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10 November 2007

2180) Turkish & Armenian Synergy: Manifesto For Revolutionary Relationships: Personal Essay & Manifesto: By Bircan Unver

Entry note: This essay is written by Bircan Ünver as an open proposal to all potential interested individuals and institutions/organizations nationwide and internationally, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board of the Light Millennium. . .


Part 1
Dedicated to Devrim/Revolution!

– For a "Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Initiative" between Armenia and Turkey, between two communities, and between all Armenians and Turks around in the world.

- Abstract from the Manifesto of Turkish-Greek Synergy (http://www.turkishgreeksynergy.net)
http://www.turkishgreeksynergy.net/bu_tgs_manifesto.html

“I have never understood what is the purpose of all this: the local wars, feeding terrorism or religious wars, and expanding the target to mass killing and destruction! What will be achieved by destroying the nature, the history, and the humanity of our own?


We have to establish peace with ourselves, our families, neighbors, neighboring and other countries in order to achieve global peace and a better world.


As we all know, "peace" is not possible without treaties among neighbors, their practices, and participation as well as all countries globally. As Einstein stated, "If one corner of the World is in danger, all countries are in danger."

When I was 17 years old, my nephew fell in love with an Armenian girl in Istanbul. His family was a traditional and religious one, as they prayed five times a day, fasted during the Ramadan, etc. But their sons and daughters were modern in terms of attire and social life, going dancing, drinking alcohol, wearing no headscarves, going to the beach, etc. In other words, they didn’t force their children to live the same way as them.

However, I wasn’t aware that they were not open minded enough to approve their older son’s love for an Armenian-Turkish girl whom I will mention here as T., the initial of her first name. She was a nice girl, but did not have much understanding and consideration of the traditional and religious values of her fiancée's family, or it could be that T. was so young to adjust herself according to their expectations. She wore mini skirts, used make-up, and colored her hair at an early age. These weren’t considered as good values in the eyes of her fiancée’s traditional Islamic rooted family and their surroundings.

Both my nephew's and his fiancée’s families opposed their relationship, suggesting that there was a religious difference between them. They were concerned about what the religion of their future grand children would be more than anything else.

Neither my nephew, nor his Armenian-Turkish fiancée listened to their families, and eventually got married very young without any family support, neither financial nor emotional. They could only afford an inexpensive old apartment in Izmit, but not in Istanbul. Within my nephew’s entire family, my mother and father were the only ones to welcome them during their engagement and marriage periods. Ours was the only open door for them. We visited them also from time to time in Izmit. Needless to say, they had major financial problems, and T. was constantly complaining about my nephew's being very jealous, and they were quarreling frequently. Before long, T. became pregnant.

They had a daughter, and my nephew named her Devrim (meaning Revolution in Turkish). However, their marriage didn’t last long.

Later on, we learned that T. got married an older man, and moved to Germany. I haven’t heard from or seen her for the last 30 years. Because of the religious conflicts between my nephew's and her families since the beginning, I never met or had an opportunity to meet any of T.'s family members either.

After they divorced, their child Devrim became an issue for who was going to take care of her.

My nephew loved his daughter, but he wasn’t the one who could dedicate himself to a child or had a sustainable job and life. He got married again, and as a result, his own parents took care of Devrim most of her life.

When I returned to Turkey from the U.S. for 3 years in between 1993-1996, I had seen Devrim, perhaps once or twice, when I visited my uncle and his wife during Bayram (Religious Holiday).

She looked just like her mother, a tall and slim girl with long-straight long black hair, large big black eyes, with fair skin, and a rounded face. Once I asked her how old she was, trying to remember how many years passed since I had seen her last. She said, 19.

A few months later, my sister told me that Devrim passed away. I was shocked and very upset. When I asked further, my sister explained that she had a chronic liver problem, and she had been under treatment for too long.

I never had a chance to talk with Devrim about her mother, if she had any contact with T. or when she had seen her mother last.

From time to time, I have been thinking about Devrim. I always thought Devrim as an innocent victim of both sides' intolerable religious and traditional values.

Perhaps, Devrim could’ve been a symbol of hope between the Armenian and Turkish communities who had long-lasting conflicts, both visible and hidden, in both countries as well as in the world. Had my nephew’s love been supported by both families since the beginning, and during their difficult times, and had their families taken them under their wings, a healthy and hopeful seed could've grown until now!

I don’t think that my nephew has ever forgotten his first love and wife T. I also don’t think that T. has been a happy woman living somewhere in Germany, in particular, after losing her 19 years old daughter whom she didn’t visit or couldn’t see for years.

In this love story with such a tragic end, we lost Devrim before she reached her 20s, and we also lost our hope to embrace this sort of love between two communities in Turkey. At that time, all I knew was that the oppositions between the two sides were caused only by their religious differences, which I had difficulty to understand back then too.

Whenever I look back at those years, I understand better, and appreciate more the challenge of my nephew for his marriage, and his decision to name his daughter Devrim/Revolution!

As a result of rejection from both families in their young ages, he had failed to protect his love, his marriage and as a result his/their child. This is a real story I know from my close relatives in Istanbul who spent time with them, witnessed their struggles closely, and loved both of them very much.

I am certain that there are hundreds and thousands of stories that are untold, similar to this one, lived in either country as well as all around the world over the decades.

Every time I think of them, I had ask, who's to blame? Is there ever one guilty side in any story?

Isn't it time for us to change our ways of thinking? To begin to look for ways of healing from hatred to love, from enemy to friends and partners; open new ways to young generations; and not to allow anyone’s loved child die because of lack of family support, understanding, and love?

The love, care, and responsibility of a family should not be "conditional," depending on their children's choice for their own lives! (End of Part 1) Edited by: Figen Bingül


Part 2
– For a “Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Initiative” between Armenia and Turkey, and between the Armenian and Turkish communities all around the world.

In later years in Istanbul…

One of my best friends was an Armenian in Istanbul. Her name was A… and I had regular contact with her until I left Turkey for the first time for America in 1989. At that time, there were neither Internet, nor inexpensive phone connections, nor instant communications options, and I lost my contacts with many of my friends as well as with A.

I must have discussed with A. my experience about my nephew’s love story with an Armenian-Turkish girl, and asked her about the differences between two religions that could be obstacles in the eyes of two families or two sides.

The reason I remember this is that A. had given me a copy of the Bible for me to find out the differences myself. Although I do have the copies of each Holy Book like the Bible and the Koran, I never read any of them completely until now.

My Encounters with the Armenian-Americans in the U.S. in the context of “Turkish-Armenian” connection and Cold War:

In the beginning of 1990, I moved from Tarzana to Glendale in Los Angeles. I had very limited funds to survive there. Thus, I took English as a Second Language courses at a public school in Glendale which was designed for "adult immigrants" and cost only about $35-50 per semester. In a few days, after we learned a little bit about each other in the class, some ladies between 50-60 years old approached me and said, "We know your language." They started talking to me in Turkish. Their accent and usage of Turkish words seemed outdated to me, like in the old Turkish films (Yesilcam) between late ‘30s and ‘50s. I felt very close to them. During the Spring 1990 Semester, we talked in the class everyday and became friends. At the end of the semester, we had a class party and each of us brought in a traditional dish from our culture.

At that time, these women had some kind of a connection with Turkey and showed some sort of nostalgia about Turkey; I didn’t feel any hatred toward me or Turks from them. They seemed to be mature enough to understand what any sort of war might cause on others' lives, or in general the harshest rules of war politics, and they explained their condition, telling that "their families had been forced to immigrate to Beirut, and later immigrated to the U.S." Whenever the issue of the Turkish-Armenian conflicts rises to the sky, I always remember them as the real friendly Armenian people whose voices and desire to re-connect with Turkish people and Turkey in a peaceful manner have been suppressed.

My Encounters with Armenians in New York:

The second time I encountered an Armenian in the U.S. was not as pleasant as the previous one, which was at Queen Public TV (QPTV)/New York:

While I was working on the editing of my video-project at QPTV in Queens, New York, I heard some music similar to Turkish music from the next editing suite. Curious, I went there and saying good morning, I asked where the music was from. He (the producer) replied that it was Armenian. Without being aware of any of the Armenian allegations at that time, I excitedly said, "I am Turkish, and this is very similar to Turkish music." As soon as I said this, while directing his pointing finger at me, he accused me, saying, "You have killed 1 million Armenians." I was dumbfounded and confused. I could only reply, "I just stopped by to say good morning because of the music," and left the room, but I didn't realize that this was the beginning of the series of allegations directed to me in person and later to the whole nation and peoples of the Republic of Turkey.

A few years after this depressing experience, I was introduced to two young Armenian men at QPTV, who produced a program in relation to their story titled, “Genocide - 1915,” in reference to the last period of Ottoman-Turks. In the essence, their program was about charging the Republic of Turkey, and all the peoples living there since it has been formed after the WWI by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1981-1938) on October 29, 1923.

However, as soon as we were introduced, these two brothers accused me in a way even worse than the Armenian producer I met before: "You have killed 2.5 million Armenians." I wonder how this death toll had increased 150 percent in a few years according to some Armenian-American producers or the Armenian-American Diaspora!

From my personal point of view, I have always seen this kind of allegations as a product of some brain-washed minds, ignorant enough to accuse any Turkish person they come across who is purely innocent, having nothing to do with their allegations. By doing so, they achieve nothing but destroy all the possibilities for rehabilitation or recovery to create partnership between the communities of Turkey and Armenia and partnerships internationally. Further, I have always thought that this attitude and manipulations have been working against the present day and future of their own people and country.

I think that both Armenia and Turkey have been the victims of the emperor powers during the last period of the Ottoman Empire, and the events of “April 24, 1915” mainly refer to the peak point of the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, while this particular date indicates the very beginning of the WWI. No one can deny that the major loser of the WWI was the Ottomans, not the Armenians or any other power that produced and operated the unfortunate series of events of 1915, and gained greatly through it. In particular, Armenia was created as a country for the first time in history as a result of it!

A positive experience which could be a model between Armenian-Americans and Turkish-Armenians in the U.S.:

Beside the Los Angeles experience, another positive example comes also from QPTV. This Armenian-American QPTV producer was born in Turkey and he and his family are still in contact with Turkey. Despite we do not fully agree on some of the details or approaches about the main issue, he still is the only one I can describe as a moderate Armenian-American I know in New York. In particular, since I have launched the Light Millennium TV ("LMTV") Series at QPTV, we crew up for each other's studio tapings from time to time. This is one of the unique and seed examples between a Turkish native and an Armenian-American. I consider that when the Armenian Diaspora removes some of the suppression on its people both in the U.S. and in Armenia, as well as globally, that will serve for an enormous rehabilitation and collaboration in terms of economic, business, social, and cultural developments, and will start a reconciliation and reconstruction period between the two nations and communities all around the world.

My Observations within the U.N. in the context of “Armenian-Turkish Cold War”:

Another scarce aspect of the Turkish-Armenian Cold War has been seeded, strongly propagated, and practiced by the Armenian-American non-governmental organizations at the United Nations as well as by the Armenian Mission. These efforts and practices have a very deliberate target to obtain a resolution similar to the one the Jews/Israelis obtained at the U.N. about the Holocaust of WWII in Germany.

Once they manage to obtain such a resolution at the U.N., their second attempt will be to claim compensation and perhaps a land in the Eastern part of Turkey (ref: the Armenian Constitution and the panel at the UN titled “Then and Now” on March 30, 2006), as well as the border between the two countries to be opened regardless of stopping the long-term negative and destructive impacts of these on Turkey and Turkish people all around the world!

Most of the Armenian-American NGOs associated with the U.N. and their practices and very decisive long-lasting efforts at the U.N. with the support of the Armenian Mission and Diaspora have been most troubling for me, especially from the perspective of the UN Vision!

Despite what Armenians and the world think about the outcomes of the Armenian Diaspora’s success (the very unfortunate decision of the House of Representatives – Foreign Affairs Committee, dated October 10, 2007), I have been seriously thinking that NOT only the Turks but also, perhaps more, the ARMENIANS have been losing and damaging their own lives and the future of their children because of the last 92 years of negative and destructive efforts.

Moreover, this has been a greater risk not only for the Armenians and Turks, but for all American efforts in the "Greater Middle East" as well as globally. It has been shocking to me that no one seems to realize that NOT ONLY ARMENIANS but people of BOTH countries have been victimized during the last period of the Ottoman Empire as well as since the Republic of Turkey has been formed. The main question is: Who have been the major profit makers and power winners of this long-lasting dark play and bad politics since it has been staged?

In addition to the above thought, it seems that no one has shown any interest in finding out and presenting the full TRUTH to the global community, in a transparent manner, from all aspects, to clarify who were the producers, directors, and operators on the larger Anatolian stage who had pushed the red button which caused the terrible massacres on both sides.

Basically, the Ottoman Turks and the Armenians were the actors, and since then, they have been overly abused by the main international political powers who have been playing a great role in this game, and who are responsible for the outcome, “Then & Now!” Edited by: Figen Bingul


PART 3
All Wars Are Genocide!
Dedicated to Devrim/Revolution!

– For a “Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Initiative” between Armenia and Turkey, between the Armenian and Turkish communities all around in the world.

“Basically, the Ottoman Turks and the Armenians were the actors, and since then, they have been overly abused by the main international political powers who have been playing a great role in this game, and who are responsible for the outcome, “Then & Now!”. -- Abstracted from Part 2.

Since the beginning of the 21st Century, we have been drawn into some complex multi-national manipulations more than ever. This has shaped our ways of thinking and daily lives. It has also targeted the living rights of every community in every part of the world.

Within this context, if the U.S. House of Representatives’ approach becomes a part of the U.S. Foreign Diplomacy, then will the U.S. House of Representatives act as an International Court in reference to the major crimes since the past until today? If this is the case, will it bring up the major conflicts caused by the western and super powers over other nations and ethnic groups –at least within the last 100 years— to the U.S. Senate?

Thus, if this is approach is taken, that will cause many more man-created major threats as those happened in the past! However this should be a concern and evaluated equally on the international level with what has happened in today’s world! This could maintain a model for various ethnic groups and nations in the coming decades who have faced similar conflicts with other ethnic groups or countries in the past. This could also set up a goal in others’ minds to gain politic and economic power internationally toward taking the same path. Is this the direction what the U.S. Senate or the Foreign Diplomacy will go in the coming decades?

In particular, if we are going to apply the U.N. related Resolution, titled “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” to any ongoing war or conflicts--not only physical, but also mental threats--in any country in the world, then we can conclude that ALL WARS ARE GENOCIDE.

Consequently, the “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (1948) implies this statement, especially regarding the conflicts that took place from 1948 onward rather than the ones prior to 1915 .Therefore the U.S. House of Representatives MUST consider today’s ongoing conflicts and invasions such as Darfur, Karabahg, Iraq, Republic of Congo, and Sri Lanka as “genocide,” rather than the ones prior to this convention> (http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm). Abstract from the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

Article 1
The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article 2
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

(For the full text :
http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm).
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

We have been pushed harshly to extermination by various national and international politic, military, business power collaborations through terrorism, civil, ethnic, conventional, or a nuclear war, or even the WWIII!

There were four major outcomes of the WWII:
1) Formation of the United Nations
2) Formation of Israel in the land of Palestines
3) The Cold War began and it created internal and international conflicts artificially, in parallel to investments on nuclear bomb technology in the name of “national security” or using the general context and conflicts of “capitalism and communism,” and now the “ethnic conflicts” as excuses.

4) Space Exploration reached the highest level in research, investment, and accomplishments between 1960 and 1970. The Space Explorations and the discoveries in science helped develop the technology and communications, shaping our daily lives.

According to some sources, investment and commitments to Space research and explorations have been cut from 4% to less than 1%. Most likely, those resources have been channeled to creating and sustaining ethnic and regional conflicts, and nuclear and biological weapon industry as a threat and for the price of our whole existence in this world!

Within the above general context, let’s quickly glance at the last 30 years: As an aftermath of the Cold War and the ongoing conflicts between the Capitalist and the Communist sides, the world, the countries, the cities, the communities, the families have been divided into many pieces. This turned out to create animosity, even between brothers, sisters, and neighbors over the years. In general, we have been come to face a situation where everyone other than “I and my circle” is considered as the enemy.

Just look at these few current and ongoing conflicts:

• Palestinians & Israelis
• USA–Iraq
• USA-Afghanistan
• Singhalese-Tamils
• Kurds-Turks
• Azerbaijan-Armenia
• Rwanda
• Darfur
• Republic of Congo

It is a shame that all of these conflicts that have caused the death of millions or threatened millions of lives as of today have been deliberately IGNORED. It is clear that the U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES is not really concerned about what has been staged and happening in today’s world, but about the Armenian allegations about 1915 events and the PKK conflict. These are excuses that can be used to drag Turkey into Iraq, and this situation has also a potential to draw Iran into Iraq in reaction. Thus, the USA will promptly “justify” its reason to attack Iran by nuclear missiles, and this means the WWIII will begin as a NUCLEAR WAR and a TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF THE HUMANITY AND EARTH!!!

Is the main goal and direction of the U.S. ‘a total extermination’?

Purely, and personally, I hope it is NOT the main intention... However, in order to change this existing direction, WE HAVE TO BE AWARE OF and OWN, PROTECT, DEVELOP, GROWTH AND MATURE our own unique living rights/conditions and intellectual rights, and PASS ON this knowledge and our experiences to the next generations. In conjunction with this, we should also be able to enjoy being a “passenger” in this world during our stay, and should be able to leave a “happy and inspiring” track behind us!

For this very reason, WE MUST NOT LET ourselves be used as tools for the purpose of any sort of ‘killing’ or ‘complete destruction’ but ONLY for non-violence, development, growth, connection, co-existence and elevation of each other’s MINDS, SOULS, and LIVES in this world.

In the context of Armenian & Turkish Cold War, Turks have been under threat and attack unfairly and unjustly by a deliberately seeded hatred, in particular, from the Armenians over the decades. Consequently, this hatred could expand or might have expanded to other communities, to be a threat for the global peace culture!

We live in a world that is shaped by yesterday's dreams, plans, and practices which have been carried out until now, and they have been endangering our own co-existence for the whole humanity and the world...

Therefore, WE MUST REDEFINE OUR DREAMS. WE MUST CREATE JOINT AND CONSTRUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT PLANS AND FUTURE PROJECTS in the context of COLLABORATIONS, EMPOWERING EACH OTHER in order to turn this anti-human and highly destructive approach into a much more constructive, positive, productive, sharing, joyful, and long-lasting direction for our human destiny and the globe!

Thus, we immediately have to move on from dreaming to planning and working very hard to change all the WRONG-DOINGS in the name of business, or politics, or ‘national security.’ They tell us what they do are OK. IT IS NOT OK! Imagine how we can change these internal and international plots in favor of our own co-existence in terms of ‘all’ humanity, and as ONE interconnected big family of the world!

Conclusion:
All said, despite of all the conflicts in different parts of the world in the present time, we are relatively in a much more peaceful era in comparison to the time during WWI and WWII. Still, it is clear to me that this has not only been another sort of Cold War between the Armenians and the Turks since then, but there are also many others…

Further, one of the crucial things that has been troubling me is that the Turks and the Armenians have lived side by side in peace and harmony, enhancing one another’s lives and cultures for more than a millennium. This has been decisively made forgotten!

Therefore, I strongly think that this has been a series of systematic action plans and practices against all Turks in Turkey and around the world. Thus, and needless to say, none of the living members of the Turkish nation ever deserves this very unjust, negative, and constant attack that comes through arbitrary channels and power tools which have been serving only to increase the deep hatred and tension in both sides, and has been turning people to enemies of each other. But as a result of it, not the producers, but only the actors of the game have been paying the high price for generations in both sides, and only the Republic of Turkey is blamed in the international arena since its formation in 1923!

All those resources, the capital, the energy, the human skills and time, technology, the international business deals, the political power and efforts MUST immediately be channeled for a process of reconciliation/rehabilitation, re-connection, coexistence, friendship, reconstruction, and development starting as of today. This should be the path we MUST take within an urgent action plan by both Armenians and Turks all around the world. Most importantly, the U.S. Senate MUST launch and impose a reconsolidation process throughout the world.

Otherwise, if the Armenian-American Diaspora obtains its long-waited result from the U.S. Senate, this will open new conflicted paths for this sort of claims from the U.S. Senate by all other countries who had faced a similar operation in the past. And this might include the U.S.’s past operations, too.

For this purpose, as a solution from a personal and a minor organizational level, I openly propose to all interested individuals and organizations to come together in order to form an initiative for Turkish-Armenian Synergy that could be a role model to spread out this approach and reconciliation process worldwide. This is also what the peoples of both countries as well as all the countries who are in conflict desperately need for their own sake, development, empowerment as well as co-existence in order to elevate their own daily lives, and sustaining both sides' today and future in their home and neighboring countries. As a result of it, and within the big picture, this will be a major step and contribution toward global peace culture within the region and in the world.

We should learn from the inspiring, encouraging, and exemplary efforts of those organizations that have been working for the reconciliation process of the Israeli and Palestinian relationships. For instance, the PARENTS CIRCLE –FAMILIES FORUM (http://www.theparentscircle.com/), and their “OFFERINGS RECONCILIATION” Exhibition with 135 bowls was produced by a group of Israeli and Palestinian artists as a non-violence and reconciliation process, and two key founders of the organization, Roni Hirshenzon and Ali Abu Awwad were panelists of the “Promoting Non-Violence in an Uncertain Word” during the UNDPI-NGO Briefings at the United Nations on October 11, 2007.

This is a remarkable and very positive model that as of today, some Israelis and Palestinians, in particular those who lost their sons and brothers, as individuals, artists and organizations, are able to work together side by side for a reconciliation and reconstruction process in both sides.

Thus, it will be a terrifying mistake and shame for all of us, if we cannot come and work together as the Armenian-Americans and the Turkish-Americans for a similar goal and vision in both countries, and in all parts of the world, in particular, within the U.S.!

For this very reason, I first would like to ask everyone: Why don’t we seek to bring back the positive experiences of the past prior to 1915 where we co-existed side by side over a thousand years? For the time being, we MUST re-own, reinvent, redefine that past and invest in it accordingly.

Moreover, we ALL should keep in mind that, Turkey and Armenia are bordering countries /neighbors, and will remain neighbors for many decades/centuries to come. As a consequence, neighbors always need each other more than anyone else. And a good neighborship exists only if the both sides are able to overcome all the negative effects, and turn them into a positive and new direction! As last, let’s not forget: "If one corner of the World is in danger, all countries are in danger."

We must be aware that the future of both countries as well as of the world is in our hands. Accordingly, if we could prevent the world from series and systematic destructions, which have been caused by man for man, then we will be on the right track for a bright and exciting journey in the many decades and centuries to come…

Overall, we MUST STOP ANY NEW MANIPULATIONS AND CONFLICTS—whether their target is at the family, community, national, or international level—for our own and children’s co-existence.

Let’s come and work all together within our capacities and potentials for reconciliation process, developing and sustaining partnerships, and creating synergy for a much more livable neighborhood and a peaceful world.

Our Quest Should Be To Rehabilitate Our Co-Existence And Stop The Ongoing Damage And Threat In All Parts Of The World For Global Peace, And To Reach A Common Maturity For All Humankind Towards The Next Major Step!
The end of Part 3. Edited by: Figen Bingul


Disclosure: This essay is written by Bircan Ünver as an open proposal to all potential interested individuals and institutions/organizations nationwide and internationally, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board of the Light Millennium.

Note: This MANIFESTO was written as a first draft on 4th of July 2007, for the idea of "a Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative" to be formed under the Light Millennium Organization which is associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations effective on December 2005. Updated by Bircan Ünver on October 17, 2007, New York.
Bircan Unver


Part IV: Purposes and Criteria of the Turkish-Armenian Synergy Initiative

The below draft is written to initiate a dialogue for better understanding in order to jointly define the concept and the mission…

Entry note: This text will be presented as a working paper, and will ONLY become a final document when the envisioned parties have come together around this draft and decided, in a full consensus, about how the initiative will officially form.

1. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative aims to develop and apply rehabilitation, development, cultural exchange and jointly-developed projects with understanding and compassion for each other in order to heal, improve and elevate relationships around the world.

2. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative aims to obtain support from and enter into collaboration with the United Nations in order to create a platform to bring together these countries in a dialogue within its Vision. This will potentially open new avenues for Non-Governmental and Civil Society organizations based on Turkish – Armenian relations. These organizations can be based in both countries and in the US, These organizations will reach goals postitively impact the UN and the world.

3. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative aims to engender harmony and synergy among the nations of the world, including but not limited to synergy between Turkey and Armenia.

4. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative strives to promote social welfare for the people of Turkey, Armenia and the United States.

5. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative exists to develop, collaborate on, support and expand all positive ideas related with these two countries through newly designed projects, art exhibitions, festivals, dance performances, all of which could be a a model. In particular, these activities function to exemplify healing and to change long-standing conflicts in countries and communities around the world.

6. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative supports a trusting and reliable environment in which these countries might re-embracing each other, the United States and other nations.

4. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative invests in the education system, starting with the first grade in both countries. It works, throughout the US and EU, to challenge prejudices against each others and remove multi-layered and overblown negative effects. The results resonate through other communities and countries, providing a replicable model to all other conflicted communities and countries in the world.

5. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative involves a range of media executives and reporters, starting in Turkey and Armenia. The organization takes a constructive, educational approach with the media and encourages the two countries’ media representatives to be professional in covering each other’s news in a transparent, candid and responsible manner.

6. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative invests in the US and EU media to bring about unique collaborations and ongoing exchange lectures, seminars, conferences, art exhibitions and special screenings to be produced and presented jointly starting in the two regions but not limited to them.

7. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative fosters jointly-produced film projects, documentaries, books, literature, major arts and culture programs. This media will serve to rehabilitate and reconstruct. Through work on these projects, citizens of both countries will feel naturally that they can re-embracing each other’s old traditions, rich cultures and values. The mindset around this reunion will be one of presenting their rich, shared culture with the global market. The mutual benefits will create a cultural and economic synergy in both countries. They will also contribute to a global culturalization process.

8. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative developes joint, collaborative projects and programs throughout universities in both countries, the US, the EU. Provided collaboration and funds are available, these projects and programs can span to many countries around the world.

9. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative focuses on, developes and encourages positive ideas about how to heal from the major damage and negative effects in both communities born from decades of negative perceptions.

10. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative targets time frames, in particular, focusing on when the two communities had lived with open dialogue, harmony and peace. The organization highlights similarities and fosters respect for one another regarding their differences. This proactive encouragement around a functional relationship between the two countries is designed with the end goals of rehabilitation, reconstruction, joint developments and sustainability for both countries and peoples, who have long-standing, mutual interests which, when shared, contribute to a global culture of peace.

11. Light Millennium’s Turkish & Armenian Synergy Initiative aims to work this purposes with all globally responsible citizens of the world. The organization seeks to collaborate with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations in conjunction to all non-governmental and civil-society organizations that do NOT HAVE PRE-CONDITIONED MIND-SETS in order to begin a dialogue of pure intention, and need to work toward the above-mentioned goals. Additionally, this network will grow to encompass the private sector, government agencies and universities in both countries, the U.S., the EU and the world.

12. The Light Millennium aims to launch this project at the United Nations.

CRITERIA

* Focus and willingness to work to remove all sort of negative effects, hatred, and prejudices in the people of the both countries, within the two countries, the U.S., and the world.

* Must NOT have any prejudice in order to begin a dialogue.

* Must be willing to work to stop creating new conditions and obstacles.

* Must stop accusing each other and channeling all energies, labor, skills and resources into a rehabilitation process and the promise of re-embracing each other’s coexistence.

* Must focus on the developments of positive approaches, strategies and projects starting when this initiative has emerged. Projects must spring from at least three nationalists dedicated to represent Turkish, Armenian and American interests, but participation is not limited to these three nations.

* Overall, must be willing to work for non-violence, peaceful purpose with a goal diminishing hatred, threat and all destructive approaches in both and all related circles. With at least 3 representatives from each country including Turkey, Armenia, the US, with the organization aims to gain a European country representative for this purpose. It also aims to gain at least one member from a related UN Agency.

* Board of Directors of the Turkish-Armenian Synergy Initiative should include at least 2 non-governmental/civil society officers, 2 government officers, 2 private sector officers, 2 university officers, and 2 student (HS or College) representatives.

* Aim to launch in 3 countries simultaneously, the United States, Turkey, and Armenia but is not limited to these countries.

* Turkish and Armenian Representatives may be Turkish-American or Armenian-American as well as native Turkish or Armenian but is not limited to these countries.

-- Edited by Emily ALP

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