements, I don't think it will turn its back upon Washington. And the statements will remain merely as words. The Turkish people have chosen the course of European integration, and there is no way back."

Thus, the Azerbaijani politicians and political scientists are making serious and realistic calculations both with regard to the probability of the adoption Resolution # 106 and the possibility of its negative impact on the Turkish-Azerbaijani relations.

Let's confess that on this plane the pessimism of the Azerbaijani side is now greater than the optimism observed among our politicians and political scientists. This testifies to the fact that the Armenian political thought is still unable to make a material estimation of the causes of the achievements gained on the international arena and the new prospects deriving thereof and opening a new way for our country and our people.


Stung By Armenian Resolution, Turkey Mulls Options
By Gareth Jenkins Eurasia Daily Monitor, DC Oct 16 2007
Stung by the House Foreign Affairs Committee's October 10 approval of a resolution characterizing the massacres and deportations of Armenians by the Ottoman authorities during World War I as a genocide, Turkish politicians and journalists are unanimous that Turkey needs to react. But there is no consensus on how it should respond. Indeed, since the motion was approved, newspaper commentators have spent considerably more column inches criticizing the decision or trying to analyze why it happened rather than thinking through specific responses and their possible repercussions.

The only substantive measure that has been widely discussed is the possibility of Turkey abrogating the agreement whereby the United States currently uses the airbase at Incirlik in southeast Turkey to provide its forces in Iraq with non-lethal supplies. However, most of the advocates of abrogating the agreement appear to be more interested in punishing Washington for the motion than changing U.S.

attitudes and policies (Radikal, October 12). Nevertheless, there is little doubt that the closure would have the support of the overwhelming majority of the Turkish people, including, according to a survey conducted by CNNTurk, of both Turkish employees at Incirlik and the local tradesmen who are dependent on the US presence at the base for their livelihood (CNNTurk, October 15).

On October 14, in an interview with the daily Milliyet, Turkish Chief of Staff General Yasar Buyukanit described the approval of the motion as the United States "shooting itself in the foot," and warned that it would harm bilateral military ties (Milliyet, October 14).

However, on October 15, in his column in the same newspaper, Semih Idiz, who had recently returned from U.S., reported that the many people in Washington believed that the Turkish threats were mere bluff. Idiz called on the Turkish authorities to take concrete measures to prove the doubters wrong, although he did not specify what the measures should be (Milliyet, October 15).

Turkish school textbooks teach children to identify themselves not only with the present, but also with the past. The Turkish authorities have long suppressed open debate about what happened to the Armenians. As a result, few Turks are aware of the extensive evidence and eyewitness reports of the killings and deportations, but they are bombarded with photographs and accounts of the relatively small number of revenge massacres by Armenians against Muslims.

Consequently, given the majority of Turks' limited knowledge of what actually happened, from the Turkish perspective the resolution was regarded not just as a distortion of history but as a gratuitous insult.

The Turkish-U.S. Business Council has already announced that it has cancelled a planned conference in the United States. Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Kursad Tuzmen has declared that he has indefinitely postponed a scheduled trip to the U.S. (Turkish Daily News, October 15).

However, several columnists have noted that even if the Turkish authorities add substantive sanctions to such gestures of disapproval, the most long-lasting impact of the October 10 resolution is likely to be on the Turkish public's perceptions of the United States (Ferai Tinc, Hurriyet, October 12). Sami Kohen, the doyen of Turkish foreign policy commentators, entitled his column in Milliyet on October 15 "How the U.S. lost Turkey." He predicted that, regardless of any specific measures taken by the Turkish government, the greatest damage to the U.S. would be that Washington would no longer be able to count on Turkey as a reliable ally. Meanwhile, the ultranationalist Yeni Cag has announced that it will run a serialized analysis entitled "The U.S.: The Enemy that Appears to be a Friend" (Yeni Cag, October 15).

However, other journalists have concentrated more on trying to understand why they believe the U.S. has now turned against Turkey.

Tufan Turenc in Hurriyet noted that even long-time supporters of Turkey had begun to have second thoughts about the country's reliability after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) hosted Hamas leaders in Ankara in 2006 (Hurriyet, October 15). Umit Enginsoy commented that Jewish Americans, who were once among Turkey's leading supporters in Washington, had now turned against Ankara and that seven of the eight Jewish members of the Foreign Affairs Committee had voted for the October 10 resolution. While Milliyet observed that, with the exception of a statement by 460 Azeri NGOs condemning the resolution, none of what Turkey used to describe as its "sibling nations" in the Caucasus and Central Asia had reacted publicly and that the Azeri response was hardly surprising, seeing that 20% of the country's territory is currently occupied by Armenia (October 15).

But, amid the outrage and fury, some members of the Turkish media are prepared to admit that those in the United States who believe that all Washington has to do is ride out the storm may have a point.

Radikal newspaper observed that there was widespread public outrage when the French parliament passed a similar resolution in 2000, including a consumer boycott of French goods and the exclusion of French companies from Turkish military tenders. However, not only did the anger rapidly fade, it had little long-term impact on French interests. In 2000, when the resolution was passed, annual Turkish imports from France stood at $3.5 billion, dropping to $2.3 billion in 2001 before rising to $3.1 billion in 2002, $6.2 billion in 2004, and $7.2 billion in 2006 (Radikal, October 12).

However, even if the measures do not have any long-term impact, public feeling in Turkey is so strong at the moment that the AKP government will have to do something. The only question is whether it will implement substantive sanctions or whether it will restrict itself to symbolic gestures in the hope that the resolution can be prevented from ever coming before the full House.


Bush Blasts Congress On Several Fronts
Congress should not be "antagonizing" Turkey, Bush says Democrats trying to expand government medicine, Bush says President criticizes progress of bills through Congress

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush attacked Congress on Wednesday, ripping the new Democratic leadership for failing to achieve much in their first nine months of power.

President Bush speaks at a White House press conference on Wednesday.

Bush used his opening statement to list areas where he said "Congress has work to do": health care; security; the budget; education; housing; trade; help for military veterans; law enforcement and the judiciary.

He complained about progress on a number of bills before Congress, including children's health insurance, spending plans and internal surveillance legislation, saying Congress has wasted much of the past nine months.

"Now the clock is winding down. In some key areas, Congress is just getting started," Bush said.

"One of Congress' basic duties is to fund the day-to-day operations of the federal government. Yet Congress has not sent me a single appropriations bill," Bush said. Watch Bush scold Congress for inaction »

Bush said congressional Democrats are wasting time with proposed legislation calling the actions of Ottoman Turks against Armenians during World War I "genocide."

"With all these pressing responsibilities, one thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire," Bush said. "The resolution on the mass killings of Armenians beginning in 1915 is counterproductive. ...

"Congress has more important work to do than antagonizing a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one that's providing vital support for our military every day," Bush said.

U.S.-Turkey relations were strained further Wednesday as the Turkish parliament overwhelmingly approved military action against Kurdish separatists based in Iraq. Turkey has massed 60,000 troops along its border with Iraq.

Bush said the U.S. is asking the Turkish government for restraint.

"We are making it very clear to Turkey that we don't think it is in their interests to send troops into Iraq," he said while acknowledging that some Turkish troops have crossed the border.

On the war on terror, Bush said it was important that Congress act on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act so that progress can continue to be made against al Qaeda.

"Al Qaeda's still dangerous. They're dangerous in Iraq. They're dangerous elsewhere. Al Qaeda's not going to go away any time," Bush said. "That's why it's important for us to be listening -- you know, finding out what their intentions are and what are their plans, so we can respond to them."

Bush also addressed the issue of private security contractors in Iraq after an Iraqi probe found Blackwater guards randomly shot civilians without provocation in a Baghdad square last month. Seventeen people were killed, Iraqi officials say.

The U.S. State Department and the FBI are conducting their own investigation into the September 16 killings, and a joint U.S.-Iraqi commission is reviewing the results of both probes.

"A firm like Blackwater provides a valuable service. They protect people's lives. And I appreciate the sacrifice and the service that the Blackwater employees have made," Bush said. But, he said, "I will be anxious to see the analysis of their performance."

On his veto this month of legislation that would increase spending for the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over five years, Bush said he would support a bill that provided enough money to cover half a million children who aren't covered now.

"I want to provide enough money to make sure those 500,000 do get covered. That ought to be the focus of our efforts," Bush said.

Bush said raising the income eligibility threshold to $83,000 in the bill "is an attempt by some in Congress to expand the reach of the federal government in medicine."

Bush has called for a $5 billion increase in the SCHIP program. Congressional Democrats are trying to gather enough votes to override a veto, with a vote expected Thursday.


Support Wanes In House For Genocide Vote
Doug Mills/The New York Times
Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida Democrat, on Monday dropped his sponsorship of a resolution that would condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians nearly a century ago.

By CARL HULSE October 17, 2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 — Worried about antagonizing Turkish leaders, House members from both parties have begun to withdraw their support from a resolution backed by the Democratic leadership that would condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians nearly a century ago.

Almost a dozen lawmakers had shifted against the measure in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday night, accelerating a sudden exodus that has cast deep doubt over the measure’s prospects. Some made clear that they were heeding warnings from the White House, which has called the measure dangerously provocative, and from the Turkish government, which has said House passage would prompt Turkey to reconsider its ties to the United States, including logistical support for the Iraq war.

Until Tuesday, the measure appeared on a path to House passage, with strong support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It was approved last week by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. But by Tuesday evening, a group of senior House Democrats had made it known that they were planning to ask the leadership to drop plans for a vote on the measure.

“Turkey obviously feels they are getting poked in the eye over something that happened a century ago and maybe this isn’t a good time to be doing that,” said Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida Democrat who dropped his sponsorship of the resolution on Monday night.

Others who took the same action said that, while they deplored the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, the modern-day consequences in the Middle East could not be overlooked.

“We simply cannot allow the grievances of the past, as real as they may be, to in any way derail our efforts to prevent further atrocities for future history books,” said Representative Wally Herger, Republican of California.

Representative Mike Ross, Democrat of Arkansas, said, “I think it is a good resolution and horrible timing.”

The Turkish government has lobbied heavily against the resolution, which is nonbinding and largely symbolic. But lawmakers attributed the erosion in support mainly to fears about a potential Turkish decision to deny American access to critical military facilities in that nation and its threat to move forces into northern Iraq.

“This vote came face to face with the reality on the ground in that region of the world,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and an opponent of the resolution.

The Bush administration and top American generals have been vocal in warning that passage of the resolution could cause great harm to the American war effort in Iraq and have put significant pressure on Republicans to abandon their support for the measure. President Bush called Ms. Pelosi on Tuesday and asked her to prevent a floor vote.

“The president and the speaker exchanged candid views on the subject and the speaker explained the strong bipartisan support in the House for the resolution,” said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi.

The Democratic leadership was examining the exact level of that support to gauge its next step, but lawmakers and officials said it was now unclear whether the resolution could be approved, given Republican resistance and Democratic defections. “We will have to determine where everyone is,” said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader.

Ms. Pelosi, who has promised a vote on the resolution if it cleared the committee, said she was leaving it to its chief backers to round up votes. “I have never known a count,” she said.

Backers of the resolution, which has the fervent support of the Armenian-American community, described the shift as slight and attributed it to the intense lobbying by the Turkish government, the administration and their allies. They said they would try to change the minds of some of those who were wavering.

“This is what happens when you are up against a very sophisticated multimillion-dollar campaign,” said Representative Brad Sherman, Democrat of California, who chided the Turkish government. “Since when has it become fashionable for friends to threaten friends?”

But he acknowledged there was little margin of error for backers of the resolution, which had once boasted 225 co-sponsors. “If the vote were held today, I would not want to bet my house on the outcome,” he said.

Mr. Sherman and others noted that at the start of the war Turkey had refused to let American forces operate from its territory and that its intentions toward the northern border of Iraq clearly captured the attention of Congress.

American military officials in Iraq and in Washington said Tuesday they were concerned about possible Turkish military raids into northern Iraq against the Kurdish Workers Party, an ethnic separatist movement also known as the P.K.K.

At the moment, they said, they did not see many indications that the Turkish military was preparing for a large-scale incursion into the insurgents’ mountainous strongholds and expressed hope that diplomatic efforts under way between Iraqi and Turkish officials would ease the crisis, which was sparked by a wave of attacks in eastern Turkey that its government has blamed on the separatists.

“We see no signs that there’s anything imminent by Turkey,” said one senior military officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing military contingency planning. “So there’s time for the diplomacy to work for a few more days, if not weeks.” But, he added, the situation could get “ugly” if Turkey sent troops across the border and they clashed with Kurdish militias or Iraqi forces.

The biggest fear, several former officials said, is that Turkish forces could push past the border and head for Kirkuk. Such a move could force Iraq to respond and the United States to mediate between two allies, and decide whether to intervene. Such a crisis could also draw in Iran, which has also had growing problems with Kurdish groups crossing into its territory from Iraq.

In addition to the potential movement of Turkish forces, opponents of the resolution continued to point to Turkey’s role as a staging area for moving American military supplies into Iraq.

“This happened a long time ago and I don’t know whether it was a massacre or a genocide, that is beside the point,” said Representative John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who is urging Ms. Pelosi to keep the resolution from the floor. “The point is, we have to deal with today’s world.”

While the resolution enjoyed more than enough support to pass earlier this year, about two dozen lawmakers have removed their names from the official list of sponsors in recent weeks as the vote grew more likely and the reservations grew more pronounced.

“I think there was genocide in Turkey in 1915 but I am gravely concerned about the timing,” said Representative Jane Harman, a California Democrat. She said she would remain a co-sponsor of the resolution but at the moment would oppose it reached the floor.

Representative Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Republican who dropped his backing on Tuesday, said: “Nothing changes the fact that mass killings and unspeakable acts of brutality occurred. However, passing this nonbinding resolution at this critical time would be a destabilizing action when the United States needs the help of its allies, including Turkey, in fighting the global war on terror.”

David S. Cloud contributed reporting.


Erdogan: Bill Just A Political Gesture
October 17, 2007
MOTION: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells his deputies that the bill on Armenian genocide to be debated at the US Congress has left a deep scar in Turkish nation and would not be forgotten soon. TDN photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Prime Minister Erdogan says the resolution was adopted to placate a handful of Armenians and warns if Turks are harmed by them, the countries passing them will be harmed even more

ANKARA - TDN

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday raised the tone of his criticism on the adoption of a controversial bill by a U.S. House panel recognizing the killings of Armenians in the last century as genocide.

“The developments in the United States has left deep traces in the memory of the nation. This will not be forgotten,” said Erdogan at his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) group meeting in Parliament.

“Those who treat us as an enemy are incorrigible,” said Erdogan.

A committee in the U.S. House of Representatives approved the resolution last week. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will schedule a vote soon on the bill despite opposition by the Bush administration.

Erdogan argued that the resolution was adopted as a “political gesture for a handful of Armenians.” He said the “genocide” resolutions passed by several countries including the United States and France, who were expected to be more sensitive on such issues pushed Turkey to seek new methods.

“The latest developments have made our patience run out,” he said and warned that if Turks were harmed by such resolutions the countries passing them would be harmed even more.

The opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) promised to back the government if it decided to take retaliatory steps in reaction to the “genocide” resolution.

“The AKP government must announce at once that the facilities provided by Turkey to the United States will be withheld if the bill is adopted on the House floor,” said the MHP's leader, Devlet Bahçeli.

He added if the issue was brought to Parliament the MHP would give the government its full backing.

Sanctions against Yerevan

While the MHP is calling for sanctions against Washington, Erdogan's foreign policy advisor, Egemen Bagis, said Turkey should not punish the U.S. administration but instead should impose sanctions on Armenia for supporting the measure.

“Bush and his team should not be punished,” Bagis said on CNN Türk television yesterday. “The reaction should be against Pelosi and her team.”

He said, “Turkey must impose sanctions on Armenia,” adding that Turkey has already prepared a list of what and when it will do and the prime minister has already issued the necessary orders.

Bagis also said Erdogan should go ahead with a planned meeting next month with Bush in the United States. “The prime minister should meet Bush and try to record progress on issues where the administration can help.”

Action plan ready

The government set out measures to retaliate to the “genocide” bill during a high-level meeting hosted by President Abdullah Gül at the Çankaya presidential palace yesterday.

Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan and Turkey's Ambassador to Washington Nabi Sensoy met to devise an action plan. After the adoption of the bill Turkey recalled Sensoy for consultations.

The action plan will later be forwarded to Prime Minister Erdogan for final approval. The schedule for Sensoy's return to Washington will be fixed based on the meetings with the government. Prior to the mini-summit at the Çankaya presidential palace, Sensoy met Erdogan at the latter's office in Parliament. The ambassador said the situation in the U.S. House with regard to the Armenian bill was against Turkey, speaking to reporters after the meeting.

DTP against genocide bill

The pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) opposed the “genocide” bill, with the party's leader, Ahmet Türk, saying it would in no way help a peaceful process.

“This (bill) will contribute nothing other than increasing the power of the Armenian lobby in the United States,” Türk said yesterday.

He said the Armenians might have experienced pain in the past but now peaceful policies should reign.



Did The Americans Really Shoot Themselves In The Foot?
October 17, 2007 Equilibrium By Burak Bekdil
The only viable option against American recognition of Armenian genocide is ‘retaliation with no face value but a lot of publicity value’

Did the Americans really shoot themselves in the foot when the Committee passed the Armenian genocide bill? General Yasar Büyükanit, chief of the Turkish military, thinks they did. Whether they really did may be another matter. If the Slovaks or the Italians or the Russians did not shoot themselves in the foot, why would the Americans do so who are “much bigger bites” for the Turkish mouth and teeth? Turkey's record of retaliation in return for Armenian genocide recognition is not really frightening for any foreign parliament, let alone the American House. Past examples invariably show that the “Turkish retaliation apparatus” is made up of bold words followed by “business as usual.”

How did Turkey ‘bite' in the past?

Russia, for example, is Turkey's top natural gas exporter, top importer and second largest source of tourist revenue. Germany is the top export market for Turkey, second biggest exporter to Turkey and largest source of tourist revenue. Italy ranks third in exports and fourth in imports. In addition, it has become a major supplier of weapons systems – most recently, an Italy-based manufacturer won a multibillion-dollar defense procurement contract for the supply of scores of attack helicopters. France is the sixth largest exporter to and fourth largest export market for Turkey. Although one French company, Alcatel, lost a military satellite contract amid the heat of the genocide bill in 2001, two “one-third” French companies are now bidders for the same deal. Lebanon is another deviation. Having recognized the bitter years 1915 onwards as genocide, Lebanon did not lure Turkish ire, but Turkish peacekeeping troops under the U.N. umbrella. Switzerland perhaps can be singled out as a partial loser as one Swiss company was forced out of competition for the sale of trainer aircraft to the Turkish Air Force. Otherwise trade with the land of fine chocolate and watches progresses exponentially. Trade with Greece, another genocide-recognizing country, has grown visibly in recent years. In addition Greek banks are increasingly becoming major players in Turkey's financial organism. With most other genocide-friendly countries, like Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and (Greek) Cyprus, Turkey has no or minimal political and commercial contact, hence no instrument to retaliate. Over several years of “threatening with retaliation” as a main policy tool against genocide recognition the Turks have visibly lost credibility. Why would the American Committee members have to neglect that non-negligible and bitter truth? We may think that the Democrats have been behaving ignorantly. We may think the Democrats have proven that there may one day be an American administration even more incompetent than President Bush's. All that will not change the fact that the Turkish talk of punishing America is unnecessary and unfounded.

Did anyone say anti-Americanism?

Yes, all that assortment of retaliation options, ranging from blocking American supply routes to Iraq (and Afghanistan) to banning the use of the Incirlik air base and to minimizing military cooperation, would harm American interests, but not more than a mosquito bite on an elephant. Such “punishing” action will not mean more than a fistful of dollars for the American Treasury. As for the public reaction, yes, it's there and presumably adds to the presumed anti-Americanism in Turkey. But at the peak of anti-Americanism in Turkey, did the Turks not overwhelmingly vote for a prime minister with “excellent” relations with the Americans? Is the Turkish politician in charge of fighting Armenian genocide claims not the darling of the Turks and now resides in the presidential palace? Did the Turks not know that Resolution 106 was maturing in Washington, but waiting for the Turkish elections to pass by, probably in a half-spoken deal with the Turkish government? Did the “anti-American” Turks not forget in a span of a few years that it was the country they say they hate the most which ensured the capture of their public enemy number one? Should we then be surprised if pro-Americanism replaced “anti-Americanism” in largely pragmatic Turkey in a few years time? Fortunately, both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Gen. Büyükanit, otherwise ideological opponents, are smart men who would know better than this columnist that a campaign against American interests in retaliation for genocide recognition would mean (a) only too little and no doubt affordable damage to American interests and (b) no gain for Turkey, with the prospect of future losses. What the Americans and their Turkish friends must now work out is an agreed package of “retaliation” designed to minimize damage to American interests (retaliation with no substantial damage) and maximize the impact for domestic consumption i.e., any move that would make the pragmatist Turks think that their all-too-powerful government proportionately responded to the gringo arrogance but would not actually hurt the arrogant gringos. The only viable option is “retaliation with no face value but a lot of publicity value.”


Frattini Sheds Light On Genocide Division In EU
October 17, 2007 CANSU ÇAMLIBEL BRUSSELS-Turkish Daily News
Vice-President of the European Commission Franco Frattini (R) and Aram I Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia chat during the opening of the 2nd convention of European Armenians at the EU parliament in Brussels on Oct. 15.

European Commission Vice President Franco Frattini says the best solution for coming to terms with the events of 1915 is the German model of recognizing the holocaust. 'Recognition should first come from inside Turkey,' Frattini says

While the United States House of Representatives moves forward to vote a resolution recognizing the World War I-era killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as “genocide,” the Armenian diaspora in Europe have gathered in Brussels for the Convention of European Armenians to call on the European Union to adopt a similar stance.

The second Convention of European Armenians hosted by the Christian Democrat group in the European Parliament marked the 20th anniversary of the European Parliament's first resolution recognizing the Armenian “genocide.”

Chairman of the Christian Democrat Group in the parliament, Joseph Daul, and Vice Chairman of the European Commission Franco Frattini addressed the Armenian diaspora at the opening of the two-day convention. Pointing to the different views among EU member states on recognition of the “genocide,” Frattini reminded Armenians of the importance of reconciliation with Turkey and Azerbaijan. Contrary to his cautious messages in the meeting hall, Frattini did not hesitate to reveal his personal support for recognizing the events as “genocide” while answering questions by journalists.

Recognition is the first step toward reconciliation

Frattini said the best solution for coming to terms with the events of 1915 is the German model of recognizing the holocaust. “Recognition should first come from inside Turkey. It is not a question of imposing laws and such on Turkey. Recognition is the first step for reconciliation,” Frattini said.

The statements by the Italian Commissioner have brought to the surface the lack of common ground at the European Commission, which has intentionally declined to take sides in the debate by not referring to genocide allegations in its progress reports on Turkey.

Following a meeting with Armenian President Robert Kocharian last week, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barosso made clear that recognition of “genocide” is not a condition for Turkey's accession to the EU. Barosso called for reconciliation and the avoiding of politicizing painful issues in history. As much as this statement was interpreted as a unified approach inside the Commission, Frattini yesterday verified the differing views among the 27 commissioners. Frattini said a common position would be possible after the ratification of the new Reform Treaty enabling the EU to adopt a common foreign policy.

Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said if Turkey wants to be part of Europe, it has to acknowledge its history and open the border with Armenia. Turkey is trapped in the past, said Oskanian as he urged Ankara to de-link politics from history paving the way for diplomatic relations.

Euro parliament rapporteur rebuffs criticism on her report

The second day of the convention staged an upbeat discussion between participants from the Armenian diaspora and the European Parliament's rapporteur for Turkey, Ria Ooomen-Ruijten. Armenians criticized the rapporteur's recent report on Turkey and accused her of twisting the 1987 resolution of the European Parliament, which recognized the “genocide.” Chairwoman of the European Armenian Federation Hilda Tchobian accused the rapporteur for being diplomatic instead of demanding the enforcement of the recognition of “genocide.”

Oomen-Ruijten defended her report arguing that the language used aims to keep an open dialogue with Turkey, which could lead to the lifting of the border closure. “If we are sitting here on the sunny side of Europe, I still know Armenians are suffering from an economic blockade. If the economic and social blockades are stopped I sincerely believe reconciliation with the past is more possible,” she said. She underlined that recognition of “genocide” is not a condition for Turkey's accession to the EU.

Turkey report remains open to swipes

Despite emotional demands by furious Armenians present at the meeting, Oomen-Ruijten did not give any assurances to the Armenian diaspora on including a reference to “genocide” in her report that will be put to a vote on Oct. 24 at the European parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg. Although she stands firm against any changes in her report, the British member of the European parliament Charles Tannock hinted that he and his like-minded colleagues will seek to submit relevant amendments calling on Turkey to end its denial policy on “genocide.”

During his trip to Brussels last week, Kocharian personally asked the president of the European parliament, Hans-Gert Pottering for an amendment to Oomen-Ruijten's report. Pottering is not in favor of Armenian demands, the Turkish Daily News learned. Diplomatic sources, however, said the report on Turkey remains open to swipes.


'A New World Would Be Founded'
Mehmet Ali Birand October 17, 2007
The prime minister has an appointment with President Bush at the White House on Nov. 5. This meeting is even more important than the one held between Johnson and Inönü in 1964. Some circles don’t want Erdogan to go. However, the prime minister made the right choice and decided to go to Washington. This White House meeting could head off a big crisis

Turkish-American relations are going through an unnecessarily rough patch and someone should interfere before they become irreparable. We now have an opportunity that could change this state of affairs for better or worse. It's an opportunity for Turkey and the United States to mutually discuss their true intentions. I am talking about the Erdogan-Bush appointment on Nov. 5. This meeting is more important than was the one held on June 22 1964 between Inönü and Johnson. The American president had written a letter to the Turkish prime minister right in the middle of the 1964 Cyprus crisis, saying that if Turkish soldiers were to debark on Cyprus and Moscow intervened, Washington would not mobilise the NATO defence mechanism. This was another way of saying that America would not support Turkey. Inönü's reply to this letter was a statement, in which he said, “a new world would be founded, where Turkey would find its place.” After the crisis, President Johnson and Prime Minister Inönü came together at the White House to dispel the crisis atmosphere. Today's conditions are not the same as those of 1945. Turkey is not the same Turkey, nor is America the same America. The current double-crisis (the Armenian project plus the PKK's position in north Iraq) is much more dangerous. It's much harder to control. The Turkish public is very touchy and agitated and is looking for a culprit to punish. Internal U.S. politics have reached an incredible stage. The Democrats and the Republicans are at daggers drawn with each other and couldn't care less about US-Turkey relations. The Democrats take every chance to punish the Bush administration. They add fuel to the fire. The meeting that will take in such an atmosphere on Nov. 5 will either go down in history as a milestone or will increase the tension even more. Some circles wanted Erdogan to cancel this trip. They said, “The Bush administration has no influence left anyway. This will serve as a lesson to the Americans.” They claimed that this was an opportunity for Ankara to show Washington how seriously we take the developments related to both the Armenian and the PKK issues. They stated that this would be a vital step to put the White House under even more pressure. However, they did not win…

Erdogan made the right decision

The second alternative before the prime minister was to put internal politics aside and to keep the rendez-vous on 5 November, which he preferred. Refusing to meet Bush might have won him the applause and the approval of some domestic circles. However, it would not have served Turkey's long-term interests. Another leader, who thinks short-term, would have made a heavy statement and continued on his way as “the prime minister, who shut the door on Bush and gave the American president a lesson.” A leader who thinks long-term, however, would decide to put Turkish-American relations before the games played by some politicians to look cute to the Armenian lobby and would go to this meeting in Washington. Let's not forget that to cancel this appointment with Bush would be to punish an administration that took our side. In other words, it would achieve nothing but to turn an ally in Washington against us. We will not be able stop the Armenian project anyway. We can, however, lose the Bush administration. So what is the sense of being negative toward Bush? Turkish-American relations cannot be squeezed into the narrow framework of a project, no matter badly it has hurt us or how unjust America has been in this matter.These relations are much more important. To cut all ties between Washington and Ankara could lead Turkey into adventures with unpredictable consequences, which might mean playing into the PKK's hands… The choice was to either go for a short burst of public applause or to go and convince Bush to avert a big crisis.The prime minister made the right choice. Erdogan has shown us where he wants to take Turkey. He has shown us that he has no wish to remove Turkey from the West.

* The translation of M.A.Birand's column is provided by Nuran Inanç (nuraninanc@gmail.com)


Pelosi Backs Off Pledge to Call Vote on Armenian Bill
By Laura Litvan and Nicholas Johnston

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed off her pledge to call a floor vote on a measure declaring the World War I-era killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks an act of genocide after support for the resolution eroded.

``Whether it will come up or not and what the action will be remains to be seen,'' Pelosi told reporters today. She said that it will be up to the bill's sponsors, led by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California, to decide whether the resolution gets a vote in the full U.S. House this year.

At least 11 lawmakers have withdrawn their support for the resolution since a congressional panel approved the legislation last week. The panel's action set off a backlash from Turkey and raised broad concerns about the effect on U.S. security interests.

Schiff told reporters today that he won't ask Pelosi to keep her pledge if he decides that the measure lacks enough votes to pass. He said he is gauging support among lawmakers this week.

``We want to win this, and I don't think the cause would be advanced by taking up a vote and not succeeding,'' Schiff said.

President George W. Bush said today at a press conference that ``Congress has more important work to do than antagonizing a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one that's providing vital support for our military every day.''

Iraq War

Turkey, which helps the U.S. move supplies into Iraq war zones, recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations the day after a House panel approved the resolution last week by a vote of 27-21.

Turkey denies that a systematic slaughter of Armenians took place, saying Armenians and Turks alike were killed in the clashes after Armenian groups sided with Russia in World War I. Turkey has threatened to cut cooperation with the U.S., which uses an air base there as a re-supply hub for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The resolution has been strongly supported by Armenian-American groups in the U.S.

Bush personally called Pelosi yesterday to urge her to cancel plans for a House vote.

``The president and the speaker exchanged candid views on the subject, and the speaker explained the strong bipartisan support in the House for the resolution,'' said Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Pelosi.

`Threats' Cited

A Washington-based Armenian-American group accused Turkey today of ``blackmailing'' the Congress. ``I truly hope that no member of Congress is persuaded to jump ship on such a critical vote as this simply because of some threats by a foreign government,'' said Armenian Assembly of America Executive Director Bryan Ardouny in a statement.

Bush today reiterated American efforts to persuade Turkey to exercise restraint in dealing with Kurdish rebels launching attacks from the mountainous border area in northern Iraq.

``We don't think it's in their interest to send more troops in,'' Bush said.

The president spoke as the Turkish parliament voted to give Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan authorization for an assault across the border sometime within a year, citing failed U.S. and Iraqi attempts to curb attacks.

Turkish Ties

Turkey is the only Muslim member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and one of the few Muslim nations to have close ties with Israel as well as Arab countries. Erdogan was re- elected in July with the biggest popular mandate in Turkey in four decades, a result hailed by the U.S. as a victory for democracy in the region.

The country has benefited from a surge of U.S. investment during the past five years, especially into its expanding banking industry.

Lawmakers who co-sponsored the resolution and then withdrew their support this week include Democratic Representatives Allen Boyd of Florida and Mike Ross of Arkansas.

Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha told reporters today that as many as 30 Democrats have expressed concern about the resolution, and ``if it came to the floor today it wouldn't pass.''

Murtha and four other Democrats held a press conference today calling on Pelosi to not bring the resolution before the entire House for a vote because it would damage the country's relationship with Turkey and imperil U.S. forces in Iraq.

``What we are asking is for our own leadership to do what is right for the American national and strategic interests,'' Florida Democrat Robert Wexler said.

``Sometimes your head has to give in to your heart and do what makes sense for your country,'' Tennessee Democrat Stephen Cohen said. ``It's just bad, bad, bad timing.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Litvan at llitvan@bloomberg.net .
October 17, 2007 17:03 EDT




Armenia's Foreign Policy Must Be Based On A Comprehensive Response To The Armenian Question
The process of the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide is at the threshold of a new phase: it is very possible that the U.S. House of Representatives (and the Senate, with lesser likelihood) will adopt the Resolution 106 on the Armenian Genocide, introduced in the U.S. Congress in January. If it were to happen, many other countries would adopt similar resolutions in a chain reaction. However, what will follow then? That is the principal question, which unfortunately has not been answered by the Armenian political structures. And where could such an answer come from if the currently achieved and discussed recognitions were not subjected to a more or less adequate analysis? We are facing serious problems.

Above all is the problem of information and analysis (including elementary awareness). The media reports daily on the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. However, who in Armenia has seen or read the text of the very recent R106? Has the Armenian press printed the actual resolution to enable its serious and professional study by political forces, experts and the public in general? Where is its official Armenian translation provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia? Where is the comparative analysis of this and previous resolutions adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1975 and 1984 (the 148th and 247th resolutions, respectively)? Nothing of this sort has been undertaken. Here, it will only be noted that the R106 qualitatively differs from the 1975 and 1984 resolutions in its thorough historical and legal formulation (it consists of 30 articles well supported by the facts and arguments). It confirms the historical truth. It outlines the chronological framework of the Armenian Genocide more comprehensively: from 1915 to 1923 (unlike the resolution adopted in 1975, which only noted the year of 1915). It clearly states the number of victims: 2 million deportees, of whom 1.5 million were killed. The resolution underscores a circumstance that is very important from political and legal perspectives: “the Armenian Genocide... succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.”

The problem of correct and sober assessment is particularly sensitive. What would the adoption of this resolution mean to Armenia? For example, Italy, Canada, Poland recognized the Armenian Genocide, but what changes took place in their policies towards Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, or the problem of Artsakh? In reality, nothing changed. Most importantly, to what extent can such resolutions contribute to the most urgent task – the guarantee of the security of Armenia?

The question of Genocide recognition was raised even before the independence of Armenia and for decades it was the main field of political activity of the Armenian Diaspora – the Spyurk. However, today the situation of Armenia and Armenians has changed radically: there is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the situation in Javakhq, the Azerbaijani-Turkish blockade, the danger of the resumption of war. In short, the problem of the physical security of Armenia is a very real one.

However, the genocide recognition campaign, conducted without serious research and planning, still remains the main aim of political activity of the Diaspora, consuming huge amounts of national resources and human potential at the expense of efforts on other important national fronts. In their activities the Diaspora’s organizational structures give an obvious priority to the international recognition of the Genocide over current security problems of Armenia.
Armenia itself still separates the Karabakh problem from the process of international recognition of the Genocide, and considers it apart even from the Armenian Question at large. But the possible universal recognition of the Genocide in the not-so-distant future will not mean the vanishing of the Armenian Question from the international political arena. Since the essence of the Armenian question is not the international recognition of the Genocide, but the creation of a mature Armenian state on such a territory, which would insure a safe, viable existence and development of the Armenian civilization. From that perspective there are no developed plans on further activities of the Armenians.

In short, the Armenian political elite and society on the whole display an irresponsible, almost childish approach to the question of international recognition of the Genocide, one that resembles the whimsical game “she loves me, she loves me not”, in this case with the refrain “she recognizes, she does not recognize”. In the meantime, a correct reorientation (regardless how difficult) of this process may give immense political capital to Armenia and the Armenians in general.

It is long overdue that Armenia and Armenians evaluated similar resolutions with their own (still not formulated) criteria, which would correspond to the historical reality as well as national and state interests. Below are five main criteria for such assessment:

Accurate indication of the chronology of the Genocide: 1894-1923;

Necessary mentioning of the fact that the Armenians were annihilated in their homeland – the western part of Armenia;

Unambiguous indication of the state, which committed this crime against humanity, i.e. Ottoman Turkey, as well as the direct condemnation of its legal successor, the Republic of Turkey, for denying the Armenian Genocide and committing hostile acts towards present-day Armenia (the blockade, the refusal to establish diplomatic relations, the information warfare, the military aid to Azerbaijan, etc.);

Recognition of the responsibility of the Turkish state before the Armenian state, the ultimate representative of the interests of the Armenian nation, and the necessity of compensating, particularly, the Republic of Armenia (implying, above all, the territorial compensation);

Mandatory linkage of the consequences of the Genocide with the current geopolitical situation in the region. In other words – the acknowledgement of the foremost effect of the Genocide on the security of Armenia and the region.

The truth is that the Genocide created a territorial problem by decreasing the historical area of habitation of Armenians to a critically dangerous scale, threatening the very existence of the nation. It is exactly in this context that one must view the issue of liberation of Artsakh (thanks to which the borders of Armenia acquired defensibility and minimally necessary strategic depth), as well as the provision for the secure development of the Armenians of Javakhq.

The task of Armenian diplomacy is to skillfully tie the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide to a just resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and the achievement of lasting security in the region. By recognizing the Genocide, the international community is obligated to make the next logical step and recognize the right of Armenians to Artsakh, including all of the liberated territory. Meanwhile, in parallel with the increase in attention to the issue of the Genocide in the publications of western media as well as in the politics of certain countries, recently, there is a notable tendency of strengthening pro-Azerbaijani positions regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This may completely devalue the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The above-mentioned criteria regarding responsibility and compensation have not yet been included in any of the resolutions adopted by international institutions. The R106 is not an exception either. It does not contain a clear and unambiguous condemnation of the current Republic of Turkey. Though by accepting the timeframe of the Armenian Genocide between the years of 1915 to 1923, the resolution necessarily implies the responsibility of the founders of this republic as well (they were in control of the most of current territory of Turkey since 1920).
It is true that the last section of the resolution calls upon the US President “to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to realize a just resolution.” However, the fair statement about "the consequences of the failure to realize a just resolution" is ambiguous. A direct referring to the current geopolitical predicament of Armenia as a consequence of the Genocide is absolutely needed.

Moreover, after meeting with the Turkish Ambassador on October 10th of 2007 the second-ranking Democrat in the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a supporter of the R106, expressed hope that Turkey would realize it is not a condemnation of its current government but rather of "another government, at another time." The Democratic Representative Tom Lantos, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in turn, said he would soon propose a second resolution reaffirming the US-Turkish alliance and friendship.

Anyway, time does not wait. It is today that Armenia must begin the development and realization of the next phase of the policy for overcoming the consequences of the Genocide. Tomorrow, when it will have on the one hand the universal recognition of the Genocide and, on the other, a dwindled and weakened Diaspora (as a result of an accelerated process of assimilation) it will be too late.

The pragmatism of the foreign policy of Armenia means not the blatant ignoring of the apparent animosity of Turkey, but a comprehensive response to the Armenian Question, first of all with the help of realistically thought out propositions regarding territorial compensations to Armenia.

ARMEN AYVAZYAN
Ph.D. in Political Science, Director of the “Ararat” Center for Strategic Research


Source: (AZG daily, 10 Oct 2007; YERKIR weekly, 12 Oct 2007; REGNUM News Agency, 12.10.2007)


Armenian Diplomacy’s Task Is To Competently Bind Condemnation Of Armenian Genocide With Karabakh Conflict Resolution
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.106, differs from the ones passed by the U.S. Congress in 1975 and 1984, director of the ARARAT Center for Strategic Research, Armen Ayvazyan told a news conference in Yerevan.

“The resolution defines the timeline from 1915 to 1923 (not 1915 as it was before). It mentions the precise number of victims – 2 million deported people, 1.5 million of whom were slaughtered. Moreover, the resolution does mention that Armenians were killed in their historical homeland where they had lived for 2.500 years,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the process of recognition of the Armenian Genocide is viewed by the Armenian political class as a well-known game with a chamomile “loves me loves me not,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Armenia should measure the resolutions by its own criteria fitting both historical truth and national interests, according to him. Dr Ayvazyan pointed out to five criteria for assessment of resolutions of the kind:

• correct mention of timeline (1894-1923);

• obligatory mention of the fact that Armenians were annihilated in their homeland, western part of Armenia;

• condemnation of the Ottoman Empire, as the perpetrator of this crime against humanity, and the Turkish Republic as denier of the Armenian Genocide;

• recognition of responsibility of the Turkish state to Armenia, as mouthpiece of interests of the Armenian nation;

• connection between the Armenian Genocide consequences with the current geopolitical situation in the region, specifically Armenia’s security issue.

“The point is that the Armenian Genocide had resulted in a grave territorial problem for Armenians, since the territory of their settlement had reduced to an extremely dangerous size. The problem of Artsakh liberation and security of Armenians of Javakhk should be considered from this angle. The task of Armenian diplomacy is to competently bind condemnation of Armenian Genocide with Karabakh conflict resolution,” he said.

The U.S. House Foreign Relations Committee will hold a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution October 10. The House version of the Resolution, H.Res.106, was introduced January 30 by lead author Rep. Adam Schiff. It has 227 co-sponsors.

The True Objective of Armenia
Here is the final few lines from the Ararat Foundation newsletter.
"The pragmatism of the foreign policy of Armenia means not the blatant ignoring of the apparent animosity of Turkey, but a comprehensive response to the Armenian Question, first of all with the help of realistically thought out propositions regarding territorial compensations to Armenia."
ARMEN AYVAZYAN Ph.D. in Political Science, Director of the “Ararat” Center for Strategic Research

10/18/07

Pushing The Armenian Genocide Resolution Through Congress Is A Reckless Act That Reflects The Corruption Of The American Political System

Led astray
Stephen Kinzer October 16, 2007

Last year's Pulitzer prize for non-fiction was awarded to a devastating book called Imperial Reckoning. It is a triumph of historical research that accuses Britain of having committed genocide in Kenya during the 1950s.

Will the United States Congress endorse this claim and pass a resolution condemning Britain? Of course not. Congress is not equipped to make such judgments. More important, that is not the job of Congress. It exists to make laws, no to condemn evil-doers from past centuries.

There is another reason why Congress will never condemn the British for killing hundreds of thousands of Kenyans, and for what Imperial Reckoning calls "their campaign of terror, dehumanizing torture and genocide." Kenyans in the United States do not have a powerful lobby that wins influence in Washington by channeling millions of dollars into election campaigns.

That is not the case with Armenian-Americans. After years of intense effort, they have persuaded the house committee on foreign affairs to approve a resolution declaring that Turks were guilty of genocide against Armenians in eastern Anatolia during the spring of 1915. The speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, has pledged to bring this resolution to a vote by the full House, where it will almost certainly pass. In doing so, she satisfies the wealthy Armenian community in her home state of California.

She also commits a reckless act that reflects the deep corruption of the American political system - and does no good for Armenia or Armenians.

Passage of this resolution will set off another wave of anti-American sentiment in Turkey, a Nato ally that happens to be the most democratic Muslim country in the world. Worst of all, it will intensify hatred between Turks and Armenians, two peoples who need to build bridges to a common future, not consume themselves in recriminations stemming from atrocities of a century ago.

In considering the resolution that accuses Turks of genocide, thereby placing them on a level with Nazis, members of Congress must answer two questions.

First is whether the slaughter of Armenians in 1915 constitutes genocide. That depends on one's definition of genocide. The United Nations, in a treaty approved in 1948 and ratified by more than 120 countries, accepts a sweeping definition in which the murder of a single person, or even causing "mental harm" to a single person, can constitute genocide. Neither this treaty nor the UN existed in 1915, but by its definition, the Ottoman campaign against Armenians, in which hundreds of thousands perished, almost certainly constitutes genocide.

For years the Turkish authorities have sought to deny the truth of what happened in 1915. Their campaign of denial is a shameful blot on Turkey's national conscience. A complex matrix of fear and mendacity lies behind it. That, however, is no excuse. Armenia's official narrative of what happened in 1915 is largely true. Turkey's official narrative is largely false.

The second and more fundamental question Congress must consider is whether it should make decisions about which powers from past centuries were genocidal and which were not. If the job of Congress is to respond to political pressure, it should embrace this resolution. If it wants to contribute to peace among nations, it should not.

Passing this resolution would place a moral obligation on Congress to decide whether Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Portugal, Cambodia and China are guilty of genocide - not to mention the United States itself, which was built on piles of native American and African bones. Few members of Congress, however, reflect on such abstract concepts as moral obligation.

Turkey's position on this issue is wrong. So, however, is the position of the Armenian-American lobby. It seems uninterested in reconciliation. The resolution for which it has worked so hard, and paid so much money, is producing exactly the results it seeks. It undermines efforts at reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia, and also weakens the Turkish-American alliance that is one of the few points of light in the dark relationship between today's Christian west and the Muslim world.

Armenians whose ancestors perished at the hands of Ottoman Turks in 1915 deserve truth. They deserve an apology. Most importantly, they deserve advocates who will ensure that their legacy is not only honored, but also lends itself to the peace for which many of them have vainly hoped for decades.

If Pelosi and her comrades in Washington cared to go beyond rhetoric, expediency and the lust for campaign contributions, they would be seeking to promote the urgently important process of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation. Instead they have chosen to take a lamentable and revoltingly cynical political step.

What the foreign affairs committee did on October 10 has already led Turkey to withdraw its ambassador from Washington. It may lead Turkey's parliament to forbid the US army from continuing to use the air base in southern Turkey from which huge amounts of supplies are shipped every day to American soldiers in neighboring Iraq. That, and the fueling of anti-Americanism in Turkey, may weaken the national security of the United States.

Taking steps that have such an effect is not always wrong. All should rejoice when even the slightest hint of morality penetrates the brutally cynical word of pay-to-play Washington politics. This, however, is not a case of morality against realpolitik. It is another depressing confirmation that Congress - as personified by Pelosi - leaps to grasp temporary political advantage and inflame world tensions when it should be trying to calm passions and promote reconciliation.

Comments

Comment No. 868172

October 16 10:18
CHE

Congress will be the judge of what resolutions it decides to debate thank you very much.

If you belive there was no genocide show us your evidence, refute evidence to the contrary or forever hold your peace.


Waltz

Comment No. 868204

October 16 10:29
GBR

"By pushing the Armenian genocide resolution through Congress, Nancy Pelosi is committing a reckless act that reflects the deep corruption of the American political system."

Oh right. And when France last year passed a bill outlawing denial of the Armenian genocide, I suppose that too was "a reckless act that reflects the deep corruption of the French political system".

Congress has taken a brave and commendable stance - one that George W. Bush, naturally, vehemently opposed. So I say good for Congress and "yah boo sucks" to Bush.


presidio

Comment No. 868223

October 16 10:35
GBR

Strange coincidence. The Armenian resolution, after being ignored for decades, gets shunted through congress just as the Turks are massing on the border of Iraq ! It never is as it seems, just follow the oil and all will be revealed.


WhatsLeft

Comment No. 868247

October 16 10:43
ESP

"Passing this resolution would place a moral obligation on Congress to decide whether Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Portugal, Cambodia and China are guilty of genocide - not to mention the United States itself, which was built on piles of native American and African bones. Few members of Congress, however, reflect on such abstract concepts as moral obligation."

I think it is right to pass a resolution calling what happened to Armenians genocide. But let's see the same happen for all the countries you mentioned above (and more). When will the USA pass a resolution condemning itself? It's way overdue.


bruxman

Comment No. 868254

October 16 10:46
LUX

Deleted by Moderator.


Eccentrix

Comment No. 868262

October 16 10:50
GBR

Many who support this resolution will do so on the (misguided) basis that the US is acting on some benevolent need to be the righteous voice of the world.

Some of us oppose it because we know that this is a disgracefully cynical manipulation of the legislative system in the US.

The welfare of the two nations at the centre of this incident is not the primary concern of US lawmakers.

It's purely political to keep their funds coming in and win them votes. Stoking fires halfway across the world to keep things running smoothly at home.

I'm disappointed but not surprised. This is common US government practice.


ballymichael

Comment No. 868265

October 16 10:51
DEU

Good article, which doesn't seek to defend turkey or its lying official narrative about the mass murders of armenians in 1915.

But does point out the damage such grandstanding does. Lobby politics is doing the USA a lot of damage, and coincidentally isn't going to be helping Armenia in any way.


attempt

Comment No. 868266

October 16 10:53
GBR

Yes, it was a stupid move practically and opens up the US to just the sort of hypocrisy you mention. So I'm with you that far.

But given what you say about the relevant history, I can't quite figure out why you don't call the Turkish reaction "a reckless act that reflects the deep corruption of the Turkish political system."


BrigadierBarking

Comment No. 868285

October 16 10:59
ESP

Exliberal - Mr. Kinzer is not saying that the Armenian genocide did not take place, quite the contrary in fact as he says: "the Ottoman campaign against Armenians, in which hundreds of thousands perished, almost certainly constitutes genocide. For years the Turkish authorities have sought to deny the truth of what happened in 1915. Their campaign of denial is a shameful blot on Turkey's national conscience".

No, what he is in fact saying is that the decision of congress to denounce it now at this particular time is a cynical act of electioneering. And when one considers that they've had nearly a hundred years to denounce it before, and that there are thousands of other genocides that they could denounce but haven't (including their own of Native Americans) then it begins to look far less like a moral act and far more like a very cynical one.

Now, I'm no great friend of the Turks and certainly no friend at all of the numbskull in the White house, but one shouldn't support this resolution just because Bush is against it as Waltz seems to do. That's a ridiculous way to make moral judgements.

If we're going to start condemning genocides, all well and good, but let's condemn all of them including the ones that we committed ourselves and not just those that happen to be politically convenient to us at the time.


BrigadierBarking

Comment No. 868299

October 16 11:02
ESP

One also has to ask how this helps the country of Armenia. I can't see how it does anything but antagonise a powerful neighbour.


MartynInEurope

Comment No. 868305

October 16 11:05
ESP

Yes, let's all pretend that it never happened.


bruxman

Comment No. 868356

October 16 11:26
LUX

Would the moderator please confirm that any mentioning of the jewish lobby in the US now leads to the deletion of a post? Or was it my reference to the pundit of another newspaper?


exiledlondoner

Comment No. 868373

October 16 11:33
ESP

I agree that the US congress doesn't have any business passing judgements on history, and that their motives in doing so should be questioned.

However, whatever their motives, or right to point the finger, they're not wrong - there was a genocide.

I believe that the US congress, and other legislative bodies around the world have passed similar motions on the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, and other issues. What's the difference?

I think that the difference is that Turkey (an ally) still pretends that it never happened, and much like Japan's refusal to accept its responsibility for wartime atrocities, this perpetuates the sense of injustice.

Personally, I would have preferred that any motion was directed at Turkey's genocide denial, rather than attempting to judge history, but given that 90 years have passed, and Turkey still maintains that the slaughter was not planned, one can hardly blame the Armenians for bearing a grudge.


whitesox

Comment No. 868374

October 16 11:33

C'mon Mr. Kinzer get with the programme ...

"Passing this resolution would place a moral obligation on Congress to decide whether Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Portugal, Cambodia and China are guilty of genocide - not to mention the United States itself, which was built on piles of native American and African bones. Few members of Congress, however, reflect on such abstract concepts as moral obligation."

I think you'll find more than just a "few members of congress" reflecting on their moral obligation to admit and apologise to the Aboriginal peoples of the USA ...

"Rep. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia introduced the Joint Resolution of Apology to the Native Peoples, H.J. Res.3, on Jamuary 4, 2007. It has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. Sen. Sam Brownback introduced the same resolution of Apology S.J. Res.4, on March 1, 2007. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs."

Though I can't report on the outcome, at least steps are being taken to acknowledge the wrongs inflicted on the Native Americans and to offer a long overdue formal apology.

P.S. I notice in your list you include Serbia, but make no mention of Croatia or the Kosovar Albanians? Somewhat jaundiced don't you think?


Hotbed

Comment No. 868377

October 16 11:35
GBR

Stupid article.

Yes, there's an Armenian lobby in the States. There are also Cuban lobbies, Israeli lobbies, Indian and Pakistani lobbies, and business lobbies.

There's nothing undemocratic about listening to these interests. They represent millions of Americans. Should congress ignore the views of Armenians? Or Cubans?

The Guardian habitually argues that it should. The US trade embargo on Cuba is frequently blamed on right-wing Cuban Americans who can swing the vote in Florida. So? That's democracy. Fidel Castro shouldn't have forced those people out of their own country.


K3vK

Comment No. 868382

October 16 11:38
GBR

This resolution will not worsen relations between Turkey and Armenia because the two countries don't have any relations anyway, so it can't get any worse. Whatever the circumstances, everyone (except for in Turkey) knows that Turkey is in the wrong and that it is up to them to admit the genocide, so if this resolution is passed, then it will only pressure Turkey to admit the genocide and this is why the resolution in the long term will improve relations between Turkey and Armenia, not worsen.

And about the timing of this resolution... The US government has always said there is never a good time to pass this resolution. They said its not a good time because of the USSR and then during Gulf War 1 and now the same thing again during Gulf War 2. It's just typical US government. Bush said in 2000 that it was genocide and then most of the Armenian diaspora in the US voted for Bush in the 2000 elections because of that, and now he has broken his promise to recognise it.


LawrenceUS

Comment No. 868429

October 16 11:57
USA

"Turkey's position on this issue is wrong. So, however, is the position of the Armenian-American lobby. It seems uninterested in reconciliation."

As the South Africans would explain, you can have reconciliation when you also have truth. Turkey is denying there was a genocide. Major obstacle to reconciliation, that.

By the way, dude, Congress gets to pass pretty much whatever resolutions it wants.

WhatsLeft asked: "When will the USA pass a resolution condemning itself? It's way overdue."

The US passed and paid reparations to the people the government "relocated" during WWII. And this was due to the efforts of a "lobby" -- Japanese-American activists, including the late Fred Korematsu, a hero.


LiberalinCalif

Comment No. 868479

October 16 12:20
USA

"Nancy Pelosi, has pledged to bring this resolution to a vote by the full House, where it will almost certainly pass. In doing so, she satisfies the wealthy Armenian community in her home state of California."

The Resolution was heavily lobbied against by Turkey and the White House. What has passed already is only the committie to bring it to the floor of the House, which Pelosi did not lobby for or against. The vote of the committee was bi-partisan. Is it only the "wealthy" Armenians who would be satisfied by this action to bring it to the Floor of the House for a vote?

"Passage of this resolution will set off another wave of anti-American sentiment in Turkey,"

Ummm, is that the United States Congress's fault or the fault of a near century of denial in Turkey? Time to set the record straight. Would Sudan be upset about a resolution concerning their activities? Is that the US Congress's problem?

"Worst of all, it will intensify hatred between Turks and Armenians, two peoples who need to build bridges to a common future, not consume themselves in recriminations stemming from atrocities of a century ago."

Pretty hard to build bridges of understanding when one side denies their previous misdeeds. Look at South Africa for a more enlightened approach.

"First is whether the slaughter of Armenians in 1915 constitutes genocide."

What would you rather call the intentinal elimination of over a million people by government plan?

"The second and more fundamental question Congress must consider is whether it should make decisions about which powers from past centuries were genocidal and which were not. If the job of Congress is to respond to political pressure, it should embrace this resolution. If it wants to contribute to peace among nations, it should not."

It is the within the purvue of the Congress to speak on any issue it so chooses. The problem is not with the US Congress but with the Turkish denial of those events nearly a century ago.

Consider if some nation refused to condemn Nazi Germany for their deeds fearing that they might "upset" their relations with modern day Germany. It's rediculous on the face of it, isn't it?

"Passing this resolution would place a moral obligation on Congress to decide whether Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Portugal, Cambodia and China are guilty of genocide"

Let them. All in favor of denying genocide, please stand up.

"Turkey's position on this issue is wrong. So, however, is the position of the Armenian-American lobby. It seems uninterested in reconciliation. The resolution for which it has worked so hard, and paid so much money, is producing exactly the results it seeks. It undermines efforts at reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia,"

Again this is rediculous. In what way are Armenians going to reconcile with someone who refuses to admit there is something that is to be reconciled over? Again, see South Africa. When Turkey comes clean, then there can be a reconciliation, not before.

"If Pelosi and her comrades in Washington cared to go beyond rhetoric, expediency and the lust for campaign contributions, they would be seeking to promote the urgently important process of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation. Instead they have chosen to take a lamentable and revoltingly cynical political step."

Cynical would have been to cave to those lobbies that were against this resolution. This resolution has been held up many times, due to such efforts.

If Turkey retaliates against the US over this resolution, well, I guess it wasn't such a strong alliance after all, was it? And I guess Turkey has nothing to lose from losing the US as an ally also? I thought so.

It's never too late and never wrong to recognize and condemn the perpetration of mass murder.

Anywhere. Anytime.


Accurist

Comment No. 868485

October 16 12:22
GBR

Seems to me that honour will be satisfied if the Turkish Parliament (or whatever, I'm being generic here) condemns US genocide of its Native American population, and its own citizens of Japanese origin during WWII.

Then
- the Germans can condemn the French for their genocide in the Vendee of 1794 (?);
- the French can condemn every Latin American country and Spain for their genocide of their indigenos;
the Latin Americans and the Spanish can condemn the British for their behaviour in Kenya;
- the British can condemn the countries of W. Africa for creating the conditions for a slave trade to flourish;
... and so on.... and on... and on ..... I cannot immediately think of any race that can claim to have clean hands (mebbe the Inuit?).

What does any of this achieve, beyond creating further hatred? Pelosi's motion is a damn-fool idea. could we not create a negative Nobel Peace Prize - for the individual who has done more to worsen relations between the peoples, nations and languages than all others in a given year. I expect, CiF being what it is, that another citizen of the USA would currently be awarded the honour (perhaps the rules would require that an individual can only win once), but Pelosi should be in in the running.


whitesox

Comment No. 868488

October 16 12:23

WhatsLeft - Sorry, I didn't see your earlier post. However my earlier response should answer your question. I don't have the time to find out what is/has happened to the joint reslolution, but at least the wheels are in motion and way overdue.

However, I do recall that there was an attempt at making an admission as far back as JFK's term - unfortunately a bullet prevented the process at formal recognition with the consequent apology from reaching fruition.


Darvish

Comment No. 868492

October 16 12:25
GBR

There is nothing wrong with Armenian promoting awareness of what happened to them. They went to Europe and America, worked hard to be heard. They did not lie down and die like some people would have liked but refused to be victims. True, there are many brutalities in human history committed by many nations but is that a good enough reason to take away the Armenian right to be heard? Or giving the Turks the right to deny their past? Eventually the truth should and will come out however painful it is.


repunzal

Comment No. 868594

October 16 12:57

This has been one of the least cynical decisions by Congress. One of the least contrived or made to order ala lobby groups. Congress got a rocket from groundwell public opinion who bulked at the hypocrisy of denying (or at least not officially recognising) the Armenian Holocaust. This whilst giving Ahmedinajad a going over for the same thing.



RobertStanfield

Comment No. 868648

October 16 13:14
GBR

@ Mr Kinzer

"She also commits a reckless act that reflects the deep corruption of the American political system - and does no good for Armenia or Armenians."

Of course, of course. Having the Armenian genocide recognised will harm Armenians and Armenia... exactly how? How could they get worse? And whose fault would that really be?

"Worst of all, it will intensify hatred between Turks and Armenians, two peoples who need to build bridges to a common future, not consume themselves in recriminations stemming from atrocities of a century ago."

How do you expect Armenians to engage in that when the Turkish state not only denies that the holocaust took place, it actively represses even talk of it having taken place?

"Armenians whose ancestors perished at the hands of Ottoman Turks in 1915 deserve truth. They deserve an apology."

Yet you yourself have tried to diminish the significance of the event by stressing how long ago it took place - "not consume themselves in recriminations stemming from atrocities of a century ago."

I'm wonder whether the Guardian genuinely thinks it is promoting a left-wing or liberal line by publishing a slew of articles that shout down the issue of the Armenian genocide and facilely turn it into yet another exercise in US bashing. For all the posturing about human rights in this paper you demonstrate again and again a kneejerk defensiveness of any perpetrator or atrocity if some tenuous anti-US line can be spun from the matter. Nasty stuff. You ought to be ashamed.

[Edited by CIF moderator.]


Outsider1

Comment No. 868684

October 16 13:28
ZAF

This is why the Jews continue to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, because some people, or quite a lot of people, would like to forget it. The poor "rich" Armenians have been struggling for many years to even get their Holocaust recognised and it seems the author of this piece believes it is debatable that it was, and anyway, it's all old hat.

A rather contemptible piece of political badgering, with the Armenians as cannon fodder.


samhardy

Comment No. 868689

October 16 13:29
CYP

You say that, 'whether the slaughter of Armenians in 1915 constitutes genocide.... depends on one's definition of genocide' and note the United Nations' 'sweeping definition in which... even causing "mental harm" to a single person, can constitute genocide', when the UN defined genocide as 'any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group'.

It is actions with that specific intent, that particular motive - that they are punishing, specifying those behaviours that might indicate it. "Mental harm" is not that broad a definition (and the alternative of trying to list every single action in every single form would be impossible and would provide loopholes protecting the victims' persecutors), particularly when you remember that it is those forms of 'mental harm' caused 'with intent to destroy' the victim's community, demonstrable and prosecutable through the crime committed against that 'single person'.

(The inclusion of 'mental harm' was presumably to encompass "re-education" of communities, bans on their use of their languages, practice of their cultures, etc. The 'single person' proviso presumably exists to enable prosecution for the crime even when sufficient evidence remains/has not been destroyed in only one case.)

Of course, all of that was irrelevant in this case, because, as you noted, 'hundreds of thousands perished'; 'by its [the UN's] definition', the Armenian Genocide does not 'almost certainly' constitute genocide - it does constitute genocide.

You recognise that 'Congress will never condemn the British for killing hundreds of thousands of Kenyans' because 'Kenyans in the United States do not have a powerful lobby', but not that it is also because Britain does have a very powerful lobby - its government - and that Turkey does too (indeed, two) - its government and, especially, its military.

You can argue, as the Turkish Armenian youth group, Nor Zartonk (New Renaissance) (http://www.norzartonk.org/) does, that 'the involvement of third parties in the Armenian "genocide" claim is not helping anyone' (http://www.sundayszaman.com/sunday/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=2117). (See below for direct quotations.)

I would argue that, *before* the Armenian Genocide is recognised in this way in France or the U.S., it ought to be discussed freely in Turkey (where, currently, the public is miseducated about the genocide and misunderstands international opinion as lies, propaganda or conspiracy, so it makes the genocide denial and reactions to its recognition more violent). Still, those who press for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide are overwhelmingly principled defenders of historical truth, not fund-raisers.

Indeed, 'the Turks are abetted in their denial and distortion by many who know better, including the Clinton administration and both Bush administrations, and prominent ex-congressmen-turned-lobbyists, including Republican Bob Livingston and Democrats Dick Gephardt and Stephen Solarz'. (http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/23/opinion/edjacoby.php)

Gephardt used to support the recognition of the Armenian Genocide (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/4/26/8753/96541), but, as Michael Crowley reported in the New Republic, 'the Republic of Turkey... now pays his [Gephardt's] lobbying firm, DLA Piper, $100,000 per month for his services'. (http://www.tnr.com/user/nregi.mhtml?i=20070723&s=crowley072307)

(Ayse Karabat reported Nor Zartonk's spokespersons' opinions: '"Third parties are involved with it, in order to show how democratic they are. This attitude is not beneficial for Turkish-Armenian relations. Nothing can be solved by locking up everything in the events of 1915. If Turkish officials without using the term 'genocide,' say that 'something happened in 1915 and we are sorry about it,' this will make Turkish Armenians feel better and silence the Armenian diaspora," [Hrant] Kasparyan says.

[Sayat] Tekir has a similar approach. "We have to show all our cards and talk about everything; let's talk about 1915, what Armenians did before it; let's talk about Hocaali; let's talk about Karabagh; let's talk about Darfur. Let's talk about everything. Let's overcome it, but we should not just forget about if we want to better the future of humanity."')


RBIslington

Comment No. 868712

October 16 13:39
GBR

I read somewhere that the Inuit were responsible for the genocide of Viking settlers in Greenland, so, no, you better condemn them too.


venerablejohn

Comment No. 868763

October 16 13:54
USA

If only politicians past more resolutions which had come from the lobby of ordinary citizens rather than big business we might have a fair world. What exactly is the problem with this particular lobby group? How many laws are passed which take account of the voices of the people these politicians were supposed to represent? Right now in the UK there is an undignified political auction with Labour and Conservatives desperately trying to out-do each other for the maybe 1 million so-called middle ground votes which will decide the next election, leaving the other 18 million voters effectively disenfranchised without representation for their views.

You seem to be saying that unless the Armenians forget about what happened to them in 1915 then they can't be reconciled with Turkey. Basically you are saying that they must forgive Turkey for something they are even refusing to admit to. You have this the wrong the round, until Turkey can admit to its past then it will always have problems today, thats the difference between say, what happened in Kenya and what happened in Armenia. there is no law or mob rule in this country which would prevent me from standing in Hyde Park Corner on Sunday and shouting down the list of Imperial wrongs meted out by Britain for the last 300 years. I'd like to see you do the same thing in Instanbul.
Maybe its this great Islamic democracy that you would hate to see turn against Christians? Indeed so great is this,that it refuses to allow the Greek-orthodox Patriarch to have the title Ecumenical (universal), because maybe it will remind people too much of Turkey's Christian past?

http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKL3086636620070830

You also seem to be worried that this bill will effect America's ability to continue to execute its illegal war in Iraq via Turkey, an interesting stance, how long have you been a neo-con?


PresidentD

Comment No. 868858

October 16 14:30
USA

"You also seem to be worried that this bill will effect America's ability to continue to execute its illegal war in Iraq via Turkey..."

********************************

The war in Iraq is not "illegal". In fact, in several resolutions, the UN has approved the Coalition's occupation and attempts to stablize the situation there.

If the UN approves it, that makes it "legal", right?


Mickhall

Comment No. 868912

October 16 14:47
GBR

K3vK wrote,"This resolution will not worsen relations between Turkey and Armenia because the two countries don't have any relations anyway, so it can't get any worse"

K3VK
I think your find Mr Kinzer is referring to the Armenian community that still lives in Turkey.

The hypocrisy of the US Congress never fails to surprise me. One would have thought that body would be keeping its head down after the Iraq war vote, but it seems not. Still pouring excreta on others is a good way to divert your own guilt if you happen to be a charlatan politico I suppose.

Myself I believe genocide was committed against the Armenians in 1915, although it was perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire not the Turkish Republic, and yes there is a major difference. I also feel to blanket the Turks as the sole perpetrators of this genocide is a mistake, as the Ottoman Empire was made up of many nationalities as where its armed forces. Who incidentally were mainly commanded at the time by a German officer corp, although whether this has any relevance I have no idea.

Never the less in time I hope the Turkish Republic will recognize that a great injustice was committed against the Armenian people in 1915. A people who I might add the Greek and Turkish subjects of the Ottoman Empire had lived alongside in comparatively harmony for centuries..

We should also not over look the Armenians like the Turks and the Greeks and countless other nationalities were the victims of that bloody conflagration between the great powers of the day we call WW1 and these great powers included the USA.


Ypnos

Comment No. 868924

October 16 14:54
GBR

PresidentD:"If the UN approves it, that makes it "legal", right?"
Any resolutions passed by the UN on the Iraq invasion were made on good faith that Iraq posed an imminent threat of chemical/biological attack on the US/UK/etc. As we found out early on in the war, Saddam Hussein possessed no weaponised chemical or biological weapons and even if he did, he certainly had no method of delivery. Whatever the politics of the situation, Iraq did not pose a threat to the international community, by the admission of our leaders and they stopped short of admitting that it was a mistake.

Those resolutions are therefore null and void. Iraq now resembles Mars with the law of the jungle governing it. It is a humanitarian disaster and its border are now open to the vultures (Turkey/Iran/Syria) and this really does not surprise me, the goal is wide open.


bicker

Comment No. 868939

October 16 14:59
CAN

I sometimes think that America would like nothing better than to hang the Turkish millstone around the EU's neck, thereby quashing the potential for any future economic competition on the part of Europe.


hvbk

Comment No. 868980

October 16 15:15
USA

Stephen Kinzer has an unfortunate history of downplaying the Armenian Genocide and now that it is finally coming to the fore, he is trying to justify why he never tackled the major human rights issue properly. (PROOF: http://www.anca.org/action_alerts/actionalerts.php?aaid=75)


Arkasha

Comment No. 869015

October 16 15:31
USA

PresidentD:

"The war in Iraq is not "illegal". In fact, in several resolutions, the UN has approved the Coalition's occupation and attempts to stablize the situation there."

Please point out how Turkey's cross-border raids into Kurdish territory come under the UN resolutions.


RobertStanfield

Comment No. 869039

October 16 15:40
GBR

@Mickhall

"We should also not over look the Armenians like the Turks and the Greeks and countless other nationalities were the victims of that bloody conflagration between the great powers of the day we call WW1 and these great powers included the USA."

Yawn... another illogical and dishonest attempt to cast blame on the USA at all costs.

The Armenian genocide was in 1915.

The USA didn't enter the war until 1917.

Normally the fact of its late entry to the war is used to criticise the USA. Evidently for the purposes of this particular argument, however, the USA is to be considered one of the 'Great Powers' who started and fought the war for the first three years of it. What an honour. That way you get to project some blame by association onto the USA for the Armenian genocide happening in the first place.

The way this discussion has been going it can only be a matter of time before we are informed that the USA (a) armed the Ottoman Empire and (b) installed it in the first place.


Lopakhin

Comment No. 869072

October 16 15:54
GBR

Presidio: 'Strange coincidence. The Armenian resolution, after being ignored for decades, gets shunted through congress just as the Turks are massing on the border of Iraq ! It never is as it seems, just follow the oil and all will be revealed.'

Erm ... and the Bush administration opposed the resolution. They also oppose a Turkish incursion into Iraq, as it happens. So I'm struggling to see your point. The administration is against p***ing off the Turks, but Congress is in favour? Because of oil? I'm baffled.


ellis

Comment No. 869073

October 16 15:54
CAN

The Armenian resolution just might be as close as Pelosi and her craven comrades dare come to putting an end to the Iraq occupation and putting obstacles in the way of, another illegal attack, on Iran.
The last thing the US military needs now is trouble in Kurdistan, which is where Turkish displeasure is likely to be felt first. The last thing the Kurds, busily engaged in auctioning oil rights away, want, as they fasten their collective jaws around the great prize of Kirkuk, is growing tension in the north. Then, of course, there is the position of the Turkmen population of the areas into which the Kurds are expanding.
And it all looked so simple when Paul Wolfowitz and Chritopher Hitchens got out the old school atlas and sat down to re-design the middle east.


cperry

Comment No. 869091

October 16 15:58
USA

It is incredible that the leader of the House of Representatives would spend power and time on this issue. The possible harm to our efforts in Iraq is evident. We do not know the domestic pressure on the government of Turkey and how far that pressure will push them. We as a country can only lose from this foolish measure. There is no upside.
This episode will be used for years to attack this Congress as incompetent.


PresidentD

Comment No. 869108

October 16 16:04
USA

"Any resolutions passed by the UN on the Iraq invasion were made on good faith that Iraq posed an imminent threat of chemical/biological attack on the US/UK/etc."

*****************************************

"Good faith" has nothing to do with it Ypnos. I'm talking about the resolutions the UN passed after the invasion approving the occupation of Iraq and the attempt of the Coalition to stablize the situation. The most recent one being last year, I believe. WMDs have nothing to do with those resolutions.


AnastasiaUSA

Comment No. 869177

October 16 16:28
USA

This resolution is just the latest in a series of Congressional efforts to sabotage the conduct of that war by the spineless left.

Large numbers of American troops and vast amounts of military equipment go to Iraq through Turkey, one of the few nations in the Islamic Middle East that has long been an American ally.

Turkey has also thus far refrained from retaliating against guerrilla attacks from the Kurdish regions of Iraq onto Turkish soil. But the Turks could retaliate big time if they chose.

There are more Turkish troops on the border of Iraq than there are American troops within Iraq.

Turkey has already recalled its ambassador from Washington to show its displeasure over Congress' raising this issue. The Turks may or may not stop at that.

In this touchy situation, why stir up a hornet's nest over something in the past that neither we nor anybody else can do anything about today?

Democrats in Congress have gotten into the habit of treating the Iraq war as President Bush's war -- and therefore fair game for political tactics making it harder for him to conduct that war.

In a rare but revealing slip, democratic Congressman James Clyburn said that an American victory in Iraq "would be a real big problem for us" in the 2008 elections.

Unwilling to take responsibility for ending the war by cutting off the money to fight it, as many of their supporters want them to, Congressional democrats have instead tried to sabotage the prospects of victory by seeking to micro-manage the deployment of troops, delaying the passing of appropriations -- and now this genocide resolution that is the latest, and perhaps lowest, of these tactics.

That's it in a nutshell.


siromik

Comment No. 869234

October 16 16:55
USA

Yeah, America is blamed for doing something and then for not doing something. But at the end it all will be blamed on the Zionists and Jews..... which, in fact Turkey already mentioned to the Israelis. Weird.

What bothers me is why does recognition of a genocide should be done by an American congress. Is Turkish "Democracy" so weak that it requires other governments to make laws out of other countries non-admitted history? The only reason why the Holocaust is remembered is because Germany said so!


DanAsta

Comment No. 869269

October 16 17:12
USA

Hmm, a reporter I once liked becomes a genocide denier. Kinzer wrote a great book on Turkey, but now he says there is some scholarly dispute.

Mr. Kinzer, educate yourself and read this: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/9/8/11123/07217


duckyjibes

Comment No. 869295

October 16 17:24
DEU

AnastasiaUSA- Can you get it through your head that there is no Left in the US, only Right and Righter. FFS.


Guiteau

Comment No. 869393

October 16 17:59
USA

Kinzer in the NYT of April 24, 2002:
"the events of 1915 are still a matter of intense debate"

Anastasia:
"This resolution is just the latest in a series of Congressional efforts to sabotage the conduct of that war by the spineless left."
No worries. You're all spine, Anastasia.

But if your statement is true, then it's win-win isn't it? Condemn genocide, undermine a preventive war and a brutal occupation.


RAlandbeck

Comment No. 869446

October 16 18:30
GBR

That realpolitik should always hold the final trump over morality sadly reflects the human condition itself and the limitations of integrity to even the exisitng, fragile human ethical conception we deceive ourselves into calling civilization.


duckyjibes

Comment No. 869457

October 16 18:38
DEU

The US Congress has voted to destabilise the Middle East again. Ho hum, what's new. Idiots.


ThomasCopyrightMMVII

Comment No. 869472

October 16 18:46
GBR

PresidentD,

What you actually wrote was:

"The war in Iraq is not "illegal".

And then, you wrote:

"I'm talking about the resolutions the UN passed after the invasion approving the occupation of Iraq and the attempt of the Coalition to stablize the situation. The most recent one being last year, I believe. WMDs have nothing to do with those resolutions."

**

That's not correct. The 'occupation' of Iraq was legalised by the UN, not "the war".

"The war" must refer to the invasion of Iraq in the eyes of the UN, since it is now seen as an occupation. But Kofi Annan, The United Nations Secretary-General in September, 2004, told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.

"He said he believed there should have been a second UN resolution following Iraq's failure to comply over weapons inspections."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3661134.stm

So, if The United Nations Secretary-General said it was illegal, then it was illegal. I see no subsequent resolution to alter that view. Perhaps it would help if the US did not still see it as a war, or alternatively, had at least won it, by now.


MacRandall

Comment No. 869480

October 16 18:52
USA


I don't suppose the Armenian genocide resolution would be a precursor to "reparations" lawsuits filed by the same trial lawyers who hold such complete power over the Democrats, would it?


olcer

Comment No. 869487

October 16 18:55
USA

it is so easy to say "genocide" I am still waiting for PROOF, not fake documents, real ones, names of so called 1.5 million people killed etc.!! None of you can speak Turkish, read Ottoman language and you say ohh it was genocide! what a joke! :)

how about passing a law about Atom bmbs in ww2 in japan??, indians? africans?

A respectable Historian who can speak and read turkish/ottoman and who have researched Ottoman archives say it was not a genocide and I am going to believe this Kinzer person??! or the rest of you!??

Guenter Lewy, Another historian who says it was not a genocide!!

In a November 1993 Le Monde interview, Lewis said that the Ottoman Turks' killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 was not "genocide", but the "brutal byproduct of war". Both sites killed each other. (If you decide to side with russian and uprise)
West has always thought, their people "christians" are more important than "others" you kills other, no one mentions them but if you kill christians then heeey it is genocide! please!

Why don't armenians go to an international court and make their case?? and both sides show their arguments and lets see what happens..

PEACE AND CHEERS!!


PresidentD

Comment No. 869516

October 16 19:06
USA

"But Kofi Annan, The United Nations Secretary-General in September, 2004, told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter."

*************************************

Thomas, Kofi Annan has no power to declare anything "illegal" or not. That can only be accomplished by lawfully constituted governments. The UN is not a world government.




AnastasiaUSA

Comment No. 869534

October 16 19:17
USA

Anastasia:
"This resolution is just the latest in a series of Congressional efforts to sabotage the conduct of that war by the spineless left."
No worries. You're all spine, Anastasia.

But if your statement is true, then it's win-win isn't it? Condemn genocide, undermine a preventive war and a brutal occupation.


No Guiteau, that's not how I see it at all.


ThomasCopyrightMMVII

Comment No. 869554

October 16 19:30
GBR

PresidentD,

For convenience, I quoted but one source. But if you want legal advice on international law and the invasion of Iraq:

War On Iraq Was Illegal, Say Top Lawyers
http://globalpolicy.igc.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/law/2003/0525warillegal.htm

Law Groups Say U.S. Invasion Illegal (from The Independant)
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0321-10.htm

War on Iraq was Illegal, Say Top Lawyers (from The Independant)
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0525-08.htm

Spanish Judge Calls for Architects of Iraq Invasion to Be Tried for War Crimes (March 27, 2007)
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/law/2007/0327iraqwararchitects.htm

The Courts Accept That the War against Iraq Is A Crime (October 17, 2006)
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/law/2006/1017courts.htm

A prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg, says Bush and Saddam Should Both Stand Trial, Says Nuremberg Prosecutor (August 25, 2006)
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/law/2006/0825bushstandtrial.htm

University of Illinois Law Professor Francis Boyle rigorously analyses the legal aspects of the US occupation of Iraq. On several counts, he concludes, the war is illegal.
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/law/2005/1222belligerent.htm

Canadian law professors declare US-led war illegal
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/mar2003/ilaw-m26.shtml

This war is illegal: Says Howard's last top law man:
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/21/1047749933699.html

Indeed, US hawk advice:

War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1089158,00.html

I could go on, for a very long time, presenting similar links...


MartynInEurope

Comment No. 869568

October 16 19:38
ESP

Yes, damn wars and the damn swine that support them.

Would the honourable blogging cousins across the way be so keen to brush things under the carpet if the crime in question was The Holocaust, its perpetrators and its denial?

I would guess not, so why the double standards?


Adam31bansGhaznavi

Comment No. 869581

October 16 19:49
GBR

Congress should condemn the Armenian genocide.

& the Turkish Assembly should condemn the genocide of my ancestral kith & kin in Afghanistan using Depleted Uranium with a half life of 4 billion years
See (pictures take a little while to download, but is worth it. please spread the link far & wide):
http://acdn.france.free.fr/spip/article.php3?id_article=200&lang=LANG

& we should ALL condemn the wars to prop up the Petrodollar/ establish the Petro Amero, in order to prop up the Federal Reserve PRIVATE Bank
(this is a JFK LIBRARY link, not some 2 bit M777Parent whotsit):
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/John+F.+Kennedy+Miscellaneous+Information.htm
Executive Order 11110:
"On June 4, 1963 President Kennedy signed this virtually unknown Presidential decree, which had the authority to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest, essentially putting the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank out of business. The order returned to the federal government, specifically the Treasury Department, the Constitutional power to create and issue currency without going through the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank. President Johnson reversed the order shortly after taking office in November, 1963. Some conspiracy theorists believe this executive order was the cause of President Kennedy's assassination."

MUCH more info on
The Controlled Demolition of the Petrodollar Imperium:
http://geocities.com/Lvcifer2a


PresidentD

Comment No. 869617

October 16 20:10
USA

Thomas, the sources you cite may claim that the war is "illegal", but I can cite just as many or more legal scholars who will claim that it is.

You are playing a parlor game, as are Kofi Annan and your "experts". No lawfully constituted court with jurisdiction over US citizens exists which would consider indicting anyone.

The war was legal. Put some ice on it and go home.


GrandLunar

Comment No. 869622

October 16 20:12
GBR

exliberal
Comment No. 868172
October 16 10:18
CHE
Congress will be the judge of what resolutions it decides to debate thank you very much.

If you belive there was no genocide show us your evidence, refute evidence to the contrary or forever hold your peace.

----------------------------

Are you being deliberately obtuse, exliberal, or are you merely a pompous moron?

At no point does Kinzer deny the enormity the Turks committed, what he does, which you might have appreciated (as in understood) if you were capable of extracting meaning from written words, is to question the *motives* of teh US Congress's actions. For that, there is ample evidence as to the pure politicking going on. There is no evidence of a genuine desire for justice.

Next time you express such pretentious opinions on an article, exliberal, at least show that you have understood the point of the article first.


MacRandall

Comment No. 869644

October 16 20:27
USA

ThomasCopyrightMMVII sez:

War On Iraq Was Illegal, Say Top Lawyers
(Organized by the director of Four Weddings and a Funeral, & held in a London theatre)

Law Groups Say U.S. Invasion Illegal
(So sayeth lawyers for an anti-nuke group, as reported in "breaking news & views for the progressive community")

War on Iraq was Illegal, Say Top Lawyers
(Organized by the director of Four Weddings and a Funeral & held in a London theatre - see above. What is a 'top lawyer' anyway?)

Spanish Judge Calls for Architects of Iraq Invasion to Be Tried for War Crimes (March 27, 2007)
(So says an activist Spanish judge who also wants to fry Henry Kissinger, as reported by the "World Socialist Website". There was also a judge in Alabama who hung the 10 Commandments over his bench as a way of demonstrating his superior morality, but I saw very few people citing his idiotic utterings as legal precedent)

The Courts Accept That the War against Iraq Is A Crime (October 17, 2006)
(Reprint of a George Monbiot piece in the Guardian. 'Nuff said.)

A prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg, says Bush and Saddam Should Both Stand Trial, Says Nuremberg Prosecutor (August 25, 2006)
(As seen in the same "breaking news & views for the progressive community" website referenced above, reported by a writer from "OneWorld.org", and containing such pithy analysis as "The UN charter contains a provision that no nation can use armed force without the permission of the UN Security Council". Wow, deep.)

University of Illinois Law Professor Francis Boyle rigorously analyses the legal aspects of the US occupation of Iraq. On several counts, he concludes, the war is illegal.
(As reported in that respected law journal Counterpunch, authored by the same guy who wrote a book entitled "The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence")

Canadian law professors declare US-led war illegal
(as reported on the World Socialist Website, with its main point appearing to be that the "serious consequences" mentioned in UN Res 1441 was "too vague". Oh, and there is no mention of your "Canadian law professors" anywhere. Not sure what that was supposed to be about)

This war is illegal: Says Howard's last top law man:
(An opinion piece, and clearly labeled so.)

Indeed, US hawk advice:
(The single attributional quote was "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing." More a comment on the fecklessness of "international law" than an admission of "illegality" I'd say.)

So, as you see, there is really nothing worth copywriting in this dishonest attempt at placing some sort of legal sheen on your politically-driven and myopic meanderings.


duckyjibes

Comment No. 869648

October 16 20:28
DEU

@PresidentD- Ah, for reasons of national security, no doubt. Must make you really proud to see Congress put GIs in harms way.


cornelius47

Comment No. 869676

October 16 20:45
GBR

Change the word Armenian for the word Jewish and a whole lot of people would be villifying this piece as anti-semitic and disrespectful to the memory of the dead and the surivors of the Jewish holocaust.

There will be no healing of wounds, or building of bridges, until the Turks own up to what they did.


ThomasCopyrightMMVII

Comment No. 869679

October 16 20:48
GBR

PresidentD: "Thomas, the sources you cite may claim that the war is "illegal", but I can cite just as many or more legal scholars who will claim that it is."

**

No you can't. Because, "It was the opinion of the majority of the lawyers concerned with International Law, that the War on Iraq was illegal. This was highlighted in a letter to The Guardian on March 7th 2003."

http://www.tridentploughshares.org/article1156

And so, there aren't "just as many" 'more scholarly' legal scholars, because, my case is defended by the majority of lawyers concerned with International Law, including:

Professor Vaughan Lowe Chichele Professor of Public International Law, All Souls College, Oxford
Professor Ulf Bernitz. University of Oxford.
Doctor Nicolas Espejo-Yaksic. University of Oxford.
Doctor Ben Saul. University of Oxford.
Doctor Katja Ziegler. University of Oxford.
Professor James Crawford Whewell Professor of International Law, Jesus College, Cambridge
Doctor Susan Marks, Doctor Roger O'Keefe. University of Cambridge.
Professor Philippe Sands QC Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals, University College London
Professor Robert Black QC Professor of Scots law, Edinburgh University
Professor Sean Murphy Associate professor of law at George Washington University, Washington DC
Professor Mary Kaldor Professor of global governance, London School of Economics
Also Professor, London School of Economics
Doctor Gerry Simpson, London School of Economics.
Doctor Matthew Craven. School of Oriental and African Studies.
Professor Pierre-Marie Dupuy University of Paris

**

And, as you've just pointed out, in addition, I can also call to the Witness Box, Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General to The United Nations.

**

It was an illegal war. I rest my case.


AnastasiaUSA

Comment No. 869706

October 16 21:11
USA

17 U.N. resolutions over 12 years and a unanimous security council vote on resolution 1441 authorizing force (including material breach of resolutions 678 & 687) made this conflict not only "legal" but long overdue!

ThomasCopyrightMMVII - get over yourself already please!

Should America sit in a hole, take no action and "hope" further destruction doesn't befall it?! This short-sighted, ignorant view may be popular in "pacifist Europe", but not in America.


MacRandall

Comment No. 869709

October 16 21:12
USA

Prez, how can you still deny the overwhelming preponderance of expert opinion coming from a legal spectrum ranging all the way from Oxford to Cambridge to London?? That covers a good 2/3 of the United Kingdom for god's sake. They don't call it a 'Kingdom' for nuthin'!

(*And if you're still not convinced, there is also the opinion of a daggone DOCTOR at the SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES!! Dang, those furriners are smart!)


TH0MAS

Comment No. 869715

October 16 21:18
GBR

BWAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahah

I've seen some dirty tricks on CiF, but pretending to be a woman, BWAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahah... is the lowest you've sunken to, yet! hahaha [sniff] hahaha

AnastasiaUSA - Knock yerself out, Dickey.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahah


GrandLunar

Comment No. 869730

October 16 21:25
GBR

AnastasiaUSA
Comment No. 869706
October 16 21:11
USA
17 U.N. resolutions over 12 years and a unanimous security council vote on resolution 1441 authorizing force (including material breach of resolutions 678 & 687) made this conflict not only "legal" but long overdue!

Should America sit in a hole, take no action and "hope" further destruction doesn't befall it?! This short-sighted, ignorant view may be popular in "pacifist Europe", but not in America.

-----------------------------------------

The UN Resolutions made no explicit authorisation of the use of force as you well should know. In any case, when it comes to violations of UN Resolutions, I'll mention one name - Israel.

As for the US taking no action and 'hoping' for no further destruction to befall it - well, maybe if it wasn't stuffed with, and governed by, arrogant tossers like you, AnastasiaUSA, it would avoid such consequences? Meanwhile, 'pacifist' Europe is doing quite well, thank you. I don't recall, say, Finland being targetted by Islamist terrorists. But then I don't recall Finland bombing seven shades of shite out of the Middle East recently.


Hevallo62

Comment No. 869746

October 16 21:38
GBR

Those who let Turkey off for the Armenian Genocide should look to what they then did and are still doing to the Kurds!

http://hevallo.blogspot.com


PresidentD

Comment No. 869748

October 16 21:39
USA

Thomas, I am not Anastasia. Even a cursory textual analysis would demonstrate that.

And I'm sorry, but your posts have been laughable. No professor at Oxford or the London School of Economics has the ability to declare what is "legal" for the US to do or not to do.

The highest law the US recognizes is the US Constitution.

Saddam violated his peace agreement with the US, attempted to assassinate a former US president, and harbored terrorists like Abu Nidal. Those are grounds enough to take him out.

Your parlor games are silly.


AnastasiaUSA

Comment No. 869751

October 16 21:44
USA

GrandLunar
" Meanwhile, 'pacifist' Europe is doing quite well, thank you. I don't recall, say, Finland being targetted by Islamist terrorists. But then I don't recall Finland bombing seven shades of shite out of the Middle East recently"

Just WOW! That is probably the most idiotic and ignorant statement I've seen on here since I don't know when?!?

Bwhahahhahahahahahahah..




ThomasCopyrightMMVII

Comment No. 869760

October 16 21:55
GBR

AnastasiaUSA: "legal"

The "security council had warned Iraq in resolution 1441 there would be "consequences" if it did not comply with its demands. But it should have been up to the council to determine what those consequences were":

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1305709,00.html

If you read the earlier link, you would have noted the following sentence:

"The UN charter outlaws the use of force with only two exceptions: individual or collective self defence in response to an armed attack and action authorised by the Security Council as a collective response to a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression."

There were no grounds for a claim to use such force in self-defence, since the evidence of WMD was fabricated.

Tony Blair privately conceded two weeks before the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein did not have any usable WMD.

Blair 'Knew Iraq Had No WMD' (Times/UK)
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1005-01.htm

**

AnastasiaUSA: "long overdue"

The fact that you still condone the illegal war, notwithstanding the slaughtered of 1,087,537 Iraqis as a result of illegal U.S. War On Iraq, is staggering.

You are, quite simply, beneath contempt.


GrandLunar

Comment No. 869768

October 16 21:57
GBR

PresidentD
Comment No. 869748
USA
The highest law the US recognizes is the US Constitution.
Saddam violated his peace agreement with the US, attempted to assassinate a former US president, and harbored terrorists like Abu Nidal. Those are grounds enough to take him out.
Your parlor games are silly.

----------------------------------

Wow, PresidentD, you're probably as stupid and arrogant as PresidentB!


AnastasiaUSA
Comment No. 869751
USA
GrandLunar
" Meanwhile, 'pacifist' Europe is doing quite well, thank you. I don't recall, say, Finland being targetted by Islamist terrorists. But then I don't recall Finland bombing seven shades of shite out of the Middle East recently"
Just WOW! That is probably the most idiotic and ignorant statement I've seen on here since I don't know when?!?
Bwhahahhahahahahahahah..


Oddly enough, AnastasiaUSA, I don't consider being insulted by a mental cripple such as yourself as anything other than amusing.

Still didn't answer my point about Finland, though, did you? But I suppose the lack of Finnish bodybags from Iraq punctures your 'argument' such as it is, somewhat... How many Amerian soldiers now? 3,828 and counting... Why don't you make a patriotic contribution, AnastasiaUSA?


NogginTheNog

Comment No. 869777

October 16 22:05
GBR

I didn't realise you are woman, PresidentD. Or should I say, AnastasiaUSA? Anyway, rest assured, you won't be getting any preferential treatment here, for being either a woman, or a transvestite.


duckyjibes

Comment No. 869781

October 16 22:10
DEU

@ThomasCopyrightMMVII- No-one is beneath contempt. Especially that I...t AnastasiaUSA.


Lopakhin

Comment No. 869823

October 16 22:35
GBR

Thomas Copyright: 'Tony Blair privately conceded two weeks before the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein did not have any usable WMD.

Blair 'Knew Iraq Had No WMD' (Times/UK)
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1005-01.htm '

You, along with The Times or Commondreams.org, are overselling that article. It also states that the late Robin Cook believed, from the evidence that came before him, that Saddam 'probably does have several thousand battlefield chemical munitions.' i.e. this is a dispute about what constitutes a Weapon of Mass Destruction, and whether thousands of warheads or canisters filled with nerve gas fits that description.


AnastasiaUSA

Comment No. 869826

October 16 22:38
USA

Only history will be able to judge the failure or success of today's policies, as it has the past reactions to terrorism. The best measure of its success may be this; we have not had another major attack on US soil since the pre-emptive strikes have taken place. The threat is still real, as the subway bombings in London and Spain have shown, yet we are fighting back and apparently with success.

Maybe I am mistaken but isn't every Socialist country in Europe kicking out the Socialists and electing American-style Conservatives who want better relations with America?

Why do you think that is??

Grand Lunar, I don't see your point(aside from the one on top of your head nyuk nyuk)or what merit it has on the discussion. So, you explain to me quanitatively all the similarities you see in order to justify comparing Finland with the US and then perhaps if you make some sense I'll respond.


F101Voodoo

Comment No. 869834

October 16 22:42
GBR

Wonder if Turkey will pass a resolution condeming the wiping out of Native American culture.

Some genocides are more final than others


Mickhall

Comment No. 869873

October 16 23:06
GBR

@Mickhall

"We should also not over look the Armenians like the Turks and the Greeks and countless other nationalities were the victims of that bloody conflagration between the great powers of the day we call WW1 and these great powers included the USA."

Yawn... another illogical and dishonest attempt to cast blame on the USA at all costs.

Mr Stanfield,

I appreciate that you have difficulty engaging with the world without seeing conspiracies against the USA around every corner, but do try. If you read what I wrote you should[hopefully] understand that I was merely stating a fact about WW1 and not casting aspirations against the land of the free/the great satan.

You would also have read that I believe the Armenians were the victims of genocide. Still it seems you are one of those pathetic individuals who wish to create differences when none exist, now who does that remind me of. Ah yes the thief in chief who sits in the White House. How such a gallant people ever come to be led by this fellow is a total mystery to me. Such is life I suppose.


MartynInEurope

Comment No. 869890

October 16 23:24
ESP

Isn't it a terribly cruel twist of fate that given all the sacrifices made by many poor GIs from the USA in the effort to crush European fascism and nazism in the 1940s, that the new poor, dispossessed and alienated in the USA have to suffer the ascent of its very own home-grown and rampant fascism and nazism, and with no one around to defend them from the murderous, heinous and twisted bastards that have seized power and influence right from under their noses, and to add insult to injury, this has happened with the consent of the two party factions. I tell you, it's truly appalling.


MagillaGuerrilla

Comment No. 869930

October 17 0:15
USA

Good thing that our lofty congress has deigned to condemn the Turks for the horrible mistreatment of Armenians. Now they can begin the long, hard work of condemning:

The U.S, England, France, Spain, Holland, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, Rwanda, Sudan, Croatia, Albania, Serbia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and surely several more who are also guilty of genocide to varying degrees under the current U.N. definition.

Do I deny that Armenians suffered genocide? Absolutely not. The thing is, that if our vaunted congress is suddenly the arbiter of world justice, lets apply it with an even hand. It's simply not fair to single out turkey as one of the world's two acknowledged genocidal countries without applying those same standards elsewhere. It should be obvious to anyone with a history book and 1/3 of a brain that Turkey and Germany are NOT the only countries on earth with genocide in their pasts. It is highly insulting to Turks that they should get the label of Genocidal while, say, Spain (inquisition, anyone?) gets off the hook.


GrandLunar

Comment No. 869947

October 17 0:27
GBR

AnastasiaUSA
Comment No. 869826
USA
Grand Lunar, I don't see your point(aside from the one on top of your head nyuk nyuk)or what merit it has on the discussion. So, you explain to me quanitatively all the similarities you see in order to justify comparing Finland with the US and then perhaps if you make some sense I'll respond.

------------------

If you do not, as you say, understand my point, it is because you are a cretin. Therefore, I would be wasting my time attempting to explain my views to you.

Nyuk nyuk, my arse...


skiergolfer

Comment No. 869978

October 17 1:00

GRAND LUNAR - you seem quite impressed with yourself. No idea why you would, but certainly not as a result of your immature posts.

The sad fact in all of this is Turkey's pretense, in the face of overwhelming evidence that genociude did occur.

Also very sad that no matter what America does, the lefties here will find some fault. Maybe the lefties should start with trashing their forebears who are actually the ones who came to the new world and committed genocide on native americans, starting with Jamestown.


stevejones123

Comment No. 870028

October 17 2:25
LKA

----"while, say, Spain (inquisition, anyone?) gets off the hook."------

The Spanish Inquisition had many faults, popping up unexpectedly being apparently one of them, but genocide doesn't enter into it. The number of executions in its lifetime was considerable (2,000 in the tine of Torquemada alone) but not that unusual for the era. In Sweden in one year, they executed more people for witchcraft than the Spanish Inquisition did for the whole of its existence.


USNCDR

Comment No. 870032

October 17 2:33

Speaking as an American - I wish the US Congress would worry about affairs directly impacting America instead of wasting time on resolutions such as this. This would seem to be an issue between the countries of Armenia and Turkey, and perhaps to a lesser extent the EU and Arab League. Furthermore, there are far more contemporary issues that the US Congress (IMHO) should be focusing on in the US alone -- immigration policy, fixing the US transportation system, finding ways to reduce the deficit. If the Congress wanted to show REAL courage about modern-day atrocities, then focus on Darfur, Tibet, Myanmar, honor-killings in the Arabic world, female genital mutilation in Arabic and African countries...fixing the bottom quarter of US schools. Time for the rest of the world to step up.

As for Iraq -- whilst it is generally agreed that the post-combat phase has gone rather poorly, frankly Saddam Hussein's removal was long overdue. We crushed him in 1991 when he invaded Kuwait, and he spent the next 12 years evading and denying his responsibilities under the various UN resolutions noted above. Even if he did not have WMD, he sure pretended as if he did, obfuscating and obstructing UN inspectors repeatedly when they tried to inspect in the spirit of UN resolutions. (To put it bluntly, you don't point an unloaded gun at another man with a gun -- especially if you've threatened the man in the past.) Personally, I felt that Saddam was a problem for native Iraqis to solve, not the US. And, we had unfinished business at Tora Bora. But, when you threaten the US (especially that close to 9-11-01), you risk the consequences. Looks like SH paid with his life.

The question Guardian bloggers should ask themselves -- why can't you bring yourselves to blame the real cause of the chaos and violence in Iraq -- the blindly fanatical Islamic militants that are willing to detonate themselves and their children in a deluded faith? Funny how there have been no suicide bombings in Japan, Germany, or South Korea -- despite US troops having been stationed there for the last 50-60 years. Looks to me that Japan, Germany, and South Korea did rather well under US 'occupation'.

Come on, Guardianistas -- do you really look at US troops in Iraq the same way you thought of German troops in Poland circa 1939, USSR troops in Hungary circa 1956, USSR troops in the Czech republic circa 1968, or Chinese troops in Taiwan circa 2020? Please. The US, unlike every other great world power in history, has demonstrated time and again that our troops aren't there to conquer, they are there to liberate. Stop obfuscating the truth and start focusing on the REAL cause of the bloodshed in Iraq -- the Islamic militants. (You remember -- they rioted, looted, and killed over mere cartoons. They've beheaded reporters. They've bombed schools and killed schoolteachers for the 'crime' of teaching girls.) Or are you afraid of what might happen if you challenge them in front of the London Mosque?

Isn't it interesting how there is endemic poverty all around the world and yet there are have been no reports of suicide bombers in Mexico City...or Sao Paulo...or Brooklyn...or Beijing. Hmm, what could the common thread be? Also -- you have issues with the US as an 'occupying force', but no issues with Saddam using chemical weapons on his Kurdish citizens? No issues with the horrific treatment of the Shi'ite and Kurdish minorities by the Ba'athist regime? Seems to me you have one standard that you judge the US by, and quite another for Iraq (under Saddam), Iran, Russia (under Putin), Sudan, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Myanmar, and China. I guess as long as those governments are oppressing and killing their own citizens, it's alright with you. Are you as outraged over Tibet as you are about Iraq? Are you as outraged over Tiananmen Square, the suppression of free speech, and the forced displacement of millions for mere games (the 2008 Olympics) as you are about Iraq? Are you as outraged over the inaction by the EU and African Union vis-a-vis Darfur as you are over Iraq? Are you as outraged over what is going on in the Congo and the vile actions of UN 'peacekeeping' forces as you are about Iraq? Are you as outraged over the 'honor killings' condoned by Arabic governments against women as you are about Iraq? Are you as outraged over the threats made my militant Islamists against Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the slaughter of the Dutch filmmaker Van Gogh? Are you as outraged over the suppression of free speech noted by the Mohammed cartoon controversy?

Better wake up...the clock is ticking in Londonistan...



wildonotrix

Comment No. 870071

October 17 3:57
NZL

Have the Turks considered recognising the genocide carried out against the Native Americans in the 19th century. Now that would be fun.


heresthetics

Comment No. 870083

October 17 4:30
MYS

Dear all,

This is certainly a complex issue. I think all the comparative, you-killed-loads-of-people-too comments are a bit pointless and irrelevant, however. Every country (especially a powerful one like Turkey) is guilty of horrific massacres. This does include the US, but also Britain, France, Germany, Israel, and even Belgium - think of the appallingly harsh rule of the Belgian colonialists in the Congo for almost a full century. By this I do not mean that these should be forgotten and business should continue as usual: on the contrary, I do not believe that valid debates on such atrocities should be institutionally stonewalled simply because not all countries react evenly to them all, and fail to apply proper moral introspection to their own misdeeds.

Is there fundamental injustice in such imbalance? Definitely - there is no valid moral reason why the Holocaust is so universally recognised and condemned, for example, whilst the wholesale rape, murder and torture committed by Soviet troops against hundreds of thousands of innocent German civilians during the spring of 1945 tends to be practically forgotten. Many massacres, for reasons of political expediency or because the perpetrating power happens to exercise the largest control over the flow of information, are passed over rather benevolently.

This would be the case for, say, the numerous British repressive actions in places like India (from the Sepoy Mutiny to the Amritsar Massacre), the widespread French use of torture during the Algerian War, the Cultural Revolution and all the other bloody purges committed by the Maoist regime in China (which resulted in dozens of millions of deaths and have still not been officially condemned by the current Chinese government or any of China's trading partners), or indeed the atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the US. I am not anti-American but neither do I believe that the US is saintly, and I do think that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were very questionable actions which would require much more debate. By the same token (which may illustrate the political stranglehold that powerful countries have on the dissemination of knowledge), everyone tends to remember Winston Churchill for his heroic actions during World War II, but not that he also vociferously defended the trial use of mustard gas on the Arab population of the British Empire during World War I.

Yet while there is certainly much injustice in this, it is also the way life works. Just as different human beings will come to terms with guilt and recognition in uncertain and uneven ways (and sometimes not at all), different countries will go through much the same process. This complicated and often bitter journey happens even when political circumstances are highly unfavourable to the offending power - think of Japan, one of World War II's most obviously recognised losers, who has come under tremendous international pressure to admit guilt and yet continues to deny that the Nanking Massacre ever happened, or that Japanese rule in Asia was uniformly oppressive and malevolent.

The fundamentally erratic nature of such national admissions of guilt must be frankly recognised as the truth continues to be sought. Whilst it is certainly important for all of mankind, including outsiders to the event, to bring all the contentious facts to light and ascertain the truth in the most scrupulous way possible (just as for individual human offences, national culpability is rarely a straight-forward matter), there is no point bullying people into feeling guilt, and there is equally little point in bullying entire nations into it. Just as for individual human beings, guilt must be left to make its own way internally through the layers of consciousness. Generally, attempts by outsiders to force this process will only result in brutal opposition, an inward-looking victimisation complex and an increased tendency to deny everything for even longer.

This is why I agree with Mr Kinzer - although Congress can indeed rule on anything it likes, what are the practical benefits of this new bill? As others have said, it will simply drive a deeper wedge in Turkish-Armenian relations, which were just starting to show signs of a cautious thaw (and will ultimately be the key to a franker admission of Turkish crimes, much more so than a mere piece of paper written by a faraway legislature). It will drive Turkey away from the Western alliance, with potentially catastrophic results. And it will result in a violent persecution complex in Turkey which will do no good to anybody: not to Turkey, who is seeking greater cooperation with the Western world and the European Union; not to Armenia, who will now continue to face the full brunt of Turkish hostility and denial for the foreseeable future; and certainly not to us. On the face of it, therefore, Mr Kinzer's hypothesis that this is but a vacuous political ploy intended only to benefit a few cynical Congress members appears correct.


seattledodger

Comment No. 870116

October 17 5:59
USA

excellent contribution. bloody spot on.


MartynInEurope

Comment No. 870151

October 17 7:25
ESP

Who is afraid of the truth?

If the massacre of Armenians is in the history of Turkey then what is the problem with formally stating it, recognising it and apologising for it?

Has the time come to forget the atrocities of the past? Is there a time limit on the condemnation of denial of atrocities? Is there a time limit on the denial of the holocaust?

Shouldn't people be actually thinking of formally recognising where their fellow countrymen have screwed up big time in the past, apologising for it and then moving on?
Why are some countries so fucking proudly nationalistic when it comes to their so called virtues, but become complete and utter dogs when it comes to atrocities committed in their countries name?

Europe was fully responsible for the holocaust, and it can be rightly condemned for it, from here to eternity, yet life goes on.

Come on, if people really want a civil society, then they should behave like they are one.

So, who is afraid of the truth?


MartynInEurope

Comment No. 870152

October 17 7:25
ESP

Who is afraid of the truth?

If the massacre of Armenians is in the history of Turkey then what is the problem with formally stating it, recognising it and apologising for it?

Has the time come to forget the atrocities of the past? Is there a time limit on the condemnation of denial of atrocities? Is there a time limit on the denial of the holocaust?

Shouldn't people be actually thinking of formally recognising where their fellow countrymen have screwed up big time in the past, apologising for it and then moving on?
Why are some countries so fucking proudly nationalistic when it comes to their so called virtues, but become complete and utter dogs when it comes to atrocities committed in their countries name?

Europe was fully responsible for the holocaust, and it can be rightly condemned for it, from here to eternity, yet life goes on.

Come on, if people really want a civil society, then they should behave like they are one.

So, who is afraid of the truth?


ballymichael

Comment No. 870197

October 17 8:40
DEU

@martyn
"Why are some countries so fucking proudly nationalistic when it comes to their so called virtues, but become complete and utter dogs when it comes to atrocities committed in their countries name?"

Pretty well all nations do that. Talk up the suffering, talk down the repression. WE're victims, THEY're vicious killers. Nationalism at work.

The official turkish denial of the organisation of the mass murder is a particularly stark example of this selective blindness, of course.


steg

Comment No. 870294

October 17 9:50
GBR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide#Coining_of_the_term_genocide

The term genocide was coined with reference to the Armenian slaughter well before the Holocaust, so I'm not sure there's much of a debate to be had - clearly it was genocide, a term which was then also used to describe the Holocaust. I think Turkey should be condemned because it has failed to admit to the Armenian genocide. Germany admitted its evils and has made sure that German children are educated about the Holocaust. That is the first step to any kind of reconciliation. Turkey has failed to do this.


GrandLunar

Comment No. 870505

October 17 11:35
GBR

skiergolfer
Comment No. 869978
GRAND LUNAR - you seem quite impressed with yourself. No idea why you would, but certainly not as a result of your immature posts.

-----------------

Yes, I am impressed with myself, because I'm not a neo-con arse-licker like AnastasiaUSA, PresidentD and, clearly, yourself. Immature posts? Better that than the ill-thought out swill that passes for comment by the above mentioned. Perhaps if AnastasiaUSA posted a comment that does not insult people's intelligence, I'll refrain from insulting him/her.


skiergolfer
Comment No. 869978
The sad fact in all of this is Turkey's pretense, in the face of overwhelming evidence that genocide did occur.

Also very sad that no matter what America does, the lefties here will find some fault. Maybe the lefties should start with trashing their forebears who are actually the ones who came to the new world and committed genocide on native americans, starting with Jamestown.

-----------------

Have either Kinzer or I denied the Armenian genocide? Kinzer may dispute definitions, but he freely acknowledges that the killings did take place. However, the point, which Kinzer et al, have been making is this - *why* is Congress concentrating on *this* genocide over all the others that have taken place? This is something the idiots AnastasiaUSA, PresidentD & chums have ignored.

As for claiming the New World setttlers as the forebears of 'the lefties', wow, neat. What a fantastic side-step from the fact that they were the founders of the USA, *your* people (or at least the people you're sucking up to).


RobertStanfield

Comment No. 870619

October 17 12:22
GBR

heresthetics,

Excellent and even-handed post.

I do, however, think there is a practical and important difference in this case from the other atrocities you referred to, namely that in those cases the offender country has not made it illegal to recognise or discuss the fact of the atrocity.

The governments of those countries may be more quiet than contrite on those matters but they won't prosecute you for bringing the matters up and blaming the country in question. You don't even have to be telling the truth - you can, for instance, accuse Britain of having committed genocide against Argentines during the Falklands War and you may get a few odd looks but no one is going to arrest you. The issue in Armenian case is that the Turkish government has institutionalised a huge and cruel lie as a punitive law.

If a German government started denying the Holocaust took place, and prosecuting those who said it did, what do you think other people's or countries' reactions should be? I would say it should involve other people and countries formally asserting that it did indeed happen, and that if it embarrassed or enraged the Germans, or caused diplomatic problems, too bad. Being quietly ashamed of such atrocities is a step up, at least, from denying that they happened and threatening those who say that they did.

"not to Armenia, who will now continue to face the full brunt of Turkish hostility and denial for the foreseeable future;"

The operative word there is 'continue'. They already do, as they have done for centuries. The policy of just hoping the Turks will confront their past on their own just hasn't worked.

Deferring indefinitely to the short temper and self-pity of an offender nation is no recipe for the victim nation getting recognition. It just encourages such tactics, in the same way that giving in to a child with a tantrum encourages the child to use tantrums as a long-term tactic.

As you so eloquently demonstrated, Turkey need not be singled out for having committed atrocities during its history. It does, however, deserve to be made an example of for legally persecuting those who wish to discuss them. In that respect it is indeed in a separate league from the usual suspects.

And the distinction between being locked up for criticising your country's past and not being locked up for it really does matter. Half of the posters on this board would get that soon enough if the UK or US government instituted similar laws and they found themselves in court for some of the opinions they put up here.



quitsmoking

Comment No. 871063

October 17 15:14
TUR

Bias is beautiful !
As demonstrated in a recent book : Bias is beatiful
or Swan Song for Common Sense trying to make economy or politics out of history (which can only be understood thru spectacles of biology) causes nothing but further trouble.

Lets not forget the great Influenza (Spanish flu) which killed about 4 times as much people during the WWI (estimates 60 Million) then did the war. If 200.000 Armenians died or 600.000 is something which historians will have to tell us not politicians. As historians will also tell us how many Turks were killed in the tragic events during that time. Id politicians tried to tell us that I would not believe them anyway! quitsmoking


Guiteau

Comment No. 871208

October 17 16:24
USA

@USNCDR:
I don't think you really want to get into a pissing contest about who's more brutal-- US military or the Iraqi resistance. Navy aviators and AF pilots routinely dismember and terrorize Iraqi civilians-- from the comfort and safety of their aircraft.

"The US, unlike every other great world power in history, has demonstrated time and again that our troops aren't there to conquer, they are there to liberate"

Tell that to 3 million Vietnamese.


AnastasiaUSA

Comment No. 871210

October 17 16:25
USA

Okay okay, let's all leave Grand Lunar alone, clearly he is having issues with cogent responses and is so flustered to the point that he almost missed kazoo practice last night(or so I heard), and that would have been a shame since he made first chair..


AnastasiaUSA

Comment No. 871319

October 17 17:09
USA

Guiteau -
"Tell that to 3 million Vietnamese"

Yes you are right, the anti-war left can take 100% credit for that. I agree it was shameful.


Guiteau

Comment No. 871527

October 17 19:08
USA

Leave off the anesthesia anastasia-- you're not making any sense.

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk


The Voice of a Decent American Craig Barnes

by CHRISTOPHER VASILLOPULOS, PH.D.*
As a participant in a conference at Oxford University, I was struck by the near unanimity of opinion, by mostly American scholars, against the Iraq war and its consequences.

Americans from all regions of the country, from many academic disciplines, roundly condemned the Bush administration and their own complicity in it, if only by passive acquiescence to its countless dubious policies and practices. The most eloquent voice was that of Craig Barnes. In tones and cadences reminiscent of the great Edward R. Murrow, he captured the sense of the conference as he expressed the basic decency and fairness of the American public. Because his words have a universal message, I believe they are appropriate for Today’s Zaman. What follows is an abridgment of his presentation with modest editorial adjustments. Although I am happy to associate myself with his message, the words are almost all his.

The world is roughly divided between two cultures, one that believes all government is personal and that ethics in government are naïve and the other that believes without ethics and constitutional protections all governments, regardless of form, lead to tyranny and the collapse of the social order.

The United States is currently engaged in a great imperial adventure. Our president is acting as if he had unconstrained executive powers, powers so comprehensive that they override any authority given by the constitution to the legislative branch, so comprehensive that he may exercise them in secret without legislative oversight, so plenary that he may override existing law, domestic and international, and so natural that he need only answer to God. This arrogation of powers is justified by a “war” which he has unilaterally declared, a “war” with no identifiable enemy except anyone who resists US imperialism and, therefore, no end. When one man in this manner goes beyond the boundaries of modern law and moves us backward toward autocracy and tyranny, his action raises not only political and constitutional issues, but issues that profoundly affect the morale and the morality of a whole nation. Imperialism affects the ethics of a nation, fosters an appetite for revenge: against anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Autocracy and arbitrary enforcement, rewards for the oligarchs and crumbs for the latecomers or outsiders, are conditions that breed contempt -- not just of citizens for their government -- but also, and crucially, between citizens. The effect of tyranny is therefore to strangle cooperation, spawn intolerance and encourage brutality, the opposite of decency. The cost of government which is not civil, or bound by the civil law, is therefore not only in the loss of due process or constitutional assembly, abstractions, say, of the civil code. The loss is far more, and devastatingly, the loss of social cohesion, the loss of social affection or attention to the common good. A lack of a fair legal system and democratic government breeds division, skepticism, suspicion, racism, religious intolerance and, finally, treachery between and amongst ordinary people. Those who cannot attack the powers at the top attack each other.

This is the natural progression to tyranny. Irresistibly, and progressively, autocratic, personal government scours out public compassion and then in turn, breeds divisions within culture, public anger and the absence of public responsibility. The mentality of tyranny is like a climatic condition that settles a cloud over the landscape. The destruction of civility and a legal tradition carries with it the loss of public civility, decency and tolerance.

The corruption of the powerful finds insidious expression in the corruption of the weak. If one has to bribe an official to allow a daughter into school or a mother into a hospital, if one can bribe an official to procure a university degree or a position in an elite professional school, if one can do these things and more, then the law becomes a force which is applied only to those without the means or inclination to corruption.

The powerful welcome the corruption of the weak, for it removes the moral basis of outrage against the corruption of the powerful. It thereby mutes the protest against wars of aggression, the bombing of schools and hospitals, the incarceration of so-called enemy combatants without the protections of due process or the Geneva Conventions, the arrest and harassment of Muslims because they are Muslims, and the violation of the civil liberties of all Americans and the natural rights of everyone. A muted citizenry, especially when corruption is reinforced by fear, is powerless. A powerless citizenry is in chains, safe from all predators except their government and themselves.

Craig Barnes is an author, playwright, commentator on public radio, lecturer, international negotiator and lawyer. His presentation was made to the Oxford Round Table on Aug. 6, 2007.

* Christopher Vasillopulos is a professor of International Relations at Eastern Connecticut State University.

19.10.2007


Mesrob II To Take Resolution Concern to US State Dept.

Patriarch Mesrob II (Mutafyan) was received by President Abdullah Gül at the presidential palace.

Reiterating his community's objection to a resolution approved by a US Congress committee branding the 1915 killings of Anatolian Armenians as genocide, the spiritual leader of Turkey's Armenian Orthodox community on Thursday said he planned to speak with US State Department officials later in the day in order to voice his community's stance.

Patriarch Mesrob II (Mutafyan) was speaking to reporters following his talks with Turkish Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan in Ankara, where he also held talks with President Abdullah Gül later in the day.

"[Prime Minister] Mr. [Recep Tayyip] Erdog(an's proposal was a very good one but it seems like it didn't get the necessary support," Mesrob II said, referring to an offer extended by Erdog(an in 2005 to Armenian President Robert Kocharian for a joint committee of Turkish and Armenian experts to study the allegations. The call has remained unanswered by Yerevan to date.

The patriarch stressed that he would speak with officials from the US State Department over the telephone in order to express his views concerning the issue.

Mesrob II had already said earlier that the Armenian issue has always been used as “domestic policy material” and is constantly brought to the agenda in the United States. He urged keeping the Armenian community in Turkey out of ongoing controversy over the issue. “We’ve been concerned because this resolution will have an impact on the lives of Turkish citizens of Armenian origin living in Turkey. We are against this resolution. We have always been against this resolution. We will write whatever necessary to related officials in the US. We will exert the necessary efforts to prevent its passage,” he said earlier this week.

In Washington, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was uncertain whether members will vote on the Armenian genocide resolution after several members pulled their support of from proposed resolution because of fears it would cripple US relations with Turkey. “Whether it will come up or not, or what the action will be, remains to be seen,” Democrat Pelosi, who controls the House’s agenda, told reporters Wednesday.

The remark marks a weakening of Pelosi’s previous position. Both she and the House majority leader, her second-in-command in the chamber, earlier pledged that if the resolution should clear the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the full House would vote on it by year’s end.

A senior Turkish diplomat, speaking under customary condition of anonymity with Today’s Zaman, said on Thursday that Ankara hopes “common sense will eventually prevail and the full House vote will not be held on an equitable basis.”

The House proposal, which would label as genocide the killing of Armenians a century ago by Ottoman Turks, has inflamed US tensions with Turkey, which says the death toll has been inflated and the Armenians died during civil unrest, not organized genocide. Support for the nonbinding resolution deteriorated this week after Turkey summoned its US ambassador to Ankara and several lawmakers spoke out against it.

Also on Wednesday, US President George W. Bush urged the Democrat-controlled Congress to drop the resolution, saying, “One thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire.”

“Congress has more important work to do than antagonizing a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one that’s providing vital support for our military every day,” in places like Iraq, he said at a hastily arranged press conference, branding the measure “counterproductive.”

Bush called Pelosi on Tuesday to ask her not to call for a House vote on the resolution.

19.10.2007 Today’s Zaman Ankara


"Genocide" Or "Massacres" - Sf Chronicle
From Ece Akaydin
Please find a friend's critic of an article, which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle last Friday.

The original article can be accessed at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=15&entry_id=21104
Please take a moment and add your comment as well.

Note: Dear Mr. Evinch, this is how we talk to people who try to insult our heritage! We are not tiny little weaklings begging for fairness and justice! We are the "Cilgin Turkler"!
* * *
In "Genocide" or "massacres"?, you make some effort to understand why Turks do not accept the Armenian allegations. By being a Turkish American, I can explain:

The people who are alleged to be murderers are my grandparents. The evidence put in front of us for these accusations are sketchy at best and mostly drawn from Armenian sources. Even worse, the judges who are trying to implicate my grandparents are the members of the Congress who naturally are uninformed about the events that happened 100 years ago and 1000s miles away. Yet, my grandparents are judged in absentia and are deemed to be guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. This violates the basic American judiciary rule: innocent until proven guilty. But let us slow down, we cannot accept Congress to abide by the law. They are the law makers, so they are above the law, right? Failing to apply basics of law, are they using any independent historical information they have? No again. They are reading from the script written by Armenian interest groups. But we cannot require them to be scientists either as they clearly fail the test of scientific inquiry before making a conclusion. This kind of premature / unjustified conclusion is a spat on the face of historians and scientists in general.

Disregarding rules of law and science, there remains only one motivation for our dear Congress: financing a reelection campaign and locking the Armenian votes coming from places like Glendale, CA. That is what I cannot accept as a Turk. That is why I am not surprised with the approval rate of 11% for Congress as an American. It is sad that our representatives are focusing on issues that they have no jurisdiction over and no information about while we, middle class Americans, face health care, education, employment problems.

Curious I am if our Congress cares for equity as we know it does not either for law or science. Namely, will our congress have resolutions about the other killings say Vizigoths killing Romans or Saxons killing Celts or French killing Algerians or Japanese killing Chinese? The principle of equity calls for a resolution for each of these instances and many others. By the way, to finance a reelection campaign in the western states, the priority should be given to Chinese vs. Japanese because of the ethnic Chinese over in California. And I think the Chinese have deeper pockets than Armenians. I can see $$$ signs in the eyes of members of Congress.

This takes me to my final question. As an American, are you comfortable with the impact of ethnically based interest groups on the Congress? This Armenian case illustrates to us that the ethnic groups have the ability to take our representatives as hostages and direct them to one or another resolution. In other words, Al-Qaeda hijacked our planes and now Armenians are hijacking our Congress. I personally see this as a big problem for our political system. This Armenian sponsored resolution reveals an important weakness of our system: decisions are based on campaign financing rather than law, science or equity. At this juncture, I conclude by saying that campaign finance reform is long overdue. I shall vote for the presidential candidate who supports the campaign finance reform.


The Relations Should Be Intensified
The Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II stated that the developments like the adoption of the genocide bill in the parliaments of EU countries, as well as Southern American countries, in addition to the fact that it will soon be on the agenda of the USA Congress, have great impacts on the Jewish community in Turkey.

Stressing that they do not approve the resolutions adopted by the parliaments of various countries on the Armenian genocide, which are against Turkey, Mesrob II said: “These practices, which originate from the third countries, make it difficult to look at the future for Turks and Armenians.

Mesrob II said: “We work in cooperation with our Turkish associates in our daily life. The current developments appear as an insensitive approach to us. And I suppose these have negative effects on the relations between Turkey and Armenia. There had been some incidents in the past. Nevertheless, it is time to look at the future some how and overcome the issues and proceed. Presenting this issue to the parliaments over and over again creates nothing but distress.”

Regarding Diaspora’s point of view on the normalization of the relations between Turkey and Armenia, the Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II stated: “I think, they do not care about it. I think that if they cared about it, they would be more careful on the relations. Most probably, the only thing they care about is the opening of the borders between Armenia and Turkey. In this context, they desire a more free circulation between the two countries.

Patriarch, also indicated that mutual and compromising visits between the two countries should be intensified, and academicians, young people, sportsmen and journalists should mutually visit each other more frequently, which has also humane side, intensifying the cultural, sportive and academic activities would contribute to getting to know each other, commercial activities can also accelerate the relations, as most of the sensible countries do, and if the contacts would not be limited only with the top level, the relations will eventually calm down.

Source: Cumhuriyet Daily-21/08/2007-Leyla Tavsanoglu
Milliyet Daily-21/08/2007

Source: GenocideReality.com


Please Stop This Unhealthy Trend
It will be enough to glance at the history of the era to cross-examine the claims of the Armenian Diaspora. When the Ottoman Empire entered into the regression period during 1770-1920 while the disperse of the Empire had started, tragic collective migrations were experienced due to nationalist riots and civil wars in Eastern Europe and Western Asia, where it was dominating.

One of the tragic incidents that Armenian, Kurd and Muslim societies experienced during the riots and civil wars, which were nourished particularly by the expansion policy of the Tsarist Russia, was the compulsory immigration that was carried out against the Armenians at 1915. The Armenians, who upraised against the Ottoman with aspire to gain independence, were ruled by Tashnak and H?nchak parties. These parties had followed a strategy, which could realize in Eastern Anatolia. Boghos Nubar Pasha, the leader of the Armenian militias prior the World War I, had even offered support against the Ottoman.

As a matter of fact, 150 thousand Caucasus Armenians in the Russian army, in addition to 40,000 Armenian volunteers in Eastern Anatolia had fought against the Ottoman State.

The Ottoman rule had forced the Armenians in the region to immigrate to ensure the safety of the Eastern front, as well as to prevent the support for the Armenian gangs.

This move was a method, which is legally based on the Hague International Agreement (1907) that was practiced by the states under the civil war circumstances.

This move was particularly regarded as a legitimate precaution against the ones, who collaborate with the enemy and rise against a state. On the other hand, this precaution was only limited with Eastern Anatolia; there had never been any kind of pressure against Armenians at the other parts of the country.

Despite the Ottoman rule had issued regulations (1915) for the safety of the immigration, as a result of the hunger, diseases and civil gang assaults there had been great number of lost of lives.

Some part of the immigrants, who were settled at the environs of Syria, had later, gone to various countries like America and England. In the year of 1918, the Ottoman government issued a second regulation, which organized the return of the Armenian immigrants back to their home, and with this move, thousands of Armenians had found the chance to return back to their houses.

The government officials, who were found guilty of not carrying out the immigration regulations, besides 1673 individuals, who participated in the looting incidents, were judged at the courts of war.

67 of them were punished with death penalty, 524 with imprisonment, 68 with “row” and deportation penalty.

The high level Ottoman rulers, who were held responsible of the Armenians’ murder and send to exile to Malta by the English soldiers, who invaded Istanbul, were judged by the court there.

England had set the Ottoman rulers free when they were not able to find any evidence, both in their archives, and in the Ottoman archives, in addition to the Court registrations which proves that they committed massacre.

The verdicts of the Malta Court, is a influential jurisprudence document, which reveals that there had been no genocide either at 1915 and afterwards. As a matter of fact, English Minister Hughes clarified as a state opinion at 2001 that England has been re-examining the evidences and documents on the incidents; and they have decided that these incidents do not comply with the UN’s definition of genocide.”

After expressing the historical incidents so clearly, I say to the USA Congress and House of Representatives: “You still have a valuable opportunity ahead of you. Please stop this unhealthy trend.”

Source: Kamuran Özbir- Ortadogu Daily-29.08.2007
18.09.2007

Source: GenocideReality.com


The Provocation of the Ottoman Armenians by the External Forces
The Armenians within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire were fused with the Muslims as they are today and during the imperial era they lived together and friendly with them for years by having the same rights. Regardless of their status of minority, they had a happy life with the Muslims within the same traditions, culture and artistic movements and by having the same opportunities for almost six centuries.

Lady Mary Montaque stated at length in her “Orient Letters” how the Armenians were close to the Turks and that they even read the Bible in Turkish. The itinerant Ibn Batuta talked about the Armenians he met while he was traveling the Anatolia in the Seljuk period, knowing no other language than the Turkish.

While the situation was like that till 1827, the Armenians were started to be provoked by the Russian intervention in the Caucasia at the end of Ottoman-Russian war and the Russian desire to destroy the Ottoman Empire. But, as it was known that this provocation could not be successful within the Ottoman boundaries and that the Armenians were not different from the Muslims, it was intended to benefit from the outside Armenians. Then, with the support of France and the UK, the vain promises were made to the outside Armenians and the hostility against the Turks was started to be inculcated. The claims, which were aimed to be attributed to the Armenians, were produced beyond the Ottoman boundaries and they were rather a ruse created by the external forces. Unfortunately, it was observed that some Armenians were involved in this ruse.

The analysis made by Cemal Kutay on this issue gives lessons. According to Kutay, “the Hunchak, the first secret Armenian revolutionary committee, was established in 1882 in Lausanne, Switzerland by a member of the resistance movement called Nayazbaq, son of a Georgian mother and Caucasian Armenian father. The founders of the Troshak and Dashnak committees, which were established respectively in 1890 and 1892 by splitting from the Hunchak, were also outside Armenians.

While the Russian Tsardom was trying to make the Caucasia Russian, it was aware of the fact that the Armenians there were a factor of instability and as they were unable of self-governing, they would cause trouble for the Ottomans in case that they were migrated to the eastern Anatolia. They put into action their plan in this direction and used the Armenians for their sake. The Ottoman Administration did, however, provide every opportunity to the Armenians and did not make any provocation against any foreign country. Here the divergence of two separate states about the Armenians.

Due to this reason, the Tsarist Russia sent the Armenians to the Eastern Anatolia. They succeeded to insert into the Berlin Treaty the article stating that “the Armenians cannot be banned from settling freely anywhere they want in the Ottoman country”. Hence, their covered aim was revealed. This plan let to sow the first seed of hostility in Turkey from abroad. Actually, the anarchic events in the Ottoman country since 1882 started with the transforming the schools and churches into the arsenals through the activities of the Armenians sent from abroad. The support of some foreign consulates in this affair became clearer.

When the Armenian activities in Kahramanmaras were determined, a delegation headed by Hussein Avni Pacha went there with the aim of making inspection. This delegation established that there were preparations of uprising and informed the then Sadrazam M. Emin Ali Pacha about the situation with a letter.

The movement that was incited by the Russian Tsardom and British Kingdom according to us started violently in 1882. With the incitement of external forces, thousand of people were murdered and Turkish villages and town were destroyed.

In the report sent to Vienna by the Austrian Consul in Trebizond Dr. Kemernich, it was said about the then activities of the Armenian gang members that: “in the history, there is no such a bloody and intolerant fanaticism having an unclear aim”.

That an Armenian gang occupied the Ottoman Bank on August 26, 1896 in Istanbul and they said they were awaiting the arrival of the British vessels to Istanbul show obviously how the provocative and vain promises influenced some Armenians. Neither the British army did come, nor did the British assume officially this task. The incitement of the racism in our country by the British and the pressures on the Ottoman leadership of France and the tsarist Russia pretending to be protector states activated some Armenian groups and the bloody activities of the gangs occurred in some places in the country.

Sadrazam Said Pasha appealed to the big states to charge an international investigative delegation to conduct the investigations in place. That this appeal was rejected by London, Paris and Moscow raises some suspicions about these three states. Why was this appeal rejected? While such an innocent, frank and humanist proposal was accepted by Berlin, Vienna, Madrid and Rome, what was the reason of the rejection of these three states? What was likely to relate to them at the end of the investigation and why that they did not accede to this appeal? Moreover, that these three countries made this file be closed down in the Yildiz Palace suggests the start of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in weakness and reveals also the authors of this collapse.

The Armenian terrorism escalated till the attempt of assassination against Sultan Abdulhamid, II, who said that: “I don’t believe that the authors of this attempt may be Armenian. I think those poisoning them are trained abroad”. This assessment was not only sentimental, but also logical. In that time, the Minister of Treasury Ohannes Pacha, who was very appreciated and relied by the Sultan, was Armenian. There was no discrimination against the Armenian in the Ottoman Empire, but there was fight against those occupying the country. No one has the right to complain if some ones died among those who had come with the aim of killing.

In the Asparas Newspaper, the daily of the Dashnaksutiun published in the US, it is said that: “the Armenian aim is to not let any independent Turkish state be survived on earth and they side with any person who fights against the Turks”. The statement cannot go beyond an exaggerated foreign threat against our country. The establishment of an Armenia within the boundaries of Turkey is not realistic. In the Ottoman state, there were efforts to prevent the activities of the Armenian gangs and there were counter actions against the assassination of thousand of Muslim Turks by them. There was no further action.


In 1917, upon the report of the British Consul, Sir Henry Eliot said that: “I don’t want to believe. If I believe, I should shame of my humanity”. These atrocious attacks, which led Sir H. Eliot to make such a statement, could not be tolerated till the extermination of the last Muslim Turks.

The Armenian claim, which is put forth today, does not comply with the realities. Apart from our sources, this issue can be determined easily through the external sources as well. For instance, Ivan Majovsky says in his memories dated 1917 that: “In general, the press articles about the Armenian issues are untrue. Anything written about the Armenians are false. On June 6, I visited with Dr. Renold the fortifications built by the revolutionaries. I was surprised with what I saw. They said me that they would wait for 10 days, until the forces from Iran would arrive. There were the Bulgarians and Russian Armenians among the leaders of the revolution. The fact was that, since 1888, the Armenians groups were pushing the country, where they feed themselves, they live in peace and they possess all the rights, into a civil war in a merciless and fearless way”.

In his report dated April 18, 1918, the Lieutenant Colonel Kleboff, commander of the Russian fortified site in Erzurum, said that: “in the implementation of the cease-fire, it is necessary to hand over the Turkish territories under our occupation and evacuate them as soon as possible. The Armenian catastrophe is above any explanation. The previous day, I went to the headquarters of the commander General Odichelidze upon the order that I give him explanation about the events in Erzurum. After having listened to me, General Odichelidze said that: ‘what you have said took place in the Turkish territories under our occupation. Here, I have found out from a pit the bodies of more than 400 Turkish women and children. Their hands were tied in their back and they were slaughtered like animals’ ”. The photos taken by Odichelidze were published in the Hayat Magazine .

What do the provocations to destroy a state depend on? Should the idea that creates a monster murdering thousands of innocent persons be maintained at any cost? How could be those aiming to murder confronted? There was no reply against most of these murders. It is also established that those who murdered the Turks abroad had no links with Turkey. Soghomon Tehlirian, the murderer of Talat Pasha did not have any link with Turkey. Tehlirian was Iranian and born in Selmas city in Iran. In Berlin, the foreign Armenians murdered the Police Director Bedri, the governor of Beirut and Police director-general Cemal Azmi, member of the general headquarter and deputy president of Ittihat and Terakki Dr. Bahaddin Sakirunder the former Ottoman administration and the Minister of Navy Cemal Pasha under the former Ottoman administration.

While there was not a claim about the Armenian cause inside the country, some other forces wished to invent such a cause through a group of fedayees they procured. There are, therefore, numerous documents proving the fact that some Armenians were enabled to penetrate into Anatolia from abroad and to conduct genocide. The Ottoman history is net and there is no grudge in the Ottoman tradition. In times when the empire was strong, it could be easy to prevent the speaking of the foreign languages within the empire. Which state being conqueror in a war in those times recognized the rights which were given to the Byzantine people by Fatih Sultan Mehmed when he conquered Istanbul? The first Armenian Patriarchate was established in Istanbul in 1461 by Fatih Sultan Mehmed. This right, which was not recognized by the Byzantine, was given with all extent to the Armenians. An Armenian Assembly was also established in Istanbul. The issue was to provide to Armenians the rights that were limited for them and enable them to live in peace and security. This tolerance of the state, the procurement of the rights, the freedom given to the schools and churches led these places to become arsenals. Wasn’t the manipulation of religious affairs for the bloody politics incompatible with the Christian faith? The revolutionary Dashnak and Hunchak Committees tried to spread grudge and hatred against the friendship and sympathy of the Muslim people. The propaganda was not sufficient alone and it was necessary to shed blood. A band of 80-90 persons half of which are the students from Petersburg and the other half are the Armenians living in the southern Caucasia was established under the command of Serhis Gogoneon, a student from Petersburg, and this band was sent to the Turkish lands in order to shed blood in the vicinity of Kagizman. There was nobody among them who had knowledge about Turkey . This adventure of some adventurers did not serve anything but murdering people.

The Armenians in Turkey were those who were freed from the Byzantine, Persian and Egyptian hegemony. Those escaping from other countries and –while they were not numerous- the foreigners who were sent as a gang during the weak times of the Ottoman State and settled there were added to them. It is observed that the incidents started in the weak periods of the Ottoman State with the incitement of these bands.

In 1857, Migirdich Harimian started the publications against the Turks by publishing a newspaper in Van and some incidents took place. In 1874 the Ayastafanos Treaty was concluded and the Russians reached the gates of Istanbul. The Armenian Patriarch Nerseq visited the Granduke Nicholas in Istanbul and asked the establishment of Armenia in the East under the Russian control. During the Balkan wars and World War I, the Armenian incidents and demands increased. The fact that these incidents and demands coincided with periods when the Ottoman Empire was at war shows clearly that there were involvement of the external forces in this issue.

In 1893, Dr. Syrus Hamlin, the former principal of the American College in Istanbul, highlighted in the Congregationalist Review that the creator of the Armenian issue was the Russian gold and mind.

On April 21, 1915, the Tsar Nicholas II, sent a telegraph of congratulation for the murdering of the Turkish people in some places by the Armenians. Edgar Granville stated that the Russian tsars were responsible for the Armenian movements.

Since there was no discrimination in favor of the Turks in the Ottoman Empire, there were Armenians in senior positions. The foreigners, who did not wish to recognize this unity, provoked steadily the Armenians and as a result the Armenian incidents increased during the Russian war, Balkan war and World War I. The Russian Tsardom, the UK and France in particular played significant role in these issues.

By benefiting from the fact that the Armenian schools and churches were not under control, the foreign agents were enabled to operate easily in these places.

With the encouragement of some associations established abroad, such as the Huchak and Dashnak ones, the activities of some Armenian band resulted in the murder of many Muslims. In the World War I, it is observed that the Armenians attempted to conduct genocide in our eastern provinces and they tortured and murdered hundreds of thousand women, children and old people. The Armenian newspaper Gonsuk in the USA said with proud in May 1915 that: “we have not left anyone in Van apart from 15.000 Turks”. This statement shows the extent of the massacre they made only in this city with the population of 270.000 . The reason of the decision of the Ottoman Empire to relocate the Armenians with their families, who were conducting band activities in order to stab the Ottoman armies in the back, is similar to the measure taken by the USA against those of Japan origin during World War II.

The Liberal Party in the UK also supported the Hunchak password saying that “if you want Armenia to be established, kill your Turkish neighbor” . This increases the suspicion that the origin of the Hunchak password was foreign. And what about such a password of those talking about a genocide that was conducted against themselves?

There may be circles in France which support the Armenians for a long time. In February 1916, however, Mr. Toucher stated in a conference in the club of Oeuvre D’orient that: “the claim that the Armenians are murdered by the Ottomans in 1915 is untrue and it is impossible to rely on the Armenian publications in this issue. During the Turkish-Russian War, the Armenian revolutionaries murdered the Turks and it is established that the Armenian partisans were armed”.

The head of the National Armenian Delegation Nubar Pasha stated and confessed that the great part of the French forces fighting against the Turks were the Armenians. In fact, the employment of the Armenians in the armies of the foreign countries led to nothing but deluding the innocent Armenians; but it enabled the foreign armies to have less losses. As a result of the violations of some Armenian bands, some clashes, which were aimed only to confront, may only be made as self-defense.

Those who occasionally disrupted the peaceful coexistence with the Armenians for centuries were not the Ottoman Administration. It is well-known how the Muslim Turks are respectful for the other religions. The foreign assessments confirm this fact as well. For instance, the General Brozat Shellendorf, who had fought for three and a half years in the Ottoman army stated in the review of Deutsche Algemeine Zeitung on July 24, 1921 that: “the Turks are the most tolerant people in the world towards those of other religions”. In his article, Shellendorf indicated that the Armenians conducted sabotages against the Turkish armies, made stealthy attacks and carved the eyes of the people in the villages in may times.

Some Armenians do not deny they were incited by the foreigners. S. Papridian states in his work called “Armenian Crisis and Rebirth”, which is published in Boston in 1905, that: “we owe the promises and suggestion of revolution to the Russian”. Edgar Gronville also stated that the racial conflicts in the Ottoman Empire were provoked by the foreigners.

The US Senate declined the proposition of the establishment of an Armenia under its mandate on the grounds that the events were created artificially.

Source: Tarihimizdeki Ermeniler (Armenians in Our History)
Akdeniz University, Research Center for Ataturk’s Revolutions and Principles - 1983

Source: GenocideReality.com


They Do Not Burn Their Hands When There Is A Tool
The countries standing against Turkey with the lie of “Armenian genocide” in fact know very well that those who were massacred in 1914 were the Turks, as it was the case in the Hojali massacre in 1992.

The aim of the countries which have made Armenia a tool is to take the revenge of the defeat in the Wars of Canakkale and Independence which they never absorbed, and to seize all the wealth of Anatolia.

The primary aim of the Western states, which have been causing a headache to Turkey with their groundless claims of genocide, is to take the revenge of the defeat which they had undergone in the Wars of Canakkale and Independence in their fight with the Turkish soldiers. The states dreaming of seizing the underground and surface wealth of Anatolia, which they could not get with the Treaty of Sevres, are trying to use Armenia as a tool to weaken Turkey.

The baseless claims of genocide put forth by the Armenians is the issue which causes a headache to Turkey most. While many European countries have accepted the lie of genocide in their parliaments, the USA has been using the baseless Armenian claims against Turkey as an element of blackmail for years.

Journalist Inci Sokel has revealed with documents that it was the Armenians who in fact conducted a massacre in 1914, just like the case on February 26, 1992.

In her slide show, Inci Sokel displayed the photos of the brutality applied by the Armenians in Hojali and said the following:

In the Hojali Town of the Nogorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan… in the year 1992… on the night of February 25-26, it was dry cold and freezing. The Armenian Armed Forces, who were bloodthirsty murderers, attacked our defenseless and innocent civilian people with the support of the 366th Regiment of the former Soviet Alliance Armed Forces. In accordance with the laws of the Soviet Socialist Republic, all the weapons including shotguns were collected from houses in all the regions of Azerbaijan. On the other hand, this task was given to the Russian soldiers in Nogorno Karabakh and the armed Armenian groups were settled in this region… They could not resist, and even if they resisted, they had no weapons…

1300 Azeri Turks were massacred.

It was midnight and they suddenly attacked!.. Only those mean, wrathful, inhuman creatures, and creatures that are not even animals would do such a thing… They never fought bravely and they always hit us in the back. This is the Armenian tradition… On the first night of the massacre, 8 families with all their members were killed and more than 700 children lost their mothers and fathers. Although the official figure is 613, the eyewitnesses and journalists say 1300 Turks were massacred. When those women, children and elderly people, who managed to escape from the knives and bullets of the Armenians, arrived Agdam, passing through snowy mountains under snowstorm, most of them had their feet frozen. There were dead bodies lying along the way of 12 kilometers between Hojali and Agdam…”

This is what real racism is…

Inci Sokel said that the UN and the whole world had remained silent in the face of such a brutality, which she described in detail, and expressed the following:

“What would they do if the treatment in Hojali was towards the Greeks, Italians, the British, etc.? Let me say; they would immediately intervene and do anything. This is what racism is…Just for the information of those who call Turks racist and discriminatory!..

Sokel, who explained that Armenians had caused the death of 90 thousand Turkish soldiers in Sarikamis and thousands of Turks including women, children and elderly people had been brutally massacred in 1914, expressed the truth lying beneath the Armenian lie as follows:

“The UN and Western states know that Turks did not commit genocide… Do not make efforts, because they are useless. The aim is to make use of the puppets and take the revenge of the Wars of Canakkale and Independence as well as to seize our underground and surface wealth. They want to get all the underground and surface wealth of all the Turkish Republics including Azerbaijan. And they do not burn their hands when there is a tool…”

Source: Daily Tercuman – 14.03.2007

Source: GenocideReality.com


The Armenians Who Bring Their Children Up With Hatred And Revenge
Disputes and baseless allegations will be on the agenda once again next Tuesday, in another word on the 24th of April. As it is known, Armenians commemorate this day as “the so-called genocide day”. Whereas, a day before, that is to say on 23rd of April, is commemorated as “Sovereignty and Children’s Day” in Turkey. Can you see the contradiction…As Turkey, the only country, which dedicates children “a day”, strengthens friendship, brotherhood and peace among the children of the World, Armenia brings her children up with hatred and revenge.

As the mentioned date approaches, the Armenian instructions all around the World, carry on doing their activities.

Their goal is to make the authorities say that ugly word “genocide”…
Obviously, Turkey does not leave the arena to that “liar sellers”. She clarifies from every possible channel that it is not true and it is not proven. While these arguments keep on going, the position of USA is wondered. What would President George W. Bush say in the message he will issue? This will be seventh message of Bush. He did not use the word “genocide” in his prior speeches. It is assumed that he won’t use it this year either.

Well then, why doesn’t Bush use it?

Because, he does not wish to lose a big country like Turkey for an incident that was not proven “just because someone wants to exploit it for her interests.”

Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and the New York Senator, as well as Barack Obama, the Illinois Senator go to the fore from this party. Both candidates, who cannot close their eyes to the Armenian votes and financial assistance in USA that cannot be looked down on, pronounce the word ”genocide” among the Armenian societies, where they go for their election campaign. Next year there will be elections in USA. It is almost certain that one of the candidates from the Democratic Party would be elected in place of the Republican Party member Bush, who will not be able to be elected since he has completed the two terms of presidency, and will reside in the White House.

But for the time being…

The ones, who say “genocide” when they are in the opposition group, change their position right away, as soon as they learn the facts.

Look at the celebration of the Greeks!

This is the destiny of the Turkish people… Whenever they give their hand, a needle is stick right away. Some of these people organize “genocide day”. Others commemorate their liberation from the Ottoman Empire…


The target of the Armenians is evident. Ensuring the adoption of the April the 24th as the genocide day and then listing their demands…

So, what is happening to Greece, which was very dear to us in the recent years? They also commemorate every year their liberation from the Ottoman Empire. Nothing can be told on this issue. Actually, people are celebrating their independence. And we are also celebrating the deportation of the Greeks from Izmir. Nevertheless, we are not exaggerating this as they do. We give an end to the subject by organizing a regional celebration. Because consequently, we wish to close the old matters and establish friendship. (…)

Source: Kubilay Çelik-Tercüman Daily-18.04.2007

Source: GenocideReality.com


Trap Of “Problems” In Front Of Turkey
It is not right or suitable to call the assaults realized by the Armenians as “Armenian question”. In contrast, it is hazardous doing that. When you call these assaults as a question, you admit in advance that Turkey has a question with the Armenians. When you admit a situation as a question, you give the impression like you are ready to talk, discuss, and bargain over it. Consequently, you fall into the trap of the West, which uses this issue as a tool for her assaults.

“The Armenian Question” description belongs to the West. It is a propaganda product, which is put forward for the issue to be perceived as a question. Just like in the “East Issue”. Had Turkey possessed a domestic problem as “East Issue” in the 19th or 20th century? No. Avoiding from the reactions of the World, as well as their own public opinion, to realize their intentions on the Turkish soils, the West carried propaganda activities, which stressed that non-Muslims and the ethnical groups had been oppressed under the administration of Turks and so, the existence and the rights of these groups should be protected. And to realize this, the West used the description of “East Issue” to prove the correctness of every kind of assault which will be directed against the Turks.

(…) We still observe the similar physiological maneuvers in the current time. The East policy of the past is attempted to be realized as “the Great Middle east project” in the current time. And, instead of saving Christian and ethnical groups from the sovereignty of Turks and preventing Bolshevism in the past democratization, human rights and spherical terrorism mask, is used as the physiological statement.

While democracy and human rights is presented to the target country and the world opinion as a goal, to realize the split of the target country in the direction of the of the interests of the West, question are invented up, the “the questions” are made to be perceived as “ordinary” issues in the life of the state and society.

Here, the expression of the “Armenian question” is one of the above mentioned issues.

(…)It should be avoided from the expression of the “Armenian issue”. First of all, Turkey hasn’t got any official problems either with the citizens or with her neighbor Armenia. She has solved her problems first with the Gumru Agreement, then with the Kars Agreement, had settled accounts with them and finally, closed her accounts with the country in question with the Lausanne Agreement. In this regard, it would be accurate to say “Armenian Issue” instead of “Armenian question”.

Turkey doesn’t have any problems that she has to solve with the Armenians or/ and Armenia.

(…) When the assaults realized by the Armenians are perceived like “Armenian Question”, Turkey undermines herself; she jeopardizes the existence and validity of the Gumru, Moscow and particularly Kars Agreement.

The Turkey-Armenia border, which was agreed on with the Kars agreement (13 October 1921) Gumru Agreement (2 December1920) and Moscow Agreement (16 March 1921) was approved, Serves Agreement was rejected and parties admitted to declare general amnesty for the crimes and murders, which were committed after the war. (Article 15)


The following were realized with the Gumru Agreement;

Permission was given to the immigrants to return back to their father lands, except for the ones who used arms against their country by joining the armies of the enemy or the ones, who attended the massacres with in the invaded lands during the World War. (Article 6)

- The parties gave up the compensation, which emerged from the losses and the changes in the rights of possessions during the World War. (Article 8)

-While Armenia government declared that she has invalidated the Serves Agreement, groups withdraw their representatives in America and in Europe, who are tools of some Western governments and political, (Article 10)

While, all of the issues related with Armenia are officially brought to a conclusion with the agreements and the massacre of about one million of Turks, committed by Armenians, with the incitements of the Czarist Russia and later with the incitements of England and France, was forgiven by Turks, who gave up the right to demand compensation, it is a great mistake to call the assaults related with Armenia, as “The Armenian Question”.

As can be seen in our book titled “The Armenian Issue, with Documents by Atatürk”, while prior liberating the Turkish lands under the Armenian invasion Atatürk used the expression of “Armenian Issue”, later when the lands were liberated he said “Armenian Trouble” in his speeches. He stated as: “The Armenian trouble in our Eastern border has concluded an absolute victory.” (November 1920)

Since the word trouble (a source or cause of worry, distress, or concern) is not used widespread, the expression “The Armenian Issue” is more appropriate. The expression of “Armenian Issue” should be used instead of “Armenian Question” for not to be trapped.

Source: I.smet Görgülü-Cumhuriyet Strateji-28 May, 2007


Turkey Should Demonstrate Her Power

Turkey can develop genuine moves against the policy, which display the calculations of the West on herself and which are continuously brought before her. Her government traditions and historical potential is sufficient for this. Turkey cannot be sacrificed because of the regional balances.

While Turkey was at her collapse period, she was a country, which was forced for carrying the remains and even the pains of the Ottoman Empire, which had become a toy of the Western countries and Russia. The current Armenian genocide lie, which is presented and insisted, is just a “more flash” match of the receipts of the questions, experienced at Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Yemen, Azerbaijan and Ottoman geography, that is put forward in front of Turkey. If no attention is paid and necessary fundamental precautions are not taken, the others will be put forward in front of Turkey evidently, when the time comes. So, the Jewish lobbies in USA should produce realistic solutions by evaluating the oppressions and “blackmails” policies as an opportunity.

The Insistence Should be Turned into an Opportunity

Turkey should completely remove the habits by “demolishing the order” with a skill, approach and change that would surprise everyone against and the so-called genocide clamor and the change in stance of the Jewish lobbies in USA, which declared for the first time contrary to the Turkish thesis that they will acknowledge the so-called genocide, which arouse from the so-called “genocide bill” that is due to be voted at the House of Representative in the month of September. Consequently, this will help Turkey to develop a different form of expansion that will be useful to eliminate completely not only all the possible pressures, which arouses from “the Ottoman heritage” but removing the habits of the USA-Israel-EU putting pressure on Turkey with diverse motives, as well. The latest developments should be assessed as an opportunity and the process should totally be used in favor of the interests, thesis and policies of Turkey.

Since the “genocide lie” is rather in an attention calling structure currently, the other issues in Turkey are left to their regular preparation and transition processes. Turkey will, with no doubt, be surrounded by problem masses with the domino effect and chain reaction, when time comes. For example, just as the Jewish lobbies in USA attempt to drag Turkey in the direction of their own policy over this “genocide lie”, when other problems occur in the future, similar “opportunist and blackmailer” attitudes will definitely be displayed.

In this context, starting a serious study in the framework of the “model attempt and a campaign, which can set an example against the Armenian claims and the blackmails of the Jewish organizations, Turkey, who has deep-rooted government traditions and comprehensive near history experience, may completely and concretely eliminate the genocide lie with the slogan “an attempt, a strict attempt”. Nevertheless, she should also close down all her door against all the other possible questions and insistence policies. The way to realize this is as following: “A genuine, independent, unconnected global cont-attack” should be realized by regarding the opposing attempt, which seems as a “bargaining” of the Jewish lobby in USA and the genocide lie, which is really thought to get Turkey into a corner, as an opportunity. No one should ever doubt that Turkey’s geopolitical situation, geo-cultural connections, political experience, her image and ability is sufficient enough to realize these kinds of genuine and independent attempts. If the independent political attempts can be realized, Turkey will, in fact, be able to make an striking and concluding attempt against all the foreign and domestic games played for revitalizing the Serves Treaty.

Intellectual Dependence to the West

Clearly, apart from the “the practices during 1923-¬1938 and partially 2003¬-2006” for the Turkish foreign policy until the current time, the Turkish foreign policy until the current time, has been executed in the framework of “Serves Syndrome and undefeated Western image obsession”, even the imaginary and artificial problems that is put forward in front of Turkey, were attempted to be solved by demanding “permission from USA and support from the Western pressure groups”. That’s why, just as the Ottoman Empire had depended on Europe in the 19th century, Turkey has become completely dependent to USA after 1945. As a result, Western countries and Russia have been behind of almost all of the problems in the history of Turkey for almost last three centuries.

If we move from these bitter and distressed facts, Turkey should immediately renew herself for not to be dependent to the green light, that will be lit and the support of the focal points related with the West against the possible problems. That does not mean that Turkey should break off from the axis of USA-Israel-EU completely. Naturally, it is to every ones interest that Turkey maintains her relations “rationally and moderately” with all the institution of the West, which she is very close for three centuries, and her existence relations with Jews, which she has been preserving for six centuries, in the context of the international relations and diplomatic relations. However, taking the point, where the relations has reached, the advantageous position, which Turkey possesses into consideration, the dependent and connected foreign policy should be abandoned right away, and instead it would be better to adopt free and genuine foreign policy.

In fact, the “sincere relation mechanisms” among Turkey and the axis of USA-Israel-EU in question, presents an opportunity, circumstances and infrastructure to Turkey for making “genuine and free” attempts. Both parties know each other very well and they also know how important to maintain the bilateral relations. Consequently, if Turkey makes “genuine, free, and contrary” attempts with right reasons and persuading projects, the axis of USA-Israel-EU won’t be prepared to sacrifice Turkey easily. Of course, Turkey should definitely not disregard the comprehension of “No mercy in trade and policy”. As long as this principle is taken into account Turkey, which competes with the axis of USA-Israel-EU and makes moves against its games, will never be at the same position with Iran or Iraq. Turkey, who is a member of Turkey, candidate member of EU and the member of all the international Western organizations, has really won the confidence of the axis of USA-Israel-EU.

Turkey’s Requirement

On the other hand, the axis of USA-Israel-EU always needs each of Turkey’s geopolitical, geo-strategic and geo-cultural positions. If Turkey encounters to a development that she does not desire or a situation that she is concerned about, she will be able to force the axis of USA-Israel-EU to step back with the “rationale reasons and appropriate language”. Then if Turkey presents her right causes she would have the chance to easily make independent attempts on every issue that disturbs her, including the Armenian lie. These chances should be evaluated properly.

No doubt that there are no eternal friendships and hostilities, as well as emotions and excitements at the international relations. However, if you do not want your red lines to be crossed over and your targets to be hindred, you should do the necessary preparations by foreseeing every possibility and even the ones that cannot be imagined.

Initially, every kind of precaution should definitely be taken prior to every attempt that will be made for Turkey’s concerns and interest by leaving the presentiment of “the axis of USA-Israel-EU is not prepared to sacrifice us”. Calculating that the axis of USA-Israel-EU “cannot be without Turkey” to present “a contrary position” will never be appropriate when we have the “Saddam Hussein and Iraq” example in front of us. However, while presenting “genuine, free and contrary” attempts to maintain warm dialogs with the axis of USA-Israel-EU and not to demonstrate emotional attitudes, the thesis of “it won’t be easy to sacrifice Turkey” should be in the minds.

Source: Cumhuriyet Daily Newspaper-03/09/2007
Dr. S?dd?k ARSLAN

Source: GenocideReality.com

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