30 November 2007

2218) Media Scanner 29 Nov 2007 ( 203 Items )

  1. Sources Of Turkish-US FrictionDogu Ergil
  2. Azerbaijan Minister: Territorial Dispute Could Spark New War
  3. Gül Meets With French PM On Terror, Armenia And EU
  4. The Pain The World Forgot
  5. Public Homicide, Judgment And Mentality
  6. Content Change for TDSB's Grade 11 Course "Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications"
  7. Armenian - Turkish Relations- Indefinite Development
  8. Are Turks Losing Against The Armenian Propaganda Machine?
  9. The Search For Tolerance ANDREW FINKEL
  10. Donna Evans Spoke Up For Armenian Genocide Resolution
  11. Israel Lobby Behind Armenian Genocide Resolution?
  12. Armenia and Regional Cooperation Projects
  13. The Armenian Lobbies In The West Do Not Complain And The Geopolitical Program Is Solved Hakob Badalyan
  14. Kiro Manoyan: Armenian And Kurdish Territories Will Come Off Turkey Sooner Or Later
  15. Armenian Carrier Obliged To Notify Ankara About Flights Through Turkish Airspace A Week Beforehand
  16. US-Turkish Ties Through The AgesELIF ÖZMENEK
  17. Railway Project Highlights Armenia's Growing IsolationSemih IDIZ,
  18. Rare Armenian Manuscripts Dazzle And Delight
  19. Mistakes made by Turkey,
  20. Letters To The Editor / TDN/ Armenia and Turkey
  21. Azerbaijan Defense Minister Hints at War
  22. Phase Two Of Armenian Genocide Museum Of America Construction Underway
  23. Zatulin: Inattention To Armenian Genocide Turns Out To Repetition Of Similar Misanthropic Experiments
  24. America's Foreign Policy Is Corrupted By The Turkey's Policy Of DenialBy Harut Sassounian
  25. Azerbaijan Rates Possibility Of War With Armenia 100%
  26. Turkey Must Repent, Russian Expert Says
  27. No One Asked Russia To Mediate For Normalization Of Armenian-Turkish Relations
  28. Present-Day Turkey Doesn’t Leave Chance For Armenian Genocide Recognition
  29. H.Res.106 Uncovered Controversy Between U.S. Legislative And Executive Power
  30. Armenian Genocide Resolution Fell Victim To Complicated Circumstances In U.S. Foreign Policy
  31. Ara Papian: Turks Can Dispute With Us About Genocide But They Can’t Argue About Arbitration Award
  32. Armenian Political Expert: There Was An Attempt To Restore Idea Of Great Turan
  33. Armenian Government Has Privatized History By Haykush Aslanyan
  34. Nobody Will Be Able To Resist Turkic World, Suleyman Demirel BelievesArmInfo
  35. Armenia Left Without InternetCNews,Russia
  36. Turkish Nations Call Upon World Community To Make Decisions On So-Called Armenian GenocideTrend Az
  37. A Year, A Newspaper And A Cast Of HeroesDavid JUDSON
  38. Living In Armenia: The Things That Make Me Happy And Sadby Maria Titizian
  39. How The Lobbies Work In USGulf News
  40. AXA To Pay Descendants Of Victims Of The Armenian GenocideAFX News Limited
  41. Eyes On Oyak After Axa Pays Out In Armenian Dispute
  42. Turkey: From Bloody Birth To Power Broker by Ann Berg
  43. Armenia Becoming Deprived Of "Rear Support" Vardan Grigoryan
  44. Axa Paid $1 Mln To 3 Armenian Benevolent Organizations19.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net
  45. Turkish Premier Urges Armenia To End "Occupation" Of Azeri LandsAzTV, Azerbaijan
  46. Gunes Turkish Daily Published Scandalous Map Of ‘Enlarged Turkey’ PanARMENIAN.Net/
  47. Armenia Must Not Renounce Its Past PanARMENIAN.Net/
  48. Armenians Shouldn’t Appeal To Un International Court Of Justice PanARMENIAN.Net/
  49. Turkish Analyst Advises Armenia To Refrain From Discussions Of Genocide Problem /PanARMENIAN.Net/
  50. Armenian-Turkish Relations Should Be Given Publicity PanARMENIAN.Net/
  51. Questionnaires On Armenian Genocide Issue To Be Sent To U.S. Presidential Hopefuls PanARMENIAN.Net/
  52. Armenian-Turkish Border Will Open But Historical Controversy Will Remain PanARMENIAN.Net/
  53. The Scandal Of The Kemalist Mind
  54. Laic, Anti-Laic Reconciliation
  55. Armament Supplied To Pkk Through Territory Of Armenia, Turkish Sources Allege
  56. PKK Terrorist Organization Buys Arms From Armenia
  57. Robert Kocharyan: Some Forces In Armenia Think That Either Turkey Or Azerbaijan Should Be The Main Political Partner Of The Country
  58. Turkey Motivated Blocking Of Air Space For Armenian Planes By Security Reasons?
  59. Turkey Closes Its Airspace For Armenian Flights
  60. U.S. 'Genocide' Bill A Slow-Motion Disaster
  61. Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Within Its Power Turkey Gives Every Support To Azerbaijan In Nagorno Karabakh Conflict - Exclusive
  62. RA President Surprised That There Are Pro-Turkish Forces In Armenia
  63. Blame Ottoman Empire For Genocide, Not Modern-Day Turkey
  64. Shimon Peres: It Would Be Logical To Assess Events Of Early 20th Century Basing On Historical Research
  65. Book About Armenian Genocide Published In Russia
  66. Blunder Of Genocide
  67. If Our Friends Do It, It Is Not Genocide
  68. Number Of Illegal Foreign Workers Mounts
  69. AAA Welcomes Unraveling Conspiracy That Lies Behind Dink Murder
  70. Levon Ter-Petrosian As A Tool Of Armenia’s Destabilisation
  71. Robert Fisk About George Bush: Turkey Transformed The Lion Into A Lamb
  72. The Word "Genocide" In The Speeches Of Ataturk
  73. Turkey, Terrorism And Double Standards By Bruce Fein
  74. Will There Be A War? by Ruben Safrastyan,
  75. Waiting For The End By Charles R. Larson*
  76. Turks Are Hoping That Time Will Weaken Arguments And Memory, Experts Say
  77. Taner Akcam: I Can Show Very Easily Genocidal Intent Of Ottoman Turkey
  78. An Armenian Responds To Birand, Others
  79. Explaining The Fate Of The 'Genocide Resolution'
  80. Need For Counter Propaganda By Yüksel Oktay
  81. Rehumanizing Armenians And Turks
  82. Turkey Must Face Its Past For Democracy
  83. Armenian Resolution Spells More Risks For US Than France
  84. Turkey Succeeds In Negative Image Making, Fails In Lobbying
  85. USA Aims To Start War In Middle East, Russian Pundit Tells Azeri Website
  86. Turkey's New Envoy Says Genocide Bill Impedes Reconciliation
  87. Armenia Responds To Gül’s Remarks In Azerbaijan
  88. Turkish Minority Foundations Own Over 2,000 Estates
  89. Turkish PM: No Genocide, We Even Gave the Armenian Deportees Pocket Money
  90. Tragicomedy Of Modesty By Hakob Badalyan
  91. Recognize The Iraq Genocide
  92. Lift The Blockade
  93. The History Of A Greek Secret Society: Structure And Rites Of The Philiki Etaireia
  94. Ankara Gives Glimmer Of Hope For Rights Of Ecumenical Patriarchate
  95. Turkey Deserves Better Treatment
  96. Armenia Has To Make Diplomatic Efforts To Eliminate Turkey From Number Of Osce Mg Member-Countries: Ra Parliament Vice-Speaker
  97. Gül: Armenia's Hostile Stance Harms Ties
  98. Over 1 Million Armenians Migrant Workers In Russia
  99. Armenia-Diaspora Cooperation In The Process
  100. Genocide? This American says “NO!”
  101. Barzani, The Pkk And The Sèvres Peace Treaty
  102. Gül: My Visit To Baku To Be A Turning Point In Bilateral Ties
  103. Azeri Foreign Minister Memmedyarov: Turkey And Azerbaijan Stand Side By Side
  104. A Long Open Letter To Turks from Raffi Kojian
  105. Nature Of 1915 Events Not Clarified Yet, Turkish Pm Says
  106. Turks Tried To Upset Inauguration Of Khachkar In Cardiff
  107. Fried: H.Res.106 “wouldn’t Help To Establish Dialogue Between Armenia And Turkey”
  108. Book Review: Justin Mccarthy's Rationalization For Genocide Makes For Challenging Reading By John M. Evans
  109. Commentary: Mutafyan Must Tell The Turks "No" -- Or Be Ignored By World
  110. Starved For Recognition Armenians Wait Anxiously As Congress Considers Labeling As Genocide
  111. Armenian And Greek Americans Protest Introduction Of Byrd-Smith Senate Resolution Commending Turkey
  112. Turkish Ambassador To Russia Urges Armenia To Stop Its Groundless Territorial Claims To Several Countries
  113. EXCLUSIVE: FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Will Now Tell All
  114. Armenian Genocide: the Lobbying Behind the Congressional Resolution
  115. How Powerful is the Armenian Lobby?
  116. By Brad Friedman On 3/3/2006 Exclusive: Fbi Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Is Ready To Talk!
  117. Many Americans Support Turkey
  118. A New Direction For Russian-Turkish Relations By Sergei Markedonov
  119. Plans To Destroy Turkey Mohammad Khalifa, Uruknet.Info, Italy
  120. Recognizing Turkish Genocide Wouldn't Help Us
  121. By Dropping Territorial Claims Armenia Will Turn Into Developed Country
  122. Why Pelosi Is 'Committee Of One'
  123. Armenian Issue Discussed In Students' Research Papers
  124. Rice's Hands Are Tied In Meeting Ankara's Demands
  125. Act Now, Or…
  126. Turkey-Pkk Conflict Highlights American Arrogance
  127. What Do Strategy And Historical Experience Tell Us?
  128. General Staff Sheds Light On Armenian Reality
  129. Turkey Now And In The Near Future
  130. Let's Thank Bush First Before We...
  131. Armenia To Receive 15 Mln Euro Grant Within ENP
  132. Showdown Over Armenian Genocide Question Expected At ADL Conference
  133. Turkish Ambassador On Armenian Genocide: "Events Of 1915 Can Be Treated Differently"
  134. Turkish Ambassador Welcomes The Establishment Of Diplomatic Relations With Armenia
  135. "Reasons Of Iran's Interests In Armenia Are Hard To Explain," Turkish Politicians Say
  136. Relations Between Armenia And Pkk Terrorism
  137. Mustafa Akyol: Demands To Establish Relations With Armenia Awaken In Turkey
  138. The Pkk In The Us-Russia-Europe Equilibrium
  139. Us: A Fair Weather Friend
  140. Instead Of Short Passes
  141. Where Are Turkish American Relations Heading To?
  142. Who's Behind the PKK?
  143. Us Azerbaijanis Demand Dismissal Of Journalist Publishing Photos Of Khojaly Genocide As “armenian Genocide”
  144. I Was In Istanbul Last Week, Attending A 5-Day Seminar On "Young Women Living In Conflict Areas" by Lara Aha
  145. Letter: Pelosi Wrong-Headed To Push Genocide On Turkey
  146. Morgan Liddick: Pelosi Is Chasing Away Another Important Ally
  147. Armenpac's Call To Action
  148. The 56-Year Story Of The Unmade Atatürk Film
  149. Turkey and the Armenian question
  150. A Turkish Bluff Or A Turning Point?
  151. Narcissistic And Reckless Arrogance: Pelosi And The Armenian Genocide Resolution
  152. Relations Between Armenia And Pkk Terrorism
  153. The Greek Cypriot-PKK Connection
  154. A Suggestion To Turkey For 'Genocide' Bill: Do Nothing!
  155. Should Us Fix History?
  156. Calamity in Turkey: A Hot Bed Over PKK Incursion and Armenian Genocide Resolution
  157. Dear Mr. Palantekin
  158. Armenian Sculptor Spends A Month In Turkey
  159. Turkey Blames Us Jews For Genocide Bill
  160. Deciphering Us Action Against Pkk
  161. Comments By Leading Writers And Publishers / TDN
  162. What Others Say /TDN
  163. Do You Still Work With The Republican Lobbies?
  164. Armenian Genocide Bill Likely To Die, At Least For This Year
  165. Turkey And Armenia Have No Borders In Sports
  166. Armenia Follows In Israel's Footsteps
  167. Seeing A Chance, Former Leader Mulls Comeback
  168. Letters To The Editor / TDN
  169. Former Us Ambassador Says Kurds Misreckon Their Steps
  170. The Greek Cypriot-PKK connection
  171. Us And Turkey Thwart Armenian Genocide Bill
  172. ‘metin And’ On Theater, Research And Life
  173. Architects Of Armenian Bill Ask Pelosi To Delay Vote
  174. Rice Urges Us Lawmakers To Drop ‘armenian Genocide’ Resolution
  175. U.S. Has Important Place In Armenia's Political And Economic Life
  176. Turkey's National Security Council Debates Armenia's Anti-Turkish Activity
  177. European Parliament Refuses Recognizing So-Called Armenian Genocide
  178. U.S. Senators Briefed Serge Sargsyan On Armenian Genocide Resolution Debate
  179. Armenia, Greece Sign Military Cooperation Program For 2008
  180. Congressional Nonbinding Resolutions Playing With Fire
  181. Let International Courts Weigh Genocide Issue
  182. Bush-Cheney Vs. The Armenian Genocide
  183. Why Turkey Matters
  184. They May Even Intrude Into Armenia
  185. Rep. Schiff: Turkey Argues It Succeeded In Genocide Denial
  186. Why Have Democrats Been Obsessed With The Armenian Genocide?
  187. Your Country And Your People Will Only Benefit From It
  188. Armenians Arrested While Trying To Smuggle Radioactive Material To Turkey
  189. With Book, Foxman Grabs Lead Role 'Israel Lobby' Critics
  190. Armenians Who Need Help Today
  191. Opinion: Turkey And The Dems' Dangerous Gameplan
  192. Names and Language
  193. Orhan Pamuk: Armenian Genocide Is a Moral Issue
  194. Washington Times Forum: To The Armenian Diaspora
  195. Ankara's Eyes
  196. Israel Lobby May Be Source Of Armenian Genocide Resolution
  197. Is Europe Trying To Revitalize Sevr Agreement?
  198. Significant Trend In Turkish Press
  199. The Armenians Held A Major Role In The Nazi Campain. In 1938 When The First Jews Were Deported
  200. Never Changing Foreign Policy Positions And The War
  201. How To Solve The Armenian Issue
  202. US Congress, Turkish Parliament, Many Questions
  203. Armenian Genocide: the Lobbying Behind the Congressional Resolution by Guy Taylor
. .


Sources Of Turkish-US Friction
Dogu Ergil d.ergil@todayszaman.com
Turkey was a valued ally of the US during the Cold War. The Eisenhower Doctrine gave Turkey a major role in the 1950s in the Balkan and the Middle Eastern theaters and Turkey was also a reliable partner in the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), also known as the Baghdad Pact.

Bearing negative feelings toward the Arabs because they chose to side with the British against their own government (Ottoman) during World War I, Turkey felt alone in the Middle East and became an ally of Israel. During the period of President Turgut Özal, the Turkish-Israeli alliance grew into a multi-level cooperation. Plans were made in the late 1980s to transfer water from Turkey to Israel and were boosted by a series of military agreements.

When the Gulf War broke out after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Turkey sided with the coalition that the US had assembled. Turkish-American relations ran fairly smoothly until the American (George W. Bush government) decision to invade Iraq in 2003. The seeds of conflict were sown when the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power with an attributed Islamic portfolio that sent negative signals to the US, which then adopted a "wait and see" attitude.

This attitude changed to a negative one when the Turkish establishment, including the overwhelming majority of the party in power (the AK Party) together with all of the opposition parties -- especially the Republican People's Party (CHP) that was also in Parliament -- blocked a parliamentary resolution that would have allowed American troops to pass through Turkish territory to invade Iraq from the north. The fact that a meeting of the National Security Council (MGK), dominated by the military, ended surprisingly just before the fateful parliamentary vote (March 1, 2003) with no decision for the first time in Turkish republican history, revealed the military's discomfort with American invasion of Iraq. This was a clear rupture in Turkish-American relations and the American establishment, especially the defense branch, never forgot or forgave this breach, as they have demonstrated on several occasions.

The reason the US-Israeli-Turkish defense and solidarity line was formed during the Cold War and continued in the volatile atmosphere of the Middle East was because all three countries perceived similar threats to their national interests. However, with the American invasion of Iraq, Turkey's exaggerated fears emanating from its unsolved "Kurdish question," fueled with the prospect of the emergence of an autonomous Kurdish regional government, began to dominate her foreign policy. Turkey consistently viewed this Kurdish formation in northern Iraq as a potential source of attraction for its own disgruntled Kurds and a probable enemy in the case of becoming independent if Iraq breaks down.

This was not how the US (Bush) administration viewed the case. They direly needed an ally in the hostile Iraqi environment. They wanted a safe haven for American troops and oil concerns in case of the disintegration of Iraq, which would then most likely fall under Iran's influence. Furthermore, an American-backed new state in the Middle East would protect US interests against Sunni radicalism and rising Shiite power; Israel's interests were no different. Once again Turkey felt very lonely, especially at a time when the EU seemed reluctant to ease Turkey's path to membership.

Good relations between Turkey and Israel took a serious blow when the AK Party government acted both out of the zeal of reconciling Palestinian and Israeli relations, at their lowest ebb after Hamas' electoral victory, and the delight of seeing a Muslim political force coming to power. The first aim was overly optimistic, for no side had demanded Turkey's mediation. The second motive demonstrated a politico-religious reflex that the AK Party has still been unable to shed, although it had come to rule in a secular country.

Turkey began to pay for these enthusiastic moves in two forms. One, the traditional American Jewish support base in the US abandoned the Turkish cause in Washington. This was reflected in the adoption of a resolution on the acknowledgement of an Armenian genocide (of 1915) at the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs that shook Turkey. Two, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the notorious terrorist organization, found safe haven in northern Iraq under American occupation and the regional Kurdish administration's security blanket. Its bloody forays into Turkey served to reiterate that the PKK had become a stick to remind Turkey where it should be politically and militarily.

Now Turkey is at a crossroads: Will it return to its old circle of allies, composed of the US and Israel in the Middle Eastern theater and stop questioning the merit of being a NATO ally in the face of being left alone in its struggle against terrorism, or will it look for other alliance systems, away from its traditional affiliations? This question recently led Turkey to self-criticism and soul-searching on its own Kurdish problem. It has become clear that this problem offers Turkey's foes and friends an instrument of exploitation for their own interests, whether it is used as a stick or a carrot. Turkey can neither develop politically and economically, nor devise a more autonomous foreign policy while its politics, economy and foreign relations are taken ransom by this quarter-century-long problem that still persists.
28.11.2007


Azerbaijan Minister: Territorial Dispute Could Spark New War
Azerbaijan's defense minister said Tuesday that the long-standing dispute over the Armenian-controlled territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is almost certain to eventually spark a new war if it remains unresolved.

Safar Abiyev's remark was a startlingly worded repetition of warnings from Azerbaijani officials that they have not ruled out the use of force to recapture Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas if internationally mediated settlement efforts fail.

"As long as Azerbaijani territory is occupied by Armenia, the chance of war is close to 100 percent," Abiyev said during a meeting in Kazakhstan of defense chiefs from former Soviet republics. Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding territory that is also part of Azerbaijan have been controlled by Armenian and ethnic Armenian forces since a shaky 1994 cease-fire ended one of the bloodiest conflicts that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. The six-year war killed 30,000 people and drove more than 1 million from their homes, including many of the region's ethnic Azeris.

Azerbaijan and Armenia remain locked in a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh despite more than a decade of coaxing from international mediators led by the United States, Russia and France to resolve the region's status. Gunfire breaks out regularly along the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia and in the regions near Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Defense Minister Mikhail Arutyunian Said He Sees No Alternative To A Peaceful Settlement, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.
28.11.2007 AP Astana


Gül Meets With French PM On Terror, Armenia And EU
November 28, 2007,Serdar Alyamaç, PARIS – Turkish Daily News

While in Paris for the Bureau of International Exhibition (BIE) General Assembly Tuesday, Turkish President Abdullah Gül met with the French prime minister to discuss terrorism, the Armenian issue and the European Union.

We talked very frankly about many things. I think it was very fruitful meeting,” Gül said about his meeting with Francis Fillon at the Turkish Embassy

On the question of the so-called Armenian genocide, which was on the agenda of the French Parliament, Gül said, “This is the business of historians and scientists, not politicians. Turkey has opened its archives to research on this issue. We also offered to set up a joint research commission. [Fillon] agreed and supported our joint historical commission on the issue.”

More democracy needed to stop terrorism:

Terrorism can damage democracy and human rights, said Gül and pointed out that democracy isolates terrorism: “Turkey has expanded human rights and democracy. Democracy isolates terrorism. Strengthening democracy in Turkey would help us in our fight against terrorism,” he said.

Referring to Turkey's EU membership bid Gül said that Turkey should enact reforms. “We should enact these reforms for ourselves. Negotiation with the EU is not only political, it is also a technical issue. Turkey's road map is very clear. We should take care of our business. We should do all this because it is for the benefit of the Turkish people,” he said.

Answering a question about Sarkozy's Mediterranean Union proposal, Gül said, “Turkey is a Mediterranean country. The Mediterranean Union is not an alternative to Turkey's EU membership.”

Pointing out that bilateral economic relations with France have been improving, Gül said French companies' interest in building nuclear power stations in Turkey has risen after the nuclear power energy law was enacted in Turkey.

Turkey in France in 2009

Gül also said they have talked with Fillon about the announcement of a celebration of Turkey in France in 2009. “We have talked about introducing Turkey to the French people in 2009. During that year, cultural activities about Turkey will be held. The French prime minister added that they have been preparing very seriously and they will appoint a very important person to the administration of the organization committee. With this organization, Turkey will be featured in France in 2009,” said Gül.


The Pain The World Forgot
November 28, 2007
Residents of the Mamirli roadside refugee camp run to fetch their ID cards. They want their names written down, and to show the places they have to live and sleep in. Most of them know that to have their names written on a card will change nothing. But they want someone to witness their suffering

ONUR BURÇAK BELLI, Berde, AZERBAIJAN - Turkish Daily News

All the children at the Mamirli roadside refugee camp, located in the city of Barda in Azerbaijan, have a grown-up, wise gaze. They stand slightly apart from the crowd, covered with mud like their parents. The eyes of those small faces look a bit surprised at what is happening.

Their parents and older siblings are running to fetch their ID cards. They want their names written down, and to show the places they have to live and sleep in. Most of them know that to have their names written on a card will change nothing.

The Azeri people, who escaped from Agdam city in Karabakh, an area of conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia since the fall of the Soviet Union, created the Mamirli roadside refugee camp at the beginning of the 1990s. Similar to the conflict that brought them to the camp in the first place, the refugees' conditions in the camp are stuck between permanent and temporary. Two years after they arrived in Mamirli, the refugees built the dwellings they now call home. They live in houses that have four walls built of mud bricks, but no floor and no ceiling. Canvas acts as a mock roof. There is no electricity or running water. While people in many countries worry about the scarcity of water and pray for rain to fill reservoirs, residents of the Mamirli camp look at the sky fearfully. Every cloud represents risk. What if it rains? they ask themselves, as each drop of moisture erodes a small part of their mud houses. Each drop takes something from the permanent life they have tried to construct.

On a cloudy, dark day, refugees from the Mamirli roadside camp run with their identity cards in their hands, mud all over their feet and clothes, as traces of uneasiness merge with a little spark of hope on their faces.

All the children have a grown-up, wise gaze. They stand a bit apart from the crowd, covered with mud like their parents. The eyes of those small faces look a bit surprised at what is happening.

Their parents and older sisters and brothers are running to fetch their ID cards. They want their names written down, to show the places they have to live and sleep. Most of them know that to have their names written on a card will change nothing.

The Azeri people, who escaped from Agdam city in Karabakh, an area of conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia since the fall of the Soviet Union, created the Mamirli roadside refugee camp at the beginning of the 1990s.

“We have been here, living in similar conditions, for more than 10 years now. We do not think that we will be able to go back anymore,” said Mania Sirinova, 70, while showing where her family lives.

Sirinova came to the camp with the first group of refugees, at the end of 1992. She has lived in the same camp for 15 years. The home she shows reporters was built last year.

Temporary becomes permanent and temporary yet again:

Similar to the conflict that brought them to the camp in the first place, the refugees' conditions in the camp are stuck between permanent and temporary.

Two years after they arrived in Mamirli, the refugees built the places they now call home. They live in houses that have four walls built of mud bricks, but no floor and no ceiling. Canvas acts as a mock roof. There is no electricity or running water.

While people in many countries worry about the scarcity of water and pray for rain to fill reservoirs, residents of the Mamirli camp look at the sky fearfully. Every cloud is a risk. What if it rains? they ask themselves, as each drop of moisture erodes a small part of their mud houses. Each drop takes something from the permanent life they have tried to construct.

The first mud houses in the camp were built in 1994. They collapsed during heavy rainfall in 2000.

“We were all hopeless and desperate,” said Sirinova.

But residents rebuilt, knowing their homes would collapse again with the next big rain. And they did. The current structures were re-built in 2006. The refugees say they don't know if they have the energy to rebuild again after the next storm.

There are 366 houses in the camp. Each one houses, on average, eight people.

Unhealthy, cramped conditions cause serious health problems for the refugees.

“Look at his eye. Look at it carefully,” said Reyhan Suleymanova, holding a boy's face between her palms.

“We all have diseases. All these kidney, rheumatism, and eye diseases are because of this place. The worst thing is, we do not have money to cure our children. We are left to die here,” she said.

The boy she holds is her grandson, Vekil Membetov. His eye is almost swollen shut.

“It is because of cold,” said Suleymanova. And that is not the only health problem the boy has. Many other children at the camp, and nearly all the adult refugees, suffer from kidney diseases.

Suleymanova's husband died during clashes between Azeris and Armenians, like many others. She lives with her two daughters. Nobody in the Suleymanova family has a job. The only income is the monthly government pension of 10 Azeri Manats each month, which amounts to about $12.

Desperation, the biggest illness:

Suleymanova's grandson, Membetov, once got very sick at school, located in Barda, the city the refugee camp is constructed in. Barda is about 22 kilometers from the camp. The boy's teacher sent the family a message to inform them of the illness.

“We had no money to go and pick him up,” Suleymanova said.

“What if we picked him up? We did not have money to take him to a doctor. If he was going to die, he was going to die anyway,” she said, and the lines on her face get deeper as she speaks in evident agony.

Sometimes, a man comes to the camp in the morning to take refugees to fields for work. The labor is back-breaking, collecting crops or treating the soil. Each refugee who works in the field for one full day earns about $3 a day. However, most of the refugees are too sick to work in the fields.

Life in the camp is like a game of dominos: One problem causes another, and then another. Solutions fade away because of more problems.

If that weren't enough, there are rumors that the government plans to cut the meager pensions as well. About 20 percent of the camp's population didn't receive their pensions last month. They went to the governorship and submitted documents recording their situation. They received no answer.

“It has been weeks. I gave them my papers. I met the governor. I told him about our problems. What shall we do?” Allahverdi Suleymanov said.

“But the governor did not want to listen to me. I heard him mumbling. He said he did not know what we were doing here and that we had to go back to where we came from. Somebody should help us,” he said.

International relief organizations have helped these refugees for a long time, but 15 years seems too long even for them. At some point these people were forgotten. Their lives were expected to become normal again, but that didn't happen. The government in Baku does not want them to settle and become permanent. As a policy, it keeps the refugees “out of the way” of ordinary citizens, and tries to convince them that they will one day return to their homeland.

“We will not go back, no hope for this,” Suleymanov said, sitting on a stone. He looks down at his mud-covered boots, his pajama-like pants folded over to protect them.

Born in a mud house:

Eight-year-old Tamilla Bakisaliyeva watches wide-eyed as the people of her village run through gardens between mud houses, through the camp that has no road save for dirt paths that have become nearly impossible to walk on after heavy rain the other night.

The little girl was born in the Mamirli refugee camp. She did not experience the mass painful migration. She looks at her people, running with their ID cards in their hands, watching how they gather in a square by the road. Her look is one of fear.

Suddenly the whole village hears the news that reporters have arrived.

“Somebody is writing our names down,” someone shouts.

All the refugees want their names written, hoping for some kind of help. All of them want to show the reporters where they live.

“Look at the houses. Write our names. God bless you. People have forgotten us. Come and see my place as well. Write my name down, too,” Xalide Bayramova said.

Nothing can change her mind. She does not accept that writing her name is not going to change her situation.

“I do not care if it does not change anything. You have to come and see my place as well. You have to see how my family and I live. See the lake in the middle of our house,” she said.

Like the rest of the crowd, she is desperate to show the world how she lives.

CONFLICT TIMELINE

1923: Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, a largely ethnic Armenian area, established within the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic.

1988
February: Armenian deputies to the National Council of Nagorno-Karabakh vote for unification with Armenia. Clashes start.

1988-1989: Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians and ethnic Azerbaijanis leave their homes and seek refuge in their ancestral countries.

1990
January: Mobs led by Azerbaijani ultra-nationalists harass and beat up ethnic Armenians in Baku. Moscow sends tanks and troops to secure the area. Around 130 civilians are killed.

1991
November: Armenia breaks away from the Soviet Union. Nagorno-Karabakh declares it is an independent republic. Azerbaijan's Supreme Soviet revokes Nagorno-Karabakh's autonomous status. The region responds by voting in favor of secession.

1992
January-March: Karabakh Armenian troops kill the bulk of the Azerbaijani population of the Nagorno-Karabakh village of Khojali, forcing the resignation of Azerbaijan's President Ayaz Mutalibov. President Abulfaz Elchibey later replaces him.

1993
June-October: Military coup in Azerbaijan. President Abulfaz Elchibey goes into exile. Heydar Aliev returns to power.

Karabakh Armenian forces capture four more Azerbaijani districts. With the help of Russian mediation, all sides sign a temporary ceasefire agreement in September, only to violate it the following month. Karabakh Armenians capture more territory.

1994
May-December: Unofficial ceasefire declared.

1995
June: Talks in Moscow end after Armenia rejects demands from Azerbaijan.

1997
June-November: The OSCE presents a series of settlement proposals, which are all rejected.

2000
March: Nagorno-Karabakh's separatist president, Arkady Gukasyan, is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt.

2002
March: The United States resumes aid to Azerbaijan as a reward for its support in the so-called "war on terror."

2005
January: Council of Europe passes a resolution criticizing Armenia's occupation of Azerbaijani territory.

2008 - Presidential elections scheduled in Armenia and Azerbaijan (Source: Reuters)


Public Homicide, Judgment And Mentality
Turkey has witnessed three heinous events in the last two years -- the murder of Catholic priest Andrea Santoro, the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and the killing of three Christians at a publishing firm in Malatya.

There was no acquaintance, relationship or enmity between the murderers and victims in these events. These three heinous killings were political murders solicited by a “muddled formation” in Turkey and unfortunately, none of these murders were handled within a proper legal and political context. There are various reasons for this. The first is the stance adopted by public servants who acted in accordance with a reflex to acquit themselves of responsibility and the mentality of state quarters which supported such a stance. Administrative circles blocked a serious investigation from being launched into the close relationship between police officers and those who planned the murders. The second reason is the fact that judicial bodies have recently adopted a new mentality of judgment and distanced themselves from the notion of freedom.
28.11.2007,ALI BAYRAMOGLU, YENI SAFAK


Content Change for TDSB's Grade 11 Course "Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications"
Created by Lale Eskicioglu on Nov 23, 2007
Category: Education
Region: Canada
Target: Toronto District School Board, Director of Education Gerry Connelly, Chair Sheila Ward and Trustees
Web site: http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/p
rintedition/tuesday/chi-oped1016endoct16,0,2073252
.story
Description/History:
Canadians of Turkish origin are concerned about the content of Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB's) Grade 11 history course "CHG38M, Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications.”

Turkish Community of Canada has learned from Nadine Segal (System Superintendent, Special Programs) that curriculum was based on Barbara Coloroso’s book Extraordinary Evil: A History of Genocide.

While Ms. Coloroso may be an internationally recognized speaker and author in the areas of parenting, grieving, teaching, school discipline, non-violent conflict resolution, and restorative justice, she is not a historian and her expertise does not include Ottoman history. She has repeatedly said that she was not a scholar and that scholars’ reactions to her book were not supportive. Canadians, of all backgrounds, have severe objections to basing history lessons on opinions of authors who themselves admit to not having any history education and not being scholars. In our belief, this course, with its current content, is a major flaw in our education system and it poses greater dangers for the future.

We understand that the course concentrates on the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide, and along with these two very dark periods of history, talks about the Armenian - Ottoman tragedy as a “genocide” as claimed by the Armenian Diaspora. Numerous respected historians, such as Andrew Mango, Bernard Lewis, Guenter Lewy, Roderic Davison, Norman Stone, Justin McCarthy, J.C. Hurewitz and the late Stanford Shaw dispute these Armenian claims.

Our schools and curricula cannot and should not be used for one-sided propaganda. History must be taught objectively with accurate account of essential historical facts. Accordingly, common sense would question the following: why the Armenian government and most of its Diaspora refuse to encourage any historical review which does not start with a genocide premise but instead seeks facts first prior to any such conclusion; why Armenian historical archives remain closed; why U.S. academics disputing claims of genocide have been intimidated through verbal and physical threats by certain members of the Armenian community; why, in Europe, Armenian lobbies have attempted to silence any debate by criminalizing all disputes of Armenian claims.

Our schools must consider the well-being of our children. Children of Turkish descent are already facing bullying, hate and racism in the school yards. Making one lobby group’s agenda the official curriculum of our schools will only increase the feeling of “vindication” of the bullies. We rely on our school system to provide a shelter free from hate-inciting propaganda and to not contribute to the divisions between ethnic minorities. TDSB and all other school boards across Canada should restrict themselves to teaching only what is either proven in a court of law or agreed upon, universally, by all historians. We demand that any reference to the tragic events of 1915, when many Ottoman Muslims and Armenians lost their lives, should be removed from the contents of CHG38M, until there is a scholarly agreement on how to categorize these events.

To that end, we would like to remind Toronto District School Board, its director, its chair and all of its trustees that in October of 2006, the Canadian government has endorsed a Turkish plan to convene an academic panel to study the events of 1915 comprised of Turkish and Armenian historians, as well as independent, third-party scholars. Cabinet Minister Peter MacKay, who was in charge of Foreign Affairs at the time, encouraged, in vain, the government of Armenia to participate in this committee.


Petition:
As presently outlined, we believe course CHG38M will expose Canadian youth to incomplete and biased information and the extent of racism that Canadian children of Turkish descent already experience will increase.

Today, multiculturalism is a global reality and our concept of fairness and justice must be even-handed to avoid extremism and discrimination against any nationality.

Members of the Canadian Turkish community, including children, have experienced racism in Canada from members of the Armenian community, of which too many too often feel justified in their hatred as they right "old-world" grievances.

In the extreme cases of hatred, Armenian terrorists have killed, attempted to kill or maimed Turkish diplomats and their families here in Canada. In some cases, the guilty parties have yet to be caught.

We, the undersigned Canadians, recognize that in our nation of immigrants, we may all benefit from our mutual historical inheritances but only when shared with candour and without prejudice. We are deeply disturbed, therefore, with the Armenian claims of "genocide" circa 1915 and of their complete innocence.

Numerous respected scholars with expertise in Ottoman history refute such claims as one-sided narrative completely ignorant of Turkish suffering. Therefore with respect to TDSB's Grade 11 history course "Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications", we demand that any references to the Armenian claim of genocide be removed.

Sign The Online Petition Here


Armenian - Turkish Relations- Indefinite Development
22 November 2007
Panorama
“Armenian – Turkish relations develop very slowly and indefinitely, so we’ve decided to create cooperation on public level,” said Stepan Grigoryan, the head of the Globalization and Regional Cooperation Analytic Center department during the conference on “Armenian and Turkish regional benefits under the European integration”.
According to S. Grigoryan the relations do develop, and its proof is our nation’s interests in the upcoming presidential elections in Turkey, whereas small part of Armenians is interested with Russian ones. “We conduct polls in Armenian and Turkish public relations experts to examine and discuss the possible cooperation of our countries. This is not a sociological survey. In 2007 December we’ll present the results of the survey,” said S. Grigoryan. According to him both countries have the same problems – European integration, economical development and trade relations.

According to Vahe Grigoryan such kind of activities are very important for both countries. He added that the very first steps to understand each other are language problem, and that is why he decided to continue his speech in English.


Are Turks Losing Against The Armenian Propaganda Machine?
November 26, 2007
Once more parliaments agree to call the tragic events of the early 1900s a genocide, Armenians will have strong enough global network to back them as they request reparations and land from Turkey

Avni DOGRU

Following 19 victories by Armenians in parliaments throughout the world, the U.S. is the most recent location for the battle between the Armenian and Turkish lobbies. This battle is of particular importance as it will provide an example for the remainder of the world's parliaments where the anti-Turkish lobby is strong. What most people may not realize is once more parliaments agree to call the tragic events of the early 1900s a genocide, Armenians will have strong enough global network to back them as they request reparations and land from Turkey. Indeed, this propaganda effort is based much less upon apologies and humanitarian causes than it is on material acquisition and power. The Armenian immigrants from the Ottoman Empire so successfully whitewashed their version of history that today's generation genuinely believes their ancestors were victims of a genocide. Many of them are unaware of the armed Armenian revolutionary bands who worked hand in hand with the invading Russian forces to attack the Ottoman army and their Muslim neighbors. Their politicized version of history and hatred toward Turks is so engrained in them, since childhood, that it has become a significant part of their identity and culture today. It is sad to see this lost generation, who is unwilling and unable to come to terms with what really happened. It is a generation motivated almost exclusively by revenge.

Why are they winning?:

Armenians are well integrated in the U.S. They've built strong comradery with their local politicians through financial campaign support. Thus, most American politicians representing Armenian constituents are tied to pro-Armenian views. Armenians are also active on a variety of other social fronts in the U.S. They assert their viewpoints in academic, genocide or human rights-related institutions so as to win outlets for propaganda. For example, in 2006, six students of Armenian descent walked from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, in four months to raise awareness about all genocides, including the current situation in Darfur. They participated in rallies and met with officials on the way. To win more support, Armenians have successfully approached other ethnic groups. Most recently they constructed words, which they claim are from Hitler but are nowhere documented in the Nuremberg files, to play on Jewish Holocaust sentiments. Using this illegitimate slogan, Armenians claim that the Jewish Holocaust wouldn't have happened if Turks had been punished after WWI. In fact a growing trend in America now is the portrayal of Armenians as the Jews of WWI and the Turks as the Nazis. Similar unfounded ideology has challenged the rights of scholars to publish their work, as Armenians have aggressively attacked and threatened prominent pro-Turkish historians including Justin McCarthy, Bernard Lewis, Guenther Lewy, Heath Lowry and Michael Gunther. Additionally, Peter Balakian, an Armenian professor of English, made false accusations and asked the Chronicle of Higher Education to investigate the process of publishing Lewy's and McCarthy's books to discredit their scholarship. And in March 2006, Richard Hovannasian, an Armenian scholar, visited the offices of Utah University Press, Lewy's and McCarthy's publisher, to deliver a harsh speech that created a major controversy at the publishing house. The question begs: If Armenians were comfortable with historical facts, why would they feel the need to attack historians who are trying to decipher the facts? After all this, many prominent U.S. newspapers and media outlets unabashedly call the tragic events of 1915 a genocide. And although it succeeded in the short run, Turkey's warnings about the possible consequences of the genocide bill in Turkish-American relations translated as threats and only helped build more resentment against Turks in the long run. As Brian Ardouny of the Armenian Assembly of America put it, "We don't need to prove the genocide historically, because it has already been accepted politically.”

What should the Turks do?:

Turks cannot afford to take a reactive stance to the progress of the Armenian propaganda machine any longer. Turks and members of the Turkish-American community need to open their minds to long-term, proactive goals. Specifically, the Turkish-American community needs to organize and mobilize so as to reach out to every local politician with the help of financially empowered institutions and grassroots organizations. These organized efforts must be led by American or second-generation Turkish-American professionals, because most recently immigrated Turks are still in a learning phase about the American culture and the system. Turkish Americans must show their presence as a constituency power in the upcoming elections by sponsoring their local representatives' campaigns and even forming a fund at the national level to help match fundraisers in districts where there is not enough Turkish American presence. Because, at the end of the day, American politicians look at who supported them the most as they form their policies. Finally, a genuine effort should be made to draw the attention of the scholars who don't yet have a distorted view of the events of 1915. These people should be protected against Armenian threats and their research on all of the historical facts surrounding the issue should be encouraged.
..................
Avni Dogru is a freelance writer based in New York. (editorus@gmail.com)


ANDREW FINKEL a.finkel@todayszaman.com
The Search For Tolerance
Turkey is a mosaic. Or so the cliché runs. It is a metaphor in praise of multi-culturalism, a liberal-minded suggestion that the grand design is far more interesting than the component pieces. A mosaic view of culture holds that it’s a good thing that not every single Greek Orthodox has left the country (even though the numbers are down to under 5,000) and that Armenians or Jews have a proud place in Turkish life. A mosaic floor where every stone is the same size and the same color would be monochrome and dull.

Thinking of Turkey as a mosaic and not a monolith is a great advance on the post-1920s view of nation which saw “Turkishness” not as an interesting pattern but as a wallpaper for covering over diversity. All manner of people were welcomed into public life as long as they left their cultural differences at home. People were expected to cover up, not with a headscarf, but with the cloak of modernity. Not to conform, to insist on one’s right to wear that headscarf or use Kurdish, or hold allegiances or a mother tongue other than Turkish was seen as a potential betrayal.

As literary conceits go, the view that “society is a large mosaic” is a step in the right direction, but not quite far enough. After all, a mosaic is only a mosaic if every chip knows its place. If the blue chip wants to be green and the green dyes its hair yellow, the result is a messy blur. So the search for political correctness has led some to look at other decorative arts. “Society is not so much a mosaic as an ebru,” some say. “Ebru” is, of course, marbling -- the art of creating a design from oil paint floating on water and lightly laying a piece of paper on top. Ebrus are largely abstract in design, although they can have figurative elements. While the colors may seem less defined than in a mosaic, they still have to behave themselves. If you stir the water too vigorously, you end up with muddy gray. Social actors are not black or white, red or orange, but changing all the time.

So while Turkey is developing a language to acknowledge cultural complexity, it is still looking for a way of describing the freedom not to conform. The true test of tolerance is not accepting that people come in different hues but accepting that people whose birth and education should make them look just like you decide to be something totally different. Those who think of themselves as tolerant might still do a mental double take at the sight of a president’s wife with her head covered, just as there are men who know women are equal but can’t quite manage to treat them as equals at work. One blade that strikes to the heart of concealed intolerance is that of religious converts. The number of Turkish Muslims who actually abandon their religion for another is statistically insignificant. Even in the 19th century, Western missionaries to the Ottoman Empire were busier proselytizing among Armenians and fellow Christians than Muslims. Yet in popular culture, Christian missionaries are a corrupting and insidious threat. They are a bogeyman to subvert one’s own identity. It is one thing to celebrate diversity in the abstract, another to have diversity encroach upon your own life -- like seeing your children marry a person of a different color skin or faith.

I write all this because Turkey’s capacity for tolerance was literally put on trial last week in the city of Malatya, where five men were charged with a particularly vicious set of murders. The victims, Tilmann Geske, a German missionary, Pastor Necati Aydin and Ugur Yüksel, had been attending Bible study in a Christian publishing house. They were tied to their chairs, stabbed repeatedly in the stomach, genitals and back. Their fingers were sliced off and their throats slashed from ear to ear. The accused, all aged between 19-20, allegedly filmed this outrage on their mobile telephones.

According to some reports of the first court hearing, it was not the accused on trial, but the people they mutilated. “Listening to the proceedings, you’d think they were some sort of criminal gang and that they deserved what they got,” another Turkish pastor who attended the trial was quoted as having said. The sympathy the attackers appear to have attracted is similar to the hero’s welcome the teenager accused of the murder of the Armenian editor Hrant Dink received in the police station where he was arrested. These are instances of Turkey not celebrating the tokenism of its mosaic but upholding intolerance.
27.11.2007


Donna Evans Spoke Up For Armenian Genocide Resolution
22 November 2007, Defacto
Two years after her husband, Ambassador John M. Evans, became the first U.S. official to publicly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide since President Ronald Reagan in 1981, Donna Evans discuss the resulting fall-out as "the most traumatic time" of her life. Mrs. Evans' remarks, delivered at the Armenian Assembly's Annual Capital Region Holiday Reception and Briefing at the Armenian Embassy on November 18th, marked her first public address on the matter.
Mrs. Evans, who accompanied her husband to the Republic of Armenia from 2004 to 2006, recalled being "stunned at first, but then very proud," when her husband informed her in 2005 of his plans to characterize the events of 1915 as "genocide" during public meeting with Armenians in the U.S.

"I hoped that telling the truth would result in no more than a reprimand and that he would be marginalized for a while," Mrs. Evans said. "I thought that losing his job was the very worst-case scenario."

When the Ambassador's comments were reported in the press, Mrs. Evans said the couple did not know whether his recall orders would be awaiting him in Yerevan.

"Each morning he arrived at the office wondering if the morning e-mail and telegram traffic would include his official recall," Mrs. Evans said. She was heartened, however, by the support her husband received from prominent Armenian-Americans, the Armenian Assembly, family and friends. When the news arrived from Washington that her husband was being recalled, she said she was furious.

"[We] left Armenia with sadness but with the knowledge that we did the best job we could have under the circumstance," she said.

Turning to the Armenian Genocide Resolution, Mrs. Evans said she had celebrated when the House Foreign Affairs Committee had approved the measure last month, but was outraged when eight former Secretaries of State sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressing their opposition to the resolution.

"What followed was the worst turn of events that I had witnessed in all my time in Washington," Mrs. Evans said. "What we were witnessing was a hyper overkill of a human rights issue."
The resolution continues to enjoy the support of over 200 cosponsors, including Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Jr. (D-MD). Greg Aftandilian, the Congressman's senior foreign policy advisor, thanked the Assembly and Armenian community for their activism on Van Hollen's behalf, and noted the Congressman's strong record of support for this critical human rights legislation.

Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny encouraged community members to continue drumming up support for the resolution, stressing the importance of grassroots activism in the face of Turkey's ongoing campaign of denial. He also discussed the issues facing the Armenian community in the months ahead, such as efforts to secure robust U.S. assistance for Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, as well as Turkey's and Azerbaijan's continued attempts to isolate Armenia via an ill-conceived railroad bypass project.

The event, which was organized by members of the Assembly's Capital Region Council, also included remarks by Armenian Embassy Counselor Arman Israelian, Assembly Research and Analysis Director Armen Kharazian, and a musical performance by concert violinist Christine Kharazian.


Israel Lobby Behind Armenian Genocide Resolution?
Experts on U.S.-Turkish relations in Washington report that the recent deterioration in relations between Washington and Ankara are primarily due to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Turkey's other erstwhile friends, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), pulling support for their former allies in Turkey because of increasingly closer Turkish relations with both Syria and Iran.

Two countries that are being targeted by the neocon cells operating in Vice President Dick Cheney's office and among Kadima and Likud circles in Jerusalem.

In fact, Turkey, Syria, and Iran are cooperating in battling PKK forces on their respective territories. Israel's Mossad has re-established close links with the Kurds in the region. It appears that Israel is willing to sacrifice its past close relations with Turkey in its support for the Kurds and creating tension between the non-Arab powers in the region -- Iran, Turkey, and the Kurds. The election of Turkish Islamist-oriented Abdullah Gul as President of a secular-oriented Turkey was a green light for AIPAC, the ADL, and the neocons and other right-wing networks in Washington to turn up the heat on Ankara.

The subsequent threat by Turkey to deploy troops into northern Iraq to go after Kurdish guerrillas, some of whom are reportedly backed by the Mossad and U.S. paramilitary private security forces, was enough to cause the Israel Lobby to break their historic links to the Turks. Adding to the anger of the Israel Lobby was the recent natural gas deal inked between Syria, Iran, and Turkey. Iran will provide Syria with Iranian gas via Turkish pipelines.

Turkish sources are reporting that the Mossad and CIA are providing direct support to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Kurdish group outlawed in Turkey and designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

Tensions along the Turkish-Iraq border grew more inflamed on October 21 after PKK guerrillas killed at least 12 Turkish troops in an attack carried out on Turkish soil.

In July, Turkish authorities seized automatic weapons of U.S. origin from captured members of the PKK. After Defense and State Department investigations of weapons smuggling to the PKK, the Justice Department began investigating Kenneth W. Cashwell and William Ellsworth "Max" Grumiaux, two former Blackwater USA employees, for trafficking in the interstate and foreign commerce of stolen firearms.

Eventually, Cashwell and Grumiaux pleaded guilty to possession of the stolen firearms and began cooperating with the government in its investigation of smuggling to the PKK via the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The Charlotte News and Observer reported that the federal probe involves the possibility that Blackwater smuggled automatic weapons and other military hardware to Iraq that potentially ended up in the hands of the KRG and then the PKK.

The Pentagon is investigating the loss of some 190,000 U.S. small arms in Iraq. Blackwater has denied any role in weapons smuggling in Iraq.

WMR has also learned that some of Blackwater's top officials maintain close links to the Israeli military and security communities as well as to a shadowy network of right-wing Republican weapons manufacturers, law firms, lobbyists, and arms exporters in the Washington, DC area, including individuals linked to white supremacist organizations.

Turkey blames Israel for the passage by the House International Relations Committee of the Armenian genocide resolution. Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan reportedly told Israeli President Shimon Peres earlier this month that since Israel ultimately controls Jewish-American organizations like the ADL, Turkey held Israel partly responsible for the passage of the Armenian genocide resolution largely thanks to the support of the ADL and AIPAC and one of their biggest champions on Capitol Hill, House International Relations Committee Chairman Tom Lantos.

It was only after Turkey's own sizable lobbying machine in Washington forced President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- and behind the scenes George H. W. Bush National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, the head of the American Turkish Council -- to exert pressure on the House, did leading Democrats succeed in killing the Armenian resolution. However, that put Cheney and his neocon cabal on the defensive. They were more than willing to sacrifice U.S. relations with Turkey to bring about a "final solution" for the Iranians, Syrians, Palestinians, Turks, or anyone else that stood in the way of the ultimate aims of the neocons: a Western-Islamic "Clash of Civilizations" and iron-fisted U.S. control of Middle East energy resources.

It also appears certain that the Israeli attack on a alleged Syrian nuclear facility, said to have been built with the aid of North Korean and Iranian specialists, was designed to scuttle back channel attempts by Turkey to help negotiate a peace agreement between Israel and Syria. The Israeli Likud Party and its allies in Washington, primarily in Cheney's office and at two problematic think tanks in Washington that act as Likud fronts -- the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) -- want no part of an Israeli-Syrian peace agreement of any form of detente.

On October 21, Cheney launched a verbal barrage against Iran and Syria at a meeting of WINEP held at suburban Virginia's exclusive country club venue, the Landsdowne Conference Center. Cheney's remarks were hailed by Clinton Middle East envoy and WINEP director, Dennis Ross, strongly rumored to be a top contender for a major foreign policy slot in a Hillary Clinton administration.

The Israeli spin that Israeli military planes attacked the Syrian facility via Turkish airspace was a not-so-veiled warning to Ankara that Israel looked with disfavor the Turkish-Syrian rapprochement. The Israeli attack on the Syrian "facility" is now being spun by the neocon media, primarily the Jerusalem Post and ABC News, as a commando raid supported by an Israeli "mole" inside the Syrian nuclear establishment. Most of the reports from the neocons about a Syrian "nuclear facility" are no more believable than the reports of Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction. -PanArmenian.net


Armenia and Regional Cooperation Projects
Sedat Laçiner, 24 November 2007
Turkey’s economy is booming. GDP, being around 181 billion dollar in 2001; is estimated to be about 500 billion US dollar by the end of 2007. With the purchasing power parity (PPP) it will pass 750 billion US dollar. In other words, Turkey’s economy has grown almost three times in less than six years. The total volume of export was 31 billion dollar in 2001; by 2007 it passed 100 billion dollar. Furthermore growth in some sectors is quintuplicate. Turkey’s economy that was not able to allure foreign capital even in amount of 1-2 billion dollar in the past, now only in 2006 allured more that 20 billion dollars direct foreign capital. It is expected that for direct foreign investments to pass 20 billion dollar in 2007 too. Thus, Turkey became the 15. biggest economy in the world and 5. economy in Europe. Furthermore the process has not been stopped. It is foreseen that the growth speed will linger so on.

Neighbours of Turkey also benefit from Turkey’s fast economic growth. According to new foreign policy approach adopted in Turkey, “zero political problems with neighbouring countries is possible”. Moreover the new government gives priority to increase economic co-operation with neighbouring countries. From this stand point, it is worthy to note the significant increase of trade with the neighbour and near countries such as Israel, Russia, Iran, Syria, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Greece, Georgia and Central Asia countries. For instance foreign trade volume with Russia exceeded 20 billion dollar. When added tourism and investments, economic relations with Israel pass 10 billion dollar in 2007. Taking into considerations the bilateral investments and increasing speed of import-export, it can be easily seen that the role of neighbour countries and of near countries will increase in Turkey’s economy.

Contrary to some other countries, Turkey does not use its growing economic power as a threat in its external relations. It is usually accepted by Turkish policy-makers that economy and economic regional integration can be used as a tool in solution of the political problems. In this context, the most serious project for the solution of Palestine problem came from Turkey. Turkish businessmen will develop two separate industry areas in Palestine to contribute the peace efforts by decreasing employment problem in the country. The agreement has been signed last week by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ankara.

Similarly, building up the energy lines between the neighbours does not only have priority regarding to economic welfare but has also been seen very important in terms of increasing political stability. Azerbaijan’s oil is transported to the Turkey’s Mediterranean coasts via Georgia. Oil has been followed by gas export and Azeri gas is transported to Greece via Turkey. Efforts still continue on to bring the line till Italy. One another aim is to transport Turkomen gas to Turkey via Iran and lastly to Europe from Turkey. Some other projects are to transport Russian gas to Israel; Iraqi gas to Turkey and Europe; Egyptian gas to Turkey. Iraqi petrol is already transported to Mediterranean via Turkey pipelines. Taking into consideration the proposed billion-dollars-refinery investments in different places of Turkey, and other petro-chemical investment projects it is clear that more energy lines will pass through Turkey. Those lines do not only increase the economic welfare but also contribute regional economic integration in addition to contributing the decrease of problems in political area. For instance, the line that connects Turkey and Greece will effect bilateral relations positively.

***
Within this frame, there is only one country that is not affected by Turkey’s fast economic growth and efforts to have good relations with neighbouring countries: Armenia.

Armenia, which is a land-locked in Caucasus and has no significant natural resource, is a relatively poor country. It is unfortunate that its most of the borders with the neighbours have been closed for more than a decade thanks to the Armenian aggressive policies in the region. The only open borders are Georgia-Armenia and Iran-Armenia borders. However, the open borders are not enough to get access to the rest of the world. Iran is one of the most problematic country in international society and Georgia struggle with the domestic separatist problems and Russian involvement. Both economies cannot fulfil the Armenian economic needs. The only country can provide an access for the Armenians to the developed world is Turkey. However Armenia adopted more hawkish approach towards Turkey especially with the presidency of ultra-nationalist Robert Kocharyan. President Kocharyan, who was supported by Russia and the ultra-nationalist Tashnaks, started an anti-Turkish campaign in almost every country in the world instead of developing economic and political relations with Turkey. Armenia has supported all anti-Turkish campaigns organised by radical Armenian Diaspora institutions. Kocharyan and his friends naming the 1915 communal clashes between Turks, Kurds and Armenians as genocide, blamed Turkey and Turks of being enemies of Armenians. Though almost a century has passed over the events Mr. Kocharyan still puts this issue at the heart of the newly established Armenia’s foreign policy and combats against Turkey’s economic and political interests anywhere. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan suggested establishing a commission to debate the historical claims but Yerevan refused this suggestion. Kocharyan has moreover been invited to Istanbul and he did not come to Turkey. None of the Turkish suggestions has been answered by Armenia till now. Armenian politicians just accuse and listens to nobody in the Armenian issue.

It is not possible for Armenia to harm Turkey with its current economic, political and military power. Its population is less than one fifth of Istanbul. Armenian economy is 50 times smaller than Turkish economy. Armenian military power can not even be compared with the Turkish one. Armenia is not strong enough to persuade Turkey by its own power, that’s why Armenia tries to manipulate the greater countries, such as Russia, France and US, against Turkey. Armenia expects at least to have parliamentary bills which support claims of Armenia within these countries by the effects of the Armenian Diasporas. This aim was reached in France. However, there is no development in terms of Armenian aims. Even some of the Turks who were not interested in Armenian claims in the past, now started to be against Armenia. The appropriate atmosphere among public opinion in Turkey to construct good relations with Armenia is being destroyed every day, and the most important factor is Armenian approach itself. Anyone in Turkey, even the Turkish Armenians, ‘knows’ that most of the Armenian population and most of the Armenian Diaspora people hate Turkish people. Under these circumstances nobody could expect any good will gesture from the Turkish public. Turkish Government has been under great public pressure about the Armenian issue. Though Turkish Government is ready to take great steps to put an end to the historical Armenian Issue, it cannot move while Armenia tries to undermine Turkish interests everywhere.

Indeed, the most and probably the only country have suffered as a result of these events is Armenia itself. The country is entirely isolated since its independency in 1991. All energy, communication and transportation lines by-passes Armenia. Although the most proper transit country for Azerbaijan-Turkey oil pipeline project was Armenia, Armenia was by-passed and Georgia, which was more expensive and risky route, was preferred. Likewise, although there is a railway between Turkey and Azerbaijan passing via Armenia, Armenia did not allow usage of this line and Turkey and Azerbaijan have to construct a new line between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. While Yerevan Airport becomes unimportant airport everyday, flights between Turkey-Georgia and Turkey-Azerbaijan become more frequent. It would not be a surprise if an express highway project appears between those countries in coming days. Moreover, as for trade, countries so-called support Armenia, prefer Turkey and Azerbaijan when they export or import. For instance on the one hand Russia supports Armenia regarding to its claims, on the other hand Turkey-Russia trading volume has exceeded 20 billion dollar. Turkish investments in Russia and Russian investments in Turkey grow rapidly. While Russia invades Armenian economy unilaterally, on the other hand Russia-Turkey economic relations ground on principle of equality. The position of France which did accept the Armenian historical claims within its parliament is the same. France while does not do investments in Armenia, it does constitutionalize Turkey as the centre of investment. Renault is one of the most prominent export factories in Turkey. The trade volume of Turkey-France is over 10 billion dollar in 2006. Examples can be multiplied. By the time, Armenia only receives promises from its allies while Turkey does make trade and investment. Similarly Azerbaijan’s trade and other economic activities with the US, Britain, Israel, France and other developed countries have been booming, while the Armenians just focus on the events happened almost 100 years ago. Azerbaijani economy has been integrated into the rest of the world while Armenia insists to occupy Karabakh’s rocky mountains. While Azerbaijan and Turkey become more developed and globalised countries, Armenia becomes more and more dependant country on Russian and Diaspora aids. While Russia invades Armenian economy, Diaspora dominate Armenian politics.

Karabagh is a mountainous region and its economic worthy is not valuable enough. Significant part of the population was Armenian even under the Azerbaijani government. If developments could have left to its progress about 100.000 Armenian would have taken the control of the region at the end of the day. In addition to the Karabagh Armenians, before the war there were significant numbers of Armenians in Baku. Some of the Armenian sources claim that the Armenian population in Azerbaijan was about 500.000. However, the effectiveness of the Baku Armenians was more than their actual population. By courtesy of its economic power Azerbaijan Armenians were able to develop political power. In other words, with 3 million population Armenia would have been more powerful in terms of both economic and political aspects thanks to the Armenians in Azerbaijan. Adding the Armenians in Georgia and Turkey, if Armenia could have good relations with its neighbours, then it would have been in very developed level in a comparison to now. In another word, if Armenia gave more importance to its regional diasporas to develop good relations with the region instead of US and Europe Armenian diasporas, there is no doubt that Armenia would have been more developed and powerful country.

However, nationalist Armenians have chosen war. Among with Karabagh, Armenian forces attacked to its close area Azerbaijan. In the end while Armenia occupied almost % 20 of Azerbaijan, 1 million Azeri people have been dislocated. With the war, hundred thousands of Armenians in Baku had to turn back to Armenia. Thereby, while Azerbaijan became one of the most homogenous countries, national consciousness in Azerbaijan has increased as a result of Armenian attacks. Azeris became a real nation thanks to the Armenian attacks. While Armenia lost the economic power of Armenians in Azerbaijan, it only gained a land with no natural resource. Moreover, with the closure of Turkey and Azerbaijan borders Armenians’ access to the world has significantly been cut. Population decreased from 3 million to 2 million in Armenia. Young people and qualified Armenians migrated to Russia, Europe and the US. In spite of that, Kocheryan is not able to manage even this small land with smaller population; and continued to demand more and more land from the Turks. Armenian constitution still does not recognize Turkey’s borders. Nationalist groups that demand lands from Turkey and Azerbaijan are still powerful. Tashnaks who are willing to take ‘revenge’ from Turks determine the administration. The power of Diaspora over the Government increases every day. Tashnaks and Diaspora nationalists are happy. They enjoy Armenian identity by harming Armenia. How much Armenia lost that much Armenian diaspora is happy. The victimization is at the heart of Armenian identity in the diaspora and any solution to the Armenian issue will harm Armenian diaspora. The best solution for the diaspora is the continuation all od the problems with the Turks.

In conclusion, Armenian persistency costs too much for Armenia. Because of its meaningless persistency, even ‘allies’ of Armenia are not able to help the Armenians. For instance the U.S and the EU can not even find areas for cooperation with Armenia. The country which is surrounded by more than 100 million Turks cannot solve its economic or political problems by declaring the Turks as enemy of Armenians. Under these circumstances it is not clear how long more can Armenia sustain. However, it is hard to say that the situation goes bad for Turkey or Azerbaijan.

24 November 2007, Translated by Habibe Kader and Neslihan Tugçe
slaciner@gmail.com


The Armenian Lobbies In The West Do Not Complain And The Geopolitical Program Is Solved
Hakob Badalyan
Lragir,Nov 22 2007,Armenia

The Armenian minister of communication and transport Andranik Manukyan could do nothing against the Azerbaijani-Turkish conspiracy and although he had promised to try his best to prevent the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railway, construction has already started. Perhaps while the minister was busy with large-scale road construction in Armenia, while the pioneer of the Armenian diplomacy Vardan Oskanyan was busy raising money in the Diaspora, while the second president of Armenia was busy denigrating the first president, while the prime minister was signing an agreement with Scandinavian stock brokers through the Internet, Turkey and Azerbaijan talked Georgia out of its senses and launched the construction.

In fact, the world again behaved guilefully. We thought we've been had on regarding the Genocide only. It turned out that on all issues.

Perhaps if we are had in all the issues, it means nothing is wrong with the world, something is wrong with us. In the beginning the United States and the EU had stated they will not fund the construction of Kars-Akhalkalaki because it does not foster regional integration and leaves Armenia out of this process. However, a few months later the United States and the EU lit the green light, stating that they cannot fund it but they cannot prevent it either.

Meanwhile, even a person who is far from politics and international relations is convinced that if the United States had intended to prevent the project, it would have found a way of influencing or "persuading" Georgia, especially that the official Armenian propaganda regularly hints that after the flower revolution the Georgian government has been under the heel of the West, namely the United States. It even hints that they get salary from the United States although it has not been the case for a long time now.

Generally, changes in the world occur too fast. Apparently it is only the Armenians who do not change. The Armenians fail to realize that the world is not on the rails for morality because it is highly relative. Moral values of Bushmen differ from those of Englishmen.

Therefore, the world pursued interest, and interest built consciousness based on good sense. Armenia, however, continues to be guided by morality in international politics. Perhaps because there is no ability to be guided by good sense. Meanwhile, good sense prompted that Kars-Akhalkalaki will be built as long as Armenia is getting used to the role of a fort of Russia, and uses time to increase its dependence on Russia rather than to strengthen its power and independence.

For Turkey and Azerbaijan Kars-Akhalkalaki may be just another opportunity at least to trouble Armenia, let alone isolation. But does it mean the same to the world which did nothing to prevent the construction? If we are guided by the ancient Armenian logic that God created the world despite Armenians who are constantly facing the world conspiracy, we should admit that Kars-Akhalkalaki is an utterly anti-Armenian project.

But if we are guided by good sense rather than anti-Armenianism, we will make an effort to understand why the world first rejected the project but later changed its mind. The problem is that the project sustains an important geopolitical goal - to nourish the Caucasus with another blood vessel which is free from the Russian dominance, like the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-Erzrum gas pipeline.

Kars-Gyumri could be such a vessel. However, the world made sure that Armenia is unable to make a step towards an independent regional policy and if it participates in any project, the goal is only to give a share to Russia. Evidence to this is the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline, and the management of Armenian railways by the Russians for 100 years.

Naturally, the international community reconsidered its decision regarding Kars-Akhalkalaki. And they reconsidered so that both the wolves are satisfied and the sheep are safe. The Armenian lobbies in the West do not complain, the geopolitical program is solved.

Therefore, they announced for the sake of our lobby that they will not give money, for the lobby to continue to give them money.


Kiro Manoyan: Armenian And Kurdish Territories Will Come Off Turkey Sooner Or Later
22.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian people should know and exercise their rights, especially as because there are all essential mechanisms for that, historian Rafael Hambartsumyan said during an international conference titled “Foundations and ways of implementation of Woodrow Wilson’s arbitration award.”

Problems existing between Turkey and Armenia can be transferred from political to juridical level, according to him.

“Woodrow Wilson’s award has juridical power since it has no period of limitation. We should press for affirmation of the arbitration award status and then for restoration of our rights in Western Armenia. It’s quite real,” said ARF Bureau’s Hay Dat and Political Affairs Office Director Kiro Manoyan. In his opinion, implementation of Woodrow Wilson’s arbitration award will become a precondition for establishment of normal relations with Turkey. “Syndrome of Sevres is already observed in Turkey. It means that confidence in legitimacy of current borders wanes. Armenian and Kurdish territories will come off Turkey sooner or later,” he said adding that Armenians should be ready to take back what belongs to them, Novosti Armenia reports.

November 22, 1920 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Arbitration Award marking the Armenian-Turkish border. Besides, the Treaty of Sevres divided the Ottoman Empire in mandated territories. Palestine and northern Iraq with Mosul and Kirkuk areas went over to UK, Cilicia was passed to France. The mandate on Western Armenia was offered to the U.S., however, Congress refused to ratify it. Meanwhile, the Arbitration Award has no period of limitation and can’t be appealed in international courts.


Armenian Carrier Obliged To Notify Ankara About Flights Through Turkish Airspace A Week Beforehand
The New Anatolian / Ankara, 23 November 2007
Turkish authorities permitted Armavia Armenian national carrier to resume flights to Beirut and Aleppo, however, the company was obliged to notify Ankara about flights through Turkish airspace a week beforehand, the panarmenian.net reported.

"The Armenian Foreign Ministry mediated for permission to resume flights," the site claimed.

Turkish aviation authorities on mid-November cited technical reasons and closed airspace for Yerevan-Beirut and Yerevan-Aleppo flights operated by Armenia’s biggest air carrier, Armavia, but Yerevan-Istanbul-Yerevan and the flights to Europe continued.

Turkish aviation authorities have cited unspecified “technical reasons” for the ban in separate letters to the Armenian government’s Civil Aviation Department and the Armavia national airline. At the time, according to Armenian dailies, both Civil Aviation Department and Armavia officials said the Turkish side did not elaborate on reasons for the restriction that does not seem to apply to the Syrian airline Astrom that operates weekly flights services from Aleppo and Damascus to the Armenian capital.

Analysts commneted that the airspace ban is an effort show Ankara's probable steps in case of continuation in stimulation of the Genocide issue by Yerevan.

Armenian Civil Aviation General Department informed that "Armavia" realized the flights by the air of other countries.

Turkey has kept its airspace open to passenger jets flying to and from Armenia for the past several years while refusing to reopen the Turkish-Armenian land border and establish diplomatic relations with Yerevan.


US-Turkish Ties Through The Ages
November 23, 2007, ELIF ÖZMENEK, NEW YORK - Turkish Daily News

The Topkapi Palace was the diplomatic, administrative and economic center of the Ottoman Empire for centuries.

Turkish academic's search for documents on Turkish-American diplomatic ties takes her to New York, where her knowledge of Ottoman Turkish allows her to translate documents into English. In her spare time, she tries to unite the Turkish community in the US

An interesting project is on the way in terms of taking Turkish-U.S. relation to another level. “Two countries’ relations in fact go all the way back to the second half of the 19th century,” said Dr. Göknur Akçadag, a visiting scholar at the State University of New York-Binghampton. Akçadag who has her tenure at Malatya Inonu University in Ottoman history is working on a project called Turkish City Museum in New York. “I hope to bring the stories of Turks who have been living in this city for the last 150 years and try to create a written history for the Turkish immigrants here in the United States. I would like to use my knowledge of history in a beneficial way for the Turkish community here because I believe for many years Turks did not do a good job of explaining their place in this country,” said Akçadag.

When coming to New York Akçadag brought around 300 Ottoman archive documents with her that shed light on relations between the two countries. While she is trying to find some other new documents from American national archives she is also translating those Ottoman documents to English. “In the meantime I am trying to bring together documents that will highlight two countries’ relations,” she said. Akçadag spends a lot of time in New York Public Library, Columbia University, New York University, the Library of Congress and the National Archives for this very purpose.

Although Akçadag is aware of the difficulties facing such a project she believes that there is growing interest for Ottoman history and Turkey in the U.S. and thus it is likely that her project will find sponsors. “Turkish City Museum is a long term project. What it will try to accomplish is to tell two countries’ relations via personal stories. Furthermore historic documents, photographs, pictures will display that the two countries have a strong and long lasting relation,” she said. Akçadag thinks that Turkey should also work on a library project in New York to maintain the growing interest in American academia for Turkey. “As a part of a larger project the museum can also have a library,” she said.

To implement her project Akçadag has already started to work with some organizations. “At the beginning to have a building for the museum is difficult. However Turkish House, the building where the Turkish Consulate is located, can be used for this purpose or an agreement with a museum can be reached to spare room for a section on Turkey,” she said.

Akçadag believes such a project will play an important role in creating consciousness for the American-Turkish community. As the first leg of her project Akçadag is working on opening an exhibition. She is trying to bring the consulate in New York and the Ottoman Archive Directorate to work together to open up an exhibition called “Living together under the sky” that debuted in Paris last year. “The exhibition gives very important messages about multiculturalism in the Ottoman Empire. The documents clearly show how the Empire gave asylum to Jews, paid the expenses of the Orthodox Greeks who wanted to return to Ottoman territory etc. We have already started talking with the Congress Library for such an exhibition,” she said.

In the meantime Akçadag is getting ready to hold seminars for the Turkish community on the Armenian issue. “As an academic I observe that the Turkish community in the U.S. is not very well organized. They are not united under common goals,” said Akçadag. “With these kind of seminars and projects hopefully a group consciousness will start to flourish soon,” she said.


Railway Project Highlights Armenia's Growing Isolation
Semih IDIZ, November 23, 2007
There must be a better way for Armenia to proceed than the 'Dashnak line.' Hopefully Armenians will see this next February and elect the moderate Levon Ter Petrossianas president

One cannot help but feel how different the picture would have been if the president of Armenia was included in the ground breaking ceremony for the Baku-Kars railway project attended by the presidents of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan earlier this week.

The reasons why President Robert Kocharian was not there are clear of course. His country has disputes with all three countries. This has resulted in a geographic bypassing of Armenia for this railway line, even if the much shorter and economic route would have been through that country.

Tbilisi and Yerevan:
The disputes with Turkey and Azerbaijan are well known of course. But the problems between Tbilisi and Yerevan over the region of Georgia known as Samtskhe-Javakheti are not so well-known.

The fact that local Armenians in Samtskhe-Javakheti are calling for autonomy is enough to send shivers up Georgian spines, given that they are already struggling with separatism in other part of the country.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh does not inspire much hope either concerning the intentions of the Armenian minority, and hence the picture of increasing cooperation in the Caucasus which excludes Armenia.

Put a brave face on it as it may, it is clear that Armenia has failed to come out of its economic and political isolation over the past decade, given that it is surrounded on three sides by countries with which its economic and political ties are minimal, if they exist at all.

Armenia's only opening is to Russia – which may have given it a sense of security since independence, but has provided little else. It is clear that the ultra-nationalist “Dashnak mentality” that prevails in Yerevan, and which is not too far from President Kocharian's own political outlook, is the main problem.

Even Armenian commentators and analysts have started to bemoan this isolation, calling for a new and rational approach. This also appears to be the political line that former President Levon Ter Petrossian is promoting in his campaign for the presidency in the elections to be held next year.

'Sitting on Turkey's lap':
Not surprisingly the Dashnaks are going out of their way to label him a “traitor,” with President Kocharian even suggesting that Petrossian is preparing “to sit the country on Turkey's lap.” So what does this hard-line in Yerevan rely on?

The answer is simple. It relies on the notion that the politically powerful Armenians abroad, mostly in the U.S. and France, will use their influence to force Ankara into accepting Armenian demands.

The “Armenian genocide law” passed in the French legislature, but which has now been shelved because it did not pass the Senate and was no ratified by the president, is a case in point.

Armenians felt they taken a great leap against Turkey with the passing of this resolution in the lower house, and concentrated all their efforts on getting the American Congress to pass the so-called “Armenian genocide resolution” this year.

They believed – and probably still do – that this was the only way to bring Turkey to its knees. But their efforts in France and the U.S. brought little in the end.

In America the argument deteriorated into one where those supporting the Armenian genocide resolution were accused of highlighting a distant and currently irrelevant issue, at a time when the U.S. was bogged down in Iraq, in order to undermine President George Bush by hitting at a key American ally.

As for France, this writer spent the earlier part of the week in Paris talking to officials, politicians and opinion framers. The bottom-line perception we got from our discussions was hardly what Armenians would want to hear.

Alain Chenal, the head of the Jean-Juares Foundation's international cooperation division, for one, accepted without any reservations that there is “a glaring contradiction” between France's demands that “Turkey apologizes for the Armenian genocide,” and Paris' position concerning Algerian demands for an apology for colonial crimes – including “cultural genocide – to the effect that ‘such complex topics should be left to historians.'”

According to Chenal, those deputies that voted for the “Armenian genocide law” acted out of selfish political motives, and not moral ones. Neither did he refrain from criticizing people from his own Socialist part, giving the example of the visit by Francoise Hollande, chairman of the Socialist Party, to Yerevan.

According to Chenal, Hollande – who is apparently not known for his travels abroad – did this simply to curry favor with Armenian voters in France prior to municipal elections in March.

Unlike Chenal, who believes that the Armenians in France will make another pitch to have the “Armenian genocide law” passed, Luc Ferry, a French thinker and former education minister, is adamant that the Armenian genocide bill affair “is finished in France,” suggesting that it was unlikely to come up again any time soon.

As for Patrick Weil from the University of Paris, who has also advised the French government in the past on integration issues, he too was clear. For him the French legislature has no business judging the history of others. “A country should only judge its own history in this way and not others,” Weil said.

It appears that a similar “cul-de-sac” may have been reached by Armenian Americans. Our contacts in Washington are saying now that the Armenian lobby may have overplayed its hand this time, making it unlikely that the Armenian resolution will come up again any time soon.

Terrible news for Yerevan:

If these contentions from the French and American sides are indeed true, this is terrible news for Yerevan, since it has been seeking succor for its problems with its neighbors in Washington and Paris, rather than in the region itself, and based on regional realities.

These realities have, in fact, shown that all the efforts in Washington and Paris to get Yerevan included in the Baku -Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Project and to prevent the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan railway line project have come to nothing.

Neither have efforts to brow-beat Turkey by this means into diplomatic relations and into opening its borders with Armenia come to anything.

As we have said so many times before, given this picture, there must be a better way for Armenia to proceed than the “Dashnak line.” Hopefully Armenians will see this next February and elect the moderate Levon Ter Petrossian president, despite the efforts by the Kocharian camps and the Dashnaks to vilify him “as a traitor who would sell the country to the Turks.”

If Petrossian is not elected, then all the man on the street in Armenia can expect is more isolation, since it is clear that Turkey will not be “beaten” into a position. Quite the contrary that is exactly when Turks become stubborn and unbending as history clearly shows.


Rare Armenian Manuscripts Dazzle And Delight
An exquisite example of a manuscript, the "Gospels of Perugia", 1331 (Bodmer Foundation, Geneva)

An exhibition of exquisitely illustrated Armenian manuscripts has opened for the first time in Switzerland at the Martin Bodmer Foundation in Cologny near Geneva.

The documents of great cultural importance reveal how ancient and medieval Armenian literature was dominated by both Christian thought and scientific curiosity.

"This exhibition is truly unique," said exhibition curator Valentina Calzolari. "It's the first time that Armenian manuscripts, a majority of which come from Armenia's famous library, the Matenadaran, have ever been shown in Switzerland."

Armenia, which shares borders with Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran, is one of the earliest Christian civilisations.

It has a rich cultural heritage, the result of being repeatedly invaded and spending many years under Turkish or Persian control. Despite that, the Armenian language and identity has survived largely intact.

Around 40 manuscripts, dating from the ninth to the 17th century, are on display at the "Illuminations of Armenia" exhibition.

Calzolari, who is also the director of the Armenian Research Centre at Geneva University, said the religious element was very important during this period. Armenians, she said, were and still are a "Christian people par excellence".

She said that historians had always sought to find elements of national identity in Christian thought and in literature. This has manifested itself in translations of the Bible and in religious writings.

This exhibition is truly unique.
Valentina Calzolari, curator

Scientific side
But this is not the only side to the Armenians, who "have been interested from the very beginning of their literary endeavours in the sciences too. They have always been fascinated by everything that was not considered sacred," said Calzolari.

"Therefore we also have astrological manuscripts, musical manuscripts and historical ones which tell of the exploits of Alexander the Great."

There are many rarities among the texts, such as the first ever manuscript miniature on a non-religious subject: a book of hymns depicting scenes from an epic 5th-century battle fought between the Armenians and the Persians.

"On two of the pages you can admire the Persians on the one side, with their elephants," said Calzolari. "And on the other, Armenian general Vardan Mamikonian with his valiant companions, in the midst of strenuously defending the Christian faith but also - and above all - the Christian identity of the Armenians."

Also shown are Armenian versions of philosophical texts. One of them includes a commentary by the great Armenian scholar, the Neo-Platonist Davide Invitto, who neatly encapsulates the country's dual interest in subjects both religious and secular.

Next to it is a plain, sober manuscript containing no illustrations, "but is of major importance", according to Calzolari.

"It's one of the first medical texts. It's not a translation of a Greek, Syrian or Arab text, but one written directly in Armenian by [the founder of Armenian medieval medicine] Mekhitar Heratsi."

Zodiac

Another curiosity shows the astrological sign of Pisces. The text around it explains the zodiac, and includes an astrolabe – an early way of helping to tell the time – as well as some songs.

Calzolari says it was almost certainly used by merchants on their travels to help read the skies and alleviate periods of boredom.

The "Illuminations of Armenia" exhibition is also showing a series of photographs, taken by French religious art and architecture historian, Régis Labourdette, depicting the architectural dimensions of the cross as used in 7th-century Armenian churches.

"It was the intention of the organisers... to show these two symbols of the continuity of Armenian culture: the book and the stone – the churches," said Calzolari. "Because this is what they are still considered to be by the Armenians today."

swissinfo, based on an Italian article by Paola Beltrame in Cologny

http://www.swissinfo.ch/xobix_media/images/sri/2007/sriimg20071011_8304159_1.jpg

CONTEXT

The 40 or so manuscripts in the exhibition come from the Matenadaran library in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, the French National Library, the Armenian Mechitarist Fathers monastery on the San Lazarro Island in Venice, and the Armenian centre in Troinex, near Geneva.

The exhibition, which finishes on December 30, 2007, is a collaboration between the Martin Bodmer Foundation, the Armenian Research Centre at Geneva University and the Armenian embassy.

The Martin Bodmer Foundation is considered to be one of the greatest private libraries of rare books and manuscripts, dating from ancient times to the present day.


What Others Say/TDN November 23, 2007
Mistakes made by Turkey, Toktamis Ates, Bugün

Being a strong state is tough and Turkey is a strong state.

Seeds of the difficult years were planted in the 1950s. Turkey left its fate in the hands of the United States, the leading actor in the Cold War. In foreign policy, Turkey had disputes with Syria and Greece. After 1960, the Cyprus issue became the main problem for the country.

In 1964 and 1967 in particular, Turkey and Greece were about to go to war. In the 1970s, the Armenian terror organization, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), assassinated Turkish diplomats.

In early summer of 1974, ASALA disappeared after a bomb attack in Paris. In 1984, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) came into the picture with the Eruh raid.

Turkish people suffered a lot because of the PKK. Back then Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a friend, yet Syria was an enemy for Turkey.

Damascus finally deported the PKK's now jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan. Afterwards, the U.S. extradited him to Turkey. Public opinion was so sure that he would be hanged.However, Turkey abolished capital punishment. Öcalan seemed so pathetic in court and the PKK began to dissolve.Yet he was sequestered on an island with many guardians. This was unnecessary. He would have had a harder time in an F-1 type prison. But that didn't happen.

Eventually, a new structure started emerging in northern Iraq. Kurdish leaders and the U.S. preferred to revive the PKK.

The biggest mistake Turkey made was to follow the policy of overestimating Öcalan. Now we are paying the price.


Letters To The Editor / TDN/ Armenia and Turkey:
As for TDN's Nov. 8 story, “Gül: Armenia's hostile stance harms ties,” one needs to add some facts: Armenia provided earthquake relief to Turkey, while the latter did not help Armenia after 1988. And, despite Turkish perceptions, Armenia has not supported the PKK. Trying to cook up Armenian hostility is an attempt by Turkey to deflect U.S. demands for normalization.

Jack Kalpakian, USA


Azerbaijan Defense Minister Hints at War
November 27, 2007
The long-standing dispute over the Armenian-controlled territory of Nagorno-Karabakh could spark a new war if it remains unresolved, Azerbaijan's defense minister said Tuesday.

"As long as Azerbaijani territory is occupied by Armenia, the chance of war is close to 100 percent," Safar Abiyev said during a meeting in Kazakhstan of defense chiefs from ex-Soviet republics.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev (L) shakes hands with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul (R) as Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili smiles during a ceremony marking the start of construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway outside Tbilisi November 21, 2007. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze (GEORGIA)

His startlingly worded remark was a reminder that Azerbaijan has not ruled out use of force in recapturing Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas.

Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding territory that is also part of Azerbaijan have been controlled by Armenian and ethnic Armenian forces since a shaky 1994 cease-fire ended one of the bloodiest conflicts that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. The six-year war killed 30,000 people and drove more than 1 million from their homes, including many of the region's ethnic Azeris.

Azerbaijan and Armenia remain locked in a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh despite more than a decade of coaxing from international mediators led by the United States, Russia and France to resolve the region's status.

Gunfire breaks out regularly along the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia and in the regions near Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Defense Minister Mikhail Arutyunian said he sees no alternative to a peaceful settlement, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

KTKZ 105.5 FM / 1380 AM, Sacramento, CA 95815


Phase Two Of Armenian Genocide Museum Of America Construction Underway
27.11.2007
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ At the Armenian Assembly of America’s 35th Anniversary Banquet in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, a video and a brochure issued simultaneously unveiled the architecture and exhibit designs for the renamed Armenian Genocide Museum of America. The current plans for the facility call for a 50,000 square foot complex with room to expand in the future.

With renderings prepared by the museum planning firm of Gallagher & Associates and the architectural firm of Martinez & Johnson, the public had an opportunity to see the future museum. A community that had anxiously waited for years to hear about progress on the project welcomed the announcement and applauded the headway made in planning the museum.

The plans were issued with an appeal by the grandson of Ambassador Morgenthau, Henry Morgenthau III, who writes: “Ambassador Henry Morgenthau would have welcomed this new and daring project to raise a museum in the heart of our nation’s capital dedicated to the purpose of informing about the Armenian Genocide and educating the public about the need to prevent such crimes against humanity.”

“As he sought ways to save the Armenians, Ambassador Morgenthau envisioned a home for them in America. I am certain he would have felt his mission fulfilled to see the Armenian people celebrate their resilience in their adopted country.

“Among its many exhibits, the Armenian Genocide Museum of America will feature a Human Rights and Genocide Exhibit, a Multi-Media Armenian Identity Experience, a Survivors Theater, and a Taking Action Center. The Museum is envisioned as a center of learning accessible to all ages, with interactive media and an immersive experience to encourage visitors to engage the problems facing humanity and to defeat the scourge of genocide.

“As the announcements were issued, contracts were finalized for Phase Two with Martinez and Johnson embarking upon the preparation of schematic design, design development and construction documents. Gallagher & Associates has also begun the preparation of the schematic design package based on the interpretive plans established during the conceptual design phase. The Armenian Genocide Museum project is now completely on track.”


Zatulin: Inattention To Armenian Genocide Turns Out To Repetition Of Similar Misanthropic Experiments
ARKA News Agency, Armenia, Nov 26 2007
Inattention to the Armenian Genocide turns out to repetition of similar misanthropic experiments, the victims of which can be not only Armenians, said Konstantin Zatulin, member of the Russian State Duma committee on CIS affairs and communication with co-patriots during the video-bridge Yerevan-Moscow "New 'eastern issue': Ankara and Yerevan under the US pressure?"

organized by the agencies RIA Novosti and AMI "Novosti-Armenia."

"We support Armenia in its attitude to the past, because elementary conscience and justice demand this," he said.

The Armenian Genocide is considered the first genocide of the 20th century, organized and systematically executed by the Young Turkish government. More than 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered in different regions of Western Armenia that was part of Ottoman Empire at that time.

The Armenian Genocide is recognized by many countries, among them Uruguay (the first state that officially recognized the Genocide in 1965), Lithuania, Russia, France, the Lower Chamber of Italian parliament and the most of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium, Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canadian parliament and Seym of Poland.


Nov. 29, 2007, By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
America's Foreign Policy Is Corrupted By The Turkey's Policy Of Denial. When will politics take a back seat to human rights. Genocide recognition must not be sullied by politics.
More than two years after her husband became the first U.S. diplomat to publicly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, Donna Evans revealed some of the behind-the-scene details of Ambassador John Evans’ tenure in Armenia and his dramatic forced retirement from the U.S. Foreign Service. She spoke at the Armenian Assembly’s Annual Capital Region Holiday Reception held at the Armenian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on November 18.

Mrs. Evans began her talk by describing the phone call she received from her husband, telling her, “Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones had just informed him that he was the State Department’s choice to be assigned as Ambassador to Armenia in the summer of 2004. She told him that it was a small country but growing in importance and had a significant assistance program and a new Embassy was being built. She encouraged him to accept it and he did, without hesitation.”

After Senate confirmation, Amb. Evans and his wife moved to Armenia in fall 2004. Mrs. Evans described the constant “tension” because the “unwritten policy of the State Department was that the word ‘genocide’ had to be in quotation marks and, if spoken, it would be referred to as the ‘g’ word.” She said Foreign Service officers “knew, for certain, that the word ‘genocide’ was a strict taboo.”

She went on to state, “The Armenian genocide was a very sensitive subject and therefore avoided in diplomatic circles in Yerevan. The wives of other ambassadors did not talk about it even in private. The first time we drove by the Genocide Memorial my husband whispered to me ‘there’s the Genocide Memorial.’ I looked over and caught a fleeting glance of the spire. As I turned back, our driver’s eyes caught mine in the rear view mirror. I was so uncomfortable. My husband told me that we were allowed to go there once a year, on April 24th.”

Amb. Evans’ problems began during his speaking tour of the Armenian communities in the United States in early 2005. Upon the couple’s arrival in California, Mrs. Evans said her husband informed her that “he was going to use the word ‘genocide’ and that it might cost him his job." She said she was "stunned at first but then very proud of him. I hoped that telling the truth would result in no more than a reprimand and that he would be marginalized for a while. I thought that losing his job was the very worst-case scenario.”

Once her husband used the term “genocide” in public, Donna Evans was amazed that the Armenian American media did not rush to publicize it immediately – “It was as if they were protecting the Ambassador.” Eventually, after a press release from ANC revealed that Amb. Evans had actually used the words “Armenian Genocide” during his talk at Berkeley, she said her “husband went on to Washington to brief the State Department on what had transpired. The reaction was not pretty to say the least” which made her “sick at heart.” Meanwhile, the Ambassador did not know “whether his recall orders would be on his desk when he returned to Yerevan. I did not know whether I would be returning to Yerevan myself.”

Mrs. Evans had harsh words for the State Department for buckling under Turkish pressure. “It was unthinkable that the Turkish ambassador and the Government of Turkey had enough clout to get a knee-jerk reaction from the State Department and cause the recall of an ambassador,” she said.

Leaving his ambassadorial post voluntarily was out of question, Mrs. Evans said. “Not resigning was the right thing to do. My husband had not committed a crime, he only acknowledged a crime,” she said.

Upon returning to Yerevan, Mrs. Evans said her husband went on carrying out his diplomatic duties and “acted as if it was business as usual.… However, each morning he arrived at the office wondering if the morning e-mail and telegram traffic would include his official recall. Then, on July 2, 2005, the dreaded telephone call came.” Dan Fried, the Assistant Secretary of State, called to inform that her husband’s position was “about to be posted as open for the summer of 2006 and that we could be removed at any time,” she said.

Mrs. Evans said she was “furious” particularly since this call had come “just before July the 4th, Independence Day and axed a professional diplomat with 35 years of faithful service to his government -- and a 12th generation American -- just because he said ‘genocide’ in an academic setting in the United States.”

Mrs. Evans further revealed that she wrote a personal letter to First Lady Laura Bush because she said she believed “in spouse power.” She never received a reply.
When the word got out -- this writer was the first to report that Amb. Evans was about to be recalled for his statement on the Armenian Genocide -- Mrs. Evans reported that “the pressure was on…[there was] wild speculation in the Armenian papers, some calling my husband a hero and others not so flattering and some downright ridiculous. Again the press had a field day. My husband’s answer had to be ‘I serve at the pleasure of the President.’ I died a little every time I heard him say it.”

Notably, Mrs. Evans revealed that during those tumultuous days, “the diplomatic community” supported her husband “privately.” She then described April 24, 2006 as “an unforgettable day” in her life when thousands of Armenians from all walks of life tied yellow ribbons to a fence at the Genocide Memorial Monument in Yerevan, in support of her husband. “How this was pulled together and who supported it is a remarkable story. I wish I could give them all a hug individually. This event inspired us to stay strong during a very trying time,” she said.

As they say, the rest is history. The White House cut Amb. Evans’ service short and announced the nomination of his successor, Richard Hoagland, who never made it to Armenia.

Showing her continued support for the reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide, Mrs. Evans said that when the House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted the Armenian Genocide resolution, it was one of the happiest days of her life.

However, she was “stunned and outraged” when her husband showed her the letter that was signed by eight former Secretaries of State opposing the congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide. “How could Secretaries of State so blindly sign such a document? What I would say to the former Secretaries of State is ‘shame on you’ for being used by the Turkish lobby. By your actions, you have set back any progress that has been made to normalize diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. It would have been better to remain silent. A special shame on Secretary [of State Alexander] Haig because he served under President Reagan, who acknowledged the genocide,” she said.

Donna Evans described her dismay at some of the negative reactions to the genocide resolution. “What followed was the worst turn of events that I had witnessed in all my time in Washington. The supporters of the recognition of the genocide were in shock and awe at the cruel commentaries, articles, and Internet buzz. What we were witnessing was a hyper-overkill of a human rights issue.”

She concluded her remarks with heart-warming words: “The Armenian experience has woven itself into my soul like the intricate carvings in the Khachkars. It is beautiful, it is sad and it is hopeful. So what do we do now? We don’t give up. We bide our time and return to the fight, more experienced, better informed and therefore better armed. Most important of all we continue to educate. Grassroots support is vital. You are vital. This issue needs to be resolved. You and your ancestors deserve an apology and recognition of the first genocide of the 20th century…the Armenian Genocide.”


Azerbaijan Rates Possibility Of War With Armenia 100%
27.11.2007
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev thinks that conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is very likely. “While Armenia keeps occupying Azeri lands the possibility of war reaches 100%,” Abiyev told a news conference in Astana after a regular session of the CIS Ministers of Defense, RIA Novosti reports.

Since conclusion of armistice on May 12, 1994, hostilities have been stopped and peaceful talks have been held in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by Russia, United States and France represented by Yuri Merzlyakov, Matthew Bryza and Bernard Fassier respectively.


Turkey Must Repent, Russian Expert Says
26.11.2007
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ “The states, which were sinners in history, should repent. There are plenty of countries throughout the globe arguing about necessity to recognize some historical facts. Turkey will have to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide sooner or later,” expert of Moscow Carnegie Center Alexander Malashenko said during Yerevan-Moscow space bridge.

The Genocide problem is maintained due to Turks’ complex of inferiority, according to him.

“If there is no repentance and comprehension of what really took place, such issues will be always a subject for speculation. With a burden like the Armenian Genocide, it will be extremely hard for Turkey to join the European Union,” Malashenko underscored.


No One Asked Russia To Mediate For Normalization Of Armenian-Turkish Relations
26.11.2007
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ No one asked Russia to mediate for normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations, Russian Duma member Konstantin Zatulin said during Yerevan-Moscow space bridge.

“Russia and Turkey are not united in a military or political bloc and we have no tools of pressure in this aspect. We do stand against Armenia’s blockade but cautiousness should be maintained in the Russian-Turkish relations. In 1990-ies Turkey was Russia’s rival in the South Caucasus and Middle Asia. Although tension has alleviated, we should take account of this factor,” he said.

“Meanwhile, Russia should consider a law criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide,” he resumed.


Present-Day Turkey Doesn’t Leave Chance For Armenian Genocide Recognition

26.11.2007
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Present-day Turkey doesn’t leave a chance for recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Director of Institute-Museum of Armenian Genocide Hayk Demoyan said during Yerevan-Moscow space bridge. “We are dealing with the heritage of Young Turks and Kemal Ataturk. Present-day Turkey falsifies history at the state level. Any shift in policy is pregnant with radical consequences. Acknowledgement of a crime supposes atonement,” he said.

“Turkey is not ready for this. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide will bring the country to a crisis. As to statements that historians should deal with the issue, I do assure that historians, sociologists and psychologists proved the fact of the Armenians Genocide. At that they proved it after investigation of Turkish archives. A huge amount of record hasn’t been published yet. I would like to emphasize that not only Armenians but also Greeks and Assyrians were slaughtered,” he said.


H.Res.106 Uncovered Controversy Between U.S. Legislative And Executive Power
26.11.2007
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Discussion of the Armenian Genocide resolution, H.Res.106, revealed controversy between legislative and executive power in the U.S., President of the Institute for Strategic Assessments Alexander Konovalov said during Yerevan-Moscow space bridge.

H.Res.106 had a chance to pass, according to him. “It was a unique case but the Bush administration launched a massive attack and thus offered Turkey a golden possibility to press on the U.S. However, I suppose that the Armenian community is a powerful organization and it will score a victory,” the expert said adding that presently the U.S. national interest implies escaping the “Iraqi trap”.


Armenian Genocide Resolution Fell Victim To Complicated Circumstances In U.S. Foreign Policy
26.11.2007
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Memory is alive not only for Armenians but also for the entire humanity, Russian Duma member Konstantin Zatulin said during Yerevan-Moscow space bridge. In due time Russia demonstrated political will and despite timeserving circumstances the State Duma approved a legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide and announcing April 24 the Day of Commemoration. There is no doubt that Russia holds a balanced stand on the issue,” he said.

“The U.S. has approached adoption of H.Res.106 but unfortunately the legislation fell victim to complicated circumstances in the U.S. foreign policy. These are strategic relations with Turley, situation in Iraq and the problem of Northern Kurdistan,” Zatulin said.

According to him, in this case national interest outweighed democracy. “Russia always supports Armenia in the Genocide recognition issue, since neglect of these problem resulted in other crimes against humanity,” he said adding that Armenia and Russia are strategic partners. “We have a military base to deprive the neighbor states of temptation to proceed from blockade to other actions,” he said. “Straggle against national minorities is a part of Kemal Ataturk’s political heritage and Turkey’s military doctrine doesn’t tolerate multiformity.”

October 10, with a vote 27 to 21 the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.106, which was introduced by Representative Adam Schiff January 30, 2007. However, late October lead authors called on Speaker Pelosi to postpone the House vote


Ara Papian: Turks Can Dispute With Us About Genocide But They Can’t Argue About Arbitration Award
26.11.2007
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ “A regular stage of Armenian people’s struggle for their rights came to an end with signature of an arbitration award by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson on November 22, 1920. Armenia’s activities for recognition of international legal norms as regard Turkey should have two trends,” historian and diplomat Ara Papian said in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net.

“First, Armenia should develop scientific activity and second, raise public awareness of Wilson’s arbitration award, what hasn’t been done so far,” he noted. “In early November, three Canadian Universities – Toronto, Montreal and Cambridge – initiated a series of lectures in the subject. Turkish students, who were also attending, got ready to oppose statements on the Armenian Genocide, but were completely shocked to know about the Treaty of Sevres. Turks can dispute with us about the Genocide but they can’t argue about the arbitration award.”

“By the way, Hay Dat will organize a 2-day seminar on the Treaty of Sevres in Tehran,” Mr Papian said.

November 22, 1920 President Woodrow Wilson signed the arbitration award marking the Armenian-Turkish border. Besides, the Treaty of Sevres divided the Ottoman Empire in mandated territories. Palestine and northern Iraq with Mosul and Kirkuk areas went over to UK, Cilicia was passed to France. The mandate on Western Armenia was offered to the U.S., however, Congress refused to ratify it. Meanwhile, the arbitration award has no period of limitation and can’t be appealed in international courts.


Armenian Political Expert: There Was An Attempt To Restore Idea Of Great Turan
arminfo, 2007-11-23
ArmInfo. The last 11th Congress of Friendship, Fraternity and Cooperation of Turkic State in Baku made an attempt to restore the idea of creating Great Turan, political expert Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan said at a press conference in Yerevan, Friday.

He explained that the congress for the first time announced an idea of creating a general structure for coordination of foreign political issues.

'It is one of the serious steps against Armenia and the Armenian people. Its goal is to lead Armenia to a deadlock and to try to prove the "illegality" of the existence of the Armenian people to the world,' the expert said. He also mentioned another detail.

Thus, in his speech to the Turkic-language states, Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned Samarkand and Bukhara (in Uzbekistan populated mainly with Tajiks), Kirkuk, Iraqi town populated with Kurds, hereby hinting at Turkish belonging of these towns. He also used the Turkish name of the capital of Cyprus Nicosia - 'Levkosa'. Thus, Melik-Shahnazaryan said, the Turkish premier indicated at the 'targets' to 'strike'. However, the political expert said, Erdogan did not appeal to the Turkic language peoples in Russia. Generally, the expert said that civilization is more important in the relations of states than religion. 'Iran can be a bright example of it. That country have been supporting Armenians rather than Azerbaijanis over the last century,' the expert said.




Armenian Government Has Privatized History By Haykush Aslanyan
In recent years, there have been a growing number of archeological projects in our country, thanks to growing cooperation between Armenian archaeologists and archaeological groups from several other countries.

Digs in the Ararat valley have yielded great results. Levon Petrosyan, a senior scientist at the Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, explained that there are burial grounds in the Ashtarak region, in the Tsaghkalanj and Aghavnatun districts, that contain many tombs and fortresses, the exact locations of which are known, but which have remained unexcavated. Armenian and French archaeologists have recently discovered Stone Age settlements near Aratashen. According to the archaeologists, these places had been settled by 6000-5000 B.C.

The archaeologist noted that there are treasure hunters who raid the historic monuments, and who are especially active in Armavir Marz. When archaeologists discover a tomb through surface examination, they have little hope that when they open it they will find the contents intact. But fortunately, this time the archaeologists' fears were not justified; treasure hunters had not managed to raid this tomb. Thus, the tomb of one of the rulers of the Urartu era has remained untouched with all of its contents.

"On one hand, treasure hunters raid and destroy our many thousand-year old culture; on the other hand, the government avoids the issue. The area called Drer in Armavir Marz, which contains prehistoric tombs, is being privatized and cultivated. This area holds in its depths the history of millennia, which will remain undiscovered, " said Levon Petrosyan.

Archaeologist Pirdus Muradyan, who protests not against privatization and cultivation of land, but against their illegal land appropriation, said, `The Registry has no idea about historic and cultural values; it privatizes undiscovered historic and cultural treasures left and right. The privatization of these lands should be done not through an arrangement between the Registry and the private owner, which is violation of the law, but through a decision by the Agency of Monument Protection, as required by the Republic of Armenia Law on Land."

The head of the Echmiadzin registry, Shiraz Harutyunyan, reject this accusation, shifting blame onto the Agency for the Protection of Monuments. "Where do the borders start and end in those places which contain undiscovered history? ` Harutyunyan asked. He blames the agency for the current situation. First the agency has not yet legalized its jurisdiction over these territories and does not have privatization documents. Second, the agency was silent in its opposition to decisions by the government in 2003 to 2005 to hand those areas over to communities.

`The community heads sold the land. There was nothing stopping them," said the head of the registry. He said that the areas which had been marked as tomb fields on the map weren't privatized, but remained as monuments. The areas which had not been marked as cultural treasures were sold.

Archeologists, meanwhile, deplore Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan's attitude towards historic and cultural values. "When a country's Culture Minister doesn't understand what a many-thousand-year-old culture is, what can we talk about?" protested Pirdus Muradyan. He and his colleagues are angry about what has happened to the Tsaghkalanj burial grounds, where a 170-hectare protected zone was established in 1993. But according to Muradyan, 90% of that is now owned by wealthy individuals, and the remaining 10% is located on a rocky hill and contains no history it its depths.

Archaeologists are angry about Minister Poghosyan's ignorance of Tsaghkalanj as a valuable historic site. "For more than a year the minister has refused to present these documents to the government and hasn't justified her refusal in any way, " Muradyan said.

According to Muradyan, there are cemeteries and fortresses in the territory between Metsamor and Lernamerdz. "These areas have been completely privatized; they are now owned by government officials and rich people, " the historian said, adding that Yerevan Mayor Yervand Zakharyan owns 300 hectares of land here, 230 of which have been cultivated. Albert Heroyan, the former governor of Armavir, owns 400 hectares of land that belongs to the villages of Aragats villages'. Artsakh Alko has purchased a similar amount of land near Aghavnatun, right on the burial grounds, next to a recently excavated tomb.

"The unexcavated treasures now belong to them and will do so until the government buys them back. But that will never happen, first because the owner would ask an astronomical sum, which the government couldn't afford, and secondly the government, if it had a proper approach to these historical treasures, would not be destroying them now, " said archaeologist Pirdus Muradyan.
© 2007 Hetq Online


Nobody Will Be Able To Resist Turkic World, Suleyman Demirel Believes
2007-11-19, ArmInfo-Turan. It is impossible to solve conflicts in the modern world in a military way. Therefore, it is necessary to be patient and to look for resolution of the conflict through the international talks, ex-president of Turkey Suleyman Demirel said in an interview with TURAN.

Touching upon the problem of the Turkic world, Demirel said that there are no countries without any problems in the world. People who face injustice react to it immediately, but within the framework of the international law the settlement of such conflicts is not simple. S.Demirel focused on weak relations between the Turkic states, and explained it by the fact that most of the Turkic states gained independence only in 1991. In order to be heard they must be strong, he said. If the countries of Central Asia reach the level of Turkey nobody and nothing would be able to endure them. And it will happen today or tomorrow, Demirel said. As regards freedom of speech and democracy in the Turkic world, time will solve this problem. The process of transition from the Marxist system to the liberal one is very complicated.

It requires time, strengthening of state structures, as well as attraction of peoples to culture and democracy, Demirel said. Time is necessary so that it becomes clear that Azerbaijan is right in the Karabakh conflict, he said.

Commenting on the consideration by the U.S. Congress of the resolution on the "Genocide of Armenians", Demirel said that this issue does not have any legal significance. Concerning the problem of South Azerbaijan, he said that it was not a question of the 11th congress of Turkic states and peoples. It is necessary to treat such problems very carefully, because interference into the internal affairs of any states can cause problems. According to him, the participants in the congress were very attentive and did not politicize the congress.


Armenia Left Without Internet
CNews,Nov 19 2007, Russia
Because of the fiber-optic cable damage in Georgia Armenia has been left without the internet.

According to the Information Agency REGNUM, the damage was recorded on November 19th at 11:21 (Moscow time).

Armenia is connected to the international network only through the fiber-optic cable through Georgia, as well as through satellite communication. Because of the fiber-optic cable damage in Georgia Armenia is occasionally left without the internet.


Turkish Nations Call Upon World Community To Make Decisions On So-Called Armenian Genocide
19 November 2007, Trend Az /ERAREN
The Turkish nations call upon not to take decisions concerning the so-called Armenian genocide, which may negatively affect on the situation in the region.

The participants of the 11th meeting of friendship, fraternity and cooperation of the Turkic nations and societies call upon world community to stick to concrete position in the future.

The documents includes regret due to some countries parliaments consider the so-called Armenian genocide and as a result they pass the decisions which contradict international rights, as well as cause dissatisfaction among the Turkish nations. “We, the participants of the meeting call upon to prevent the claims by Armenians,” the Participants stated.

Armenians contend that around 1mln Armenians were underwent genocide. However, it does not correspond the reality as only 150,000 Armenian reside in the territory in 1915.


A Year, A Newspaper And A Cast Of Heroes
November 20, 2007
On this anniversary day, I bow in gratitude to the TDN staff, who paid for the successes of the newspaper with the sacrifice of their sweat, their blood and often their tears

David JUDSON

Attempting reflection on the past year at the Turkish Daily News, one is tempted to seek some new theorem on time and space. Far be it for me to grasp the mind-bending physics of an Einstein or a Hawking who suggest that time is not the simple, linear progression of things we imagine. But the experience of the past year has given me a new perspective on time as it has collapsed and accelerated in an impossible-to-articulate tandem fashion. The past year seems more like the month of my childhood; what used to pass in my consciousness for a week is now more like a day. And the day, well that's just a blur of a few quickly scrawled “To Do” lists that never see completion and one magic moment at deadline when I hear the bark from Sertaç Bala, our production chief. “Send it?” he asks in his ever-impatient tone. “Send it,” I will say, often mumbling to myself a sort of silent prayer that our spelling is not overly creative, that photo captions are in the present tense, that the closing stock market numbers are correct... that the picture of Imran Khan on page 14 is actually a picture of Imran Khan (it recently was not). Then, in a blink and a moment it is morning again and we are all gathered around the table anew to haggle over a plan to design yet another newspaper that is reflective of the infinite complexity of this complex place we all call home, Turkey.

Yes, it was a year ago today that we produced the first issue of the TDN from Istanbul, ushering in a new era for a newspaper that had been created and printed in the capital Ankara for half a century. Moving a newspaper is something akin, I might suppose, to in-flight airplane refueling or ship maintenance at sea. For you cannot stop, shut down and leisurely restructure. The “D” in our abbreviated name says it all. We indeed are “daily” which means we never really get a day off. But the backup plans, the imaginary apologies I wrote in my head in case of disaster, and a host of lesser contingencies all proved unnecessary. On Nov. 20, 2006, we “pushed the button” from atop the building of our mother ship Hürriyet in Istanbul. For all its difficulty, however, that was to prove the easiest part of the past year.

A very different newspaper:

So then what happened? A recitation of the changes, the additions, the expansions, the dizzying increase in circulation and readership seems an indulgent, almost obscene way to salute the heroism at the heart of the remake of this newspaper. Our readers, whose patience has been no small part of the successful equation, know well that the TDN is a very different newspaper today than it was a year ago. And it will be a very different one a year from now, as the work-in-progress that defines any good newspaper continues. But a one-year anniversary is a good moment to try and reflect on the ingredients that make for greatness in our very difficult profession. For those ingredients certainly abound at the TDN.

In all truth, I really don't know just what those ingredients are. I have spent more than a few restless nights, staring at the timbers in the bedroom ceiling, trying to explain to myself the magical tempest of the past year that brought together TDN veterans and newcomers in the choreography of story-telling. It is a choreography of which we are justifiably proud. Our editorial team now numbers more than 60, including correspondents in places as far-flung as Washington, Brussels, Didim and Alanya. We have enjoyed no small measure of support from the 600 reporters of the Dogan news agency, from our colleagues at the seven Turkish-language newspapers in the Dogan Media Group and from those in the 25 periodicals in the company's magazine division. And, oh, together what stories we have told and are telling.

In from Baku, out to Tehran:

Just last week we were bringing you a series, courtesy of sister paper Milliyet, on the reflections of retired generals on the quarter century's struggle over Kurdish rights and the battle with terrorists. Next week, we hope to bring you an in-house produced series on Azerbaijan from a young TDN reporter just back in the door from Baku. Tomorrow another staffer heads out the door to Tehran to attend a nuclear conference. We regularly seek to crack the bureaucratic code of arcane “Euro-speak” to keep you abreast of the on-going march toward European Union integration. We also continue to deepen our collaboration with our sister paper Referans, the business daily, to keep you atop the on-going wave of growth and investment that is remaking the landscape of the regional economy. But we also have learned to provide much more than just the ponderous and weighty issues of the day, with reviews of the Turkish movies and books that you may not find sub-titled or translated but that offer a window into Turkish society. And so much more.

Which all begs the question I asked above: How do we continue to do it? What are the ingredients of our fledgling success story?

Often I have found the answer in the sheer courage of young Turkish journalists, who hop on planes at a moment's notice and wade into crowds of demonstrators or share tea in refugee camps without hesitation. Sometimes in conversation prompted by the question I have found the answer in the innate if unruly capacity of Turks for self-organization; a problem at one spot in the newspaper inevitably has someone working to solve it before I am even aware of the problem's existence. At other times, I have found myself explaining the success of our newspaper in Turkey's young and idealistic demographics. The young person with a master's degree and a CV full of languages, getting off the elevator and demanding to work long hours in cramped quarters at a fraction of the pay he or she could command at a bank or insurance company is not part of the experience of the editor of a newspaper in Detroit or Dusseldorf. Or related to this, I have often found myself quoting a book I read some time ago, one that unfortunately did not return the last time I loaned it out. The title was “Managing Genius,” which is as good a description as any of what I now do for a living. That book explored groups organizing themselves around a lofty mission or a central idea.

Brilliant, aggressive, elegantly educated women:

We are a newspaper of such diversity that either U.S. President George W. Bush or Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez would easily find a sympathetic ear should they stumble into our midst. Even Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I am sure, would find a few takers for one or two of his notions should he suddenly drop in for tea. But more than just our politics are colorful. In the staff we have all the monotheisms covered, along with one or two New Age cults. Our team is predominantly Turkish, but the languages they grew up speaking at home include Armenian, Kurdish, Zaza, Arabic and Ladino. Beyond that my last count had us speaking some 14 other languages. The one area where we may tip away from diversity a bit is the preponderantly feminine composition of the team. But I recently read that retired American Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan traced his success to the brilliant, aggressive, and elegantly educated team of women he surrounded himself with throughout his career. Who am I to quarrel with the proven management strategy of an icon like Greenspan? I have chosen not to.

Which takes me back to the idea of “Managing Genius.” Yes, one idea has served to unify. That idea is that Turkey has too long been prisoner of the simple and shallow narratives that define international perception of this society. We all agree that our newspaper must go much deeper into the standard narratives of identity politics or freedom of expression issues than the New York Times or Asahi Shimbun are capable of. And we all agree as well that we must go beyond the handful of narratives, be it the debate over Armenian “genocide” claims or the “secularist-Islamist” divide, to explore the many facets of a society that is in fact the collapsed cultural star of empire and empires. Turkey is a society that is constantly interpreting and reinterpreting its history. It is confronted by virtually every cutting edge political, economic and social issue that the world faces, from global climate change to spiritual crisis to urbanization to the technological transformation of the fibers in our clothes and the food we eat.

Sacrifice that defies understanding:

No newsroom in the world faces as many daunting challenges in so direct a way as those in Turkey. This is not immodesty, just a statement of fact. We don't need to look at a remote video or satellite imagery to grasp the fragility of the planet. A gaze out my office window suffices. And we do it all the while straddling the chasm of language, producing a newspaper that is both very Turkish and in English. Yet in all three of our newsrooms, in Ankara and Izmir as well as Istanbul, these challenges are embraced with grace, passion and commitment.

So on this anniversary day, humbled by you all once again, I bow in gratitude for all you have accomplished. I know that the staff of the TDN has paid for the successes of the newspaper quite literally with the sacrifice of their sweat, their blood and often their tears. All I can promise in the year ahead is the ceaseless demand for more of the same. I know you will do it, while even as you can see, I cannot say why. Perhaps that is what heroism is all about, action and performance that defy easy understanding. And the TDN is a newspaper of heroes.


Living In Armenia: The Things That Make Me Happy And Sad
by Maria Titizian A.R.

Northern Ray Boulevard: This past Sunday we took a stroll along Teryan Street, which cuts Northern Ray Boulevard, to get a first-hand look at all the buildings that make up this new neighborhood of downtown Yerevan. It has been under construction for the last several years. The architecture, the color, the glorious inlaid colorful stones on the walking paths were fantastic. I told my husband that 20 years from now, with some wear and tear and loving care, it would resemble a new Europe.

Sadly, whoever planned this new neighborhood forgot about the fact that there are things called grass and bushes and trees and flowers. You feel as though you are in a concrete bubble -- yes there are colors of coral and pink and brown and yellow that adorn the facades of these buildings, but the color green is blaringly absent. Along one stretch of Northern Ray Boulevard that begins on Toumanian Street, where Guess and Ecco have opened their new stores, there was a half-hearted attempt to plant some trees in large, square concrete planters. Only four are living; the rest have withered and died. Hopefully we will learn from our mistakes.

Singing fountains in Republic Square: Stunning, beautiful, breathtaking; these are some of the words used to describe the newly constructed singing fountains in Republic Square. For weeks, every night when the sun would be setting, hundreds of Yerevantsis would gather around the fountains and watch the spectacular light-and-music show in awe. During the day, however, the square has been turned into one huge parking lot. Every possible square meter of free space is used to park the cars of government employees and others who work in the vicinity. Well, at least they took down the huge screen that had replaced Father Lenin. Now there are flowers planted in that spot. What will eventually be erected there is still up for wild discussions and disagreements. Hopefully it will be a symbol for all Armenians and not in honor of some popular figure or regime.

New roads, bridges, overpasses, underpasses: Fewer potholes to contend with; new traffic lights; new street lights; new bridges and overpasses and underpasses; and ultimately better flow of traffic. However what Yerevantsis have to contend with is unbelievable, unimaginable congestion, traffic, complete paralysis of the city's transportation network. Hopefully I will be able to maintain my composure and sanity in the coming weeks and months until everything is completed, as promised by city of Yerevan officials. I hope that I will not allow myself to disintegrate into a mass of unspoken obscenities.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Terry Davis' recent visit to Armenia: It's a good thing when important people come to Armenia. It makes us feel special. However, when they claim that Karabakh is a separatist regime, maybe they should read a little more about history, including their own. (See story above.) When asked by a student at Yerevan State University if he could point to one British colony that didn't disintegrate into war or mayhem or complete collapse when the British were withdrawing, Terry Davis said he could think of probably one but wouldn't say which one so it wouldn't be used against him. In his speech at Yerevan State University, Mr. Davis kept talking about reconciliation. With respect to relations between Armenia and Turkey he had this to say: "This relationship is still difficult because of the events which took place not ten years but more than nine decades ago. We all know that many people died, but the time has surely come to pay respect to the victims but also look to the future." I hope that people who come to our little country, in this far-flung corner of the world from places "where the sun never sets" they should take a long, hard look at their own history and then wag their aristocratic fingers and try to "educate" us.

The Catholicos in America: His Holiness Karekin II was in the United States meeting with Armenian-American communities and blessing newly built churches. What a fantastic opportunity, both for the Vehapar and his flock to meet one another, to be inspired by one another. For hundreds of thousands of Armenian-Americans to receive the blessings of the Catholicos is surely an experience they will remember and cherish. At the same time, dear friends, hundreds of desolate villages dispersed throughout Armenia are without churches, or ministers or priests or even a shack with a makeshift altar where they may go to pray, to beseech their Lord for some mercy and repreive. Where must these people go to for spiritual guidance? Do they not need religious, spiritual inspiration? I hope that we start thinking about them.

The production of the first Armenian soap opera: After airing Brazilian and Mexican soap operas, and hearing the complaints of viewers in Armenia and abroad, someone came up with the brilliant idea of producing an Armenian soap opera. Kudos for their briliance. The only thing is that it is worse than the Brazilian/Mexican ones. I hope as the country ages, and we gain more experience and hopefully sources of funding, we can begin producing better-quality programming for our citizens.

Internationally known brand name clothing stores opening in Yerevan: After years of not being able to find clothes that fit or that suit my, let's call it "appropriate for my age" style, there are finally familiar brand name stores opening in Yerevan. Gone are the days when I have to go to Hrazdan Hanrakhanout or Hayastan Hanrakhanout and battle other hardened customers to get to a pair of pants that just might not have any glittery rhinestones plastered on areas only good for sitting. I no longer have to try on clothes in makeshift changerooms which are constructed in tiny corners of even tinier shops with shower curtain rods, providing a peek show for cigarette smoking, pointy shoe adorned salespeople who like to stare incessently. Nor do I have to try tops on kneeling behind a pile of clothes with a towel held over my head by a salesperson. (I swear this is true.) However, as elated I am that there are clothes that I would now like to purchase, the price of said clothes is so ridiculously expensive it makes you wonder who can afford to buy them. I certainly cannot justify buying designer pantyhose on sale at Wolford's for $175. I don't know who can. I suspect that the vast majority of women young and old browsing in these stores are simply window shopping. I hope that more stores open not only in Yerevan, but throughout the country, but not catering only to the rich folk who can afford them.

Beautiful fall weather: This year autumn has been blessing us with beautiful warm weather and glorious sunsets. But as with most years, beautiful fall weather bears the promise of a cold and unforgiving winter. I hope, for all those still relying on wood burning stoves in Yerevan and throughout the country, that this time I am wrong.

There are many things that make me happy and sad at the same time. Hopefully the happy will always outweigh the sad.


How The Lobbies Work In US
By Mohammad Akef Jamal, Special to Gulf News, November 19, 2007
The US is a country of immigrants. As such its politics is unique with numerous ethnic and religious lobbies trying to influence US policies.

Last October, relations between the US and Turkey turned sour after the US Foreign Relations Committee of the House of the Congress passed a resolution on the "genocide" of Armenians committed during the last days of the Ottoman Empire.

The non-binding resolution says the deportation of nearly 2 million Armenians from Ottoman territories from 1915 to 1923, resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million of them, which amounts to "genocide".

The Turks strongly reject the genocide label, insisting that there was no organised campaign against the Armenians and that many Turks were also killed in the chaos and violence of the period.

The Armenian government and Armenians around the world, including the Armenian-American lobby, have been pressing for international recognition of their contention that their people were the victims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

The Armenian lobby is noticeably active in New Jersey, Michigan and California. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents these areas, is a strong supporter of the Armenian cause.

The 10,000 member Armenian Organisation in the US is a highly effective group which allocates the sum of $250,000 annually to keep the Armenian question alive. Turkey was unable to neutralise the activities of this organisation by launching a counter activity reflecting its views.

Unprecedented

In an unprecedented outcry over the adoption of Resolution 106 by the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Ankara threatened to distance itself from American military efforts in Iraq and warned that it would carry out raids on Kurdish rebels in Iraqi Kurdistan for their anti-Turkey activities. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a House committee that the resolution's consequences on the war in Iraq would be "quite dire".

Any Turkish military action against activists of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq has the potential to destabilise the region.

Turkey feels let down by the US since Washington has also failed to exert pressure on the Iraqi government to rein in Kurdish rebels.

Turkey has also threatened to close the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, which is used by the US in its war efforts in Iraq. The US is worried about the repercussions of this crisis.

Israel on its part took a cautious stand. Tel Aviv does not want to antagonise Turkey, which was the first state in the Middle East to recognise Israel as a state and with whom it has close military ties for the past 20 years. It calls for direct negotiations between Turkey and Armenia to solve the "genocide" issue.

For the time being, Pelosi might postpone the Bill on the genocide issue in the interest of US-Turkey relations. Such a step can also improve the strained relations between the two countries. If that happens, then it will be a victory for Turkey.
Dr Mohammad Akef Jamal is an Iraqi writer based in Dubai.


AXA To Pay Descendants Of Victims Of The Armenian Genocide
AFX News Limited, 11.18.07
PARIS (Thomson Financial) - Insurance company AXA will on Monday make the first of a series of payments to descendants of victims of the Armenian genocide, Le Parisien reported.

The company will pay 1 mln usd to three Franco-Armenian charity organisations, the report said.

In total, around 14.5 mln usd will go to descendants of people who took out life insurance policies in what is now Turkey, before 1915. A further 3 mln usd will go to humanitarian and educational organisations.

All the payments are due to be made by the end of 2008, the paper reported.

helen.beresford@thomson.com, Copyright Thomson Financial News Limited 2007


Eyes On Oyak After Axa Pays Out In Armenian Dispute
The possible reaction of the Armed Forces Pension Fund (OYAK) group is now a matter of curiosity after its French partner, insurance company AXA, paid out $1 million this week as the first installment of a settlement to compensate life-insurance policy holders who lost their lives during the forced emigration from the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

In 2005 AXA agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit by descendants of the victims of alleged genocide of Armenians under Ottoman rule, unleashing a wave of anger in Turkey. The case was brought by heirs of Armenians displaced by World War I forced emigration of Anatolian Armenians and settled in a California court.

The money was handed over to three French-Armenian charities by the lawyers who brought the suit. The charities will receive a further $2 million in the next two months. The rest of the money is to go to individuals, who have until Jan. 7 to register their claims on an Internet site for the settlement. So far 5,000 people -- mainly in the US, Armenia and France -- have made claims. The deal, which was harshly criticized by the Turkish public, also dealt a blow to OYAK, an industrial venture representing the army pension fund and AXA's partner in Turkey since 1999. OYAK announced after the deal that it was reviewing the situation in the light of the "sensitivities of the Turkish people."

Recently, the sale of OYAK Bank, a banking subsidiary of OYAK, to the Dutch ING Group for $2.7 billion has triggered a rumble of discontent from various segments of Turkish society. Almost everyone considered the sale as contrary to the previously claimed sentiments of the OYAK group, which had conducted a nationalistic -- and somewhat anti-foreign capital -- campaign during its participation in the privatization of Eregli Iron and Steelworks (Erdemir) in 2005. With the assistance of the atmosphere created by this campaign, OYAK won the tender and became the biggest iron and steel producer in the country.
21.11.2007, Today's Zaman with wires Ankara


Turkey: From Bloody Birth To Power Broker by Ann Berg
November 21, 2007
According to legend, its flag sprang from the reflection of a star and the crescent moon in a pool of native warriors' blood. The national anthem exults, "Martyrs would gush out were one to squeeze the soil!" Of all the Muslim countries created after World War I, only Turkey succeeded in expelling Western occupiers to achieve a modern statehood that many consider miraculous. Today, its treatment by the U.S. as a backwater pawn has roused the nation to defiance: 86 percent of all Turks now hold a negative view of America.

Ruled by Muslim Turks since 1453, the Ottoman Empire entered a long period of decline during the 19th century. Shrinking in territories and burdened with war debt, it defaulted on its international loans in 1875, drawing France and Britain to Constantinople – present-day Istanbul – to collect repayment from the Ottoman treasury. When the sick man of Europe crumbled during World War I, world leaders carved it into a dozen pieces under the 1920 Treaty of Sevres and subsequently refined the borders under the Sykes-Picot agreement. A mandate system that allowed the newly formed entities varying degrees of independence delineated five states: Britain claimed Iraq, Palestine, and Transjordan (now Jordan), while France took Syria and Lebanon.

Because the Entente powers considered the Anatolian Turks incapable of self-rule, they parceled the strategic coastal areas among the victors. The British, the French, and the Italians sent occupation forces to Constantinople, and Greece, staunchly backed by Britain, took over the Aegean port of Smyrna (Izmir). Its goal was to restore Constantinople – the seat of the Greek-speaking Christian empire for a millennium – to its Byzantine glory. And finally, to the east, the Bolsheviks were eager to stamp a communist footprint on this strategic landmass. Strapped for foreign exchange, Russia needed unencumbered transit from the Black Sea through the Dardanelles to export its wheat surplus and newly discovered crude oil.

Against this backdrop, by 1922, the Turks drove out the Greeks (who had advanced into the central plateau with the goal of capturing the newly declared capital of Ankara), expelled the European powers, and reclaimed large territories to the east from Armenia. The Turkish-Greco war still lingers bitterly. Historical records blame the Greeks for a scorched-earth policy as they were driven out of Smyrna, while others depict the Turks burning the Greek and Armenian Christian villages to the ground. Witnesses say that 75 percent of Smyrna was destroyed. Standing on the waterfront of the ancient Mediterranean port, I asked a Turkish friend what happened during the postwar deportation of the remaining Greek and Armenian communities, and he quietly told me, "The boats came and they went."

By 1923, all Western forces had demobilized. Turkey established most of its modern-day borders under the Treaty of Lausanne. Although the U.S. had stayed out of the Turkish wars, Turkey's success at Lausanne caused the U.S. ambassador to Germany to proclaim, "Christian civilization was crucified … and the Stars and Stripes were trailed in the mire in the interest of a group of oil speculators."

Kemalism

Anyone visiting the capital city of Ankara is struck by the ubiquitous presence of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish state. His likeness appears in every visual form imaginable, gracing photographs, paintings, busts, masks, bas-reliefs, and statues. On the main thoroughfare, his face gazes out at the street procession from gigantic Orwellian tapestries unfurled from the tops of buildings. The symbolism is forceful – it serves the citizenry as a permanent reminder of Turkey's struggle for independence 84 years ago (Oct. 29) and fuses the state and the man into an enduring mythological unity.

Ataturk's life was a one-man revolution of breathtaking proportions. Officially, he is credited with the establishment of a modern, Western-leaning republic that included a civil code and language reform, universal education, equal inheritance and voting rights for women, and the abolition of the Caliphate, as well as industrial projects, including railway development and state-run manufacturing. Accounts of his personal life are dizzying: war hero, president (Time dubbed him "dictator"), educator, arts patron, father of seven adopted daughters – all of which he managed while drinking himself to death by age 57. But beneath the glowing biography is a darker story of Kemalism. While espousing republican principles and secularism, the doctrine sought to unify Turkey as one culture and one language by forced assimilation. The new republic outlawed mystical and ecstatic orders such as Sufism and denied the Kurds – a minority accused of deviant worship and orgiastic sexual practices – basic expression of culture and language. As early as 1925, uprisings were repressed with bombardment, slaying, and hanging. Beneath the philosophy of rational enlightenment lay brutal repression and a strong dose of militarism.

After World War II

Since the Korean War and following Turkey's entry into NATO (never mind that it is nowhere near the Atlantic), the U.S. has assumed Turkey would dutifully bow to America's dictates. But Turkey – boosted by its booming economy and its perception of the U.S. as a clumsy brute at its doorstep – is experiencing a resurgence of nationalism. Its parliamentary rejection in 2003 of the coalition's plan to stage the Iraq invasion through Turkish territory and its embrace of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan – a devout Muslim – have caught the U.S. completely flatfooted. The U.S. government fails to see that its transformative design for the region and Turkey's desire for border integrity and economic expansion are on a collision course.

On the economic front, Turkey, which has an energy deficit, envisions becoming an energy transit hub. Its southeastern port of Ceyhan is the terminus for one pipeline originating from the Caspian Sea port Baku (BTC) and another from Kirkuk, Iraq. Turkey projects earning several hundred million dollars in transit fees per year from these two pipelines and sees the restive Kurdish region as a threat to its plans. It has announced intentions to secure a long-term supply contract with Kirkuk and strongly opposes Kurdish plans to incorporate the city (once claimed by Turkey after WWI) into the semi-autonomous northern Iraqi region. Similarly, Turkey plans to expand trade with Iran, notwithstanding U.S. disapproval. According to the Turkish press, trade has grown from $2.3 billion to $6.7 billion between 2003 and 2006, and the two countries have signed a preferential trade pact on a series of goods. Iran (along with Russia) supplies Turkey its gas needs, which have been growing in pace with the economy.

On the political side, Ankara and Tehran progressively share a cause that unites them – a "war on terror" against the PKK and its Iranian arm, PJAK. For Turkey, the growing attacks by the PKK against Turkish forces are not just acts of terrorism (the U.S. view), but the embodiment of the separatist movement that wants to chip off its southeastern region. Turkey sees duplicity in America's role: the U.S. condemns the PKK, but not PJAK – finding the latter useful for provoking Iran. Hence, Turks overwhelmingly support the military crossing the border – not just to crush the rebels but to commit an act of defiance against the superpower.

As it begins to play a role of regional political power broker, Turkey openly bristles at American sermonizing and patronizing, especially since it correctly warned the U.S. how instability would ripple through the whole region following the Iraq invasion. As a country that criminalizes "insults to Turkishness," it views the recent U.S. congressional effort to recognize as genocide the Ottoman Turks' massacre of Armenians in 1915 to be an irreparable blow to its alliance with the U.S. Fiercely proud of its revolutionary birth and protective of its sovereign borders, the rising crescent will increasingly exert its own will in the region. For the U.S., that means one more miscalculation in a bloody field of failures.
Copyright 2007 Antiwar.com


Armenia Becoming Deprived Of "Rear Support" Vardan Grigoryan
Hayots Ashkharh Daily,Nov 17 2007,Armenia
On Friday, November 16, there occurred an event which, in terms of its political significance and potential consequences, does not almost have its precedent in the history of the South Caucasus of the past 2 centuries: the equipment left in Batumi, the last Russian military fulcrum situated in Georgia, and the last troop train moving servicemen to Gyumri crossed the Armenian border.

It was only during the period of chaos and anarchy following the 1917 October Revolution that the Russian troops quit our region for a short time, leaving it to the mercy of fate. Too far from anarchy and chaos at present, Russia withdraws its troops from Georgia, the successive South Caucasian country, thus depriving Armenia of the "rear support" that was created in the post-Soviet period due to the Akhalkalaki and Batumi fulcra deployed along the Turkish border.

As a result, the Turkish-Georgian and Georgian-Azerbaijani borders become almost unprotected territories, creating potentials of passing round Armenia from the rear. And it is not accidental that taking advantage of the new military-political situation, the Turkish military aircraft is preparing to organize demonstrative flights to Gyanja, an Azerbaijani town situated not far from the Armenian border. In the meantime, the winner of the bid announced for the construction of the Kartsakh-Akhalkalaki section of the Kars-Akhaklalaki railroad (which has been "under construction" for several years running), appears to be an Azerbaijani company whose attempts of squeezing itself into Javahk undoubtedly pursue a provocative goal of spoiling the Armenian-Georgian relations.

However, the most impressive thing among all those steps, which are not quite accidental, is that Russia runs a year ahead in terms of withdrawing its troops from Georgia, an obligation to which it committed itself in Istanbul in 1999 and which it was supposed to fulfill on October 1, 2008.

The following question comes up: what is the reason of Moscow's obvious haste? The Russian analysts account for this fact by the official Moscow's intention of fulfilling its above-mentioned obligation on the general arms limitation by December 1, 2007 and receiving complete freedom of hands.

The thing is that the international community will, on this date, be through with its last desperate attempts aimed at achieving mutual agreements between Serbia and Kosovo. And Kosovo is going to proclaim itself an independent state immediately thereafter, with the United States and the European Union being for and Russia being against it.

In case there is no mutual agreement by that time, each of them will do whatever it considers right. That's to say, the principle of the universality of the norms of international law will be applied, and Russia will, in its turn, initiate the process of recognizing the independence of Abkhazia. In such conditions it was naturally important to previously speed up the withdrawal of its military troops to prevent them from becoming hostages.

It is noteworthy that those developments, fraught with unpredictable consequences, will take place in Georgia on the eve of the Presidential elections appointed on January 5. This means that before New Year Moscow is going to make a pleasant surprise to the acting President of Georgia, the United States' influential support remaining the only hope for the latter.

Georgia believes that the United States will, in the near future, demand that Russia recognize the territorial integrity of Georgia.

That will certainly happen, but in that case Russia in turn will demand the recognition of the territorial integrity of Serbia.

Therefore, it wasn't in vain that the US State Secretary and Defense Minister have been recently waiting for V. Putin in their reception hall for such a long time. They realize that the processes go beyond their control, so it is necessary to previously agree with Moscow on mutual concessions.

Whether the superpowers will manage in the near future to prevent new wars and bloodsheds in the Balkans and Georgia, resulting from the withdrawal of the Russian troops? We believe it depends upon whether the American side will be able to make a true estimation on Russia's potentials in the post-Soviet territory.

The thing is that, after the deployment of its troops from Georgia, Moscow itself is vitally interested in the "Kosovo" precedent". There has emerged a strictly favorable situation for that: to exhaust Georgia with the help of a new, Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossian confrontation, and eventually place the country under its command. But because elections and shift of power are awaiting both Russia and the United States, they may fail to be in full control of the situation within the coming one-year period.

In case the situation in and around Georgia is complicated, the revanchist moods in Azerbaijan may strengthen as well. However, in such conditions Azerbaijan will not dare to violate the status quo existing in the zone of the Armenian-Azeri confrontation, as it is vitally interested in ensuring the security of its communications extending to Turkey via the territory of Georgia. Besides, there's a Russian military grouping in Armenia, which plays a restraining role for Turkey.

Therefore, Azerbaijan and Armenia will, for the time being, refrain from the temptation of shifting the debate around the "Kosovo precedent" to South Caucasus. As to Georgia which is turning into a specific kind of "guinea pig" for promoting competition and cooperation among the superpowers, it may, during the coming months, experience the negative consequences of being the vanguard of the geopolitical developments taking place in the South Caucasus.


Axa Paid $1 Mln To 3 Armenian Benevolent Organizations
19.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ AXA insurance company paid $1 mln to three French-Armenian organizations - UGAB, Blue Cross and the Armenian Fund. The sum was assigned from $17,5 mln meant for heirs of the Armenian Genocide victims who had been insured by AXA. All payments will be accomplished till the end of 2008, independent French journalist Jean Eckian told PanARMENIAN.Net.

In July 2007 AXA issued a list of individuals it had insured before 1915. People whose ancestors fell victims to the Armenian Genocide can file an application for receiving compensation. The sum assigned by AXA totals $17,5 mln. $3 mln will be allocated to France-based charitable organizations. Other $3 mln will cover court expenses and sending of notifications. $11 mln will go to the fund that will launch insurance contributions.


Turkish Premier Urges Armenia To End "Occupation" Of Azeri Lands
AzTV, Azerbaijan,Nov 17 2007
Turkey's prime minister has called on Armenia to "end its occupation" of Azerbaijani territories for the sake of regional peace and prosperity.

Addressing a congress of Turkic countries in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on 17 November, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "For the dominance of peace, order, welfare and cooperation in the region, one of the basic conditions is that Armenia should end this occupation and heed calls of the international community and respect international law."

He was speaking in Turkish and the speech was broadcast live on Azerbaijan's state television.

Erdogan called the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict "a bleeding wound of the Turkic nations" and accused the international community of turning a blind eye to the problems of Azerbaijani refugees.

"A significant part of lands of our dear brothers, who are hosting this event, is under occupation of its neighbour. About 1m of our brothers are refugees in their own land following this unjust occupation," the Turkish prime minister said.

Erdogan also highlighted the opportunities for closer cooperation between the Turkic states after the demise of the Soviet Union and emergence of new independent states of Turkic nations.

The prime minister described "democratization, the supremacy of law, good governance, improvement of basic human rights, contribution to the unity of the regional and global unification efforts as the basis of our future vision".

He said that human and energy resources of Eurasia can be a key to all problems.

"The reign of cooperation instead of rivalry would be beneficial," the prime minister added. He praised the joint projects implemented by Azerbaijan and Turkey as the best indication of cooperation, adding that "inshallah, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which we are about to lay the foundation, is the sign of closer cooperation between our states".

Erdogan urged the Turkic states to coordinate their foreign policies, re-write the common history and teach it at schools.

He also proposed that a permanent secretariat of the summit of the heads of the Turkic-speaking countries be established. "It is high time for the Turkic states to coordinate and plan their cooperation under a single organization," the prime minister said.

"From now on, we should not be an observer or a follower but be leaders and determiners and we shall be such as there is no other way," the prime minister stressed.

Addressing the congress, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that "our strength is in our unity", urging the Turkic nations to strengthen cooperation for the sake of resolution of common problems and achieving common aims.

Aliyev stressed the importance of cooperation between the Diaspora organizations of Turkic nations to withstand the activities of the Armenian lobby. Criticizing the anti-Turkish activities of the Armenian lobby worldwide, the Azerbaijani president said that "often Armenians are backed by some hypocrite politicians of major countries and we have to consolidate our efforts to oppose them".

The president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Mehmet Ali Talat, also spoke about the problems the Turkic world is facing and blamed the international community for remaining indifferent to the isolation of the island.

Gunes Turkish Daily Published Scandalous Map Of ‘Enlarged Turkey’
21.11.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Gunes Turkish daily published on its front page a new map of Turkey showing the annexation of neighboring countries and territories, including Armenia, independent French journalist Jean Eckian told PanARMENIAN.Net.

Under the title "You say map? Here is the map!", the newspaper announces that currently circulates on Internet the map of "Enlarged Turkey" in response to the maps showing Turkey divided, in particular that presented by InHomage.com.

Meanwhile, InHomage announced that these are the borders established in 1920 by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson at the time of the signature of the Treaty of Sevres.

November 22, 1920 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Arbitration Award marking the Armenian-Turkish border. Besides, the Treaty of Sevres divided the Ottoman Empire in mandated territories. Palestine and northern Iraq with Mosul and Kirkuk areas went over to UK, Cilicia was passed to France. The mandate on Western Armenia was offered to the U.S., however, Congress refused to ratify it. Meanwhile, the Arbitration Award has no period of limitation and can’t be appealed in international courts.



Armenia Must Not Renounce Its Past
21.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian-Turkish relations are represented by media in both states at emotional and nationalist level, said Alexander Iskandaryan, director of the Caucasus Media Institute.

“Nevertheless, we have to work proceeding from the reality and in this view I should say that Armenia prefers long process of Turkey’s accession to the EU rather than the accession itself or opening of the border.

Armenian must never renounce its past, because in this case Turks will be the first to lose respect towards us.


Armenians Shouldn’t Appeal To Un International Court Of Justice
21.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ It would be a wrong move to bring the Armenian Genocide issue to the UN International Court of Justice, ARF Bureau’s Hay Dat and Political Affairs Office Director Kiro Manoyan said when commenting on intention of the World Armenian Congress to appeal to the UN International Court in Hague.

“This action could prevent us from representing our interests in the court. We don’t need to prove the fact of Genocide. If Turkey wants to prove that there was no Genocide, it can appeal to the court. If we go to the law, we should urge restoration of our rights,” he said adding that consent of both sides is essential for any legal action, Novosti Armenia reports.


Turkish Analyst Advises Armenia To Refrain From Discussions Of Genocide Problem
21.11.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ “Every new debate on events of the early 20th century heightens tension in Turkey. In my opinion, Armenia should refrain from promotion of the issue, what will allow to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey and open the Armenian-Turkish border,” analyst at the European Stability Initiative (ESI) Diba Nigar Goksel said at a Yerevan-hosted conference titled “Armenia and Turkey: Regional Interests in Light of European Integration Processes.”

The Karabakh factor that caused closure of the Armenian-Turkish border is not critical to date, according to her.

“To a certain extent, Turkey fears of Azerbaijan’s reaction to opening of the border, since, given its economic development, this republic can venture itself some independence. However, it’s erroneous to perceive Azerbaijan as Turkey’s “younger brother.” Ankara can’t influence on Azerbaijan’s policy,” she said.


Armenian-Turkish Relations Should Be Given Publicity
21.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ An individual who is led by Turkey can’t be President of Armenia, ARF Bureau’s Hay Dat and Political Affairs Office Director Kiro Manoyan said when commenting on the possibility of Yerevan’s concessions in the Armenian-Turkish relations in view of Levon Ter-Petrosyan intention to run for President.

Ter-Petrosyan’s coming to power will not be welcomed by Turkey, according to him “The Armenian-Turkish border was closed during Ter-Petrosyan’s presidency. Should he come to power again or not, Turkey will not change its position,” he noted.

“However, the Armenian-Turkish relations should be given publicity,” he added. “In this view the December 19 parliamentary hearings with participation of Turkish guests are very important.”

As to Turkey’s painful issues, Mr Manoyan pointed to the possibility of demarcation of borders of Middle East and Turkey itself. “You should not be a fortune-teller to understand inevitability of Kurdistan’s appearance on the world map some day,” he said.

He also noted that during the coming discussions on Turkey’s accession to the EU in Brussels, some disorders are probable, since Armenians are planning a protest action and collisions with the Turkish community may take place, IA Regnum reports.

Questionnaires On Armenian Genocide Issue To Be Sent To U.S. Presidential Hopefuls
21.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ By initiative of the Armenian-American Political Action Committee (ARMENPAC), questionnaires on the Armenian Genocide issue will be sent to all U.S. major 2008 presidential hopefuls.


The candidates should present an exact stand on U.S. reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide, U.S.-Armenia trade relations, Turkish and Azeri hostility toward Armenia, and the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement process.

“It is the time to find out where our future leaders stand on the issues most important to our community," said ARMENPAC Executive Director Jason P. Capizzi, HAYINFO reports.



Armenian-Turkish Border Will Open But Historical Controversy Will Remain
21.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ Businessmen are most of all interested in opening of the Armenian-Turkish border, analyst at the European Stability Initiative (ESI) Diba Nigar Goksel said at a Yerevan-hosted conference titled “Armenia and Turkey: Regional Interests in Light of European Integration Processes.”

Turkey should itself decide its position in the region during next 10 years, according to her.

“However, I think the Armenian-Turkish border will open and relations between the two states will be normalized but historical controversy will remain,” she said.


The Scandal Of The Kemalist Mind
Mustafa AKYOL, November 17, 2007

I have been pondering what makes the Kemalist mind so shallow, and here is the explanation I have found

I, unluckily, made a lot of people upset with my piece in last weekend's edition of the Turkish Daily News, “The gospel according to Atatürk.” A few dozen readers sent fuming emails, which rebuked me for daring to criticize the level of veneration shown in Turkey to its founder.

If you have been reading the “Letters to the editor” section, you might have come across two of these reactions, which came from two Turkish readers living in the United States. The one from New Jersey noted that he was “shocked” by my piece, and added, “someone should tell Akyol that he is dead wrong.” The other one, a lady, expressed “anguish” at me and my “very naive look.” I, she also argued, “cannot be a Turk.”

In response, I am sincerely thankful to such critics, because they present nice case studies of what I have been talking about. I said that there is a popular “cult of Atatürk” in Turkey, whose followers have a “strict mental blueprint” that leads them to “detachment from reality.” And that's precisely what you can find in these annoyed comments.

Cognitive dissonance:

Let me show you one example. The first reader, besides bashing me, argued that “dialogue among all people in Turkey should be improved so that no one should be afraid of saying ‘I am proud to be a Turk.'” It is really hard to understand how “dialogue among all people in Turkey” will make everybody proud of being a Turk, but that's the minor issue. The real gem is the presumption that some people in Turkey are afraid of saying, “I am proud to be a Turk.” In fact, in this country, it has never been a problem to say that, and it is in fact an officially sanctioned mantra. The real problem has always been to say that you are proud of being something other than a Turk — such as a Kurd, an Armenian, a Christian, and even a supranational Muslim. (For the record, in 1982, politician Serafettin Elçi was imprisoned for simply saying, “I am a Kurd and there are Kurds in Turkey.”)

So it is really mind-boggling that our Kemalist reader thinks that “Turkishness” is suppressed in Turkey, while the fact is that Turkishness is the only identity which is not suppressed at all.

If you would like to see more detachment-from-reality in action then take a look at the second reader. She criticized me for criticizing the “I am watching you” motto put on some Atatürk flags. But she got it totally wrong by writing: “It simply means for anyone that understands English language ‘We are following your steps.'” Because the motto I criticized did not mean that Turks follow Atatürk. It rather meant Atatürk watches over the Turks. It was plain clear for anyone who has a grasp of either the English or the Turkish language.

Neither publish nor perish:

I won't point out every case of cognitive dissonance in the writings of Kemalist readers. For most unbiased observers, it should be obvious that Kemalism has turned into a dogmatic ideology and its adherents present a pitiable intellectual poverty. The latter phenomenon is visible almost in every field. In the Turkish media, for example, die-hard Kemalist commentators are among the least sophisticated ones. Their columns are full of either dry clichés or angry polemics. In the academia, scholars or faculties who are famed to be devout Kemalists hardly produce anything that would get into international academic literature. (Alas, they neither publish nor perish!) Actually the handful of globally acclaimed Turkish scholars are detested by their Kemalist colleagues at home. Serif Mardin, who is probably the most prominent Turkish sociologist ever, was boycotted by the all-Kemalist Turkish Sciences Academy (TÜBA), simply for that he is too lenient on religion. Actually in the field of social sciences, Turkey seems to be divided among the fruitful and articulate academics, and the rest, which includes almost all Kemalists.

In literature, the situation is no different: Turkey's globally successful novelists, such as the recent Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk or Elif Safak, are the ones who have the ability to think outside of the Kemalist box. No wonder they are abhorred by the Kemalists, who explain their achievements by conspiracy theories. They think Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize, for example, because the “imperialists” decided to promote him for “insulting Turkishness.”

For quite some time, I have been pondering what makes the Kemalist mind so shallow. This cannot be related to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk himself, because he was a smart, well-educated and cultured statesman who vigorously promoted science and learning. I believe the problem is in the way he is perceived by his devotees. Since they see him and his period as the source all the wisdom they need, they don't have an urge to understand the world. They think the Supreme Leader already understood it perfectly and all we Turks need to is walk on his righteous path.

The evangelical mind:

This line of thinking creates intellectual poverty within any paradigm. Religious fundamentalism is the most obvious example. Indeed religion can be a driving force for intellectual enterprise if it is interpreted in a dynamic way — and that's what gave rise to towering figures such as Averroes (Ibn Rushd) or Newton. But religion would be a mind stopper if its believers think that all they need to study is the life of a holy man and the scripture he brought.

In his famous book "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind," American historian Mark Noll suggests that most evangelical Christians in his country suffer from that misconception. He shows that evangelicals have failed to engage in "the whole spectrum of modern learning, including economics and political science, literary criticism and imaginative writing, historical inquiry and philosophical studies, linguistics and the history of science, social theory and the arts." “The scandal of the evangelical mind,” he concludes, "is that there is not much of an evangelical mind."

I am not an expert on American Christianity, and can't tell whether Noll is right or wrong. But I do know about Kemalism, and this ideology suffers from the same problem he points out. Yes, Kemalism has a “scandal” of its own, too, and it is that that there is not much of a Kemalist mind.


PRESS SCANNER / TDN / November 17, 2007
Laic, Anti-Laic Reconciliation
Zülfü Livaneli, Vatan

When Ortega Y. Gasset said television makes it possible for people to join mass reactions even when they are alone, he was right!

This is also true for us. A single example is enough to explain.

A few months ago in this country, we were in the middle of discussions about presidential elections and headscarf issues.

During these elections, secularism and headscarf were shaking the Turkish agenda.

But today, they are long gone. We focused only on the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and a cross-border operation! The military and the government have adopted a joint stance against this common enemy.

The main reason could be explained by applying the “forced marriage” formula.

Right now there are two major powers in Turkey: Laic military, laic bureaucracy and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) which has a different understanding.

These two cannot cancel each other out and will have to find out ways to live together. So, the problem was solved through this “common enemy”. Now importance is given to cooperation between the two.Once cross border offensives begin, watch the public exultation and embrace: Long live government, long live military!The PKK has played a critical role in the resolution of the conflict between the AKP and the military, the formation of terms of cohabitation and the attribution of an institutional identity to the headscarf. Democracy apostles

Birol Ertan, Milli Gazete Turkey keeps taking lessons on democracy from Western countries.

All right, but how are they dealing with democracy? Belgium: Secret agreements are signed by terrorist organizations. The PKK offices are freely organizing activities. Members of the PKK, such as Fehriye Erdal, are free. France: Racism is at its peak. Millions of Algerians were killed for revolting against the French colonial administration. So-called Armenian allegations were used as internal political gimmicks in France to block free thought. Germany: Racist youth attack stores and houses owned by foreigners. The PKK is abetted and provided financial support. Britain: The economic sources belonging to colonies were exploited for years. A queen not elected by popular vote governs the country; the most loyal ally of the U.S. occupying Iraq. The Netherlands: Racist activities are plenty as minorities are oppressed. Recreational drug use in Holland is legal. Switzerland: Takes the lead among countries giving lectures on democracy, a black market heaven on earth.

While Switzerland continues to defend freedom of thought, it punishes people for having different opinions about the Armenian lies.

Democracy and human rights are noble ideals that need to properly function in all aspects of life.

Democracy suffers serious problems in many of the European countries claiming to have one.

They are so-called apostles of democracy. The AKP, world champion of earning interest

Ilhan Selçuk, Cumhuriyet Daily newspapers are screaming out, “We are the world champions of usury.”

The highest interest rates are in an Islamic country, Turkey.

A man of sound mind learns the requirements of being a Muslim from the Koran.

Usury is banned in the Koran, but Muslims are filling their pockets!

We have the utmost respect for traditional headscarf. But the one turned into a flag for usurers and sold out politics does not deserve to be respected.

The pro-Islamist government that is about to transform usury into a basis for the economy does not advocate the headscarf for the sake of Muslims. For them the headscarf is the symbol of male dominance to protect women and to suppress their own egotism or jealousy.

Most Muslims do not know how to read the Koran. In order for one to understand Islam, it is necessary to read, learn and understand Koran.

It is fraudulent to let foreigners exploit the country, to allow usury then hide behind the headscarf and pretend to be a Muslim.

No political staff in the history of Turkey was as fraudulent as the current government. They are the world champion of usury.


Armament Supplied To Pkk Through Territory Of Armenia, Turkish Sources Allege
Noyan Tapan, Nov 15 2007, ANKARA, During 2006, armament of 1.8 million dollars was supplied to PKK through the territories of Iraq and Armenia. The Dogan Agency reports this quoting the reports on the activity of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) presented by the country's intelligence structures.

According to the intelligence data, arms and ammunition of American, Russian, English, Hungarian and Bulgarian production was mainly supplied to PKK. PKK currently has 24 camps in the territories of Iran and Iraq. This year the organization's gross profit received from narco-business made 15 million drams.


PKK Terrorist Organization Buys Arms From Armenia
15 November 2007, Azeri Press Agency / Eraren
PKK terrorist organization has bought arms from Iraq and Armenia in the amont of $ 1 million 800 thousand within a year, APA’s Turkey bureau reports.

This information was reflected in the rapport prepared by Turkish intelligence bodies. There are guns, submachine guns, machine guns, snipers, grenade cup dischargers, sniper rifles, even missiles “Stringer” and “Strela”. Moreover, terrorist organization bought modern transmitters from Netherlands.


Robert Kocharyan: Some Forces In Armenia Think That Either Turkey Or Azerbaijan Should Be The Main Political Partner Of The Country
14 November 2007, APA/ERAREN
Armenian President Robert Kocharyan expressed his surprise about pro-Turkish orientation of several political forces in the country, APA reports quoting “Novosti Armeniya”.

“It is wonderful. It was clear that some forces in Armenia think that either Turkey or Azerbaijan should be the main political partner of the country. I did not even expect it from Armenian National Movement. If there are people, political figures or parties who share this political opinion, they can unite. But they should explain how they see Armenia’s future,” he said.


Turkey Motivated Blocking Of Air Space For Armenian Planes By Security Reasons?
15.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian Foreign Ministry requested Turkey to explain the reasons of blocking the air corridor for Yerevan-Beirut and Yerevan-Aleppo flights, RA MFA Spokesman Vladimir Karapetian told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. No explanation has come yet, he said.

November 13 an Armavia-owned Yerevan-Beirut flight had to turn back to Yerevan, since the Turkish authorities blocked the air space.

Meanwhile, a source told PanARMENIAN.Net that Turkey blocked the air corridor for security reasons, as the route to Syria goes across the territory controlled by Kurdish rebels.


Turkey Closes Its Airspace For Armenian Flights
By A. Haroutiunian, translated by A.M.,AZG Armenian Daily #210, 15/11/2007
November 13, Yerevan-Beirut ArmAvia flight was aborted and the passengers returned to Zvartnots.

According to information, received by "Azg", the airplane turned back soon after tacking off, being prohibited to cross Turkey's airspace. For that reason all ArmAvia flights from Yerevan to Beirut are temporarily suspended.

"ArmAvia" Air Company informs that Yerevan-Beirut flights are still available at Syrian airlines, which are not prohibited to cross the air space of Turkey.

Armenian flights fly through Turkey's airspace via route H50, which was made available for Armenia due to the only and simple reason that Azerbaijan likewise needed that route. Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has mentioned this "bounty" made to Armenia on Turkey's part for many times, ever forgetting that in return Armenia agreed to give Turkish and Azerbaijani flights access to its own airspace.

Turkey made an official statement about the November 13 event in New York, in connection with the issue of H. Res. 106. It comes out that Turkey's threats are no longer a part of political blackmail or provocations, but have become reality.


U.S. 'Genocide' Bill A Slow-Motion Disaster
By Gwynne Dyer, Embassy, October 17th, 2007
Nothing much will happen right away. The Turkish ambassador to Washington has gone home for "consultations" after the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives approved a bill declaring that the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War was a genocide. But he will come back to Washington, and it will be weeks before the full House passes the bill. This will be a slow-motion disaster.

The White House tried hard to stop this bill. President George W. Bush declared that "This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings," and all eight living former U.S. secretaries of state, both Democratic and Republican, signed a joint letter to the Foreign Affairs Committee urging it not to approve the bill. But it did, by a 27-21 vote, and next month the full House will do the same: more than half the members have signed up as co-sponsors of the bill.

Bush promises that it will die in the Senate, but by then the damage will be done. The U.S.-Turkish alliance will be gravely damaged, and American use of Turkey as a major supply line for its troops in Iraq–70 per cent of U.S. air cargo for Iraq goes through Turkey–will be at an end. "I can assure you that Turkey knows how to play hardball," as Egemen Bagis, an advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told reporters in Washington.

Turkey may also send its troops into northern (Kurdish) Iraq, thus destabilizing the one stable and moderately prosperous part of that country. But then, it might have done that anyway. Fifteen Turkish soldiers and 12 civilians have been killed in the past week by Kurdish rebels who are allegedly based across the border in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the political pressure on Prime Minister Erdogan to authorize another cross-border military operation is intense.

The United States will be the 23rd country to fall to the Armenian campaign to link the Ottoman Turkey of 90 years ago with the Nazi Germany of 60 years ago–and, by extension, to implicate the current Republic of Turkey in the crime of premeditated genocide.

Once such a law is passed, to question the Armenian take on what happened is to become the equivalent of a denier of the (Jewish) Holocaust. The Armenian desire to have their national tragedy given the same status as the Jewish Holocaust is understandable, but it is mistaken. The facts of the case are horrifying, and certainly justify calling the events in eastern Turkey in 1915-16 a genocide, but the key elements of prior intent and systematic planning that distinguish the Nazi Holocaust are absent.

When I was a young graduate student in Middle Eastern history, as a translation exercise I was given the hand-written diary of a Turkish soldier who was killed during the retreat from Baghdad in 1917. Mehmet Cavus (Sergeant Mehmet) was a youthful village school-teacher who had been called up in 1914. At first he had a safe billet guarding the Black Sea entrance to the Bosphorus, but in 1915 his unit was suddenly ordered to march east to deal with a Russian invasion and an Armenian rebellion.

And then, in the diary of this pleasant, rather naive young man, I read the phrase "iyi katliam etmistik." Loosely translated, that means: "We really massacred them"–and he wasn't making a sporting analogy. The diary was written in the old Ottoman rika, a version of handwritten Arabic script that never really served Turkish well, so I asked my teacher if it really said what I thought it did. "Oh yes," he said. "Those were different times."

That excuses nothing, but it explains much. The foolish young officers who led the Ottoman empire into the war panicked when they realized that the Russians were invading from the east and the British were about to land somewhere on the Mediterranean coast. And just at that point, Armenian revolutionaries (Dashnaks and Hnchaks) who had been plotting with the Russians and the British to carve out an Armenian state from the wreckage of the empire launched feeble, futile revolts to assist the invaders.

The Turks responded by slaughtering many Armenians in what is now eastern Turkey and deporting the rest to Syria in long marching columns. Huge numbers were murdered along the way: at least 600,000 died, and perhaps as many as 1.5 million. It was certainly a genocide, but it was not premeditated, nor was it systematic. Armenians living in other parts of the empire were largely left alone, and even in the war zone those with money to travel by rail mostly reached Syria safely.

So why is the U.S. Congress "recognizing" the Armenian genocide, but not the rather more recent genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda? Because there are not many voters of Tutsi descent in key Congressional districts. This is all about domestic politics: alienating the Turks doesn't cost much politically.

Today's Armenian activists aren't looking for "justice." They want to drive the Turks into extreme reactions that will isolate them and derail the domestic changes (including a gradual public acceptance of Turkey's responsibility for the atrocities) that are turning that country into a modern, tolerant democracy. They do not want Turkey to succeed. And Western countries are falling for it.
editor@embassymag.ca


Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Within Its Power Turkey Gives Every Support To Azerbaijan In Nagorno Karabakh Conflict - Exclusive
Azeri Press Agency, Azerbaijan, Nov 13 2007

The most important issue for Azerbaijan and Turkey is to strengthen and deepen relations through strategic and economic projects

- The U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs approved the bill on the so-called Armenian genocide in October this year. As it was expected, Turkey's position was so severe that some democratic congressmen withdrew their signatures from the bill. Will Turkey be committed to this position against the legislative body of the US, Turkey's friend and ally for long years?

- Adoption of the draft Resolution 106, which characterizes the events of 1915 as genocide, by the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on October 10 is very regretful. The adoption of this bill caused fair protest of both our government and the people. US government's decisive move to prevent the House of Representatives from putting the unjust and groundless bill on the agenda is praiseworthy. The recent processes show that some members of the Congress, who supported the bill, also understand our anxiety and fair arguments. In this regard, I would like to underline that I believe the members of the Congress will act with the responsibility of Turkish-American friendship and that we will continue our activity for preventing the adoption of the bill, which may damage our relations with the US. Turkey put forward constructive proposals for revealing historical truths. We offered Armenia to establish a joint historical commission for investigating the events of 1915, to search the archives in Turkey, Armenia and third countries and inform the international community about the results. We will not forget that instead of accepting our proposal, which we believed will establish friendship and cooperation in the region, Armenia pursues purposeful policy, directed towards the adoption of the bill, both behind the curtains and openly.

- The letter your wrote to Armenian president in May in 2005 and your goodwill was not reacted analogously. The government's program does not touch on this issue either. Did you think of reviewing the relations with Armenia after the decision of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs? Armenian president and foreign minister greeted this decision.

- We proposed establishment of joint historical commission, opening of archives, establishing condition for historians' investigations in these archives taking step on strengthening relations with Armenia in 2005. But Armenia did not reply to our gesture. On the contrary we saw that Armenia supported decision of US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. This approach does not coincide with neighborhood policy. We are taking several steps unilaterally, but do not see its response. Can we hope in normalizing relations in such a situation? Our relations can not be normalized if Armenia raises issues between the two countries in the Parliaments of the third countries.

-Withdrawal of Armenians who occupied 20% of Azerbaijani lands caused vain of the settlement of the conflict in the framework of OSCE Minsk Group. But Azerbaijan states that it will use all means for liberating its lands. Is it not time for signing security cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan?

-You know Turkey's position on the occupation of Nagorno Karabakh and 7 surrounding regions of Azerbaijan by Armenians. Turkey always supports Azerbaijan in the framework of its capabilities. Turkey continues to support efforts on eliminating invasion fact which is opposed to international law norms as a member of OSCE Minsk Group.

Our support in this direction will further continue. We believe in the necessity of solving problem peacefully and in the frame of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

Turkey and Azerbaijan cooperate in many fields, namely in political, military, economic, commercial, cultural and other sectors. We achieved development and strengthening of mutual cooperation through mutual respect and activity. We think that our cooperation sticks to strong legal bases. We are proud of Azerbaijan's taking estimable place in world and region through reforms Azerbaijan carries out in economics, democracy and human rights, Azerbaijan's rich energy resources. We continue our activity for implementing railway project Baku-Tbilisi-Kars after pipelines Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum we implemented jointly with fraternal Azerbaijan and neighbor Georgia. The main issue is to strengthen and deepen our relations with such strategic and economic projects.

- How do you assess significance of 11th Friendship, Brotherhood and Cooperation Congress of Turkic States and Communities to be held in Baku on November 17-19 with your participation?

- Role of NGOs is great in the formation of public opinion in Western countries. Decision was made on uniting principles and purposes of Turkish and Azerbaijani Diaspora organizations in the 1st Forum of Turkish-Azerbaijani Diasporas I attended along with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held in Baku on March 9, 2007. I believe that 11th Friendship, Brotherhood and Cooperation Congress of Turkic States and Communities to be held in Baku on November 17-19 will be right step to be taken in this direction.


RA President Surprised That There Are Pro-Turkish Forces In Armenia
14.11.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ “It was a surprise to learn that there political forces in Armenia, which think that Turkey and Azerbaijan should become Armenia’s major strategic partners,” RA President Robert Kocharian told reporters in Yerevan.

“I did not expect such a pro-Turkish grasp even from the Armenian National Movement. If there are people or parties sharing this opinion, they can unite and then explain their vision of Armenia’s future,” the President said, Novosti Armenia reported.


Blame Ottoman Empire For Genocide, Not Modern-Day Turkey
By David Collins, November 14, 2007
Re: A. Elizabeth Kachadoorian Pressey's Oct. 28 commentary, "Genocide cannot be ignored":

Pressey's commentary sounds all too familiar. My fraternal and maternal grandfathers both came to the United States to escape the conscription of Jewish men and boys into the czar's armies where they were nothing but cannon fodder.

My grandmother and my mother (baby in arms) were smuggled out of Russia and into Germany where they boarded a ship to New York where they join my maternal grandfather. My father's mother and my father were also smuggled out of Russia and into Germany for the trip to New York.

Other members of our family took steps to smuggle their children out of Austria and areas under the German sphere of influence. Many of them did not fare as well and were murdered by the SS or were sent to concentration camps and never seen again.

The atrocities committed under the leadership of Adolf Hitler were dealt with at the Nuremberg war-crimes trials. The pain remains. The memories remain. I can never forget that I am a product of those horrific times. Possibly, that is why I have built a life I can be proud of and a family with solid values.

I must, however, take exception to Pressey's repeated assertion that Turkey is responsible for the crimes committed against the ethnic Armenians. Turkey became a nation Nov. 1, 1922, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. At that point in time, the Ottoman Empire and its dynasty of sultans was abolished.

Prior to that time, the Ottoman Empire encompassed an area that included today's Hungary, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Romania, Moldavia, Bulgaria southern Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iraq, Kuwait, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, eastern and western Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, eastern Yemen, Egypt, northern Libya, Tunisia and northern Algeria.

The reality was that the Ottomans were responsible for the Armenian tragedy.

World War I raged from 1914 to 1918. The Ottomans entered the war on the side of the Central Powers. The defeat of Germany meant the end of the Ottoman Empire.

If there is a responsibility for what happened to the Armenians and other ethic groups during the Ottoman reign, then it lies squarely on the shoulders of the sultans and the other leaders of the Ottoman Empire.

The Turkey that Ataturk founded as a democracy is a model of what a nation with a population that is 80 percent Muslim can accomplish without the divisive sectarian upheaval as we are witnessing in Iraq. Every new nation, especially one as new as Turkey, needs to find its way and join in union with the other European states.

Turkey is a modern powerhouse of industry and technology. Every day, Turkey is showing that it has earned the right to be a member of the European Union. Its economy is stabilizing. It does not deserve to be crucified for the sins of the Ottomans.

— David Collins lives in Newbury Park. Between 1994 and 2000, he traveled regularly to Turkey on business.
Comments

Posted by desdave on November 14, 2007 at 7:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with all of your reasoning. What, other than for political purposes, will be served by angering one of our strong allies with this ridiculous condemnation that congressional democrates are trying to push thru? As atated, Turkey did not even exist when these acts took place. I don't recall that we have done the same thing with Germany or Japan for the horrible things they did during WWII. Wouldn't that make more sense, being that those 2 countries exist today much as they did at the time?

Posted by cassandra on November 14, 2007 at 9:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

As I understand it, the Congressional declaration simply acknowledged the genocide, not that modern Turkey had responsibility for it. The problem is that modern Turkey took offense and thereby took on that appearance.

The rationale for the declaration was that a. it was true b. the survivors and their descendants are quite old and needed to see the truth acknowledged before they died off.

It's a great pity that genocide is not acknowledged more timely. Like when it's happening.

The above commenter is mistaken--the Nuremberg trials actually mentioned by the columnist condemned the horrible things done by Germany under the Third Reich and Japanese atrocities especially those committed in China or to prisoners of war has been well documented in film and official pronouncements. Moreover every August the A bombing of Hiroshima is commemorated locally.

There is little that can be done for the victims of such horrors, but they at least deserve the dignity of having their truth told.

Posted by TimeArrow on November 14, 2007 at 10:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Politics is the only reason this is a blip on the radar. To me, this is similar in some respects to a situation here in the U.S.

Some "professional mouths" want our generation to pay money to the descendants of those to whom bad things happened in the U.S. in the 1800's---even though 664,928 Americans on the right side were casualties in a war that ended up as the first step in their liberation from slavery.

It ended up taking a long time, but leave the past alone already! We need to focus on today and to go forward.

Leave today's Turkey alone. They have enough challenges ahead of them.

Posted by lthrnek on November 14, 2007 at 10:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's becoming no longer odd to hear the liberals among us drag out past atrocities to further their complaints today. What a shame to see all that intellectual power going to waste. Wouldn't it be great if they would use their brain power to suggest logical approaches to today's problems?
VenturaCountyStar.com


Shimon Peres: It Would Be Logical To Assess Events Of Early 20th Century Basing On Historical Research
13.11.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ During a joint press conference with the Turkish President, Israeli leader Shimon Peres touched upon the Armenian issue and the Armenian Genocide resolution.

“Israel has always supported and will support Turkey’s proposal to form a joint commission of historians. It would be logical to assess events of the early 20th century basing on a historical research,” he said, Yerkir online reports.


Book About Armenian Genocide Published In Russia
13.11.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ A book titled “We are alive… We are still on the way… Ag Tah: a four-year battle,” was published in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

The Yerkramas, the newspaper of Armenians of Russia reported that book contains recollections of those who survived the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Nazar Kapikian and Kulpek Galustian, the authors of the memoirs, served in small defense units for four years. These were the years of heroic resistance of the people who were persecuted for just being Armenians.

Kapikian and Galustian’s memoirs were first published in Paris in 1932. By initiative of their heirs, the book was translated into Russian and published this year.

“This is not a book of reproach or a book of justification. This is a book of the truth,” the publishers said.


Blunder Of Genocide
13 November 2007, Sabah /ERAREN
The national assembly makes Atatürk say the word 'genocide' in the book it published.

Grand National Assembly of Turkey translated Atatürk's speeches into today's Turkish language by simplification and reduction in 1987. Atatürk's words that "Armenian massacre did not happen" were included in the book as "Armenian genocide did not happen".

Atatürk says 'massacre' the national assembly interprets as 'genocide'

In 1987, the national assembly made a book of Atatürk's speeches while establishing the national assembly. The book simplifies Atatürk's speech and uses 'genocide' instead of 'massacre' by mistake.

Grand National Assembly of Turkey translated Atatürk's speeches into today's Turkish language by simplification and reduction and compiled them in a book. It has turned out that the word "massacre" was translated as "genocide". While the preparations for issuing a communiquagainst "Armenian Genocide" at the national assembly are going on, the blunder came out during the examination of book. The book was issued twice during the period when Necmettin Karaduman was assigned as the parliament speaker in 1987.


If Our Friends Do It, It Is Not Genocide
November 13, 2007
The Genocide Prevention Task Force was unveiled at the National Press Club this morning.

The task force is being co-chair by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen.

It’s being convened by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the United States Institute of Peace.

In addition to Cohen and Albright, its members include: John Danforth, Tom Daschle, Stuart Eizenstat, Michael Gerson, Dan Glickman, Jack Kemp, Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, Tom Pickering, Julia Taft, Vin Weber, and Anthony Zinni.

“The world agrees that genocide is unacceptable and yet genocide and mass killings continue,” Albright said. “Our challenge is to match words to deeds and stop allowing the unacceptable. That task – simple on the surface – is in fact one of the most persistent puzzles of our times. We have a duty to find the answer before the vow of ‘never again’ is once again betrayed.”

“We are convinced that the U.S. government can and must do better in preventing genocide – a crime that threatens not only our values but our national interests,” Cohen said.

But after the opening remarks, Cohen and Albright hit a buzz saw of skeptical questioning from reporters in the First Amendment Room.

“How do you reconcile your work in trying to build a moral American consensus against genocide when just very recently each of you signed letters urging America not to recognize the Armenian genocide?” a reporter asked Cohen and Albright.

“This mission is about the future,” Albright answered. “We want to look at ways to try and prevent genocide and mass killing. That is the purpose of this task force. The former Secretaries of State recognized that terrible things happened to the Armenians and tragedies. The letter was primarily about whether this was the appropriate time to raise the issue.”

“The fact is that all of us who signed were concerned about the level of killings and the human suffering that took place between 1915 and 1923,” Cohen said. “There was also a very deliberate decision to say that we are engaged in warfare at the moment. We have our sons and daughters who are at risk. And we felt that to have the resolution brought might result in reactions on the part of the Turkish government that could place our sons and daughters in greater jeopardy. It was a very practical decision that was made. This was not to say that we overlooked what took place in the past. We are saying – at this point forward, what do we do? How do we marshal public opinion? How do we marshal political action? How do we generate the will to take action in a society that has been reluctant to do so in the past? It involves multiple levels of complexity.”

“If we are saying that this isn’t the right time to acknowledge this genocide, does that mean that you are arguing that for political expedience purposes, we are not going to be taking action on nor should we take action on future genocides because of what are perceived to be U.S. interests?” another reporter asked.

“We are saying there are no absolutes in this,” Cohen answered. “We are going to try and set forth a set of principles that will serve as a guide. And hopefully that guide will allow political leadership in this country and elsewhere. This is not something where the United States is advocating unilateral action. We are talking about the United States taking a lead to help shape public opinion – certainly domestically but also internationally. And this will involve multiple considerations, multiple political factors that have to be taken into account. We hope this endeavor will be successful in pursuing mass killings and genocide in the future.”

“I also do think that it is important to recognize that even if terrible things happened in the past, they do not need to happen in the future,” Albright said. “And that is what this is about. In no way does it put the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on anybody’s behavior. On the contrary. It is to examine people’s behavior. It is very important for us to move forward.”

“It sounds as if you are both saying – if our friends do it, it is not genocide,” said another reporter. “And if our enemies do it, it is genocide. A professor at the University of Haifa, Ilan Pappe, has written recently that he believes there is genocide ongoing in Gaza and ethnic cleansing in the West Bank. But you folks wouldn’t agree with that because Israel is our friend and we couldn’t say that about Israel. Secretary Cohen, you say – we can’t say that about Turkey and the Armenian genocide because our boys and girls are in harm’s way. If you are going to define genocide by who does it, not by what it is, your task force is in trouble.”

“I don’t know that even the UN has declared that genocide occurred in the Armenian situation,” Cohen said. “We are trying to look forward rather than backwards. On the issue of whether genocide is taking place in the West Bank and Gaza – certainly that will be part of [what] the task force [is] looking at.”

“Yes, there is an element of pragmatism,” Cohen said. “If someone else’s son or daughter is in harm’s way, that is a factor that I as an American citizen and as a former Secretary of Defense would have to take into account. And would. And I think anyone serving public office necessarily has to have a set factors to take into account. It is not absolute. This will not be a document that says – this is when the line is crossed, this is the action that will be taken. These are going to be guidelines. They themselves will serve a valuable purpose. It will help to at least raise the issue to a level of both domestic and international concern – hopefully stirring action. That is our goal.”

“When you are in the government, and you have to make very tough decisions, you have to look at the overall picture,” Albright said. “Otherwise, we are not going to get off the ground. These are very, very hard issues. I would definitely not accept your definition – if friends do it, it’s okay, and if enemies do it, it is not. I find that just an unacceptable premise. This task force is going to set forth guidelines for practical action by the United States government. Which is why we want to present this by the end of next year.”

“You can have all kinds of emotional arguments why something is wrong and then you never get it off the ground,” she said. “You ultimately have to take practical action. That is what is happening in the United States. We are not going to get ourselves into emotional appeals. Because that is not going to work. We are interested in practical steps.”

“The experience of the Armenians does indeed conform with the UN Convention,” another reporter shot back at Cohen. “In fact, Elie Wiesel has said that the denial of the genocide is the final stage of the genocide. The two of you have personally worked toward ascertaining that the United States government does not take a stand recognizing the Armenian genocide. This is of course based on real, practical political considerations, that you mentioned. However, taking on this new role, how can you reconcile your positions and the U.S. foreign policy? How can you provide credibility that your recommendations will be of use to the United States in its foreign policy and will not be words on a piece of paper that will be acceptable but the US will not follow up on?”

“You talk about political expediency,” Cohen responded. “As Secretary of Defense, I had responsibility for every man and woman who was serving in our armed forces. And yes, I would have to take into account whether or not I was placing them in greater jeopardy in order to make a declaration for something that happened back between 1915 and 1923. I would have to weigh that. And frankly, I think the former Secretaries of Defense – Republicans and Democrats alike – all came to the same conclusion. We could not put our men and women in greater danger under these circumstances. Does that mean that we are not in a position to look forward and say – here are some of the things that happened in the past, here are some of the things we did not do in the past, here is something that needs to be done in the future? There is no absolute right or wrong. It’s not all black and white. We are going to have to take these into account. You as a private citizen will be in a position to say – here is a document issued by this esteemed group. What do you Mr. President, what do you Mr. Secretary, intend to do about the atrocities currently taking place in x-country? Are your abdicating your moral leadership, abdicating the U.S. responsibility to lead? To gather and galvanize international support to do something – disinvestment in that particular country, condemning the leadership of that country? Having dealt with ethnic cleansing in the past, to take that experience, as well as what took place in Armenia, as well as what took place in Rwanda, now in Darfur, and say – this is how we have to lead on this issue.”

“It’s important to recognize what we said in the letter,” Albright said. “While we were secretaries, we recognized that mass killings and forced exile had taken place, and we also said that the U.S. policy has been all along for reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia on this particular issue. I do think that one of the things that this task force will ultimately recommend is that the parties to the problem have to acknowledge what happened. That is part of the issue. There is not one answer to fit all. This task force is about the future – about preventing genocide.”
CorporateCrimeReporter.com ,Washington, D.C.


Number Of Illegal Foreign Workers Mounts
The number of foreign workers in Turkey has increased significantly in the last few years with the total number of illegal workers now reaching over a million, according to new government data.

According to estimates by the Employment and Social Security Ministry, the number of foreigners working illegally in Turkey has surged over the 1 million mark.

According to the data provided by the Employment and Social Security Ministry, there are just 30,000 foreign nationals in legally employed in Turkey. Historically foreigners generally worked as executives of multinational corporations in Turkey. However, the profile of the foreign worker has recently changed. Now unqualified labor from foreign countries has started to come to Turkey to work. It was in 1998 that Turkey first started to keep records on work permits issued to foreigners. Accordingly just 386 foreign nationals obtained work permits in Turkey in 1998, while this figure rose 10-fold in 1999 to 3,689 and hit 5,475 in 2000.

There has been a continuous rise in the number of foreigners working in Turkey. The number of foreigners working in Turkey climbed from 17,412 in 2002 to 30,000 in November 2007. Formerly only foreign corporations tended to employ foreigners as executives, but now Turkish companies, too, recruit foreign executives for their top posts. Most of the foreign executives who have started to work and live in Turkey are located in Istanbul. In 2002 11,809 of 17,412 foreign workers were living in Istanbul. This year approximately 20,000 of 30,000 such workers opted to live in Istanbul, followed by Ankara and Izmir. Other popular locations for foreign workers are tourism centers such as Antalya, Mersin and Mugla. These provinces are followed by the industrial cities such as Bursa, Kocaeli, Gaziantep, Tekirdag, Sakarya, Manisa and Denizli. Recently, Artvin, Kütahya, Balikesir, Konya and Kahramanmaras have started to attract foreign workers to their mining operations.

Haven for foreign managers

Due to both an increase in foreign capital investment in Turkey and Turkish companies’ aspirations to play a more active part in international markets the foreign workforce in Turkey has grown steadily, particularly during the last four years. Managers have the biggest share in this workforce. Among the foreigners who have obtained a work permit from Turkey, there are 2,624 managers. They are followed by marketers (1,233), general managers (834) and company shareholders (819). As the number of foreign workers has increased, the number of translators has also increased. There are 683 foreign translators on the books. Furthermore, the need for more qualified professions, mostly of a technical nature, seems to have risen in parallel to the country’s industrialization. Thus, there are 507 engineers, 40 electrical engineers, 49 IT experts, 25 mechanical engineers and 14 aviation engineers from foreigners. There are also some interesting professions such as three baklava masters, five stablemen and five jockeys.

Illegal workers exceed million mark

According to estimates by the Employment and Social Security Ministry, the number of foreigners working illegally in Turkey has surged over the 1 million mark. Russian citizens represent the biggest group among illegal foreign workers, followed by people from the Turkic republics.

The ministry’s estimates are based on the data provided by the General Directorate of Security. However, there are doubts about the accuracy of this data as the general directorate assumes that foreigners who have not exited the country following the expiration of their work permit are currently working illegally. According to the data provided by the general directorate, 467,768 foreigners were seized either for illegal exit from, or entrance to, the country or for illegally residing in the country. Among them, there were 28,573 Afghans, 12,844 Bangladeshis, 8,982 Bulgarians, 12,028 Georgians, 98,493 Iraqis, 22,013 Iranians, 43,087 Moldavians, 27,070 Pakistanis, 18,690 Romanians, 14,624 Russians and 14,726 Ukrainians.

Factors drawing illegal workers

The war in the Middle East during the 1980s, the Gulf War of 1991, civil wars in some Asian countries, troubles in Africa and Asia and the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc are listed as reasons for the surge of illegal employment in Turkey. There are several reasons why Turkey, which once sent many of its citizens to foreign countries like Germany, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Australia as workers, has now become a honey pot for foreign workers. First, Turkey is a passage to EU countries. Turkey sees illegal workers from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Algeria, Somalia, Nigeria, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Balkans.

Illegal workers from Eastern countries generally are trying to escape from poverty, authoritarian systems and political pressures of religious systems while those from Western countries tend to be attracted to favorable working conditions in Turkey. Some of the workers from Eastern countries use Turkey as a passage to Europe while those from Western countries generally return to their home countries after earning their targeted income.
14.11.2007, ERCAN YAVUZ ANKARA


AAA Welcomes Unraveling Conspiracy That Lies Behind Dink Murder
13.11.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian Assembly of America issued the following statement in response to news reports indicating that two Turkish soldiers have been arrested and charged with abuse of power in connection with January’s shooting death of the noted Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

“We are encouraged that the investigation into the assassination of Hrant Dink is unraveling the conspiracy that lies behind his shooting death,” said Bryan Ardouny, executive director of the Armenian Assembly of America. “It was evident from the start that more than a lone gunman was involved in the plot. The people of Istanbul understood that by striking down such an outspoken individual, these dark forces hoped to silence the voices of all those who agreed with Hrant Dink. Turkey has a long way to go to show the rest of the world that it is serious about protecting free speech, but today's action is a step in the right direction.”

The names of the two soldiers have not yet been released but news reports indicate that the two men, members of a paramilitary force, each face up to two years in prison for the shooting. The shooting death of Dink has sparked world-wide condemnation of Turkey for its antiquated laws that prohibit free speech, including banning anyone from talking about the well-established fact of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Turks in 1915. This provision, known as “Article 301,” has come under fire for giving Turkey cover to harass anyone who is believed to have insulted “Turkishness.”

Ardouny added: “We urge Turkey to abolish Article 301 of its Penal Code, which is used to muzzle free speech, and rethink its opposition to the genocide resolution (H. Res. 106) pending before the U.S. Congress. The resolution affirms the historical truth, and Turkey has an opportunity to demonstrate that it is committed to taking steps toward protecting human rights and free speech inside its borders.”


Levon Ter-Petrosian As A Tool Of Armenia’s Destabilisation
IntelliBriefs, November 13, 2007, Source : http://en.fondsk.ru/

A long awaited happening, the interest to which had been fanned for months, took place in Armenia. On October 26, 2007 former president Levon Ter-Petrosian, currently an actual leader of Armenian National Movement (ANM), the former ruling party made a 90-minute speech in Theatre Square in Yerevan. Despite quite a few logical discrepancies, pseudo-historic excursions, dubious allusions and populist declarations he declared his intention to run for presidency in February of 2008. Many people attended the meeting, but those who are still sincerely fond of the former president were evidently in the minority. There were many people who were there out of sheer curiosity and those who are always displeased with any acting authority.

On the eve of the meeting radical opposition from the pro-Western movement “Alternative” provoked clashes with police, which were immediately taken advantage of for the stirring up the situation, given that usually the authorities do not prevent their opposition from holding meetings, asking them to observe the law and order. Some Armenian media characterise the tactics used by the ex-president and his supporters as the willingness “to aggravate the internal situation, forcing the authorities to make another mistake at any cost.”1 Unsanctioned meetings, office capture raids and blocking the bodies of state, stirring up of domestic disorder and interference in the work of election commissions can be disguised as “spontaneous” people’s protest. A dramatic rise of foodstuffs prices can stimulate the spreading of rumours about “inevitable” political and socio-economic upheavals. This tactic has been tested many times in the countries where the “colour” coups were organised; in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kirghizia. An attempt of a coup undertaken by the radical opposition in Yerevan in 2004 (organised, along with others by Aram Sarkisian and Stepan Demirchian, who were seen together with Ter-Petrosian October 26) met with hard but legally correct suppression. Another Western project in the republic was Artur Bagdasarian, who finally discredited himself during the May 2008 parliamentary elections. What are we to expect this time?

The tonality of many statements of “the soft intellectual” Ter-Petrosian proves that the new election campaign will be quite acute. Again, as in the late 1980s, when Ter-Petrosian was desperate about gaining power, the wedge of a slogan “Struggle, struggle till the end!” has been forced in. But the fact that the “mafia-type clan regime” is criticised by none other than the genuine architect of this regime, is amusing. Ter-Petrosian’s call for bringing order to the nation looks especially mocking, given that the destruction of Armenia’s economy and key elements of its infrastructure (except for, maybe, the young national army) during his stint was systemic and targeted.

The rampage of arbitrariness was written off as inevitable aftermath of hostilities and Azerbaijanian blockade, which in particular were to deepen the “anti-Karabakhs” sentiment in the Armenian society. Using the Karabakh issue as a springing board for his leap to power, all his years as president Ter-Petrosian was obstinately pushing through his idea of making Karabakh prisoner of Azerbaijan (under the guise of “autonomy”), calling that “realism”2. However the fact that head of the Armenian state promised the earth to Ankara, reassuring the nation that a day will come when Turkey would unlock the frontier while Karabakh Armenians were on the brink of a physical destruction, spoke about helplessness and incompetence rather than the pursuance of foreign policies that could meet the nation’s interests…

The 1996 presidential elections were openly falsified to give the victory to Ter-Petrosian; opposition was suppressed never stopping of using tanks. In 1997, when the setoff between Ter-Petrosian on the one hand and other members of the political and military establishment on the other became evident, it was exactly the presidential side that resorted to a political combination aimed at the removal of the president’s opponents from the bodies of power. Attempts to provoke a political crisis by way of a series of acts of terror leading the way to a dismissal of prime-minister (Robert Kocharian) or the Minister of Interior and Security (Serge Sarkisian)met with the hard public opposition of Defence Minister Vazgen Sarkisian3.

And in 1999, shortly before his tragic death, speaking at parliament prime-minister Vazgen Sarkisian said to the nation that the energy crisis was not a result of the Karabakh war. To quote the documents of the interim parliamentary committee that investigated abuse of power at the time: “2058 railway cars with 115,000 tonnes of fuel oil shipped to the Razdan and Yerevan power stations in 1992 were not registered, as well as 1184 tank-cars at the Razdan power station (66,000 tonnes) and 874 tank-cars at the Yerevan power station (49,000 tonnes)4…

There were many other facts of this kind. The real cause of the crisis were rampant theft, total irresponsibility and the lack of experience of running the state of the ANM activists. The situation in the republic was precisely characterised by the statement of the former interior Minister Vano Siradegian in one of his interviews when he called the then prime-minister Grant Bagratian, the follower of Yegor Gaidar, “a madman”, who was running the national economy. In turn, Siradegian was accused of organising a series of contract killings5, and is now hiding somewhere outside of Armenia.

At present, a decade and a half after that many were naïve enough to expect former president Ter-Petroisan to admit his mistakes, recalling the hardships Armenians suffered in the first half of the 1990s. And naturally, their expectations were futile. According to the BBC7, he was not going to explain anything, as he did not think it necessary to give explanations in the early 1990s when the country was chilled to the bone without electricity and hot water for three years and when trees were cut in Yerevan for fuel. The former president did not change and did not learn his lessons. He confirmed that at the October 26 meeting saying: ”I am what I am, and that is the way I will stay.”7

Robert Kocharian must be right thinking the Armenians do not wish to see a comeback of things of the past. During his stay in Megri, Kocharian made first evaluation of his predecessor’s intentions to return to power. He observed that Levon Ter-Petrosian was not a principal candidate for presidency, so he would hardly be in the focus of public attention. Recalling the sad results of the ANM parliamentary campaign he added:”Seeing that the national economy has been restored, ANM again decided the time came to rob. With their mouths watered, they decided to lean on the resource of the former president8.

Certain groups in Armenia (a rather small country where informal relations and kinship play an important role) and influential players abroad (also a significant factor) are undoubtedly interested in the “advancement” of Ter-Petrosian. Confidence in self-righteousness of some of the ANM activists is organically combined with the anti-Russian rhetoric of a tonality close to that of their “senior brothers” in Georgia and Ukraine. It is curious to mention that Azeris also back Ter-Petrosian, doing that in a very unusual way. The most frenzied are yearning for blood9, while others wage the information war more skilfully, stating in particular that the hypothetical arrival of Ter-Petrosian to power will not be to the advantage of Azerbaijan as the man will – allegedly – rapidly put an end to the Russian presence, maintaining good relations with Washington, thus weakening Baku’s positions in negotiations on Nagorno Karabakh. Such propaganda ambiguities are made largely with an eye to Armenian Internet users who scoop their information from Azeri web sites…

There is no one questioning the importance of combating corruption, protection of human rights and the rights of a citizen, unless that becomes a pretext for interference in internal affairs of another state, a total or partial liquidation of its sovereignty and the formation of a state power system managed from outside10. The current Armenian leadership can be assessed differently. It has not yet solved many acute socio-economic problems. For example, the system of central heating in Yerevan that had “passed away” in the “glorious” days of Ter-Petrosian’s rash liberalism has not yet been restored. Karabakh, once a well-developed industrialized suburb of the Armenian capital now looks like a battlefield with its half-broken buildings with yawning broken windows that previously housed production workshops, robbed during the wild privatization campaign. However, one cannot fail but acknowledge positive changes Robert Kocharian spoke about: in 1997 Armenia’s budget amounted to a mere 300 million dollars, whereas in 2008 its revenues are expected to amount to $2.28 billion with expenditure amounting to $2.5 billion. The sizes of state budgets and GDP of Armenia and Georgia are about the same11, even though Georgia is in a much more favourable situation, given bigger territory and population, an access to the sea, and its sizeable revenues thanks to implementing together with Azerbaijan and Turkey joint communications projects. Lavish contributions to the current Tbilisi leadership for its anti-Russian line should not be disregarded either (by the way, one of the accusations Ter-Petrosian’s backers lay on the authorities is Armenia’s isolation from these much touted projects). However, expansion of the Turkish capital into Georgia in mid-term perspective can have quite unexpected consequences affecting its ethnic and confessional situation and stability.

Meanwhile to meet its national interests Armenia started implementing its own projects. They include the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Iran to Armenia, potentially with a branch to Europe, and the project of establishing single energy space with Russia, Iran and Georgia, commissioning of a new automobile road crossing the Megri pass in the mountains, plans of installing the second unit of the Metsamor nuclear power station, a petroleum refinery and a railway line from Armenia to Iran. In the times of Ter-Petrosian who cherished the idea of turning Armenia into a “Middle East crossroads “ the like of Lebanon, and who recently stated that the border between Armenia and Iran is effectively non-existent due to the complicated surface geometry of the region, such plans could not be even dreamed of. Peace and stability are required for the implementation of such projects, but given the unyielding stance of Azerbaijan in the issue of Nagorno Karabakh12 and its rapid militarization, the republic of Nagorno Karabakh in its present-day borders is a significant element of maintaining the balance of forces in the region.

Ter-Petrosian’s chances of winning the election are as good as nil. According to serious observers, in reality he can only count on the support of not more than a fraction of several percents of the electorate. His only hope is provoking meetings in the streets, pumping up destructive emotions, provoking dissent in the armed forces and law enforcement agencies and what is more dangerous, fanning parochial sentiment (for example, using the scenario of Aiastan – Karabakh setoff), the distinguishing feature of Ter-Petrosian’s “leadership” (especially in the last period of his presidency). Such event would inevitably throw the country back to late 1980s, the period of general upheaval, revolution-like street meetings that pushed him up to the top of presidential power in 1991. Such upheavals spell no good whatever.

Significant effort will be made to dupe the republic‘s citizens. This is an organic component of a possible scenario of the internal political destabilisation. The potential role of the indefatigable minority charged ideologically and amply fed from outside in both organisational and financial terms. In the event anyone else but Ter-Petrosian win the elections Western observers could come up with a bulletproof statement acknowledging their results as illegitimate. For greater persuasiveness some exit-pool results can be presented that would allegedly unequivocally support the “right” candidate. The outer legitimisation of the capture of political authority usually goes hand in hand with a strong information and propaganda pressure, including diplomatic channels (statements of official representatives of the U.S. State Department, PACE and OSCE foreign observers)13. What will be important at that stage will be the final result, hectic work to fit Armenia into the pro-Western “sanitary cordon” along the borders of Russia and Iran, whereas the actual transparency of the elections and presence or absence of falsifications will have no meaning whatsoever14?

The Russian presence in the Transcaucasia in the wake of the hasty and ill thought-out withdrawal of troops from Georgia as well as the forced Azerbaijan’s western drift (the summit of “the Caspian group of Five” would hardly reverse this process) is safeguarded, first and foremost, by union relations with Armenia and mutually advantageous cooperation with Iran (which still is to take its final shape). Implementation of major economic projects with the Russian participation in this region is hardly feasible due to the absence of Russia’s firm military and political positions. So Moscow is interested in the maintenance of stability in Armenia, continuity of its policies after the presidential elections and the continued presence in power of forces oriented toward consolidation of union relations with Russia. It is in Russia’s interests to back Armenia in this complicated period, promoting the smooth-going inner political processes in that country.

Moscow’s clear and unambiguous position in the eventuality of boosted attempts to shake Armenian situation during the pre-election period would by and large be decisive for ensuring stability both in that republic and in the Caucasus.
_______________________
1 Azg. Oct.25,2007.

2 Due to the efforts of Ter-Petrosian and his team attempts to formalise the international subject’s legality of Nagorno Karabakh were undermined at the turn of 1991 and 1992 The move was extremely important in the wake of the break-up of the USSR and the referendum in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. Dec 10, 1991. – See: Shavarash Kochiarian’s interview to newspaper “Voice of Armenia” Oct.6,2007.

3 A.Migranian. Armenian Lessons (politics)// Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Feb.25, 1998.

4 VDK Gave the Facts and Called Names// Voice of Armenia, March 23,2000

5 Se for ex.: Voice of Armenia, Feb.2,2000 and other reports.

6 M.Grigorian. Ter-Petrosian Aims at Presidency// http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/russian/international/newsid_7064000/7064729.stm

7 Ditto.

8 Novoye Vremya (Yerevan) Oct.27, 2007.

9 http://www.day.az/news/armenia/95755.html

10 V.Krasinski Elections as a Mechanism of Capture of Political Power and Pursuance of Foreign Policies // Military Political Journal No.3, 2006

11 See: http://rus.primenewsonline.com/news/122/ARTICLE/18531/2007-10-05.html, ?? ??????? - http://postsoviet.info/events/__756.html

12 Reports on Georgia. See V.Kazimirov. Is There a Way Out of the Karabakh Cul-de-sac? // Russia in the Global Politics. No.5, 2007.

13 V.Krasinskli (Elections as a Mechanism… - see above).

14 A short while ago Russia proposed limiting the activities of the OSCE observers on the post-Soviet space. This organization has long been a tool for interference into internal affairs of a number of states. Nevertheless, observers were already invited to attend the elections in both Russia and Armenia, but this proposal deserves to be kept in mind should some people get caught in another fit of pseudodemocratic phraseology.


Robert Fisk About George Bush: Turkey Transformed The Lion Into A Lamb
12.11.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "How are the mighty fallen!

President George Bush, the crusader king who would draw the sword against the forces of Darkness and Evil, he who said there was only "them or us", who would carry on, he claimed, an eternal conflict against "world terror" on our behalf; he turns out, well, to be a wimp. A clutch of Turkish generals and a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign on behalf of Turkish Holocaust deniers have transformed the lion into a lamb. No, not even a lamb for this animal is, by its nature, a symbol of innocence but into a household mouse, a little diminutive creature which, seen from afar, can even be confused with a rat. Am I going too far? I think not," renowned British journalist Robert Fisk writes in The Independent.

"The "story so far" is familiar enough. In 1915, the Ottoman Turkish authorities carried out the systematic genocide of one and a half million Christian Armenians. There are photographs, diplomatic reports, original Ottoman documentation, the process of an entire post-First World War Ottoman trial, Winston Churchill and Lloyd George and a massive report by the British Foreign Office in 1915 and 1916 to prove that it is all true. Even movie film is now emerging, real archive footage taken by Western military cameramen in the First World War, to show that the first Holocaust of the 20th century, perpetrated in front of German officers who would later perfect its methods in their extermination of six million Jews, was as real as its pitifully few Armenian survivors still claim," he continues.

"But the Turks won't let us say this. They have blackmailed the Western powers, including our own British Government, and now even the U.S., to kowtow to their shameless denials. These (and I weary that we must repeat them, because every news agency and government does just that through fear of Ankara's fury) include the canard that the Armenians died in a "civil war", that they were anyway collaborating with Turkey's Russian enemies, that fewer Armenians were killed than have been claimed, that as many Turkish Muslims were murdered as Armenians."

"Former Representative Robert L Livingston, a Louisiana Republican, has already picked up $12m from the Turks for his company, the Livingston Group, for two previously successful attempts to pervert the cause of moral justice and smother genocide congressional resolutions. He personally escorted Turkish officials to Capitol Hill to threaten U.S. congressmen."

"Who would have thought that the leader of the Western world, he who would protect us against "world terror", would turn out to be the David Irving of the White House?" he resumes.

David John Cawdell Irving is an English writer specializing in the military history of World War II.

Irving's status as a historian has been widely discredited as a result of controversy arising from his Holocaust denial and misrepresentation of historical evidence.


The Word "Genocide" In The Speeches Of Ataturk
AZG Armenian Daily 13/11/2007
According to "Noyan Tapan", in the collection of Mustafa Kemal's speeches published by Turkish National Big Assembly, the incidents of 1915 are mentioned as "genocide".

In 1987, under Negmettin Karaduman government, Turkish version of the collection of Ataturk's welcome speeches delivered in Turkish Meglis from 1920 to 1938 was published, where the word "massacre" was replaced by "genocide" in the speeches of the founder of Turkey.

Only after 20 years the "inadmissible" mistake was found out. President of Turkish linguistic company Doctor, Professor Shukryu Haluk Akalun demanded to correct it immediately.

Below we want to represent a fragment from the collection of Ataturk's speeches published by Turkish parliament, "English political figures, in the name of English Foreign Minister, delivered a note that says, "First, stop the measures against the states of ANTANTA and also the Greek. Second, renounce the genocide being committed against Armenians".


Turkey, Terrorism And Double Standards By Bruce Fein, November 13, 2007

The United States is imploring Turkey to desist from invading northern Iraq to combat the PKK, a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization that keenly relishes the slaughter of Turkish teachers, doctors, technicians, engineers, Kurdish village guards and police, and otherwise.

Concurrently, the United States asserts its own right to invade the sovereignty of any country in pursuit of suspected international terrorists. Thereby hangs a tale of United States double standards and the failure of the State Department's public diplomacy. A staggering 83 percent of Turks hold an unfavorable view of America. The corresponding figure in Germany is 66 percent.

The PKK sheltered by Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government threatens Turkey's military and civilians with mayhem and death every bit as much or more than al Qaeda threatens the United States. And the lives of Turks killed by PKK terrorist are worth as much as those of the victims of the September 11, 2001, abominations.

In its aftermath, the United States invaded Afghanistan for aiding and abetting al Qaeda. It kidnapped the Egyptian Abu Omar in Milan, Italy, and dispatched him to Egypt where he was tortured. The United States also kidnapped a German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, in Macedonia and detained and brutalized him in Afghanistan. Another terrorist was killed in Yemen in a U.S. rocket attack. President Bush has held international law empowers the United States to use its military anywhere on Earth to capture or kill al Qaeda suspects because the entire world is an active battlefield. Osama bin Laden has pledged to kill Americans any time, any place.

The United States acting as world policeman to protect its citizens was presaged by Army Gen. John "Blackjack" Pershing's punitive invasion of Mexico in 1916. Escalating border incidents early that year culminated in a raid of Columbus, New Mexico, by Pancho Villa's band of bandits on March 8. They killed 24 Americans. In retaliation, Gen. Pershing invaded Mexico with 10,000 troops in mid-March to capture Villa. The futile American expedition penetrated as far as Parral, 400 miles south of the border. U.S. clashes with Mexican Army units ensued. American troops were not withdrawn until February 1917, or 11 months after their entry into Mexico.

The PKK's murderous provocations against Turkey from the safety of the Kurdish Regional Government or elsewhere make Pancho Villa's villainies against the United States pale in comparison. With about 5,000 members under arms, the PKK has been responsible for the killings of tens of thousands, including Kurds horrified by its indiscriminate violence. The PKK also seeks dismemberment of Turkey despite its political, economic and cultural openings.

Exemplary of Turkey's broad political space, the Kurdish Democratic Society, which features a nationalist agenda uncritical of the PKK, captured 24 seats in parliamentary elections last July. Moreover, Kurds are well-represented in government, business and industry. They have been presidents and prime ministers. In the southeast where Kurds predominate, the government has invested more than $150 billion over the last three decades to spur economic development, vastly more than in any other region. On a parallel path, Turkish civil society organizations, particularly education and health-care charities, have focused their programs on aiding the needy there.

The ethnic identity, language and local cultures of Kurds are also respected. In recent years, radio and television broadcasts in Kurdish have been authorized; the Turkish Public Television broadcasts in Turkish; and private instruction in Kurdish is permitted. In sum, Kurds enjoy equal political, economic and cultural opportunities in Turkey, which makes PKK's terrorism even more reprehensible.

The United States lists the group as a foreign terrorist organization. Mr. Bush also has proclaimed there is no middle ground in the conflict with terrorism: If you are not with the United States, you are an enemy.

The State Department's 2007 Country Reports on Terrorism assailed the PKK and noted its operation in northern Iraq under the nose of the Kurdish Regional Government: "Most prominent among terrorist groups in Turkey is the... PKK. Composed primarily of Kurds with a historically separatist agenda, the PKK operated from headquarters in northern Iraq and directed forces to target mainly Turkish security forces, government offices, and villagers who opposed the PKK."

To borrow from George Orwell's "Animal Farm," the United States will win few friends by cynically insisting that all nations are equal in battling terrorism, but the United States is more equal than others.

Turkey's right to occupy or invade northern Iraq to capture and kill PKK terrorists is clear. The only question is whether exercising that right would be prudent.
Bruce Fein is a resident scholar at the Turkish Coalition of America. Copyright 2007 The Washington Times


Will There Be A War? by Ruben Safrastyan, 11 Nov 2007
Turkey might act on threats made to the United States if the Armenian Genocide Resolution passes said Tuesday Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Armenian Academy of Sciences Dr. Ruben Safrastyan, adding, however, that a Turkish retaliation will not do much harm to the U.S. "Turkey will evidently launch military operations in Northern Iraq as a form of revenge," he said, adding that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has already given the go ahead.

"An appropriate draft bill will be approved in the parliament. As to restricting the U.S. use of Incirlik base and blocking crucial supply routes to Iraq, I do not suppose Turkey will resort to such extreme measures," he commented. Passage of the H.Res.106 may lead Turkey expand its role as a regional power and adopt a more proactive foreign policy, said Safrastyan.

"Turkey wants to ensure its security at the expense of its neighbors. This tradition has been maintained since the times of the Ottoman Empire," he added. Although this resolution is non-binding and lacks the authority to force the President to use the term genocide, Dr. Safrastyan said, "Turkey has taken the opportunity to pursue its own foreign policy," he remarked. (Yerkir, 10-10-07)

According To Turkey Expert, Political Tensions Expected In USA
“Currently, Turkey cannot do everything it threatens to do. All they can do is suggesting symbolic steps,” Turkey expert Ruben Safrastyan told a Panorama.am journalist when answering a question as to what he expects to happen to Armenian-Turkish relations after the passage of House Resolution No. 106.

We note that yesterday the foreign relations committee of the US House of Representatives voted 27 for, 21 against in passing the resolution. In Safrastyan’s words, Turkey’s parliament will take a symbolic step and allow their armed forces to enter northern Iraq. “That is also seen as a step in pressuring the USA,” he insisted.

Safrastyan said that he didn’t expect the passage of the resolution to have any major affect on Armenia. “Armenia’s budget won’t get larger, and Armenia won’t get more foreign aid. We can only be happy that a large and important government recognized and condemned the Genocide. We have to be thankful for that,” he said.

Safrastyan says he can’t say for sure if the resolution will become law in the end. “The Bush administrations, and especially Condoleezza Rice, are fighting hard against the resolution. The reality is difficult, but many are on our side this time,” he added.

In any event, the resolution will now be passed on to Nancy Pelosi, who will present the resolution to the House of Representatives for discussion. “The House session continues until mid-November,” he said. “We’ll have to see if Pelosi will present the resolution in the current session or wait until after the winter break.” (Panorama.am, 10-12-07)

Kurds Are U.S. Real Allies In Region
“The decision of the Turkish parliament to approve incursion into northern Iraq doesn’t mean immediate action. This decision is not unexpected,” Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the RA Academy of Sciences, Prof. Ruben Safrastyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

“Erdogan’s government is free to act and it can launch operations any moment. I do not think it will be a large-scale incursion. The U.S. has already expressed discontent about this plan and will go on pressing. We should not forget that Kurds are U.S. real allies in the region. Although, judging from Erdogan’s statements, Turkey is ready to wrangle with the U.S.,” he said.

October 17, despite U.S. and NATO’s warnings, Turkish parliamentarians Okayed the government’s plans on a cross-border operation into northern Iraq for neutralization of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party rebels. (PanARMENIAN.Net, 10-18-07)

H.Res.106: Turkey Gains Its Ends For Last Time
Turkey has gained its ends but it happened for the last time, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the RA Academy of Sciences, Prof. Ruben Safrastyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter when commenting on the decision by H.Res.106 leading authors to call for a revised schedule for the House consideration.

The U.S. refused from vote on H.Res.106 in exchange for Turkey’s promise not to launch war in Iraq, according to him.

“Nevertheless, I think that the resolution will be put on vote and will be passed during the next Congress session in 2008. Turkey has exhausted its tools of pressure on the United States,” Prof. Safrastyan said. (PanARMENIAN.Net, 10-26-07)

Will There Be A War?
“Turkey seems to ease its will-power to resume a war but anti-Kurdish sentiments continue to be dominant,” Ruben Safrastyan, an expert in Turkish studies, told a news conference today, speaking about the situation on Turkish-Iraqi border.

The Turkish expert cannot forecast if there will be a war or not. However, referring to Turkish media, he said that the final decision will be reached on November 5, 6 when Turkish Prime Minister Erdoghan is in USA. Safrastyan believes that Turkey pushes back the European integration processes in its Middle East politics.

In the words of the expert, Turkish-Iraqi war is full of dangers. Without doubt, Turkish intentions are strong. Turkey is supported by the USA. “USA has started to provide intelligence information on Kurdish Working Party deployments in the mountains of Northern Iraq,” the expert said referring to the press secretary of Pentagon.

The next danger, according to the speaker, is that in case Turkey engages in large-scale actions in Iraqi Kurdistan, it will mean that Turkey engages in aggression against Iraq. The leadership of Iraq has announced that it will fight against such actions. It means war is inevitable. (Panorama.am, 11-01-07)

Turkey Uses Threats To Unleash War For Strengthening Its Geopolitical Position, Ruben Safrastian Considers
Abrupt aggravation of situation in the region, in particular, around North Iraq and Iran, as well as the fact that Armenian factor starts playing a bigger role in Turkey's policy requires conducting a precise policy by the Armenian Foreign Ministry, with taking into consideration existence of Armenian communities in these countries. Ruben Safrastian, the Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences, stated at the November 1 press conference.

In connection with possibility of Turkey's starting large-scale operations against Iraqi Kurdistan, he mentioned that Turkey is using threats to unleash a war for the purpose of receiving certain political dividends. In particular, thanks to these actions Turkey has already managed to freeze the issue of discussion of Resolution 106 on Armenian Genocide in U.S. Congress.

Besides, Turkey is using these threats to demonstrate its strength in the region and to prove that it is one of the most powerful states. "Through threats to start large-scale operations in North Iraq Turkey is trying to strengthen its geopolitical position in the region", R. Safrastian stated. (Noyan Tapan, 11-01-07)

Ankara Uses Kurds And War Threats For Strengthening Positions In Region
“The situation in the region is extremely tensed and complicated by three factors: the Turkey-Iraq collision, Iran’s nuclear program and strengthening of Turkey’s role in the region. Armenia can’t be indifferent about it,” Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the Institute of the Oriental Studies, told a news conference in Yerevan.

“There are Armenian communities in all Middle East states and the RA Foreign Ministry should closely watch the developments. It Turkey launches a major cross-border operation in northern Iraq it will inevitably lead to greater tensions. The PKK is menacing Ankara. In July 2007, the ruling AKP used Kurds for gaining a victory. As result, 1/3 of Turkish MPs are ethnic Kurds. If the situation deteriorates AKP will lose a part of mandates,” he said.

“War can deliver a heavy blow on the economy of southwest Turkey. The commodity turnover between Turkey and northern Iraq makes $2,5 – 3 billion with 200 thousand people engaged in business. Moreover, war would strain social problems in Turkey,” he said. “With strong anti-Kurdish propaganda, Ankara uses Kurds and war threats to strengthen positions in the region.” (PanARMENIAN.Net, 11-01-07)

Turkey Doesn’t Seek After EU Membership Any Longer?
“Turkey has restrained its diplomatic stride toward the European Union recently,” Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the Institute of the Oriental Studies, told a news conference in Yerevan. Turkey longs for domination in the Middle East but not in Europe, according to him.

“Position of leading European states, including France which doesn’t want to see it in the EU, is an important factor here. Furthermore, support for the European way of development wanes in Turkey,” he said.

The EU-Turkey entry talks opened in October 2005, although the bid was submitted in 1965. The Cypriot issue remains the major stumbling block for Turkish membership. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has numerously stated that ‘Turkey has no place in Europe’. Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, shares this opinion. (PanARMENIAN.Net, 11-01-07)

Russian Diplomacy Attempts To Revive Ussr Policy In Middle East
“The Russian diplomacy attempts to revive the USSR policy in Middle East, Dr Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, told a news conference in Yerevan.

“Russia is demonstrating wait-and-see attitude but the USSR used to support Kurds. Do not forget that Masoud Barzani’s father was a KGB agent and the old ties were certainly maintained,” he said adding that Russia’s line in the South Caucasus is still firm.

“Russia has the 102nd military base in Armenia. It has good relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan. However, the U.S. is determined to push Russia out of the region,” Dr Safrastyan said. (PanARMENIAN.Net, 11-01-07)

Armenia Is In The Focus Of Attention In The Region
Turkologist, Director of NAA (National Academy of Armenia) Institute of Oriental Studies Ruben Safrastian was the guest of "Hayatsk" club on Wednesday. He touched upon the three factors in the region, mentioning that the Armenian factor has gained a significant role in the world and especially Turkish policy. "In this case, Armenia is in the focus of attention in the region", he added.

The Situation In Iraqi Kurdistan Is Full Of Serious Consequences
Ruben Safrastian is sure that the latest developments around Iraqi Kurdistan of the North Iraq are full of serious consequences. According to him, if Turkey starts a war, it will raise the Kurdish factor not only in the region, but also in Turkey. The leading "Justice and development" party has many Kurd members, and in case of military operations, Turkey will lose part of its support and will weaken. Besides, the Kurdish "Democratic society" party, registered in Turkey, appealed Turkey for adding a point about the local autonomy of Kurdistan. Consequently, according to Safrastian, Turkey feels the activization of the Kurdish factor not only politically, but also economically, and it will not perform wide military operations. "Turkey uses the threats about wide military operations to strengthen its position in the region and to show the regional countries that it is a center of power", underlined Ruben Safrastian.

Turkey Decreased Its Efforts To Be Integrated In EU
Turkey is not only involved in the Middle Eastern policy recently, but also it finds there the bases for strengthening its position, according to the Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, "Turkish European diplomacy has weakened recently, in this case EU attitude is not important for Turkey", he said.

Adoption Of Resolution 106 Is The Armenians’ Victory
Mr. Safrastian is sure that adoption of Resolution 106 by US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee is the victory of all Armenians that showed the role of the Armenian factor in the world. "Armenian factor has its place in the world, and Turkey could only slow down that process with its menaces", mentioned the Turkologist.

Russia Is Still The Leader In The Region
"Russian diplomacy shows intentions in the recent period to recover the spheres of influences of the former USSR in the Middle East. What about the present crisis in North Iraq, Russia still shows a waiting attitude to those incidents. But we should not forget that Russia has close relations with Kurdish organizations and kept those connections", announced Mr. Safrastian. According to him, Russia still keeps the leader’s position in the region thanks to the Russian military bases allocated in Armenia, its wide economic relations, the gas factor in Armenia and the political connections.


Waiting For The End By Charles R. Larson*
On the occasion of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s talks with US President George W. Bush earlier last week, it is appropriate to talk about Turkish/American perceptions.

Recent polls indicate that about 85 percent of Turks have a negative attitude toward America. Coincidentally, the results for polls taken in the United States within the past few days indicate that 74 percent of Americans believe that their country is headed in the wrong direction. The latter figure is especially revealing, given that the majority of Americans have had their heads buried in the sand for most of the past six years. Oddly, these two polls line up fairly closely and perhaps that is where Turks can begin to be hopeful about the future of American-Turkish relations.

During my first visit to Turkey 10 years ago, I encountered nothing but enthusiasm for the United States from Turks. On a second visit a year after Sept. 11 those good feelings largely remained, all to my surprise, given that İstanbul seemed to be empty of tourists. Merchants were giving away their wares in the shops that catered to visitors; hotels were empty. Our Turkish friends (with whom we stayed on both occasions) took us to see an elegant old hotel near the Blue Mosque where the nightly rate on rooms had been slashed to about $10. Though Sept. 11 and its aftermath had largely caused the Turkish tourist business to collapse, I didn’t detect any genuine bitterness against Americans.

I did have one extraordinarily revealing conversation with a Turk at an archeological site we visited. He argued that people all around the world ought to be able to vote in American elections, because the consequences are always global. I appreciated his argument -- in fact, agreed with him.

This past summer, when my wife and I visited Turkey for a third time, much was changed. The polls had already told me that the great majority of Turks had an unfavorable impression of America. This was no revelation, but every time I hear something like this I wonder why Americans cannot be polled with similar questions. For example, “Who has done more lasting damage to the world -- Osama bin Laden or George W. Bush?” I certainly know how I would answer that question, as well as the way many American liberals would respond. But the question is never going to be asked.

The other difference I encountered this summer was the outright contempt perfect strangers expressed to me about Bush. Once again, I concurred. Virtually all the people I work and associate with believe that Bush is the worst president our country has ever had. There isn’t even a close second. Some of us wonder if we will ever live long enough to see the US regain its moral integrity.

Currently the US and Turkey appear to be at an impasse with one another and for a perfectly obvious reason. Since Sept. 11 the Bush government hasn’t wanted to listen to other opinions and negotiation is mostly a forgotten word. It’s impossible to regard “you’re either with us or against us” as a legitimate foreign policy. As Bush has lost credibility with the great majority of Americans, he has become obsessed with ordering other countries around, telling their leaders what to do and, worst of all, using his administration’s ubiquitous tactics of scaring everyone with terrorism and the possibility of attacking Iran. The policy would be laughable if it were not so frightful.

Fortunately, Bush’s legacy is already set in stone. There is no legacy at all -- unless you want to call trashing the world an accomplishment (foreign affairs, domestic affairs, monetary policy, the environment, you name it -- and there is nothing to admire). This doesn’t mean that sane Americans are not fearful of the remaining 15 months of Bush’s presidency. Things can always get worse.

Still, I take the results of the most recent poll of Americans -- taken over the weekend just before Prime Minister Erdoğan’s visit -- as hopeful. Not only did 74 percent of Americans say that the country is on the wrong track, but even 51 percent of Republicans agreed. And President Bush’s own job approval has hovered at around 30 percent for many, many months.

Whichever Democrat is elected president in next year’s elections, the necessary reconstruction will be daunting. It’s going to take everyone working together to get America back on track. There’s no doubt about the need to begin with foreign affairs.

*Charles R. Larson is a professor of literature at the American University, Washington, D.C. /Zaman

13.11.2007

Turks Are Hoping That Time Will Weaken Arguments And Memory, Experts Say
12.11.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ “There is a very strong feeling in the Congress that this may not be the best time to bring up the Armenian Genocide resolution because of the Iraq/Kurdish situation, retired U.S. Foreign Service officer and author Edward Alexander said when commenting on Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement reading: "It is my sincere wish that the U.S. Congress does not keep this resolution and does away with the discussion of this resolution altogether."

“The main thing is that it should not be shelved. You have scholars at the International Association of Genocide Scholars come up with the same conclusion. It is simply a move on the part of Turkey to delay the resolution in the hope that eventually those who are true survivors will have died and their offspring, like myself, will be so elderly. I am 87. Turks are hoping that time will weaken the arguments and memory," Mr Alexander said.

For his part Turkish scholar Taner Akcam noted that the resolution does and does not matter. “It doesn’t matter because it will be a psychological victory, but won’t really solve anything. It does matter because Turkey must understand that threatening with its political strategic power will not solve its list of problems. For instance, Turkey cannot become a member of the European Union if talking about history is a crime. It is a stupid distinction to think that there is a difference between Armenians and Armenians in the Diaspora. They are all asking that the perpetrator must face their history," he said, Medill News Service reports.


Taner Akcam: I Can Show Very Easily Genocidal Intent Of Ottoman Turkey
12.11.2007 13:39 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was in Washington to meet with President Bush to discuss mounting tensions between the Turks and Kurdish rebel factions in Northern Iraq.

Also on the agenda was the Armenian Genocide resolution which passed in the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month. The Medill News Service spoke with two experts who have challenged Turkey’s position on the Armenian question and asked them to respond to Erdogan’s comments.

Turkish scholar Taner Akcam, author of “A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility,” is one of the first Turkish academics to acknowledge and discuss openly the killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915.

Edward Alexander is a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer and author, born in New York to Armenian parents who fled Turkey.

"The evidence is overwhelming and to many Armenians, it is utterly preposterous for anyone, especially the Turkish government, to deny what is historical truth. For my research, one of my sources was the German press. My other source was the cables that were sent to Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, the U.S. ambassador in Turkey at the time of the genocide. These are documents that cannot be refuted. In addition, I did research eye-witness reports in Merseburg, Germany," Alexander said.

For his part, Mr Akcam said, "Our Prime Minister is wrong because we can prove the genocidal intent without any problems. One set of documentation are the trials in Istanbul between 1919 and 1921. These are the indictments, verdicts, hand-written testimonies and eye-witness accounts which were recorded during that time. There is a lot of evidence here showing the killing of the Armenians. The originals of these documents are not known. We assume that they have been destroyed after Turkish nationalists took over Istanbul. [Turkish officials] only trust the documents in prime ministerial archive today in Istanbul. I can show very easily, based on prime ministerial archives, the genocidal intent of Ottoman Turkey. I will publish a book in the Turkish language in 2008 where I am presenting more than 500 documents from prime ministerial archives in Istanbul."


An Armenian Responds To Birand, Others
November 12, 2007, Hovhannes NIKOGHOSYAN
Well, Armenian-Turkish relations seem to be the urgent issue in regional politics (in the South Caucasus) and even more urgent than the conflicts in this area. Some people think, and I will rank on a par with them, that within the resolution of this old controversy between two nations – Armenians and Turks – lies the key to other conflicts as to the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) conflict – I will say for sure.

So, what exact prejudices have been preventing the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations? Here I want to reply to some arguments made by Mr. Birand (brought up in the TDN article on 16.10.2007) and other authors who have some judgments over the above mentioned issue.

At least under two statements by Mr. Mehmet Ali Birand I will sign in with no eye open: "Let's get rid of articles like the 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. Let's convince our Azerbaijani brothers. Azerbaijani brothers should be made to change their mind.” These are the first obstacles for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation.

Mr. Birand says that it will be defective for Turks to identify themselves as a nation who committed horrible crimes against another nation, which Armenians claim is defined as genocide in International Law. Of course, it is very difficult to come to this after some 70 years of “other history.” José Manuel Barroso stated in 2006 (in Harvard University) that “...the best for Turkey would be to recognize the genocide.... in Europe we do not like the statement “there was no genocide.”

Terminology not important, but...

I constantly believe that there is no real difference how we will call the huge crime against humanity committed by Young Turks. Surely. Some call it “war concomitant losses,” “need to protect state unity,” “mass deportation” – the matter will remain as it is: There were over 1.5 million people dead. A well-known French scientist Jacques de Morgan wrote in 1917: “The deportations of Western Armenians are nothing but concealed race extermination. There is no language rich enough to describe the horrors of it.” So, anyone is now free to understand these words as he wishes and one can easily compare this with the statements in U.N. Genocide convention (1948). The main point is – we should recognize and condemn it once and for all, then try to move ahead with open borders, open and cooperating societies and true common economic interests within BSEC or any other organization.

Today most Turks, or even some Armenians find it very convenient to forget history after the 1909-16s. I want to remind us of the following fact: In 1918-19 the revolutionary war tribunals in Istanbul sentenced (in absentia) Talat, Enver, Cemal, Naz?m and other Young Turk leaders to death and the tribunal statement defined their crime as follows:

1. The mass deportation of Armenians was illegal;

2. They organized “deep state,” illegal organization to punish Ottoman citizens;

3. Young Turks party dragged the Ottoman state into meaningless war (WW I).

I will let you bring your judgments over this, too.

Some honorable representatives of Turkish civil society, former ambassadors Gündüz Aktan and S,ükrü Elekdag( suggest that Turkey should seek international arbitration regarding this issue and solve the problem once and for all. As a precedent one can surely recall the Srebrenica massacre and the verdict brought up in this regard by Hague tribunal. But on the other hand there is no country that recognized the tragedy as genocide and more importantly no state accuses Serbia nowadays of committing such a crime.

One thing that nobody can change: Armenians and Turks will remain neighbors however that may be. So, logically we cannot afford hostility because of our common past. We need empathy and quick actions.
* The writer can be reached at hnikoghosyan@gmail.com


Explaining The Fate Of The 'Genocide Resolution'
November 12, 2007, David MERAHN

The past few weeks have shown a dramatic turn around in one of the most contentious issues facing American-Turkish relations: the so-called Armenian Genocide resolution. After the Oct. 10 vote in the Committee of Foreign Affairs, it looked like the resolution was on a path towards a general vote in the House of Representatives. Turkish officials were outraged, and sympathetic Americans railed against the measure on the floor of Congress. Then, all of a sudden, the resolution found its support decreasing, as many Representatives, including co-sponsors began to drop out. From outside Congress, this seemed like a dramatic and sudden turn around. The media seemed to lack a cohesive explanation, and other stories, mostly surrounding Turkey's southern border, distracted from the issue.

On the surface it looks like that if this resolution were ever going to succeed it would have been now; the Speaker of the House, who sets its agenda, is Nancy Pelosi. She is from California, a state that has a substantial and powerful Armenian constituency. Yet discussions with three leaders in congress, Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Texas), Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky) and Congressman Robert Wexler (D-Florida), reveals why this resolution needed to be defeated and the multifaceted effort that was executed to ensure that it was ? efforts taken by both those in Turkey and the US.

These discussions revealed that on the larger scale Turkey's reaction was extremely important. Initially many criticized Turkey for the threatened actions, which would weaken both the U.S. and Turkey itself. However, as Rep. Whitfield points out "while it sounds tough, Turkey was right to speak out, there is no reason for [the resolution] to pass. Prime Minister Erdog(an is a mature and measured leader, and I believe he wouldn't put our continued work together at risk."

Turkey's aggressive reaction, which included governmental threats accompanied by civilian protests, demonstrated the importance of the issue in Turkey, an importance of which many in the U.S. were unaware.

The measure was also opposed by informed and powerful figures within the American foreign relations community. "The resolution has been opposed in a letter from all living Secretaries of State, and three Secretaries of Defense, that is a diverse group of people, and I think it took a lot of my colleagues by surprise," said Rep. Whitfield. A point further supported by Congresswoman Granger: "Many in congress think that because it's just a resolution and doesn't have any action attached to it, they don't see it as important as it is, to take action against an ally." She goes on to highlight how the legislative nature of the resolution led to a more flippant approach to the issue, "If you don't understand how it's viewed in Turkey it's easy to think it's not such a big deal ? I mean we pass resolutions to congratulate sports teams."

How the change came?

The fact that the Turkish reaction took many in Congress who originally supported the resolution by surprise opened the door to begin the process of changing their minds. However, supporters really began to drop after action taken by their fellow Representatives. As Granger commented, "A lot of people worked very hard to change our colleagues' minds, literally one by one when needed."

Congressmen like Robert Wexler made a point to demonstrate how important it is to preserve the two nations' "strategic partnership," saying, "My sense is that most people have great empathy for the tragedy and suffering of the Armenian community but they understand [Congress members'] first priority is to protect American lives and anything that disrupts the safety of the troops, like this resolution might, will make them stop and ask 'why are we doing this?'" The combination of all these collective efforts makes it look like the resolution has been defeated for now.

While it is unlikely that the resolution will be called to vote anytime soon, the prospect is not entirely removed: "The resolution has been around forever, it's one of the reasons we formed the Turkish caucus in Congress," Granger said.

The U.S. and Turkish relationship has been strained, regardless of whether the resolution is ever called to vote. While the governments of the two nations have had several high-ranking meetings in the past weeks and are collectively ushering in a new phase of their relationship, the potential lasting damage from the resolution is its effects on popular sentiment.

With Turkish opinions of America already at an all time low, this most recent incident is only salting a wound that has already been in need of treatment for sometime, a sentiment best summed up by Congressman Whitfield: "Turkey is a vital part on our war on terror and a key diplomatic ally, but what's more important than all that is the relationship between the two nations, and the two peoples. We need to stop thinking these relations matter only when there is a crisis."

* David Merahn is with the BAC Military Science.


Need For Counter Propaganda By Yüksel Oktay : Letters To The Editor/TDN, November 12, 2007
Renee Abramson presents a very good argument with information for not accepting the allegations that Armenians were the victims of genocide (Genocide? This American says ''No!'' TDN Nov. 5 2007). I thought it might be helpful for readers to receive more background information on how the facts of this complex period of history became so confused and distorted in the first place.

As a naturalized American, I also reject the mythical genocide, but the world needs to be educated with the true history of the Armenian massacres and the Turkish massacres committed by the Armenian rebels who staged many uprisings against their own government to form a state on lands where they were not the majority in eastern Anatolia, also mentioned by Renee Abramson. This was, after all, the reason for the forced relocation of eastern-Anatolian Armenians in 1915.

The main source of propaganda, going back to 1915, is a book written by Ambassador Henry Morgenthau (1913-1916) that is used even today. This has led many countries, states and civic organizations and millions of ordinary citizens to claim that the Ottoman government indeed ordered the extermination of all Armenians.

Ambassador Morgenthau's book, also available in Turkish translation, was ghost written for him by Burton Hendrick with input from his Armenian secretary and Armenian translator, with the purpose of bringing the U.S. into war against the Ottoman Empire. The sections below are directly from ''The Murder of a Nation,'' a chapter from his book ''Ambassador Morgenthau's Story," full of slander against the Ottoman Turks and containing many fabricated and distorted facts:

1. p. 51. ''Perhaps the one event in history that most resembles the Armenian deportations was the expulsion of the Jews from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella. According to Prescott 160,000 were uprooted from their homes and scattered broadcast over Africa and Europe.?

The Ambassador conveniently omits the fact that it was the Ottoman Turks who saved the Spanish Jews and sent ships to bring them to Ottoman lands and settled them in Istanbul, Thessaloniki, Bursa and other cities.The ambassador continues on the same page: "Yet all these previous persecutions seem almost trivial when we compare them with the Armenian sufferings, in which at least 600,000 people were destroyed and perhaps as many as 1,000,000."

As mentioned in many references, the ambassador never ventured from the environs of Istanbul and did not witness anything, as many others and Ms. Samantha Power claim. And yet resolution HR 106 mentions, among many other distorted facts, that 2,000,000 Armenians were deported and 1,500,000 Armenian were killed. 2. p. 6. ''They (Turks) were lacking in what we may call the fundamentals of a civilized community. They had no alphabet and no art of writing; no books, no poets, no art, no architecture; they built no cities and established no lasting states.''

3. p. 50. ''The only reason for relating such dreadful things as this is that, without the details, the English-speaking public can not understand precisely what this nation is which we call Turkey.''

In their desperate struggle to find anything to support their claims they have also used a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler, which has him remarking that the fate of the Armenians was his inspiration for his campaign to exterminate the Jews. Although this was conclusively shown decades ago to be a forgery, the power of propaganda kept it alive till it found its way to an exhibit on the wall of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.

The book by Ambassador Morgenthau and thousands of others that make reference to it are read by the thousands without really knowing the facts, and millions every year see Hitler's statement. Even a book by Alan Kramer, ''World War I: The Birth of a Killing Culture,'' includes the Hitler statement. Perhaps Renee Abramson can shed light on the sources of the anti-Turkish propaganda and the false statements in books and articles and help to start a campaign to disseminate the truth about these sources and to remove the fabricated Hitler statement from the U.S. Museum of Holocaust.
Yüksel Oktay, PE, Washington NJ


Rehumanizing Armenians And Turks
November 12, 2007, Ziya MERAL
You are not alone if you have not heard the word ''rehumanization'' before. Unlike its twin sister ''dehumanization,'' rehumanization is not a popular tool in politics and identity construction. We would rather build identities or pursue political power by stripping the other from their humanity in order to legitimize our superiority over them. We are more inclined to demonize, discredit, and humiliate the other in order to win an argument or establish our ''rights'' over theirs. Rehumanization is restoring the other's dignity and humanity and attributing the other the same rights ''we'' have or demand. Without rehumanization, there can never be reconciliation simply because without accepting each other as human beings and acknowledging the other's voice, we can never expect that the other will hear our pain and concerns and be moved by it to act unselfishly. Dehumanization is plentiful in Armenian-Turkish relations as each side still wages war for the exclusive rights to be heard. That is why debating sides tend to channel their energy only to disprove the other's historical account in order to prove the world how ''immoral'' or ''deceptive'' the other is.

'Subversive Armenians' :

I was never interested in Armenians or what may have happened during the fall of Ottoman Empire. What I knew was what I read on the papers (just like most people in Turkey); Armenians seek to represent the issue internationally with the obvious desire to achieve acknowledgement of Armenian deaths as genocide, in order to receive financial reparations from Turkey and ultimately to claim and have some parts of eastern Turkey incorporated into modern day Armenia. To be fair, some extreme –but thankfully few– individuals or groups in diaspora have made comments which seem to prove this interpretation of why Armenians are so aggressive about the issue. When this perception was combined with our firm belief in official histories and commitment to the welfare of our nation, there was no room left to hear what Armenians were trying to communicate. Then one day, I found myself on a trip to Armenia and Karabakh. Thousands of scenarios went through my mind and none of them was about receiving hospitality. After two weeks, I found myself crying in a church in Karabakh and embracing a new Armenian friend. The same night, I remember crying more around a dinner table dominated by vodka shots and toasts for a better future. I was finally able to see who lives on the other side of Mount Ararat; not a group of conspirators with a mischievous plan, but a group of broken and hopeful people. Since then, ''Armenians'' isn't an abstract category for me. The tension between us have been rehumanized and made flesh and blood.

'Evil Turks' :

Sadly, I was also about to crush into misconceptions and blatant fantasies of some Armenians about Turks. For example, there is something profoundly disturbing about Vahakn Dadrian, a prominent Armenian scholar. He continues to hold essentialist views, which argue that there is something inherent about being a Turk and a Muslim, which makes Turks the most suitable people to commit genocide, even though social sciences have concluded unanimously that there is no ''race'' as such and that ethnic violence occurs regardless of ''race,'' religion, class, gender and education. Less sophisticated versions of such a faulty framework can be heard regularly in layman's terms. If my memory does not fail me, I do not remember seeing a section in the memorial in Yerevan like the one in Yad Vashem– the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, dedicated to ''righteous among the nations.'' The phrase refers to non-Jews who risked their lives for protecting Jews. It is a simple yet profound way of rehumanizing a past conflict by showing the humanity found in both ends of the story. Aren't there Turks who have risked their lives protecting their neighbours and friends? An Armenian friend once replied to me by saying “only a handful, most of them did so for their own benefits.” In a single stroke, whatever they have done was relativized and stripped off its humanity. Thus, we are back to the black and white narrative of ''Evil Turks.'' A narrative not limited to then but also to now; Turks as an a-historical, unchanging, monolithic entity, burning with eternal hatred of Armenians. Ironically, the same people who ascribe a deterministic and decadent ontology to Turks also demand from them an unselfish moral act to own a crime that was committed by distant actors in their history and has dire social and economic implications.

The sad fact is though each side pays lips service to acknowledging that ''some Armenians'' may have been killed or Armenians ''may have killed'' some in rebellions, retaliations and pointless and immoral ASALA terror, very few people genuinely mourn the pain we have caused on each other, not just the pain ''we'' suffered. Even though bookshelves and columns are full of words about the other, in actuality we have very little knowledge of what the other thinks or feels. A significant portion of diaspora Armenians and intellectuals have a minimum if no real contact with Turkey or any Turks. Their prescriptive comments often signal the failure of self-referential deductions they make, which do not really correspond to the complicated reality of modern Turkey. Ultra-nationalistic and at times racist comments only serve to deafen Turkish ears, and fuel nationalistic sentiments that disregard Armenians all together. After all, only a small portion of Turks has any real contact with Armenians and the complexities of different Armenian voices and how much the past continues to hurt them.
* Ziya Meral is a researcher on Middle East minorities and writer. He can be contacted at ziya_meral@yahoo.com


Turkey Must Face Its Past For Democracy
November 12, 2007, SAFAK TIMUR, ISTANBUL - TDN
Turkey should face the dark aspects of its history if it is to establish a better future and take steps toward democracy, participants of a panel discussion at Bilgi University said yesterday.

"The human soul is not an apartment that you could put your garbage in front of the door for the door-keeper to pick up. Turkey should face its garbage that it sweeps under the carpet," Bülent Somay, a panelist, said.

The panel discussion titled "Facing yesterday, today and tomorrow'' was the first event of the Yüzles,me Association (a word meaning ''to face'' in English) and brought together prominent academics, authors, artists and activists to discuss Turkey's need to face its past. Other countries in the world have faced their mistakes during their transition to democracy, Aytekin Y?lmaz, general coordinator of the association, told the Turkish Daily News. "The way to found a better future is there," he said, adding that it is more difficult in Turkey but it should start somewhere. Musician Ferhat Tunç said that the racist, chauvinist, and ethnic nationalism goes out to the streets, that would be a disaster. Tunç is one of the members of the advisory board of the association. He added that the footsteps of the disaster are being heard. "This association is one of the critical steps to prevent this," he said.

Common language is vital

A real confrontation could be possible through finding a common language with the oppressed and disadvantaged parts of the society, said Somay during his speech: "The only way of facing is to make our garbage to talk with each other." Somay added that understanding the conditions that turn teenagers into murderers is vital, referring to the teenager murder suspect of Turkish- Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and the murderer of Catholic Priest Andreas Santoro. The anger of the poor had been directed to constructive areas as they met with leftists before 1980, Somay said, but the ways to reach those people were cut with the September 12 military coup. The leftists started to talk among each other afterwards, he said: "The way to touch us for those teenagers is to shoot us in the head. Either we will develop a common language, or they will shoot us in the head."

Facing today

Assistant professor at Bilgi University's psychology department, Murat Paker, on the other hand said Turkey's conditions differ from those conditions that took some countries to the Nuremberg courts after the Second World War and to commissions in South Africa and Central and South America. Parker said that Turkey has not had a change of balance of power within the country that would lead it to face its past. "We are not only talking about the history of Turkey while we are saying 'facing.' We also talk about today," he said, adding that for instance the Kurdish problem is still on the agenda.


Armenian Resolution Spells More Risks For US Than France
In recent weeks a motion passed in a US House of Representatives committee labeling the killings of Anatolian Armenians during World War I years "genocide" has inflamed US tensions with Turkey and triggered threats of retaliation from Ankara.

Despite Washington's efforts to soothe Turkish anger and to hamper further progress of Resolution 106, Turkey's government has warned US lawmakers of "serious consequences" for bilateral ties if the resolution is brought to the House floor. In the event of confirmation of the committee vote by the full House, Turkey has promised the non-binding document would cause severe damage to relations between the two NATO allies.

"Nobody has the right to judge Turkey like this," said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Those who dare confront an important country like Turkey will pay the price." In the short term Ankara has pledged to restrict US access within its borders to military bases used for American operations in Iraq. US-Turkish strategic cooperation could further suffer from the cancellation of arms deals between the two countries.

But while international media and political analysts strive to predict the nature of Turkish counteraction, the current controversy seems to have made people forget that many countries have already defined the events of 1915 as genocide, much to Ankara’s dismay.

In January 2001, the French parliament passed a law accepting Armenia’s claim that the killings of the World War I era amounted to genocide. Lawmakers carried the bill unanimously, despite Turkey’s warning that a crisis in relations with France would follow.

After Paris passed the controversial Law 2001-70, Turkey summoned its ambassador to France for “consultations,” just as it recalled its ambassador to Washington in response to the US committee vote on Oct. 10.

Turkey’s officials said that France had jeopardized bilateral economic ties, pointing to the numerous business leaders and civic groups calling for a boycott of French goods. Turkey immediately cancelled a spy satellite contract worth $259 million (288 million euros) with Paris-based firm Alcatel and in early February 2001 excluded major French electronics company Thales from a lucrative airport contract.

Turkey, one of France’s main trading partners, seemed intent on demonstrating that it had not been “bluffing” over the consequences of the French vote on bilateral relations, starting with commercial ones. With more than 220 French firms established on Turkish soil in 2001 and trade figures between France and Turkey boosted two-and-a-half-fold in the five years following the EU-Turkey customs union of 1996, Law 2001-70 promised to strike a significant blow to bilateral business ties.

But in early 2001, Turkey plunged into an unprecedented financial crisis. The domestic currency plummeted and Turkey’s foreign trade deficit shrank by $16.7 billion to $10.1 billion in 2001 due to the devaluation of the Turkish lira, according to data from the Prime Ministry.

Despite sharp reactions on the part of Turkish officials, sanctions against the French bill were diluted by the economic crisis. Slogans calling for the boycott of French products were swallowed up in the general decrease in Turkish imports. The country had more important matters on its mind and the exact effect and extent of Turkey’s economic reprisals against France remain unclear.

Ömer Engin Lütem, a retired ambassador and the director of the Institute of Armenian Research (ERAREN), agreed that apart from the suspension of military acquisitions, no other sanctions were actually put into effect. But Lütem says, “The explanation for this is to be sought in the favorable contributions on the part of the French government vis-à-vis Turkey’s accession to the EU.”

In the long term, however, some specialists argue that Turkish-French relations have been seriously damaged and that the real cost of Law 2001-70 will be seen in the future. “People do not forget,” notes Sedat Laçiner, the head of the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO/USAK) and a lecturer on international relations.

To those who claim that the bill did not affect Turkish-French business ties, Laçiner says the answer is not whether trade volume increased, but how much it would have increased if the bill had not been passed. “Turkey’s real gross domestic product (GDP) was about $170 billion in 2001 and is now about $500 billion. French businessmen were among the first foreign investors in Turkey. Now many Turkish people do not choose French goods and the 2001 bill still affects Turkish people’s feelings toward France,” said Laçiner.

In addition, Turkey’s black year of 2001 is over. The country is economically stronger and politically more confident. GDP growth inTurkey averaged 7 percent between 2002 and 2006, figures that would be the envy of French economic officials. Incidentally, Turkey became an official candidate for entry into the European Union at the end of 2005.

In that context, tensions with France mounted again last year when the French National Assembly passed a bill criminalizing any denial that the mass killings of Armenians during World War I amounted to genocide. Just as in 2001, Ankara described the French lawmakers’ initiative as a “great disappointment in our country.”

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said ties with France had been “dealt a heavy blow” and vowed to use every effort and action to prevent the bill from becoming law. Ankara warned Paris the law would seriously damage bilateral relations, stressing that the costs for France would be noticeably higher than in 2001.

That time, the French government did not support the bill while several French companies doing business in Turkey urged French senators to burry the proposal. In November 2006, Turkish lawmakers warned their French counterparts of irreparable damage if the bill became law, while the Turkish army decided to suspend military cooperation with France.

Although the bill was eventually taken off the French senate agenda in February 2007, French-Turkish commercial ties were further damaged when two months later Turkey suspended talks with Gaz de France over a key gas pipeline project in reaction to the bill.

According to Lütem, the French bill did not become law in large part as a result of the strong warnings that Turkey issued. “In contrast to the year 2001, because Turkey’s accession process to the EU has come to a standstill, in the event that the said bill is adopted by the senate, the retaliatory measures taken on the part of Turkey could be much harsher compared to those of 2001,” Lütem notes.

Needless to say that today more than in 2001, Turkey’s voice is one to be reckoned with, even for the world’s dominant economic, political and military power, the United States.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates stressed that fact in March 2007 when they signed an open letter to Congress warning that formally recognizing the Armenian genocide “could harm American troops in the field by antagonizing Turkey.”

Regardless, the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed Resolution 106 on Oct. 10. France’s recent experience, however, might further deter US lawmakers, whose country is currently dealing with the chaotic aftermath of a war in one of Turkey’s neighboring countries.

Lütem agrees that US officials are worried their soldiers in Iraq may be adversely affected by the passage of this resolution, but says that the US Congress rarely draws any lessons from the experiences of other countries. “The US Congress believes in its power to such an extent that it generally disregards developments elsewhere. I believe that of the 435 congressmen, very few are aware of the 2001 French law,” Lütem says.

However, the stakes seems higher for the United States today than for France in 2001, with many supply lines to US troops in Iraq going through and over Turkey. In Laçiner’s words, “The US needs Turkey today more than France needed Turkey in 2001.”

With the ongoing conflict in Iraq, Ankara benefits from a powerful leverage on American lawmakers. A vote on Resolution 106 in US Congress, although non-binding, would have a symbolic impact on Turkey and harm the American position in the region. President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Rice and Defense Secretary Gates have voiced concern that the timing of the resolution was not opportune, as it could impede the reinforcement of soldiers in Iraq and present a threat to their security.

“Upon the US media’s endorsement of these warnings, a number of representatives of the lower house stated how they withdrew their support, as a result of which it appears that House Resolution 106 has been shelved for this year,” Lütem says.

In the light of such decreasing support for the resolution in Congress, US lawmakers sponsoring the bill have asked Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to postpone the vote to 2008. A Pelosi spokesperson recently said she was reconsidering her pledge to push the proposal to a vote in coming weeks and respected the judgment of the sponsors on the timing of the vote.

Pelosi’s predecessor in Congress, Republican Dennis Hastert, had already agreed to cancel a vote on a similar resolution in 2000, after Turkey had pledged to cut access to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base and to withdraw from a major defense deal with an American contractor. But this time, House Speaker Pelosi has made clear she intended to bring the resolution to the floor. With Pelosi personally committed to the motion, it seems improbable its supporters will call for a vote until certain of their victory.

In Lütem’s view, the resolution will most likely take its place on the agenda in 2008, prior to the next elections for the US House of Representatives. “Meanwhile it may be expected that an attempt to gain more sponsors of the resolution will be made, the ideal time for which would be around April 24,” Lütem says.

Lütem also expressed the view that the introduction of House Resolution 106 in January was not the result of any particular eventuality that transpired in Turkey. “This is more the result of the Democrats attaining the majority of the seats in the House and Nancy Pelosi being selected as the House speaker,” Lütem says, adding, “As is known, the Armenian community comprises a significant fraction of Nancy Pelosi’s electorate.”

According to Laçiner, the fate of the resolution depends on the development of the Turkish-US relations. “If relations are normalized, the resolution will not come to the floor for at least a couple of years. Both sides have enough problems to deal with.”

Lütem came to a similar conclusion, saying: “As long as the belief that Turkey retains the capability and clout to affect the security of American soldiers in Iraq persists, it appears that the resolution in question shall not be put to a vote. As is known, the American general public is very sensitive to the plight of its soldiers in Iraq.”

Meanwhile, the resolution has sparked anti-American feelings and street demonstrations throughout Turkey. On Oct. 27, for example, 1,000 protesters chanted “Down with the US, down with the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party]” outside the US Embassy in Ankara, similar to the hundreds of protesters who had thrown eggs at the French Consulate in Istanbul and gathered in front of the French Embassy in Ankara in 2001.

In relation to this, Lütem noted that during the six years that have passed since the French law of 2001, the Turkish public has become far more involved and concerned with the Armenian question in general and the genocide allegations in particular. “As such, the reactions displayed by Turkey in this regard are comparatively stronger,” Lütem says.

According to a 2007 Pew Research Center survey, Turkey has become the most anti-American country in the world, with 83 percent of Turkish respondents holding an unfavorable view of the United States and only 9 percent expressing a favorable opinion. “Turkish people do not forget such important decisions,” Laçiner concludes, noting that Turks still remember the Johnson Letter by US President Lyndon Johnson during the Cyprus crisis of 1964.

In the event of a vote on Resolution 106, such demonstrations and poll results could urge Ankara to take concrete steps to soothe its angry population, already at the end of its tether after repeated deadly attacks on Turkey by the outlawed PKK in recent weeks. In so doing, the Turkish government would also aim to demonstrate to Turks and foreign lawmakers as well that it is definitely not 2001 again.
11.11.2007, ANNE ANDLAUER ISTANBUL


Turkey Succeeds In Negative Image Making, Fails In Lobbying
Last week the Turkish press reported two unlinked but related stories on lobbying in and about the United States. A dossier prepared by newsweekly Yeni Aktüel about Turkey’s lobbying activities in the US capital was largely a translation of a recent report by Marilyn W.

Ahead of the operation into northern Iraq, Turkish diplomats mobilized around the world to tell the truth about the terrorist bases in northern Iraq.

Thompson about Republican ex-congressman Robert Livingston’s lobbying effectively to block two Armenian genocide resolutions in the past and convincing some of the supporters of the recent resolution that passed the House Commission to withdraw their support. Thompson’s report that appeared in the International Herald Tribune gave financial data about the millions Turkey poured into its lobbying efforts against the resolution. Yeni Aktüel enriched this data with additional information about Turkey’s 2007 deals with lobbying companies like DLA Piper and Glover Park.

The second report, appearing in the Zaman daily, informed the Turkish public that Karen Hughes, the undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs in the US State Department, resigned from her post, apparently due to her failure to counter the rising anti-Americanism in the world. Hughes’s post was created in 1999 to help ensure that public diplomacy is practiced in combination with public affairs and traditional diplomacy to advance US interests and security.

Experts speaking to Today’s Zaman underlined the fact that while Turkey is relatively successful in the kind of negative lobbying Livingston carries out, the likelihood of public diplomacy does not exist in Turkey’s foreign policy dictionary. Given the fact that Turkey’s future European Union membership will be subject to referendums in some of the EU member countries and that Turkey’s image continues to deteriorate due to several reasons -- among which a possible military incursion into northern Iraq plays a significant role -- the failure to establish such an office to work on positive image making is unfortunate, the same experts told Today’s Zaman.

Though public diplomacy is an alien concept to Turkish foreign policy, Turkey has for a long time known of “cultural ambassadorship.” The first “cultural ambassador” of the Turkish Republic was commissioned by the founder of the republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. As early as 1926, the year the republic endorsed the Civil Code, Atatürk had a ship named Karadeniz (Black Sea) prepared and loaded with Kütahya tiles, rugs, carpets and antiques and sent to 16 ports of 12 different European countries. Visited by some 65,000 Europeans, this first cultural ambassador was so successful in its mission that at a certain point anti-Turkish lobbyists in Europe tried to prevent the trip from continuing. The uniqueness of this project is owed not only to the fact that this humble ship fueled with coal was prepared by great altruism while the young republic was suffering from a lack of funds, but to the unfortunate fact that nothing of its similitude was ever done thereafter.

Image of a Turk in Europe

Largely due to this lack of public diplomacy, the “Turk” of Europe was stereotyped in time and turned out to be “the other” of everything European. The Turkish stereotype of the 1980s was a mixture of Hamit, the atrocious, primitive and sodomite anti-hero of the Midnight Express (1978) and Mehmet Ali Agca, the perpetrator of an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981. Midnight Express had done to the Turkish image in Europe more damage than “The Valley of the Wolves” did to the American image in Turkey. In the US, Turkey enjoyed a relatively sympathetic public view up until the March 2003 memorandum that denied the US a northern front from which to invade Iraq. The American media’s response was highly denigrating: Fox’s 24 depicted Turks as terrorists with Arab names. NBC’s The West Wing showed Turkey as adopting Islamic laws under the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and convicting and beheading a woman for having sex with her fiancée.

Now that Turkey is preparing for a military incursion into northern Iraq, Western public support for Turkey’s policies has once again become important. Former Ambassador and Director General of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Özlem Sanberk is worried that Turkey’s intention to target only the terrorist organization the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) will not be well-presented to the Western public and Turkey’s image will further deteriorate. Assistant Professor Talip Küçükcan from the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) shares this concern: “The world’s public is sensitive to war and the pains of a war and invasion. On the other hand, the same public is also sensitive to terrorism and supportive of anti-terror measures. The fact that America’s incursion into Iraq is widely accepted as an invasion of foreign territory does not help Turkey at all. A Turkish incursion will be perceived as an addition to the American invasion,” Küçükcan told Today’s Zaman. He lamented the fact that in some European capitals, anti-Turkish lobbies are already organizing signature campaigns to prevent a war. “We should have started similar campaigns to promote our war against terrorism one or two years ago,” he says.

Küçükcan thinks that though Turkey has real potential to posit its image through outreach to the world media and utilizing world universities, the overemphasis on domestic politics and internal tensions does not allow Turkey to conduct meaningful planning and investment in global image making projects. He warns that a public relations strategy should include the Turkish civil society organizations in Western countries and says that Turkey needs to establish a “Turkish Institute” that will act like the British Council of the UK or the Goethe Institute of Germany. Indeed, the AK Party has already endorsed a project to establish Yunus Emre Cultural Centers all around the world, with a similar idea in mind. Küçükcan advises that Turkish media be involved with personnel exchanges with foreign media companies and that Turkish “public diplomacy” engage Western universities through scholarships given to bright students and support given to centers dealing with Turkey and Turkish politics. He cites Turkey’s support for the Turkish Institute in the London School of Economics and for the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies at Oxford University as successful cases.

Küçükcan recalls the social capital that Turkey has in Western countries. “There is a huge Turkish diaspora, if you will, in European countries, which is waiting to be mobilized for Turkey’s national interests,” he says. Sanberk, who believes that public diplomacy is as important as military might in this age, recalls that though Turkey is not alone in its endeavor to fight terrorism, the anti-Turkish public diplomacy ongoing in Europe is too powerful and Turkey cannot counter this with its own public diplomacy.

“To be able to convey your position well, you need to have ears ready to hear you well. Unfortunately, the situation in the Western media is not like that. The reason is basically because Turkey takes necessary steps only when the need is immediate. Turkey has been integrated with the world on many fronts, but by means of presentation of our theses, we are still on our own,” Sanberk told Today’s Zaman. According to Sanberk, one reason why Turkey falls back in public diplomacy efforts is because it lacks the appropriate think tank facilities to present its positions. “To have think tanks, you have to have perfect freedom of thought,” Sanberk says.

Advertisement vs. public diplomacy

Turkey runs its advertisement campaigns through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s advertising department. The budget of this department is by no means small: $120 million for 2007 -- added to this are the budgets of the Prime Ministry Secretariat of Promotion Fund, relevant Foreign Ministry projects, the Prime Ministry General Directorate of Press and Publications and several other institutions with a secondary function of image making. These efforts are indeed yielding positive results. But Sanberk told Today’s Zaman that Turkey needs to understand the distinction between advertisement and public diplomacy. According to him, Turkey may be running a successful advertisement campaign and still be failing in public diplomacy. He believes that Turkish Foreign Ministry is not equipped with the tools and rules for effective public diplomacy. “To do that, the government should first change the working definition of the Foreign Ministry,” he says. He is also critical of the Prime Ministry General Directorate of Press and Documentation, claiming that it has transformed into an institution that merely translates foreign-language news items into Turkish.

Turkey’s image in the West is not only dependent on Turkey’s relations with the Kurds of northern Iraq. A tentative list of Turkey’s “headaches” include its ever-improving but still poor human rights records; the issues of freedom of religion and expression; treatment of the Kurdish and Alevi segments of society; and the infamous Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which, recently confessed Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, has turned into a household name in Turkey.

An expert on Turkey’s image in Europe, Professor Mustafa Soykut wrote recently that Turkey’s image in continental Europe is the product of a long history beginning with the Battle of Manzikert (now Malazgirt in Turkey) in 1071 that opened the gates of Asia Minor to Turkish settlement. Soykut thinks that without due reference to the recurring wars between the Ottoman Turks and the European powers and the impact those wars left in the historical consciousness of the European nations, the negative image of Turks in the West cannot be understood and cured. Asserting that anti-Turkish sentiment in Europe is intermingled with the anti-Islamic Christian rhetoric, Soykut is not altogether pessimistic about the future. He recalls the Alliance of Civilizations formed at the initiative of Turkish and Portuguese prime ministers and endorsed by the United Nations as a brilliant idea to cope with Islamophobia and anti-Turkism in the West. But State Minister Mehmet S. Aydin, involved with the Alliance at the highest level, acknowledged to Today’s Zaman that even this project lacks proper public relations.

The negative image of Turkey is not hurting Turkey’s policies toward northern Iraq alone; the image of a country greatly influences its tourism and export potential as well. Professor Güliz Ger of Bilkent University’s Business Administration Department published recently the results of a survey about the image of Turkey in the eyes of the West wherein she showed that Europeans see Turkey as a Muslim country in search of an identity; as mainly Middle Eastern; though holding tightly to its Eastern roots, deserving the lifestyle and values of the West; and at the edge of the world. Professor Ger thinks that this ignorance negatively affects Turkey’s zeal to create global brand names and blocks its growing potential to become an export giant. Another scientific observation, by the Anholt Nation Brands Index powered by Global Market Insite (GMI), supports this thought. The index, led by brands expert Simon Anholt, showed that Turkey ranked last of 25 countries surveyed in 2005 and 34th among 38 countries in 2007. This emancipation from the last rank is not good news at all, since the four countries that ranked below Turkey in 2007 were not taken into consideration in 2005 at all. In comments to a Turkish television channel, Anholt said that this position was a result of ignorance about Turkey in the world, mainly of the cultural and political aspects of Turkey. “People think that Turks are illiterate, lazy, poor, radical Islamist, barbarian and dangerous. All the news about Turkey relates to bombings, avian influenza and other negative things,” Anholt said. According to Anholt, similar news appears in world press about other countries as well, but Turkey lacks a countering positive image and there is a vacuum of information about Turkey, which in turn is filled by these negative images.

A Turkish military operation in northern Iraq may be a temporary and short-lived experience. But Turkish industrialists want to see their products valued because of their “Made in Turkey” label. To improve the attractiveness of that label, Turkey needs to understand that it is not acting in a vacuum -- that everything done or not done has a meaning for the rest of the world. This is not to say that Turkey should not enter northern Iraq; this is just a call for Turkey to not leave behind a scene resembling southern Beirut after the Israeli invasion.
04.11.2007, EMIN AYDIN ANKARA


USA Aims To Start War In Middle East, Russian Pundit Tells Azeri Website
10/23/07, A EurasiaNet Partner Post from BBC Monitoring
A Moscow-based Islamic leader has described a recent US draft bill as attempt to start war in the Middle East. In an exclusive interview with Azerbaijani website Day.az, the head of the Islamic Committee of Russia, Geydar Dzhemal said that "the resolution on "the genocide" of the Armenians in the Ottoman empire in 1915 together with the plans to divide Iraq means that the USA now intends to head for confrontation not only with Iran, but also with Turkey and Syria, by distancing itself from Israel. In a word, the USA wants a big war." The following is the excerpts from Emin Alakbarov’s report on Day.az headlined "Geydar Dzhemal: "Washington has adopted a policy to destabilize the situation in the region. The resolution on "the genocide" of the Armenians together with the plans to divide Iraq means that the USA now intends to head for confrontation not only with Iran, but also with Turkey and Syria"; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

An exclusive interview with the chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia, Geydar Dzhemal.

USA does not need Turkey any longer?

[Correspondent] Which interests does Washington have by actually recognizing "the genocide of the Armenians"?

[Dzhemal] The adoption of the resolution indicates two moments. First, Washington has ceased to view Ankara as its ally in the Middle East. This fact can be confirmed by the plans of the USA to divide Iraq into three parts, in one of which an independent country - Iraqi Kurdistan will be set up. As is known, Turkey is strongly against the US plans in Iraq.

The US Congress has clearly shown that it "does not care" about the opinion of Ankara, indicating that the Turks are of no interest for them [the Americans]. In addition, the Congress passed the resolution on "the genocide of the Armenians". The acts of the Americans are making Turkey an enemy for the USA. Today the Turkish army is carrying out sporadic military operations in northern Iraq in coordination with the Iranian army.

Second, Israel and its lobby are much unhappy with the adoption of the resolution since Tel-Aviv has an exclusive right to claim the holocaust. Israel’s reaction was tough when France passed a resolution on "the genocide of the Armenians" and a law to prosecute anyone who does not recognize this "genocide" on its territory, comparing it with the holocaust.

It means that the Americans have decided to distance themselves from the position of the Jewish lobby to a great extent. What is it leading to? It is leading to the fact that Washington has adopted a policy to destabilize the situation in the region. The resolution on "the genocide" of the Armenians together with the plans to divide Iraq means that the USA now intends to head for confrontation not only with Iran, but also with Turkey and Syria, by distancing itself from Israel. In a word, the USA wants a big war.

War to make gains

[Correspondent] Why do the Americans want this war?

[Dzhemal] The US hopes to benefit from this war since the First and Second World Wars have elevated the USA from a marginal nation to what it is now. In 1945 the Americans occupied Europe. But today Washington is losing its positions and therefore intends to start war in the Middle East in order to regain its status of a one-polar referee that makes judgments on the fate of the world.

[Correspondent] Is the USA capable of defeating such countries as Iran, Turkey and Syria which have strong military forces in view of the deplorable consequences of the US war in Iraq?

[Dzhemal] It has been decided to make air strikes on Iran. The Americans rule out the possibility of carrying out land operations. The USA hopes that such operations will be possible through the domestic resources of Iran - ethnic Azerbaijanis and Kurds.

As for Turkey, Washington relies on the united Kurdistan of northern Iraq and western Iran. The Turkish army will be bogged down in the war with the Kurds, which may lead to the collapse of the Turkish state and provoke a crisis in Syria. Israel will also be involved in this conflict. The Americans will help both sides of the conflict, acting as a referee until the last moment, at which they will be able to enter the game as they did in 1944 to shape the region in the way they wish.

The USA in no way intends to get involved in this full-scale war like in Iraq. The USA hopes for an armed conflict between the states of the Middle East as in the First and Second World Wars.

[Correspondent] Do you think that the plan of the Americans will end in their victory?

[Dzhemal] The war will be pursued not just in the Middle East. Russia and most probably Europe will also be involved in it. If this is the case, I do not think that the Americans will emerge unscathed from this situation because the USA is parasitically dependent on the external world today.

[Passage omitted: The USA may be affected by the ramifications]

I think that the plans developed by the George Bush administration will eventually erase the USA from the political board as a player. But this will take place, of course, through the great sufferings of the peoples of the Middle East.

Baku must refuse "US provocations"

[Correspondent] How does Baku need to act in this situation since it also affects the interests of Azerbaijan?

[Dzhemal] First of all, it is important to strengthen regional relations with the neighbouring countries and not to give in to American provocations. [Baku] should not accept any proposal from the Americans on any military partnership against its neighbours.

Baku must develop military and diplomatic cooperation with Tehran and Ankara. Only this can save Azerbaijan from becoming a frontline cellar for the American army.

Armenia made "outlaw"

[Correspondent] Will Armenia benefit from this situation?

[Dzhemal] The resolution makes Armenia an outlaw. "The genocide" does not give it a chance to negotiate with anybody. Now Israel will also be negative about Armenia. The Americans made this resolution to take Yerevan out of the influence of Moscow and Tehran.

The USA has Georgia and is negotiating with Azerbaijan. If Armenia becomes an enemy for Iran and Russia, remaining in full dependence of US aid, Yerevan will not have a chance to remain on the map as a country. Tehran and Moscow are Yerevan’s tickets to life.

Thus, the adoption of the resolution is a silent move leading to a wide-scale and long-term destabilization of the situation in the Middle East.

Turkey to step up anti-terror operation in Iraq

[Correspondent] What steps will Turkey take with its strong position to maintain its national interests?

[Dzhemal] I think that the Turkish army will expand its anti-terror operations in northern Iraq in response to the resolution. Moreover, the military operations against the Kurds will be carried out in coordination between the general staff of the Turkish and Iranian armies, which will bring Ankara and Tehran closer in military terms. The degree of toughness and independence of the Turkish army in Iraq will grow.

[Correspondent] Can we say that the Turkish, Azerbaijani and Jewish Diasporas have suffered a setback from the Armenian diaspora?

[Dzhemal] It is a pyrrhic victory. I would like to assure you that "the genocide" will make Armenia an outlaw. The recognition of "the genocide" by the Congress may strip Yerevan of the support from Moscow and Tehran. The Armenian Diaspora may be left without a geopolitical subject on the map unless Yerevan refuses "the genocide".
Editor's Note: Source: Day.az website, Baku, in Russian 12 Oct 07, October 23, 2007 © Eurasianet


Turkey's New Envoy Says Genocide Bill Impedes Reconciliation
By Bridget Johnson, Staff Writer, 11/10/2007
U.S. lawmakers should not fixate on the Armenian Genocide bill, which is an insult to many Turks and a roadblock to reconciliation between Turkey and the Armenian community, the new Turkish consul general in Los Angeles said.

In a recent interview with the Daily News, R. Hakan Tekin said his country strongly objects to the Armenian Genocide legislation that passed the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last month, which labels as genocide the killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The committee's 27-21 vote has raised ire in Turkey and was slammed by some U.S. lawmakers and commentators for the potential harm it might do to U.S. relations with Turkey, a longtime strategic ally of America and NATO partner.

Turkey briefly pulled its U.S. ambassador, Nabi Sensoy, back to Ankara after the vote.

"It certainly had an effect on our bilateral relations," Tekin said of the bill, which was shelved late last month under increasing political pressure.

"It's about our history and it's about, in our opinion, a misreading of our history... To many of us, it's even insulting. ...

"We don't know now where it will end," Tekin said Wednesday at the Wilshire Boulevard consulate.

Turkey severed military ties with France after that country's lower house passed a bill last year making it a crime to deny the Armenian killings were genocide.

Tekin, who assumed the consul general post six months ago and oversees 12 Western states, said lawmakers should not "legislate history." He noted that in 2005 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked Armenian President Robert Kocharian to form a joint commission of historians to study the disputed 1915 events, a proposal that has not been accepted.

"We are not scared of our history, and we are not trying to hide anything," Tekin said. "And if this commission is established, we will accept whatever result it reaches. ... It is (time for) the Armenian side to make a move."

Tekin believes it is the size and influence of the U.S. Armenian community that has kept the issue alive.

"Why are the Armenian events of 1915 brought to the Congress of the U.S.?" he asked. "Because there is a strong Armenian voting bloc in the country.

"Why is not, for instance, the massacres in Kenya carried out by the then-British imperial government not brought to the Congress? Because there are no Kenyan voters here.

"When you politicize history, you pick and choose and you lose objectivity, and then you are prone to the pressures of narrow group interests."

Tekin also said Armenians in Armenia appear less focused on the past than the Armenian diaspora.

"It doesn't seem that for the Armenians of Armenia proper, it carries that much priority ... because Armenia now has much more serious problems for day-to-day life," he said.

Unfortunately, he said, continued lobbying by Armenian groups in the U.S. on claims that the Turks slaughtered more than 1 million Armenians from 1915 to 1918 hurts chances at reconciliation.

"And that's really sad, in my opinion, because both countries, Turkey and Armenia, have a lot to gain to improve their relations, to establish normal relations in our region," he said. "We need that."

When asked about the potential of the resolution to revive hostilities between the two communities, Tekin brought up the history of assassinations of Turkish diplomats in Los Angeles: Consul General Mehmet Baydar and his deputy, Bahadir Demir, slain in 1973 by Gourgen Yanikian at a Santa Barbara hotel; and Consul General Kemal Arikan, shot to death by Harry Sassounian and a second gunman in Westwood in 1982.

A group calling itself Justice Commandos for the Armenian Genocide claimed responsibility at the time for Arikan's slaying.

"(It) has been ignored by many people here that two of my predecessors ... have been killed by Armenian terrorists here in Los Angeles, and nobody speaks about that," Tekin said. Black-and-white portraits of the three slain men adorn the wall outside the door to Tekin's office.

The consul general now receives special protection from the State Department, Tekin said.

Still, Tekin said Turks and Armenians have a lot in common: They are bonded not only by a border, but by cultural similarities as well.

"In a thousand years, maybe we had this trouble period of 20 years, 15 years, and the result here is a hostility," he said. "In Turkey, we don't preach hatred toward Armenia."
Copyright ©2007, Los Angeles Newspaper Group


Armenia Responds To Gül’s Remarks In Azerbaijan
Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan has reiterated that his country is ready to normalize its relations with Turkey without any precondition, but added Yerevan would reject any "imposition" by Turkey or Azerbaijan.

Sargsyan's remarks, made at a congress of his political party on Saturday during which he was nominated as a candidate for presidency for the February 2008 elections, came after Turkish President Abdullah Gül pledged solidarity with Azerbaijan during a visit there last week. Turkey severed formal ties with Armenia after Armenian troops occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan, in the past decade. Ankara now says normalization of relations with Armenia depends on the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as Yerevan's stopping efforts to win international recognition for claims of an Armenian genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire and formally recognize the current borders.

In veiled remarks widely interpreted as directed at Armenia, Gül said, while examining a sword given to him as a gift during his visit to Azerbaijan, that one should always be ready to draw his sword in a region like the Caucasus. Gül, addressing a special session of Azerbaijani Parliament on Wednesday, said as long as Yerevan insists on continuing its efforts for designation of the World War I era killings of Anatolian Armenians as "genocide" by the parliaments of third countries, it cannot expect any development concerning the normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey.

"We will not let Turkey and Azerbaijan impose their will on us," Sargsyan told the party meeting in remarks apparently aimed at responding to Gül. "We are ready to restart relations with Turkey without any precondition."

Turkey, which denies charges of genocide, has called for a joint study of the Ottoman archives to discover what happened in the past, but Armenia refuses the offer, claiming that it is undisputed that what happened was genocide. 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 which emerged when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with the Russian troops who were invading Ottoman lands.
12.11.2007, SÜLEYMAN KURT ANKARA


Turkish Minority Foundations Own Over 2,000 Estates
The foundations established by various minorities in Turkey own over 2,000 immovables (buildings and land holdings), most of which are located in İstanbul districts where real estate prices are generally higher, according to a recent study conducted by the General Directorate of Foundations.


The study contains such details as provinces, districts, neighborhoods, islets and lots where these immovables are located. Balıklı Greek Hospital Foundation owns 327 immovables, which is the highest number among the minority foundations. Also, Greek and Armenian minorities tend to own more immovables than Jewish minorities.

Some 2,235 immovables are owned by 147 minority foundations in Turkey. In terms of ownership of high numbers of immovables, the Balıklı Greek Hospital Foundation is followed by the Yedikule Surp Pırgıç Armenian Church Foundation with 162; Kurtuluş Aya Dimitri Aya Tanaş Aya Lefter Aya Kiryaki Church and Primary School Foundation with 73.

Arnavutköy Aya Stirati Taksi Arhi Greek Orthodox Church Foundation have 63; and Bulgarian Ekzarhlığı Orthodox Church Foundation 57 estates. The Catholic Georgians have 12, Syriacs eight and Catholic Chaldeans only one. Orthodox Turks own 10 immovables, all of which are located in Beyoğlu and are owned by the Independent Turkish Orthodox Church and Patriarchate Foundation.

Hasköy Turkish Karaim Jewish Foundation owns seven immovables, five of which are located in Beyoğlu and two in Eminönü. The registry kept by the General Directorate of Foundations does not list any real estate owned by the Heybeliada Greek Clerical School Foundation, the Büyükada Surp Astvazazin Armenian Church Foundation or the Kadıköy Surp Levon Armenian Church Foundation.

While it is possible to find immovables owned by minority foundations in any district of İstanbul, they are concentrated in Beyoğlu, Şişli, Eminönü, Eyüp, Üsküdar, and Beşiktaş as well as the islands of Büyükada, Heybeliada and Burgazada. Of 57 immovables owned by Bulgarian foundation Ekzarhlığı, 19 are located in Kırklareli, 18 in Edirne and the remainder in Fatih and Şişli. Moreover, some foundations also own immovables in Adapazarı, Bursa, Bayburt, Çanakkale and a few other Turkish cities.

Many of the immovables that belong to the minority foundations consist of entire buildings. These immovables include places of worship, schools, hospitals, marketplaces, waterside mansions, apartments, detached residences, arable fields, gardens, cemeteries, shops and plots of land; also, most of them are operated by the relevant foundations whereas some of them are rented. Some of the immovables that belong to minority foundations have had lawsuits filed against them by the Treasury, the General Directorate of Foundations or individuals. Some of these lawsuits are currently underway. In particular, the Balıklı Greek Hospital Foundation is currently dealing with several lawsuits launched in connection with its immovables.
Some minority foundations and the number of immovables they own

* Balıklı Greek Hospital Foundation: 327

* Yedikule Surp Pırgıç Armenian Church Foundation: 162

* Kurtuluş Aya Dimitri Aya Tanaş Aya Lefter Aya Kiryaki Church and Primary School Foundation: 73

* Arnavutköy Aya Stirati Taksi Arhi Greek Orthodox Church Foundation: 63

* Bulgar Ekzarhlığı Orthodox Church Foundation: 57

* Üsküdar Surp Garabet Church School and Cemetery Foundation: 47

* Taksim Elmadağ Surp Agop Armenian Hospital Foundation: 44

* Kumkapı Meryemana Armenian Church and School Foundation: 42

* Balat Surp Hreştegabet Armenian Church and School Foundation: 40

* Boyacıköy Panayia Evengelistra Greek Orthodox Church Foundation: 39

* Kadıköy Greek Orthodox Churches and Schools Foundation: 39

* Kocamustafapaşa Surp Kevork Armenian Church School and Cemetery Foundation: 39

* Üsküdar Surp Haç Armenian Church and School and Cemetery Foundation: 36

* Hasköy Aya Pareşkevi Greek Orthodox Church Foundation: 35

* Fener Men’s High School Foundation: 32

* Üsküdar Profiti İlya Greek Orthodox Church and School Foundation: 32

* Beyoğlu Greek Orthodox Churches and Schools Foundation: 27

* Yeniköy Panayia Greek Orthodox Church Foundation: 26

* Çengelköy Aya Yorgi Greek Orthodox Church Foundation: 25

* Büyükada Panayia Aya Dimitri Profiti İlya Greek Church and School Foundation: 25

* Aya Yorgi Greek Orthodox Church in Fener Greek Patriarchate’s Courtyard Foundation: 25

* Heybeliada Aya Nikola Greek Orthodox Foundation: 25

* Langa Aya Todori Greek Orthodox Church Foundation: 25

* Tarabya Aya Pareşkevi Greek Orthodox Church and School Foundation: 24

* Kuzguncuk Aya Pandelimon Greek Orthodox Church Foundation: 22

* Hasköy Maalem Jewish Synagogue Foundation: 21

* Kumkapı Greek Orthodox Aya Kiryaki, Panayia Elpida Churches Foundation: 21

* Heybeliada Aya Dimitri Triade Foundation: 21

* Kuzguncuk Bet Yaakov Synagogue Foundation: 20

* Bakırköy Aya Yorgi Aya Analipsiz Greek Orthodox Churches and Schools Foundation: 19

* Eyüp Surp Astvazazin Armenian Church Arakelyan School and Cemetery Foundation: 18

* Kınalıada Surp Kirkor Lusavoriç Armenian Church Foundation: 18

* Burgazada Aya Yorgi Karipi Greek Monastery Foundation: 17

* Kartal Surp Nişan Armenian Church Foundation: 16

* Yeşilköy Aya Stefanos Church and Cemetery Foundation: 15

* Burguzada Aya Yani Greek Orthodox Church and School Foundation: 13

* Şişli Georgian Catholic Church Foundation: 12

13.11.2007, AHMET DİNÇ ANKARA/Zaman


Turkish PM: No Genocide, We Even Gave the Armenian Deportees Pocket Money
By Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly Nov. 10, 2007

WASHINGTON'On Nov. 5, after meeting with President Bush, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, speaking mainly of U.S.-Turkish relations, the Kurdish issue and the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.106.

In his speech, Erdogan said that `it is sad for us to see' the introduction of a resolution that `renders legitimacy to the so-called Armenian genocide.' He stressed that the resolution `has the potential to deeply damage our strategic relations and it is important to ensure that is not discussed on the floor of Congress.'

`In fact, these Armenian allegations which are being kept constantly on the agenda in various countries have not been proven historically or legally,' Erdogan continued, repeating his call for a joint historical commission to examine what happened to the Armenians in 1915. When Erdogan suggested the idea of a `joint commission' in 2005, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) sent him an open letter which read: `We are concerned that in calling for an impartial study of the Armenian Genocide you may not be fully aware of the extent of the scholarly and intellectual record on the Armenian Genocide. ¦ We want to underscore that it is not just Armenians who are affirming the Armenian Genocide but it is the overwhelming opinion of scholars who study genocide: hundreds of independent scholars.'

Yet, at the National Press Club this week, Erdogan said he was sure there was never a genocide of the Armenians. `What took place was called deportation,' he said. `That was a very difficult time. It was a time of war.'

The Armenians, he argued, were provoked by other countries to rebel, leading to Ottoman Turkish government's decision `to start deporting the Armenian citizens to other parts of the Empire.'

To show how well the Armenian deportees were treated, Erdogan'who made no reference to the killing of any Armenian'went so far as to say that the Ottoman government even provided the Armenians with pocket money. `¦And we have documents in our archives which attest to this fact,' he said.

`There are all sorts of instructions about how people should be sent from one area to another, how much money is to be paid to them as pocket money as they travel. Those who counter [our thesis] must come up with their own documents, but there are no documents that they can show,' he charged.

A Leading Turkish Historian Responds

The Armenian Weekly contacted Turkish-born historian and sociologist Taner Akcam, professor of history at the University of Minnesota and author of A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, to comment on Erdogan's allegation.

`I haven't seen any single Ottoman document that shows that money was given to Armenians,' Akcam said. `It is, indeed, true that the central government sent money to the regional authorities to cover the expenses of the deportations. Part of the revenues from plundering the possessions of the Armenians and auctioning them was used by the government to finance the deportations.'

Furthermore, Akcam said, `There is ample evidence that in the Eastern Anatolian regions like Eskishehir, Afyon and Konya, Armenians were partially `transported' by train and were made to pay for their own tickets.



Tragicomedy Of Modesty By Hakob Badalyan
08 November 2007,Lragir/ERAREN

Apparently, the world is not going to leave us alone. On top of the Americans, the British are now starting to play with the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Apparently, soon the Armenians worldwide will be smiling all the time, and we will enjoy watching the official propaganda television.

Never mind that the U.S. House did not discuss the Armenian resolution. It appeared in the British parliament instead. Never mind that it failed in the UK. The Armenian resolution appeared in the parliament of Morocco instead.

Nothing came out of Morocco, never mind, reports came instead that the Armenian resolution had been seen amid the ice of Greenland, among the dunes of Sahara, on the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the constellation of Ursa Major. Never mind that this does not change in any way the situation we are in, our national vanity is fed instead, and we think we can make the world follow our rules and thereby direct the process of the recognition.

Meanwhile, in reality it is the contrary, like the destiny when a person only has to put a bridle on the destiny not to let it go astray. Goethe said so, and perhaps he knew life. Meanwhile, all the Armenians know about life they learn from the pages of the textbook of the Armenian history. And since no other pages interest them, it is impossible to learn from one's own mistakes. To acknowledge one's mistake it is necessary to compare it with what happens around.

Meanwhile, when one notices nothing around them, it means they live with the feeling that they never err. The consequence of this is that error becomes destiny.

The impression official Yerevan is trying to produce that allegedly the process of the international recognition is the result of a skillful foreign policy of Armenia is just another mistake which is being made with the Armenian perception of what is right. Meanwhile, there is no process of international recognition as such. Even if all the parliaments of the world discuss Armenian resolutions at the same time, there will be no process anyway. The existence of the Armenian resolution somewhere does not mean there is a purpose to recognize. It means the contrary that the given country is in trade with Turkey: "What do you do in return if I don't recognize the Armenian Genocide?" If this country is important for Turkey, Turkey is ready for lots of things, if not, the Armenian genocide is recognized.

It is ingenuous to consider it as a process of international recognition, and this process as a result of the Armenian foreign policy, a funny ingenuousness with tragic elements. In other words, a tragicomedy is being performed on the international political stage, such as "Othello" by Shakespeare where the furious Mauritian did not use his brains, and killed poor Desdemona for the handkerchief, without any other evidence. Now one tends to think that the motive of the murder was not cheating but Othello's flu and the vital necessity for a handkerchief. Now the Armenian resolution has become a handkerchief traveling from one center of international politics to another, which may cause anything to happen, including an assassination in Istanbul in broad daylight, in front of the office of the Agos Armenian newspaper.

In all this staff Armenia is an observer but an immodest observer which ascribes everything to its wit and farsightedness. If modesty makes a man look nicer, immodesty certainly does not make a man look ugly but it is evidence to his ignorance, even if he has graduated from all the best colleges and universities of the world. How will Armenia benefit from this process underway in the world and referred to as the process of the recognition? If we were immodest, we would say it will eventually make Turkey make friends with Armenia for the world to leave it alone. If we were modest, we would keep silent because we have not let the jinn out of the bottle, consequently it will not fulfill our wish, and we may only hope that at one time we will appear on the orbit of someone's wish in the so-called process of recognition.


Letters to the editor TDN
November 5, 2007
Recognize The Iraq Genocide

Regarding the current controversy about the U.S. Congress passing a resolution to recognize an "Armenian Genocide" I strongly urge the Turkish Parliament to introduce a parallel resolution designating the current U.S. invasion of Iraq a "genocide" as well. The facts are similar enough to merit this action.

The U.S. invaded Iraq without any provocation whatsoever. U.S. President George W. Bush fabricated outright lies to coerce the U.S. Congress into authorizing this massive military invasion and occupation. As a direct result of the U.S. invasion and occupation, at least 1.2 million Iraqi nationals have died. Since the U.S. illegally invaded Iraq in March 2003, one in 23 Iraqi's have died. That would be the equivalent of 15 million Americans or nearly four million Turkish casualties in less than five years. If the U.S. had not illegally invaded Iraq, these people would be alive today.

The U.S. government and military have also committed genocide on its own native and African-American population. Historically, European invaders slaughtered an estimated 100 million natives. The American slave trade killed approximately 50 million African Slaves. Institutional racism in the U.S. continues to cause the extermination of their African-American ancestors at a rate fifteen times greater than the death rate of Anglo-Americans.

Additionally, the U.S.-induced civil war in Iraq has created a massive refugee crisis. According to U.N. estimates, over two million Iraqi's have been forced to flee into neighboring Syria (1.2 million) and Jordan (700,000 plus), with at least another 300,000 Iraqi's seeking refuge in other Mid-Eastern Countries.

Including the two million Iraqi's that have been internally displaced from their homes, the U.S. invasion has created over four million refugees. That's one-in-seven Iraqi citizens.

Given the magnitude of the loss and suffering inflicted upon the Iraqi People by the U.S. government and military, the Turkish Parliament would be entirely within the boundary of fact if they chose to pass a resolution declaring the U.S. invasion of Iraq a "genocide."

John Feraday, Winnemucca, Nevada, USA

Lift The Blockade

Dear Mr. Kemal Cengiz, I enjoyed your Oct. 17 2007 article on the Armenian genocide question. I like its tone and spirit and I think it represents a positive trend withing Turkish society. I would like to point out one thing, however. It will be impossible to get Armenians to talk without lifting the blockade on Armenia.

We view that action, particularly in light of Armenia's continued failure to rebuild after the 1988 earthquake, as an indication of your nation's desire for our non-existence. There will be no discussions with the blockade in place.

Jack Kalpakian, USA


The History Of A Greek Secret Society: Structure And Rites Of The Philiki Etaireia
11/5/2007 Balkanalysis.com, By Ioannis Michaletos

The Greek revolution in 1821 was a key event that has been investigated and explored by generation after generation of Greeks. As such, the role of secret societies, which were fundamental to its success, has attracted great interest as well. The organizers of the first societies aiming to overthrow the Ottoman Empire were mostly merchants and intellectuals who held strong contacts with the Greek diaspora, or who were in tune with the seismic changes that were then occurring across European societies. As early as the 1790’s, Rigas Feraios (1) drafted a plan for a Balkan federation that was to replace Ottoman rule, creating a society that would adhere to the basic principles of the Enlightenment and the humanitarian approach towards the needs of society.

In 1790, in Vienna, an organization similar in some respects to the Masons was formed by Greek merchants and intellectuals. It was called “Bon Cuisines,” and was presumably associated with the Greek pre-revolutionary intellectual Rigas Feraios, one of the leading figures in spreading revolutionary idea among those Greeks still living under the Turkish occupation. This era was one of intellectual ferment, following the American and French revolutions, and thus offered an excellent environment for the dissemination of new ideas. This ideological development would ultimately lead to the dissolution of the world of empires and the emergence of the nation-state.

In the case of Greece, it seems that the lodges became veritable repositories of knowledge, where the information and ideals needed to start an uprising were collected and shared within a select circle of conspirators. Usually, these were Greeks of the diaspora who had the intellectual capacity, as well as the capital, to take the first decisive revolutionary actions.

In 1810, one of the leading figures of Corfu, Dionysius Romas, merged together the two existing local lodges, Filogenia and Agathoergia, and thus created the Grand Anatolian Lodge of Hellas and Corfu (2). After this event, Masonic lodges mushroomed across the Hellenic world, so that by 1812 the Greek community in Moscow was able to organize a formidable secret society. Under the auspices of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the then-Russian Foreign Minister, a Masonic lodge that encompassed the Greek elite of Tsarist Russia and played an important role towards creating the framework for the forthcoming Greek revolution was created.

Interestingly, it was named the “Phoenix Lodge” (3), alluding to the ancient symbol of the Phoenix, the mythical bird that rises from its own ashes. This reference is frequently encountered in Greek mysticism. After the Greek revolution, Ioannis Kapodistrias would become the first head of state (1827-1831), and even before was the leader of the Phoenix Lodge while still in Moscow. In fact, he even named the first Greek currency ‘phoenix,’ but after his assassination by a Greek clan chief, the famous ‘drachma’ was born. The grandest Greek secret society of them all, the Philiki Etaireia (“Friendly Society”) used the phoenix as its symbol. Nowadays it is still one of the symbolic emblems of the Freemason Lodges in Greece. Lastly, during the Junta in Greece (1967-1974) the symbol of the regime was the Phoenix again; presumably this owed to the membership of some of its officers in certain Greek Masonic lodges.

Furthermore, in 1809 in Paris, the organization Ellinogloso Xenodoheio (“Greek-speaking hotel”) was founded by the Greek intellectual, Gregorios Salykes. Amongst the original membership was Athanasios Tsakalof, one of three men who would form the Philiki Etaireia. This particular society aimed to promote the spirit of ancient Greek civilization, though in reality it promoted national independence for Greece and functioned according to the Italian Carbonari conspiracy methods (4). Its members received a golden ring, with the inscription “FEDA” (Filikos Ellinon Desmos Alytos), meaning, “a bond between friendly Greeks cannot be broken.” Despite the enthusiasm of the members, their pro-French orientation and the end of the Napoleonic era in Europe in 1815 diminished their ambitions of creating a Greek-French alliance to promote their goals.

In 1813, another society, named the Filomousos Etaireia (Society of friends of music) was inaugurated in Athens (5). This one had a pro-British orientation and recruited its members from the ranks of the haute-society of the Athenian merchants and land-owners. It never became a dominant force in the then complex system of Greek secret societies, however, quickly dissolving soon after.

The most important society, the Philiki Etaireia, was established on the 14th of September 1814, in Odessa, by Greek diaspora figures Athanasios Tsakalof, Nikolao Skoufa and Emmanouel Ksaanthos. It is worthwhile to note that the date of the society’s creation was that of the “Holy Cross,” which in the Greek Orthodox calendar is associated with the miraculous victory of the Byzantine Empire against a combined Avar-Persian siege in 614 AD. According to hagiographic tradition, Constantinople was in dire danger of falling to the barbarians, until the patriarch of the city ran across the walls, armed with an icon of the Virgin Mary (the icon now resides in the Monastery of Dionysiou on Mt. Athos). (6)

Considering the symbolism and importance of the day for the Greek nation, one can assume that the creators of the Philiki Etaireia chose it in order to highlight to their followers the historical role that this organization planned to play in the future. All of the three founders associated himself with other revolutionary secret organizations and were equipped intellectually to cope with the strains of managing such societal methods for a national and political set of goals.

Ksanthos was a member of the Lodge of Lefkada, while Skoufas’ associate Konstantinos Rados was a devotee of the Italian Carbonarism (“Charcoal-burners”) movement, an equivalent to the Greek group which sought the unification of Italy. For his part, the much younger Tsakalov had been a founding member of Ellinoglosso Xenodoheio, the unsuccessful precursor to the Etairia that was devoted to the same goal of an independent Greece.

Philiki Etaireia soon progressed to become the driving force in the uprising of the Greek populace, recruiting significant numbers of prominent and important individuals into its ranks. Up until 1816, only 20 members were active, whereas by 1820 there were at least 1,096 members, and the following year membership must have topped 10,000, even though historical research has not been able to identify the exact numbers. The geographical spread was also impressive, since it expanded in all states and cities with a Greek diaspora presence, from Alexandria to Constantinople and Saint Petersburg to Trieste. Also, the members involved with the Philiki Etaireia included most of the protagonists of the Greek revolution, including the likes of Kolokotronis, Mavrokordatos, Kountouriotis, Androutsos, Negri, Palaion Patron Germanos, Zaimes, Papaflessas, Anagnostaras and many other; the revolution was indeed largely staged by members of the Philiki Etaireia.

The organizational structure of the society was based on models already tested and assessed by the Carbonari and other revolutionary movements. Its leadership was portrayed as the “Invisible authority,” supposedly a very high-ranking personality in Europe at that time. In reality there was not such authority and the three founders were the actual culprits from the start. This grandiose image was used mainly as a propaganda tool in order to exercise a stronger clout to the newcomers that wanted to believe in the presence of a powerful political force promoting the Greeks. In 1818, the organization changed and the ruling authority was named “The authority of the 12 Apostles”, being composed by the three founding members and another nine figures.

The society followed a pyramid structure that remained unknown to its members, and orders were to be followed instantly and without hesitation. There were also four initiation rites, each one corresponding to a greater intimation with the motives of the organization and its modus operandi. Therefore, the first degree was the one of the “Brother,” the second of the “Referenced One,” the third one of the “Priest” and the higher of the “Shepherd.”

The role of the “Priests” was to recruit newcomers, after having being assured of their intentions and after having examined their character and motivation. Afterwards, they were taken to a church and made to swear in the Bible the following: “I swear in the name of freedom and justice and in front of the supreme being; to preserve the society even if I have to suffer the worst torture and my life perishes, and I will answer truthfully anything being asked by the society.” The newcomer repeated three times in total the oath and afterwards he was considered a member of the Philiki Etaireia. At that stage he was not fully aware of the underlying greater motives of the society, having understood simply that the organization was generally concerned with protecting the rights of the Greeks in the Ottoman Empire.

The initiates promoted to the rank of the “Priest” were the members that showed courage and aptitude of character beyond doubt. A series of dialogues and thoughtful consideration was needed before anyone was admitted in this degree. When it was decided that one would in fact be selected, the following events took place: The candidate, along with his initiator, met in a “safe house” where the candidate would hold a lit candle in front of a Christian Orthodox icon. Afterwards the “Great Oath” was sworn, and after that the “Priest” acquired the rights and obligations of his rank. He had to learn the signs and gestures in order to communicate with the rest of the society. Nevertheless the “Priests” could under no circumstances become acquainted with or communicate with the heads of the general society, but only through the “Shepherds,” who acted as the link between the administration and the rest. The latter were selected by the “Priests” after a selective process, in a similar fashion. In all four ranks of the society, everyone was obliged to follow the decisions by the heads of the Etaireia, and could not take initiatives without prior notification. The society firmly believed in the mutual obligation of everyone to secrecy, to the extent that those who revealed its secrets were murdered; at least two such cases have been historically documented.

In 1818, the Philiki Etaireia transferred its base from Odessa to Constantinople; in the same year, leader Skoufas died. Later on Ioannis Kapodistrias, the Greek foreign minister of the Russian state, was cajoled into becoming the supreme leader of the organization, but he declined. Only in 1820 did another Russian-domiciled Greek, Alexandros Ypsilanti, accept the offer. The original plan for the revolution was to simultaneously organize uprisings throughout the Balkans and make an attempt to destroy the Ottoman fleet in Constantinople. Some of the plans seemed to have been compromised, however, with the result that the revolution started on the 24th of February in modern-day Iasio, Romania. After the formal announcement of the Greek revolution in mainland Greece in March 1821, the Philiki Etaireia was somehow dissolved and its members participated in numerous battles fought across Greece. The founding members of the society were not elected to public office, nor did they claim fortune and fame for their struggles. In essence, the Philiki Etaireia was a formidable example of a patriotic society that managed in less than seven years to create a revolutionary spirit in Greece and then disappeared, as mysteriously as it had arisen, into the realm of history. Even nowadays, the full history of the Philiki Etaireia has not been sufficiently uncovered, and especially the almost miraculous way in which it managed to remain impervious to outside infiltration. How it managed its resources successfully in an era without the modern conveniences of telecommunications and transport is another engaging question for researchers today.

Similar societies both before and after have drawn from a rich tradition of esoteric customs, symbols and activities. These can be traced ultimately back to the pagan mystery cults of Greek Antiquity, and the later crypto-Christian groups (when Christians were still being persecuted by the Roman Empire). It can even be argued that the pyramidal, multi-leveled organizational hierarchy of the Philiki Etairia resembles somewhat the neo-Platonic conception of the universal organization of ideality and divinity as laid out by ancient authors such as Porphyry and Plotinus.

If all of these are indeed manifestations of the unique Greek passion for convoluted and complex organization, irrational rules and secrecy (the undoing of which would open onto time-honored themes of scandal and betrayal), then one can perceive a continuous historical tradition, in which Greek secret societies become just one epoch’s manifestation of the seminal impulses and psyche of a people.

Numerous historical incidents and developments have been either shaped or influenced by societies in Greece resembling the original Philiki Etaireia one. The expulsion of King Otto in 1862, the Greek-Turkish war in 1897, the revolution in 1909 and the installation of Venizelos, and many other cases, attest to this dynamic. There is a strong linkage between the formation of secret societies in Greece and the expectation of either peripheral or worldwide events of national interest. Due to the unique history in Greece of society ordered alternately by city-states and local self-rule, social dynamics often have called for the participation of informal groups of individuals, sharing kinship or often intellectual interests.

References:

(1) Yiannis Kordatos, Rigas Feraios and Balkan Federation, (Athens, 1974)
(2) http://www.balkanalysis.com/2006/09/28/freemasonry-in-greece-secret-history-revealed/
(3) http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/Altf/gl-greece.html
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonari
(5) http://w38.fhw.gr/chronos/11/tgr/en/frameset.html?431
(6) http://www.macedonian-heritage.gr/Athos/Monastery/dionysiou.html

Bibliography:
Panagiotopoulos, V., “Oi tektones kai i Philiki Etaireia. Emm. Xanthos kai Pan. Karagiannis”, Eranistis, (1964)
Vakalopoulos, A., “Symvoli stin istoria kai organosi tis Philikis Etaireias”, Ellinika, 12 (1952-1953)
Vournas, T., Philiki Etaireia. A’: To paranomo organotiko tis. B’: O diogmos tis ap’ tous xenous, Athens, Tolidi, 1982
Yiannis Kordatos, Rigas Feraios and Balkan Federation (Athens, 1974)

Further readings on secret societies:
Arkon Daraul, (1961). Secret Societies. London. Citadel Press. ISBN-13: 978-1567312911
Axelrod, Alan (1997). The international encyclopedia of secret societies and fraternal orders. New York: Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2307-7.
Barrett, David V. Secret Societies. From the Ancient and Arcane to the Modern and Clandestine. London. Blandford.ISBN 0713727721
Whalen, William Joseph (1966). Handbook of secret organizations. Milwaukee: Bruce Pub. Co. LCCN 66-026658
11/03/2007


Ankara Gives Glimmer Of Hope For Rights Of Ecumenical Patriarchate
Bartholomew has ended a second round of meetings with government ministers. Positive comments in diplomatic circles, even if it is feared that a concrete solution to the question will be put off indefinitely.

Ankara (AsiaNews) –The Turkish government appears willing to open up to finding a solution to the insistent problem of minority rights, in particular regarding the Ecumenical Patriarch, although it may be too early for any celebrations. These were the conclusions drawn by the Patriarch Bartholomew at the end of a second round of meetings in Ankara with Foreign minister, Ali Babacan (see photo), Education minister Huseyn Celik, Justice minister, Ali Sahin, and State minister, Besir Atalay, all of whom are directly involved in the issue of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and minorities in general.

In the meetings, Bartholomew put forward the issue of the properties contested by the Patriarchate, the restitution of 24 foundations abusively occupied and the properties of the Orthodox minority, as well as the re-opening of the Theological School of Halki. The ecumenical patriarch has explicitly sought the minister’s aid in resolving these difficult questions. Faced with objections based on so-called constitutional impediments, Bartholomew pointed out that the foundations of minority property are protected by the Lausanne treaty and that they cannot be given over to Ottoman foundations that were regulated by the Turkish State.

For their part, the ministers have assured their desire to find a solution to all of the pending questions, because, they maintained that the minorities who have been on Turkish soil for centuries are part of the wealth and multi cultural inheritance of the nation.

Positive comments in diplomatic circles accompanied these meetings. It was however noticed that the governments goodwill to resolve the minorities issues is not what is under discussion, rather the pressure for a “Deep sense of State” (trends in the administration, economics and the military), as an excuse to put off indefinably a solution to these problems. While certainly the worsening situation with the Kurds and the subsequent re-emergence of Turkish nationalism doesn’t help. (NT)

http://www.asianews.it/


Turkey Deserves Better Treatment
November 07. 2007

I recently sent two letters to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Phil English, of Erie, R-3rd Dist., regarding the Armenian genocide issue.

My first concern was that my son, Matt Fogarty, was in Turkey at the time this issue hit the papers. When he returned, he told me the Turkish people's reactions to our government's actions. In 1997, as a Rotary International exchange student, he spent a year living with a family in Edirne. At that time, when people learned his nationality, they would comment on how much they loved America. This time, 10 years later, their responses are quite different. They said they liked him but didn't like his country much.

Specifically, they said our government has made terrible decisions in the past few years and has alienated a very strong ally. What bothers me is that Turkey has been our strongest ally in the Muslim world. It has been our best chance for levelheaded thinking about very dangerous situations. It worries me that this initiative may have seriously damaged that partnership.

We don't need another enemy in the Middle East, especially one that bridges Eastern and Western thinking.
Barb Hauck
Erie


Armenia Has To Make Diplomatic Efforts To Eliminate Turkey From Number Of Osce Mg Member-Countries: Ra Parliament Vice-Speaker
2007-11-06

ArmInfo. Armenia has to make diplomatic efforts to eliminate Turley from the number of OSCE MG member-countries, vice-speaker of RA parliament, member of ARF Dashnaktsutyun party's Supreme Body Vahan Hovhannissian told journalists today.

He said that initiators of creation of OSCE MG supposed that the Minsk Group will include the countries, which are neutral to the Nagorno Karabakh problem. However, Turkey took an emphatically pro-Azerbaijani position from the very beginning, and there is no point of neutrality. Therefore, Turkey should be eliminated from the number of OSCE MG members. In addition, if Azerbaijan refuses of negotiations with Stepanakert, Armenia should negotiate with Ankara and not Baku, as it is just Ankara which encourages the militaristic moods of Azerbaijan, V. Hovhannissian said. He also ondered: "What does Azerbaijan sacrifices when talking of compromises?" the vice- speaker thinks that a paradoxical situation has developed, namely, Armenia is required to return the territories, while Azerbaijan sacrifices peace only. It turns out that Azerbaijan sacrifices peace against peace.

This is an absurd, V. Hovhannnissian said.

Touching on the situation in the Armenian-populated Georgia's region of Samtskhe- Javakhetia, V. Hovhannissian said that Georgia should understand that any vacuum in the South Caucasus region, as the history teaches, is filed with Turks and Azerbaijanis. "It turns out that we are not neighbours with the Georgians, as Azerbaijanis live between us the Georgians almost everywhere. Javakhk is an exception, so both us and the Georgians have to cherish it like the apple of ones eye", V. Hovhannissian emphasized.


American Newspaper Blames U.S. Government For Unjustified Weakness
07.11.2007 19:29 PanARMENIAN.Net/ “Heaven forbid that the United States should do something morally correct, like acknowledge the Genocide of the Armenians by the Turks. Twenty-four countries have done so,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper reports.

“Would you give "deepest sympathy" to the Jews or the people of Darfur for their tragedies? The Turkish government is not our friend or ally. It blackmails us for money, or, in this case, policy, for the right to use bases in their country. Why can't the U.S. government stand strong for once?” the article says.


Gül: Armenia's Hostile Stance Harms Ties
November 8, 2007, ANKARA – Turkish Daily News

As long as Armenia continues to pursue its current interpretation of incidents that occurred in 1915 in other countries' parliaments nobody should expect normalization of ties between the two neighboring countries, Turkey's president said yesterday.

Addressing the Azerbaijani parliament on the second day of his visit, Gül touched upon problems between Turkey and Armenia and said Yerevan's stance was harming ties with Ankara.

“Turkey recognized the Republic of Armenia on Dec. 16, 1991 and invited it to join the Black Sea Economic Cooperation though Armenia does not border the Black Sea. Despite this, problems emerged between Turkey and Armenia that prevented establishment of diplomatic ties. I don't believe that Turkey is responsible for the current situation,” he said.

Gül made clear that relations will not be normalized unless Armenia stops supporting Armenian diaspora efforts to get the international community to endorse its genocide claims concerning the deaths of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

The border gate between Turkey and Armenia has been closed for more than a decade.

Gül said the whole world must see that Armenia, on the one side, displays hostility toward Turkey and on the other side continues its occupation in the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In comments on Turkish-Azerbaijani ties, the president said the two countries struck deals on regional projects, signaling that more were on the way.

In Baku, Gül attended a business forum with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, urging Turkish businessmen to invest in Azerbaijan.

Over 1 Million Armenians Migrant Workers In Russia
Lragir.am 08-11-2007

There are over one million Armenian migrant workers in Russia, informed Gagik Yeganyan, head of the Migration Agency.

He said 80 percent of migrant workers work in Russia. The agency has reached agreement with the Russian migration agency to create an information center for supporting migrants, namely checking the conditions offered by the employee, as well as searching for migrants.

The results of a recent study by the OSCE among households show that 13.9 percent of households are involved in work migration. Gagik Yeganyan also said most remittances are sent by migrant workers.


Armenia-Diaspora Cooperation In The Process
By Marieta Nakarian, translated by L.H. AZG Armenian Daily #204, 07/11/2007

On November 5, Head of the UNDP Armenia office Consuella Vidal , Italian Ambassador to Armenia Masimo Lavetso Kasineli and his spouse and Executive Director of "Armenia" All-Armenian Foundation Vahe Aghabekiants paid an official visit to Lusadzor village (province of Tavush). The aim of the visit was to see the performance of the local programs of Lusadzor and also to re-affirm the readiness of the sides to widen the cooperation circle in the village.

The guests were received by the leader of Tavush province Armen Ghulian, Head of the village Suren Kocharian, representatives of local governance and the population of the village.

UNDP entered the village on May. Most of the programs aim to recover the social-economic substructures of the village. The program will end on December. An inner-community gas net of 4,8 km length is going to be built. UNDP has already finished the project of the water and irrigation net.

Lusadzor is also involved in the villages' development program of "Armenia" All-Armenian Foundation. The program is being carried out in the framework of the Armenian Foreign Affairs Ministry initiative, as a result of Armenia-Diaspora Second Conference.

All the above-mentioned programs are being carried out in the framework of UNDP Community Development Programs, in virtue of the Italian Government and UNDP financing 500.000 and 34.000 Euros accordingly.


. .

Genocide? This American says “NO!” November 5, 2007 Renee Abramson

The Anti Defamation League (ADL) has recently stated it supports the claim of an Armenian genocide occurrence. Does this come to anyone as a surprise? What else can we expect from a human rights group? The ADL is not a political group. The ADL is not Israel. It does not represent Israel (who has not taken a position). It does not represent the Jews. The ADL represents itself. That is all.

One would think that Israel, or certainly some lone member of Knesset, would support the claim on this sensitive issue of a possible genocide with an ally as close as Turkey is to Israel. Even more interesting is the time frame of this “ethnic cleansing” that the Armenians claim. During the same time that they claim the Turks set out to annihilated their entire existence, the Ottoman Empire was in Palestine, in Jerusalem . For centuries the Armenian Quarter had existed in Jerusalem. Why not start there? One would think that the Turks occupying Palestine would wipe out that quarter. Even back then it would probably take them all but an hour to do so. However, not only did the Armenians in Jerusalem, survive, but they thrived. There were no skirmishes. In fact, the Turkish Ottomans gave the Armenians, just as they had given the Jews, the freedom to practice their own religion.

Must we Jews be reminded that on Mar. 28, 1949, Turkey became the first country with a Muslim majority to formally recognize the State of Israel? Not only this but they were among the first nations to ratify Israel's Statehood. When 150,000 Spanish Jews fled the inquisition, the crusades and the Black Death, They repopulated Constantinople's (today's Istanbul) declining population. These Sephardic Jews settled in Constantinople, but also in Thessalonica which came to be known as "Mother of Israel" due to its large Jewish population.

Do we forget that Turkey also served as a transit for European Jews fleeing Nazi persecution during the 1930s and 1940s? The Israeli foreign ministry has characterized its relations with Turkey as "perfect." With the dissolve of the Ottoman Empire, Israel has maintained a friendship for almost 90 years. These two countries train their armies together. If Israel had thought for a moment that their allies were capable of ethnic cleansing, then they would not have a long established friendship. If there were an ethnic cleansing, then the Armenian quarter that was long established for centuries would not have flourished during the Ottoman Empire.

This was war

We Jews know what ethnic cleansing is. Probably more so than many other ethnic groups do. What happened to the Armenians was a horrific massacre and loss of life. Was every massacre throughout history motivated by ethnic cleansing? Certainly not. What Hitler tried to accomplish is a far cry from any Armenian so-called genocide. You cannot deny that many Armenians lost their lives as they were looking for a land of their own, however, what is not recognized is that the Armenians themselves inflicted as much damage as others in the hostilities of that time for their own selfish objectives. The Turk's only policy was the removal of Armenians from the front line with Russia, where they were collaborating with the Ottoman Empire's enemies. They were a threat to security. This is called war.

Regarding persecution, the Ottomans had one of the most tolerant policies toward non-Turks of any empire of its day. The three communities of Jews, Greeks and Armenians were virtually autonomous within the empire. It cannot be denied that throughout history the Ottoman Empire unlike any other empire of its time allowed Jews to practice their own religion as well as many freedoms of their time. When the Ottoman Empire had taken over Jerusalem, had they tried to annihilate the strong presence of the Armenians who had their own quarter? Never. Could you say that the Russians committed genocide against the Circassians and Adyghes? If you could then the Armenians slaughtered 200,000 people including Turks and Kurds and Jews in Eastern Anatolia during Turkey 's Independence War while the Turks were fighting against the imperial powers of Europe on five fronts. Armenians took advantage of the Turks' weak position and waged a war against them by opening a new front. But, this was war.

As a Jew, I have huge respect for the Ottoman Empire as they gave us freedom of religion to not only Jews but to the Christians as well. My grandfather was born under the Ottoman Empire in Jerusalem. We return to our history books that once again show us that the Ottomans allowed freedom of religion unlike every other empire that existed. This set the precedence for a friendship between Israel and Turkey . Once more, one does not befriend its enemy. Could it be that the Armenians massacred were only the victims of war?

When the public is given the correct information, then we can make an intelligent choice. Our history books give us the proof as the Armenians had a complete alphabet at that time and kept good records as did the Ottomans. In 2007, however, history was ignored and replaced with slanting, propaganda and lies. The House's decision to rewrite history and rename the Armenian/Turkish conflict as genocide is ridiculous. Not even the United Nations or Israel has supported this as true. It was not racially motivated. There was no ethnic cleansing. If this held any truth then the Armenian quarter could have been wiped out in an hour but instead was respected by the Muslim Ottomans allowing the Armenian quarter to flourish and grow giving them freedom of religion.

Genocide is being used as a loose term

In a recent article in the Jerusalem Post Armenians in Israel led a small protest and were upset that Israel had not taken an official position. One would think that Israel would be the first country to define Genocide with its own history. The problem is that Genocide is being used as a loose term. Israel, a people who have tasted the bitterness of ethnic cleansing would be the first to declare this as genocide. They have had nearly 90 years to do so. Instead, they have befriended Turkey as the two nations train their military together and have become close allies.

Here in the year 2007, nearly 100 years after the decline of the Ottoman Empire, Armenians are still trying wake the dead in this controversy. This is alike to Black African Americans looking for reparations for slavery. And like this it falls upon deaf ears. Society has little tolerance for people with a chip on their shoulder.

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, 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 İlber Ortaylı 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 committee voted, acknowledging the Armenian Genocide, it disregarded the Azerbaijan Genocide of 1905-1907 by the Armenians. War is war. This claim of genocide happened as much as the Jews crucified Jesus. When will the House stop robbing Peter to pay Paul? The ADL, and like organizations such as CAIR and the NAACP should go back to their support of illegal immigrants rights as they have been doing and leave history to the books.

Barzani, The Pkk And The Sèvres Peace Treaty
ATA ATUN a.atun@todayszaman.com

The assaults and the terrorist attacks on innocent Turkish people and the Turkish troops' steady orientation toward the southeastern region of Turkey force us, the academics, to dig deeper into fact and reason.

The deeper we go, the more we're faced with interesting documentation and realities.

Just until a few years ago, Massoud Barzani, the current leader of the Iraqi Kurdish region, was just a tribal leader. The only way he could travel abroad was with a diplomatic passport issued by the Turkish government. Saddam never issued him a passport, nor was he treated as the leader of Iraqi Kurds by the then Iraqi government.

Taking into consideration the ongoing civil war and the backup given by the occupying power in Iraq -- the US government -- he is dreaming of an independent Kurdish government.

To fulfill his dreams he even drafted up a "Constitution of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region" on April 19, 2004, only three-and-a-half years ago.

The size of this constitution is 15 single-sided pages in a 10-point font, single spaced.

The most interesting part of this constitution is the "Preamble" or the "Foreword," which naturally comes at the very beginning. The reasoning of the constitution and the facts on establishing the "the Iraqi Kurdistan Region" are detailed in this preamble.

It reads as follows:

"The Kurds are an ancient people who have lived in their homeland of Kurdistan for thousands of years, a nation with all the attributes that entitle it to practice the right of self-determination similar to other nations and peoples of the world. This is a right that was recognized for the first time in Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points issued at the end of World War I and the principles of which have since become entrenched in international law.

Despite the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres that recognized the right of self-determination in articles 62-64, international interests and political expediency prevented the Kurds from enjoying and practicing this right. In contradiction to what that the Treaty had offered, Southern Kurdistan was annexed in 1925 to the newly created state of Iraq, which had been created four years earlier in 1921, without consideration of the will of its people, although it was stipulated that officials of Kurdish origin should be appointed to the administration of their own land and that Kurdish should be the language of education, the courts and for all services rendered."

The date and the treaty described -- the Treaty of Sèvres, Aug. 10, 1920 -- is a non-valid World War I treaty, which was never put into effect. This treaty was never signed or certified by Vahdettin, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire of that era, and never ratified by the parliaments of the drafting states: France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

Barzani is taking into consideration this notorious treaty and relying on the occupying power in Iraq, the United States. He never thought of what would happen the day after United States goes home.

Just couple of days ago he dared to utter the very delicate expression in diplomacy, "casus belli," which means "cause for war," if Turkey attempts a cross-border operation, without taking into consideration his position, arms, troops, economy and possible sanctions he could be forced to withstand.

"Casus belli" is considered a one-way street and doesn't offer the option of backing down from the cause. Of course, this diplomatic condition is valid for strong and principled countries, not comedians.

Of course he had to retract it only 24 hours later, claiming that it was released by the press following a mistranslation.

Now he is playing rather an innocent game, which in the end may force him to abandon his clan by calling on the PKK to leave the region and to solve their dispute with the government of Turkey within Turkish territory.

The most interesting part is that if one day Barzani visits the terrorist leader Apo (the nickname of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan) in the same cell, although they claim they are of Kurdish origin, they won't be able communicate.

The two Kurdish languages, Zaza and Kurmanji, are like Chinese and Spanish, meaning they have no common background; a Zaza-speaking Kurd cannot understand a Kurmanji-speaking one.

But the most interesting part is that Apo speaks none of them except Turkish. He even cannot speak Arabic. Some allegations say that he is of Armenian origin, named Artin Agopyan and not even a Kurd.
03.11.2007


Gül: My Visit To Baku To Be A Turning Point In Bilateral Ties
President Abdullah Gül will be in Azerbaijan for his first official visit today. Before the visit, Gül spoke with Today's Zaman, covering a wide range of issues including Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to the US.

Gül announced that he would head to Azerbaijan with a large delegation of businessmen and journalists, resuming the tradition originally launched by the late President Turgut Özal. In addition to its value for its probable contribution to the enhancement of bilateral relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan, the visit is said to be an incentive for investors and businessmen, who will have the opportunity to make business contacts after a seven-year hiatus.

Gül stated that the central government in Baghdad has responsibility for combating terrorism. "They have to combat terrorism wherever it comes from. If they do not, then they have to admit that they discriminate between terrorists," he said.

Gül criticized that kind of selective approach, saying: “If you choose to combat a certain type of terrorism while remaining indifferent to others, that is not understandable. If you are not strong enough to do it, then we call on the US to act in accordance with its responsibilities as an occupier.”

You are making your first official visit to Azerbaijan. Why is that?

We are all parts of one nation. As eloquently articulated by Haydar Aliyev, we are elements of one nation in different states. This visit demonstrates the importance attached by myself and our state to Azerbaijan. When I was elected president, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev called me to give his congratulations, also adding that he would be glad if I made an official visit to his country. I responded that I would be glad to.

Last March, the governments of both countries agreed to consolidation of the Azeri and Turkish diasporas. What will the next phase include?

The Armenian question is now on the agenda. We have to explain our arguments and positions articulately. We have to take joint actions to make our arguments heard. More than 1 million people live in exile; they simply took refuge outside of Karabakh. However, if nobody makes mention of it, the tragedy will remain part of domestic issues. Why isn’t reference made to it? Because some countries are unaware of the issue. The case should be well presented to the world; they have to promote our cases in Washington, Brussels, New York, Strasbourg, London and Moscow; not in Istanbul or Baku.

What is the likelihood for a cross-border operation by Turkey? Turkey is currently pursuing a policy based on intense diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue without having to resort to use of force. Do you think this policy will work out? Is Turkey still considering the cross-border operation?

To put it simply in a classical statement, the cross-border operation is still on the table. As you know, this issue has been discussed thoroughly; statements have been -- and are being -- made. We have no ambitions in regards to Iraqi soil. We respect the territorial integrity of Iraq. We have no secret plans or agenda for Iraqi oil. We hold that the oil in their territory belongs to them. There are Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens in Iraq. All of them are our brothers and relatives. There are Kurdish brothers in northern Iraq; we have no problem with them. But a terrorist may be Turkish or Kurdish. A terrorist is a terrorist irrespective of his nationality. Our target is the terrorists. This should be clearly known by all in the region.

For the first time, the delegation accompanying a prime minister includes a high-ranking general in an international official visit. Do you expect any concrete steps and decisions at the meeting between US President Bush and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

It is normal to include a high-ranking general in a delegation during such a delicate visit. As you know, the prime minister, some ministers and I had meetings with President Bush. This is the most important step to be taken in the framework of combating terrorism. The US is officially the country that invaded Iraq. Under international legal rules, it has responsibilities there as an occupier. It invades Iraq; so it is responsible for everything there. Iraq is not responsible for Baghdad alone. It does not have the luxury to combat terrorism in Baghdad and relegate the remaining to local entities. The central government has responsibilities. They have to combat terrorism as well. If they do not, then they have to admit that they discriminate between terrorists. This approach implies that it will choose to combat a certain type of terrorism while remaining indifferent to the others. If you are not strong enough to do it, then we call on the US to act in accordance with its responsibilities as an occupier. Combating terrorism in Baghdad, Al-Anbar or Basra alone is not sufficient. The terrorism issue should be addressed in northern Iraq as well. Why is it so important? Because one is an occupier and the other is the real owner of Iraq. But if they are not strong enough to deal with it, we are.

At what level is the security of massive projects like BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline) with regard to the current course of terrorism in our country and in many different regions of the world?

When projects of such magnitude are realized, there are four major legs: economic, engineering, political and security. Currently, it is going very well. Necessary measures are being taken in Azerbaijan, Georgia and our country. Thank God nothing bad has happened so far. But it is a must to never disregard this possibility and to keep watch over the situation 24 hours a day.

How do you assess the future of the strategic and economic processes between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Central Asia now that Central Asian and Caspian oil has started flowing to Ceyhan?

We know that some always viewed the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project as a dream. Remember the first days, leaf through the papers of the time; many said and wrote at the time that such a project was impossible. Today we see how the 1,800-kilometer oil pipeline works. The project was jointly inaugurated by the presidents of the three countries.

Now, the second leg of this important project is the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline. We foresee completing the construction of the gas pipeline by the end of this year. The oil pumped from Azerbaijan now reaches the world market through the Port of Ceyhan. And if we look a step further, the Kazakh oil comes from Central Asia to Baku in trucks and is pumped to the world through the BTC. While I was in Kazakhstan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev came to Astana. I witnessed this while making these agreements with Nazarbayev. Now what’s on the agenda is the Kars-Bitlis-Baku railway. This project was discussed and debated for years; however, we now speak through our work. Some said it was beautiful; some said it was difficult; some said impossible. Now it’s time to work after the long stage of discussion. And that stage is over now. We are now going through a very beautiful time with positive and viable ideas flourishing. The foundation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be laid in a few months. The feasibility studies have been finished. This railway will extend as far as even China. Through the Marmaray Tube Railway Project, cargo sent from China will reach Europe and even England by way of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkey. While these projects are under way on the one side, we will launch new projects on the other. We will continue backing the projects that will contribute to our country’s interests and the region’s strategic condition.

Toward the end of your term in office as foreign minister, you did away with the practice of requiring visas from the Turkic republics in Central Asia. Are you expecting a similar gesture of goodwill during this visit?

Our relations have to advance further. Let’s increase the number of such gigantic projects. In a sense, we connected Kazakhstan to Europe through this railway. Can you imagine -- cargo dispatched from China will make it to Europe? As I pointed out above in response to the questions, we are different states, but the same nation. We also need a more comprehensive cooperation between our countries. We should adjust solidarity and cooperation in accordance with our interests. England has a community called the Commonwealth. We should establish solidarity between us just like that. We will also make free trade agreements. While foreign minister of Turkey, I made a decision to do away with the practice of requiring visas from the Turkic republics.

One day, these republics will return this gesture of goodwill. Also, our people should be able to travel freely. So should our goods, which is possible through trade agreements. These agreements should be made without fail; then our goods will move freely. We want the capital to move comfortably. We have gotten rid of the obstacles on our part. As you see, I’m heading to Azerbaijan with a large number of businessmen. Our visits will be like this from now on. We will meet with businessmen in Baku and discuss our plans and projects for future.

One of the most striking features of your Azerbaijan visit is the large number of businessmen accompanying you. For a very long time, the business world was unable to realize such visits abroad under the auspices of the president.

Economy and trade are the strongest legs of our relations. We should attach higher importance to them. Up until a short time ago, Turkish businessmen went to the brother republics to make investments. But now, investors from those countries have started coming to our country. For example, our Azeri brothers wanted Petkim, which is a very big enterprise. Businessmen from those countries started buying hotels and began running them. We should also utilize our natural resources in the name of moving around the axis of cooperation. This energy will be utilized for the future of our people. Legal agreements are signed. Education agreements are signed. Our entrepreneurs open private educational institutions to raise generations with a clean heart and mind. Universities are opened. This is not unilateral. We should keep up a mutual cooperation with Central Asian countries. There is a responsibility falling on everyone at this point. Kazak, Kyrgyz, Turk, Azeri, Uzbek, Turkmen, Tajik -- we are all brothers. As politicians and administrators, we will walk on this road hand-in-hand with our people, and in turn our people will walk toward the future with faster steps. Ours should not be only cooperation, such as the one we have with the United States and the European Union; it should be more friendly and brotherly. Of course, our relations with the West are continuing and will continue to do so. The dialogue and cooperation of countries that have a common language, culture, religion and tradition should be different.
06.11.2007 ENES CANSEVER ANKARA


Azeri Foreign Minister Memmedyarov: Turkey And Azerbaijan Stand Side By Side
Prior to President Abdullah Gül’s official three-day visit to Azerbaijan, Foreign Minister Elmar Memmedyarov said Turkey and Azerbaijan always support each other, adding that “the countries’ relationship is one of a kind in the world.”

Speaking on his first overseas visit since becoming president, Gül said bilateral relations will gain new momentum following his travel to Baku. Gül and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev are expected to give a message of unity to the world.

Prior to Gül’s visit, Memmedyarov answered questions for Today’s Zaman.

President Abdullah Gül is making his first official overseas visit to Azerbaijan. What does this mean diplomatically?

The relationship between the two brother countries is one of a kind; it cannot be realized anywhere else. Both countries always support each other. Abdullah Gül’s visit is a reflection of this special relationship. In addition, our economic relations will gain a new momentum, aided by the presence of many businessmen during the visit.

Both countries have the relations with Armenia on their agenda. Should we expect new approaches in this area with Gül’s visit?

Turkey and Azerbaijan have many mutual subjects in Europe and elsewhere with strategic importance not only in political, but also in economic areas. Those supporting the Armenian genocide resolution pending in the US Congress [have] shown that they’re interested in dealing with the problem politically, with politicians instead of historians. But Turkey and Azerbaijan stood side by side in the most difficult days for each other, and they will do so in the future. We work together on this issue as well. We continue to work together at the US Congress, with the congressmen close to us. We always talk about the damage that our relations with the US would take if the resolution [is] passed. We’ll continue to do so and take new initiatives. As you know, we had [an] Azerbaijani diaspora first meeting in March in Baku, in the presence of our president, Ilham Aliyev, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodogan. We had made agreements at the meeting to work against [efforts of] the Armenian diaspora.

Turkey’s relations with Armenia have been discussed in Europe in regard to opening the border and conducting trade. How would you evaluate Turkey’s stance in this? And how do you see Turkey’s approach to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh?

Azerbaijan always trusts Turkey and will continue to do so. Turkey, in addition to being a friend of Azerbaijan, is a responsible country that respects international rules and United Nations resolutions. If other countries acted the way Turkey does, the world’s problems would be solved. Azerbaijani-Turkish relations have been close because we want to serve to the interests of our peoples.

Abdullah Gül, when he was foreign minister, ended visa requirements for Central Asian countries. Can Azerbaijan follow the same course?

We are working in this direction. We presently provide all necessary services for Turkish citizens’ travels to Azerbaijan.

Are you optimistic that the long-lasting conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh can still be solved following the new steps discussed in 2006?

Azerbaijan relies on real politics -- rather than optimism or pessimism -- in solving the problem. And we have obtained some results. Azerbaijan’s just approach to the problem has been supported by the countries of the world. Armenia has no choice but to realize the situation.

What would you say about the economic relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan? What would be the effect of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan’s (SOCAR) absorption of Turkish Petkim?

Our economic relations have been steadily improving. This is reflected with the presence of so many businessmen during Abdullah Gül’s visit. Turkey’s decision to give a giant firm like Petkim to SOCAR has to be appreciated. This is both an economic and a strategic move. We’ll continue to realize such big projects in the future, too.
06.11.2007 Enes Cansever Baku



A Long Open Letter To Turks from Raffi Kojian

I'm writing this letter after reading Mustafa Akyol’s open letter to Armenians. I think his was a well written, thoughtful letter that helped many Armenians to understand an open minded Turks position and thoughts. This letter, I hope, will help you understand us. I hope that I can show you what your government has been doing to you as well, and the consequences.

Contents

1 Background
2 The Genocide
3 What to do today
4 Conclusion

Background

First, let me say, I have followed Turkish-Armenian relations very closely, followed developments as they occurred, and often read many articles from the Turkish press. I have also traveled to the homeland of my grandparents in Marash and Kayseri – so far from Ethiopia where I was born, so far from California where I grew up, and so far even from Yerevan, where I live. So these are not thoughts from out of the dark, but the generalizations I may make are simply my observations, and should be considered no more than that.

We have not been allowed to have a normal dialogue, primarily because your government has done so much to prevent it - from the closing of our land borders, to the criminalization of the mention of the Armenian Genocide, even by Turks abroad. Many of you think that Armenians in the Diaspora are raised to hate Turks – most of us are not. We are simply taught our history, and most have never actually met a Turk in person. If you tell a child such a horrible truth, and that child never has a chance to meet a Turk in person, then a Turk is not real, not a person, and the emotions/feelings a child will harbor are a natural consequence which is hard to overcome. The reason most Armenians have never met a Turk of course, is the genocide itself.
The Genocide

As for the truth, there is no doubt of what happened, and your government knows this well. Many of you already know the truth of what happened, and many more of you suspect that your government – as is often the case with governments – is lying to you. You want to believe them of course, because the truth in this case is not pleasant at all, and then you worry about the consequences of admitting it was a genocide even more than whether you are being lied to.

Why do I say your government knows the truth? When Heath Lowry was penning letters for the Turkish Ambassador to America, he often referred to the Armenian Genocide without quotes or doubt – something he would never have dared do if he had thought that it could cause offense for his employer. It is clear from the exchange – which was accidentally mailed to Holocaust scholar Robert Jay Lifton – that Heath Lowry, Ambassador Nuzhet Kandemir, and by extension Kandemirs bosses in Ankara all believe the genocide happened. Their only concern then is how best to repress recognition of it. This exchange, which is well documented analyzed in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol. 9, Number 1, Spring 1995, pages 1-22 can be found online and is well worth your time to read. Perhaps though you should consider with even greater weight the simple fact that the Turkish government, which has spent tens of millions of dollars repressing genocide recognition worldwide, which has allowed relations with countries like Switzerland, France and Canada to temporarily suffer over the genocide issue, and who keep proposing to study the subject further with Armenia, have never managed to pay for a single solid book to be written which any scholar can point to as a proof that a genocide did not happen. Not even a preliminary paper on the topic.

Now for the irrefutable truth itself. Yes, it was genocide no matter how you slice it. When the US Congress debates whether to recognize it, you should note that debate centers around whether it will offend Turkey and harm military ties, not once does a Congressman say they are against recognizing it because it did not happen. The world has not been censoring the topic like Turkey has, and 92 years after the events, a very solid, indisputable chain of events is documented which neatly falls under the definition of genocide. Many Turks parrot their government’s arguments that it was not genocide. Let me address two of them:

-“But Armenians were a sixth column, they were fighting for the Russians, they killed some Turks, etc.” - Folks, this is not an excuse to commit genocide, and it does not excuse genocide. If Armenians had not been so oppressed, most of them would not have preferred Russian rule, but that is all irrelevant to whether the acts against the Armenians were genocide or not. -“But the Armenians were just being relocated, and some died, perhaps there were some excesses, but it was not genocide.” - If this were the case, then they would have been allowed to actually move. Forget the fact that the government did not make a single effort to house or feed the Armenians along the deportation routes straight into the desert, they were not even allowed to take their own belongings and money to feed themselves. They were across the board attacked by their own Turkish soldier escorts, raped, murdered, attacked (again with Turkish soldiers watching) by Kurds, kidnapped, etc. Most who made it to the desert were killed there. There was not exception to this pattern, and this could not have happened without central government orders and direction. The intent cannot be any clearer. The fact that these unarmed people went without any resistance, like sheep to their deaths is further proof that there could have been no serious claim that it was done to eliminate a threat. -“But look! There are still Armenians in Istanbul!” This tiny remainder, who is so downtrodden and oppressed to this day, is neither something to be proud of, nor proof that there wasn't a genocide in Anatolia.

In addition to this, let me add, that if there was any truth to the claim that Armenians were a threat, and the intent was not extermination, then explain why, after all the men of approximate ages 15 to 60 had already been wiped out, the women, children and elderly were still deported. Could there have been any threat left?

Larry Derfner wrote in the Jerusalem Post on October 31, 2007 the following in response to the infamous philosophy of “This is a matter for historians to decide,”:

“The historians, however, decided a long time ago. More than 125 Holocaust scholars - including Elie Wiesel, the late Raul Hilberg, Deborah Lipstadt, Daniel Goldhagen and Yehuda Bauer - have signed ads in The New York Times demanding acknowledgment that the Ottoman Turks committed genocide against the Armenians.

“Wiesel testified in Congress on behalf of such a resolution. The International Association of Genocide Scholars - which is studded with Jewish names - holds the same view as a matter of course.

“SOMEWHERE around three reputable historians disagree. They are led by Bernard Lewis, who may be the world's foremost scholar of Islam, but who, among world scholars, is certainly the foremost enthusiast of Turkey.

“There are probably fewer historians who doubt the Armenian genocide than there are scientists who doubt evolution. Maybe we should reserve judgment on evolution, too.”

Need more convincing? The Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission – which had a majority Turkish members – primarily associated with the Turkish government and primarily people who had publicly said it was not a genocide, decided to have a neutral third party study the issue, and issue a report. They regretted the decision and tried to prevent the report, and ended up disbanding the group, but the report by the International Center for Transitional Justice was completed regardless, and is also online. The summary of the conclusion is: “The crucial issue of genocidal intent is contested, and this legal memorandum is not intended to definitively resolve particular factual disputes. Nonetheless, we believe that the most reasonable conclusion to draw from the various accounts referred to above of the Events is that, notwithstanding the efforts of large numbers of "righteous Turks" who intervened on behalf of the Armenians, at least some of the perpetrators of the Events knew that the consequence of their actions would be the destruction, in whole or in part, of the Armenians of eastern Anatolia, as such, or acted purposively towards this goal, and, therefore, possessed the requisite genocidal intent. Because the other three elements identified above have been definitively established, the Events, viewed collectively, can thus be said to include all of the elements of the crime of genocide as defined in the Convention, and legal scholars as well as historians, politicians, journalists and other people would be justified in continuing to so describe them.”

On June 13, 2005 the International Association of Genocide Scholars wrote a letter to PM Erdogan stating there was no need for his call to study the issue further with Armenia, there was plenty of study already and it was clearly genocide. They included 6 points which I will include below – but the letter is well worth reading:
The Armenian Genocide is corroborated by the international scholarly, legal, and human rights community:
1) Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin, when he coined the term genocide in 1944, cited the Turkish extermination of the Armenians and the Nazi extermination of the Jews as defining examples of what he meant by genocide.
2) The killings of the Armenians is genocide as defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
3) In 1997 the International Association of Genocide Scholars, an organization of the world’s foremost experts on genocide, unanimously passed a formal resolution affirming the Armenian Genocide.
4) 126 leading scholars of the Holocaust including Elie Wiesel and Yehuda Bauer placed a statement in the New York Times in June 2000 declaring the “incontestable fact of the Armenian Genocide” and urging western democracies to acknowledge it.
5) The Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide (Jerusalem), and the Institute for the Study of Genocide (NYC) have affirmed the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide.
6) Leading texts in the international law of genocide such as William A. Schabas’s Genocide in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2000) cite the Armenian Genocide as a precursor to the Holocaust and as a precedent for the law on crimes against humanity.

The mountain of evidence is so great, I could go on and on. Once you start to delve into it, then you can imagine how an Armenian is skeptical that any educated person could have even briefly looked into the matter and claim it was not a genocide. If you believe that half of what the New York Times wrote at the time is true, or half of what Ambassador Morgenthau recounted is true, and you don't believe it was a genocide, it is only because you don't want to believe it. What other way can I see it?
What to do today

Now, moving on from the genocide itself, where are we? Well as you know, the genocide has become big news in Turkey. Of course it is usually still in quotes, and preceded by “Armenian say”, but overall there is a new dialog within Turkey. This is a great development, but the cost has not been small. Armenians in Turkey, and Turks who have come to accept the genocide both usually try to tell Armenians on the outside to keep quiet, not to push too hard, to allow more time. But that can’t happen, it’s not realistic nor I think productive. Realistically, you cannot ask a victim to shut up in order to allow the perpetrator of a crime to come to terms with it himself. It is not normal, human, nor fair. Yes, I know the genocide was a crime that was not committed by any Turk alive today, but the crime of denying it is a daily fact of live in Turkey and by many Turks abroad, and Armenians have waited almost a century for a simple apology, recognition and reparations. Should we be asked to wait some more? As for the request to not press now, not to push, because there is now a dialogue in Turkey, to this I say the dialogue would have never come if we had not pushed so hard for worldwide recognition, and continued pushes will only stimulate further discussion.

As Turkey continues to try to debate the genocide, the country and people appear detached from reality, and rather than coming to terms with something that happened so long ago, it continues to haunt them in a way that Germans today are liberated from. Apologizing and giving reparations is, in the long term, in Turkey's interest. I know it seems convenient for me to say this to you, but really, when a foreigner meets a Turk in the west, the one thing they usually know about Turkey is that it is continuing to lie about the genocide, and has not apologized. Turkey has abnormal relations with Armenia still due to the genocide. Turks who take their government policy a step further, end up murdering peacemakers like Hrant Dink, thinking they are doing their country a great service, and clearly a number of Turks - including the police who arrested them agree with this approach. The only way to get past all of this, to remove the psychological burden, is to come clean.
Conclusion

Having learned much about Turks, again and again it is our similarities that stand out so strongly, not our differences – a fact noted time and again by Armenians and Turks who spend some time together – but the simple mention of the genocide, something no Armenian can brush under a rug for any reason usually creates a wall with most Turks, or even worse, a dismissive comment. That has to change. Like Jews and Germans, we need to be able to have made peace and justice with our past, so we can sit next to each other as neighbors have to, talk about every subject without – even the genocide – and eat our great cuisines, listen to our magical music, and finally live at peace with each other.

After all this I've said however, trying to explain our point of view, in the end perhaps the best way for you to understand us is to imagine what it's like to be in our shoes. Knowing that all of our people were murdered and deported from their homes, and those that survived have had to face a massive international campaign to hide the truth. For most of that time we had no country of our own to even raise the issue internationally. Ask yourselves, like one Turk did, Would you wish to be an Armenian in 1915?

http://www.armeniapedia.org/


Nature Of 1915 Events Not Clarified Yet, Turkish Pm Says
05.11.2007 17:41 PanARMENIAN.Net/ “The crisis between Turkey and the United States has burst out after passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution by the U.S. congressional panel. This document jeopardizes relations with our ally and is counterproductive as regards the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

The nature of 1915 events has not clarified yet, according to him. “Armenians claim that the law on displacement was targeted at extermination of all Armenians. On the other hand, numerous Turkish, American and European scientists say it was not genocide. Execution of the law was a security measure. We understand that the two states have a different perception of those events. This issue is very delicate for both Armenians and Turks. That is why Turkey insists that the assessment of the events should be given by historians but not parliaments,” the Turkish FM told Italian La Republica.

“I suggested the Armenian President that Armenian, Turkish and even foreign scholars study archives. However, Armenia has not responded yet. The measure of the U.S. committee was not a successful one. We are hopeful that reason will dominate and the bill will not be brought to the House floor,” Erdogan said.


Turks Tried To Upset Inauguration Of Khachkar In Cardiff
05.11.2007 PanARMENIAN.Net/ The unveiling ceremony of memorial to the Armenian Genocide victims took place in Cardiff, Wales, on November 3.

Wales-Armenia Solidarity told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter that the stone is Welsh, the design is Armenian, the stonemason is Welsh and the inscription is by the hand of a Bishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The commemorative words are in Welsh, Armenian and English.

The memorial in the gardens of the Temple of Peace in Cardiff has been erected by the Wales-Armenian Society with the financial assistance of the Armenian community of Wales. It was consecrated in a service conducted by His Grace Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian, Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Great Britain in the presence of Lard Dafydd Elis-Thomas - Presiding Officer of the National Assembly of Wales. Also in attendance was His Grace David Yeoman, the Assistant Bishop of Llandaff, and Dr Vahe Gabrielyan, Armenian Ambassador to the UK.

The consecration service was a tranquil, reflective, religious and cultural ceremony attended by over 300 members and friends of the Armenian communities of England and Wales. Attempts by protestors to disrupt the service were controlled by the South Wales Police.

On the same say some 100 Turkey from various regions of Great Britain organized a protest action against the monument inauguration. Some protesters pretending journalists tried to penetrate into the site but were stopped by the police.


Fried: H.Res.106 “wouldn’t Help To Establish Dialogue Between Armenia And Turkey”
05.11.2007 14:53 PanARMENIAN.Net/ “The U.S. stands for a dialogue between Armenia and Turkey,” Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, said when addressing university graduates.

The fact the Armenian Genocide resolution “did not pass in the Congress is the evidence of State Department’s efficient activity,” according to him.

“Personally I, Secretary of State Rice and President Bush addressed the Congress on the issue, as we think such moves do not contribute to debate on 1915 events. Of course, many innocent people died but a dialogue should determine whether to call it Genocide. Adoption of the resolution wouldn’t help to establish dialogue between Armenia and Turkey. Each country has dark spot in history. U.S. had slavery and the problem of Indians, but it doesn’t mean that our state is bad,” he said, APA reports.


Book Review: Justin Mccarthy's Rationalization For Genocide Makes For Challenging Reading Reviewed By John M. Evans
* Justin McCarthy. The Armenian Rebellion at Van. Salt Lake City: Univ. of Utah Press, 2006. 336 pages.

Given that Justin McCarthy is widely known as a leading denier of the Armenian Genocide, I did not exactly jump to respond when amazon.com electronically offered to sell me his new book, The Armenian Rebellion at Van. My commitment to learning more about the events of 1915, and to hearing all sides of the story, though, eventually overcame my initial reluctance, and I ordered the book online.

When the book arrived, the first thing to strike me was that, in addition to Justin McCarthy, also listed on the cover were three coauthors of whom I had little or no knowledge: Esat Arslan, Cemalettin Taskiran, and Omer Turan. To be fair to Amazon, the fact that this book was a collaborative effort is available to the determined prospective purchaser who delves into the online reviews (one of the most laudatory of which is by David Saltzman, the Embassy of Turkey's lawyer and a law partner of the President-elect of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, Gunay Evinch); however, neither the institutional affiliations nor the academic credentials of the three Turkish coauthors are offered up on Amazon's website or within the book itself. Nor is there any explanation of how the four coauthors divided up their research and writing responsibilities. Google searches yielded references to Mr. McCarthy's three Turkish collaborators, giving their affiliations, some listings of their other publications, and the fact that Mr. Turan was Mr. McCarthy's supporting partner in the controversial postfilm debate portion of the PBS broadcast on the Armenian Genocide (which reviewer/lawyer David Saltzman tried to promote when serving as counsel to the ATAA). There are a lot of interconnections here.

A second salient feature of the book is that its production was funded by four Istanbul trade organizations: the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, the Istanbul and Marmara Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea Chamber of Shipping, and the Istanbul Commodity Exchange. Who pays for a book to be written is not always indicative of the likely direction the work will take, but caveat lector.

Already on page one of The Armenian Rebellion at Van the reader gets a strong signal of where the book is tending. Two American visitors to Van in 1919, Niles and Sutherland, are characterized as having "been fed on a diet of anti-Turkish propaganda that made the Armenians into saints and the Turks into devils," before they saw the light and "changed their minds." It is not made clear whether the Niles and Sutherland report, which the authors claim without further explanation was "deliberately suppressed by those who did not wish their account to be seen," is now readily available; but that report is mentioned only once in the remaining body of the text and is not listed in the bibliography apart from a reference to Mr. McCarthy's 1994 article "American Commissions to Anatolia and the Report of Niles and Sutherland." One wonders whether, in its totality, the report supports the authors' conclusions. I have since seen the report by Emory Niles and Arthur Sutherland cited approvingly by Bruce Fein of the Turkish Coalition of America (Washington Times, October 16, 2007, p. A16) but that hardly erases my doubts, as an amateur historian, as to whether the Niles-Sutherland testimony has been corroborated anywhere else, or indeed, is really relevant.

My main concern about this work, aside from some unfortunate disdainful comments about Armenians sprinkled into the text along the way, is that it repeatedly makes unsupported tendentious assertions of a global or general nature, such as "the Europeans did not care about the Muslims," (p. 37) or "were always watchful for signs of disruption in Eastern Anatolia," (p. 39) and "would not allow the Ottomans the tools that they themselves used to put down revolt." By contrast, relatively minor factual points are voluminously documented, and we are helpfully given the Turkish translation for one of the staple vegetables in the province of Van (broad beans = bakla).

In fact, it seems to me that the main failing of this book is to over-research and over-emphasize the importance of the doings in Van and to dispute the charge of "genocide" by viewing it through the resulting microcosm, rather than by considering more broadly what had been happening in the Ottoman Empire as a whole. There undoubtedly was great tension in Van between Armenians and the authorities, as well as with Kurds, and no doubt there were deaths on both sides, but isn't this microscopic treatment missing the forest for the trees? Pushing the narrow focus even further, McCarthy's book provides a list of sixty-three Muslim inhabitants of Mergehu village who are said to have been "murdered or annihilated with the utmost savagery by local Armenians who joined Armenian gangs strengthening the Russian Forces."

Ambassador Morgenthau reported to Washington that "it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a pretext of reprisal against rebellion." The argument of McCarthy's book is that the Armenian revolutionaries (especially the Dashnaks) brought a tragedy down upon the heads of Anatolia's Armenian population, while "remaining loyal to the Ottoman Empire would have been the better choice" (the last words of the book). But it is the Russians who actually are blamed repeatedly in this book: "It was the Russians, not the Armenian revolutionaries, who gave the first impetus to Armenian separatism." (p. 46) And the Russians -- not the Armenians -- are also credited with having carried out the "first major massacres of Muslim civilians." (p. 233)

Whoever was at fault, in this telling, it certainly was not the Turks.

And yet, some possibly unintentional elements of self-criticism sneak through. On page 92, the authors note that although "it did not become government policy until World War I, villages that supported rebels were sometimes (not often) burned." And Enver Pasa comes in for criticism of the adventure that led to the Ottoman defeat at Sarikamis. Furthermore, the misrule of Van Governor Cevdet who had set about killing local Armenian leaders is termed "brutal and illegal," although the overall assessment of his tenure is positive. The authors admit that such technically legal actions as drafting young Armenian men in the spring of 1915 "might indeed have cause the Armenians to fear," but then ask rhetorically, "what choice did the government have?" Such rhetorical questions smack more of sharp debating technique than of serious history.

There is some odd reasoning at work here as well. The basic argument with regard to the action at Van's Aygestan is that (1) Ottoman troops were the best but (2) the Armenians resisted rather successfully; therefore (3) there must have been more Armenians present than the Armenians claim. The authors seem nearly as concerned to defend Ottoman martial prowess as to prove that the Armenians were rebelling rather than acting in self-defense.

This ultimately unsatisfying account of the rebellion at Van ends by noting that "the Armenian rebellion could never have triumphed on its own, because Armenians were such a small minority in the territory they claimed" and that they were "dependent on intervention from a European power." The question this raises is: if the Armenians were such a small minority, why was the Committee of Union and Progress that then controlled the declining Ottoman State so obsessed with them that it arranged for the deportations and mass killings of Armenians of all ages and from all parts of Anatolia? Perhaps the oddest note is the authors' assertion that Mao Tse-Tung would doubtless have approved of killing the Armenian revolutionary leaders earlier, as they clearly believe the Ottoman authorities ought to have done. I'm not sure that constitutes a successful bid for most readers' sympathy. The book makes for challenging reading.

John M. Evans was the U.S. ambassador to Armenia from 2004 to 2006.


Commentary: Mutafyan Must Tell The Turks "No" -- Or Be Ignored By World
by Avedis Kevorkian

The first time I heard the name Mesrob Mutafyan was when I was living in London, and he was still a bishop.

I learned of Mutafyan from a Greek priest who had been in Constantinople (as the Greek church still calls it -- are you listening, Patriarch?) and was assigned to the Greek Patriarchate for seven years. The priest and I had become friends -- for reasons not worth going into here -- and he was surprised that I had not heard of the bishop. He praised Mutafyan highly for his intelligence and piety and predicted great things for him.

During one conversation (which he brought up, I suspect, to tell me the following story) he indicated that the Turks were afraid of Mutafyan because he came across as being independent and not controllable. He then told me about the time that Bishop Mutafyan had been kidnapped by the Turks -- as the priest said -- to try to get him to refrain from complaining to the authorities on behalf of Armenian Church interests and, probably, to prevent Mutafyan from ever considering a higher role in Constantinople.

According to the priest, one morning about 2:00, there was a heavy pounding on the door of Mutafyan's home. He answered the door, in his pyjamas and wearing slippers. When he opened the door, he was grabbed by two thugs and quickly forced into an automobile with two other thugs. They rode around Constantinople for a while, with the thugs making threats on Mutafyan's life. Then they drove out of the city and, two hours later, in the Turkish countryside, Mutafyan was thrown out of the car and left to fend for himself. They had not physically abused him.

From there, about 4:00 in the morning, with only his pyjamas and slippers to protect him from the night air, and no money, Mutafyan made his way home. He reported the incident to the Turkish police. "To this day," the priest added (if such addition were necessary), "the thugs have not been found."

Most people are aware of the beating given the now-Archbishop Mutafyan sometime later, by a couple of Turks, on the sidewalk near his home. These thugs were never found, either.

This story I bring up to possibly explain why the now-Patriarch is playing the dummy to the Turkish ventriloquist. He knows from these events what the Turks can do. Also, he knows that his nomination to become Patriarch was opposed by the Turkish authorities (in violation of the Treaty of Lausanne) and, when he was elevated to Patriarch of the See of Constantinople, his "confirmation" was held up by the Turks (again, in violation of the Treaty of Lausanne).

And finally, when the Turks had to accept the decision of the Armenians, the title of the centuries-old Patriarchate became "... of Istanbul and all Turkey." The Greeks, to their credit (and they deserve very little other credit), still maintain the title "... of Constantinople," and are still resisting Turkey's denial of Patriarch Bartholomew's right to be called and treated as the "Ecumenical Patriarch," and not merely as the archbishop of the Greeks in Istanbul.

It is easy for people to say, "Let's you do ...."

And it is possible that Mutafyan knows that the West won't care about his negative views on the Armenian Genocide, and will realize that he is under pressure. But, as recent events have shown, and as Turkey's apologists have quoted him, no one knows (or, at least, accepts) that Mutafyan is acting under duress.

I, alas, was one of those -- which explains why I have sat on this story for years.

But, no longer. I have no wish to make him a martyr by hoping that he will refuse to become an apologist for the Turks and become a mouthpiece for Turkish denials and, then, like Hrant Dink, be murdered. But Mutafyan must say "No." He must call on the West (at least the Western clergy) and inform them that Turkey is in violation of the Treaty of Lausanne (as regards the Greeks, too, of course) by interfering in church matters, by demanding that the Armenian patriarchs (and the Greek ones, too) be Turkish citizens, and through scores of other violations by Turkey, to which the world turns its blind eye.

It is not enough for the world to suspect that whenever he (and the Chief Rabbi -- but, note, not the Greek Patriarch) utters the Turkish line, it is under pressure. It is possible, too, that Mutafyan realizes that the future of the Armenian Church in Turkey is at stake, and a little compromise here and there won't hurt the church.

But, he errs -- and badly -- because at the current rate of the Turkish violations of the Treaty of Lausanne regarding religious matters of its recognized minorities (Armenian, Greek, Jewish), there will be no Armenian Church tomorrow, or next week, anyhow. That is Turkey's long-term aim.

Someone must have said: "People who make short-term compromises suffer in the long term." If not, I am saying it.

It may be too late for Mutafyan to now say to the Turks, "No more." But he should try.

Somehow, I had lived in the (now forlorn) hope that Catholicos Karekin II would announce to the world -- through personal letters to heads of state, to the United Nations, to the Council of Europe, to the European Union, to the World Council of Churches, and through the various news agencies -- that whenever Mutafyan utters anything other than church-related issues (on dogma and faith) his words are to be ignored. But, that, apparently, is not to be.

In trying to be fair to the man (in keeping with the American Indian maxim, "Before you judge someone, walk in his moccasins for one day") I find that with each utterance from him, being "fair" becomes more difficult.

There are enough hypocrites out there (most of them in Washington) who know that they should ignore Mutafyan; but they find it convenient to cite him as proof that it is only the nasty American-Armenian diaspora that wants to say nasty things about the dear, sweet Turks.

But, what bothers Turkey (and its apologists) is that Turkey, having created the active and vocal American-Armenian diaspora, is now suffering the wrath of that diaspora. But I digress.

So, with this essay, I have stopped giving the benefit of the doubt to the Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey.

Journalist Avedis Kevorkian, a frequent contributor to the Reporter, lives in Philadelphia, Pa.


Starved For Recognition Armenians Wait Anxiously As Congress Considers Labeling As Genocide
November 03, 2007, NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, The Oregonian Staff

Hunched at a table in a dim corner of Ararat, Portland's Armenian bakery, Albert Bedrosian peeks through a heavy halo of Marlboro smoke. Tar stains the prickly gray whiskers at his mouth, and he holds his cigarette with a hand callused by the building of successful businesses.

Bedrosian is 80, an Armenian immigrant who pulled himself up by his bootstraps. Yet, when he speaks, it's of sad things. "I have six grandchildren," Bedrosian says softly, in words drenched with an accent. "But I never know what it is to call someone grandmother." Neither age, nor prosperity, nor distance has erased the longing. For family he never knew because they were killed by the Turks during the World War I era. For an acknowledgement from his adopted country of a genocide.

The longing intensified recently as a congressional committee debated a resolution that recognizes the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians around World War I by the Ottoman Turks as genocide. Bedrosian finds himself fanatically watching and reading the news and then weighing odds with his countrymen that the resolution will finally pass Congress. It consumes the conversation at Ararat bakery.

"A whole generation was killed; we can't ever, ever forget," Nelli Grigorian tells the three men who munch on nazook, a sweet bread. They sit in the bar of Grigorian's bakery, which moonlights as a restaurant and international disco. "So I feel in my heart it's going to be the right decision."

Albert Keuftedjian isn't so sure. He loves this country, he says, because it gave him freedom and opportunity. He voted for President Bush. Now he feels betrayed by Bush's decision not to support the resolution because it could harm the relationship with Turkey, an Iraq war ally.

"For him to come on TV and say it's not the right time is very disappointing," Keuftedjian says, pounding his open hand against the table. "It is a sad point when the greatest nation in the world says it's not time. It's time to ease the pain that we have."

Keuftedjian takes a sip of sweet, thick liquid from a tiny cup embellished with a Grecian motif. They never call it Turkish coffee, he points out; it's Armenian coffee. The group of four laughs. But brevity is fleeting. "Why now?" Rafael Saakyan voices the question in many Armenians' minds. "We've been fighting for this for 92 years."

Saakyan is just 26. His great-grandfather survived the annihilation of his town by hiding under the bodies of his dead parents. It's a generational wound, Saakyan says, that won't heal until the world acknowledges the genocide.

One by one, they recount horrible family tales.
Keuftedjian, a 47-year-old business owner, says his great-grandparents both died in the genocide. Grigorian is 48, came to the U.S. in 1991 and started the bakery before she even learned English. She stares into the next room as she speaks of her grandparents' deaths at the hands of the Turks.

Bedrosian, his voice even and low, says both of his parents were orphaned in the genocide. His mother watcher her own mother being killed, he says, from between the mattresses where she was hidden. Bedrosian grew up with no aunts, no uncles, no grandparents. Who, he asks, can expect us to forget that this happened?

"It's an example for all humanity, for what is happening in Darfur and all over the world," he says. "It is an example so that it doesn't happen again."

The old man stumps out his cigarette, shakes his head, then reaches for another.


Armenian National Committee of America
Washington, DC 20036 www.anca.org, PRESS RELEASE, October 30, 2007
Armenian And Greek Americans Protest Introduction Of Byrd-Smith Senate Resolution Commending Turkey

-- Legislation Praises Turkey for "Constructive Stabilization Efforts in Northern Iraq"; Ignores Growing Tensions in U.S.-Turkey Bilateral Ties

WASHINGTON, DC - In a move widely seen as intended to calm Turkish anger over growing strains in its ties with the United States, Senators Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) have introduced legislation which ignores key points of tension in this relationship and offers unconditional praise to Turkey and its leaders, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

"The resolution introduced by Senators Smith and Byrd neither serves U.S. interests nor advances American values by sugar-coating Turkey's record or by ignoring serious tensions in the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship," said American Hellenic Institute Executive (AHI) Director Nick Laragakis and ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian, in a joint statement issued today. "Any legislation that the Foreign Relations Committee considers on this issue should clearly and prominently address Turkey's threats to invade and destabilize northern Iraq, its immoral and heavy-handed threats against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, military occupation of Cyprus, continued airspace violations of Greek-sovereign airspace over the Aegean, blockade of Armenia, mistreatment of the Kurds, and restrictions on the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarch and other Christian leaders."

The ANCA and AHI shared their concerns regarding this legislation today with Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In making the case regarding Turkey's increasing unreliability, the ANCA also circulated a recent Los Angeles Times opinion piece by Graham Fuller, a former Vice-Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, who argued that: "Turkish-American relations have been deteriorating for years, and the root explanation is simple and harsh: Washington's policies are broadly and fundamentally incompatible with Turkish foreign policy interests in multiple arenas. No amount of diplomat-speak can conceal or change that reality."

Introduced on October 29th, S.Res.358 begins by asserting that the "United States and Turkey share common ideals and a clear vision for the 21st Century, in which freedom and democracy are the foundation of peace, prosperity and security." It concludes by thanking Prime Minister Erdogan for "continued discussions with officials in the U.S. and Iraq regarding constructive stabilization efforts in northern Iraq." The resolution makes no mention of Turkey's controversial relations with Hamas, its growing ties with Iran, or its refusal in 2003 to allow U.S. troops to open a northern front in Iraq.

"It simply makes no sense to thank Turkey for 'constructive stabilization efforts' in Northern Iraq while it is making cross-border aerial and artillery assaults, amassing troops, and threatening a full-blown invasion that may very well destabilize the region and endanger our troops for years to come," said Hamparian. "Rather than praising Turkey and turning a blind eye to its threats, the Congress should urge the Administration to explore ways to free ourselves from Turkey's blackmail by quickly putting in place alternate, non-Turkish routes to supply and otherwise support our regional operations."

The complete text of S.Res.358 is provided below.

------
Senate Resolution 358 - Expressing The Importance Of Friendship And Cooperation Between The United States And Turkey

Mr. SMITH (for himself and Mr. Byrd) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations: S. RES. 358

Whereas the United States and Turkey share common ideals and a clear vision for the 21st century, in which freedom and democracy are the foundation of peace, prosperity, and security;

Whereas Turkey is a strong example of a predominantly Muslim country with a true representative democratic government;

Whereas for more than 50 years a strategic partnership has existed between the United States and Turkey, both bilaterally and through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has been of enormous political, economic, cultural, and strategic benefit to both countries;

Whereas the Government of Turkey has demonstrated its opposition to terrorism throughout the world, and has called for the international community to unite against this threat;

Whereas Turkey maintains an important bilateral relationship with Israel and seeks to play a constructive role in Middle East peace negotiations;

Whereas Operation Enduring Freedom entered its 6th year on October 7th, 2007;

Whereas Turkey commanded the International Security Assistance
Force in Afghanistan twice, from July 2002 to January 2003, and
From February 2005 to August 2005;

Whereas Turkey has provided humanitarian and medical assistance in Afghanistan and in Iraq;

Whereas the Government of Turkey has made its base in Incirlik available for United States missions in Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas Secretary of Defense Robert Gates credits United States air bases in Turkey with handling 70 percent of all air cargo deployed into Iraq;

Whereas 95 percent of the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protective vehicles (MRAPs) deployed into Iraq transit through air bases in Turkey;

Whereas MRAPs protect coalition forces from improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs;

Whereas the people of Turkey have been victims of terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda on November 15, 2003, and November 20, 2003;

Whereas the United States supports Turkey's bid for membership in the European Union; and

Whereas the Secretary of State has listed the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has taken up arms against Turkey since its founding, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate -

(1) reiterates its strong support for the strategic alliance between the United States and Turkey;

(2) urges Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to communicate the continuing support of the Senate and of the people of the United States to the people of Turkey;

(3) condemns the violent attacks conducted by the Kurdistan Workers' Party over the last 2 decades;

(4) urges Kurdish leaders in Iraq to deny safe harbor for terrorists and to recognize bilateral agreements between Iraq and Turkey for cooperation against terrorism;

(5) encourages the Government of Turkey and the Government of Iraq to continue to work together to end the threat of terrorism; and

(6) thanks Prime Minister Erdogan and the people and Government of Turkey for -

(A) assuming command of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan from July 2002 to January 2003, and from February 2005 to August 2005;

(B) providing humanitarian and medical assistance in Afghanistan and in Iraq;

(C) their willingness to contribute to international peace, stability, and prosperity, especially in the greater Middle East region; and

(D) their continued discussions with officials in the United States and Iraq regarding constructive stabilization efforts in northern Iraq.


Turkish Ambassador To Russia Urges Armenia To Stop Its Groundless Territorial Claims To Several Countries
31 October 2007, Resource : Trend
In a statement made during a press conference marking the 84th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic, Kurtulush Tashkent, the Turkish Ambassador to Russia stated: “When Armenia announced its independence in 1991, Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize it. However, Armenia’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution made territorial claims over certain eastern regions of Turkey. Shortly thereafter, the events in Nagorno-Karabakh commenced and as a result, Armenia now occupies 20% of Azerbaijani lands, making diplomatic relations impossible to establish. I hope there will be favourable conditions to re-establish political relations between Turkey and Armenia and to develop them. Certainly, in order to resume normal good neighbourly relations, Armenia should remove from its Constitution and Declaration of Independence the groundless claiming of territories in its neighbouring countries.”

The Ambassador noted that currently between 50,000 and 60,000 Armenian citizens work in Turkey illegally, but Turkey turns a blind eye to that. Over 100 flights from Armenia are made via Turkish air corridors every month, allowing Armenia greater access to Europe and other countries.

Regarding the assassination of Grant Dink and the exaggeration of the alleged Armenian genocide of 1915, Tashkent said that Grant Dink’s death shocked Turkey and caused regret in the nation. The assassin is currently on trial and awaiting sentencing. “As for the events of 1915 and World War I, they are open for debate in any forum and are openly discussed at Turkish Universities and in the media. In 2005, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan offered Armenian President Kocharian an opportunity to jointly study the archives of Turkey, Armenia and other countries and then to share the results with the world’s community, for the purpose of revealing the truth and removing this issue as an obstacle between the two countries’ bilateral relations. But President Kocharyan refused,” he said.

Addressing Turkey’s position on unresolved conflicts in Georgia and Azerbaijan, Tashkent stressed that Turkey believes the issue should be resolved by observing territorial integrity and democratic principles. “Territorial integrity and the sacredness of frontiers are imperative stability principles both in our region and the entire world,” the Ambassador said.


EXCLUSIVE: FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Will Now Tell All - and Face Charges if Necessary - to Any Major Television Network That Will Let Her

She's Prepared to Name Names, Including Those of Two 'Well-Known' Congress Members Involved in Criminal Corruption

The 'Most Gagged Person in U.S. History' Tells The BRAD BLOG She's Now Exhausted All Other Channels...

Posted By Brad Friedman On 29th October 2007 @ 05:30 In Mainstream Corporate Media, Sibel Edmonds, War On Terror, Whistleblowers, Accountability, FBI, Henry Waxman | 152 Comments

-- By Brad Friedman

Attention CBS 60 Minutes: we've got a huge scoop for you. If you want it.

Remember the exclusive story you aired on Sibel Edmonds [1], originally on October 27th, 2002, when she was not allowed to tell you everything that she heard while serving as an FBI translator after 9/11 because she was gagged by the rarely-invoked "States Secret Privilege"? Well, she's still gagged. In fact, as the ACLU first described her, she's "the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America."

But if you'll sit down and talk with her for an unedited interview, she has now told The BRAD BLOG [2] during an exclusive interview, she will now tell you everything she knows.

Everything she hasn't been allowed to tell since 2002, about the criminal penetration of the FBI where she worked, and at the Departments of State and Defense; everything she heard concerning the corruption and illegal activities of several well-known members of Congress; everything she's aware of concerning information omitted and/or covered up in relation to 9/11. All of the information gleaned from her time listening to and translating wire-taps made prior to 9/11 at the FBI.

Here's a handy bullet-point list [3], as we ran it in March of 2006, for reference, of what she's now willing to tell you about.

"People say, 'why doesn't she just come forward and spill the beans?' I have gone all the way to the Supreme Court and was shut down, I went to Congress and now consider that shut down," she told The BRAD BLOG [2] last week when we spoke with her for comments in relation to our story [5] on former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's original attempt to move a resolution through the U.S. House in 2000 declaring the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians in Turkey as "genocide."

"Here's my promise to the American Public: If anyone of the major networks --- ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX --- promise to air the entire segment, without editing, I promise to tell them everything that I know," about everything mentioned above, she told us.

"I can tell the American public exactly what it is, and what it is that they are covering up," she continued. "I'm not compromising ongoing investigations," Edmonds explained, because "they've all been shut down since."

"She's Very Credible"

She has, in fact, spent years taking every reasonable step to see that the information she has goes through the proper channels. The Supreme Court refused to hear her whistleblower lawsuit, even in light of the Department of Justice forcing the removal of both her and her own attorneys from the courtroom when they made their arguments concerning why it was that she still had to remain gagged under the "States Secrets Privilege."

On the morning that the SCOTUS refused to hear her case, the facade cracked [6] on the front of the building. In a ridiculously ironic metaphor which would have been rejected by any credible screen-writer, a chunk of marble --- just above an allegorical statue representing "Order" and just below the words "Equal Justice" --- came crashing to the ground.

She has met with, and told her story to, U.S. senators including Republican Charles Grassley and Democrat Patrick Leahy, both of the Senate Judiciary Committee, both who found her extremely credible. 60 Minutes producers may remember when Grassley told them, "Absolutely, she's credible...And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story."

In fact, the FBI itself has done so. Their Inspector General found her allegations, as described in the unclassified version of his report [7], to be "credible," "serious," and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI."

As far back as 2002, Grassley and Leahy co-wrote letters on Edmonds' behalf [8] to Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and DoJ Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, calling on all of them to take action in respect to the allegations she's made.

"Certain officials in this country are engaged in treason against the United States and its interests and its national security," she said during an interview an August 2005 interview [9] on Democracy Now. That comment followed 60 Minutes' revelation years before alleging that Edmonds had information revealing that a "Turkish intelligence officer" she worked with at the FBI "had spies working for him inside the US State Department and at the Pentagon."

She's briefed many legislative offices --- as well as the 9/11 Commission --- in regard to her claims, and now, she says, she's even prepared to tell the media "the names of every single Congressional office who has received the names of the witnesses" to the crimes she's detailed.

When we spoke last week, Edmonds seemed to reserve most of her frustration for Congressman Henry Waxman's office. Waxman is the Democratic Chairman of the U.S. House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

After briefing members of his security-cleared staff "inside the SCIF" --- a high-security room [10] in the U.S. Capitol, specially created for discussion of highly sensitive information --- Edmonds says she was told on several occasions, prior to the 2006 Election, that her case would be one of the first heard in his committee, once he became Chairman.

"I even gave names of former and current FBI agents who were willing to go to Waxman's office and give more information on all of this," she said.

"Before the elections, I had a promise from Congressman Waxman's office." She claims they told her, before the election, "the only reason they couldn't hold hearings, was because the Republicans were blocking it."

"They said 'your case will be one of the first ones we will hold investigations on,'" she told us. Now, however, since the Democrats have become the majority in the House, Waxman's office is "going mum." They won't even respond to her calls.

The congressman's office did not respond to several requests for comment on this story.

Two Other "Well-Known" Congressmen

Aside from the allegations she's already made concerning Hastert, as we reported in some detail [11] in early 2006, following up on a Vanity Fair exposé [12] in 2005, Edmonds says there are at least "two other well-known" members of Congress that she's prepared to name as well.

"There are other Congressional people, whose names have not come out," she explained. "As [Waxman's office knows] I'll be able to give them file numbers and investigations, including investigations by the IRS. I will be giving details one by one, not just allegations."

"But," she added, "unfortunately nobody wants to have an investigation like that."

For the record, she told The BRAD BLOG [2], the other two "well-known members" are from the House, both Republican, and "one of them is recently no longer there."

So far, she says, "those names have not been public."

"Kafka-esque"

Since leaving the FBI, and in the wake of her years-long ordeal, which she frequently describes as "Kafka-esque," Edmonds has founded the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition [14].

In addition to the support she has received, at various times, from members of Congress, she's received a great deal of support from members of the national security whistleblower community and government watchdog organizations.

As we reported last Spring [15], Veteran FBI counterintelligence agent John Cole has said [16] he's "talked to people who had read her file, who had read the investigative report, and they were telling me a totally different story" than that given publicly by FBI officials. "They were telling me that Sibel Edmonds was 100 percent accurate," he said, "management knew that she was correct."

Famed "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has described Edmonds as "extremely credible." In a 2005 interview on KPFA [17], Ellsberg said, "FBI agents we've talked to have, in every respect that was raised, have confirmed her story - that she's a very credible witness."

More than 30 groups, from across the political spectrum --- including the Project on Government Oversight [18] (POGO), Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington [19] (CREW), the American Civil Liberties Union [20] (ACLU), the September 11th Advocates [21], the Liberty Coalition [22], the Electronic Frontier Foundation [23] (EFF), OMB Watch [24], Electronic Privacy Information Center [25] (EPIC) and People for the American Way [26] (PFAW) --- all signed a letter [27] in March of this year calling on the House Oversight Committee to "hold public hearings into the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case."

That petition was sent almost precisely one year after The BRAD BLOG originally reported [28] on a public petition to Congress, demanding they hold public hearings. More than 30,000 people, Edmonds says, have now signed that petition [29] since it was first announced.

"Exhausted Every Channel"

In a speech given over the Summer in D.C. at the American Library Association (ALA, video here [30]), Edmonds detailed the "Kafka-esque" nature of her unprecedented gag-order. Among the information still-regarded as "classified" under the States Secret Privelege: the fact that she was a translator for the FBI, where she was born, what languages she speaks, the date of her birth, the universities she attended, and the degrees she earned.

In fact, the interview that CBS's 60 Minutes aired with her in 2004, was later retroactively classified by the Department of Justice under the same "privilege"!

But enough is enough. She's now ready to tell all. To the public. But not (yet) to us. She will speak, however, to any broadcast network that would like to have her.

"I have exhausted every channel. If they want to, they can bring criminal charges against someone who divulges criminal activity, and see how far they're going to get."

But will any of the corporate mainstream networks take her up on the offer? It'd certainly be an explosive exclusive.

"I don't think any of the mainstream media are going to have the guts to do it," she dared them.

So whaddaya say 60 Minutes? We've given you scoops before that you ended up turning down --- and likely later regretted. Will you be smart enough to take this one?

"You put me on air live, or unedited. If I'm given the time, I will give the American people the exact reason of what I've been gagged from saying because of the States Secrets Privilege, and why it is that I'm the most gagged person in the history of the United States."

"My feeling is that none of them have the guts to do that," she dared them, before charging, "they are all manipulated."

"I keep using the word Kafkaesque..." she paused, during her speech at ALA, clearly showing her exasperation, "because...," she continued slowly, "...I really can't come up with a better word."

CORRECTION: We had originally described Senators Grassley and Leahy as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, when in fact they were, and are, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee instead. We regret the error, and have corrected the typo in the above story.
www.bradblog.com


Armenian Genocide: the Lobbying Behind the Congressional Resolution
Guy Taylor | Bio 30 Oct 2007 WASHINGTON -- Much of the controversy surrounding a congressional committee's approval of a resolution condemning as genocide the massacre of Armenians during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire has focused on the action's geopolitical ramifications. But a key question remains unanswered: How did the world's most powerful body of lawmakers come to feel compelled to register a position on an event that happened almost a century ago?

By some accounts, the answer is simple: lobbying. Others, however, contend that the power of the Armenian lobby in the United States has been exaggerated and that the genocide resolution has gotten traction in Congress on moral grounds alone.

While Armenian genocide resolutions have been considered at the committee level in Congress for decades, the passage of the latest one by a 27-21 vote Oct. 10 made international headlines when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed to push it to a full House vote. Congressional support for the measure appears to have waned during the weeks since, however, as Turkey, angered by the resolution, threatens to launch military operations in Northern Iraq against Kurdish Workers Party militants.

Is the Armenian lobby in the United States so powerful that it convinced a group of elected U.S. officials to embrace its policy despite the immediately negative impact it could have on U.S. interests in the Middle East?

Many astute Washington observers claim that, animated by the genocide issue for decades, the Armenian lobby has developed into one of the most formidable foreign lobbies in the United States. For example, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, in a Foreign Affairs article about foreign lobbying of the U.S. government, rated "the Israeli-American, Cuban-American, and Armenian-American lobbies as the most effective in their assertiveness."

However, influential Armenian-Americans assert that Congress has taken up the issue because of morality, not lobbying. "There's a myth that the Armenian lobby is so strong," says Michael O'Hurley-Pitts, a prominent Armenian-American author who serves as the spokesman for the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America. "If that were true this resolution would have been passed decades ago."

"The resolution condemns the Ottoman Empire's genocide of the Armenians. It's troubling for me to understand why modern Turkey fights so hard to defend what should not be theirs to defend," he said. "If U.S. foreign policy efforts require us to abandon our morals and values as a just nation, then we as Americans must review the foundation upon which our foreign policy is built."

How Powerful is the Armenian Lobby?

Measured purely in dollars spent, the Armenian lobby is relatively small in the grand scheme of foreign policy lobbying, says Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, whose Web site, www.opensecrets.org, tracks the spending of lobbying groups in Washington.

"It's possible that every day a thousand Armenians show up on Capitol Hill and knock on the doors of Congress," says Ritsch. "But it doesn't show up in the reports."

Over the past nine years, the Armenian Assembly of America, the group leading the political charge for the genocide resolution, has spent between $140,000 and $260,000 per year on lobbying, with $180,000 spent last year and $160,000 spent so far in 2007.

"It looks like they spent almost as much in the first six months of 2007 as they spent in all of last year," Ritsch noted. However, even with the jump in spending, the Armenian lobby does not measure up to Washington's largest influence players.

For instance, according to Open Secrets data, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, "the country's most powerful pro-Israel political group . . . spend[s] more than $1 million annually on lobbying." Open Secrets also indicates that money spent by pro-Armenian political groups, such as Political Action Committees (PACs), is less than that spent by pro-Turkey PACs, which would ostensibly be fighting to block the passage of the genocide resolution.

How, then, have Armenian groups been successful in bringing the resolution to the fore? Ritsch ventures that "the recognition of the genocide is of far greater interest and concern to Armenians than not having it recognized is to the average Turkish-American. I think it's one of these issues where one side is really motivated and the other side really doesn't care as much."

He surmises that "a whole lot of grassroots lobbying in the districts of the members who've been pushing for this" is behind the genocide resolution.

Armenian Churches vs. Turkish Mosques

Ritsch's read on the issue dovetails with the perspective of Turkish-American analysts and lobbyists, who say the Armenian-American community is more organized and politically minded than their own.

"From an organizational perspective, there are about 500 Armenian organizations and about 50 Turkish organizations," says Gunai Evinch, a prominent Turkish-American Lawyer in Washington and vice president of the leading Turkish lobby organization, the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations. "The Turkish organizations are primarily dedicated to cultural events, whereas the Armenian organizations do not shy away at all from political activities."

The Armenian church," argues Evinch, "is a major point of congregation for . . . Armenian life, both spiritual and political. The church's leaders are in a way the political leaders; there has never been a distinction."

"In the Turkish-American community on the other hand, with a strong tradition of secular democracy, we do not see politics played in mosques," he said. "We don't have a meeting place to go to every week to congregate and to plan and strategize on a political issue. We don't have the force of God being used to bring us together to do political work against a particular ethnic group."

Evinch claims that tax records of the revenue and donations of all Armenian local and national organizations, including academic groups and the Armenian Church in the United States, would show that "the Armenian side has about a $40 million annual budget for advocating Armenian-American interests . . . compared to the Turkish side, which has about $400,000 dollars for all of the issues."

Over the years, he says, Congress has been "bombarded with resolutions and gotten to know the thesis of the Armenian side and decided that [passing the resolution] was a moral thing to do despite the affect on U.S.-Turkey relations and interests in the region."

Furthermore, Evinch contends that the recent House Foreign Affairs Committee vote was heavily influenced in particular by Armenian voters and money in California, Massachusetts and New York. Of the estimated 385,488 people of Armenian ancestry the 2000 U.S. Census counted as living in the United States, some 257,686 reside in those three states, with 204,641 in California alone, according to Euroamericans.net, a Web site that keeps such statistics.

"Of the 27 votes in favor of the resolution in the Foreign Affairs Committee, 10 were from California and eight were from New York," said Evinch. "There is just no way that those congressmen or women are going to be voting against this bill, particularly if they're going to be re-elected."

'Truth On Our Side'

Asked about the role of the church as it relates to the genocide resolution, O'Hurley-Pitts, of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, offered this response: "It's absolutely against the law for the church to raise money for political causes. The church does raise money for religious, humanitarian and other efforts, but at no time has the church ever raised money to support legislations before the United States House of Representatives. I would take issue with anybody who would suggest that the church is engaged in fundraising for political activities."

O'Hurley-Pitts acknowledged that Catholicos Karekin II, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church -- who is presently visiting the United States -- "has repeatedly supported the passage of an Armenian genocide recognition throughout the world."

But "he does not support political activity," said O'Hurley-Pitts, adding that "the reason he supports genocide recognition is because without recognition there can be no condemnation, and without condemnation there can be no prevention."

According to O'Hurley-Pitts, there are actually 1.5 million Armenians in the United States, and "it doesn't take an act of Congress for Armenians to see the gaping holes in their family trees."

Bryan Ardouny, executive director of the Armenian Assembly of America, describes the community as a "very close-knit, educated and passionate constituency."

"In terms of organization, certainly you have various churches throughout the United States," he says. "It's not that the church is by any means an arm of the Armenian lobby, but . . . part of the consciousness of all Armenians."

Next Page: 'The Turkish denial position has no defenders on Capitol Hill' . . .

Money for lobbying, says Ardouny, comes "from individual support, from individuals who care obviously about what we're doing, who care about the U.S.-Armenian relationship, that want to see Armenia make the strides it's making in terms of its democratic reforms and its independence."

He adds that "the ongoing denial campaign of the Turkish government" helps to bring the Armenian community together.

The real reason for the genocide resolution's passage by the Foreign Affairs Committee, says Ardouny, is that "we have the truth on our side."

There is no debate in Washington over the validity of the resolutions claim, he argues. House members worried about supporting it "have talked about a timing issue, but the Turkish denial position has no defenders on Capitol Hill."

Another factor, he says, is the current recognition that genocide is occurring in Darfur: "With genocide still unfolding in Darfur, the consciousness in America has certainly been raised to that issue. If you can't affirm the Armenian genocide how are you going to address future and current genocide?"

In July 2004, the House and Senate passed a resolution declaring that the atrocities then unfolding in Sudan were genocide and urging the Bush administration to refer to them as such.

Flip-Flopping Lawmakers

But American "consciousness" of genocide has certainly not reduced the controversy surrounding the Armenian resolution, the intensity of which is evidenced by the shifting positions of U.S. House members on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The most prominent example may be that of California Democrat Rep. Jane Harman. Harman, who notes that her "own family was decimated by the Holocaust," initially cosponsored the latest version of the resolution.

In early October, however, as the resolution came up for a committee vote, she suddenly flipped her position. In a subsequent Los Angeles Times op-ed, she offered this explanation for her change of heart:

After a visit in February to Turkey, where I met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Armenian Orthodox patriarch and colleagues of murdered Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, I became convinced that passing this resolution again at this time would isolate and embarrass a courageous and moderate Islamic government in perhaps the most volatile region in the world.

While Harman's actions drew media attention -- not to mention the attention of young Armenian activists, who reportedly confronted her at an early October political rally in California with shouts of "genocide denier, hypocrite and liar" -- less attention has been given to the actions of another, more influential House member, who has long gone back and forth on the issue.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, also a California Democrat, cosponsored and publicly supported one of the first Armenian genocide resolutions back in 1984. But Lantos, who like Harman is Jewish, and is the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to U.S. Congress, changed his stance during the 1990s. When the issue was brought to a vote again in 2000, he said he opposed it because it would be "counterproductive" for Turkish-Armenian, Turkish-Greek, and Turkish-U.S. relations.

When the resolution came up again in 2005, Lantos again changed his position, and began supporting it. Then the Foreign Affairs Committee's ranking Democrat, he said he wanted to punish Turkey for refusing to allow U.S. forces to invade Iraq through Turkey two years earlier. "Our Turkish friends need to understand that support from the United States for matters that are important to them is predicated upon their support for things that are important to the United States," Lantos said at the time, suggesting he saw the issue in terms of a quid pro quo.

Lantos remained in favor of the resolution this time around, a development that "shocked and angered" Turkish diplomats in Washington, according to the Turkish Daily News. A week after the vote, the pro-Turkey, English-language publication ran with the headline, "Turkey Loses Jewish Alliance," and asserted that Jewish-American lawmakers such as Lantos had been "unimpressed" by Turkey's efforts to lobby against the resolution. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's foreign policy adviser reportedly criticized Lantos' vote, saying, "we have seen that his understanding of history is changing with time."

Evinch, of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations, says the quid-pro-quo reasoning behind Lantos' support for the resolution shows just how bluntly political the Armenia issue has become.

"When [Lantos] said that, I could see then that the level of debate around this issue was rapidly descending to a sort of hard politics that had nothing to do with the substance of the Armenian claim," said Evinch. "I look at Lantos as a wise person and not a person that would stoop to those levels, who would support a resolution as a quid pro quo to get back at Turkey."

The Role of Jewish and Pro-Israel Groups

Other analysts say Turkey's foreign policy in recent years has contributed to the unease among would-be Turkey supporters in the U.S. government, including many in the Jewish community who had previously supported Turkey as a beacon of Islamic moderation in the Middle East. Most notable has been the Turkish government's increased diplomatic and economic relations with Middle East actors hostile to the United States and Israel.

In February 2006, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was received in Ankara by members of Turkish President Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, putting Turkey alongside Russia as the world's only non-Arab country to open its doors to the Palestinian party. A Voice of America report at the time noted that "Western diplomats said the visit would likely harm Turkey's strong ties with the Jewish state." Turkey has also increased ties with Syria, whose president, Bashar al-Assad, was in Ankara in mid-October voicing his support for the Turkish Parliament's passage of the measure to allow a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq.

Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow and the director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says "the Hamas visit and other things such as the enhancement of dialogue between Iran, Turkey and Syria, have worked together to trip some people who have been watching with nervousness over Turkey's commitment to the West and how that commitment may be coming undone."

But, Cagaptay added: "I wouldn't say that American Jews have lost heart in Turkey, they still see it as an extremely valuable ally in the region."

Evinch shares a similar view, taking issue with assertions, such as the one made by the Turkish Daily News, that the Jewish community's support for Turkey is waning.

"In the Jewish-American community, there is a liberal part and a conservative part," said Evinch. "The Liberal part has become more and more sensitive to the Armenian perspective of World War I history, while the conservative part, which is thinking more about what is good for Israel, has been less receptive to the Armenian thesis."

Jewish-American advocacy groups in Washington and nationally appear to be carefully managing their public stance on the resolution.

The Anti-Defamation League, a New York-based Jewish organization, has publicly opposed any congressional resolution condemning the Armenian genocide. While ADL leaders wrote in an August statement that what Armenians went through at the end of World War I was "indeed tantamount to genocide," they went on to say "we continue to firmly believe that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States."

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the leading pro-Israel advocacy and lobbying group in Washington, told World Politics Review that AIPAC has "not taken a position" on the genocide resolution. Asked why, she said: "It's not within the issues we focus on. That particular issue is outside of our purview."

Some Armenian-Americans have expressed frustration that Jewish groups have not taken a more aggressive stance in favor of the Armenian resolution. "It's certainly been a frustration point in the Armenian community here," said one prominent Armenian-American activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Other members of the Armenian community emphasize the support the genocide resolution has received from an array of interest groups. Ardouny, for instance, said the ADL took "a positive step forward" in publicly acknowledging that Armenian suffering was tantamount to genocide.

The Armenian Assembly of America has compiled a list of 53 "third-party organizations in support" of the genocide resolution. The list includes a variety of ethnic and national advocacy organizations, such as the Arab American Institute and the Belarusan-American Association.

However, even with such support, concerns about a genocide resolution's consequences for U.S.-Turkey relations seem to be, for the time being at least, paramount in the minds of members of Congress. A number of Democrats last week pulled their support of the resolution, and in statements to the press Pelosi allowed for the possibility that the resolution will not come to a full House vote.

Guy Taylor is World Politics Review senior editor.
www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articlePrint.aspx?ID=1281


By Brad Friedman On 3/3/2006 Exclusive: Fbi Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Is Ready To Talk!
'Gag Ordered' Former Translator Seeks to Tell Congress and the American People What She Knows
Online Petition Launched Calling on Congress to Hold Joint Public Hearings by the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to Finally Allow the Truth of Her Allegations to be Told...

She's fought her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the very same day that the facade cracked on the front of the building and a chunk of marble --- just above an allegorical statue representing "Order" and just below the words "Equal Justice" --- came crashing to the ground. The highest court in the land refused to hear her case.

Along the way, the Dept. of Justice has done everything in their power (and then some) to keep her quiet. They invoked the rarely used "State Secrets Privilege" to shut her up --- going so far as to use it, without explanation, to remove her and her own attorneys from the courtroom when arguing their case against her.

In at least two unclassified Senate briefings, FBI officials confirmed the validity of her reports, but the information from those briefings was then retroactively classified by the DoJ --- which served to gag the Congress from further investigation on the matter. The DoJ even retroactively classified a 60 Minutes profile on her --- after it had already aired!

All of that, even after the DoJ's own Inspector General's report found Sibel Edmonds' allegations to be "credible" and "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI." The unclassified version of that report was only released by the DoJ after prodding from Congressional members and the 9/11 Commission.

Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Members Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Pat Leahy (D-VT) both publicly support her case and would like to allow the Congress and the American public to hear more.

Want to know what it is that she knows? What it is that she feels we the people ought to know about? And what it is that has led her to form the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition to support other patriots like herself who are trying to expose crimes and corruption from within our own government? We do. And we hope you do too.

Therefore, The BRAD BLOG is pleased to support a new petition calling on Congress to hold a joint Senate and House Judiciary Committee investigation, with open hearings into all of these matters.

Government of the people, by the people, and for the people. You all remember that, right? Let's make this happen. Please sign her petition right now.

And please spread the word to other blogs and bloggers (and perhaps even the MSM may want to get in on the act --- it is their country too, after all), and ask them to do the same. This one's important.

We've reported over the last few months about various aspects of Edmonds' case. However, for those unfamiliar with the larger pictures of Edmonds' allegations and what she would like to testify about before the Congress and the American people --- all based on what she heard and saw first-hand while working as an FBI translator just after 9/11 --- please see the following bullet point summary of just a few of her explosive whistleblowing allegations...

9/11 Related:

* Information omitted and covered-up regarding documented and confirmed case of a long-term FBI Informant & Asset who provided the FBI with specific information and warnings in April & June 2001 regarding 9/11 terrorist attacks.
* Information omitted & covered up regarding documented information in the procession of the FBI in July 2001 regarding blue prints and building composite information of Sky Scrapers being sent to certain groups in the Middle East by certain Middle-Eastern suspects in the State of Nevada.
* Information omitted & covered up regarding arrangements made between the State Department and certain countries to deport certain Middle-Eastern and Central Asian detainees from jails in New Jersey & New York off the record and without having them interrogated in November 2001. (Documents related to these suspects were forged at the FBI).
* Information omitted & covered up regarding nuclear related information illegally obtained by certain foreign entities and US persons (government officials) from several US labs being sold to a certain Middle-Eastern group in the United States in 1998-2000. The operation involved individuals with Diplomatic cover, foreign Ph.D. students, and US employees.
* Information omitted & covered up regarding money laundering & narcotics operations, some of which involved entities from the Middle East and the Balkans, in several US cities.
* Information omitted & covered up regarding certain Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI)-related activities linked to the 9/11 attacks between August & October 2001.
* Certain terrorist related Counterintelligence/FISA information & investigations were prevented from being transferred to counterterrorism & criminal division by the Department of State and the Pentagon; "preserving sensitive diplomatic relations" and "protecting certain US foreign business relations (mainly involving weapons procurement)" were cited as reasons.
* Intentional mistranslation & blocking of foreign language intelligence of FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations.

Penetration of FBI, Department of State and Department of Defense:

* Melek Can Dickerson: FBI; formerly employed by the American Turkish Council (ATC) and American Turkish Association (ATA).
* Major Douglas Dickerson: Air Force, DIA; formerly worked with the American Turkish Council (ATC), had on going relationship with International Advisors Inc (IAI) principles who worked as lobbying arms for certain foreign nations and foreign non-state entities (some of whom were engaged in illegal activities in the United States and against US interests and national Security.)
* Cases reported by John M. Cole, Veteran FBI Counterintelligence Operations Manager, to the DOJ-IG & Congress involving Hadiya Roberts (ISI-Pakistan), and several other individuals.
* Documented cases under FBI counterintelligence surveillance between 1997 and 2002, involving US government officials from the Department of State, DOD, and certain elected officials who were recipients of regular payments made by state and non-state foreign entities, some involved in criminal operations against US interests & national security. These cases were prevented from being transferred to actionable criminal and/or counterterrorism divisions/investigations.
* A reported case of penetration of FBI New York Field Office by an Iranian rouge agent.

Corruption & illegal activities involving US persons:

* Illegal payments to several elected officials in Congress; on going (1997-2002).
* Joint illegal activities between certain foreign agents (state & non-state) and US lobbying firms, government officials (Pentagon and the Department of State) and several elected officials. These activities include obtaining and passing highly classified and sensitive DOD documents & bribery and/or coercion of US individuals.
* Nuclear black market related activities carried out by certain foreign groups/lobbying firms/businesses/individuals & US persons (former & current US government employees and officials).

FBI: incompetence:
(Refer to DOJ-IG report confirming all & more)

* Hiring unqualified translators based on nepotism & cronyism, some of these translators did not even pass elementary English proficiency tests; some were granted Top Secret Clearance despite their highly questionable background.
* Language specialists charging the United States government for hours not worked and/or services not rendered (Fraudulent invoices, etc.)
* ...much more; please refer to the DOJ-IG Report

Convinced yet that we need to hear from her? Please fill out this petition.

Ask a few friends to do the same. Let's take our country back.

Lost In Translation
Aug. 8, 2004(CBS) This is the story of hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign language documents that the FBI neglected to translate before and after the Sept. 11 attacks -- documents that detailed what the FBI heard on wiretaps and learned during interrogations of suspected terrorists.

Sibel Edmonds, a translator who worked at the FBI's language division, says the documents weren't translated because the division was riddled with incompetence and corruption.

Edmonds was fired after reporting her concerns to FBI officials. She told her story behind closed doors to investigators in Congress and to the Justice Department. Most recently, she spoke with the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks.

She first told Correspondent Ed Bradley her story a year after Sept. 11. Because she is fluent in Turkish and other Middle Eastern languages, Edmonds, a Turkish-American, was hired by the FBI soon after Sept. 11 and given top-secret security clearance to translate some of the reams of documents seized by FBI agents who have been rounding up suspected terrorists across the United States and abroad.

Edmonds says that to her amazement, from the day she started the job, she was told repeatedly by one of her supervisors that there was no urgency,- that she should take longer to translate documents so that the department would appear overworked and understaffed. That way, it would receive a larger budget for the next year.

“We were told by our supervisors that this was the great opportunity for asking for increased budget and asking for more translators,” says Edmonds. “And in order to do that, don't do the work and let the documents pile up so we can show it and say that we need more translators and expand the department.”

Edmonds says that the supervisor, in an effort to slow her down, went so far as to erase completed translations from her FBI computer after she'd left work for the day.

“The next day, I would come to work, turn on my computer, and the work would be gone. The translation would be gone,” she says. “Then I had to start all over again and retranslate the same document. And I went to my supervisor and he said, ‘Consider it a lesson and don't talk about it to anybody else and don't mention it.’

"The lesson was don’t work, and don’t do the translations. ...Don't do the work because -- and this is our chance to increase the number of people here in this department."

Edmonds put her concerns about the FBI's language department in writing to her immediate superiors and to a top official at the FBI. For months, she said she received no response. Then, she turned for help to the Justice Department's inspector general and to Sen. Charles Grassley, whose committee, the Judiciary Committee, has direct oversight of the FBI.

“She's credible,” says Grassley. “And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story.”The FBI has conceded that some people in the language department are unable to adequately speak English or the language they're supposed to be translating. Kevin Taskasen was assigned to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to translate interrogations of Turkish-speaking al Qaeda members who had been captured after Sept. 11. The FBI admits that he was not fully qualified to do the job.

“He neither passed the English nor the Turkish side of the language proficiency test,” says Edmonds.

Critical shortages of experienced Middle Eastern language translators have plagued the FBI and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community for years.

Months before the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, one of the plotters of the attack was heard on tape having a discussion in Arabic that no one at the time knew was about how to make explosives - and he had a manual that no one at the time knew was about how to blow up buildings. None of it was translated until well after the bombing, and while the FBI has hired more translators since then, officials concede that problems in the language division have hampered the country's efforts to battle terrorism.

According to congressional investigators, this may have played a role in the inability to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks. The General Accounting Office reported that the FBI had expressed concern over the thousands of hours of audiotapes and pages of written material that have not been reviewed or translated because of a lack of qualified linguists.

“If they got word today that within, in a little while, the Hoover Dam was going to be blown up, and it takes a week or two to get it translated, as was one of the problems in this department, you know, you couldn't intervene to prevent that from happening,” says Grassley.

In its rush to hire more foreign language translators after Sept. 11, the FBI admits it has had difficulty performing background checks to detect translators who may have loyalties to other governments, which could pose a threat to U.S. national security.

Take the case of Jan Dickerson, a Turkish translator who worked with Edmonds. The FBI has admitted that when Dickerson was hired, the bureau didn't know that she had worked for a Turkish organization being investigated by the FBI's own counter-intelligence unit.

They also didn't know she'd had a relationship with a Turkish intelligence officer stationed in Washington who was the target of that investigation. According to Edmonds, Dickerson tried to recruit her into that organization, and insisted that Dickerson be the only one to translate the FBI's wiretaps of that Turkish official.

“She got very angry, and later she threatened me and my family's life,” says Edmonds, when she decided not to go along with the plan. “She said, ‘Why would you want to place your life and your family's life in danger by translating these tapes?’”

Edmonds says that when she reviewed Dickerson's translations of those tapes, she found that Dickerson had left out information crucial to the FBI's investigation - information that Edmonds says would have revealed that the Turkish intelligence officer had spies working for him inside the U.S. State Department and at the Pentagon.

“We came across at least 17, 18 translations, communications that were extremely important for the ongoing investigations of these individuals,” says Edmonds. “She had marked it as 'not important to be translated.'"

What kind of information did she leave out of her translation?

“Activities to obtain the United States military and intelligence secrets,” says Edmonds.

She says she complained repeatedly to her bosses about what she'd found on the wiretaps and about Dickerson's conduct, but that nobody at the FBI wanted to hear about it, not even the assistant special agent in charge.

“He said ‘Do you realize what you are saying here in your allegations? Are you telling me that our security people are not doing their jobs? Is that what you're telling me? If you insist on this investigation, I'll make sure in no time it will turn around and become an investigation about you,’” says Edmonds.

Sibel Edmonds was fired. The FBI offered no explanation, saying in the letter only that her contract was terminated completely for the government's convenience.

But three months later, the FBI conceded that on at least two occasions, Dickerson had, in fact, left out significant information from her translations. They say it was due to a lack of experience and was not malicious.

Dickerson quit the FBI and now lives in Belgium. She declined to be interviewed, but she told The Chicago Tribune that the allegations against her are preposterous and ludicrous. Grassley says he's disturbed by what the Dickerson incident says about internal security at the FBI.

"You shouldn't have somebody in your organization that's compromising our national security by not doing the job right, whether it's lack of skills or whether it's intentional," says Grassley.

Does the Sibel Edmonds case fall into any pattern of behavior, pattern of conduct, on the part of the FBI?

“The usual pattern,” says Grassley. “Let me tell you, first of all, the embarrassing information comes out, the FBI reaction is to sweep it under the rug, and then eventually they shoot the messenger.”

Special agent John Roberts, recently retired as a chief of the FBI's Internal Affairs Department, agrees. And while he is not permitted to discuss the Edmonds case, for the last 10 years, he has been investigating misconduct by FBI employees. He says he is outraged by how little is ever done about it.

“I don't know of another person in the FBI who has done the internal investigations that I have and has seen what I have, and that knows what has occurred and what has been glossed over and what has, frankly, just disappeared, just vaporized, and no one disciplined for it,” says Roberts.

Despite a pledge from FBI Director Robert Mueller to overhaul the culture of the FBI in light of 9/11, and encourage bureau employees to come forward to report wrongdoing, Roberts says that in the rare instances when employees are disciplined, it's usually low-level employees like Edmonds who get punished and not their bosses.

“I think the double standard of discipline will continue no matter who comes in, no matter who tries to change,” says Roberts. “You, you have a certain, certain group that, that will continue to protect itself. That's just how it is.”

Has he found cases since Sept. 11 where people were involved in misconduct and were not, let alone reprimanded, but were even promoted? Roberts says yes.

"That's astonishing," Bradley told Roberts. "You would think that after 9/11, that's a big slap in the face. 'This is a wake-up call here.'"

"Depends on who you are," says Roberts. "If you're in the senior executive level, it may not hurt you. You will be promoted." Last month, the FBI took the highly unusual step of retroactively classifying information it gave to Congress two years ago about the Sibel Edmonds case.

As for the FBI's language division, the bureau says it has dramatically beefed up its translation capabilities.
©MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Armenian Ambassador To U.S. Responds To Washington Post Article
HULIQ, NC Oct 30 2007

The Washington Post Wednesday published a letter by the Armenian Ambassador to the United States, Tatoul Margarian in response to an article entitled "Armenians Who Need Help Today," published on October 15.

The Washington Post article, written by Fred Hiatt, urged the Armenian Diaspora to work as hard for democracy in Armenia as for congressional recognition of the genocide.

"Imagine what the Armenian Diaspora might have accomplished had it worked as hard for democracy in Armenia as it did for congressional recognition of the genocide Armenians suffered nearly a century ago, said Hiatt in his article. "It's even possible that modern Armenia would be as democratic as modern Turkey."

The same day Armenian Ambassador to the United States, Tatoul Margarian, responded by sending a letter to the Washington Post. The letter said Fred Hiatt's "Armenians Who Need Help Today" leads the debate over recognition of the Armenian genocide in the wrong direction.

The Ambassador mentioned that the difficulties that Armenia has encountered during its successful democratic and economic transition are not taboo subjects for genuine discussion and members of our Diaspora have always provided economic assistance and been actively involved in issues such as the environment, civil and political liberties, and security. This activism, he added, has not come at the expense of the quest for genocide recognition, a moral duty for all Armenians and all of humanity.

"In addition, the Turkish state's denial of the Armenian genocide translates into its continuing refusal to normalize relations with Armenia, leading us to believe that our only choice is to pursue both historical and contemporary justice," Margarian said.

"The fact that Armenia's democratic transition is not yet complete should not prevent Armenia from condemning crimes against humanity, especially a genocide that killed 1.5 million of our ancestors, took their historical homeland and destroyed a millenniums-old culture, The Ambassador's letter said. "The suggestion that Armenia's routine transition problems and the genocide carried out by Ottoman Turkey can be weighed on the same scale is ill-founded, to say the least," the Ambassador wrote.


Letters to the editor /TDN November 3, 2007 Many Americans Support Turkey

To Mr. Robert Ellis: As a New Yorker with many Turkish friends I would just like to state that assuming that Americans feel anything but a close friendship with their longtime ally Turkey, would be a mistake. If you read many of the comment message boards, you will find many Americans supporting Turkey against the Congressional Armenian resolution that is pending. You will also find that Americans are appalled that more has not been done by our government to support Turkey in fighting the terrorists of the PKK.

I, for one, would fully support a joint attack by the U.S. and Turkey to destroy this terrorist organization that has killed so many Turkish soldiers and citizens. The loss of the Turkish soldiers this month has affected us greatly, and I can tell you that I, personally, wept at the site of the mourners at the funeral of these poor young men.

I hope the U.S. joins Turkey in battling the PKK and ultimately obliterating them, without mercy. From my office that looks over the remains of the World Trade Center, I believe terrorists like the PKK deserve no mercy. I also suggest that the U.S. cease arming the Kurds and withdraw support for Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. Let the Turkish people know that they have friends in the U.S. and New York welcomes all Turks.

Laura Colatrella, NY, USA


A New Direction For Russian-Turkish Relations By Sergei Markedonov
November 1, 2007
Can Russia Find a Friend in an Historic Enemy?

It is possible that as soon as in the next few years the Republic of Turkey will become a new important foreign policy partner for Russia. A significant “cooling” of the U.S.-Turkish relationship due to the U.S. military campaign in Iraq as well as different approaches to the future of Iraqi Kurdistan, along with continued debate in the Turkish-European relationship over Turkey’s integration into the EU, objectively push Ankara towards Moscow.

Experts traditionally see modern Turkey as the most pro-Western state of the Islamic world. According to Turkish political scientist Chagri Erkhan, “there are three main directions of Turkey’s foreign policy. They are: the relationship with the EU, the relationship with the United States and the relationship with Israel.” Since 1953, the Republic of Turkey has been a member of NATO and the most consistent partner of the United States. The goal of being integrated into Europe has also united practically all of the country’s mainstream politicians. Even the leader of the Justice and Development Party, Recep Erdogan, who first came to power in November 2002 and who is considered to be a “systemic Islamist,” expressed his support for the pro-European vector of Turkey’s foreign policy. As renowned Turkey expert Igor Torbakov has noted, it was during Edrogan’s era that the “problem of European integration significantly overshadowed all of Turkey’s other interests, including Ankara’s geopolitical ambitions in post-Soviet Eurasia as a whole and in the Caucasus in particular.”

However, with the start of the Iraq campaign, Ankara gave up its unconditional support for the United States by refusing to open a “Turkish front” for military operations. The phantom of Kurdistan was too serious an irritant for Ankara since Iraqi Kurdistan has long been a staging ground for Kurdish separatist operations against the Turkish authorities. Now that Iraq has turned into an untenable state, Turkey is even more concerned for its national security.

Ankara’s relationship with Washington may be very complicated, but its relationship with the euro-bureaucrats from Brussels is far from simple. On one hand, the EU keeps inviting Turkey to join; on the other, Europe keeps holding it back. The decision by the EU to accept Greek Cyprus for membership has played a particularly negative role in this process. Turkey supported a referendum to unify the island, but now the Greek Cypriots have no motivation for unification; they have already been recognized by the European community and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has little chance of being accepted by the international community. This situation has resulted in Turkey moving away from its pro-European outlook. The “euro-skepticism” of Turkey’s elite only increased after several European countries, including France and the Netherlands, demonstrated their aversion of a forced integration of Turkey into the EU.

Just like Ankara, Russia today has a shortage of partners. Since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, the Kremlin has been trying to stand up to the United States, but in an unorganized way. First, counteracting the “threat” of color revolutions practically became part of Russia’s official foreign policy. According to the authors of the theory of “sovereign democracy,” such revolutions are initiated by the United States and are a threat to Russia’s influence in the CIS. Secondly, the Kremlin is trying to find some alternative restraints and counterweights to Washington’s hegemony. Although the efficiency of such searches is doubtful, attempts are made with enviable regularity: in 2003, Russia proposed the Utopian idea of forming a Moscow-Paris-Berlin axis; then, after this flop, Russia increased its contacts with Tehran and Beijing, looking for an “Eastern counterweight” to Western influence. Moscow became much more vigorous in its interactions with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, seeing it as a kind of “Eastern NATO.” At the beginning of 2006, Russian authorities even admitted the necessity of negotiations with Hamas, thus destroying all positive relations with Israel.

However, both Russia and Turkey have a long journey towards a promising bilateral relationship. In the beginning of the 1990s, Moscow and Ankara accumulated a long and serious list of contradictions. Russia and Turkey still have different views on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, during which Turkey supported Azerbaijan. In 1993, the Armenia-Turkey border was closed. An important role in the development of the Azeri-Turkish relationship is played by military collaboration. Since 1996, Turkish military advisers have worked in Azerbaijan on a regular basis; Azerbaijani military specialists train in Turkey. At the same time, Moscow has always emphasized the strategic nature of its relations with Yerevan. For Ankara, the Karabakh conflict is about “Armenian aggression,” for Moscow it is an ethnic conflict that needs to be resolved by political means.

The Russian-Turkish relationship was also significantly aggravated by the “Chechen crisis.” In 1995, a government headed by Necmettin Erbakan, leader of the National Salvation Party, came to power in Turkey. Erbakan and others in his party sympathized with the Chechen separatists. Despite the fact that Erbakan’s government was soon forced by the Turkish military to resign, a strong pro-Chechen spirit remained in Turkish society. Organizations of the diasporas of North Caucasian ethnicities were active in Turkish territory and supported the separatists. In 1996, the Avrasya ferry was hijacked in Turkey by men making pro-Chechen demands. In July 2000, Abdul Khalek Chei, who was then the Minister of Relations with Turkic Republics, compared Russia’s operations in the Caucasus to “Hitler’s actions against Jews.” It is important to remember, however, that there is a Caucasian diaspora numbering 7 million people on Turkish territory.

Today many experts in both Russia and the West talk about the positive role of “national diplomacy” and this factor has played a paramount role in Russian-Turkish relations. The multilateral and intense business relations between Russia and Turkey have caused Turkey to develop a dependency on Russian money, and thus significantly adjust its policy toward Russia. Another factor that has brought Moscow and Ankara closer together was Russia’s refusal to support the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey and was supported by the Soviet Union. One of the problems the two countries share is how to confront radical politicized Islam.

Although over the course of history Russia and Turkey have spent a total of 44 years fighting 11 wars against each other, today there is a significant rapprochement of the positions of these two rivals. Putting this relationship to good use, however, is a completely different question. If Russia tries to use Turkey as a “weak link” for influencing the Western world and for correcting the Euro-dogmatism and the extremes of the U.S. neo-con neo-imperialism, then such a rapprochement can be seen as a positive factor. If this rapprochement turns into real cooperation between the two countries, united by an aversion for radical political Islam, it will also be a positive achievement, because it will demonstrate that a country from the Islamic East and a state with a multi-million member community of Muslims stand together against religious extremism and terrorism. In this case we could truly demonstrate (unlike in the case of Russia’s friendship with Hamas) a multi-vector policy. If in the context of this rapprochement Moscow initiates a more productive dialogue between Turkey and Armenia, this will also become an important stabilization factor.

However, it will be a completely different situation if Russia follows the advice of its Eurasians and tries to draw Turkey into an axis with Tehran. First of all, this idea will most likely be rejected by Ankara and secondly, it would further marginalize Russia’s foreign policy. In this case, Moscow will truly confirm its reputation as an archaic political power that acts for only one reason: to spite the United States.

Sergei Markedonov is the head of the Interethnic Relations Department at the Institute of Political and Military Analysis in Moscow.

www.russiaprofile.org/page.php?pageid=International&articleid=a1193922578


Plans To Destroy Turkey Mohammad Khalifa, Uruknet.Info, ItalyNov 1 2007

The foreign affairs in the American Congress have decided to legislate a law that agrees the so-called the Armenian massacre claimed that conducted by the Turks in 1915. The American Congress may confirm this law in mid-November. The Turkish Presidential spokesman announced that President Abdullah Gul has dispatched a letter to President G. Bush warned him about the damages that may occur in the measures of both countries relations in case the Congress has confirmed the project. However, the warn was not beneficial; because the Congress seems to continue on to confirm the decision as a part of its campaign to annoy Bush.

It seems that USA for the first time takes decisions that damage its policies and allied relations in the world, especially with Islamic world of which Turkey is considered a part of it. But the reality is that the American policy which planned by a secret government that never cares about the allied matters in any place of the world. The intention in this idea is the perception that USA is a super power, and is capable to effect in any country whatsoever is big or small, and every country must reluctant to face USA. Upon this concept Turkey must obey, the mentioned decision is considered an interfering in internal affairs.This law is the beginning of several laws.

http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=20215&a2b87 72a251fa96284dbfb639c835a4b But why is this American contradiction politics against Turkey? What is Turkey's fault to be served as such action? Is not Turkey a member in NATO since 1952, and has an American military base in "Incirlik"?

Actually Turkey's fault is still to be an empire country, so its area is approximately 800 thousand M2 and the population is nearly 70 million. Its social life consisted of various ethnics and many kinds of religion. There are a minority of Kurds reaches to 16 millions, minorities of Arabs about two millions, and sectarian minorities such as Alawis and Christian. In spite of the allies (as Britain and France) has punished the Ottomans after the Ottomans defeat in facing them in I. world war in 1918. They have had a vast land from Ottomans especially the western region, but Turkey remained a big country. In the framework of The Broader Middle East Project Turkey could be divided to several states on ethnicities and sectarian bases, at last get rid of Turks as they think that it is a super power in the region.

USA is performing upon this project that aims to divide the big countries in Middle East to small states, and had started on applying with Iraq. However the Congress has issued a decision on 26.09.2007 on partition Iraq into three states: For Shiites in the South, for Sunnis in the middle of the country and third for Kurds in North of the country. The Shiites and Sunnis have rejected this decision, but the Kurds have considered the decision is as their victory because by this decision they have closed to their dream of independent country that could be announced in any time under the shadow of the Americans. If a Kurdish state occurred in North of Iraq, then they will require their little state be turned to the big Kurdistan state which forms the Kurds of Iraq. Turkey, Iran and Syria.

Perhaps the Kurdish issue could be seen easy to Iran and Syria for less Kurds population in their countries. But the matter in Turkey is different and the problem is too big. There are fifteen Kurdish provinces in Turkey. If the Iraqi independent Kurds want to include the Turkey Kurdistan to their state, then the destruction of Turkey will begin. The current Kurdish government of Iraq is supporting and assisting PKK in order to continue their aggression attacks against the Turkish national establishments setting out from the North of Iraq in case the liberation of Turkey's Kurdistan. Turkey is inspecting these events and knows well enough that the Kurdish armed groups forms too dangerous action to the existence and settlement of Turkish. But it seems that Turkey is very aware to start war against the Kurdish in North of Iraq. Furthermore US encourages the Kurds to challenge and keep annoying Turkey.

Probably some will say that; where are those who defended the secular of European Kemalists and Unitarians in Turkey, what is their attitude towards their allied USA opposing Turkey? We don't know whether these Kemalists from the west will remain on their condition.

This article is translated by AMSI Press Department. © 2007


Recognizing Turkish Genocide Wouldn't Help Us Peter Leslie
The Vail Trail, CO Nov 1 2007

Remember the fuss the Democrats made about delays in sending Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to Iraq? In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Senator Joe Biden wrote that the delays cost the lives of an estimated 621 to 742 Americans who would have survived explosions had they been in MRAPs, rather than Humvees.

So why is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acting so irresponsibly in pushing for a non-binding resolution about genocidal events that happened against Armenians in 1915; a resolution that is considered insulting and is fiercely resisted by our NATO ally, Turkey? The resolution has already passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the next step would be to go to the House floor for a vote.

Ninety-five percent of MRAPs are being flown into Iraq through Turkey. About a third of American fuel supplies pass through Turkey, as does about 70 percent of American air freight.

"If this resolution passes, our military ties with the U.S. will never be the same again," claims Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, Turkey's chief of staff. Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador for consultations, and, on Oct. 17, Turkish legislators authorized the use of military force against PKK, a Kurdish terrorist group that finds sanctuary in Northern Iraq.

Turks are angry that our Kurdish allies in Iraq refuse to restrain the PKK who have been killing Turkish soldiers. Only last week a PKK ambush Sunday killed at least 17 Turkish soldiers, wounding 16 others. Turks are concerned that the U.S. has failed to pressure the Kurds, even when the PKK apparently uses American weapons to kill Turks.

And now our House Democrats are adding fuel to the flames by passing resolutions condemning the Turks for a genocide that took place 92 years ago. When a similar measure came up in the House in 2000, President Bill Clinton persuaded Speaker Dennis Hastert to keep it off the floor.

But Speaker Pelosi seems determined to carry out her own ill-conceived foreign policy, regardless of consequences. Eight former U.S. secretaries of state, including Henry Kissinger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright and Colin L. Powell oppose the resolution. In a letter to Pelosi, urging her not to let the resolution reach the House floor, they wrote: "Passage of the resolution would... strain our relations with Turkey, and would endanger our national security interests in the region, including the safety of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."

But Pelosi's view is: "There's never been a good time," adding that it is important to pass the resolution now "because many of the survivors are very old."

Even anti-war Rep. Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania, one of Pelosi's closest allies, has been extremely critical. He warned her in February that the resolution could erode U.S. support in the Middle East. "This is not a way to help us in an area where we need allies," Murtha said. He is working to persuade Pelosi to drop the matter, and that as many as 60 Democrats would oppose the resolution and it would fail any vote of the full House. "It's impractical at this point to go forward with it."

And Rep. John Tanner adds: "We believe that this resolution at this time takes away or impedes our ability to bring the most swift, rapid resolution of this situation in Iraq to a conclusion that is beneficial to our country."

Turkey is a long-time NATO ally, has a population that is 99 percent Muslim and has held the line with us against both Communist and Islamist aggression, sending its soldiers to fight and die alongside ours, on battlefields from Korea to Afghanistan. At a time when Democrats criticize the Bush Administration for alienating Muslims worldwide, we can ill afford to offend a critical Muslim ally.

Political science professor John Pitney of Claremont McKenna College comments: "This is proving to be a lesson to the leadership to think through the long-term consequences." I could not agree more.

Peter Leslie is a former Director and CFO of the United Nations Development Program and lives in Vail.
www.vailtrail.com/article/20071101/OPINION/71101001


By Dropping Territorial Claims Armenia Will Turn Into Developed Country
Russia & CIS Presidential Bulletin October 31, 2007

Baku urges the Armenian government to renounce their claims over Azerbaijan's territory for its own good.Regrettably, by implementing its unconstructive policy in various forms for many years, Armenia has been continuously violating the negotiating process by not allowing a result complying with international standards to be attained, Novruz Mamedov, chief foreign affairs officer at the Azeri presidential administration, said in an interview published in the official press on Wednesday.

The Armenian leadership, known to the world community for its hypocrisy, must finally renounce its unsuccessful policy and put an end to its actions which will lead their country and people to a large-scale disaster, Mamedov said.

Had Armenia not occupied Azeri territories thereby implementing its policy of self-isolation, it might have gained a greater benefit from its current regional development and earned large economic dividends.

However, Armenia is either still unaware of this simple truth or, being a puppet country in the hands of its masters, cannot rid itself of its slavery and dependency, Mamedov said.

In reality, a group of people, who came to power in Armenia having used the factor of war and aggression, is delaying resolution of the conflict to remain in power as long as possible, he said. Certainly, such a situation cannot last forever, and today's Azerbaijan has opportunities which allow our country to secure its territorial integrity, in which case Armenia will face a serious threat, and the Armenian people will not be able to overcome a possible disaster because of the ambitions and mistakes of their government. Today Azerbaijan's fair demands to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem are supported by all the countries in the world, as well as international and regional organizations, Mamedov said.



Why Pelosi Is 'Committee Of One'by Robert Novak, The Chicago Sun-Times
November 1, 2007 Final Edition

A story told in cloakrooms of the House of Representatives shows how ironic life on Capitol Hill can be. Jim McCrery, the low-key, hardworking ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, has spent all year trying to establish good relations with the tax-writing committee's first Democratic chairman in 12 years, Charles Rangel. He succeeded, only to discover that Rangel does not really run Ways and Means. Nancy Pelosi does.

Rangel so far looks like the weakest Ways and Means chairman during my 50 years in Washington. That's only because Pelosi so far is the most powerful speaker of the House during that same period, a reality obscured by her historic role as the first woman to hold that office.

She does not confer with or defer to standing committee chairmen, whose predecessors made previous speakers dance to their tune.

On both sides of the aisle, the 67-year-old grandmother from San Francisco is referred to as the "Committee of One" who rules the House. Many speakers over the years relied on their majority leader.

But not Pelosi, who actually opposed Steny Hoyer's election as majority leader.

Ruling absolutely does not mean even Democrats think she rules well.

Her misguided effort to pass a resolution condemning the 1915 Armenian holocaust constitutes a rare public blunder, but beyond that she has not crafted a coherent Democratic message. This month's Harris Poll puts her nationwide job disapproval ("fair" or "poor") at 57 percent. But she is an icon at the Democratic grass roots, and none of the committee chairmen who have been downgraded by her utters a word of public criticism.

Rangel's massive proposed tax reform released last week gets less respect than what is normally accorded a Ways and Means chairman's plan because Pelosi is not on board.

Much the same treatment has been experienced by John Dingell, the senior member of Congress, as Energy and Commerce Committee chairman.

In bygone days, Dingell deferred to neither Democratic presidents nor speakers. But Pelosi is determined to pass an energy bill this year even though it means crossing Dingell, who as a Detroiter opposes Californian Pelosi on mileage and emission standards.

No committee chairman wants to take the risk of going public against Pelosi, including one who sought her advice -- and, hopefully, support -- on a controversial matter of House business. This anonymous chairman was rebuffed by the speaker, who declined to talk to him, either in person or over the telephone.

Being the "Committee of One" does not mean Pelosi is without lieutenants. She is close to two fellow Californians, both fiercely partisan, who head committees: George Miller (Education and Labor) and Henry Waxman (Oversight and Government Reform). Miller is regarded as her consigliere, always at her side. She is also considered close to moderate chairmen Ike Skelton (Armed Services) and John Spratt (Budget), plus liberal chairman Barney Frank (Financial Services).

However, that does not mean she always takes their advice. Skelton, a seasoned student of international relations, told her the Armenian resolution would antagonize Turkey and thus constituted a foreign policy debacle in the making. Rahm Emanuel, the House Democratic Caucus chairman, also opposed it (as he had when serving as President Bill Clinton's political aide).

The Armenian episode suggests a Pelosi decision has to approach the brink of disaster before Democrats speak out. Her popularity in the party beyond Capitol Hill is too great. When I asked one esteemed Democratic operative whether Pelosi's authority is without restraint, he called that a sexist question because I never would ask that about Sam Rayburn or Tip O'Neill. Indeed, I would not. They were not that powerful.






Armenian Issue Discussed In Students' Research Papers
November 1, 2007 ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

The research paper of a university student who rejects the claims that the 1915-1917 killings of Armenians by the Ottomans are ''genocide'' won an essay competition titled “Psychology, Sociology and the legal aspects of the Armenian issue: Reflections on societies and the measures to be taken,” organized by Gazi University.

The award ceremony took place yesterday at Gazi University and the students of the winning essays were presented with their awards. The ceremony was organized by Gazi University's Atatürk Principles and Reform History Research Center. Present at the ceremony were Meral Aksener, deputy speaker of Parliament, Onur Öymen the Republican People's Party's (CHP) deputy, Gazi University rector, Professor Kadri Yamaç and Professor Hale Sivgin from the center.

The jury consisting of eight academics selected Mustafa Arikan's paper as the winning one. Arikan is a history graduate student and in his article is titled “A Small Side Note to the Armenian Issue.” In it he says that the forced resettlement of the Armenians in 1915 was a necessity for the Ottoman Empire, setting his in-depth archival work as basis for his paper.

“Because, in cooperation with the enemy, Armenians were killing the Muslims behind the scene. Forced resettlement, in this sense, was a kind of ‘self-defense',” he said. “The amount Armenians who were subject to resettlement or the issue of how many died aren't a matter of question. Because, the governors of the period were judged in Malta just after the World War I for the issue on forced resettlement of the Armenians but they were acquitted.”

Arikan also drew attention to the fact that archives indicated no evidence marking the Armenian genocide. “The mass graves which are expected to be found because of the supposed genocide haven't been found despite all the intensive work. Hence, there is no ‘real' evidence which supports the Armenian allegations except for the books published for publicity purposes during the war,” he said in his paper.

Arikan added that history exists in order to provide information and offer experience for humanity but it is used as an ideological apparatus today. “The Armenian issue, which came on the agenda for the political weakness of Turks, could solely be solved by being powerful in the political and (of course economical and military) sense,” he concluded.

Attitude of the US incomprehensible:

Deputy Parliament Speaker Meral Aksener said at the event that the Armenian Diaspora has social and materialistic benefits from keeping the Armenian issue on the agenda.

“I can understand their motivations. Armenians living in France and the U.S. can solely keep their identity and cultures in unity as well as influence the political lobby of the country they are living by maintaining the Armenian issue and their hatred alive. This makes sense. But I can't understand the attitude of the U.S. I can't understand why does the U.S. injure us?,” Aksener said.

Aksener said that Americans acted pragmatically based on rationality and their priorities: “Could the U.S. use the Armenian issue as a threat for Turkey in order to create a ground in making Turkey recognize the formation emerged in the northern Iraq? It makes sense. It could be.”

Meanwhile Öymen said the only Armenian problem that exists today is the Armenians occupation of the Azerbaijani territory.

“Armenians occupied 25 percent of Azerbaijani territory. This is the real problem with regard to Armenians. However, they want to change the agenda by highlighting 1915 events. The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), which began to operate in 1975, killed many Turkish diplomats but 1915 events are instantly brought to the agenda, and Turkey is forced to defend itself for 1915 events.”


Rice's Hands Are Tied In Meeting Ankara's Demands
Turkey will push US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week to follow through on promises to help eradicate the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) based in northern Iraq, but experts say the top US diplomat's hands are tied.

‘I can't imagine what she is going to be able to do in terms of pulling a rabbit out of the hat,’ says Mark Parris, a former US ambassador to Turkey, of Rice’s upcoming visit to Ankara.

Rice arrives in Ankara on Friday for talks with Turkey's leaders, before going to Istanbul for a meeting of Iraq's neighbors and major powers that is also expected to be dominated by tensions between Iraq and Turkey.

"I can't imagine what she is going to be able to do in terms of pulling a rabbit out of the hat that would enable her to leave claiming that some progress had been made," said Mark Parris, a former US ambassador to Turkey.

Turkey has threatened a military incursion into northern Iraq, from where the PKK has launched attacks, but has so far heeded Washington's call for restraint. Washington fears an incursion by Turkey -- a NATO ally and key conduit for supplies to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan -- would further destabilize an already volatile region.

Rice has promised unspecified "concrete action" and is prodding Iraq's government, particularly the Kurdish regional authorities in northern Iraq, to curb the PKK by closing its bases and arresting leaders.

"We are looking to the Iraqi government to act, to act to prevent terrorist attacks, and ultimately to act to dismantle that terror group that's operating on their territory," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

But while Rice has promised US action and urged the Iraqis to do more, defense officials have made clear there is no appetite for US military action against the PKK. Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, in charge of US forces in the north of Iraq, said when asked last week what he planned to do to curb the activities of the PKK, "Absolutely nothing." Turkey expert Sam Brannen, international security fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Mixon's comments went over "like a lead balloon" in Turkey. "I think she [Rice] is going in really hamstrung in what she can achieve on this trip," said Brannen.

Two girlfriends

"They are frustrated that the US has not done more. I don't see anything changing," said Zeyno Baran of the Hudson Institute. She likened it to the United States having two girlfriends -- Iraq and Turkey -- and Ankara pushing Washington to choose between them.

Rice's visit coincides with increasingly anti-US sentiment in Turkey and residual anger after a resolution passed by a US congressional committee this month that called the 1915 killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a genocide.

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with President George W. Bush in Washington next week, and Rice's sessions in Turkey are aimed at smoothing out problems before then. The White House said on Tuesday that Erdogan and Bush will discuss "joint efforts to counter the PKK."

"We have a joint desire, a joint need to make sure that the PKK is eradicated, that they are stopped," White House spokesperson Dana Perino said. The United States believes Turkey has the right to look for missing soldiers, but is calling for Ankara to exercise restraint and continue talks with the Iraqis, she also said.

Turkey has massed up to 100,000 troops, backed by tanks, artillery, warplanes and combat helicopters along the Iraqi border in preparation for a possible incursion into northern Iraq, where some 3,000 PKK members are believed to be hiding.

Poll: US single biggest threat to Turks’ security

Meanwhile, a recent poll by the Pew Research Center put the US favorability rating in Turkey at 9 percent versus 52 percent in 2000. Turks now see the United States as the single biggest threat to their nation's security.

"The fact is that Secretary Rice is going into the jaws of a real credibility problem and is up against some real narrow parameters in terms of what she can do to overcome that credibility problem," Parris, now with the Brookings Institution, told Reuters.

Several experts suggest Rice should start laying the foundation for dialogue between Iraq and Turkey over the PKK. "The best interlocutors are the Iraqi Kurds, but the Turks are so petrified by the possibility that the Iraqi Kurds will go independent and then act as a beacon for the Turkish Kurds that they don't even recognize the KRG," said former State Department official Henri Barkey.

But a senior State Department official said Rice was unlikely to offer herself as a go-between. "She will consult on our latest thinking and planning and next steps to advance that cooperation which has to be between Iraq and Turkey," he said, adding that "next steps" involved classified information and he could not be more specific.

Barkey, who is now at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, said the United States had handled the problem with the PKK poorly and that Rice's best shot of success was cold weather, when PKK members usually hunkered down and skirmishes declined. "Rice should be praying for snow," said Barkey. 01.11.2007


Act Now, Or…
ALI H. ASLAN a.aslan@todayszaman.com
A little Turkish-American boy recently went to his home country for vacation. He was happy joining Turkish friends in their favorite game on the streets. As you would imagine, it was a war against the bad guys.
And the chief bad guy's name was Bush. When he told his parents about this game, they asked him whether he knew Bush is the US president. He replied, "The president is good, Bush is the bad guy."

Upon hearing that Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes would soon step down as the head of public diplomacy at the State Department, I recalled this telling story. Hughes said that hers was "the work of generations." She was right, indeed. Her boss from Texas managed to lose the respect and sympathy of generations of Muslims. And only generations of work by Americans can lead to a recovery from it. Had the pollsters not chosen only adults as their respondents, this could have been proven scientifically. Take the case of Turkish children's anti-Bush game.

Andrew Kohut, the director of the Pew Research Center, which conducts polls in Muslim countries, told The Associated Press, "Over the course of her term, the image of the United States has not improved among Muslim countries and, in fact, in some Muslim countries, particularly Turkey, it has become markedly less positive." A recent study by Pew found the percentage of Turks who have a favorable view of the US to be only 9 percent. In 2000, the same poll revealed that number in Turkey was then 50 percent. That was before Mr. Bush's term as president. Only the genius (!) of a Bush White House would appoint someone such as Madam Hughes, who is so closely associated with one of the most globally unpopular presidents -- if not the most -- with the hope of improving the US image. And only it would be naïve enough to believe that without modifying the foreign policies which hurt Muslims most, a gentle lady's touch would make a serious difference.

Hughes told AP that in her travels, the Muslims and Arabs she spoke to generally raised the issue of the Iraq war only after mentioning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She said she advised President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that resolving the latter conflict would do more than anything to improve the American standing among Muslims. Bingo! I assume Hughes probably must have told her superiors that resolving the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) conflict in northern Iraq would do more than anything else to improve the American standing in Turkey. And looking at the situation on the ground, it seems such advice falls upon deaf ears.

Why is that so? Because improving the US image has never been a top priority for the Bush administration. In fact, just as their diplomacy can be summarized with the infamous Bush quote "You are either with us or against us," the following phrase can probably best represent their public diplomacy: "You must either like us, or be like us."

Take the Turkish case. Turkey is under a far greater threat of terrorism from northern Iraq than the US is from al-Qaeda. Short of allowing US troop deployments in Turkish territory, Ankara did everything else possible to help American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite deep public reluctance. What they ask in return from a supposed NATO ally is that it do something visible and concrete in northern Iraq. Believe me -- even something of symbolic proportions could have been enough to cool much steam in Turkey. But the self-centric Bush team's attitude toward many allies has been "You either help us, or help us." They don't give a damn about the Turkish official and pubic demands that have been repeated for years now. Turkey has been pushed to the verge of war because Americans insist on collaborating with Iraqi Kurdish leadership clearly harboring the PKK.

Why do you think Turkish people are now seeing the US as the number-one threat to their country? Principally because they believe -- looking at their indifference -- that the US supports and harbors the PKK. Instead of doing anything security-wise to ease these concerns, the Bush administration has used every possible public diplomacy tool to calm Turkey down. Frankly, I don't have much reason to believe the latest high-level traffic will yield satisfactory results, either. Even if something comes out of Washington, it will be too little, too late. This is the atmosphere preceding Rice's visit to Turkey and next week's Bush-Erdogan meeting at the White House.

Here is what former US ambassador to Turkey, now with the Brookings Institution, Mark Parris says, and I agree: ''It is frankly hard to see, given the depth of mistrust that Washington's temporizing on the PKK issue has generated in Turkey, what Ms. Rice will be able to say to prepare the ground for a civil, much less positive, Bush-Erdogan meeting. Short of an outright commitment to take direct action against PKK camps [possibly with Turkish participation], the secretary will likely find her interlocutors skeptical that the quite remarkable restraint they have displayed over three years of mounting terror should be extended.''

It is nonsense talking about preserving so-called stability in northern Iraq when attitudes in Washington, Baghdad and Arbil now threaten stability in Turkey. It is high time for the Bush administration to stop putting Turkey off by public diplomacy tactics. Act now, otherwise you might find many more upcoming Turkish generations play the "US is the enemy" game as children, if not also as adults in the future...
02.11.2007


Turkey-Pkk Conflict Highlights American Arrogance
By Emily Percival

For those of us who perceive a growing arrogance in American culture, itself exposed by the very term “American”—aren’t Canadians from America, too? And Mexicans and, oh yeah, there’s a whole continent down there somewhere bearing the same name—for those of us who spend more time wincing at the image of the “American” than rejoicing in it, the conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) highlights exactly the type self-righteous behavior that has served as the marker of the current administration.

The PKK has been launching attacks into Turkey from a part of northern Iraq largely under U.S. military control. Turkey, upset that the U.S. has not done more to stem the PKK, has proposed and approved plans for an invasion into Iraq. In a press conference, President Bush said, “We are making it very clear to Turkey that we don’t think it is in their interest to send troops into Iraq.”

Obviously Turkey disagrees. They have their own national security at stake, and somehow President Bush thinks he has the authority to halt their efforts to protect themselves? After the boondoggle of a war that President Bush started in the name of national security? The U.S. faces the embarrassment of having a NATO ally invade territory we control, expressly against our wishes.

All I can say is, too bad. We have exercised our moral and political authority to great consequence, and the amount of arrogance required to tell other nations how to protect themselves after our own failures is astounding.

That said, perhaps it isn’t such a great idea for Turkey to invade Iraq. The U.S. government has legitimate concerns that such an invasion might destabilize the area—though that raises the question, how stable is the area, really, if the PKK is hiding out there and launching deadly attacks? It is clear that all parties have valid concerns, and that something must be done to eliminate the PKK attacks.

Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki originally said he would not turn over a single Kurd (not “even a Kurdish cat” were his exact words), though he has now come to a less forgiving stance, promising to stop the PKK attacks on Turkey. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to Turkey this week to negotiate with Turkey and prevent the invasion.

http://whitmanpioneer.com/


What Do Strategy And Historical Experience Tell Us?
by SENOL ÖZBEK*
The history of the Ottoman Empire shows us that despite it being well into the 1450s and the Turkish army having passed through Kosovo, Istanbul still remained unconquered.

If the Ottoman Empire had been more focused on the conquest of Istanbul instead of advancing through Kosovo, the conquest would have been achieved much earlier. But the Ottoman rulers opted to launch limited and sporadic attacks on Istanbul and initiated the last comprehensive campaign only in 1453. The reason for this choice is obvious -- the Byzantine Empire was first conquered through the Muslims sent inside Byzantine territory specifically for the spread of Islam, after which, strategies to hold the city at bay rather than to conquer it were developed. This is a fact evidenced by the remark of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, who said, “The defense line of the country that holds Istanbul is the Danube.” The last move to conquer the city was made when the Danube was taken under control, and even the clerics of the Byzantine Empire said they would prefer the Turks instead of the Byzantines. This process was one of the most important strategies implemented by the Ottoman Empire in its early days. Thanks to this strategy and its ideological support, communities from different religions, races and nations coexisted in peace for centuries under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

We lost local people; confidants of Atatürk

In order for the current rulers of our country to see how the events of history have affected current strategies, we had to experience the outbreak of the genocidal campaign in Bosnia. In the end, we realized that we were actually unaware of the strategies based on the idea of historical background. While we had to draw lessons from what happened, put the historical background under a spotlight and revise our strategies, we failed to do so, ultimately leading to an ironic situation under which historical background put us under the spotlight. This is the description of the picture in regards to terrorism and the situation in northern Iraq. The Turkish state still deals with the problems associated with the bad decisions and strategies advanced by the rulers who consider the people who remain in the northern part of the border region artificially portrayed by British military officers as Turks and those who remain in the southern part as Kurds; thus our state leaders remain unaware of the region’s history. Nobody has been able to explain how we would be able to embrace the far south while we failed to embrace the people of the southeastern region.

During the negotiations held to discuss the southern border of Turkey, Atatürk was so confident that the people in the north of Iraq would be eager to join Turkey that he asked for a plebiscite without making any distinction between south or deep south. The implementation of this approach was prevented by way of British political strategies. The point we have to think about here is that how these people who should have become Turkey’s spiritual citizens considering Atatürk’s confidence in their loyalty to this country turned disloyal.

There is no room for “I wish” or “if only” statements in the life of a state. But if only Turkey had mobilized its army through the border when Saddam attacked these people to show its solidarity with them and its determination that it would not allow something bad to happen to these people who it considered brothers. If only Turkey had mobilized its army through the Armenian border when Armenia assaulted and invaded Azeri territories. In other words, if only Turkey had been ready in those days. It could not because it lacked such a visionary approach. It was only a dream at that time to expect Turkey’s readiness for such action because those who made reference to the historical background idea were accused of being racist and expansionist.

At the current stage, we have to deal with a number of intertwined problems. Turkey will either resolve these problems with professionals in light of the strategy, or it will lose impact and power if it fails to adequately address them. My intention is not to make excessive and unnecessary warnings. My intention is to detail our current point. Those who portrayed the terrorists as people who roam the mountains with their guitars and not guns today assert that Massoud Barzani should be the real target. More interestingly, despite the fact that the government insists the target is the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) alone, the call for targeting Barzani finds support even within the state. Turkey has been transformed from a country discussing the reforms to be introduced in the near future, including constitutional amendments, into a country that is being dragged into a conflict with the US, and where those who make reference to reason and calmness are accused of treason.

Mithat Pasha and his friends in 1877-1878

My approach should not be taken as a suggestion for submission to the US projects and ignorance of the activities of the terrorist organization in the region. Initiation of a military operation to address the terrorist threat stemming from another country and taking the risk of confronting the groups inside that country are completely different things. It should be pointed out that an operation in a foreign country cannot be successful unless the groups in this country support this action. While the validity of this fact is obvious, it is not understandable to insult the people of the region called the “Kurdish Autonomous Region.” The military operation directed by this logic and the impact of this operation on the brotherhood between Kurds and the Kurdish people in this region should also be reviewed.

Turkey is moving toward shaky ground akin to that created before the 1877-78 Ottoman-Russian War -- a move that will disrupt the domestic balance. Before the war, Mithat Pasha and his friends accused the sultan who refrained from signing the declaration of war of acting cowardly and committing treason, further mobilizing the madrasah students and the public to force the sultan to sign. In the end, the Ottoman Empire had to deal with its most serious problem by which its collapse began. It should also be recalled that the same war was the beginning of the collapse of the winner, the Russian Empire. War should be considered the last resort under any circumstances. “Defeating the enemy without war is the highest point of mastery,” a statement coined by Sun-Tzu, should be always be kept in mind. Another point that should be underlined in terms of the logic of the masses is the wrong view that this operation will eliminate terrorism. The terrorist organization’s decision to take a certain area as its base is of course important, but Turkey’s lack of a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism is more important.
* Senol Özbek is a retired lieutenant colonel. 01.11.2007


General Staff Sheds Light On Armenian Reality
A seventh volume of archival documents has been published by the Turkish military to shed light on the Armenian reality in the World War I era, with copies of original documents.

The Turkish General Staff has added another level to the efforts to bring the realities of the Armenian genocide allegations to public attention by publishing the seventh volume of the “Armenian Activities in the Archive Documents (1914-1918).” The new volume, prepared through the efforts of the Military History Archives and Strategic Studies Institute (ATASE) and the Supervisory Directorate of the General Staff, consists of further copies of original documents written in Ottoman Turkish, modern Turkish and their English translations, along with relevant pictures. Without the addition of any commentary about the documents and pictures, the book details Armenian activities and organizations and demonstrates through official records who the real perpetrators were of events that took place in eastern Anatolia in 1914-1918.

Countering allegations of forced Armenian immigration with official documents and indicating the reasons for their relocation, the book shows how the Ottoman Empire was forced to struggle against the Armenians, who had become the “internal economy,” at a time when the country was dragged into World War I. Contrary to the “genocide” allegations made by the Armenian community, the book proves that the relocated Armenian families were welcomed by Turkish families. The documents and pictures also reveal the sufferings of human beings that were subjected to torture, cruelty and even massacre by Armenian gangs.
02.11.2007 Today’s Zaman Ankara


Letters To The Editor /TDN
November 1, 2007
Turkey Now And In The Near Future
Turkey should be viewed as a rapidly emerging regional power – or, in the broadest sense, as beginning the process of recreating a regional hegemony of enormous strategic power, based in Asia Minor but projecting political, economic and military forces in a full circle. Its willingness to rely on the United States to guarantee its national security ended in 2003. It is prepared to cooperate with the U.S. on issues of mutual interest, but not as a subordinate power.

This emergence is in the very early stages. Just as Turkey's economy and its internal politics have undergone dramatic changes in the past five years, so have its foreign policies. The Turks are cautiously reaching out and influencing events throughout the region. In one sense, the intervention in Iraq would simply be a continuation of policies followed in the 1990s. But in the current context, it would represent more: A direct assertiveness of its natural interests independent of the U.S. Looked at broadly, three things have happened. First, the collapse of Yugoslavia drew Turkey into a region where it had traditional interest. Second, the collapse and resurrection of Russian power has made Turkey look northward to the Caucasus. Finally, the chaos in the Arab world has drawn Turkey southward. Limits on Turkish behavior from Europe and the U.S. have been dramatically reduced as a result of Western strategy. Turkey believes it needs to bring order to regions where the U.S. and Europe have proven either ineffective or hostile to Turkish interests.

Considering the future of the region, the only power in a position to assert its consistent presence is Turkey. Iran, its nearest competitor, is neither in competition with Turkey, nor does it have a fraction of its power – nuclear weapons or not. Turkey has historically dominated the region, though not always to the delight of others there. Nevertheless, its historical role has been to pick up the pieces left by regional chaos. In my view, it is beginning to move down that road.
Allyn Cee, USA

Incursion into northern Iraq
I read Mr. Orhan Kemal Cengiz's objective analysis "Why Turkish strategists are unmistakably wrong" in the TDN with great interest. All over Turkey, people are becoming extremely nationalistic and political leaders like Baykal, Bahçeli and others are inflaming the public to corner the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Prime Minister Erdogan for their own political gains.

I wish, Mr. Cengiz could mention the economic plight in southeastern Turkey, the number of deaths and wounded among Mehmet'cik that would be caused by an incursion. Turkish soldiers will be very likely entangled with Kurdish peshmergas, because on the Turkish list of 150 persons, 36 are top level Iraqi Kurdish leaders. It will be impossible for the Turkish soldiers to distinguish between peshmergas and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists.

Turkey has already spent about YTL 150 billion in the last 24 years fighting against the PKK. Depending on the duration of an incursion, nobody knows how many billions of YTL will be further spent. Without the support of Iraqi Kurds, thousands of PKK terrorists cannot roam around freely in northern Iraq.

The "PKK problem" cannot be solved by force alone, because the PKK is intentionally escalating its attacks to drag Turkish soldiers inside Iraq. It is an extremely vicious trap!

I appreciate your courage to enlighten the Turks about the dangers of an intensified incursion, even for a year, without having the complete successful result.
Zouk, USA

Recognize the Armenian culture

My father and grandfathers struggled against Turkish nationalism all their life but they've never been against Turkish people. Nor am I against them. I only want Turkey to show the desire to recognize that Armenian culture is a part of Turkey's culture. That Ankara or Istanbul museums should make a place for the Armenian culture. Turkey's government should recognize that a part of our memory and history lies in Anatolia and that we can't forget it. We don't want to build a Big Armenia, we only want recognition of the past and hopefulness about the future.

I believe that Turks and Armenians should work closely to fight against the danger of nationalism. I believe that Turkey has more interest in building ties with Armenia than not building them. In conclusion, I believe that this question is a key issue for peace.

Claude Sarian, Paris


Let's Thank Bush First Before We...
November 1, 2007
The arrival of US State Secretary Rice today signals the start of very risky and difficult diplomatic negotiations for Turkey. The first item on the agenda will be to thank the Bush administration for blocking the Armenian project. The next issue however, will be much more difficult to handle: The PKK presence in northern Iraq. Negotiations start today and will last till Monday

Mehmet Ali Birand

We have been accusing and criticizing the Bush administration left and right… For their performance in Iraq and the way that they openly try to break up a country; pretend that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) nests in northern Iraq do not exist; and prepare the grounds for the formation of an independent Kurdish state in the region. They've deserved everything that's been said and more. Except on one subject… The Armenian project… The readers of this column will remember. Since the beginning of this year, the Armenian project had been hanging over our heads like the Democles sword. The easiest way for the Democrats to punish Bush, once they achieved majority in Congress, was to approve the Armenian project. All “Washington observers” believed that the project would pass with ease until the last few weeks. Despite the non-binding nature of the project, its approval would have dealt a serious blow to Turkey's morale.

The approval of the genocide accusation by the U.S. House of Representatives would have clinched the accuracy of Armenian allegations, damaging Ankara's international credibility on this issue in an almost irrefutable way. The Bush administration achieved something that had appeared to be “impossible” only a short while ago. It blocked the project and had it postponed. The observers in Washington repeatedly qualify this feat as a “never seen before effort.” It was really incredible. The White House exerted an incredible amount of pressure and conducted a very convincing campaign, thanks to which, a disaster in Turkey-U.S. relations was averted at the last minute. The Bush administration anticipated Ankara's reactions and made this effort to salvage its relations with Turkey despite the risk of losing Armenian votes. No matter why he did it, Prime Minister Erdogan “owes a big thank you” to Bush to be delivered at the first occasion. This postponement will hopefully make Turkey lift its head out of the sand and approach this issue from a brand new angle. Otherwise, the same project will come back on the agenda next year (just before the elections in November 2008), when a no longer effective White House wont be able to stop it no matter what it does. Turkey must make the most of this opportunity…

Let loose Turkey is entering a very risky period. Today the first face-to-face negotiation starts with U.S. State Secretary Rice, who is expected to arrive in Istanbul to attend a conference that will also be attended by Iraqi speakers. The Istanbul conference was an idea conceived by Abdullah Gül during his term as foreign minister. The project was launched with Washington's support, although Egypt and some other countries had initially been cool to it. The objective of the conference, which is to meet for the second time, is to prevent the division of Iraq and to get the neighboring countries that want immediate peace to produce solutions. Despite its already set agenda, the Istanbul conference will be overshadowed by the PKK presence in northern Iraq and Turkey's possible military intervention.

In official sessions, Iraq's internal issues will be the topic of discussions, whereas in corridors and bilateral meetings, other countries will put pressure on Turkey not to intervene in northern Iraq. This meeting gives Turkey a rare opportunity to expose the tension created by the PKK, as well as the support and protection it receives from the northern Iraqi administration. More importantly, Turkey will be able to show its determination to prevent the PKK from operating in northern Iraq. If there's to be a military operation, it is imperative to make sure that the participant countries understand the situation. To convince them will be to tone down their latter reactions. The conference will also present the opportunity to take the pulse of these countries, which will enable us to reach healthier decisions in the near future.

There is no doubt that the most important meetings in these series will be the ones held with State Secretary Rice. Washington continues to say, “please avoid military operations and let's settle this issue through negotiations.” At least, that is the official view… The basic aim of the discussions to be held in Istanbul and Ankara will be to convince Rice. Turkey has to make her understand the meaning of the outrage felt by the Turkish public. We have to show her how impossible this feeling makes it for the AKP government and the Turkish Armed Forces to try to settle this issue through negotiations without taking other steps. In fact, Turkey has now reached the point of no return or better said, how the PKK pushed Turkey to this point. Even people who have spent their lives in search of peace now want action, let alone those in favor of violence. I am not talking about a large-scale occupation of 30-40,000 soldiers. The number of people who say, “we must do something to hurt these men back,” increase every day. This atmosphere must be described to Rice first while she's here, and then to President Bush on Monday. Neither the government nor the Turkish Armed Forces can convince the public of any other alternative now. The die has been cast. The Bush administration has to see this in order to adjust its attitude accordingly. In other words, Turkey will first thank President Bush about the Armenian project, and then will let loose…

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


Armenia To Receive 15 Mln Euro Grant Within ENP
01.11.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenia will receive a 15 mln euro grant within the European Neighborhood Policy, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy Pavel Safaryan said during hearings in parliament.

3.2 billion AMD will be spent on educational reforms. Armenia’s due for OSCE PA membership will make 3 thousand euro.

For his part, chairman of permanent committee on European integration Avet Adonts, said draft state budget for fiscal year 2008 doesn’t cover all expenses for Armenia’s integration into European structures, IA Regnum reports.


Showdown Over Armenian Genocide Question Expected At ADL Conference
By Ben Harris JTA

Top leaders of the Anti-Defamation League are strenuously fighting efforts to get the organization to adopt a more unambiguous position on the Armenian genocide at a national commission meeting.

The ADL's New England leadership is pushing for a more clearly worded statement recognizing the World War I-era killings of Armenians as genocide.

In a bid to head off this effort, a letter was sent to dozens of the organization's national commissioners last week from 22 senior lay leaders opposing any change to the ADL's current position.

In August, under mounting pressure from its Boston-area constituency, the ADL reversed longstanding policy and called the "consequences" of the killings "tantamount to genocide." Some have called that formulation insufficient and a deliberate hedge, a claim the ADL denies.

Sources familiar with national ADL decision-making say the battle shaping up over the genocide question is virtually without precedent.

The ADL's national director, Abraham Foxman, is said to wield significant influence over the proceedings. A push for action from a particular region rather than from the ADL's various committees, and a powerful push back from the organization's top leadership is unusual.

In their letter, the senior ADL leaders defended the August statement as a clear recognition that the killings were genocide and caution that any reopening of the question could further jeopardize U.S. and Israeli relations with Turkey, which adamantly rejects the genocide label.

Turkey has lobbied intensively to defeat a congressional measure recognizing the massacres as genocide.

"A resolution by the National Commission, ADL's most important body, of the kind recommended by our Boston colleagues (even if ADL does not endorse H. Res. 106) would be viewed and reported on as an action against Turkey and would be used aggressively by those seeking to gain passage of H. Res. 106," the leaders wrote, referring to the U.S. House of Representatives resolution.

"At a time when support for H. Res. 106 seems to be losing impetus in Congress as more and more Representatives are beginning to recognize the consequences that would flow from adoption of the resolution, we do not believe ADL should step back into this political thicket and run the risk of being perceived as a catalyst in reviving the momentum on H. Res. 106."

The Armenia question has bedeviled the ADL for months, since a Boston suburb moved to sever its ties with No Place for Hate, a popular ADL anti-bigotry program, in protest of the organization's refusal to use the term genocide.

Amid the furor, the ADL reversed itself on Aug. 21, but the momentum against No Place for Hate has only increased. Four other Boston-area communities have since broken ties with the program.

Armenian activists in the area accuse the ADL of genocide denial and have launched a Web site, NoPlaceForDenial.com, which demands an unambiguous statement on the genocide and support for the congressional measure.

Once considered a sure thing, the congressional resolution has lost steam in recent weeks following intense opposition and ominous statements from Ankara, including signs that anger over the resolution could prompt Turkey to launch attacks into northern Iraq against Kurdish terrorists.

In Washington, the resolution has been criticized by Turkish lobbyists and former secretaries of state, eight of whom wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging her not to allow the issue to come to a floor vote.

Jewish groups also have expressed concern that passage could lead Turkey to downgrade its partnership with Israel and imperil the tiny Turkish Jewish community.

Few expect that the ADL will decide to endorse the congressional resolution. But Boston leaders have been pushing to have the organization issue a clearer statement on genocide in the hope of stanching the flow of communities defecting from No Place for Hate.

One Boston leader described the opposition coming from the top as "hand-to-hand combat."
10/31/2007 © 2001-2006 All Rights Reserved Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago


Turkish Ambassador On Armenian Genocide: "Events Of 1915 Can Be Treated Differently"
Regnum, Russia Oct 30 2007

"The 1915 events can be treated differently," Turkey's Ambassador to the Russian Federation Kurtulus Taskent said during a news conference in Moscow today, a REGNUM correspondent reports.

"In 2005, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposed to Armenian President Robert Kocharyan to examine our archives related to the events in order to establish the reason once and for all, but no answer from Kocharyan has been received until now," the Turkish ambassador to Russia announced.

It is worth mentioning, Armenian President Robert Kocharyan did reply to the address of the Turkish prime minister, in which he once again reminded on Armenia's position. In particular, Kocharyan proposed to the Turkish side to establish the diplomatic relations without preconditions and called ineffective to found a commission of historians, because "the fact of the Armenian Genocide is self-evident." The letter was sent by the Armenian president to the Turkish prime minister on April 26, 2005.


Turkish Ambassador Welcomes The Establishment Of Diplomatic Relations With Armenia
armradio.am 30.10.2007
Turkey welcomes the establishment of diplomatic relations with Armenia, Turkish Ambassador to Russia Kurtulus Taskent told a news conference in Moscow.

"I hope favorable conditions will be created for the establishment and development of diplomatic relations between our countries," Taskent said. He noted that due to some reasons diploamtic relations cannot be established between Armenia and Turkey today. According to the Ambassador, for establishment of relations Armenia must eliminate the provisions on its claims on lands of foreign countries from its Declaration of Independence.

Ambassador Taskent underlined that Turkey is taking active steps for normalization of relations with Armenia. "Currently 50-60 Armenians are illegally working in Turkey, but we close our eyes," he noted. He informed also that Armenian airlines make 100 flights monthly through Turkish air space, thus "allowing Armenia to maintain contacts with the outer world and the European countries." He also reminded that in 2005 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested Armenian President Robert Kocharyan to open the archives of the two countries and "see the truth about the genocide of 1915." "But unfortunately, no response has been received from Robert Kocharyan," the Turkish Ambassador noted.

It's worth mentioning that in response to Erdogan's suggestion to establish a joint commission of historians, the Armenian side has many timed declared about the willingness to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey without any preconditions.


"Reasons Of Iran's Interests In Armenia Are Hard To Explain," Turkish Politicians Say
By H. Chaqrian AZG Armenian Daily 30/10/2007

On October 22 president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived on a tw-day official visit to Armenia, accompanied by Foreign Minister of Iran Manouchehr Mottaki. The latter circumstance confirms the importance of the visit or the Iranian side. As it has been reported by "Azg", the visit agenda included a private conversation of the President of Armenia and Iran, a meeting of the Iranian delegation with representatives of the Armenian authorities, visit of the Iranian President to the Genocide Memorial and the Yerevan State University. A number of bilateral agreements on power engineering, communications, economy and regional security were signed between Armenia and Iran on the first day of the visit.

After this President Ahmadinejad unexpectedly returned to Iran. This fact roused interest in Armenian and foreign political circles, especially in Turkey. On October 25 three articles by different authors were published in the Bulletin of the Armenian Researches Institute of the Eurasian Strategic Research Center, Ankara.

The Turkish authors were glad to report that Ahmadinejad avoided visiting the Armenian Genocide Memorial and the National Assembly of Armenia, where he had to speak about the Genocide. Of course, the Turkish political scientists explained these circumstances by the importance and the great influence that the relations with Turkey have on the foreign policy of Iran. Nevertheless they proved unable to conceal their irritation.

"Iran's relations with Armenia," wrote Fitrek Ertan, "are on the way of their development; the intensity of reciprocal presidential visit is growing. Although Ahmadinejad aborted his visit to Armenia, he failed to state that Iran shall not always support Armenia in the issue of 1915's events, and reminded that April 24 is remembered in Iran each year. Therefore, Ahmadinejad, who broke up his visit so as to emphasize the importance of Iran-Turkey relations, also proved that Iranian-Armenian relations are of great importance, too."

Yildiz Bozturk pointed out the following statement of the Iranian President in response to a question about the Genocide, "Each country has to reappraise its history. First, it will help to avoid repetition o the errors of the past, and second, Iran as always stood by Armenia's side." Yilmaz Oztuna, who qualified the debatable visit as another expression of Armenian-Iranian partnership, stated with amazement, "Reasons of Iran's interests in Armenia are hard to explain."

Most probably, Ahmadinejad's hasty departure was planned in order to avoid speaking about the Armenian Genocide. Such approach cannot be welcome. On the other hand, when condemning the president of Iran, we should take into consideration the USA's plans of isolating Iran and depriving it of the assistance of its neighbors. In spite of the policy of Washington, Prime Minister of Turkey advocates the development of Turkey-Iran relations and takes relevant measures.

Otherwise, the present political circumstances and the threat of USA's armed invasion restricted Ahmadinejad from meeting our expectations. Spoiling the relations with Turkey would be a fatal mistake for Ahmadinejad, as in that case he would walk straight into the trap of Washiongton.


Relations Between Armenia And Pkk Terrorism
Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey Oct 29 2007

Changing their tactics after the '80s as they encountered adverse reactions from the world. Now, it was time for PKK to carry on the mission. Their first terrorist act started at Eruh and Semdimli in 1984 while the ASALA-Armenian terror receded to the background. Some of the tangible proofs of the ties between Armenians and PKK are the following:

The terrorist organisation PKK announced the period from 21 to 28 April 1980 as the "Red Week" and started to organise meetings on April 24 as the anniversary of the alleged genocide against Armenians.

The PKK and ASALA terror organisations held a joint press conference on 8 April 1980 at the City of Sidon in Lebanon where they issued a declaration. Since this drew a considerable reaction, they decided that their relations should be maintained on a clandestine basis. The responsibility of the attacks launched against the Turkish Consulate General in Strasbourg on 9 November 1980 and the Turkish Airline office in Rome on 19 November 1980 were undertaken jointly by the ASALA and PKK. Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the separatist terror organisation, was elected to the honorary membership of the Armenian Authors' Association for "his contributions to the idea of Greater Armenia". A Kurdistan Committee was formed within the Armenian Popular Movement like in many European countries.

On 4 June 1993, a meeting was held at the headquarters of PKK terrorist organisation at West Beyrouth with the participation of representatives from the Armenian Hinchak Party, ASALA and PKK.

Another striking example of the Armenian-PKK ties are the following resolutions adopted in meetings held at two separate churches from 6 to 9 September 1993 with the participation of Lebanese Armenian Orthodox Archbishop, officials of the Armenian Party and about 150 youth leaders :

A somewhat sedate attitude should be reserved toward Turkey for the time being. The Armenian community is on the way to growth and better economic strength. The propaganda activities have started to make the genocide claims better understood in the rest of the world. The newly founded Armenian State with a constantly growing territory will definitely avenge the ancestors of its citizens. The Western powers and particularly the United States side with and favour the Armenians in the combat for Nagorno Karabakh. This opportunity should be well exploited as more and more Armenian young men join the ranks in this fight. The perpetual terrorist attacks in Turkey (meaning the PKK's actions) will continue and eventually collapse the country's economy, leading to an uprising by the entire population. Turkey will be abolish and a Kurdish State will be formed. Armenians will hold good relations with the Kurds and support their fight. Territories presently held by the Turks will the Armenian's tomorrow.

PUBLICATION ORGANS OF TERRORIST ORGANISATION PKK IN ARMENIA

The newspapers Reya Taze and Bota Redaksiyon are published in Armenia in Cyrillic alphabet under the control of terrorist organisation PKK with the help of PKK members coming from Turkey and Europe and carries out propaganda for the PKK.

PKK-ASALA RELATIONS

The Armenian terrorism at international first started basis in 1973 and began to gain impetus after the 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation with attacks or terrorist nature against Turks and Turkish representations abroad with sabotages and outright assaults.

Upon resurrection of the Kurdish terrorist movement that began to show itself in a variety of legal political entities from '70s onward, the Armenian terror organisation ASALA ceded its place in 1984 to the PKK that killed without distinction of Turk or Kurd in a bloodthirsty manner under the guidance of Abdullah Ocalan.

Yet in prior to that date, of the co-operation between terrorist organisations ASALA and PKK was known manifesting in the training of ASALA militants at PKK's trannie camps, the joint operations and declamations by them both and training support provided at the PKK camps by Armenian experts, not to mention the organic ties between the terrorist organisation PKK and Armenian Tashnak Sutyun Party.

The common goal of the co-operation between the terrorist organisations PKK and ASALA is to establish States in Turkey's Southeastern and Eastern under the Marxist-Leninist ideology. Since, however, an overview of the areas on which both organisations had schemes, it may be deduced that one of these organisations acts as the other's mercenaries.

An examination of the discovered documents revealed that the militants of ASALA and PKK terrorist organisations underwent training at the Bekaa and Zeli camps.

1987 AGREEMENT BETWEEN PKK AND ARMENIANS

An agreement was concluded between the separatist terror organisation PKK and Armenians in 1987. Following are the highlights of this agreement:

1. Armenians will be involved in training activities within the PKK terror organisation.

2. Five thousand American Dollars per annum will be paid to the PKK terror organisation per capita by the Armenian side.

3. The Armenians will participate in the small-scale operations.

As the Armenian component began to acquire a significantly elevated position within the organisation as a result of this agreement, the following resolutions were adopted in a meeting held on 18 April 1990 with a person named Hermes Samurai, reported to be the official responsible for the PKK-ASALA relations:

1. The PKK and ASALA terrorist organisations will be under a joint command from that date on.

2. The Armenians will undertake intelligence work on the Turkish security forces.

3. Territories gained through the expected revolution will be equally shared between the parties.

4. Seventy-five percent of training camp expenses will be borne by the Armenians.

5. Operations will be conducted at the metropolitan cities in Turkey.

The terrorist organisation PKK that moved its bases into Northern Iraq after because of very heavy blows dealt in the transborder operations and lost all possibilities of sheltering there is known to have entered into arrangements for shifting some of its cadres to Iran and Armenia where it started an active subversive operation toward Turkey.

It has also been learned that a group of European representatives of the terrorist organisation PKK paid a visit to Armenia where they concluded an agreement with the Armenian leaders for the unhindered ingress to and egress from Kars region by their militants, that Armenia offered sheltering, monetary and equipment support to the Kurdish settlements in that country following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the formal proclamation of the Armenian Republic.

Similarly, a group of militants of the terrorist organisation PKK left Urmiah for Armenia on three vehicles on 19 and 20 May 1992 for fighting against Azerite Turks together with the Armenians.


Mustafa Akyol: Demands To Establish Relations With Armenia Awaken In Turkey
31.10.2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenia and Turkey should improve relations, said Mustafa Akyol, observer of the Turkish Daily News.

Stressing the necessity of establishing diplomatic relations and dialogue with Armenia, he said, “Historical dispute and the Armenian tragedy of 1915 should not hamper efforts aiming at reconciliation. Unfortunately, we do not succeed in comprehending that. In addition, we do not forget the problems between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno Karabakh. Azerbaijan presses on the Turkish government against opening dialogue with Armenia and establishing diplomatic relations with this country,” Mr Akyol told RFE/RL.

“There are individuals and organizations in Turkey demanding to establish relations with Armenia, And, in my opinion, the incumbent Turkish government, formed by AKP, is more loyal than previous ones and can launch a dialogue. However, the resolution recently adopted by the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and other decisions and political approaches do not contribute to reconciliation. On the contrary, they make Turkey more nationalistic and isolated,” he continued.

“Turkish leaders attend to economic problems and see the profits that can be derived from establishment of relations with Armenia,” Akyol resumed.


The Pkk In The Us-Russia-Europe Equilibrium
BERIL DEDEOGLU b.dedeoglu@todayszaman.com

Turkey's fight against terrorism reflects its global choices. During the time Turkey faced the threat of terrorism from the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), this organization itself and its methods had a significant impact on Turkey's relations with its Western allies. That was when Turkey was the country that needed to be protected from the communist threat, when they had to play the fortress role against Soviet expansionism. Every time there was some conflict of expectations between Turkey and its allies, terrorism grew stronger and Ankara had to make a choice between its own will and the West's demands. It's possible to analyze the terrorist activities of this period by looking at the evolution of the balance of power in the region.

This balancing act's influence was also present in the first years of the PKK terrorist threat. During the 1980s the Soviet Union was accused of supporting the PKK and Turkey's fight was thus seen as justified. But some of Turkey's methods became the subject of several sanctions later on. Turkey has since then believed that the PKK is also supported by some of the Western European countries. The latter were in fact trying to obtain influence zones in the Middle East and it was not only about Turkey. After World War II, the Soviet Union and the US vied with one another for influence over the Middle East. By the end of the 1980s, the Soviet Union was weak but the US was not yet the world's only superpower. Some believed that this was the best moment to come back onto the Middle Eastern scene. But this period didn't last long because in the 1990s the US wiped European powers out of the Middle East with Israel's help. The European countries' diplomatic instruments, generally taking the form of assistance to oppressed peoples, became obsolete. It was in this context that the leader of the PKK was expelled from Syria and captured in Kenya after visiting Russia, Greece and Italy. Through his trip, the chief of this terrorist organization showed which countries were behind him.

The capture of the PKK's leader was beneficial for Turkey-US-Israel relations but harmful for Turkey-EU relations. Nevertheless, Turkey had agreed to partially abolish the death penalty, showing that it wanted to comply with European political standards. That was the period during which PKK activities were at their lowest, relations between Turkey and the EU, along with the US, were quite strong and Russia was essentially silent. But this tranquility disappeared quickly when the US decided to pursue its global policies on its own and to direct other influential powers without consulting them. Some European countries didn't agree with this course of action. At the same time, Russia had regained influence in Central Asia. The United States had only one choice in order to keep the EU out of the Middle East and to contain Russia: occupying Iraq. In this pursuit the Iraqi Kurds helped the US. At the same time, the US's old enemy, the PKK, became its newest friend. As a consequence, Turkey, which already has an ambiguous relationship with the EU, developed a sour relationship with the US.

This is the atmosphere the PKK is currently exploiting. Their actions send signals to Turkey, the US and the EU and oblige them to make their choices. But any unilateral action will bring great risks for Turkey. That's why Ankara seeks to establish a renewed relation with the US while the latter tries to approach to the EU. Article 5 of the NATO Treaty could offer the perfect basis for this. However, the involved parties haven't yet been able to agree on their common interests and their decision on Russia still has not been given. Will they wait for another attack and the death of more Turkish citizens?
31.10.2007


Us: A Fair Weather Friend
AMANDA AKCAKOCA a.akcakoca@todayszaman.com
Turkey has always been a trusted ally and friend in a region where the US is increasingly hated. You would presume, therefore, that the US ought to be ready and willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with Turkey in its fight against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK); but that is not the case. The US is reluctant to destabilize Iraq's only stable region and cause tensions with its other friend in the neighborhood -- the Kurds. The US's relationship with the Kurds in Iraq has been vital during the invasion where the Kurds have been a reliable and loyal partner in a country that is falling apart. The Kurds are the only party -- other than al-Qaeda -- to have gained from the US invasion. They no longer have to live in fear of another chemical attack or being tortured to death simply for being Kurdish. They have maintained stability in their region and are looking forward to increased economic growth and prosperity. The US doesn't want to jeopardize this relatively peaceful environment.

It seems nobody is willing to go that extra mile for Turkey. The Iraqi government claims it is doing what it can, but that amounts to almost nothing. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari argues the PKK is out of Iraq's control. At the same time the Kurdish regional government of Massoud Barzani is not inclined to listen to Baghdad. Barzani and Iraq's president, Jalal Talibani, are old adversaries, and Barzani is not interested in cooperating with him. He has no intention of helping either Talibani or Turkey. Barzani's ultimate goal is the creation of an independent Kurdistan, and he wants to ensure that the PKK problem is solved by him in a way which will result in Turkey accepting an independent Kurdistan. The chances of that are very slim given that Turkey and neighboring Iran are totally opposed to such a development. Neither country wants the Kurds to have control over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. They also believe an independent Kurdistan would lead to increased calls of separatism in their own countries.

The Kurds are under the deluded notion that the US has such control over Turkey that it will not allow Ankara to carry out a significant military incursion into northern Iraq. Both the US and the Kurds are misleading themselves if they believe this to be the case.

The Turkish public is angry -- at the PKK, at the military, which is being labeled as incompetent for allowing PKK militia to somehow cross the border and plant bombs, at the government for not taking quick action, at the Iraqi government for its apparent lack of control and influence over its northern territory and with the US for failing to give Turkey the support it deserves.

Over the last 50 years Turkey has played an important role in NATO and has maintained an especially close relationship with the Pentagon and the US armed forces. This terrorist organization is taking the lives of a fellow NATO member, and at the very least the US should make some air strikes on PKK bases. Let the PKK see that Turkey is not alone, that their terrorism will not be tolerated.

There can now be no doubt that unless a miracle happens during the upcoming visit of Condoleezza Rice to Ankara, Turkey will have no other option than to take action. The window of opportunity is short as within the next three weeks the weather will make it impossible to go into this treacherous terrain. Whether or not Turkey decides to mount only a large air strike operation, hitting key PKK bases, or whether it will also include a ground force mission remains to the seen. The prime minister is in a difficult position as although such an invasion may be a short-term winner, in the long term it will not bring PKK terrorism to an end. The PKK is not going to be wiped out.

I am bitterly disappointed with the United States, but not really surprised. George Bush's policies in Turkey's backyard have left relations in tatters. Combine this with the recent Armenian genocide resolution, and you really have to wonder what sort of friend the US is. A fair weather friend is no friend at all.
31.10.2007


Instead Of Short Passes
EKREM DUMANLI e.dumanli@todayszaman.com
Alright, we are seriously hurt by the terrorism of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and we want something to be done immediately.

However, it is vital that we keep in mind that he who reacts in a moment of anger brings destruction upon himself. The greatness of states is brought out in such critical periods. A country with a long historical experience cannot challenge everyone by shouting and screaming like ignorant youths. Every strategic move has a plan B and a plan C. Unfortunately Turkey’s alternative methods are crippled by daily reactions.

Take the cross-border operation debate as an example. Is it really a solution? Let’s say it is; is it such a deep and extensive solution that it will wipe out the PKK, and even root out the sources it feeds on? Is what matters satisfying our incited national feelings or generating reasonable, consistent and logical policies for the perpetuation of the state? According to some, Turkey will carry out a cross-border incursion, and that’s it. This is preposterous! Of course, a cross-border operation may be carried out; however, putting all hope in a cross-border operation means laying the groundwork for great frustration because the terrorist group is trying to gain strength by exploiting a heap of neglected problems and is supported by foreign forces.

Turkey can never determine its foreign policies based on a single alternative. Those whom we are supposed to meet without any mediators, those who are the third parties and those who have to take a stance against PKK terrorism in the international arena… there are meetings to be had with each one of them, and the message Turkey needs to give each one of them is different.

What is currently being debated is whether Talabani would be received with a military ceremony if he came to Turkey, and how he would greet the military unit present to welcome him on that visit as well as how the unit would respond. You cannot cause diplomacy to clog up like this! Let Turkey not speak to the president of Iraq and let us come to the verge of war with Iraq; is this what we really want? If we close all diplomatic channels with Iraqi officials, our options are reduced to almost none; we are then left with a single choice -- and that might not be a remedy for our troubles. You might not like the person who is currently the head of the Iraqi state, you might even hate him; however, when you act as if such a person doesn’t even exist, you force yourself into taking a certain number of steps only and you deprive yourself of all the alternatives. On the other hand, there are many hated heads of state whose behavior gets on normal people’s nerves, but we meet with them all the same.

We suffer the same trauma in the Armenian trouble. There is a country called Armenia right next to our northeastern border. It is in need of Turkey for everything and it has to remain friends with Turkey. The geopolitical situation urges you to get along well with this country. However, you try to resolve the Armenian problem by totally disregarding Armenia, and you try to close all diplomatic channels. Of course, Armenia has made grave mistakes. Is it possible to get those mistakes rectified by severing diplomatic ties or by leaving the door ajar and imposing some sanctions on them by means of coming into direct contact with them through that half-open diplomatic door? We need to contemplate these; be calm and cool-headed, and focus on new diplomatic expansions instead of pushing logic and strategy to the background.

Nobody is telling you to make concessions that will bring harm to the interests of the country -- and nobody can. However, we should push every single opportunity that comes our way in order to make Turkey’s serious stance felt. The most productive choices emanate from pushing the diplomatic channels to the bitter end. When you try all diplomatic channels, even a deadlock you may end up with opens up new paths for you, eliminating opportunities others are likely to use as a right to object to you.

I have to bitterly note that Turkey’s foreign policies are still being pushed into the narrow frame of its domestic politics. Even the most vital issues are used as instruments to create new camps in society. So long as this disorganization persists within, it will be very difficult to express ourselves in the international arena. I wish we could see the entire field with a broader horizon rather than remaining in confined areas, and take steps accordingly.
31.10.2007


Where Are Turkish American Relations Heading To?
by MEHMET SEYFETTIN EROL*
Turkish-American relations are at a critical turning point because of terrorism and the so-called Armenian genocide.

The crisis that emerged through the Sept. 11 attacks following the disappointments during the post-Cold War period took the relations to a crucial point of development since the March 1 motion. The crisis is so deep that the US and Turkey have no common interests in an area stretching from the Black Sea to Basra, from Iran to Russia. The conflict of interests between the parties forces Turkey to make choices in its foreign policy. Meanwhile, the US seeks to keep Turkey as an ally through a controlled strategy. However, it is not certain how long this strategy will last and whether it will work out. This situation is taken by both sides as a willingness to sustain the partnership between the two countries. This also implies that it is difficult to end a six-decade-old strategic partnership. For a better analysis on the future of Turkish-American relations, the factors that have brought relations to the current point need to be evaluated.

The first crisis in bilateral relations between Turkey and the US was the decision to dismantle the Jupiter missiles based in Turkey following the negotiations between the US and the USSR in relation to the Cuban missile crisis. This was the starting point for the lack of confidence in Turkish-American relations. Similarly, Turkey strongly reacted to the US attitude when US President Lyndon B. Johnson implied that they would block NATO’s involvement in a possible confrontation between Turkey and the USSR if Turkey took action vis-à-vis the Cyprus question.

This was the strongest reaction to the US administration following the Menderes government. For the first time, the reaction revealed that Turkey might change its alignment and take part in the opposition camp. Later, the US attempted to punish Turkey through economic embargos during the 1974 military operation in Cyprus. The intervention made despite the US opposition had important consequences that still affect current affairs. Turkey demonstrated that it had the necessary determination and capability to make up for its past mistakes and stand by the protection and preservation of its inherent rights and interests. This attitude took Turkey to a different category of alliance from Washington’s perspective. The details of this new situation became clear with the arrival of the post-Cold War period.

Attempting to redefine the bilateral relations with accommodation of its national interests during the new era, Washington received an unexpected reaction from Turkey. This national reflex, which became visible in Turkey during the reign of Turgut Özal, remained alive because of internal dynamics. For this reason, the US has been unable to implement joint projects with the participation of Turkey since Sept. 11. As a consequence of this, the US sought to punish Turkey. To this end, it implemented a new strategy to create a de facto Kurdish state in northern Iraq despite Turkey’s objections. Meanwhile, it also initiated an indirect aggression against Turkey by supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Consequently, Turkey was left with “a hidden war.” The US administration -- which reminded Turkey of the Armenian genocide card when the latter expressed its strong reaction once more -- attempted to punish Turkey as a country guilty of genocide. Of course, the frequent and strong references to the Armenian genocide at this stage are not related to the Armenian question alone. The US administration carries out psychological operations through which it indirectly implies that Turkey will commit genocide against the Kurds as it did with the Armenians. There is one thing that should not be overlooked -- the US attempts to eliminate the interest in the Pax Ottomana by the people of the region.

But what are the reasons for the US eagerness to put pressure on Turkey through use of the Armenian genocide card and the PKK terrorist organization? Undoubtedly, the major reason is the developing bilateral relations between Iran and Turkey. The initiation of a bilateral process between the two countries which made a few important deals in the field of energy and Turkey’s unwillingness to take part in a possible US operation against Iran created an unnamed crisis in Turkish-American relations. This stance of Turkey despite US demands angered the latter. The anger was visible in the visit by the US delegations and the visit paid by the Turkish prime minister to Washington. The diplomatic attempts of Turkey despite the clear American opposition and the strengthening Syrian-Turkish relations also triggered outrage in Israel and the US. The elevated troubles of Israel in its relations with Turkey and the abortion of the Jewish lobby card in regards to the case of Armenian genocide claims marks Israel’s inability and despair. Turkey’s determination to stand firm against US demands in regards to the Iraqi case and the regional opposition to formation of a Kurdish state placed Turkey at a critical point in regards to the US.

Apparently, Turkey’s slow motion towards becoming the leader of the Turkish-Islamic world in the post-Sept. 11 world bothers the US. In other words, Turkey’s growing importance in the region and its potential role to resolve the regional problems makes it a key actor in the “New Game” staged by the US. Turkey’s new position and potential support for the American project as crystallized in Iraq and Afghanistan is of particular importance for the US. On the other hand, Turkey’s emphasis on a “Strategic Depth Project” in response to the Greater Middle East Project forced the US to employ very different tools vis-à-vis Turkey’s new direction.

Meanwhile, the particular importance and attention paid by Turkey to the US in the current stage seems to be Turkey’s biggest mistake. Unless it abandons its concerns about probable reactions of the US to its actions, Turkey may not become comfortable in its domestic and foreign policies. Turkey should immediately abandon this approach and rely on strong language in speaking to the US authorities. Turkey should follow such a resolute strategy that the US will develop concerns over Turkey’s probable responses to its actions. Turkey has the necessary strength and historical experience to do this. What is missing is confidence. The latest statements by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) are noteworthy. The remarks by Commander of Turkish Land Forces Gen. Ilker Basbug noting that Turkey increased the US costs in the region are exemplary. What could be the price for a firm stand against the US for Turkey? Under the current circumstances, the price will be dramatically low in comparison to the US losses.
*Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol is a lecturer at Gazi University’s department of international relations
31.10.2007


Who's Behind the PKK?
October 29, 2007 In a word: Washington
by Justin Raimondo

The recent threat by the Turks to invade Iraq in hot pursuit of PKK terrorists has the administration scrambling to appease Ankara and stave off a major blow to the claim that the U.S. occupation has provided "stability" to the region. Kurdistan, after all, has been touted up until now as a model of peace, prosperity, and unalloyed happiness – a foretaste of the country's golden future, provided "defeatists" in the U.S. don't pull the rug out from under our imminent victory. To see this veritable utopia smashed by Turkish force of arms would be a disaster for Washington – but even worse would be the revelation of how we got ourselves into this wholly untenable position to begin with. Worse, that is, for whoever would be indicted and prosecuted for pulling off what may turn out to be one of the most ambitious, and dangerous, "rogue" operations since Iran-Contra.

The serial numbers of arms captured from PKK fighters have been traced back to U.S. shipments to Iraqi military and police units. Responding to Turkish complaints, the Americans claim these arms were diverted by the Iraqis – presumably the Kurdish regional government – but the Turks aren't buying it: if the large quantity of U.S.-made arms (1,260 seized so far) turns out to have been directly provided to the PKK by the Americans, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul warned, U.S.-Turkish "relations would really break apart." U.S. diplomats immediately rebuffed this suggestion, and Washington dispatched the Pentagon's general counsel, William J. Haynes, to the scene, where he met with top Turkish military leaders. According to at least one report, "The meeting discussed an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense into reports that U.S. arms were being sold by U.S. troops in Iraq."

Another clue to what is really going on here is provided by the news that the FBI has volunteered to help the Turks find out where the PKK is getting its funding and weapons – and doesn't that strike you as odd? FBI director Robert Mueller said, "We are working with our counterparts elsewhere in Europe and in Turkey to address the PKK and work cooperatively, to find and cut off financing to terrorist groups, be it PKK, al-Qaeda," or whatever. Yet why would the FBI get involved at all, unless, of course, Americans were somehow involved? Foreign Minister Gul confirmed this to the Turkish media, stating:

"1,260 weapons captured from the PKK are American-made. We documented it to the U.S. These are of course not given directly to the PKK by the U.S. These are the ones that were given to the Iraqi army. Unfortunately some U.S. officers were corrupt. The Department of Defense informed us that a serious investigation is underway."

Is it that a few bad apples are "corrupt" – or something else?

As Seymour Hersh has reported, the U.S. and Israel are financing and otherwise aiding the Kurdish Party of Life, known as "Pejak," founded to "liberate" western Iran, which has a large and restive Kurdish population. Furthermore, the ties between the PKK and Pejak are more than merely fraternal: they are basically the same organization, sharing not only bases in the mountainous Quandil region of Kurdistan, but also common personnel and leadership.

The sudden outbreak of PKK violence – two spectacular ambushes, one of which resulted in the killing of 12 Turkish soldiers and the capture of eight, who are now being used as bargaining chips – also requires some explanation. Up until this point, the PKK had carried out low-level operations, with groups of six to eight militants planting bombs and generally harassing the Turks on a small scale. In recent months, however, the overall level of attacks has undergone a radical increase, with hundreds of PKK fighters deployed in a single attack and a new sophistication in terms of both firepower and the technical equipment required to pull off complex operations such as the recent ambush-and-capture.

Ever since the Syrians stopped supporting the PKK in the late 1990s, the group was largely incapable of launching major operations and had to content itself with terrorist actions directed at tourist facilities. Membership was down, cut virtually in half, and the capture of their leader, Abdullah Ocalan, demoralized large sections of the PKK, amid reports of splits. The revival of the group's fortunes coincided with news of the Pejak-U.S. connection and – tellingly – the disappearance of U.S. munitions and other equipment from Iraq.

Nearly one out of every 25 weapons provided to the Iraqis by the U.S. has disappeared. Furthermore, the system for tracing them never functioned. 370,000 light weapons have been sent to Iraq by the U.S. since 2003, yet just 3 percent had their serial numbers recorded by the U.S. Defense Department prior to being handed over. For some unfathomable reason, the general who was in charge of that particular task – by the name of Petraeus – has never been held accountable for what is one of the biggest scandals of the war.

The idea that "corrupt" U.S. soldiers sold weapons on the black market to PKK guerrillas is not all that far-fetched, but the absence of any system to account for all these guns invites larger-scale suspicions. Could it have been set up that way precisely because the Pentagon – or someone else – wanted to make sure the weapons couldn't be traced? This would certainly facilitate the arming of groups like Pejak, to put pressure on the Iranians and give the serial regime-changers in the Pentagon a huge weapons cache from which to draw at will.

We know that both the U.S. and Israel have been aiding Pejak, and surely this allowed the PKK to feed off of the arms pipeline, albeit "indirectly." The Israeli factor is yet another angle to this story: Seymour Hersh also reported that the Israelis have taken out a rather large stake in Kurdistan, not only investing in several major business operations but also involving themselves in the training of Kurdish "commandos." Could some of these commandos possibly be PKK operatives?

Both Iran and Turkey have pledged to cooperate in eradicating the Kurdish threat, and this cooperation is yet another reason for the general decline in relations between Ankara on the one hand and Washington and Tel Aviv on the other. What was once a tight alliance started to unravel when the Turks refused to let the U.S. use their territory as a launching pad for the invasion of Iraq, and things have gone rapidly downhill since. The regime-changers inside the administration, centered around Dick Cheney's office and the civilian upper reaches of the Pentagon, may have decided that the Turks have to be thrown overboard now that the campaign to target Tehran is going full-gear. If the Kurds' price for subverting the Iranian regime is covert aid for their continuing assault on Turkey, then it hardly beggars belief that the War Party is willing to pay it: loyalty is not one of their strong suits, as Iraq's Shi'ites can readily attest.

I have a great deal of difficulty believing that the large number of confiscated American weapons that apparently found their way into the hands of PKK fighters just happened to show up on the black market, without any knowledge or complicity by higher authorities. How high the "corruption" goes, remains to be seen. What we do know is this: the War Party isn't shy about engaging in "rogue" operations and doing end-runs around the properly constituted authorities when it suits their purposes.

A recent demonstration by Turkish students against PKK terrorism had the protesters denouncing both the Kurds and the U.S. government: "Down with the PKK!" – they shouted – "Down with the U.S.!" In Turkey, at least, they seem to know who and what is behind the wave of terrorism that has shaken the country.

In America, however, it's a different story altogether: the "news" media hasn't really said anything about the FBI investigation and the possible involvement of Americans, nor do we hear much about the U.S. – or Israeli – connection to the Kurdish "liberation" groups, such as Pejak, except from Hersh and a fewothers. As far as the "mainstream" media is concerned, what's going on between the Turks and the Kurds is just another of those ancient, endless Middle Eastern blood feuds. No one bothers to ask: Why is this old problem escalating now?

That the PKK and Pejak have turned themselves into pawns of the War Party is quite understandable: after all, they want to liberate their people and unite them in the age-old dream of a "Greater Kurdistan." Like Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, they are ready, willing, and able to use the Americans in order to advance their own agenda. The question for the U.S. Congress, however, is whether the American taxpayers are now subsidizing terrorism directed at the Turks in order to further the War Party's agenda.

Posted by VINEYARDSAKER: at 9:32 AM

Labels: Kurdistan, Turkey, USA

2 comments:
Mizgîn said...

Serial numbers of weapons allegedly "captured from PKK fighters" come from US weapons shipments? Really?? Does anyone, including Raimondo have any proof that the weapons in question were actually taken from "captured" PKK fighters? If this were so, why hasn't Turkey launched a huge photo-op of the facts? Why hasn't there been anything in the Turkish media? Because, believe me, it would have been all over the Turkish media if there were even a shred of truth to the accusation.

I have no doubt that the Ankara regime did get its hands on US weapons because it's very easy to purchase such weapons on the international weapons market and even on the black market in Iraq. What better place to gather those weapons than in Mûsil? How convenient that Turkey has a consulate in Mûsil. How convenient that the "diplomatic" staff of the Mûsil consulate can walk around Mûsil freely, with no one to hassle them. I mean, even residents of Mûsil can't do that without becoming targets.

Ignore the fact that Turkish consulates and embassies are fronts for MIT/JITEM activities, tell me how it is that Turkish "diplomats" can pull off such a feat as to walk around in safety in a place like Mûsil? Is it possible that MIT/JITEM "diplomats" are purchasing US weapons from places like that? Or what about offices of US-based Black Hawk Security, Inc., a Turkish mercenary company--like their brothers at Blackwater--that are based in Silopi, Zaxo, Kerkuk and Baghdad? This company is run by a former MIT under-secretary, the TSK general who was in charge of the special team in Kerkuk when it got bagged by US forces for attempting to conduct black operations in Iraq, and a couple of former Turkish "diplomats." Is it possible that these guys are running black ops and psyops for the regime?

Oh, you betcha.

If Murat Karayilan says (and he has) that weapons can be purchased anywhere by anyone in the region, then Turkish MIT and JITEM can do exactly the same thing--no matter what the American puppets in Ankara say.

The funny thing about Raimondo is that in reading his propaganda one would get the impression that PKK just popped out of thin air as a result of American involvement in Iraq in 2003. Like 99.99% of all Americans, Raimondo has no context. He knows nothing of the US role in the 12 September coup. He knows nothing of US gifts of billions of dollars worth of military hardware, most of it given to Turkey during the Clinton regime. Oh, yes, that hardware was GIFTS because it was all subsidized by the US taxpayer or given outright. Has Raimondo ever mentioned this fact? Has Raimondo ever mentioned who was on the receiving end of these very expensive GIFTS? Has Raimondo ever mentioned all the lovely events that took place in Diyarbakir Military Prison? Has Raimondo ever delved into the crimes committed by America's puppet regime in Ankara in the wake of the US-backed 12 September coup?

And the crimes continue.

No. You see, that's why Raimondo has no clue about what he's writing about. For him, it's a crime for the Kurdish people to fight back against the regimes that have engaged in gross human rights abuses for decades. Like Americans in general, it's irrelevant that tens of thousands of Kurds have been murdered since 12 September 1980 by the Ankara regime with the full support of the US. It's irrelevant for Americans that 3 to 4 million Kurds have been forcibly displaced from their homes or that 5,000 Kurdish villages have been destroyed by America's puppet regime in Ankara. It was irrelevant to Americans that Saddam destroyed 5,000 Kurdish villages in South Kurdistan--until plans for the invasion of Iraq began to solidify. Then Saddam's destruction of Kurdish life suddenly became a talking point.

When is the destruction of Kurdish life by America's regime in Ankara going to become a talking point for propagandists like Raimondo?

Or when will US backing of Turkish Islamists, especially the Turkish Islamist caliph, Fethullah Gulen going to get equal time by propagandists like Raimondo? Erdogan, Gul, all the AKP, are followers of Fethullah Gulen . . . just as Turgut Ozal was. You all remember him, right? Certainly Raimondo must remember him. He was the guy who established Turkish-Islamist synthesis with the American-backed Pashas, a move that led to the creation of Turkish Hezbollah so that America's puppet regime in Ankara could turn fight PKK on the cheap. Too bad it got so out of hand. Too bad the Ankara regime now has to export these guys to Chechnya.

Since we're talking about all this filth, let's bring Seymour Hersh into the conversation. Now here's a guy who goes to Turkey all the time, has a lot of Turkish sources, and gets all his information from them. So Hersh is basically the American mouthpiece of MIT/JITEM. Think I'm bullshitting? Go dig up anything that Hersh has ever written that's critical of the TC and give me the link. The guy's a pimp for the Turkish military. He's never heard of the filth America's puppet regime in Ankara has dumped on Kurds and continues to dump. He's never heard of the filth the mullah's regime has dumped on Kurds and continues to dump. In these respects, he's exactly like Raimondo.

Now, neither Hersh nor Raimondo has been to Qendil or around any PKK or PJAK guerrillas, but journalists from the Guardian have, and they have reported no American-made weapons in PJAK camps. This is consistent with the statement of Cemil Bayik last November. Nothing has changed.

It's ridiculous to think, as Hersh has asserted, that Israelis can teach any Kurd, particularly PKK Kurds, how to fight anyone. Go check Jonathan Randall, who writes that even in the 1960s, Israelis didn't have anything much to teach Kurds when it came to fighting Baghdad. They tweaked a little, but that was about it. Given the fact that PKK fought against Israelis as part of their initial training with the PLO in Lebanon, and given the fact that the Israelis were involved in Ocalan's betrayal, and you are unlikely to find any reason for PKK to come out of the mountains to be trained by amateurs. To suggest this idea, as Hersh has, and to propagate it, as Raimondo does, is an exercise in racism--"Golly, guys, those primitives in the mountains couldn't figure out anything if we didn't show them!"

Well, come on up into the mountains, Americans, with all your special friends from Turkey and we'll see who teaches whom. Bring your body bags and cold-weather gear and watch out for those avalanches.

As for Raimondo's assertion of "separatism"--in his little dig about Greater Kurdistan--let's all have a reality check:


We would like as a movement to emphasize once again that the right solution is a democratic autonomy within the borders of Turkey. We believe that a solution in the unity of Turkey will be for the benefit of firstly the Kurdish people and all the people of the region.


Like Hersh, Raimondo has absolutely no concern for either truth or the Kurdish people. Like Hersh, he's the pawn of America's puppets in Ankara and that's why he's furthering his "War Party's agenda".
October 29, 2007 11:21 AM
Hevallo said...

Just another piece of uninformed speculation.

The facts of the matter point to US backing of Turkey.

Never mind the billions of dollars of weapons and arms deals that the US has thrown at Turkey for many years. Did you know that Turkey is the second biggest recipient of US arms after Israel. But there are other factors, like intense Neo Con activty in Turkey over the last year show that the US is covertly and not so covertly supporting Turkey. Paul Wolfowitz the architect of the Iraqi occupation left the World Bank earlier in the year and joined the AEI, a Exxon Mobil sponsored 'think tank' and was quoted in a newspaper report saying he wanted to do work 'with his old friends, Turkey and Indonesia'. Micheal Rubins, another employee of AEI delivered a speech to the foreign affairs committe in congress, suggesting that the US distance itself from the KRG because it supports 'terrorism' and put forward suggestions for a much closer relationship with Turkey.

Joseph Ralston turns up in Ankara late August last year as a 'special envoy' to 'counter the PKK' and only weeks later secures an arms deal worth billions of dollars for his own company Lockheed Martin where he is a serving board member.

Then there was The Hudson Institute affair where Turkish military personel were found to be in a meeting with various advisors discussing various 'scenarios' that 'could' happen in Turkey and discussing what the various responses should be. Kidnappings, bombings and other things were discussed including a Turkish military invasion. The meeting was leaked to the press.

Oh yes, then there was the leaked report to Robert Novak of a briefing given to congressmen about covert joint action between the US special teams and Turkish special operation teams.

Believe you me, the US is up to its dirty neck with Turkey and preparing operations with Turkey for an invasion into Kurdistan.

As Exxon Mobil has not been able to secure Iraqi oil due to the opposition to US 'oil laws' then the Neo Cons are going for Plan B, a US supported Turkish invasion.

But with complete denialability.

The strongest message of opposition to a Turkish invasion from George Bush has been,
"I don't think it is Turkey's interest to enter Kurdistan" he could of honestly added, "but it is in ours!"

This article justs adds more fog and helps them deny any involvement.
October 29, 2007 5:56 PM

http://www.cilicia.com/2007/10/istanbul.html

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000). He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996).

He is a contributing editor for The American Conservative, a Senior Fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, and an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

Antiwar.com Copyright 2007 Antiwar.com


The recent threat by the Turks to invade Iraq in hot pursuit of PKK terrorists has the administration scrambling to appease Ankara and stave off a major blow to the claim that the U.S. occupation has provided "stability" to the region. Kurdistan, after all, has been touted up until now as a model of peace, prosperity, and unalloyed happiness – a foretaste of the country's golden future, provided "defeatists" in the U.S. don't pull the rug out from under our imminent victory. To see this veritable utopia smashed by Turkish force of arms would be a disaster for Washington – but even worse would be the revelation of how we got ourselves into this wholly untenable position to begin with. Worse, that is, for whoever would be indicted and prosecuted for pulling off what may turn out to be one of the most ambitious, and dangerous, "rogue" operations since Iran-Contra.

The serial numbers of arms captured from PKK fighters have been traced back to U.S. shipments to Iraqi military and police units. Responding to Turkish complaints, the Americans claim these arms were diverted by the Iraqis – presumably the Kurdish regional government – but the Turks aren't buying it: if the large quantity of U.S.-made arms (1,260 seized so far) turns out to have been directly provided to the PKK by the Americans, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul warned, U.S.-Turkish "relations would really break apart." U.S. diplomats immediately rebuffed this suggestion, and Washington dispatched the Pentagon's general counsel, William J. Haynes, to the scene, where he met with top Turkish military leaders. According to at least one report, "The meeting discussed an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense into reports that U.S. arms were being sold by U.S. troops in Iraq."

Another clue to what is really going on here is provided by the news that the FBI has volunteered to help the Turks find out where the PKK is getting its funding and weapons – and doesn't that strike you as odd? FBI director Robert Mueller said, "We are working with our counterparts elsewhere in Europe and in Turkey to address the PKK and work cooperatively, to find and cut off financing to terrorist groups, be it PKK, al-Qaeda," or whatever. Yet why would the FBI get involved at all, unless, of course, Americans were somehow involved? Foreign Minister Gul confirmed this to the Turkish media, stating:

"1,260 weapons captured from the PKK are American-made. We documented it to the U.S. These are of course not given directly to the PKK by the U.S. These are the ones that were given to the Iraqi army. Unfortunately some U.S. officers were corrupt. The Department of Defense informed us that a serious investigation is underway."

Is it that a few bad apples are "corrupt" – or something else?

As Seymour Hersh has reported, the U.S. and Israel are financing and otherwise aiding the Kurdish Party of Life, known as "Pejak," founded to "liberate" western Iran, which has a large and restive Kurdish population. Furthermore, the ties between the PKK and Pejak are more than merely fraternal: they are basically the same organization, sharing not only bases in the mountainous Quandil region of Kurdistan, but also common personnel and leadership.

The sudden outbreak of PKK violence – two spectacular ambushes, one of which resulted in the killing of 12 Turkish soldiers and the capture of eight, who are now being used as bargaining chips – also requires some explanation. Up until this point, the PKK had carried out low-level operations, with groups of six to eight militants planting bombs and generally harassing the Turks on a small scale. In recent months, however, the overall level of attacks has undergone a radical increase, with hundreds of PKK fighters deployed in a single attack and a new sophistication in terms of both firepower and the technical equipment required to pull off complex operations such as the recent ambush-and-capture.

Ever since the Syrians stopped supporting the PKK in the late 1990s, the group was largely incapable of launching major operations and had to content itself with terrorist actions directed at tourist facilities. Membership was down, cut virtually in half, and the capture of their leader, Abdullah Ocalan, demoralized large sections of the PKK, amid reports of splits. The revival of the group's fortunes coincided with news of the Pejak-U.S. connection and – tellingly – the disappearance of U.S. munitions and other equipment from Iraq.

Nearly one out of every 25 weapons provided to the Iraqis by the U.S. has disappeared. Furthermore, the system for tracing them never functioned. 370,000 light weapons have been sent to Iraq by the U.S. since 2003, yet just 3 percent had their serial numbers recorded by the U.S. Defense Department prior to being handed over. For some unfathomable reason, the general who was in charge of that particular task – by the name of Petraeus – has never been held accountable for what is one of the biggest scandals of the war.

The idea that "corrupt" U.S. soldiers sold weapons on the black market to PKK guerrillas is not all that far-fetched, but the absence of any system to account for all these guns invites larger-scale suspicions. Could it have been set up that way precisely because the Pentagon – or someone else – wanted to make sure the weapons couldn't be traced? This would certainly facilitate the arming of groups like Pejak, to put pressure on the Iranians and give the serial regime-changers in the Pentagon a huge weapons cache from which to draw at will.

We know that both the U.S. and Israel have been aiding Pejak, and surely this allowed the PKK to feed off of the arms pipeline, albeit "indirectly." The Israeli factor is yet another angle to this story: Seymour Hersh also reported that the Israelis have taken out a rather large stake in Kurdistan, not only investing in several major business operations but also involving themselves in the training of Kurdish "commandos." Could some of these commandos possibly be PKK operatives?

Both Iran and Turkey have pledged to cooperate in eradicating the Kurdish threat, and this cooperation is yet another reason for the general decline in relations between Ankara on the one hand and Washington and Tel Aviv on the other. What was once a tight alliance started to unravel when the Turks refused to let the U.S. use their territory as a launching pad for the invasion of Iraq, and things have gone rapidly downhill since. The regime-changers inside the administration, centered around Dick Cheney's office and the civilian upper reaches of the Pentagon, may have decided that the Turks have to be thrown overboard now that the campaign to target Tehran is going full-gear. If the Kurds' price for subverting the Iranian regime is covert aid for their continuing assault on Turkey, then it hardly beggars belief that the War Party is willing to pay it: loyalty is not one of their strong suits, as Iraq's Shi'ites can readily attest.

I have a great deal of difficulty believing that the large number of confiscated American weapons that apparently found their way into the hands of PKK fighters just happened to show up on the black market, without any knowledge or complicity by higher authorities. How high the "corruption" goes, remains to be seen. What we do know is this: the War Party isn't shy about engaging in "rogue" operations and doing end-runs around the properly constituted authorities when it suits their purposes.

A recent demonstration by Turkish students against PKK terrorism had the protesters denouncing both the Kurds and the U.S. government: "Down with the PKK!" – they shouted – "Down with the U.S.!" In Turkey, at least, they seem to know who and what is behind the wave of terrorism that has shaken the country.

In America, however, it's a different story altogether: the "news" media hasn't really said anything about the FBI investigation and the possible involvement of Americans, nor do we hear much about the U.S. – or Israeli – connection to the Kurdish "liberation" groups, such as Pejak, except from Hersh and a few others. As far as the "mainstream" media is concerned, what's going on between the Turks and the Kurds is just another of those ancient, endless Middle Eastern blood feuds. No one bothers to ask: Why is this old problem escalating now?

That the PKK and Pejak have turned themselves into pawns of the War Party is quite understandable: after all, they want to liberate their people and unite them in the age-old dream of a "Greater Kurdistan." Like Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, they are ready, willing, and able to use the Americans in order to advance their own agenda. The question for the U.S. Congress, however, is whether the American taxpayers are now subsidizing terrorism directed at the Turks in order to further the War Party's agenda.


Us Azerbaijanis Demand Dismissal Of Journalist Publishing Photos Of Khojaly Genocide As “armenian Genocide”
30 Oct 2007
Azerbaijan Society of America and representatives of Mountain Jews living in New York demanded explanation from the Russian weekly newspaper V Novom Svete (In the New World) which published the photos of Khojaly genocide victims as victims of the so-called Armenian genocide. APA US bureau reports the editor of the newspaper Nemerovski said that Armenian journalist Eduard Pariyants wrote the article and that he did not know these were the photos of Khojaly genocide. He said that he will make statement after investigating the problem.

Hundreds of American Azerbaijanis phoned the editorial office of the newspaper and demanded dismissal of the journalist and official refutation.

Azerbaijani permanent representation to UN and public organizations pay attention to the problem.
Eduard Pariyants was dismissed for publishing the article on the so-called Armenian genocide two years ago. /APA/


I Was In Istanbul Last Week, Attending A 5-Day Seminar On "Young Women Living In Conflict Areas" by Lara Aha October 29, 2007 Istanbul
This was a meeting seminar organised by women's organizations from the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Abkhazia and Georgia). We were 5 women representing Armenia from different organisations. The initiative was sponsored by the Kvinna til kvinna Swedish organisation which is a feminist organisation who sponsors empowerment projects in different conflict regions (Balkans, middle-east and Caucasus...).

The meeting was interesting and challenging at the same time. We were 21 young women overall and we discussed different matters and issues that young women face in our region; violence, gender discrimination in education and work, lack of sexual rights and reproductive choices, etc. After 4 days of discussions, reflection and debates we finally agreed on conducting a regional survey to assess the concrete needs of young women living in the region as well as to start-up a network among our organisations.

Being once again in Istanbul was amazing! It is the only place that makes me experience all sort of emotions at the same time (love, hate, anger, fear, frustration, fulfillment...) Even though this time we were a little worried to go there in the first place, because of what was happening lately, it ended being a good experience. People advised us before going there, not to speak loudly in Armenian, not to mention that we were from Armenia or not to hang out near crowded areas.

For those who know Istanbul, it is almost impossible to pass by Taksim Square and Istiklal street without losing yourself in the big, gigantic crowd of people from all colors, ethnicity, style, religion and beliefs. After being discrete the first days, we couldn't help it anymore and we ended up one night in a very popular club (Istanbul has an amazing nightlife) with 21 young women dancing on the rhythms of Abkhazian and Armenian music...surrounded by Turks, Kurds, Abkhazians, Georgians, Greeks and Azeris who were having a blast on Lorke and Chalakho music.

On my way back home, while waiting at the Sheremetyevo (Moscow) airport for my transit flight, I was reflecting on my journey there and how good I felt being in a city that I learned to despise all my life and how familiar I felt everything was there.

It was sad for me that I was feeling at home more in Istanbul than in Yerevan sometimes (my father would not like this entry) and how each food I tasted or music I heard reminded me of my childhood, my home, and most of all my grand-mothers. And I felt how I belonged to that city despite myself and the city belonged to me in a way inherited from my grand-mothers...

I am now reading "The Bastard of Istanbul" of Elif Shafak, it is helping me understand alot...

1 Comments:
Raffi K. said...

Ehhh, I know what you mean about the confused state you enter when you step into Turkey. I never hid my Armenianness there, and possibly the most frustrating reaction was ambivalence. The food though, the music, the architecture... it all seems so familiar.

I'm reading Snow now, I'll have to read the bastard next :-)
10:11 AM


Letter: Pelosi Wrong-Headed To Push Genocide On Turkey
Bemidji Pioneer October 28, 2007
On Thursday, Oct. 10, Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged the House of Representatives to support her resolution condemning the 1917 genocide perpetrated by Turkey against the Armenian population. In defending her ardor, Pelosi declared, “This isn’t about Turkey; it’s about the Ottoman Empire.”

Said empire is history. It fell as a consequence of the War to End All Wars. That was 85 years ago!

So why is Popette Pelosi pontificating about the sins of a defunct government? Is this why American voters, Republican or Democrat, send representatives to Washington? The correct answer is “No. We send them there to stay out of our way and do no harm.” RELATED CONTENT
Article comments (35)

Why can’t Pelosi and her sidekicks just be satisfied with criticizing the U.S. government or perhaps the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg?

In addition, speaking of pontificating against genocide, why does not the Catholic speaker of the House pass a resolution condemning the de-liberate deaths of over 40 million American citizens, infants aborted as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade?

Here lies a contemporary tragedy that affects us all and cries out for Pelosi’s maternal instincts.

Joseph Pasulka

Southport, N.C.
www.bemidjipioneer.com


Morgan Liddick: Pelosi Is Chasing Away Another Important Ally
By MORGAN LIDDICK And on the Right October 29, 2007

Was it ignorance, stupidity or malice? Much as I favor the first two, I have to choose the last. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a staff to save her from foolishness, which I suppose is good news. They cannot, however, save us from the effects of treachery, particularly when undertaken in service of the politics of vengeance.

More’s the pity: We are all made less secure by her stunt of a House Resolution condemning Turkey for the Armenian “genocide” of the First World War.

To begin with, Speaker Pelosi’s concern about genocide seems curiously spotty. When she introduced her anti-Turkish resolution, she said it was important because, “Genocide still exists, and we saw it in Rwanda; we see it now in Darfur.” But she has been in Congress since 1987. Rwanda happened in 1994 — and she said nothing. Darfur is happening now. Where is her resolution condemning that genocide?

As to the resolution itself: If Nancy Pelosi was a private citizen, she might be more easily forgiven. The politics and history of national minorities in the late Ottoman Empire is very murky, and the Armenians have been far more effective than the Turks at getting their views on the subject before a public sensitized to genocide by our experience with the 20th century. But she is not a private citizen. She should have known better.

She should have known that in 1890, a group of Armenian nationalists formed the Dashnaktsutsyun terrorist organization in Tbilisi, Georgia. Working with the secret police of Tsarist Russia and others, their goal was the violent overthrow of Ottoman authority throughout what is now eastern Turkey. For 25 years, they pursued this course through assassinations, bombings, military-style assaults and the occasional seizure of towns. Van, in eastern Anatolia, was the largest. Their support among Armenians, particularly in the East, grew strong.

Ms. Pelosi should have been reminded that when the Russian Army invaded the Ottoman Empire in 1915, thousands of Armenians joined them in their campaign; many more provided support. This was open revolt in time of war; in other words, treason.

She should also have been apprised of conditions in the Kurdish and Arab south of the collapsing Empire (into which many Armenians were forcibly relocated), the chaos and lack of central control, and the ethnic tensions which made murder of outsiders common.

Or perhaps she was told all this, and simply decided to ignore it. After all, there is fact, and there are politics — and Ms. Pelosi is a politician with a lot of Armenians in her district, a visceral hatred of the President, an appetite for defeat in Iraq, and apparently, a reckless disregard for our national interests, alliances and longtime international friendships.

Which brings us to the real purpose of Speaker Pelosi’s resolution on genocide: to drive a wedge between the United States and our ally, Turkey. Should we care?

We should, because Turkey has been a U.S. ally for 50 years. It is a NATO member and in the dark days of the Cold War it did yeoman work for the West, at considerable risk and cost. Although overwhelmingly Muslim, it is a tolerant and relatively democratic country, and a large and stable place in a sea of uncertainty. Although reluctant at first for reasons that are made clear by the Speaker’s attack, it is an important associate in our efforts in Iraq. That is why Nancy Pelosi chose to target it.

The Speaker’s resolution, together with Senator Joseph Biden’s companion piece calling for Iraq to be split into three ethnic enclaves, suggests what could be a new Democrat strategy to oppose the Iraq war: a push for policies so toxic that none of our allies can possibly regard us as reliable, let alone sane, partners in any international endeavors.

The repercussions are already clear. No doubt encouraged by the Biden resolution’s promise of autonomy, attacks against Turkey from northern Iraq mounted by the Kurdish PKK terrorist organization have escalated. Turkey may eventually respond militarily, which will create merry hell for all parties in Iraq, including us. Mission accomplished, Senator.

Speaker Pelosi’ resolution, which she promises to bring to the House floor, will further estrange Turkey, which has already recalled its ambassador for “consultations”. Turkish President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan have also lodged strong protests. Eventually this large, friendly Muslim democracy may go its own way, having decided that the United States is not worth trusting — and we will have lost an influential and strategic ally. Mission accomplished, Madame Speaker.

Taken together, these actions show clearly why the Founders left foreign policy to the Executive Branch. Childishly focused on revenge, ruled by emotion and consumed by the search for partisan advantage, this Congress is not ready for prime time.

Summit County resident Morgan Liddick pens a Tuesday column. E-mail him at mcliddick@hotmail.com. Also, comment on this column at www.summitdaily.com.


Armenpac's Call To Action
armradio.am 29.10.2007
"Right now, H.Res.106 has the public support of 210 members of Congress, i.e., 1 primary sponsor and 209 cosponsors. While that is still encouraging news, the fact is that 24 cosponsors have withdrawn their support for H.Res.106 following its passage in the House Foreign Relations Committee.

Well funded lobbyists working on behalf of the government of Turkey have been supplementing Turkey's desperate threats with increased pressure on individual legislative supporters these past few weeks. That pressure has resulted in the loss of some cosponsors - but the encouraging news is that a majority of our strongest supporters remain," said Jason P. Capizzi, Executive Director of the Armenian American Political Action Committee (ARMENPAC).

recently, representatives adam schiff, frank pallone, anna eshoo and brad sherman have contacted speaker of the house nancy pelosi to ask her to postpone offering h.res.106 to the entire house for a vote. click here to view a copy of their letter to speaker pelosi.

mr. capizzi called on american armenians to take a moment to contact their federal representatives to either thank them, or petition them, for their support of h.res.106. "it is important that we continue to shore up our cosponsors so that speaker pelosi has the confidence she needs to know that h.res.106 will succeed when it is posted for a vote," he said.

"While we respectfully disagree with the assumption that the timing of H.Res.106 is bad for American foreign policy, we understand the position these representatives have taken. Representatives Schiff, Pallone, Eshoo and Sherman remain among our most staunch advocates in Congress, and ARMENPAC is confident that H.Res.106 will still be voted on and passed shortly by the entire House of Representatives.

At ARMENPAC, we have increased our outreach efforts to the remaining cosponsors, encouraging their continued support. We have also been aggressively contacting those who have withdrawn their support in attempts to have them reconsider. Our efforts have been effective in solidifying our support, but in order for us to continue our work, we need your support," the Executive Director noted.


The 56-Year Story Of The Unmade Atatürk Film
October 31, 2007
Last week, famous American actor Kevin Costner was quoted saying “I may play Atatürk.” Coming on the eve of the 84th year anniversary of the Turkish Republic, the statement hit a sensitive point in the Turkish psyche

SERMIN TERZI. HÜRRIYET

Last week, famous American actor Kevin Costner was quoted saying “I may play Atatürk,” a seemingly inconsequential statement yet one that frustrates Turks because no such advancements have been made even though many other celebrities including Omar Sharif, Antonio Banderas, Yul Brynner and Robert De Niro have previously claimed they would be playing Turkey's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, on the big screen.

Since the 1950s, attempts to make a film based on Atatürk's life have been on the agenda but they have not yielded any fruit. Renowned Turkish director Metin Erksan said that the whole adventure dates back to when famed American actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was greeted with a state ceremony upon his arrival in Turkey in 1951. Fairbanks was then quoted saying that he is ready to play Atatürk. Once Fairbanks returned to the United States, however, problems were encountered in the script and the project landed itself a place in history as the first Atatürk film never to be made.

British actor Laurence Olivier believes that the film will be realized regardless of the difficulties, and wants to play the part. Nevertheless, his attempts, as well as his son's many years later, remain futile.

Next is world-renowned producer Cecil B. DeMille. Known for his films “The Ten Commandments” and “Samson and Delilah,” DeMille asked for help from both Turkish and English governments to make a film on Atatürk. Even though he received a positive answer from England, Turkey remained indifferent. Following DeMille's death, his Turkish co-producer Adil Özkaptan mets with president at the time, Cemal Gürsel. Even the leading actor of the project is set: Yul Brynner, the 1950s' heartthrob.

Cinema historian Burçak Evren recounts Yul Brynner's adventure about the role of Atatürk as follows: “He was determined to play in a film about Atatürk. He went to the Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) listening to the Koran for some time. He was affected but he wanted to affect others more. He was later invited to a dinner at the Dolmabahçe Palace. Upon entering the room where Atatürk had passed away, he took off his hat, fell on his knees, and said he bowed in to Atatürk's memory. He met with President Cemal Gürsel for 35 minutes the next day.”

Made a book out of his 24 year work

Even though one might think that everything went well, even with Atatürk's close associates Falih R?fk? Atay and K?l?ç Ali offering consultation about the project, it was never realized. There are also those that would not let such a project to be realized, arguing that “He is a being too grand to fit into history. He can never be fitted into a film.”

Journalists, however, are happy with the path Yul Brynner has paved and ask each and every Hollywood star whether they would like to play Atatürk. The 50 years that have gone by turned this into a tradition.

Turkey had just come over a military coup in the 1980s. It was very difficult to talk about an independent Atatürk film. In 1987, Kenan Evren, president at the time, took the issue in his hands and gave instructions to have the film made. The big question at the time was whether Atatürk should be handled only as a soldier or would it also depict him with his human aspects. The answer was clear: It would handle his personal life, but not to the extreme.

Finally 10 scripts made it to the presidential palace. Two of them, Halit Refig('s “The War Veteran and Latife” (“Gazi ve Latife”) and Refik Erduran's “Metamorphosis” (“Metamorfoz”) were well liked. However, as Refig('s scenario handled Atatürk's marriage, it was shelved and Feyzi Tuna directed “The Metamorphosis.”

Even in the face of all the negativity, former Bosporus University chancellor, Professor Semih Tezcan, also wanted to handle the subject. His adventure lasted 24 years and remained futile. But in 2005, he wrote a book titled “How the Atatürk film was sabotaged.” He dedicated the book to the two people he saw responsible for the sabotage of the film: Mesut Y?lmaz, culture and tourism minister at the time, and Hasan Celal Güzel, state minister at the time.

Actors have grown old waiting for the role

The years that go by caused foreign producers to forget the walls Turkey has built around the project. Tarquin Olivier, the son of the famous actor, embarked on an adventure of 10 years, making him the most stubborn producer to strive for a film on Atatürk. The image of Atatürk he had in mind was Antonio Banderas. The fact that the Spanish actor's features were much darker than the blond-haired and blue-eyed Atatürk sparked debate.

These debates faded as the film got stuck on the Feb. 28 process. It was later postponed for good after the Armenian lobby in the United States threatened Banderas that it would not be good for him if he played the part of Atatürk. During an interview a couple of years later, Banderas said he never got an offer to play Atatürk but that he could not imagine there would be any actor in the world that would like to play the part. He added: “Playing great beings such as Atatürk is very risky. I could have drawn much criticism with a very small mistake.”

Banderas's statement reminds one of actor Ahmet Mekin's worries. Resembling Atatürk, Mekin has waited for the part all his life but has grown too old for it. “I could not have played a simple role after having played a great man like Atatürk,” he said.

Today, there is still one man that is determined to make the film, not letting the previous failures get to him. With his script at hand, Fuad Kavur, who lives in England, meets with producers to realize the film. Kavur has two actors in mind for the role of Atatürk: The latest James Bond Daniel Craig and Jude Law. Both actors are British and both have blond hair with blue eyes.

Only Americans can do it

In his book, director Metin Erksan asks the question whether a film about Atatürk should be made by Turks or by foreigners. For Erksan, only Americans can undertake such a project. “It can be someone like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, or George Lucas,” said Erksan.

The heated debate over “which Atatürk?”

When one studies the chronology of 56 years of unmade Atatürk films, one can see the real reason why such a film was never realized. Turkey would never like to see its founding father, which it sees as a holy person, be portrayed as a person with human weaknesses. Atatürk's military personality is indisputable. But just as his charismatic pose in military uniform, his poses in a swimming trunk at the seashore, or swinging with childish joy are also equally effective. However, while the state supports Atatürk's military aspects in the projects it has supported up until today, it has overlooked an image of Atatürk that had good relations with women or enjoyed the drinking tables.

Good luck to all adventurers that would still like to undertake such a project after having read this article and I hope that such an article is not written on the 100th anniversary of the Republic.

Atilla Dorsay (Film Critic)
“The state would not allow”
I do not believe an Atatürk film that can have the Turkish state's backing can be made because we have not reached an accord on the past and placed Atatürk in place where everyone view him the same. Moreover, we are over sensitive and susceptible over this issue.

This film should have been made a long time ago. But we need to start somewhere; it does not mean it can never be made. Just as films on Gandhi or Che Guevara were made, we must make a film on Atatürk. Everyone has an [image of] Atatürk in his mind and we should approach the subject with respect for all.

Halit Refig( (Director)
“There is a schizophrenic idea about Atatürk”
In Turkey, there is a schizophrenic idea about Atatürk, a division of opinions. It would be impossible to make film about Atatürk without getting rid of this first. For us, the subject of Atatürk has holy aspects. When foreigners would like to make such a film, they would not think like us but look at the subject commercially. I do not believe a serious and realistic film would attract Westerners because Atatürk founded the republic fighting against the West.

Fuad Kavur (Director-scriptwriter)
“His table was like a philosophy class”
I wrote my script. The producer has it. I wrote it as a film, not as a history class. The viewer would not be pleased if it senses a propaganda film. Therefore, one needs to be objective. My film is based on his reformism. I did not abstract him from the table of dining and alcohol or from women. His table where he drank was not a table to get drunk. It was much like dialectic classes of Aristotle and Plato where he exchanged opinions with the others around the table. Why would we develop Atatürk into a taboo? He was a human being just like us. His only difference was that he was very intelligent. I do not think the government would prevent me from making this film. While I was writing the script, I was in close contact with the Turkish Embassy in England.hr>

Letters To The Editor /TDN
October 31, 2007
Turkey and the Armenian question

Dear Orhan Kemal bey, I largely agree with the point of view you express in the TDN article "Can we discuss the Armenian question?" I would add:

- I have the impression that ethnic Turks readily forget that Armenians, Kurds and Greeks were living in Anatolia for centuries prior to the arrival of Turks; and the Turks at that time were conquering invaders, they weren't invited! Now of course this doesn't change the fact that Anatolia is now inhabited by a majority of ethnic Turks and that Anatolia is their home; the fact that the means by which this came about 1,000 years ago were not peaceable ones doesn't change this (any more than it does for all the other conquering and colonizing peoples of the world over the last millennium).

- But this forgetting is not healthy; if South Americans of Latin origins forgot that the Amerindians were there first then they would forget that those indigenous peoples are owed a protected place in their, supposedly non-ethnic, states; and in the case of Anatolia, the Armenians, Kurds and Greeks (amongst others) haven't forgotten it

- Mount Ararat is sacred to Armenians, and why shouldn't it be, it was Armenian (insofar as such a statist notion made any sense 500 years ago) long before it became part of the Turkish state.

- Usually whenever anyone speaks or writes of "Turkey," there is a fairly clear implicit sense that they are referring to Turkey as home of the ethnic Turks, but this is surely a dead-end way of conceiving the Turkish state; until such time as the Turkish state reinvents itself as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious state then the conflicts, political or violent, between ethnic Turks and its other current and former peoples will carry on one way or another (in my view Atatürk's biggest mistake was not to name the state "Anatolia" with all that it would imply).

- The difference between the victory over the Anzac troops with their well-kept monuments and, say, the Armenians is that Turkey (or rather the Ottoman state) feels magnanimously proud to have won a conventional war against tough adversaries; whereas in the case of the ethnic cleansing of the Greeks and Armenians there is no pride

- It was a horrible mess (whether genocidal or not is a question I defer to impartial historians); Greeks and Armenians (and latterly Kurds) were not exterior enemies, they lived, and live, in Anatolia too, and furthermore they were indigenous peoples compared to the Turks.

Just for the record, as far as I know, I have no Greek, Armenian, Kurdish or Turkish blood.
Nick Hobbs, Istanbul
A Turkish Bluff Or A Turning Point?
October 29, 2007, Ariana FERENTINOU

“If there is something for which I hold the Turks in great esteem is their diplomatic skills,” I heard my Greek colleague on the other end of the line say as we were discussing the day's news menu. It was a few days after the tragedy in Hakkari and just before the arrival in Ankara of the Iraqi delegation to discuss ways of solving the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) crisis – a visit the apparent usefulness of which was only to buy time before the visit of the Turkish prime minister to Washington.

These have been difficult days for anybody who has been dealing with news from Turkey. It has been a period of confusion, uncertainty, tension, war mongering, and exaggerated patriotism; a period of existential dilemmas for Turkish society; a period of conflicting analyses which make the work of any foreign journalist reporting from Turkey, more difficult than ever.

But my colleague was unrepentant in her admiration for the Turkish diplomats. And to my frustrated question “where on earth do you see diplomatic skill in this mess?” she gave me a perfectly plausible answer: “The Turks, have always done the same thing. They are moaning, groaning, putting pressure, stretching one issue too much on one end in order to score points on the other end, on a completely different issue. They are stretching the issue of PKK to the extreme, they shout out about Hakkari, they raise the stakes, create a big fuss with everybody, they appear as victims, they even raise the tone against the Americans, but by doing that, look, they managed to score an important diplomatic victory on the Armenian resolution!”

Of course, in analyzing the recent political turmoil in Turkey, my colleague was not an isolated voice. She was reflecting a particular school of thought among Greeks and Greek Cypriots observers who are seeing the recent Kurdish upsurge as a platform where the Turkish political, diplomatic and military leadership found an opportunity to advance other pending issues that are bugging Turkey's agenda. Behind the recent standoff with the Americans and the Iraqis, these circles are seeing a well weaved plan by Ankara to trade off the non-invasion in Iraq with specific important benefits. The postponement of the decision over the resolution of the Armenian “genocide” by the plenary of the House of Representatives in Washington was an obvious gain, they say.

And referring to more familiar cases in the past, they claim that when the Turkish political and military leadership decided to launch a military operation in Cyprus in 1974 or a small operation in Kardak, the real aim was to negotiate at a relatively small military cost.

“Those who know the Turkish political history, and we are talking about the history of the last 60 years, especially the philosophy and the psychology of the army, they would immediately realize from the start that Turkey, and on this occasion the military and bureaucratic establishment, that when they declare and announce an invasion of northern Iraq, they are really bluffing as what they are actually doing is adopting the third option, which is to negotiate in order to win without any cost,” writes Professor Yallouridis in an article in Ethnos newspaper.

An important visit for Cyprus as well

For Cyprus, the most serious development of recent days is related to Turkey but not via Iraq. The signing of the Strategic Cooperation Agreement between Turkey and Britain during a recent trip by Recep Tayyip Erdogan to London has fuelled fear among Greek Cypriots that Turkey is maximizing the Iraq crisis to her own benefits and is scoring diplomatic points on the Cyprus issue. If the visit to Washington is for the Turkish public opinion a make or break one for Turkish-American relations or a “war or no war” issue, for Greek Cyprus, this is a trip that may also decide the political future of the island.

“There is a possibility that during Erdogan's visit to Washington in early November, a similar agreement may be signed like that in London. In a period where relations between United States and Turkey have deteriorated due to the situation in northern Iraq, such a move could be seen as a way to release tension,” writes Fileleftheros newspaper, like most in Cyprus, fearing that the worst is still to come, i.e. the political and diplomatic recognition of the Turkish part by Britain and the U.S. The Strategic Cooperation Agreement, claim Greek Cypriots is an attempt to appease Ankara in order not to invade northern Iraq.

It is only human for anybody who is looking “from outside” to react toward such a complicated situation such as what Turkey is going through, by personalizing the issue and reducing the parameters. Even for us who are experiencing Turkey “from inside” it is an almost impossible task to read this constantly moving sand which is called Turkish socio-political reality. But it is obvious that this is one of the most serious crises in recent times. I don't want to agree with Professor Yallouridis but I would add his comments as food for thought.

“Northern Iraq is an existentialist impasse for the Turkish leadership. If they invade they face the risk of defeat with multiple domestic implications, if they do not invade, the Kurdish issue sooner or later will bring down peacefully or not the Kemalist structure as we have known it for the last 80 plus years.”


Narcissistic And Reckless Arrogance: Pelosi And The Armenian Genocide Resolution
October 17th, 2007 by Morgaan Sinclair
http://www.bloggernews.net/111019
There is nothing that so cries out for justice as the forgotten who are slaughtered and whose deaths are left in thunderous silence of receding history. The pain for families only barely eases with the passing of decades or even centuries. This last 150 years has seen mind-twisting inhumanity. The Holocaust weighs on us with a pressure that has barely eased since the end of World War II. And yet, in the same war there was a holocaust visited upon the Serbs, which some Serbs called a term a stolen holocaust, so little light has ever shone on it.

The massacre of Armenians in 1915, and at other periods after 1885, is another agony of mass death that is little known to most people. Taking place during the death throes of the Ottoman Empire, the slaughter—termed a genocide by the Armenians—has been the subject of critical debate in the last years. The Turks, descendants of the last Ottomans and inheritors of their state, argue that Armenian deaths were the result of civil war, and that there were massive casualties on both sides. There are reliable contemporary accounts to bolster both arguments.

On the Ottoman side: According to Bernard Lewis, scion of American Middle Eastern studies, “What happened to the Armenians was the result of a massive Armenian armed rebellion against the Turks. … The massacres were carried out by irregulars, by local villagers responding to what had been done to them.” Dr. Lewis was subsequently charged with and convicted of denying the genocide by a French court, which fined him a symbolic one franc.

On the Armenian side: Henry Morgenthau, Sr., the American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, wrote, in a memoir dated 1919: “When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact.” Many of the Armenians died during forced deportations, deportations now being considered a crime against humanity.

It’s even more complicated than the diametrically opposed viewpoints of fine historians. When the EU started making noises about demanding that Turkey “accept responsibility” for the Armenian genocide (which, in fact, the current country did not commit), Prime Minister Erdogan asked that the United States and Russia both open their sealed archives to historical review. Both refused. Complicity on the part of the United States has been documented to some extent already. But it’s the suspected Russian involvement in Armenian acts of terrorism against the Ottoman Empire over a period of nearly 80 years that Russians most certainly don’t want exposed. To the casual observer with no axe to grind, declarations made without access to all the pertinent archives certain smacks of a railroading for political purposes, a seeking of illegitimate leverage with half the facts concealed.

But it’s worse than that, because the Armenian genocide, in which 1.5 million people may have, doesn’t hold a candle to another genocide happening during the very same time period.

The mass murdering of the Congolese in the Belgian Congo between 1878 and 1910 is a genocide with none of the detractions of the Armenian-Ottoman tragedy. The death toll is variously placed between eight and 30 million, depending upon the time period assessed, and the means of assessment. However, what is certain is that this genocide was about clearing the Congo of its entire native population, for the purpose of handing over to Belgian King Leopold II and his administrators an entire country belonging to other people.[2] Adam Hochchild’s King Leopold’s Ghost [3] details this travesty, and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness provides the visual backdrop of the terror that was visited upon a completely innocent native population.

However, we don’t find the U.S. Congress and Nancy Pelosi banging on the royal doors of Belgium for an apology to be forwarded to the descendants of the slaughtered of a black African nation.

Why not? Because there are too few Congolese in Nancy Pelosi’s district. Is that why we find no resolution for the good of the Congolese, who lost some 5 to 25 times as many people during the same general time frame? Do they count less because they’re black? Do the Armenians count more because they are white and have many numbers in Pelosi’s district?

Some have suggested that Pelosi’s arrogant, reckless act of political narcissism is something of grand Machiavellian plot: that having been able to raise no passable resolution to end the Iraq war, she instead engineered a declaration of genocide against an American ally in order to elicit Turkey’s cutting off America’s ability to feed, clothe, enable with energy, and heal with medicines that routinely make their way into a war zone from the air bases and protected Kurdish trade routes through Turkish cities and air fields. If this be true, Nancy Pelosi is guilty of treason, as well as of usurpation of executive authority and Congressional authority by manipulation of a house panel.

But the truth is likely both more and less horrifying than this possibly. Because it is very like that Nancy Pelosi, in her almost unbested capacity for gross incompetence and mirror-staring, is simply so foreign-policy ignorant and so utterly incompetent that she actually tried this bit of grandstanding for Armenian votes in her district—and publicity, without which she apparently cannot continue to breathe oxygen for a period of 24 hours.

What needs to happen next is that Nancy Pelosi needs to be removed as the Speaker of the House by Democrats who would still like to win the next election.

This toying with the Middle East, as if she had any clue what is doing, follows on the heels of her hijab-wearing photo-op with Bashir al-Assad, an egregious blunder that was cheered by al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hizbollah. Yes, what a positive movement when women in Saudi Arabia will be charged with adultery and stoned to death were they to do the same thing. The Islamists cheered Pelosi’s actions as a symbol of their supremacy over U.S. foreign policy, not as a victory of U.S. attempts to ‘win the hearts and minds.’

Michael Rubin’s comments in National Review, in the best article written on this matter this week,[4] should sober everyone about Pelosi reckless incompetence. Referencing Pelosi’s fawning visit with al-Assad, he writes: “Basking in the glow of Pelosi’s headline-garnering visit to Damascus — again in contravention of a State Department request — Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad upgraded his support for Hezbollah and his nuclear dealings with North Korea.”

Pelosi’s lust for the power of the presidency or of the entirety of Congress and not just her individual part must be contained for the good of the country. For if she had succeeded this week, the cost of American and Iraqi lives would have been laid securely at her own feet. She should be grateful the President and the Congress grounded her little flight toward the sun before her candle-wax wings melted and caused her crash to be worse even than it is.

Someday, after the Russian and American files are opened, a full history of the Armenian tragedy should written—by University professors, not House committees, as Rubin also points out.

And while they are at it, they should have a look at the Belgian atrocities in The Congo and the extermination of so many of the world’s indigenous populations by European states greedy for wealth and avaricious for the saving of souls.

But when all of it is said and done, it is a matter for the fullness of government to decide, not the province of a narcissistic, reckless, incompetent and dangerous pool-gazer bent on fame and political gain.

Morgaan Sinclair has written for The Weekly Standard and The New York Post and is a Fellow of Gracen Intelligence

[1] http://serbianholocaust.com/

[2] http://www.religioustolerance.org/genocide2.htm

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/08/30/daily/leopold-book-review.html

[4]http://article.nationalreview.com/q=MTMzZjVkNTFjMzg1ZjIwNWFjZTlmMWM2MmQzNDZlMTU=


Relations Between Armenia And Pkk Terrorism By Tetedeturc
Changing their tactics after the ’80s as they encountered adverse reactions from the world. Now, it was time for PKK to carry on the mission. Their first terrorist act started at Eruh and Semdimli in 1984 while the ASALA-Armenian terror receded to the background. Some of the tangible proofs of the ties between Armenians and PKK are the following:

The terrorist organisation PKK announced the period from 21 to 28 April 1980 as the "Red Week" and started to organise meetings on April 24 as the anniversary of the alleged genocide against Armenians.

The PKK and ASALA terror organisations held a joint press conference on 8 April 1980 at the City of Sidon in Lebanon where they issued a declaration. Since this drew a considerable reaction, they decided that their relations should be maintained on a clandestine basis. The responsibility of the attacks launched against the Turkish Consulate General in Strasbourg on 9 November 1980 and the Turkish Airline office in Rome on 19 November 1980 were undertaken jointly by the ASALA and PKK. Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the separatist terror organisation, was elected to the honorary membership of the Armenian Authors’ Association for "his contributions to the idea of Greater Armenia". A Kurdistan Committee was formed within the Armenian Popular Movement like in many European countries.

On 4 June 1993, a meeting was held at the headquarters of PKK terrorist organisation at West Beyrouth with the participation of representatives from the Armenian Hinchak Party, ASALA and PKK.

Another striking example of the Armenian-PKK ties are the following resolutions adopted in meetings held at two separate churches from 6 to 9 September 1993 with the participation of Lebanese Armenian Orthodox Archbishop, officials of the Armenian Party and about 150 youth leaders :

A somewhat sedate attitude should be reserved toward Turkey for the time being. The Armenian community is on the way to growth and better economic strength. The propaganda activities have started to make the genocide claims better understood in the rest of the world. The newly founded Armenian State with a constantly growing territory will definitely avenge the ancestors of its citizens. The Western powers and particularly the United States side with and favour the Armenians in the combat for Nagorno Karabakh. This opportunity should be well exploited as more and more Armenian young men join the ranks in this fight. The perpetual terrorist attacks in Turkey (meaning the PKK’s actions) will continue and eventually collapse the country’s economy, leading to an uprising by the entire population. Turkey will be abolish and a Kurdish State will be formed. Armenians will hold good relations with the Kurds and support their fight. Territories presently held by the Turks will the Armenian’s tomorrow.

PUBLICATION ORGANS OF TERRORIST ORGANISATION PKK IN ARMENIA
The newspapers Reya Taze and Bota Redaksiyon are published in Armenia in Cyrillic alphabet under the control of terrorist organisation PKK with the help of PKK members coming from Turkey and Europe and carries out propaganda for the PKK.

PKK-ASALA RELATIONS
The Armenian terrorism at international first started basis in 1973 and began to gain impetus after the 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation with attacks or terrorist nature against Turks and Turkish representations abroad with sabotages and outright assaults.

Upon resurrection of the Kurdish terrorist movement that began to show itself in a variety of legal political entities from ’70s onward, the Armenian terror organisation ASALA ceded its place in 1984 to the PKK that killed without distinction of Turk or Kurd in a bloodthirsty manner under the guidance of Abdullah Öcalan.

Yet in prior to that date, of the co-operation between terrorist organisations ASALA and PKK was known manifesting in the training of ASALA militants at PKK’s trannie camps, the joint operations and declamations by them both and training support provided at the PKK camps by Armenian experts, not to mention the organic ties between the terrorist organisation PKK and Armenian Tashnak Sutyun Party.

The common goal of the co-operation between the terrorist organisations PKK and ASALA is to establish States in Turkey’s Southeastern and Eastern under the Marxist-Leninist ideology. Since, however, an overview of the areas on which both organisations had schemes, it may be deduced that one of these organisations acts as the other’s mercenaries.

An examination of the discovered documents revealed that the militants of ASALA and PKK terrorist organisations underwent training at the Bekaa and Zeli camps.

1987 AGREEMENT BETWEEN PKK AND ARMENIANS
An agreement was concluded between the separatist terror organisation PKK and Armenians in 1987. Following are the highlights of this agreement:

1. Armenians will be involved in training activities within the PKK terror organisation.

2. Five thousand American Dollars per annum will be paid to the PKK terror organisation per capita by the Armenian side.

3. The Armenians will participate in the small-scale operations.

As the Armenian component began to acquire a significantly elevated position within the organisation as a result of this agreement, the following resolutions were adopted in a meeting held on 18 April 1990 with a person named Hermes Samurai, reported to be the official responsible for the PKK-ASALA relations:

1. The PKK and ASALA terrorist organisations will be under a joint command from that date on.

2. The Armenians will undertake intelligence work on the Turkish security forces.

3. Territories gained through the expected revolution will be equally shared between the parties.

4. Seventy-five percent of training camp expenses will be borne by the Armenians.

5. Operations will be conducted at the metropolitan cities in Turkey. The terrorist organisation PKK that moved its bases into Northern Iraq after because of very heavy blows dealt in the transborder operations and lost all possibilities of sheltering there is known to have entered into arrangements for shifting some of its cadres to Iran and Armenia where it started an active subversive operation toward Turkey.

It has also been learned that a group of European representatives of the terrorist organisation PKK paid a visit to Armenia where they concluded an agreement with the Armenian leaders for the unhindered ingress to and egress from Kars region by their militants, that Armenia offered sheltering, monetary and equipment support to the Kurdish settlements in that country following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the formal proclamation of the Armenian Republic. Similarly, a group of militants of the terrorist organisation PKK left Urmiah for Armenia on three vehicles on 19 and 20 May 1992 for fighting against Azerite Turks together with the Armenians.
29 October 2007 http://www.tetedeturc.com/home/spip.php?article736 Copyright © 2005


The Greek Cypriot-PKK Connection View by Ata ATUN
The Greek Cypriot-Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) connection exists not only on a simple level and is not just a tiny connection to a Cypriot passport numbered C015198, valid 1995-2005 and issued to Kurdish terrorist leader Abdullah Öcalan under the fake name Lazaros Mavros. The latter actually is the founder of the Kurdish Solidarity Committee (KSC) in Cyprus.

When Apo -- the Kurdish terrorist leader Öcalan -- was captured by the Turkish counterterrorism team in Nairobi on Feb. 15, 1999 around 8:00 p.m., he was carrying a Greek Cypriot passport officially issued by the Immigration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the Greek Cypriot administration.

In Nairobi, he was accommodated in the residence of the Greek Embassy and was looked after by Maj. Savvas Kalenderidis of the EIP, the Greek intelligence agency.

Despite the Greek Cypriot side's desperate denials of its role in this passport issue, its link with the PKK in particular and international terrorism in general has been proven with various reports, press articles and other official documents.

Indeed, not only the Greek Cypriot officials but also other non and semi-official figures and organizations have, at times been reported to be supporting and morally and materially harboring the PKK and other terror groups, such as the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). The prevailing mentality has always been "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." That has finally backfired, as seen in the Kurdish violence against the Greeks in connection with the arrest of Apo and his subsequent repatriation to Turkey.

The Greek Cypriot-PKK connection was first established by Dr. Vassos Lyssarides, the honorary president of the socialist Greek Cypriot party the Movement of Social Democrats (EDEK) and the former speaker of the Greek Cypriot Parliament, right after the Turkish intervention of 1974, with the motto "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

With the financial backing of the Greek Cypriot administration he established terrorist camps in the Troodos Mountains of southern Cyprus in 1976 for the accommodation and training of ASALA and PKK terrorists to fight against Turkey.

Recently, the very same Dr. Vassos Lyssarides was sent to Damascus on an inducement mission to stop the ferry service from Famagusta to Lattakia, relying on his past cooperation with Syrian officials in PKK business. During his discussion with the new generation of Syrian officials, he was kindly turned down and showed out, when he hinted to disclose the old files if the ferry service from Famagusta to Lattakia was not banned.

He also acted as an advisor to the USSR during the Cold War era on the very important subject titled "NATO and the Strategy of NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean Region." During one of the "anti-NATO" meetings held in Athens in 1976, he stated that "a medium similar to the Vietcong's in Vietnam, against [the] US is already organized in Cyprus to wipe out the Turkish Cypriots from Cyprus."

During the mid-1970s Lyssarides, the journalist Lazaros Mavros -- the non-fictitious owner of Apo's passport -- and Theophilos Georghiades, the notorious Greek Cypriot narcotics smuggler, jointly established the KSC in Nicosia, the capital city of south Cyprus, with the aim of supporting and harboring the PKK in the Greek sector of the island.

By the end of the 1970s, in more than 30 camps in south Cyprus Greek, Greek Cypriot, Armenian and Kurdish terrorists, as well as terrorists from various other countries were under the training of Cuban, Libyan and Greek army officers.

Up until the present day no Greek Cypriot politician has ever labeled the PKK a terrorist organization.

Even Mr. Yiannis Kasulides, the DISY presidential candidate who promotes himself as a mild-mannered politician seeking a sustainable, peaceful solution on the island, made various statements lending official support to the PKK in their terrorist attacks against Turkish civilians and troops during his days as minister of foreign affairs, which clearly defined his perspective on Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish people.

Even today, the funding provided by the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church to the PKK, the organizational activities of the KSC by non-Kurdish Greek Cypriot members, the funding of the printed material supporting PKK activities by the Greek Cypriot administration, the medical treatment and rehabilitation of PKK terrorists in Cypriot hospitals who were wounded during their attacks against Turks and official permits to campaign for the collection of funds to benefit the PKK in south Cyprus show and clearly prove the strong connection between the Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriot administration and the PKK.

The Turkish Cypriots are being forced by the international community to establish a joint state with the Greek Cypriots, who have harbored hostile feelings against Turks for centuries.

Somebody probably has pink dreams of a joint state in Cyprus under a unitary or a federal government umbrella, which in reality does not have a chance at survival. Two neighboring states in Cyprus is the inevitable and long-lasting solution for the island.
October 2007 Copyright © Journal of Turkish Weekly www.turkishweekly.net


A Suggestion To Turkey For 'Genocide' Bill: Do Nothing! October 29, 2007 Bryce KAUFMAN
As an American exchange student in Turkey, I am more than keenly aware of the effect that U.S. policies have on U.S.-Turkish relations and on the way in which Americans are perceived here. Obviously the topic on everybody's minds recently has been the U.S House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee's passage of a non-binding resolution recognizing the events of 1915 as genocide.I suppose I echo U.S. Ambassador Ross Wilson's words when I say that I can understand why the Turkish public is dismayed and angry with the resolution. Passing such a measure is not the way in which friends and allies treat each other, revealing a certain lack of understanding on the part of U.S. politicians who supported the measure on how truly important Turkey is for U.S. interests abroad. Most notably, as has been repeatedly quoted in U.S. articles and news reports, a large proportion of U.S. supplies to U.S. service members in Iraq flows through Turkey, specifically through the Incirlik airbase.

Turkey has a right to be displeased with the resolution and has the right to respond as it sees fit. Some opinion pieces I have read in Turkey have demanded not only shutting down the airbase, but also closing Habur Gate into northern Iraq until the House of Representatives rejects the resolution. I am certainly not a statesman and have no substantial political power in Turkey or in the U.S., but I would like to offer a suggestion to the Turkish authorities. Even if the resolution passes in the House of Representatives (which now appears to have shelved it for this year), instead of responding by shutting down U.S. base access, Turkey could pursue an alternative course of action: Do nothing.Yes, you read correctly. Do nothing. Doing absolutely nothing may be a radical idea, but one should consider the situation. The resolution is non-binding, which in effect means that, aside from the proclamation that the incidents in 1915 are genocide (a declaration which passed with a vote of 27-21 in the committee, hardly a unanimous decision), the measure should have no further resonance or impact on U.S. policy.In fact, those who are most directly responsible for the formulation of U.S. foreign policy are publicly and adamantly against the resolution, including President Bush, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The resolution, therefore, as I see it, is just a paragraph of words that will not effect how the U.S. designs its foreign policy vis-à-vis Turkey. I accept that U.S.-Turkey relations are not extremely friendly at the moment, given the repeated Turkish demands that the U.S. and Iraq act on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq, but the passage of the resolution does not suddenly mean that the U.S. government will demand that Turkey recognizes an Armenian genocide. U.S. policy will continue as before and for all intensive purposes, the non-binding measure will be ignored by the policymakers currently in power. Turks with whom I have talked with here describe the Armenian lobby as not intent on getting Turkey to recognize an Armenian genocide so much as desiring to humiliate and embarrass Turkey in the international arena. If that is true, then Turkey's potential response of shutting down base access and affecting logistical support to U.S. forces in Iraq would be an acknowledgment that the Armenian lobby has had a substantial impact on Turkey. What better way to embarrass Turkey than to try to alienate historical allies from one another?

It cannot affect US policy making

Understandably, my argument may seem flawed. When I suggested to a Turkish student that Turkey do nothing, because the resolution means nothing in the way of U.S. policy, the justifiable retort was “Well, if that is so, then why was the measure passed in the first place.” Unfortunately, I do not have an adequate answer to such a question aside from U.S. domestic politics. I can only see U.S. domestic politics as providing a justification for the resolution, given politicians' eagerness to pass the measure despite the potentially tremendous negative impact it could have on U.S. military operations in Iraq. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the resolution has no binding force.

Turkey will respond as it desires and as an independent, sovereign nation, it has the right to act as it chooses. However, although seemingly ridiculous, doing nothing would be a significant statement.

Turkey's displeasure at the resolution has been noted at every level of the U.S. government and doing nothing would not be tacit acceptance of the genocide. Indeed, declaring displeasure at the recognition but continuing to conduct relations as usual would be a strong declaration that although words may not be appreciated, they do not have the effect of embarrassing Turkey or altering relations between the U.S. and Turkey. Sometimes silence is the most powerful action of all.


Should Us Fix History? C. Gopinath 29 October , 2007
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives (lower house), on October 10, bravely passed a resolution that, among other things, a systematic campaign had been undertaken to kill Armenians in Turkey between 1915 and 1923, and called upon the US President to ?ensure that the foreign policy of the US reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the US record relating to the Armenian Genocide?. It is a non-binding resolution and is scheduled to be presented to the full House for a vote.

Should the US Congress take on itself the responsibility of fixing problems of historical record? Perhaps being a super-power gives it that right. It takes courage, integrity and a total lack of rationality. That is right. The Congress tried and failed to pass a resolution to make its own President end the current war in Iraq, but was not even able to pass a time-line for withdrawal of troops from there, and has been continuing to pass Bills authorising the billions that are being spent in fighting the war in Iraq.

This Congress is unable to impact current events, so it has decided to go back to history, so to speak. For the US politicians, it was easier to assuage their conscience by dealing with an issue that took place 92 years ago and 8,400 km away.

"Genocide" against Armenians?
Turkey is very upset about it, which is somewhat surprising. The perpetrators were the Ottomans and the current Turkish government, successors to a country salvaged from the Ottoman Empire, could have merrily joined in the condemnation.

But, of course, they felt that the nation was being slighted and the Turks have not forgotten the efforts of the western powers of that time to carve up the Ottoman Empire. Nobody can sit quiet today about that!

The Turks agree with the Armenians that several people died at that time. Estimates range from 800,000 to 1.5 million. The sticking point is whether it was ?genocide? against Armenians, for that term has all kinds of issues related to intent of action and ethnic cleansing connotations attached to it.

From Turkey?s point of view, it was nasty business that took place in the last days of the Ottoman empire, full of confusion and change.

Fighting the labelling battle
Turkey is an ally of the US, and is realising that in the rough and tumble of US politics, with power fractured between the Presidency and the Legislature, when different parties control them, friends and foes get treated equally badly. National identities are built on interpretations of history, and Turkey has its own version of what happened. The Turks are now fighting the battle about the labelling in the US on many fronts. The government has protested officially and withdrawn its ambassador from Washington.

Turkish generals have been issuing dark warnings that they would end cooperation with the US war in Iraq. The government released full-page advertisements in US newspapers and even hired lobbyists in the US to work behind the scenes and prevent any resolution from being passed in the full House. Anti-US demonstrations have taken place in Ankara.

US history
I have a suggestion. The right move in this game of shadow-boxing is for Turkey to take commensurate action by poking its finger in US history. I have at least two resolutions that the Turkish parliament can pass:

The indigenous peoples of North America (also referred to as Native Americans and as Indians) faced the waves of European immigration between the 16th and 19th centuries and lost their lands. Some tribes were wiped out in the ensuing conflicts, and the new diseases that came also took their toll.

When many tribes entered into agreements with the US government, these were often ignored, violated through military actions, and the natives continued to lose territory and rights. Why not pass a resolution calling it a genocide by the US government against the natives and ask the UN to look into it? Non-binding, of course.

Slavery was official in the US from the 16th century till 1865. Slaves contributed significantly to the economy of the country and helped make it the power that it is. A movement in the US has been advocating that the US Government apologise to the descendants of the slaves for the inhuman practice, and to pay compensation. Why not the Turkish Parliament pass a resolution condemning the practice of slavery, and urge the US Government to apologise to all those countries from whom it imported slaves?

Touchy about past
These two resolutions will continue this fascinating pursuit of name-calling and keep the dispute at the level of distraction that we all need in our lives!

Unfortunately, countries are touchy about their past and every country on this planet has its own interpretation of events. These interpretations often change when governments? change and history books get re-written.

The US is so touchy about how it presents its treatment of the indigenous peoples and slavery that these subjects are generally white-washed in the approved textbooks used in the schools. Read James Loewen?s Lies my teacher told me (New Press, New York, 1995) for a fascinating analysis of this.

Driving force behind resolution
Ironically, even those in the US Government who opposed the resolution that was passed did so not because they thought it was silly and unnecessary mischief, but because they felt that Turkey is a key gateway to moving men and materials for the Iraq war now and the resolution will disturb that arrangement.

The driving force for the resolution is said to be the pressure from Armenians settled in California on their elected representatives.

The Armenians have brought such resolutions through the Committee in the past too, although they have all failed to reach the stage of voting in the full House.

This resolution falls into a time-honoured US tradition of foreign policy positions taken to satisfy domestic pressure points of the day.

The classic example of that is the continuing influence in shaping US foreign policy towards Cuba by the big constituency of refugees and other immigrants from Cuba who are settled in Florida and continue to rabidly hate Castro.

It's all in the game
In the game of international gamesmanship, it might all work out in Turkey?s favour. Turkey has been wanting to attack Kurdish bases in Iraq from which terrorists are alleged to regularly launch attacks inside Turkey.

Turkish soldiers have been killed and they are itching for a fight that would take them well into northern Iraq. The US has warned it not to, but the US leverage is getting weakened.

Slowly, many of those who originally supported the resolution in the US Congress are having second thoughts and it might well come to pass that wisdom would dawn on the Speaker of the House (who counts many Armenian-Americans among her constituents) and the resolution may not be brought for a vote this time also.

Turkey, smelling that, may capitalise on its ?hurt? and quickly launch a few attacks on Iraq to establish its ?right?. And, thus, the grown-ups play.

The simple lesson coming out of the misadventure of the US Congress is that it is important to poke your nose into the affairs of other nations if you can help them when they are killing each other; otherwise, keep your nose to yourself. http://sify.com/finance/fullstory.php?id=14551457


Calamity in Turkey: A Hot Bed Over PKK Incursion and Armenian Genocide Resolution
Beatrice Vanni October 28, 2007 09:26 AM

It has now been a hot bed of activity for two weeks in Turkey with the military already bombing their Iraqi borders and panting for an incursion into northern Iraq to banish the PKK. Add to it the Armenian Genocide resolution hanging in the balance of the U.S. House and Turkey emerges in yet another controversy.

Tumultuous times reared its head again in Turkey over these two issues and the masses repeatedly took to the streets demonstrating their resolve to annihilate the PKK and curse America for not getting on board with it. Add insult to injury over the Armenian Genocide Resolution 106 and we have a hornet's nest brewing in the bowels of Turkey.

While the PKK ranks high on the agenda at the present time for Turkish, Iraqi and American governments to work together, the Armenian Genocide issue simmers on the back burner especially since Bush has been emphatically against its passage.

Where is Turkey headed and what results are on the horizon? Is it the time to go into Iraqi territory with guns blazing? It is, afterall, the only area in Iraq that has been somewhat quiet through all this time.

Clearly, Turkey bears the right to go after a terrorist organization which boldly takes lives on their sovereign soil and killing over 30,000 of their citizens since the early eighties. Throughout this same time, whole villages were cleared out overnight and many times razed to the ground, many lost their jobs and families no longer whole. We see in Istanbul today the remains of those families who still live on the streets while the Turkish government tries to repatriate them to their own villages.

From 1999 to about 2002, the PKK underwent some changes to a more peaceful stance and all but disappeared for a couple years prior to the Iraq War. During that same time, tourism began blossoming in earnest in the east after many years of struggle, only to be eclipsed by the quagmire next door. Additionally, in recent years, the AK government began investing in the people of the eastern side and development proved fruitful.

Unfortunately for Turkey, the PKK resurrected itself this time stronger than before and not just affecting eastern Turkey but many other areas as well with bombings and revenge against Turkish soldiers and citizens alike.

Conversely, Turkey does not remain totally innocent in this Kurdish fight for its own state. The Turkish Kurds mostly live in the under-developed eastern part of the country where, traditionally, little investment occurred to build the infrastructure to support education, decent job opportunities and reasonable wages. One can still easily see remnants of the PKK impact with no schools in the villages for children to attend, poor sewage systems to support indoor plumbing, minimal electricity and even communal ovens for cooking.

To face rising terror in this region once again and spilling over into other parts of Turkey, the government is hard-pressed not to respond with determination and force. Expecting their allies to support their request for incursion into northern Iraq, Turkey treads a fine line. Without Iraqi and American approval, Turkey risks escalation not only with the PKK, but also spawning unrest where none existed in this Kurdish border area of Iraq, and force coalition troops to stand at the ready.

On the other hand, while it may now be America's duty to fight the PKK because it affects another part of Iraq and their Turkish ally, the PKK never have fought alongside the insurgents, Al Qaeda and other militants in Iraq. Thus, the PKK mattered little in the fight to get Iraq under control, and it was only right for the Iraqi government to focus on the factions hell-bent on creating strife instead of going into predominantly peaceful areas and stirring up the pot.

It's understood that the escalation by the PKK ups the ante for the Turks; although, it begs an answer to how Iraq can avoid additional jeopardy of losing what calm has been achieved there, and the issue of the lack of American troops to support such a deployment to a peaceful area.

So the dilemma returns to Turkey's back now. Will going into Iraq finally stop the PKK? If so, go but do so at great risk to relations with others. Will going against the wishes of the Iraqis and Americans create more of a quagmire not to be resolved for years? Possibly, because it can bring the PKK into the middle of something they don't want to be a part of, and at the same time, bring the Iraq War onto Turkish land.

A joint Turkish-American operation against the PKK in northern Iraq bears credulity; however, if the Turks go into Iraq of their own volition, what keeps the likes of Iran or Syria wanting to play their hand to solve their own Kurdish issues? Moreover, should America participate in this venture cutting food, electricity and construction to a growing region at the risk of inflaming instead of defusing an already tenuous situation? Could it force the PKK to marry other factions unknown to be their pals in the past?

While many questions cannot yet be answered, the Turkish government and her people must act with discretion and patience to combat the PKK and at the same time agree with their allies on the best solution to follow. While Turkey cannot afford to risk their reputation on the world platform, America must not abandon Turkey who has been the best of allies for 50 years.


Dear Mr. Palantekin:
Thank you for expressing your views on House Resolution 106 (H.Res.106), which urges the President to recognize the deaths of approximately 1.5 million Armenians in the former Ottoman Empire.

There are two issues here: the merits of the resolution and the timing of its consideration. The intent and language of H.Res. 106 are not new; resolutions calling for the acknowledgement of the Armenian genocide have been introduced in virtually every session of Congress since 1983.

In addition to responding to a concern of Armenian Americans, these resolutions reflect the goal of ensuring the United States is consistent in its acknowledgement and condemnation of genocide. A consistent and explicit position on ethnic cleansing helps safeguard against complacency, obfuscation, and unjustifiable discrepancies in the US response to human rights abuses. I am a cosponsor of the Senate companion to H.Res. 106 and was a cosponsor of legislation with a similar intent in the 109th Congress.

On October 10, 2007, the House Foreign Affairs committee considered and voted on H.Res. 106. These actions, which drew the vocal opposition of the Turkish government, provoked significant controversy in light of Turkey€ ¦â’ ’¹ strategic relationship with the United States. It is unlikely that the Senate will consider the companion legislation to H.Res. 106; however, should the situation change, I will keep your views in mind.

While you and I may disagree on the merits of H.Res. 106, I appreciated you comments and am glad you decided to contact to me.

Sincerely,
Sherrod Brown
------------------------
Honorable Congressmen Sherrod Brown:
I would like for you to take the lead in the Senate and withdraw your co sponsorship from S.RES.106.

This ill fated resolution is not the answer to a controversial event that occurred nearly 100 years ago. It is one sided, factual wrong and totally against our own interests in the Middle East. It also plants seeds of hatred in other parts of the world, a slap in the face of our long time ally Turkey, just to skim the surface of all of damage this could do to our own foreign policy.

The real answer is that we should enable Armenians and Turks to Debate this issue on their own, with historian and subject experts of the Ottoman Empire. Our congress should not be a vehicle for Special Interest groups, to push for one sided alleged events that is still being refuted by historians.

Yes many people were killed, but the resolution totally ignores the millions of Ottoman's that died as well. Besides the Ottoman Empire is no longer in existence's what is the point? You are opening a Pandora's Box and setting precedent for other so-called genocides to come forward to our Congress. Technically, The Republic of Turkey overthrew the Ottoman and was not even around in 1915 as this resolution is written. Therefore it has no basis as written.

I do not believe that you or any of members of our congress should act as historians. With all respect to each of you as individuals who may have an interest in history, as I do, please if you have the time, read authentic documents on this event.

I ask that you examine the manifesto of the 1st Armenian President and his declaration. A digital record is included below. I will obtain a copy of the book for you, once it arrives, however this is just one of many authentic documents that are available all around the world.

Should you step forward and withdraw your sponsorship of the resolution, you will help all parties that have been a victim of a Civil War within WWI, including the Armenians of Diaspora.

By visiting an issue dating back close to a century is still being argued today, is not in the best interest of any American. All of my friends feel he same way I do, we have more important issues facing our country. Our focus should be on current domestic and international issues we face. In our opinion the current events are far more important today, than what may or may not have happened 100 years ago. It is truly outrageous that we are constantly faced with this horrific event that occurred 100 years ago, we are fed up with our congress being hijacked by the Armenian Diaspora. Many Armenians also do not support this thesis, both here in the US and else where in the world.

I urge you to show your impeccable leaderships skills and drop your sponsorship to S.RES.106 and tell your colleagues to do the same because it is bad policy, bad history and bad politics.

With all my respect to you and your family and Team, thank you for your time. God Bless You!

http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/1923Manifesto-record.htm


As Thomas Fuller once said, "Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong."

Sincerely,
Erol N PALANTEKIN


Armenian Sculptor Spends A Month In Turkey
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 22, ARMENPRESS: Hayk Tokmajian, an Armenian sculptor, who is back from the Turkish capital Ankara, said today in Yerevan that he had been selected along with representatives from Bulgaria, Italy, Japan, Georgia and Taiwan to participate in the 3-rd international sculpture symposium in Ankara.

That was the first official invitation from Turkey to an Armenian sculptor to attend the symposium. Hayk Tokmajian said applications had come from 130 countries, but only seven were selected for participation.

In Ankara the Armenian sculptor carved a sculpture out a marble rock and called it 'White Horse."

The symposium was organized by the art department of the Haceteppe University in Ankara, which Tokmajian said is one of the best 10 universities of Turkey. The invited sculptors lived and created on its territory for one month.

Tokmajian said Turks were very friendly and the environment and the atmosphere were very favorable in terms of creation. He said all expenses were covered by the Turkish university.


Turkey Blames Us Jews For Genocide Bill
Yigal Schleifer/JTA , THE JERUSALEM POST Oct. 23, 2007
When a US Congressional committee approved a resolution recognizing the World War I-era massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide, Turkey's reaction was swift and harsh: Blame the Jews.

In an interview with the liberal Islamic Zaman newspaper on the eve of the resolution's approval October 10 by the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said he had told American Jewish leaders that a genocide bill would strengthen the public perception in Turkey that "Armenian and Jewish lobbies unite forces against Turks." Babacan added, "We have told them that we cannot explain it to the public in Turkey if a road accident happens. We have told them that we cannot keep the Jewish people out of this."

The Turkish public seems to have absorbed that message.

An on-line survey by Zaman's English-language edition asking why Turks believed the bill succeeded showed that 22 percent of respondents chose "Jews' having legitimized the genocide claims" - second only to "Turkey's negligence."

US Jewish community leaders reject that argument and privately say Ankara has only itself to blame for its failure to muster the support necessary to derail the resolution, which is seen in Turkey as anti-Turkish.

Resentment lingers in Washington over the Turkish Parliament's failure to approve a March 2003 motion to allow US troops to use Turkish soil as a staging ground for an invasion of Iraq.

And an official visit to Ankara in early 2006 by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal angered many of Israel's supporters on Capitol Hill, who have been among Turkey's most vocal proponents as part of a strategy of developing strong ties between Turkey and Israel.

"The Hamas thing was really serious," said an official from a large Jewish organization. "There is less sympathy for Turkey because of what some see as an anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish policy that is there."

The official added, "I think there's a sense on the Hill that Turkey is less of an ally. There is a sense that it's a different Turkey."

Soner Cagaptay, coordinator of the Turkish research program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, echoed that thinking.

"The lingering effects of 2003 resonate," Cagaptay said. "Some people are still angry with Turkey."

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the Jews should not be blamed for the Armenia genocide bill, particularly not by Turkish officialdom.

"We regret that some officials there are trying to lay the onus of what's happened on the Jewish community," Hoenlein told JTA. "They shouldn't allow some people to manipulate this initiative in Congress to the detriment of this relationship, which is beneficial for both sides."

Hoenlein, who met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during last month's UN General Assembly, said, "There is the same commitment on the part of the organized community to support Turkey."

Observers in Turkey say the public perception of the Jews' outsized role in the resolution's passage is based on an element of fact mixed with a greater amount of fiction.

In August, the Jewish-run Anti-Defamation League, facing pressure from grassroots activists, reversed its long-held policy of not recognizing the Armenian genocide when ADL National Director Abraham Foxman declared that what happened to the Armenians was "indeed tantamount to genocide."

But Foxman maintained the ADL's position, opposing a congressional resolution on the matter. Such a resolution would strain US-Turkey ties and jeopardize ties between Israel and Turkey, Israel's main Middle Eastern ally.

Nevertheless, the ADL's reversal was seen in Turkey as a major blow to the country's diplomatic and public-relations campaign against Armenian efforts to get a genocide resolution passed in Washington.

"Obviously the ADL's switch was not good news," said Suat Kiniklioglu, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party and spokesman for the Turkish Parliament's foreign affairs committee.

Mustafa Akyol, an Istanbul-based political commentator who frequently writes about religious issues, said the strong reaction to the ADL's policy switch and the perception that it somehow legitimized the Armenians' claims were based on an "inflated sense" of American Jewish power among the Turkish public.

"There is a belief that [the resolution] couldn't have happened without Jewish support," Akyol said.

The House bill passed the committee by a 27-21 vote, with seven of the committee's eight Jewish members voting in favor of Resolution 106. The full House of Representatives has yet to vote on the resolution.

Yet despite the vote, US Jewish groups said they lobbied against the bill - just as they have done in the past.

"Behind-the-scenes support [from US Jewish groups] has been quite powerful" in persuading congressmen to oppose the bill, said Cagaptay. It may yet help prevent the bill from being brought to a vote in the full House.

Turkish Jewish community leaders declined to be interviewed for this story, but Turkey's Jewish leaders published a full-page advertisement in the Washington Times on the day of the vote voicing their opposition to the House bill.

"We believe this issue should be decided first and foremost on the basis of evidence adduced by historians, not on the basis of judgments by parliamentarians or Congressmen, who naturally (and understandably) may be influenced by concerns other than historical facts," the statement said. "There have been insinuations that our security and well-being in Turkey is linked to the fate of Resolution 106. We are deeply perturbed by any such allegations."

According to Cagaptay, "there is a trilateral relationship, which is Turkey, Israel and the American Jews. The relationship is about good ties between Turkey and Israel, and good ties between Turkey and the American Jewish community, which makes up for the fact that Turkey has not had, historically, a strong presence on the Hill."

This time, however, it seems Jewish opposition to the bill was not enough to overcome support by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a longtime supporter of Armenian-American issues, who has vowed to bring the bill to a full House vote.
Source: www.jpost.com


Deciphering Us Action Against Pkk
October 27, 2007 ANKARA – Turkish Daily News

Already strained Turkish-American relations were put to the test following three deadly attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) within a month. Turkey looked to the U.S. to take action against the PKK nestled in northern Iraq, or to let it take the matters into its hands.

“It could be argued that there are as many views in Washington as there are bureaucratic units. But when it comes to foreign policy, there is only one view, and that is expressed by the president,” said Matt Byrza, the deputy undersecretary for the Secretary of State in an interview with NTV broadcast on Oct. 1.

The following month when outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) terrorists increased lethality and frequency of its attacks however, a plethora of declarations were unleashed from different state officials on a possible Turkish intervention in northern Iraq, leading to confusion in the public opinion. Last week, not a day passed by without at least two or three statements by various U.S. officials.

Prior to Byrza's interview, the PKK slaughtered 12 civilians on Sept 23. in the southeastern city of S,?rnak that borders northern Iraq. Those attacks in turn came only a day after the signature of the “security agreement” between Iraq and Turkey against terrorists. The agreement was severely criticized as it did not include a “hot pursuit” clause, necessary for stalking terrorists to their lairs in northern Iraq.

In his interview, Byrza appreciated Turkey's neo-Ottoman foreign policy and welcomed its “great influence” in the region. “It is a very good thing for us that our friend Turkey has regional goals,” he added, making sure that tactical differences concerning Iran, Iraq and Syria could be “sorted out.”

Turks, Americans and Iraqis should work together against the PKK claimed State Department spokesman, Tom Casey, in the first week of October. House Committee on Foreign Affairs headed by Democrat Representative Tom Lantos included a clause to the Armenian “genocide” resolution, “condemning terrorist PKK and supporting Turkey's fight against it.”

US support limited to words
The committee dropped the clause three days later however, “to present it at a more suitable time.” As congressmen prepared to vote on the events of 1915 without delay and waited for a better moment to vote on a resolution condemning the PKK, 12 soldiers were murdered on Oct. 8 by the terrorist gang in Gabar mountains, again in S,?rnak province. The Turkish anti-terror board seriously discussed a cross-border military operation, but White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said Turkish armed action into northern Iraq was “based on assumptions.” In an effort to prevent any Turkish entry into northern Iraq, State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said a comprehensive military operation in northern Iraq will not provide a permanent solution.

At first, the U.S. based its arguments against the military operation citing its futility to end terror. Turkey employed the military option extensively in the ‘90s to no avail the U.S. argument went. But Washington also signaled its opposition to even a limited incursion. “It is impossible to keep track of who did what as far as military operations are concerned,” said McCormack commenting on the possibility of a limited operation. The Bush administration constantly underlined the importance of cooperation with Iraq. “Now we have a partner in Iraq who is determined to solve the problem. We are working with Turks and Iraqis on it,” said McCormack. But he also confirmed at the same daily briefing that the U.S.'s special envoy to counter the PKK, Joseph Ralston had quit the job.

While these declarations were interpreted as Washington's objection to Turkish military plans, the Turkish media learned that how important a role Turkey played in Washington's war efforts in Iraq. “Nearly 70 percent of logistic support to American troops in Iraq passes from I.ncirlik base in Turkey. If Turkey shuts the base down, the U.S. will face difficulty,” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, after the Armenian resolution was adopted at the committee on Oct. 10. Turkey might take a step further and close the border with northern Iraq because of PKK attacks. The U.S. needs Turkey in action against Iran. Turkey could abandon the U.S. on that issue too. President George W. Bush and State Secretary Condoleeza Rice joined him with these warnings. But this admittance of military cooperation in Iraq with Turkey did not translate into cooperation on northern Iraq.

Military option taken more seriously

Soon, the American officials threw the hot potato at the Pentagon on Oct. 13, when pushed further by the press to declare concrete American action against the PKK. Casey once again stressed that the U.S. was working hard with Turkey and Iraq to oust the PKK, but this time he added: “You should direct questions on concrete steps to the Pentagon.”

The Pentagon made its views on “concrete action” clear a day after the Turkish Parliament adopted the Oct. 17 motion that gave the government a free hand to send Turkish troops in Iraq to eradicate the PKK. “Iraq is a sovereign country and will defend itself if attacked,” said Lieutenant General Carter Ham on possible reaction to a Turkish military operation in northern Iraq. Ham's statement came just as Iraqis were raising their voices against a cross-border operation.

At the very moment Parliament voted in favor of the motion for a cross-border operation, Bush stepped in with his own statement. “Turkey already has troops in northern Iraq,” he publicly declared. “But we do not think it is in Turkey's interests to send more.” He reiterated that the U.S. did not want a Turkish military operation. “I will discuss the issue with General David Patraeus (chief U.S. commander in Iraq),” he added.

The Pentagon immediately downplayed the importance of the Turkish military troops in northern Iraq the next day. Pentagon spokesman, Geoff Morrell, said Turkey maintained two or three battalions in the region as part of a deal with the Iraqi government signed at the end of 1990s. “These soldiers' mission is limited to observation and rarely quit their bases. Their movement is within the knowledge of U.S., Iraqi government and the Iraqi Kurds,” he said.

That day the Turkish media covered two statements by two officials in Washington, Casey and Morrell. They offered different arguments against any Turkish military operation in northern Iraq and different solutions. “We do not want to see unilateral military action by Turkey,” said Casey warning about possible threats and difficulties and urged increased dialogue with the Iraqi government.

Morrell however, admitted that it was the U.S. who should take action and should put pressure on Iraqi Kurds that have influence on the PKK. Moreover, in addition to vague warnings about the diplomatic repercussions of a military operation, he presented practical difficulties, like roughness of the terrain and the trouble of finding PKK terrorists hiding in the mountains.

US complies reluctantly, for a moment

Then came the PKK attacks on Oct. 21. that left 12 soldiers dead and eight troops missing, evidently kidnapped by terrorists, in the southeastern province of Hakkari. Immediate reactions from the U.S. further signaled unwillingness to give a green light to a military incursion. “Turkey must gather intelligence to locate hideouts of PKK members before launching a large-scale military operation in Iraq,” Gates said last Monday at a bilateral meeting with Turkish defense minister Vecdi Gönül in Kiev. Gates warned about possible civilian casualties during an operation as well.

However, in an another turn of diplomatic rhetoric, McCormick took the stage to announce the U.S.'s “full-scale diplomatic pressure on Turkey” on Oct 22. in order to dissuade the government to execute the motion the following day. He urged the Iraqi government to take action against the PKK, as an inevitable ingredient of the how-to-calm-Turkey recipe.

Next in a series of U.S. declarations on Turkish military plans was the statement by Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. He praised the Turkish government for listening to international concerns on its threat to launch military operations against terrorists in northern Iraq, but added that while Turkish military action would be worrying, "if any country were under repeated attack from terrorists, it would react strongly."

Perino joined him at a press conference, assumed a more conciliatory stance the same day to ease mounting pressures on a cross-border attack, expressing concern about PKK attacks launched from northern Iraq but calling for moderation among Iraqis and Turks at the same time. “That said, I would refer you to the multi-national forces in Iraq to see what sort of support they can provide,” she told reporters. While denying that the U.S. would join Turkey in a bombing campaign, she said, “there might be some intelligence sharing, enabling a pinpoint operation.” She also attested to Turkey's right to a limited and precise operation against the PKK in northern Iraq to find its missing soldiers. “Obviously, Turkey has the right to defend itself. They have eight soldiers missing right now. They have a right to look for them,” she said.

The same day Turkish warplanes bombed PKK targets in northern Iraq, and news of Turkish troops advancing 30 kilometers across the border arrived.

Washington decided to put on the brakes after Turkish government spokesman, Cemil Çiçek, said the motion was not passed “to be kept in the fridge.” Rice referred to northern Iraq as “Kurdistan,” in her latest speech Thursday at the Foreign Affairs Committee, a move that did not help alleviate Turkish suspicions on U.S. determination to pressure Iraqi Kurds for ousting the PKK. This time she strongly objected to a military operation. “Any effort from Turks on the other side of the border would fail to improve the situation,” she said. She praised the Iraqi government's decision to shut down PKK offices, and warned that cross-border operations would destabilize the region. Rice however claimed that it was hard to oust the PKK from “Kurdistan.”

Likewise, Gates advised Turkey not to start a large-scale operation without comprehensive actionable intelligence on the PKK's whereabouts inside Iraq, at a NATO meeting in the Netherlands Thursday.

The same day Byrza assured Turkey that the U.S. was doing its best with the Turkish and Iraqi governments to find eight missing soldiers, in a meeting of the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Ankara.

Following all these remarks, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog(an raised his tone at a press conference in Bucharest Thursday, arguing that any decision on a unilateral military operation in northern Iraq depends on Turkey alone. “They [Washington] might wish that we do not carry out a cross-border offensive, but we make the decision on what we have to do,” he said.


Comments By Leading Writers And Publishers / TDN
October 27, 2007
Migirdiç Margosyan - Aras Publishing, author: The most important mission of the Istanbul Book Fair is to remove the curtain between author and reader. Thanks to this, mutual communication between readers and writers was enabled. Publishers could reach more readers this way. As Aras Publishing, we have been attending this fair for the last few years. We are introducing Turkish readers with Armenian Literature. Aras Publishing is among the rare publishers that makes publication in two languages. Publishing translated books of Armenian authors and books of modern Armenian authors in Turkish, Aras Publishing has laid the ground for people of different cultures living on the same geography to know and understand each other better via literature.


What Others Say /TDN
October 27, 2007
Do You Still Work With The Republican Lobbies? Nagehan Alçi / Aksam
Washington - We are not familiar with lobbying activities there. But for years lobbies have promoted Turkey in the U.S. against the so-called Armenian ''genocide'' bill. Turkey has been working with the Republican lobbies since 2000. The Livingstone Group leads others.

However, politics in the U.S. is about the change soon. The Democrats most likely will sit in the White House. Balances will change. We do not know how this will affect Turkey. But obviously the lobby activities run by the Republicans would backfire.

So, Turkey made a deal with the DLA Piper of Democrats a couple months ago Activities of the Republican lobbies are almost idle meaning Turkey spends money on them but takes nothing in return.

Yet the DLA Piper made a leap forward. They work hard to promote Turkey's case against the Armenian genocide allegations.

The DLA Piper briefs congressmen about Turkish and Ottoman histories, and explains the strategic importance of Turkey.

Attacks by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) helped the company to restore Turkey's image. So they easily explain why the U.S. shouldn't leave Turkey alone and cannot afford to lose it. Lobby activities with a focus on strategy caused withdrawal of several signatures from the Armenian bill.

However, relying only on professional lobbies is the easy way out. We need lobbies but let's not underestimate the effectiveness of amateur representation.


Armenian Genocide Bill Likely To Die, At Least For This Year
October 27, 2007
Losing the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, measure's backers back off
Ümit Enginsoy WASHINGTON - Turkish Daily News

Yielding to intense political pressure, four top congressional backers of an Armenian genocide resolution pending in the U.S. House of Representatives asked late Thursday for a postponement of a floor vote on the bill, admitting that they had lost the support of the majority of lawmakers. Analysts here suggest that the move effectively means an end to Armenian hopes for a swift passage of the bill in Congress' lower chamber. Only a radical change in the political scene, such as a large-scale Turkish incursion into northern Iraq, may alter the balance in favor of Armenians, they say.

"We believe that a large majority of our colleagues want to support a resolution recognizing the genocide on the House floor and that they will do so, provided the timing is more favorable," a joint letter to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by Democratic lawmakers Adam Schiff, Frank Pallone, Brad Sherman and Anna Eshoo said."We're not going to bring it up until we're confident we have the votes to pass it," said Schiff, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It's going to take some time."

The resolution, which calls on the United States to recognize World War I-era Armenian killings in the Ottoman Empire as genocide, was approved narrowly by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Oct. 10.When Pelosi, another backer of the resolution, announced the next day that she was planning to bring the bill to a floor vote before late November, the pro-Armenian front was pretty close to a much-awaited victory as at the time they had the support of a majority in the 435-seat House.

Weaker argument loses:
But joint efforts to oppose the measure by President George W. Bush's administration and Turkey changed the political climate in Congress in just a few days. Turkey has been warning that the resolution's passage in a House floor vote will worsen bilateral ties in a lasting way, with Ankara's retaliation expected to curb military cooperation on Iraq. Bush and his top aides urged lawmakers to oppose the bill, saying its approval would greatly hurt U.S. national interests, including efforts in the Iraq war and the fight against terrorism.Eventually, the "moral grounds" pretext on which the pro-Armenian camp built its case proved to be much weaker than the Bush administration's argument that "additional U.S. troops may die if this resolution passes."Many lawmakers earlier supporting the bill changed sides, and the pro-Armenian camp lost its once clear majority.Schiff voiced his dismay by telling the Associated Press: "I think the Turkish lobby has regrettably earned their money. I think they were successful in a campaign that was persuasion and coercion. Unfortunately it was aided and abetted by our own State Department."

Measure killed for this year:
U.S. Armenians were also disappointed. While the headline of a statement released by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), the largest and most radical U.S. Armenian group, only read that the bill's sponsors announced a "revised timetable," the text was more bitter."By enabling Turkey's genocide denial, America undermines its own ability to be a positive influence in the Middle East and around the world," said ANCA executive director, Aram Hamparian, according to the statement.

The four Democratic backers of the resolution said in their letter to Pelosi that they would continue to work with the House leadership "to plan for [a House floor vote] sometime later this year, or in 2008."But Congress' current session, or legislative year, ends on Thanksgiving Day, which is Nov. 22 this year, and the reasons why Armenians lost the majority in the House should remain in place for the rest of the year in the absence of any radical change in the political situation."Only one thing, a large-scale Turkish military intervention into Iraq, may change the sentiment in Congress. If that doesn't happen, Armenians can forget about the resolution's passage any time soon," said one congressional source."As long as the national security grounds remain in place, its passage is also hard next year, when a Democratic presidential candidate would not want to seen as putting U.S. troops in harm's way," the source said.


Turkey And Armenia Have No Borders In Sports
October 27, 2007 Vercihan Ziflioglu ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News
Although Turkey and Armenia are two countries with a troubled relationship, sports activities prove that the two nations are striving for peace.

Despite the frontiers' being closed between the states, Armenian athletes from Istanbul represent Turkey in sports competitions in the Armenian capital Yerevan, while Armenian sportspersons visit Turkey to compete in several tournaments.

Nazar Hançer, who has been organizing sports events since 1993, is one of the names behind the sporting bond between the two nations. A former board member of S,is,lispor sports club, which was founded Turkish Armenians, Hançer helps establish the connections between the athletes of the two countries.

Aside from S,is,lispor, Taksimspor and Bak?rköy Zara sports clubs also have the same mission of keeping sports separate from the political problems.

One of the most important steps taken on this issue was the organization of the Hamahaygagan (Pan-Armenian) Olympic Games held in Armenia in 1999. Turkish Armenians have been participating in the event since its very first year. Chosen from Taksim and S,is,li clubs, 70 athletes from Istanbul participated in the fourth edition of the games last August in Yerevan. Junior runner Toros Pilikog(lu, who was a winner at the World Athletics Championships, was a serious medal contender but failed because he had to run in older age groups as no subcategories were determined. However, both the football and volleyball teams managed to come away with silver medals. The complete squad was also honored as the team that best represented its country.

Oldest minority club:
Among the Armenian clubs in Turkey, the oldest one is S,is,lispor, founded in 1890. Hançer's story in the club begins in 1970. After working in many different positions including being an amateur boxer, he started organizing tournaments for visiting Armenians to Turkey since 1993.

Turkish citizens of Armenian origins may have founded the aforementioned clubs, but today have athletes from both nations. They have 270 athletes, 70 of whom are licensed. Hançer said many of their former athletes were later transferred to different teams, as many clubs are scouting the games of the three sides.

In all those years spent on the sports scene, Hançer naturally has great memories. One of them features tennis player Andre Agassi, when the former Grand Slam winner came to Turkey to play in the European Tennis Championship in 1997. Agassi met Minas Mansuryan, an Iranian player of Armenian origins, in the tournament and after a small conversation it turned out that they were part of an extended family, as Agassi's father was a former boxer, with Armenian roots and had lived in Iran.

Hosting several tournaments in Turkey and taking on many duties like translating between Armenian and Turkish for the past 14 years, Hançer is one of the best to know about relations between the two nations. “Every time Armenian athletes come to Turkey, they leave the country with good feelings,” said Hançer. “This goes to show that sports has nothing to do with politics.”


What Others Say TDN October 26, 2007
Armenia Follows In Israel's Footsteps
Kubilay Çelik / TercümanJews are known as the only nation as the victims of genocide. So they exploit this to the end.

They are sympathized by many countries.

Though Jews are wrong sometimes, they end up right all the time.

Europe and the U.S. have nothing to say when Israel shatters down Palestine, attacks Lebanon, bombs Syria, plans attacks on Iran and so on…

Now Armenians are following in the footsteps of Israelis.

First they made up a “genocide” story.

Then they erected a “genocide monument” in Armenia.

Then replicas of this monument are spread the world over. Now, heads of state visiting Armenia are made to visit this monument.

The purpose is the official recognition of the so-called “Armenian genocide.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad was the last visitor to Armenia a few days ago.

A visit to the monument was planned for him too.

But the Iranian president cut short the visit and returned home.

Political observers say he didn't visit the monument not to disturb Turkey. After all, Iran and Turkey are engaged in so many economic and political affairs.

Ahmedinajad did not want to risk it.

The bottom line is: No matter the situation, Armenians are eager to win the sympathy of the world by following the footsteps of Israel.


Seeing A Chance, Former Leader Mulls Comeback
October 26, 2007 Mariam Harutunian, Yerevan - Agence France-Presse

A decade after being forced out of office, Armenia's first post-Soviet president Levon Ter-Petrosian is mulling a dramatic comeback, eyeing a possible run for the presidency in February, analysts say.

An advocate of compromise in Armenia's long-running conflicts with Azerbaijan and Turkey over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region, Ter-Petrosian broke nearly 10 years of silence in a late September speech.

He lambasted Armenia's current leadership, saying the landlocked ex-Soviet country is now run by "a mafia-style regime that has plunged us into the ranks of Third World countries."

In recent weeks, Ter-Petrosian, 62, has been meeting with opposition leaders and undertaken a series of visits to Armenian regions to gauge voter support ahead of a presidential election expected to take place in February.

To announce candidacy:
Many expect him to announce his candidacy today at a rally planned in the Armenian capital Yerevan.

"I have no doubt that the former president will stand in the upcoming elections and will declare it soon," said Alexander Iskandarian, a Yerevan-based political analyst.

The reclusive ex-president's re-emergence has set Armenia abuzz, injecting drama into a political race that was previously seen as a cakewalk for President Robert Kocharian's chosen successor, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian.

After two terms, Kocharian is constitutionally barred from running again.

Analysts say Kocharian's government is taking the threat of Ter-Petrosian's return seriously. On Tuesday, police detained about a dozen activists, including the editors of two opposition newspapers, as they urged people to attend today's rally in central Yerevan. The activists were released on Wednesday.

An academic and historian, Ter-Petrosian led Armenia from its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 to 1998, when he was forced to resign by key members of his cabinet, including then-prime minister Kocharian.

Unresolved conflict:
They forced him out over his backing of a peace plan for Nagorny Karabakh that was seen as giving too much to Azerbaijan.

Backed by Armenia, the ethnic Armenian enclave broke away from Azerbaijan in a war in the early 1990s that left thousands dead and forced more than a million people on both sides to flee their homes.

Drawn-out peace talks have failed to resolve the dispute and Nagorny Karabakh now exists in a legal limbo - with de facto independence but not recognized internationally.

In his speech, Ter-Petrosian signalled he would seek to revive the peace process, calling the unresolved dispute over Karabakh "the greatest crime" of the current government.

He said Armenia needs to end its regional isolation by normalizing relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey, which both closed their borders with Armenia and imposed economic embargoes over the Karabakh dispute.

Reminding the past:
If he does join the race, analysts expect the government will seek to undermine Ter-Petrosian by reminding Armenians of the severe economic hardships suffered under his rule and allegations that Ter-Petrosian rigged elections while in power.

He controversially sent tanks into the streets of Yerevan in 1996 to quell protests after a presidential election widely seen as fraudulent.

"He made many mistakes and many people have still not forgiven him for the difficulties they went through," political analyst David Petrosian said.

In his first reaction to Ter-Petrosian's speech, Kocharian said that "if the first president enters the political arena ... we will have to remind (Armenians) of many things."

Still, analysts expect that many in Armenia's fractured opposition, which was trounced by pro-government parties in parliamentary elections earlier this year, will rally behind Ter-Petrosian if he announces his candidacy.

Several opposition leaders have welcomed his re-emergence and analysts say at least two parties, the Republic Party and the People's Party of Armenia, are preparing to back him.

Ter-Petrosian has even met with leaders of the pro-government Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), which was banned and saw dozens of its members jailed under his rule.


Letters To The Editor / TDN
October 26, 2007 Turkish Diaspora
I am a regular reader of the online edition of the TDN, this being my way of keeping tracks on developments in Turkey. In your Saturday edition, there is an op-ed by Mr. Mehmet Ali Birand concerning the Turkish Diaspora and the Armenian question.

I could not agree more with Mr. Birand, as I encounter this problem quite frequently when back in Switzerland where I live. My close ties with Turkey are due to the father of my two sons being a Turk, as well as having a Turkish daughter-in-law, and go back nearly 40 years. Therefore I believe I can say in all modesty that I know this country intimately and am taking great interest in its image abroad.

I have found it very difficult to find material in German that could be used to counter the well-orchestrated campaigns by the Armenian diaspora, predominantly living in the French speaking parts, like Lausanne and Geneva. Especially last year, when Mr. Perincek was facing trial in Switzerland, I would have been very grateful for relevant information; thus it was left to the Turkish ambassador to Switzerland to counter the attacks.

It is obvious that the Armenian communities are well-funded and connected and it is kind of strange that the world should take such an avid interest in events that took place 100 years ago, were it not for the ulterior motives of the Armenians, like say, compensation.

There are cases of genocide happening under the eyes of the present generation, under the name of "ethnic cleansing" that should concern the world and that receive little attention, unfortunately ...
Joanna L.Gegin, Switzerland

Assessment
A coolheaded assessment is needed, indeed, and I guess I've said what was possible to this end. What remains is a more general observation.

Somehow Turks, the Turkish press or some more specific category of people, influential at any rate, seems to be obsessed with the very idea of "PUNISHMENT." The idea inescapably attracts them.

How many paragraphs, for instance, exist just in order to punish unwanted opinions?

We might deem this to be normal in an authoritarian society. It has an imperial tradition, it even may have some erotic connotations. But such stereotypic reactions are of course traps by themselves, because they dupe the mind and inhibit intelligence. And thus, they are well suited to conserve problems until eternity.
Hans-Peter Geissen, Amsterdam

Ridiculous gesture
I read with interest the article by Semih Idiz (Oct. 12, TDN) on the Armenian resolution. As an American I feel it is a truly ridiculous gesture, aimed at garnering votes in heavily Armenian congressional districts primarily in California. This resolution does not accomplish anything, it just sends a message, and a matter of opinion at that. The U.S. Constitution gives citizens the right to disagree so the government has no business issuing such proclamations and frankly should get back to solving real problems. Mara Phelps, USA


Former Us Ambassador Says Kurds Misreckon Their Steps
Abdulhamit Bilici a.bilici@todayszaman.com
When Alarko Holding President Ishak Alaton invited me to a lunch he was holding in honor of former US Ambassador to Ankara Morton Abramowitz, I didn't hesitate to accept because we were going to be with a figure who had been good at taking the pulse of Ankara and Washington at a time when the war of nerves that lasted for two years over the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) reached its peak in both capitals. In fact, at the meeting we had a chance to speak about the attitude of the United States on terrorism and the developments that are likely to occur as well as the Armenian resolution, although the latter has ceased to be in the spotlight in Turkey.

Former Ambassador Abramowitz, unlike many of his colleagues, did not retire into a much more relaxed life upon the ending of his posting. He is currently working for a think tank in Washington. He writes books, and his commentaries on contemporary developments are published. Because of his still active position, he feels obliged to constantly take the pulse of Turkey. As a matter of fact, when we ask him about Washington, he inquires about Ankara from us.

We quickly bring up the most urgent topic on the agenda. The question is very simple: Why doesn't the United States take tangible steps against the PKK at the cost of losing Turkey? Why does it prefer to remain silent although it clearly sees that this inaction will heavily impact Turkey's internal and external politics?

The retired diplomat first states that he is also ill at ease because of this attitude of the United States. And then, as if trying to prove that he shares this criticism of his with the public, he takes out a photocopy of his article published in Newsweek on Sunday.

The title of his article, "Toward the Point of No Return," summarizes his stance. Abramowitz begins his article by saying, "If the Bush administration and Congress set out to deliberately undermine the Turkish government and its efforts to modernize the country, they couldn't have done a better job than they are doing already." In the article, he excoriates the reluctance of President Bush to take tangible steps against the PKK and the untimely attempt of Congress to pass a resolution on the alleged Armenian genocide.

After recalling that Turkey's patience is finally running out, he warns that the result of America's inaction could be disastrous, forcing Turkey into a military incursion, the consequences of which would be very heavy: Such an operation would shatter the calm and prosperity of northern Iraq and revive nationalism among Turkey's Kurds, he warns. He also notes that Turkish-US relations would suffer permanent damage. The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government's reform efforts would be sapped and the Turks' negative feelings toward the United States would be greatly exacerbated.

According to Abramowitz, the gravest part of the crisis is that America had the chance to avert it, but did not. Although there are groups in Washington willing to teach the AK Party government a lesson, this is certainly not the US policy toward Turkey, the former ambassador maintains, and adds that the reason underlying the US inaction toward the PKK is discrepancies within the administration, the varying approaches of the Pentagon and the State Department, and even differences in approach between the Central Command of the Pentagon and the European Command. The priority of one of them is Iraq and dealing with the PKK seems to be a new burden, whereas the other side values its ties to Turkey. "While George W. Bush is thought to favor firm action, his power on this issue seems not to extend beyond the White House lawn," the former ambassador says. He questions why an operation is not carried out against the PKK by special American units, although it may not be by the regular US Army.

Abramowitz, on the other hand, attributes the indifference of the Kurdish authority in northern Iraq to the fallacy that they can live without Turkey's support. He thinks that this approach of the Kurds is totally unrealistic.

He also stresses that the Turkish government has been resisting calls for it to enter Iraq, although the US is not taking any tangible steps, and that even the latest motion passed by the Turkish Parliament to authorize Ankara to carry out a cross-border operation any time in the next year was in fact designed to prod America into action. After this point, he says, America can still mend the breach by rallying its Iraqi and Kurdish allies to adopt a serious stance against the PKK and by dropping the ill-timed Armenian genocide resolution. The impression I got from his speech is that in order to urge the United States into action, Turkey must stick to its determination and that its F-16s should fly over Iraqi skies.

Apparently, the terrorist organization or some forces that use it as a mask are seriously troubled by Turkey's current course, meant to promote liberties and welfare inside Turkey and make it a venerable international power on good terms with its neighbors and an address for the solution of problems that occur around it. They are painstakingly endeavoring to knock Turkey off its current track. Therefore, the measures to be taken should be determined not in the light of sentiments but of sound judgments. I hope Turkey, which has managed to dodge many plots in recent times, will also frustrate this latest plot.
27.10.2007


The Greek Cypriot-PKK connection Ata Atun a.atun@todayszaman.com
The Greek Cypriot-Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) connection exists not only on a simple level and is not just a tiny connection to a Cypriot passport numbered C015198, valid 1995-2005 and issued to Kurdish terrorist leader Abdullah Öcalan under the fake name Lazaros Mavros. The latter actually is the founder of the Kurdish Solidarity Committee (KSC) in Cyprus.

When Apo -- the Kurdish terrorist leader Öcalan -- was captured by the Turkish counterterrorism team in Nairobi on Feb. 15, 1999 around 8:00 p.m., he was carrying a Greek Cypriot passport officially issued by the Immigration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the Greek Cypriot administration.

In Nairobi, he was accommodated in the residence of the Greek Embassy and was looked after by Maj. Savvas Kalenderidis of the EIP, the Greek intelligence agency.

Despite the Greek Cypriot side's desperate denials of its role in this passport issue, its link with the PKK in particular and international terrorism in general has been proven with various reports, press articles and other official documents.

Indeed, not only the Greek Cypriot officials but also other non and semi-official figures and organizations have, at times been reported to be supporting and morally and materially harboring the PKK and other terror groups, such as the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). The prevailing mentality has always been "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." That has finally backfired, as seen in the Kurdish violence against the Greeks in connection with the arrest of Apo and his subsequent repatriation to Turkey.

The Greek Cypriot-PKK connection was first established by Dr. Vassos Lyssarides, the honorary president of the socialist Greek Cypriot party the Movement of Social Democrats (EDEK) and the former speaker of the Greek Cypriot Parliament, right after the Turkish intervention of 1974, with the motto "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

With the financial backing of the Greek Cypriot administration he established terrorist camps in the Troodos Mountains of southern Cyprus in 1976 for the accommodation and training of ASALA and PKK terrorists to fight against Turkey.

Recently, the very same Dr. Vassos Lyssarides was sent to Damascus on an inducement mission to stop the ferry service from Famagusta to Lattakia, relying on his past cooperation with Syrian officials in PKK business. During his discussion with the new generation of Syrian officials, he was kindly turned down and showed out, when he hinted to disclose the old files if the ferry service from Famagusta to Lattakia was not banned.

He also acted as an advisor to the USSR during the Cold War era on the very important subject titled "NATO and the Strategy of NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean Region." During one of the "anti-NATO" meetings held in Athens in 1976, he stated that "a medium similar to the Vietcong's in Vietnam, against [the] US is already organized in Cyprus to wipe out the Turkish Cypriots from Cyprus."

During the mid-1970s Lyssarides, the journalist Lazaros Mavros -- the non-fictitious owner of Apo's passport -- and Theophilos Georghiades, the notorious Greek Cypriot narcotics smuggler, jointly established the KSC in Nicosia, the capital city of south Cyprus, with the aim of supporting and harboring the PKK in the Greek sector of the island.

By the end of the 1970s, in more than 30 camps in south Cyprus Greek, Greek Cypriot, Armenian and Kurdish terrorists, as well as terrorists from various other countries were under the training of Cuban, Libyan and Greek army officers.

Up until the present day no Greek Cypriot politician has ever labeled the PKK a terrorist organization.

Even Mr. Yiannis Kasulides, the DISY presidential candidate who promotes himself as a mild-mannered politician seeking a sustainable, peaceful solution on the island, made various statements lending official support to the PKK in their terrorist attacks against Turkish civilians and troops during his days as minister of foreign affairs, which clearly defined his perspective on Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish people.

Even today, the funding provided by the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church to the PKK, the organizational activities of the KSC by non-Kurdish Greek Cypriot members, the funding of the printed material supporting PKK activities by the Greek Cypriot administration, the medical treatment and rehabilitation of PKK terrorists in Cypriot hospitals who were wounded during their attacks against Turks and official permits to campaign for the collection of funds to benefit the PKK in south Cyprus show and clearly prove the strong connection between the Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriot administration and the PKK.

The Turkish Cypriots are being forced by the international community to establish a joint state with the Greek Cypriots, who have harbored hostile feelings against Turks for centuries.

Somebody probably has pink dreams of a joint state in Cyprus under a unitary or a federal government umbrella, which in reality does not have a chance at survival. Two neighboring states in Cyprus is the inevitable and long-lasting solution for the island. 27.10.2007


Us And Turkey Thwart Armenian Genocide Bill [The New York Times]
With backing from more than half of the House this summer, proponents of a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide were confident that they would finally prevail in their quest for Congressional recognition.

Adding to their optimism, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was a longtime backer of the resolution, which had been pushed mainly by her fellow Californians, and was committed to bringing it to a House vote. But supporters of the measure were not prepared for the vehement opposition of two powerful governments - Turkey, the successor state to the Ottoman Empire and the United States, which needs Turkey’s help in Iraq. Their combined resistance caused the resolution to falter, embarrassing the speaker on a high-profile foreign policy front. On Thursday, supporters surrendered, at least for now, telling Ms. Pelosi they were willing to wait until next year. “We believe that a large majority of our colleagues want to support a resolution recognizing the genocide on the House floor and that they will do so, provided the timing is more favorable,” the four chief sponsors said in a letter to Ms. Pelosi.
27.10.2007


‘metin And’ On Theater, Research And Life
Metin And is a figure anyone interested in art history and folkloric research knows very well. He currently lives in his house in Ankara which, as he himself puts it, has almost become a garbage dump thanks to his books and notes.

Solitude is his greatest obsession. Although he is 80, he still produces, working unceasingly. Year 2007 has been a very fruitful one for him with his 80th birthday celebration held at the Atatürk Culture Center (AKM), a book was prepared in his honor and the he was given various awards. We spoke with And, who never loses anything from his happiness and his determination to make his life as productive as possible, about his stage arts, literary life and private life.

What did you feel when you heard that you were granted the title “Author of Honor” of the TÜYAP Book Fair?

Well, being granted the title “Author of Honor” of TÜYAP surprised me. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. It’s interesting that I should’ve been granted that title, although there are many accomplished poets and novelists. I’m only a researcher. This title became a great source of happiness for me after the events held by the Troy Folklore Research Association on account of my 80th birthday and a gift book published with the financial support of Yapi Kredi Publications.

Can you follow book fairs as before?

Actually, no. While the TÜYAP exhibition hall was still in Tepebasi (Taksim), I visited it once. In fact, my health no longer allows me to attend them; however, this year’s fair is important for me. I will attend the fair with three books this year: “Game and Magic and From Ritual to Drama: Kerbelâ- Muharrem-Ta’ziye,” “Ottoman-Islamic Mythology with Miniatures,” which contains miniatures of many prophets, their miracles, astrological objects as well as Mevlana Muhammed Jelaluddin Rumi.

Professor Talat Halman calls you “Renaissance Man,” owing to your versatility…

This is an exaggerated comment. Who am I to be a Renaissance Man? That commentary might get down to this: I work in very different areas that don’t overlap with one another -- not only stage arts. When I was accepted into the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), it was decided that I would study theater. It is really difficult to be accepted into this academy. Even my classmate Serif Mardin wasn’t accepted into the academy as he had published research on Bediüzzaman Said Nursi. Then they rectified my title by changing it to “culture historian.” I’m interested in the Ottomans the most. After retiring, I always displayed the Ottoman culture at Bosporus and Bilkent universities with miniatures and videos. The Ottomans never fail to leave me in utter admiration of them. To be honest with you, I define myself as a researcher.

Which one of the 50 books and 1,500 articles do you like the most?

Two of my books, titled “Turkish Theater Suring the Time of Administrative Reforms and Autocracy” and “Turkish Theater During Constitutional Monarchy” occupy a very special place in my life. I lived these two books through my imagination just as a novelist. I walked around Beyoglu, Gedikpasa and Sehzadebasi. I revived in my imagination the times when the theaters, which no longer exist now, existed. Turkish and Armenian actors and actresses were very important during the era of administrative reforms. They could have easily secured themselves high-ranking positions in the state if they had wanted to. But they did not do that and spent their time only in theater. They were not like the actors and actresses of today. Those of today engage in many other things beside theater: they do voice-overs, they appear in commercials, series, etc… While writing my book on the era of administrative reforms, I experienced the tragedy of the actors and actresses of the time. Most died from plague in utter misery. And they worked with far more far-sighted writers in comparison to the writers of today. That’s why I love them very much. Also, such eras don’t exist in the history of any other country’s theater and this makes these two books of mine important.

Talking of theater, does your resentment continue?

I have no resentment toward theater, but my understanding of theater has changed. The meaning of theater has narrowed; this is what I have realized. Namely, when theater is mentioned, what is understood now is that someone writes a play and others memorize and stage it. So, if theater is a form of art, who is the one who creates it? They say, “the writer.” A writer is a man of literature. For instance, Shakespeare was a writer, but also an actor at the same time. He writes “Hamlet” today, and performs it tomorrow. Moliere is the most universal writer. All the countries that start staging Western plays begin with his plays. That’s what happened here, also. Theater is something which has a far larger meaning. He who creates it should be a man of theater, a director, because a writer is a man of literature. If theater is an art, plays should not remain at the insipid level of memorization and performance. Today’s great stage managers and theatrical producers do it this way. Although it is a younger art, this doesn’t exist in cinema. What we call screenplay is managed by the director. He makes arbitrary decisions on the screenplay and has it rewritten by somebody else. Another person takes this one step further by co-writing the screenplay with the writer. There are even directors who themselves write the screenplay, as it is the director who directs everything. If theater is an art, actors and actresses should create something, not the writers. There are such theaters where the writers are put in charge of things that should normally be taken care of by the electrician or the dresser. They have even stopped using the word “theater” in some places; they call it “display.”

What about opera?

Our people still haven’t adopted it. It’s actually the most elegant form of theater. Opera has realized a very major reform for actors and actresses. Now tenors or sopranos are no longer inquired about; people rather change their question to “Who staged it?” The same happened with Yasar Kemal. His play “Teneke” (Tinplate) was staged at the famous La Scala Theater in Milan and achieved great success. The audience there is conservative, but they all stood up to applaud the play, which shows that the theater of the 21st century is not the theater of once upon a time. That, of course, will live as a “museum” item. Those who still have the same theatrical understanding should go to museums. For years, I haven’t been to any theater, cinema or ballet.

Why have you severed your ties with everything?

My memory has started to fail me. I don’t even read anymore. I contemplate the old. I have isolated myself from everything. They say that I have fallen out with theater; no I haven’t. I just don’t go to any plays or films. I have a film archive at home which holds 3,000 films. I even don’t watch most classic movies. I don’t listen to music, either. I have focused myself entirely on the things I am going to do. My memory and intelligence suffice me only this much. In order to carry on my current projects, I have renounced everything. I love poetry, but I haven’t read any in years. I have become a literature critic but have long stayed away from everything about literature.

What about your biggest passion, illusion?

That doesn’t continue, either. I used to give two-hour performances, half of which would pass with my speeches. Nowadays, it’s impossible for me to do anything like that because of my health; however, illusion is still a great passion of mine.

You have turned 80 but are still up to something. How do you work? What is Metin And’s secret?

The things I will tell you now are peculiar to me. I knew a lot of years in advance what I would be doing. While I worked both at home and abroad in libraries and archives, I always worked with my future projects in mind. I took countless notes in notebooks, which have become a great archive over the years; an archive everybody now calls “the Metin And archives.” Although I sometimes have difficulty reading those notes I jotted down with my handwriting, I benefit greatly from them. In addition, I have some photocopies. In other words, I don’t benefit from books that much. When the right time comes, I will publish a book with my research.

Haven’t you ever thought of sorting out your archive?

That’s not possible; yet, there are many volunteers who want to do that. The doorkeeper’s wife, who helps me with many things [like cooking, cleaning and ironing] made two attempts at sorting them out while I was in Istanbul, but to no avail. She only managed to make them into a stack. When I got back home, I looked for many things for weeks. Therefore, it’s impossible to sort them out. To be honest with you, there is no place to put back what I have taken out. I have my notes in all the rooms scattered here and there, so much so that even when my daughter came from Istanbul, I had to usher her into the kitchen where we could sit and talk for five minutes, and then we left; the situation is hopeless, as you see. I will be living with this. But I’m content with my life; I’m happy as long as I’m home. I act the way I want. My daily running and pacing at home would probably be equal to five or six kilometers. This is my life.

All publishers are in a flurry because of the book fair. You also had once dealt in book publishing. Would you tell us something about those years?

It was totally amateur. I didn’t even get paid. It would be wrong to give his name, but I wrote a 400-page book for a famous publisher and wasn’t given a dime -- although, as far I remember, the book was published more than once. Money wasn’t spoken of and that suited them. They did not pay me anything, and I said, “Okay.” This was what my short publishing life was like. We published nine books, the first of which was Muamer Aksoy’s book. I don’t have at present most of the books we published. I have recently found one of them, “There Was Death in Troy” by Bilge Karasu, a close friend of mine. The cover design was made by Orhan Peker. We three were good friends. The cover was not that good, but it is valued only because Peker did it. I would publish the book, take three to four copies for myself and then give the rest to the authors, telling them, “Do whatever you please; distribute, sell, or give them to your friends.” Ours was an amateur adventure.

What are you currently working on?

I have started writing a book titled “In the Footsteps of Magicians.” There will be chapters like “Female magicians” and “Cinema artist magicians.” There are two chapters left before it is finished. I’m actually very tired. To be able to reach even the least important piece of information at home, I spend two hours. The publishing house says, “Let’s publish it as is.” But I don’t want to publish it half-done. Therefore, I have begun a new book. What I tell there is actually a life story. I have worked on 25 albums. The book will contain hundreds of pictures. I have named it “Istanbul’s Bazaar Painters.” Art historians have also accepted the name. They did not know about this field before. A greater part of this project has been realized thanks to M. Sabri Koz. He has been of invaluable help. Thanks to him, I have finally had the chance to work with an editor. No editor has ever touched my previous books. As I value the information in the books, I did not need anyone to correct them.

You are always on the run. Looking from your 80th year, what was the most beautiful part of your life?

I love all periods of my life. I’m a happy person. There are two I’s in me and they have conversations. One of them is very merciless. Although I have never used a swear word in my life, it swears at me. It rebukes me sometimes, saying things like “Are you an idiot? Why have you done this like this?” Things that would emerge upon a psychiatric therapeutic session have already formed inside of me. I’m someone who also loves solitude. I have always been alone. I have many friends, but I have always lived with my dreams. And now I’m pouring my imagination into a book; that’s what keeps me happy. 27.10.2007, MUSA IGREK, ISTANBUL


Architects Of Armenian Bill Ask Pelosi To Delay Vote
US lawmakers sponsoring a resolution that would label as genocide the killings of Anatolian Armenians near the end of World War I have asked the leader of the House to delay a vote on the measure because they fear it would fail.

Support for the resolution deteriorated this month after Turkey recalled its ambassador to the US in protest, and several lawmakers said they feared it would cripple US-Turkey relations. "We believe that a large majority of our colleagues want to support a resolution recognizing the genocide on the House floor and that they will do so, provided the timing is more favorable," the lawmakers told the House leader, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a letter on Wednesday. The letter was signed by four primary sponsors, all Democrats -- Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman and Anna Eshoo of California, and Frank Pallone of New Jersey.

The group said they would continue to work with leadership "to plan for consideration sometime later this year, or in 2008." A Pelosi spokesperson said she respected the judgment of the sponsors on the timing of the vote.

She has long advocated passage of such a resolution. 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 which emerged when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with the Russian troops which were invading Ottoman lands.

The resolution had inflamed US tensions with Turkey, which is a key ally to the United States in its war on terrorism. An airbase used by the US military in Incirlik in the southern Anatolian province of Adana has facilitated the flow of most cargo to American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The nonbinding measure, approved this month by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, also came at a sensitive time. In recent weeks, the US has called for Turkey's restraint in dealing with attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) based in northern Iraq.

The House resolution "would really damage our relations with a democratic ally who is playing an extremely important strategic role in supporting our troops," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a House panel on Thursday.

Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat who chairs the subcommittee on military spending, last week said the leadership had miscalculated support for the resolution and predicted it would fail easily.

On Thursday, Schiff agreed the votes were not there. "I think the Turkish lobby has regrettably earned their money," he said in an interview. "I think they were successful in a campaign that was persuasion and coercion. Unfortunately it was aided and abetted by our own State Department."

Schiff, who has many Armenian-Americans in his California district, said it is hard to say when he will try again. "We want to make sure that when the measure is brought to the floor we're confident the votes are there," he said. "I think the worse thing would be that you take it up and you're not successful."

Republican leader John Boehner, who opposes the resolution, called the debate a "debacle" by Democratic leaders. "This entire situation calls their judgment into question," Boehner said.

Prestigious American author and journalist Nicholas von Hoffman earlier this month satirized the House committee approval of the resolution. "What's next? A resolution condemning Napoleon's invasion of Egypt and the slaughter visited on the Egyptians at the Battle of the Pyramids?" he asked. 27.10.2007 Today's Zaman with AP Ankara


Rice Urges Us Lawmakers To Drop ‘armenian Genocide’ Resolution
Citing delicate relations between NATO allies Turkey and the United States, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged US lawmakers against moving ahead with a nonbinding resolution that would label as genocide the killings of Anatolian Armenians a century ago.

"This is something that was a horrible event, in the mass killings that took place, but at the time of the Ottoman Empire. These are not the Ottomans," Rice said of Turkey's current leaders while speaking with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday. The House proposal has inflamed US tensions with Turkey, which says the death toll has been inflated and that the Armenians died during civil unrest, not organized genocide. Support for the nonbinding resolution gradually deteriorated last week after Turkey summoned its Washington ambassador back to Ankara and several lawmakers spoke out against it. Turkey's ambassador to the United States, Nabi Sensoy, on Sunday returned to his office in Washington. Earlier this week, backers of the resolution admitted that they are not confident the resolution will pass if it is allowed to go the House floor.
26.10.2007 Today's Zaman with wires Ankara


U.S. Has Important Place In Armenia's Political And Economic Life
25 October 2007 Panarmenian
The U.S., as the major donor state, has an important place in Armenia’s political and economic life. Relations with the U.S. are a priority of the RA foreign policy, Armenian Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan said when addressing the Armenian-American working group on economic cooperation.

“The Armenia-U.S. relations re rapidly developing. Since proclamation of Armenia’s independence the U.S. has contributed to consolidation of democracy. Armenia has received some $1.7 billion as humanitarian and technical assistance from the U.S. government since October 1992,” the RA Prime Minister said.

“The high level of the Armenian-American relations and their development is the result of stability and economic growth of our republic. The format of the working group has proved its viability and should be maintained,” Serge Sargsyan said.


Turkey's National Security Council Debates Armenia's Anti-Turkish Activity
25 October 2007, APA
The discussion was made on terrorism, as well as bill on the so-called Armenian genocide adopted by the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, APA’ s Turkey bureau reports. The official statement made after meeting covered the activities of Armenia and Armenian Diaspora against Turkey.
“The adoption of bill as the result of the activities of Armenia and Armenian Diaspora against Turkey should not be accepted normally. This problem will be discussed thoroughly due to the development of the events.”
It is not clear whether the document envisaging the so called genocide will be debated in the House of Representatives.


European Parliament Refuses Recognizing So-Called Armenian Genocide
25 October 2007,APA
European Parliament rejected the proposals on recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide. APA’s Turkey bureau reports that the proposal on assessing the events happened in Ottoman empire in 1915 as Armenian genocide was put forth three times during the discussion of the progress report on Turkey. But the members of the parliament did not support them.
The report drawn up by rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten (Netherlands) and recommendatory decision were adopted. The report and the decision call Turkey to accelerate democratic reforms.


U.S. Senators Briefed Serge Sargsyan On Armenian Genocide Resolution Debate
24 October 2007, Panarmenian
October 22, Armenian Prime Minister met in Washington with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Richard J Durbin to discuss development of the Armenian-American relations.

Senator Durbin briefed Serge Sargsyan on current debates on the Armenian Genocide Resolution and the standpoint of U.S. lawmakers.

On behalf of the Armenian government and people, the Prime Minister thanked Congressmen for support and attention to Armenian problems.

October 23, PM Sargsyan met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary of State for Economics and Energy Ruben Jeffrey.

He also participated in a session of the American-Armenian working group.

After a reception on the RA Embassy in Washington the Armenian Prime Minister will depart for Paris, the RA government’s press office reported.


Armenia, Greece Sign Military Cooperation Program For 2008
23 October 2007, Panarmenian
Armenia and Greece signed a military cooperation program for 2008, RA Armed Forces General Staff Chief, Colonel General Seyran Ohanyan told reporters on Tuesday.

“We discussed military and technical cooperation with Lieutenant General Dimitrios Grapsas, the Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff (HAGS), who is currently in Armenia,” Col. Gen. Ohanyan said after attendance of the Memorial Complex to Armenian Genocide victims.

“The program includes cooperation in education, defense reform and peacekeeping missions. Other agreements were also achieved,” he said.

The sides noted that the cooperation plan for 2007 was completely implemented.

“I am hopeful this visit will cement bilateral ties. During recent years our nations and armed forces established more friendly and fraternal relations,” Col. Gen. Ohanyan said.

For his part, Lieut. General Grapsas underscored that the Greek Armed Forces will also support Armenia.

“I want to thank General Ohanyan for invitation to our fraternal state, whose people defended their freedom,” he said, Novosti Armenia reports.


Congressional Nonbinding Resolutions Playing With Fire
22 October 2007, Panarmenian
Although nonbinding resolutions by the U.S. Congress have no force in law and often go unnoticed, they can evoke a passionate response.

Jackson Diehl, the Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor, said Congress can use nonbinding resolutions as a first step in crafting legislation.

Nonbinding resolutions have several purposes, Diehl said. Congress can use them "just to strike a position" on an issue, to satisfy the concerns of constituents or to put pressure on the White House about a particular matter.

Diehl discussed a highly publicized nonbinding resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that would label as Genocide the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire from 1915-1917.

Congress uses several types of resolutions depending on the circumstances. A concurrent resolution can create joint committees, authorize the printing of congressional documents or set the date for Congress to adjourn. Concurrent resolutions also can express the sense of Congress on many matters of foreign and domestic policy.

Allan Lichtman, a professor of history at American University in Washington, says a nonbinding resolution, like that addressing the violence against Armenians a century ago, does not change U.S. policy "because it does not have the force of law."

Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said nonbinding resolutions are all about politics.

He said that members of Congress use nonbinding resolutions in the hope that they will affect "public opinion enough that it will have an impact on policy."

Nonbinding resolutions are not sent to the president following congressional approval, said
Ornstein. Rather, the resolutions are used as a "symbol" of congressional opinion or sentiment on a matter, he said.

But symbolism is "not meaningless," Ornstein said. The Armenian resolution, he said, was a "cheap and easy way" for members of Congress "to express their solidarity with the Armenian people and especially with the Armenian-American population."

Ornstein said the resolution "has been around for a long time," because of the "significant population" of Armenian Americans in the United States.

Armenian Americans are an "extremely affluent and articulate population," and "they care passionately" about the killing of their people during the Ottoman Empire, he said.
"An awful lot of Congressmen believed that what happened in 1915 to the Armenians involved serious atrocities," said Ornstein. "Recognizing that a nonbinding resolution was just symbolic, members of Congress said ‘why not’ pass the measure," he added.

But Ornstein said symbolism has "turned into a deadly serious business" with huge foreign policy ramifications that caused the resolution to lose support in Congress.

It is clear, Ornstein said, that members of Congress are "starting to get the message" that because of the volatility of the issue, the Armenian resolution is "playing with fire," USINFO reports.

October 10, with a vote 27 to 21 the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.106, which was introduced by Representative Adam Schiff January 30, 2007. The vote in the full House has not been scheduled yet. Meanwhile, several Congressmen recalled their signatures under pressure of the Turkish lobby.


Let International Courts Weigh Genocide Issue
October 27, 2007
In his Oct. 21 Commentary article ["`Who Speaks Today?'"], John Geragosian claims that "acknowledging the [Armenian] genocide would only benefit Turkey. It would enhance Turkey's prospects for much-desired membership in the European Union." I am appalled that a Democratic state representative would advocate, even with a hint, a coerced confession. Dangling a prize in front of a man to get him to confess a crime that he does not admit to is an action that belongs in the torture chambers.

Turkey has a right and the dignity to refuse any crime it believes its predecessor did not commit. Many scholars agree that what happened in 1915 does not amount to genocide.

Turkey has urged Armenians to apply to the international courts designated to decide genocide claims. Armenians have not done so. What are they waiting for?

There is no direct evidence for the genocide claims of Armenians. The U.S. Congress is neither a place to decide what historians could not nor a courthouse to settle the claims. The decisions of legislative bodies are not recognized by the 1948 U.N. Convention.

There is another thing the Armenians can do for justice: Open their archives to the world to examine. The Turks have already opened theirs.

As the larger picture shows, it is the innocent civilians who are the victims of the political leaders' ambitions and miscalculations. Armed conflicts and wars hurt everybody concerned. It is better not to start them.

Tulay Luciano
Mansfield

John Geragosian's article was sanctimonious and scornful in tone and disrespectful of the facts. If The Courant were to conclusively accuse an individual of murder simply because a consensus of opinion said so, and without regard to factual evidence, the newspaper would greatly endanger its credibility. This would also have an unfair, detrimental effect upon the reputation of the accused.

Genocide is a crime defined by international law. As such, it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. War is hell, and history should be left to historians. Turkey proposed the establishment of a joint historical commission with Armenia to research this issue in 2005 to no avail. If the evidence is really there, why not accept this offer? Armenia could even bring its case to an international court.

The Courant's delusional state of denial is bolstered by not accepting that the Turks lost 500,000 lives during World War I at the hands of Armenians, who resorted to terrorism, armed revolt and supreme treason as they joined the invading Russian and French armies.

American historian Guenter Lewy concludes: "The primary intent of the [Ottoman] deportation order was undoubtedly not to eradicate an entire people but to deny support for the Armenian guerrilla bands and to remove Armenians from war zones."

The tragic consequences for Armenian civilians should be remembered. But resettlement is not genocide.

The U.S. House resolution has the potential to irreversibly drive a wedge between the United States and the Republic of Turkey. Since the Korean War, Turkey has been this nation's staunchest ally in the Middle East. We view the resolution as the ultimate insult to a people who have stood by America, sometimes at great cost to their own national interests.The strategic alliance between the United States and Turkey during the Cold War was an integral part of U.S. success. Turkish troops are in Afghanistan supporting the United States, its best ally. Seventy percent of the U.S. air cargo now headed to Iraq goes through bases in Turkey. We sincerely believe that House action on the so-called Armenian genocide will not change the historical facts, but can create undesirable and possibly unintended consequences in international relations among Turkey, the United States and Armenia.

It is historians, not congressional leaders, who should decide what happened in a distant continent so many years ago. We need to build bridges of understanding to lead us toward unity rather than encourage polarization and division with racist resolutions.

Ali Cinar
Director
Fairfield County Turkish
American Group
Stamford
The writer is a former secretary general of the Federation of Turkish-American Associations.
www.courant.com


Bush-Cheney Vs. The Armenian Genocide
Oct. 27, 2007, Norman Markowitz, People's Weekly World Newspaper
During World War I, the Turkish-controlled Ottoman Empire was crumbling. In the decades before the war, economic dislocation and political crisis intensified the long-standing oppression of the Armenian Christian minority. World War I (1914-1918) was a bloody war between rising and aging empires: the Ottoman Empire was allied with the German monarchy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the losing side, against an alliance of Czarist Russia, Britain, France, Japan and the United States.

It was a war between two rival alliances seeking in effect to redivide the world, the winners taking from the losers their colonies, foreign markets and investment zones. Also, both alliance systems had for decades been fighting colonial wars in which their losses were relatively small compared with the enormous death and destruction they created for the peoples of Africa and Asia. They had come to see war as a relatively cheap and painless way to get what they wanted in world affairs. With imperialist arrogance, they stumbled into what became the biggest war in human history up to that point.

Mass murder by a crumbling empire

After an Ottoman attack against Russian forces in Czarist Russian Georgia ended in a disastrous military defeat in 1915, it became the trigger for the ultranationalists in power in Istanbul to undertake the mass murder of the empire’s Armenian population. Propaganda was unleashed portraying Armenians as subversive agents of Russia. To this was added traditional stereotypes of Armenians as greedy businessmen exploiting Turks, as Christians plotting against Islam, as bandits and criminals.

Legislation confiscating the property of Armenians was passed in 1915. Armenians in the Turkish army were arrested and large numbers were executed without trial. The Turkish military and “special forces,” made up of thousands of recently released criminals, were unleashed to confiscate Armenian property and “resettle” Armenians in death marches, leaving innocent men, women and children to fight as best they could for their lives against armed representatives of the Ottoman state.

These events were widely publicized in Britain, France and — thanks to the activities of Henry Morgenthau Sr., U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and other U.S. officials, who observed and commented upon the mass murder — the then-neutral U.S., where campaigns were mounted to help the “starving Armenians.”

After World War II, scholars discovered evidence in various German archives corroborating the existence of this mass murder. (Germany, which had been an ally of the Ottomans, had no interest in publicizing this information.) But there was never any doubt that what was happening in the period 1915-1917 was the attempted mass murder of a whole nationality as part of Ottoman government policy. Under the United Nations Charter this constitutes genocide. After the genocide carried out by Nazi Germany and its fascist allies against all the Jewish people whom it could capture and kill during World War II, the genocide carried out by the Ottoman state against all Armenians whom it could capture and kill within its far-flung empire is the most researched genocide in history.

This history is important to Americans today because the Bush administration has acted to block an attempt by the House of Representatives to join more than 20 other nations in specifically condemning these events as genocide. After the Democrats regained control of Congress in 2006, many hoped that this long-delayed resolution would finally be enacted.

Chauvinism used by Turkish right wing

Mustapha Kemal, an Ottoman general, established the modern Turkish Republic after World War I, combining an authoritarian nationalist ideology with various modernizing reforms. He remains the object of a large personality cult in Turkey, particularly among the business and military ruling groups who have always used Turkish chauvinist ideology against their enemies on the left and against their religious rivals.

Turkey, which was neutral during World War II and then became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization because it was an anti-Soviet and anti-Communist state, has sought to prevent nations from using the term genocide for the mass murder of the Armenians, which it has largely denied, minimized and blamed in part on Armenian wartime subversion.

Over the decades the U.S. and other nations, including, for its own regional military reasons, the government of Israel, have gone along with these efforts by Turkey. It was recently revealed that the Turkish government has employed a lobbying firm led by the disgraced former Republican House leader Robert Livingston to defeat the Armenian genocide condemnation. Livingston’s firm has used the $12 million which it reportedly received from the Turkish government to buy opposition to the bill, news reports indicate. This, along with Bush administration propaganda that the House resolution would endanger U.S. troops in Iraq, has reduced support for the measure.

An unholy alliance

The Bush administration has undermined the separation of church and state in the U.S. in an unprecedented way and has allied itself domestically with conservative evangelical Christians. Yet it is actively seeking to keep the U.S. Congress from condemning the extermination of a Christian minority carried out on both racist and religious anti-Christian grounds. In the name of supporting “our troops,” the Bush administration is appeasing a Turkish government and military whose oppression of the multinational Kurdish minority in the region, and previous history as an oppressive colonial power, make it a source for instability in the area. Turkey’s one big drawing card for the White House, though, is its military power, which is the only thing that matters for this administration.

If the Bush administration were serious about peace and stability in the region, it would use its influence to encourage the Turkish government to deal with its contemporary denial of cultural rights to its Kurdish and other minorities, not appease it in the hope that it will continue to act as a regional military henchman, the way the German Empire in World War I hoped that the Ottomans would act to advance its war aims.

The Bush administration policy in Iraq is an ongoing, open-ended disaster which benefits only military contractors and their lobbyists in the U.S. The soldiers who have been sent to Iraq include many National Guardsmen often pulled from vital public sector occupations like police and firefighting. They will not return to the U.S. like some of their generals, who retire to become rich lobbyists for military contractors. And they won’t be joining the gravy train of well-connected Republican members of Congress like Robert Livingston, who has now become a rich genocide-denying lobbyist for the Turkish government.

We should contact our House members and senators and demand that they support the resolution on the Armenian genocide.

In 1939, Hitler said privately to his officers, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

Who does? Civilized people throughout the world.

We must all tell the Bush administration that we do, or the horror will continue and perhaps a generation from today some other tyrant will say, to defend another attack on another people, “Who, after all, speaks today about the annihilation of the Jews?”

Norman Markowitz is a history professor at Rutgers University.
www.pww.org/article/articleview/11948/1/396


Why Turkey Matters
From the November 2007 Trumpet Print Edition »
Turkey’s increasing significance is arresting the world’s attention. Here’s why it should arrest yours.
By Joel Hilliker

Suddenly, Turkey is all over the headlines.

Most Americans would tend to underestimate its significance. But why, in the midst of October, did an outburst of public discussion center on whether to call the World War i-era Turkish killing of Armenians a “genocide”? Why did Congress raise the issue, and why did the White House scramble to squelch it?

The crux of debate rested on the potential for losing Turkey’s help in the war in Iraq. Its role as vital supply route for U.S. troops took center stage. In fact, some analysts suggested that the Democrat-led Congress pushed the “genocide” issue to alienate Turkey in an underhanded effort to spite the president and torpedo the Iraq war.

Is it really possible that this nation—about which few Americans concern themselves—could make the difference between victory and defeat in Iraq?

Who knew Turkey was so important?

At the Crossroads

The instant clamor surrounding that single issue is a meaningful symbol of just how much this historically pivotal nation is rising again to prominence in modern geopolitics.

Turkey sits right at the crossroads of a developing clash of civilizations. Its population is almost wholly Muslim, but its constitution is staunchly secular. It is a democracy and a constitutional republic, yet since 1960 its military leaders have overthrown four duly elected governments for being too religious. It is anchored to the Middle East as a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, yet welded to the West within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. On top of that, a pillar in its foreign policy for a generation has been its bid for membership in the European Union.

The U.S. is not alone in trying to come to grips with this complex geopolitical puzzle. Nations across the globe are coming to see that, for all its contradictions, and after decades of quiet since the Ottoman Empire collapsed at the end of World War i, Turkey is shaping up to be an extremely significant global player. As the world increasingly fractures into regional blocs—the United States, the Middle East, Europe, Asia—Turkey remains a distinct entity whose value to all of these powers is rapidly rising.

This exceptional position, which we can witness developing right before us, appears to be setting Turkey up perfectly for the unique role it plays in end-time biblical prophecy.

Why the World Is Taking Note

Turkey is attracting interest for a number of reasons.

First, its economy is on fire—it is one of the fastest-growing on Earth. Since 2002, under the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (akp), the economy has transformed. It is now the largest Muslim economy, and the largest in the region. Turkey is a member of the G-20, a gathering of the world’s 20 largest economies. It is playing its cards wisely, reducing restrictions on trade with Muslim states while simultaneously cultivating relationships with European and other nations.

As Dr. George Friedman put it, “The ability of Greece, Armenia, Syria, Iraq and Iran to remain hostile to Turkey decreases as the Turkish economy grows. Ideology and history are very real things, but so is the economic power of a dynamic economy” (Stratfor, July 31).

Of course, a large Turkish economy means a large Turkish military. Already it is nato’s second-largest armed force after the U.S., with over 1 million uniformed personnel. This reality has several ramifications regarding the balance of power in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Second, Turkey is comfortably stepping into a ready-made role as a vital energy hub linking Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.

This is one of the most geographically strategic countries in the world—a literal bridge between continents. On its west, Turkey borders Greece and Bulgaria—EU nations; on its south, Syria, Iraq and Iran—Middle Eastern Muslim states; and on its east, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan—former Soviet republics. It connects to the Mediterranean, Black and Aegean seas, and encompasses the vital Bosporus and Dardanelles sea gates, linking Central Asia to the Mediterranean. In a world increasingly driven by energy politics, its unique location translates into valuable energy transit routes for more and more nations.

With Russia aggressively taking over global oil and natural gas markets, uncomfortable customers, particularly those in Europe, are actively seeking energy from other sources. Turkey is in the right place at the right time, with major oil pipelines being built across its soil, circumventing Russian territory altogether. It is proving itself a worthy middleman for energy from not only former Soviet republics Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, but also Iraq and Iran. In addition, Turkey, in conjunction with foreign investors and companies, is building new oil refineries that will increase its worth even more. Analysts say the nation’s refining capacity should double within only a few years.

This reality seems tailor-made to suit Ankara’s foreign-policy interests, because the entity hungriest for non-Russian energy happens to be the very one Turkey has been working so hard to pretty itself up for: Europe.

Naturally, the whole situation also deeply concerns Russia, whose monopolistic energy tendencies are undercut by Turkey’s activities. On top of that, Russia is robustly fighting a strong Islamist incursion on its southwestern border, particularly against Muslim separatists in Chechnya—and it possesses proof that Turkey has financially supported and trained Chechen terrorists in their struggle for independence.

A third reason for Turkey’s growing relevance—as became abundantly evident in October—is its role in the unfolding drama surrounding the future of Iraq.

A Strained Alliance

The Iraq war has created bad blood between the U.S. and Turkey. The Turks have long struggled with a restive Kurdish population in their southeast region, driven by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (pkk). This terrorist group seeks to carve an independent Kurdish state out of territory in southeast Turkey, as well as parts of Syria, Iraq and Iran. Whatever differences these four nations have, they are united in their determination to stop Kurdistan from materializing.

The fact that the U.S. empowered the Iraqi Kurds by eliminating Saddam Hussein rocked the American-Turkish alliance. In 2003, Ankara simply refused to let the U.S. invade Iraq from Turkish territory—a major snub from a nato ally. Add to that a turning of the historic tables: With a growing economy and military, Turkey simply isn’t as dependent on the U.S. as it once was. In fact, since the U.S. has gotten entrenched in Iraq, it has come to depend deeply on Turkey: 70 percent of its Iraq-bound air cargo and 33 percent of its fuel passes through Turkey, and it heavily uses the Incirlik Air Base for refueling operations and cargo flights to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The upshot is, Turkey feels very comfortable with ignoring Washington’s wishes and doing what it feels it must to protect its own interests.

Recent events highlight just how monumental this change is.

In an October attack, pkk rebels killed 13 Turkish soldiers; the people of Turkey angrily demanded retaliation. The government bombed and shelled northern Iraq, and then the parliament approved plans to launch a ground invasion.

All this fuss puts the U.S. in an awkward spot. The Kurdish north has been the most stable part of Iraq since Saddam Hussein’s ouster in 2003, and Washington would rather nothing upset that. Supporting Turkey could well alienate the Kurdish allies the U.S. has built there, and the whole situation may further destabilize Iraq—something U.S. and Iraqi leaders are desperate to avoid.

But the amazing thing is, the Turks just don’t care. “We don’t need anyone’s advice on northern Iraq and the operation to be carried out there,” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said. Reuters reported that the crowd in Istanbul cheered this pronouncement, and cheered again when he said that the U.S. “came tens of thousands of kilometers and attacked Iraq without asking anyone’s permission.”

Amid these developments, the timing couldn’t have been worse for the U.S. congressional committee’s “genocide” resolution. Turkey bristled at the news, recalling its ambassador in the U.S. and threatening to close its doors to American troops. Anti-American demonstrations spilled into the streets, according to the Jerusalem Post. “All prospects look bad … and relations with the U.S. have already gone down the drain,” Turkish foreign policy expert Semih Idiz said.

The White House responded by going into full damage control mode: It issued public statements condemning the measure, it essentially apologized to Turkey’s leaders, and it finally convinced Congress to kill the resolution. The fervor of the response revealed just how desperately the U.S. needs Turkey’s cooperation in order to resolve the crisis in Iraq in a manner suited to its own national interests. But the U.S. isn’t the only country in that situation. So is the other primary external player in this theater: Iran.

An Islamic Shift

In practical terms, as Washington contemplates reducing its presence in Iraq, its primary concern is to try to prevent Iran from simply taking over—not just Iraq but virtually the entire Middle East. In Turkey, it sees the closest thing it has to a regional counterbalance to Iran.

Unfortunately, it so happens that all this friction between Ankara and Washington has strengthened Turkey’s historically wary relationship with Iran.

Something else that could strengthen this relationship—and markedly change the balance within several of the precarious situations in which Turkey plays a role—occurred on August 28, when Turkish parliamentarians elected a former Islamist as president.

The new president, Abdullah Gül, is a bit of a puzzle. He was a cabinet member in one of the Islamic governments the military ousted in the 1990s—yet he has been a leading supporter of his nation’s EU membership bid. His devotion to Europe certainly placates the nation’s generals and military commanders, but his religion still chafes against their fierce loyalty to the secularist ideals institutionalized in 1923 by the nation’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. His political party, the akp, has an Islamist pedigree and maintains pan-Islamic ties throughout the region. Turkey’s secularist military suspects that it retains a masked Islamist agenda.

Stratfor noted that, because the president chooses judges and hence dominates the judiciary, having Gül as president means that “for the first time since the founding of the Turkish republic more than 80 years ago, a political force rooted in Islamism essentially controls all of the key civilian institutions of the state” (August 29, emphasis mine). Stratfor expects the akp to seek to use its new power as a beachhead to move the nation away from secularism and toward the freer expression of religion in public life; it anticipates drama ahead as the akp is forced “to balance pan-Islamic issues with Turkish nationalist objectives” (ibid.). Though this analysis probably overstates how much Turkey will change under President Gül, we would not be surprised to see the nation proceed with a more sympathetic economic and foreign policy toward the leading Arab and Muslim energy producers in the region.

Any shift within Turkey away from secularism and toward Islam could help alter the balance of power in the Middle East—most notably, in favor of Iran.

A Nightmare for Israel?

In 1996, Turkey inked a mutual defense deal with Israel that, for years, analysts credited with contributing to the relative stability of the region. The Islamic Affairs Analyst went so far as to say that Israel’s enemies respected Turkey enough that the Jewish state’s national survival was all but assured as long as the deal stood.

Events in the past couple of years, however, have shown that whatever deterrent effect Turkey once had has already weakened to some degree: Iran and Syria have unleashed forces in Lebanon and within Israel against the Jewish state with few qualms. But, given Turkey’s new Islamic leadership, this trend could get worse.

Any further weakening of Turkey’s restraining influence on Iranian power is a nightmare for Israel, which Iran has committed itself to eliminating.

Tensions between Washington and Ankara over Iraq have already opened a door for the Islamic Republic. Suspicion between Turkey and Iran has thawed in recent years, and ties have improved. The fact that Turkey is now ruled by a Muslim—albeit Sunni—rather than a secularist certainly doesn’t hurt.

The more cooperative these two nations are, the more latitude the Turks are likely to give Iran without feeling directly threatened as Tehran pursues its regional ambitions.

Watch for that cooperation to increase—and for Iran to become even more brazen.

Unrequited Love

What does Turkey get out of the deal? If nothing else, it gets Iranian energy—energy it can pass on to Europe.

The two countries have just completed an oil pipeline that will pump 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day into Turkey. And the Turkish Petroleum Corp. has announced plans to invest $3.5 billion in Iran’s South Pars natural gas field. This project would include building the means to transport Iranian gas through Turkey to Europe. The U.S., though flatly opposed to the deal, can do little to stop it.

Ultimately, even under an Islamic president, it appears Europe is who Turkey most wants to please. Ankara simply sees Iran as a workable partner in increasingly procuring the energy that Europe desperately wants. Radio Free Europe reports that for decades to come, Iranian gas may be Europe’s most viable source of non-Russian gas. Nothing Turkey could do would strengthen its value to the EU more than its growth as an energy hub.

Even the slippage in Turkey’s relationship with the United States is driving it more toward Europe, according to Semih Idiz. Speaking of the Iraq crisis, Idiz said, “Having its relations with the U.S. ‘electrified,’ Ankara will be more and more eager to grab hold of the EU anchor” (Turkish Weekly, September 1).

President Gül has strongly emphasized his intent to forge ahead with plans to join the European Union, plans that will require further economic reforms and constitutional amendments. His ally, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also from the Justice and Development Party, has outlined a five-year program to increase individual freedoms, further boost the economy, and, above all, strengthen the nation’s case for EU membership.

Biblical prophecy indicates, however, that although Turkey will remain committed to its romance with Europe, all these efforts are doomed to fail—just as they always have.

Turkey’s Image Problem

From the time Atatürk himself famously admonished his countrymen to “turn toward Europe,” Turkey has labored, to varying degrees, to cast itself in the image of the West. For the past decade, it has worked overtime.

Still, for every obstacle Turkey hurdles, the EU throws up another. Since 1987, when Turkey applied for full membership, 15 other states have cut to the front of the line and been accepted: Austria, Finland, Sweden, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania. The Turks have watched the Union swell from 12 states to 27, while they remain peering through the window from the outside.

Now, the prospect of becoming an energy bridge to the Continent has inflamed Turkey’s hopes of finally convincing the EU to return the love.

Those hopes are wasted. Try as it may to overcome it, Turkey clearly has an image problem among Europe’s decision makers—and even its voters. Just this year, France elected a president—Nicolas Sarkozy—who campaigned on opposition to Turkish EU membership.

Why? Why is Europe so opposed to considering Turks European citizens? Only one major issue separates Turkey from all the other nations being granted their pass into the Union: religion.

The fundamentally Roman Catholic continent simply has no intention of incorporating 70 million Muslims in one swoop. And Turkey—with its Ottoman history, which at one time threatened Catholicism’s very existence—has particularly negative associations in European minds. As Bernard Lewis expresses it, “[T]here is still a reserve of mistrust, and even at times of hostility [toward Turks], with roots deep in the European Christian past” (From Babel to Dragomans).

The election of an openly Islamic president has only solidified Europe’s unspoken yet inflexible resistance to embracing Turkey. Still, given this nation’s growing strategic value to Europe, watch for the EU to continue to dangle carrots and incentives to keep the Turks onside. And as Europe grows in power in the time ahead, Ankara’s devotion to the European cause will only grow along with it.

Thus, Turkey is destined to remain suspended between worlds—always searching, ever more desperate to please.

A Shocking Betrayal

These trends become far more significant in light of the Bible’s description of Turkey’s place in end-time events. It is only with the revelation of God’s Word that we can understand why Turkey truly matters.

The biblical prophecies regarding events in the Middle East are clear: A Muslim-Jewish war is about to erupt—initiated by Islamic forces clearly unrestrained by Turkey or anything else. That conflagration will trigger a series of events leading to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

When the Muslims move to sack Jerusalem, it will provoke a united European bloc of nations to intervene. This bloc will set up armies around Jerusalem—appearing like a “peacekeeping force”—but quickly transforming into a deadly war machine (Luke 21:20). It won’t be just Arabs or Muslims that suffer at their hands; this European power will turn its full force on the nations of Israel—including America and Britain. This horrifying double-cross is discussed in Ezekiel 23. Many in the Jerusalem area will be trapped!

The Prophet Obadiah recorded an extraordinary prophecy about “Edom,” whose modern descendants are the Turks. (Request a free copy of the Trumpet’s December 1997 article “Turkey: An Act of Revenge!” for a detailed explanation of this prophecy.) It shows how Turkey, possessing the escape route via land—the Cilician Gates mountain pass—will actually betray those Israelis, Americans and British who are trying to escape, delivering them into the hands of their conquerors. This is one last act, true to present form, of Turkey attempting to curry favor with Europe!

The description of these events reveals several things that illuminate the meaning of present-day headlines.

One, the fact that those escapees look to Turkey strongly indicates that Turkey’s alliances with the U.S. and with Israel will remain, at least in name.

Two, the betrayal may mean we can expect still more friction to develop within these alliances, like that which has arisen over the “genocide” question and the Kurd condition in Iraq. Though the U.S. still enjoys the support of Turkey’s secularist military, anti-Americanism is rampant and growing within Turkish media and among the Turkish people—a fact that the U.S., as desperate as it is to retain Turkey’s help, is willing to overlook.

Three, for Turkey, relations with Europe will continue to trump all other foreign-policy considerations.

Thus, based on biblical prophecy, in the end the Trumpet expects recent events that have thrust Turkey into the headlines only to cement the unique position this nation already occupies in modern geopolitics. They may tax Turkey’s agreements with the U.S. and Israel, but will not destroy them. They may increase Turkey’s cooperation with Muslim states, shifting the balance of power in favor of Iran, but that cooperation will fall short of a full-scale alliance. And most importantly, they will strengthen Europe’s resolve to keep Turkey at arm’s length, but do nothing to diminish Turkey’s undying resolve to get into Europe’s bed.

And as Obadiah’s prophecy reveals, that nation’s willingness to do anything to serve this ambition—including betrayal—will lead to its ruin. •
Copyright © 2007 Philadelphia Church of God,
www.thetrumpet.com


They May Even Intrude Into Armenia
A1+ 25 October, 2007
The "Armenian Aryan Union" expressed its concern about the incursion of Turkish military units into Iraq. The Turkish army has intruded into Northern Iraq "taking punishing measures against kurd terrorists -the Kurd Labour Party (KLP)".

"This may be compared to the US strategy, which resulted in the devastation of Iraq's economy and reinforced regional tension, it also resulted in deaths of thousands of innocent people, - says the announcement, comparing this incursion with another attack,-Similar attack was carried out onto the independent territory of Cyprus. Turkish troops refuse to release the territory and, sharing Cyprus, they established an illegal Turkish state".

"This problem troubles us since a number of Turkish authorities announced once that there were kurd terrorist groups in the territory of Armenia. These announcements have not been rejected by official Ankara. Thus, it is not excluded that some day Turkish troops may intrude into Armenia for carrying out alleged terrorist actions", said the authors of the announcement. The Supreme Board of the "Armenian Aryan Union" appeals to the RA authorities and international community to hamper Turkish illegal military actions in Iraq.


Kurds Wants Confederation Member Status In Turkey, Iran And Syria
26.10.2007 18:38 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ “We take the global situation realistically and comprehend that a united Kurdistan is an unattainable goal today, but we will seek confederation, that is at least that Kurds in Turkey, Iran and Syria obtain the same autonomous status like in Iraq, which will provide our people with an opportunity for comprehensive independent development,” member of the Association of Kurdish Communities in Russia and the CIS Farhat Mardini announced at a news conference in Moscow.

For his part, another speaker at the news conference, Chair of the International Union of Kurdish NGOs, First Vice President of the Union of Diasporas in the Russian Federation, lawyer Merab Shamoyev added that “Kurds intend to obtain from world community the status of confederation member in all the four countries of compact settlement of Kurds – in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.”

Asked whether the matter concerns constitutional amendments and change of forms of government in the four mentioned countries, Merab Shamoyev said it was exactly what he meant, IA Regnum reports.


Rep. Schiff: Turkey Argues It Succeeded In Genocide Denial
26.10.2007 18:24
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ "I think the Turkish lobby has regrettably earned their money. They were successful in a campaign that was persuasion and coercion. Unfortunately it was aided and abetted by our own State Department," said Rep. Adam Schiff, the leading author of the Armenian Genocide resolution.

Schiff said it is hard to say when he will try again.

"We want to make sure that when the measure is brought to the floor we’re confident the votes are there," he said. "I think the worse thing would be that you take it up and you’re not successful, and Turkey argues that it’s a denial of the genocide," he said, The Associated Press reports.

The four leading Democratic sponsors of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106) have called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to adopt a revised schedule for the consideration of this human rights legislation by the House of Representatives, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In a letter sent to Speaker Pelosi, lead author Adam Schiff (D-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Representatives Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) stressed that, in asking for this delay, "we believe that a large majority of our colleagues want to support a resolution recognizing the genocide on the House floor and that they will do so, provided the timing is more favorable." The letter goes on to note that they will continue to work with Speaker Pelosi’s staff and the House Foreign Affairs Committee staff to bring up the resolution "sometime later this year or in 2008."

October 10, with a vote 27 to 21 the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.106, which was introduced by Representative Adam Schiff January 30, 2007.


Friday, October 26, 2007
Why Have Democrats Been Obsessed With The Armenian Genocide?
The Democratic leadership in Congress has now decided to put their Armenian Genocide vote on hold. But why have they been so obsessed with this in the first place?

This took place almost a Century ago, yet the Democrats have decided to bring this issue up out of the blue. Meanwhile there are genocides taking place right under their noses... Live and in their face, right on the African Continent. And it gets almost no attention from the Congress (and that has been under both Republican and Democratic leadership). It is yet another example of how Black lives are perceived to be of less value by the Western powers.

I can still vividly recall how the Western world rallied to take action on behalf of the Albanians in Kosovo, after only a few thousand parished & people had their villages set on fire in what was essentially a civil war. But when tens of thousands die in Africa... there is not nearly the same sense of urgency. Although Jimmy Carter says Darfur doesn't meet the criteria of a Genocide. Yet there is violence along ethnic lines. Tens of thousands have been murdered. Villages have been systematically burned to the ground and people have been driven from their homes in massive numbers. Women and girls have been gang raped. Men have been shot and beheaded in front of their families... and this doesn't qualify as genocide? Just how many Black Africans have to die before it is considered genocide Mr. Carter?

This effort to label the Armenian slaughter a genocide (after all these years...) seems to be some symbolic political move, aimed at improving relations with Armenia so that the U.S. can move even further into Eastern Europe...and it also could be part of an effort to gain another possible launching point for any future military conflict with Iran.

Posted by The Angry Independent at 5:26 AM
http://mirroronamerica.blogspot.com/2007/10/why-have-democrats-been-obsessed-with.html


Your Country And Your People Will Only Benefit From It
Razmik Davoyan, Hayots Ashkharh Daily, Oct 23 2007, Armenia

Open letter to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Rejeb Tayb Erdoghan.

Dear Prime Minister, The reason I'm sending you this letter is as clear and lucid as a transparent day, not only for us - Armenians and for you - Turks, but luckily for the majority of the people in the world and it is an undeniable fact. It is about the displacement of Armenians from our forefathers' motherland and the annihilation of more than 1,5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, which is a typical genocide.

Your government is making senseless efforts to find softer expressions to qualify this genocide or even to completely deny it.

But it is also an undeniable fact.

I'm not the champion of new evidences, especially because they stir the bloody memory of our people, and it is not the main topic of my conversation with You. I have already had the chance to listen to Your speeches on TV, I have attentively followed Your conduct, and I'm sure You are a really civilized personality, conforming to the European criteria of human civilization. All this served as a guarantee for me to speak with You with a simple and sincere language, the way my ancestors used to communicate with their Turkish friends before that terrible phenomenon.

I also know that the question that troubles me, also troubles the majority of Turkish people, particularly those who are honest and are concerned about the future of their country, a considerable number of intellectuals, state officials, whom You know well enough, those who are waiting for Your answer like me.

And the question is as follows.

Do you want to be the inheritors of the crime conducted by a group of fanatic leaders of Ottoman Empire, the notorious inheritors of which became the much more fanatic young Turks, due to which the coming generation of the Turks are facing the responsibility for their heinous crime? Can this heritage guarantee a future for the people like Turks, who strive for a dignified life, I ask You?

When You speak, Your speech sounds confident, in general, with a determination appropriate for a leader. But when the point comes to the genocide, Your speech becomes uncertain and wavering, false and fake emphases appear. It immediately becomes clear that Your expressions have nothing to do with Your internal beliefs and that you yield to the demands of the fanatic chauvinists, to leave the Turks in the debt of blood forever. Over again I ask You, "Is it possible"? Especially towards the people who have made your country prosperous, who have always been good to you?

The time, dear Prime Minister, has made this issue ripen for You and for You power.

Don't deny the desire and the opportunity of the Turkish people to get rid of their sins.

Don't deprive Yourself of becoming the idol of Turkish democracy and purifying the Turkish people of their sins.

Your country and your people will only benefit from it.

Do you think Germany lost something by recognizing the Genocide of the Jews? Of course no! Germany announced to the world and first of all to their people that they refuse to be the inheritors of the criminal Nazism and the bearer of that ideology and policy, thus strengthening the German country, German viability and will.

What the followers do as compensation for the crime their ancestors have conducted is just an insignificant prayer on their way to purify themselves from the sins. You pray to your Allah three times a day. It will be Your most sacred prayer.

I wish welfare and peace to Turkish people.

Is the Armenian genocide being used as a smoke screen by the powerful Armeno/Russo lobby?
author: the other side a great documentary about the forgotten 1 million Azeri Turks who were ethnically cleansed during the 1991-1994 war by Armenian and Russian military personnel. I believe around 30,000 persons died during this period, mostly civilians.

Why does the western media ignore atrocities against Muslim turks a mere 15 years ago, while the deaths of 500,000 Christian Armenians almost 100 years ago during WWI (in which almost 20 million people perished)is always front and center?

It's also sad to say that the right wing Armenian nationalist propoganda has also smeared the work of so called left wing media personalities like: Barsamian, Chomsky and Zinn. I recently listened to a talk given by David Barsamian and Howard Zinn to a group of politically active Armenian youth in New York. I was shocked at what they were saying. The only way to describe their propoganda was right wing and racist against all turks.

David Barsamian recently came to Portland and again unleashed his diatribe on unsuspecting union workers at a local union hall. Everything he says about the events during the ottoman collapse is word for word what the right wing Armenian/American lobby says.

Someone needs to point out to David (who apparently is much of the source for what Zinn and Chomsky write on the issue of the "genocide") that there are 110 million turks in the world spreading from the Balkans to Alaska. Ironically, David's work is also littered with borrowings from Chomsky and Zinn.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Kirkorian or someone in his clan is helping fund David's show Alternative Radio, which ironically airs on KBOO radio each week.

Here's a little documentary the Russian and Armenian lobby, David Barsamian and multi billionaires like the media mogul Kirk Kirkorian don't want Americans to see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0J-U1Gv_vU

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2007/10/367273.shtml


Armenians Arrested While Trying To Smuggle Radioactive Material To Turkey
Armenpress Oct 26, 2007
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 26, ARMENPRESS: Georgian border guards have detained four citizens of Armenia as they were trying to smuggle into Turkey radioactive material, Georgia's border police told Novosti-Georgia news agency.

The Armenians were arrested on Georgian-Turkish border when trying to go through Sarpi border check point. Georgian border guards found on one of them 2.04 grams of a radioactive material known as 'lovresium.' Georgian authorities said the Armenians were arrested on October 24. They refused to reveal the Armenians' names 'not to damage the investigation." No other details are available.


With Book, Foxman Grabs Lead Role 'Israel Lobby' Critics
By Ami Eden
New Jersey Jewish Standard, NJ
http://www.jstandard.com/articles/3385/1/With-book,-Foxman-grabs-lead-role---%91Israel-lobby%92---critics
Oct 26 2007

As patrons filed into Manhattan's 92nd Street Y to catch a sold-out appearance by Larry David, the scene outside was producing a punchline straight out of his HBO sitcom "Curb Your Enthusiasm." David and one of his "Curb" co-stars, Susie Essman, were the main event on that recent evening. But protesters had gathered outside to jeer the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, who was slated to speak - in another packed, albeit smaller, room - about anti-Semitism and his new book, "The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and The Myth of Jewish Control." The demonstrators were voicing outrage over Foxman's initial unwillingness to characterize the World War I-era Turkish massacres of Armenians as genocide and his continued opposition to a proposed congressional resolution that would put America on record as using the g-word. "Larry David is in favor of genocide?" one confused visitor asked. The mix-up could have served as the basis for a good "Curb" plot, to be sure, but in real life Foxman is the one who's been taking it from all sides of late.

And while he certainly has suffered some self-inflicted public-relations wounds, he's also taken plenty of heat for things that he never said or did, including the misdeeds of others. Legitimate or not, the barrage of criticism has had an impact: Foxman, who has worked at the ADL since 1965 and run the organization for the past 20 years, has become an increasingly polarizing figure for Jews and non-Jews on both sides of the political spectrum. Despite the fact, or perhaps because, he has become a walking flashpoint, Foxman remains the media's top go-to guy on Jewish affairs - a status further cemented by his high-profile national book tour.

In short, he may have never commanded more attention or attracted as much criticism. It's a high-stakes dynamic as he takes the lead role in the Jewish community's fight against a growing list of vocal and respectable critics of Israel and the pro-Israel lobby, most notably former President Jimmy Carter and the academic duo of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Foxman insists he has no second thoughts about jumping into the center of the debate over the pro-Israel lobby. "I'm not nervous. No hesitation whatsoever," Foxman said during an interview last month in his ADL office at the start of his book tour. (See page 21.) [He was scheduled to speak on Wednesday at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly.] Still, he conceded, "The one thing that haunts me is my credibility because that's all we got." As it turns out, Foxman has written a reasoned, measured response to Carter's "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" and the articles that evolved into Mearsheimer and Walt's "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy."

Foxman's book breaks little new ground in its bid to debunk the most objectionable claims put forth by Carter, Mearsheimer and Walt, et al. But for those seeking a quick and accessible road map for understanding the weakest points in the attack on Israel and the pro-Israel lobby, "The Deadliest Lies" does the trick - with a big boost from the foreword by former Secretary of State George Shultz.

The question is, will it be read by anyone who isn't already settled on the issue? Does Foxman still command the respect and have the credibility to make headway beyond his base, to reach, as he describes them, "the fair-minded people who may be wondering whether there is any truth in the claims promoted in 'The Israel Lobby' and are willing to hear the other side of the story?" Foxman essentially touches on the issue in his book during his recounting of the outrage triggered last year by an inaccurate claim that he had pushed the Polish consulate in New York to pull the plug on a lecture by New York University Prof. Tony Judt. The ADL had inquired about the event, which was being sponsored by an outside group that was renting space at the consulate, but it turned out to be David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, who had asked for the event to be canceled. Still, the furor eventually triggered a lengthy profile of Foxman in The New York Times Magazine last January.

Written by James Traub, the piece used the flap over Judt - who caused an uproar with a 2003 essay arguing that the idea of a Jewish state was and is a mistake - as a vehicle for examining claims that the Jewish community is guilty of trying to shut down debate over Israel. Among other things, Traub's piece played into the left-wing's negative - and often unfair -attacks on Foxman by ignoring his efforts to line up American Jewish support for peace moves approved by the Israeli government. Traub also incorrectly lumped Foxman in with those who argue that the Jewish community should steer clear of criticizing Christian conservatives on domestic policy because of their support for Israel. In fact, one of the biggest complaints of Foxman's right-wing critics - Jewish and non-Jewish - is his continued willingness to confront the religious right. For example, they point to his speaking out against the Mel Gibson film "The Passion of the Christ" and a 2005 speech Foxman gave in an attempt to rally the Jewish community against efforts to "Christianize America."

And of course they steam over his support for the Oslo process and the Gaza disengagement, which he framed as an issue of Israel's democratically elected government deserving deference on issues of peace and security. In "The Deadliest Lies," Foxman argued that given the "preconceived notions" of his critics, it would be "almost impossible" for them "not to assume the worst about me." He was talking about Judt and his supporters in left-wing academic circles, but the same applies to Jewish and Christian conservatives who falsely claim that the ADL leader suggested "The Passion" would spark anti-Jewish pogroms in America and tagged Gibson as an anti-Semite during the controversy over the film. Despite his growing ability to invite backlash from some liberal and conservative circles, Foxman insists he has no plans to listen to those who say he needs to tone down his approach. "We don't have that luxury," he said during the interview at his office.

Foxman in his book seemed to make an effort at maintaining some appearance of balance, stopping well short of full-throated apologetics for Israeli policy: "As in most conflicts, there have been rights and wrongs on both sides," he wrote, "and there is plenty of room for open debate about how the blame should be apportioned - and, more important, about the best way forward." On the question of whether Jewish groups are in the censorship business, Foxman is guilty to some degree of wanting it both ways. He worked hard to clear his own name in the Judt episode, but defends the right of the AJCommittee and other Jewish entities to protest invitations to objectionable speakers. And if such efforts are successful, he argues, the blame rests solely with the institutions that comply, not the Jewish agitators. "The fundamental truth remains that it was the Polish consulate alone that chose to cancel Tony Judt's speech," Foxman wrote.

"To try to place the responsibility for that ill-advised decision on some cabal of pro-Israeli groups is fairly ludicrous." In the interview, Foxman stood by the point: Jews who feel so inclined are "not wrong" to move against speakers to whom they object. "It's their expression of freedom of speech," he said. While some segments of the Jewish community might go too far, Foxman said, it is really the Jewish community that is the target of a campaign of "intimidation." The goal of Mearsheimer and Walt in arguing that the pro-Israel lobby and Israeli officials played a vital role in the U.S. decision to invade Iraq, Foxman said, is to scare American Jews from weighing in for a tough stand against Iran's nuclear ambitions. "I think part of this is an attempt to intimidate us," Foxman said. Noting the attacks on himself, he added: "If they can succeed in shutting me up, then they can shut the Jewish community up." One thing is clear, at least when it comes to Foxman: "They" aren't getting very far.


Armenians Who Need Help Today
Fred Hiatt / The Washington Post, Oct 25 2007

Imagine what the Armenian diaspora might have accomplished had it worked as hard for democracy in Armenia as it did for congressional recognition of the genocide Armenians suffered nearly a century ago.

It's even possible that modern Armenia would be as democratic as modern Turkey.

The Armenian American community notched a political victory when the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 27-21 for a resolution demanding that the U.S. government officially acknowledge that Turkey committed genocide against the Armenian people early in the 20th century. The Turkish government insists that, while terrible things happened, there was no genocide. The Bush administration, reluctant to offend an important ally, lobbied hard against the resolution.

There are passionate arguments on both sides of this fight: the urgency of facing history honestly, on one hand; unease over attempting to resolve such matters by political declaration, on the other. But what is sad, when members of Congress are hailing the vote as a victory for human rights, is how poorly human rights fare in Armenia today.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, none of its 15 component republics seemed better poised to evolve democratically than Armenia.

A beautiful country of mountains and pastures and vineyards, it had a clearer sense of national identity than most, with a long pre-Soviet history as a nation; its own language, alphabet and church; and a passionate diaspora, many of whose members were ready to bring not only their skills but also their habits of democracy and civil society to Yerevan. Of an estimated 10 million ethnic Armenians in the world, only 3 million dwell in Armenia; more than 2 million live in Russia, but about 1.5 million are in the United States.

Things began well, with the honest election of a former dissident as president. But authoritarian tendencies soon emerged, the former dissident rigged his re-election in 1996, and things went downhill from there. As Freedom House noted last year, "all national elections held in Armenia since independence have been marred by some degree of ballot stuffing, vote rigging, and similar irregularities."

Meanwhile, opposition politicians have been jailed, protests have been brutally suppressed, and broadcast media have been taken under government control.

Conditions in Armenia are better than in some post-Soviet republics.

Though corruption is endemic, the economy is growing and ranks relatively high in some measures of freedom for private enterprise. A parliamentary election in the spring was conducted more fairly than past polls. The ruling oligarchs tolerate some opposition parties, nongovernmental organizations and non-official newspapers.

But conditions also are a lot worse than in some republics, notably Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Many members of their diasporas also returned to their ancestral homelands, where they became passionate advocates not only of national rebirth but also of democracy and corruption-free capitalism.

Why the difference? Armenia was sidetracked early on by a war with neighboring Azerbaijan over an Armenian enclave inside that country.

The enclave is under Armenian control today, but a cease-fire has not given way to a peace settlement. Consequently, the two main Armenian-American lobbying organizations in Washington have focused more on security questions -- opposing arms sales to Azerbaijan, for example, and opposing Turkey, Azerbaijan's ally -- than on promoting democracy in Yerevan. Armenia's rulers have known that, no matter how they trample on individual rights at home, the lobbying groups will cover for them here.

The heads of both U.S. organizations told me that their groups have worked, sometimes quietly, to promote human rights and civil society in Armenia. Undoubtedly their influence would be limited, no matter how hard they tried.

But what if they had tried as fervently as they did to win Wednesday's vote? It's hard not to think that 3 million Armenians might be less poor and more free than they are today.

Fred Hiatt is the Washington Post's editorial page editor.


Opinion: Turkey And The Dems' Dangerous Gameplan
Cal Thomas Syndicated Columnist
Daily Republic, SD http://www.mitchellrepublic.com, Oct 25 2007

Just as it appears the United States may have turned an important corner in Iraq with the reported disabling of al-Qaida, Turkey is threatening to invade northern Iraq in an attempt to stop attacks by Kurdish rebels on Turkish territory.

House Democrats added fuel to the combustible situation when the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Oct. 10 passed a resolution that recognizes as genocide the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The resolution is opposed by the Bush administration, not necessarily because it disagrees that genocide occurred nearly a century ago, but because such a resolution will inflame passions at a time when there are passions enough in the neighborhood.

Democrats, who control Congress, are playing a dangerous game that might severely damage America's foreign policy, further diminish President Bush, hand over a weakened presidency to his successor and put more of our troops in jeopardy. That reality apparently began to reach the Democratic congressional leadership by midweek, as supporters of the resolution began a retreat and senior Democrats urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to drop her support for the measure.

Since Saddam Hussein was toppled from power, Turkey has been threatening to invade northern Iraq to settle old scores. Turkey has the provocation it believes it needs in the killing of 30 Turkish soldiers and civilians by members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (known as the PKK) in just the last two weeks.

Writing in the publication Insight, Gallia Lindenstrauss notes, "(Turkish) President Abdullah Gul accused American politicians of sacrificing big issues for petty games of domestic politics." That sounds about right. Are Democrats so cynical that they would stir an already boiling pot in hopes that it would negate whatever success America may finally be having in quelling terrorist acts in Iraq? One would hope that is not the case.

If Turkey will not be dissuaded from entering Iraq to root out the rebels, the Bush administration might consider helping the Turks do the job quickly and as painlessly as possible so that they might hastily return to their side of the border. If the Kurds wish to continue with their prosperous and more peaceful lifestyles, they will help locate and expunge the rebels among them. The last thing the region needs is to inflame Islamic fundamentalists.

A senior commander of the rebel group, Duran Kalkan, was quoted in an Associated Press story as saying the Turkish military will suffer a serious blow if it launches a cross-border offensive and would be "bogged down in a quagmire." Another quagmire is precisely what is not needed in Iraq.

There should be no rush to condemn a genocide that took place more than nine decades ago (and the very word "genocide" is in dispute as a description of what happened). Politically it might play well for Democrats, but it could backfire and have severe repercussions for American foreign policy, American forces in Iraq (supply lines could be disrupted) and American interests in Iraq and throughout the region for years to come. The next president cannot possibly enjoy long-term benefits from such shortsightedness by House Democrats.

Whatever immediate political gain Democrats might hope to extract from this misguided and ill-timed resolution will be overcome by the long-term pain it generates. Apparently there are limits beyond which even Democrats are not willing to go in their pursuit of political gain. There are some issues that ought to transcend partisanship and this is one of them.


Names and LanguageBy Garen Yegparian
Identity. In the diaspora, that's what it's all about. It may be denigrated in the U.S. as "identity" politics," but as survivors of genocide with lots of time and dead people to make up for, maintaining Armenian identity-Armenianness-in dispersion is critical.

Obviously, we have the genocide as a unifying focus. But once the struggle for recognition is over, even though we have much more important issues to resolve, some of the cohesion we now enjoy will dissipate. Some of us will breathe a collective sigh of relief and fade to the margins of our community, or even completely out of it. Meanwhile we'll still have battles ahead requiring even better "armies" than the ones we now have deployed.

While we're on the topic of recognition, make sure to contact Rep. Jane Harman, who is nominally a co-sponsor of H.Res.106, but it turns out was working undercover (what do you expect-she's on a Congressional committee dealing with America's spies) AGAINST the resolution, until the ANC's pressure made them reveal it. Tell her how unforgivable her sneakiness is. Contact her at (202) 225-8220, ask for Jay Hulings, or e-mail him at jay.hulings@mail.house.gov. You can now see the letter at
www.house.gov/harman/pdf/071003lantos_letter.pdf.

Returning to the topic of this article, two news items in the LA Times appearing over the last five months are instructive and suggestive.

On May 2, "Indigenous pride rising with name issue in Mexico," described the case of a two-year-old girl who is still officially nameless. It seems the government's computers can't handle the accents and such around the letters that would represent the sounds of the indigenous language. The parents have persisted and refuse to Spanify their child's name. This lesson in pride in one's own culture as manifested in names is one that ought not to be lost on us. So many of our compatriots are busy Jennifer-ing, Hamlet-ing, Rene(e)-ing their children's names that it is an epidemic. We are Armenian through our difference from others, not by naming our boys Artur (sic) after some legendary English king, or Scarlet after a character in a movie. This is the kind of slow, almost imperceptible assimilative activity that leads to loss of identity.

A related concern is the diminution of the number of names we use, out of concern that the odars will mispronounce the name or tease the child. So what? That's exactly what will help cement awareness of the difference of being an Armenian.

In the same vein of loss of national identifiers is language. Obviously, this one is an even bigger deal. On Sept. 19, a piece titled "Researchers say a language disappears every two weeks" ran. It turns out that in the last 500 years, half the world's preexisting languages have disappeared. We're down to 7,000. Half of these are expected to disappear in the next century. How far behind can Armenian be? What do we have left, two, maybe three centuries?

But why does any of this matter? Certainly just giving a child an Armenian appellation won't make him/her Armenian, nor will speaking the language. It is the combination of these two and many other cultural aspects that constitute the creature known as an Armenian. We are all lacking in one aspect or another of this Armenian constitution. If we're serious about our national persistence, then we must be alert to the slow erosion of our attributes. And, this concern applies just as much to Armenia as anywhere else.

You know right from wrong on this. Act accordingly.
The Armenian Weekly On-Line


Orhan Pamuk: Armenian Genocide Is a Moral IssueBy Khatchig Mouradian
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-Answering a question from the audience during his book reading on Oct. 12 at the Memorial Church organized by the Harvard Bookstore, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk said that for him, the Armenian genocide is a personal and moral issue that needs to be discussed freely in Turkey.

When the question, "What do you think about the Armenian genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress?" was asked, Pamuk said, "I was expecting this question." After being interrupted by laughter from the audience, Pamuk noted, "Don't worry, I'll get out of it." He went on to say, "For me, it's a moral issue, it's a personal issue. for me it's an issue of free speech-which we don't totally have-in Turkey." "The Turkish people should be able to freely discuss" this issue, he noted.

Pamuk added, "I basically think it is upsetting that this issue is getting to be an arm-twisting issue [between states] rather than a moral/free speech issue in Turkey."

Orhan Pamuk was in Cambridge to read from his newly published book Other Colors: Essays and a Story (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007). Pamuk is the winner of the 2006 Nobel Literature prize. In 2005, he was charged "insulting Turkishness" under Turkey's notorious Article 301 for saying in an interview with a Swiss magazine, "Thirty thousand Kurds, and a million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody dares to talk about it." The charges were later dropped.
The Armenian Weekly On-Line


Washington Times Forum: To The Armenian DiasporaOctober 23, 2007
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 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 in 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 I understand you. Because I see that you sincerely believe in the accuracy of the historical narrative you were raised on. How else could you have responded to that?

However, please note there is another narrative about the tragedy of 1915, on which we Turks have been raised. Our grandmothers told us Armenians collaborated with the Russian invaders and started to kill our people. Then, the narrative goes, our people started to kill the Armenians to both to protect themselves and 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, 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, there are 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 blunter 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 such acts 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 fueling 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 of lacking courage and of a defeatist psychology.

But how do you know you yourselves are not the victims of another psychology - that of the diaspora? Social scientists repeatedly say diaspora communities tend to go fanatic. Have you ever considered taking a hint?

If you would like 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 House Speaker Nancy 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 your story. And do these not as propaganda tools against the Turks, but as efforts to communicate with 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 to our grandmothers' stories. And if we start listening to your narrative, it 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.

MUSTAFA AKYOL, A fellow Anatolian.
www.washingtontimes.com

Washington Times October 23, 2007

Ankara's Eyes
By Tulin Daloglu - Sometimes, the timing of events has more say than the issue itself to determine its outcome. If the so-called Armenian genocide resolution that recently passed the House Foreign Relations Committee were to reach a floor vote at a time when separatist Kurdish terrorist attacks were not intensifying in Turkey, and if there were no U.S. occupation in Iraq, almost nothing would move House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to re-evaluate her commitment to pass it.

But all of these things were happening when Mrs. Pelosi pushed the resolution. She may seek excuses for her inexcusable ignorance of current challenges, but she may not victoriously claim leadership. And the way this resolution was handled creates serious doubt about Democrats' competence on national security issues.

Turkey, however, can claim victory. So far, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to be conducting a smart deterrence policy on two fronts. First, when the resolution passed committee, he recalled the Turkish ambassador to the United States back to Ankara. Second, he got parliament to authorize a cross-border operation into Northern Iraq to combat PKK terrorists. These two decisions touched off concern in Washington that now may not be the time to bet on Turkey's common sense. Amusingly, concerns over the Western orientation of the Justice and Development (AKP) Party and the military's constant suspicion about the goodwill of its Western alliance over fighting the PKK may have sealed the deal.

But what most worried the U.S. was Turkey's possible reaction to restricting use of Incirlik Air Base. Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted that 70 percent of U.S. air cargo, one-third of its fuel and 95 percent of mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles bound for Iraq move through Incirlik. President Bush echoed the "very real risk" to those operations: "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."

Yet a congressional source close to Democrats told me that the AKP would not shut down the operations in Incirlik because they need U.S. backing in the face of continuing speculation over a possible coup by the Turkish military - the guardians of the secular government. It's not a wise bet; there are also multimillion-dollar defense contracts at stake. In a year, depending on developments, Turkey may re-evaluate them as well.

Meanwhile, the AKP continues to strengthen its relationships with Syria and Iran. It's no little thing that first lady Hayrunnisa Gul was photographed for the first time in official capacity last week in her turban emerging from Cankaya, the presidential palace, to greet Syrian President Beshar Assad and his wife. And last Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan proposed during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that the conflict with Syria over Golan Heights be included in the upcoming peace summit in Annapolis. There is also a commitment to an energy memorandum with Iran.

Although it seems troubling, a positive turn is always possible. Turkey could play a mediator role between Israel and Syria. When I interviewed Pinhas Avivi, Israel's former ambassador to Ankara, in August, he expressed confidence in the Turkish government and stressed that Israel's relationship with Turkey is better under the AKP. But there remain doubts about the AKP's goals -" whether its priority is Muslim solidarity over the secular democracy that bonds Turkey to the Western world.

The Erdogan government can be smart to strengthen these relationships with Iran and Syria if they are for tactical reasons. In fact, the PKK issue has brought Turkey close to Iran and Syria. But there is much suspicion over the AKP's hidden agenda. The worry is what will happen if the Erdogan government strengthens those bilateral relationships strategically.

The troubling image is that the Bush administration started to hear Turkey's concerns as a result of those strengthening relations. When an estimated 200 PKK terrorists attacked a military convoy on Sunday, killing 17 Turkish soldiers in Hakkari area, Mr. Bush was quick to address the issue. "These attacks are unacceptable and must stop now," he said. But a Pentagon official told me that although recent statements emphasize Turkey's importance to the United States, he doubts whether there will be any satisfactory action against the PKK. "Our relations with Turkey will be another casualty of our Iraq policy," he said.

It's certain that Turkey will not imminently launch a military operation into Northern Iraq. It will host a crucial ministerial meeting of Iraq's neighbors and major international powers in Istanbul on Nov. 2-3. Then Mr. Erdogan will meet Mr. Bush at the White House on Nov. 5. "We want to get a result, especially about [the PKK issue] during my meetings on Nov. 5," Mr. Erdogan has said.

Now the dilemma is that no deterrence policy can be applied infinitely. What happens if Turkey runs out of time without being satisfied? Or what happens if Turkey is satisfied on the PKK issue? Will it allow the Iraqi Kurds to include Kirkuk in their regional government? Are the Kurds increasing the fight in Turkey for Kirkuk?

Right now, it seems another red line for Turkey, promising future troubles.

Tulin Daloglu is a freelance writer. www.washingtontimes.com


Israel Lobby May Be Source Of Armenian Genocide Resolution
by Wayne Madsen

OpEdNews, PA
http://www.opednews.com
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_wayne_ma_071023_israel_lobby_may_be_.htm

October 22, 2007 -- Israel Lobby accused of being behind Armenian
genocide resolution

Experts on U.S.-Turkish relations in Washington report that the recent deterioration in relations between Washington and Ankara are primarily due to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Turkey's other erstwhile friends, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), pulling support for their former allies in Turkey because of increasingly closer Turkish relations with both Syria and Iran --two countries that are being targeted by the neocon cells operating in Vice President Dick Cheney's office and among Kadima and Likud circles in Jerusalem.

In fact, Turkey, Syria, and Iran are cooperating in battling PKK forces on their respective territories. Israel's Mossad has re-established close links with the Kurds in the region. It appears that Israel is willing to sacrifice its past close relations with Turkey in its support for the Kurds and creating tension between the non-Arab powers in the region -- Iran, Turkey, and the Kurds. The election of Turkish Islamist-oriented Abdullah Gul as President of a secular-oriented Turkey was a green light for AIPAC, the ADL, and the neocons and other right-wing networks in Washington to turn up the heat on Ankara.

The subsequent threat by Turkey to deploy troops into northern Iraq to go after Kurdish guerrillas, some of whom are reportedly backed by the Mossad and U.S. paramilitary private security forces, was enough to cause the Israel Lobby to break their historic links to the Turks.

Adding to the anger of the Israel Lobby was the recent natural gas deal inked between Syria, Iran, and Turkey. Iran will provide Syria with Iranian gas via Turkish pipelines.

Turkish sources are reporting that the Mossad and CIA are providing direct support to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Kurdish group outlawed in Turkey and designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

Tensions along the Turkish-Iraq border grew more inflamed on October 21 after PKK guerrillas killed at least 12 Turkish troops in an attack carried out on Turkish soil.

In July, Turkish authorities seized automatic weapons of U.S. origin from captured members of the PKK. After Defense and State Department investigations of weapons smuggling to the PKK, the Justice Department began investigating Kenneth W. Cashwell and William Ellsworth "Max" Grumiaux, two former Blackwater USA employees, for trafficking in the interstate and foreign commerce of stolen firearms.

Eventually, Cashwell and Grumiaux pleaded guilty to possession of the stolen firearms and began cooperating with the government in its investigation of smuggling to the PKK via the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The Charlotte News and Observer reported that the federal probe involves the possibility that Blackwater smuggled automatic weapons and other military hardware to Iraq that potentially ended up in the hands of the KRG and then the PKK.

The Pentagon is investigating the loss of some 190,000 U.S. small arms in Iraq. Blackwater has denied any role in weapons smuggling in Iraq.

WMR has also learned that some of Blackwater's top officials maintain close links to the Israeli military and security communities as well as to a shadowy network of right-wing Republican weapons manufacturers, law firms, lobbyists, and arms exporters in the Washington, DC area, including individuals linked to white supremacist organizations.

Turkey blames Israel for the passage by the House International Relations Committee of the Armenian genocide resolution. Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan reportedly told Israeli President Shimon Peres earlier this month that since Israel ultimately controls Jewish-American organizations like the ADL, Turkey held Israel partly responsible for the passage of the Armenian genocide resolution largely thanks to the support of the ADL and AIPAC and one of their biggest champions on Capitol Hill, House International Relations Committee Chairman Tom Lantos.

It was only after Turkey's own sizable lobbying machine in Washington forced President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- and behind the scenes George H. W. Bush National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, the head of the American Turkish Council -- to exert pressure on the House, did leading Democrats succeed in killing the Armenian resolution.

However, that put Cheney and his neocon cabal on the defensive. They were more than willing to sacrifice U.S. relations with Turkey to bring about a "final solution" for the Iranians, Syrians, Palestinians, Turks, or anyone else that stood in the way of the ultimate aims of the neocons: a Western-Islamic "Clash of Civilizations" and iron-fisted U.S. control of Middle East energy resources.

It also appears certain that the Israeli attack on a alleged Syrian nuclear facility, said to have been built with the aid of North Korean and Iranian specialists, was designed to scuttle back channel attempts by Turkey to help negotiate a peace agreement between Israel and Syria. The Israeli Likud Party and its allies in Washington, primarily in Cheney's office and at two problematic think tanks in Washington that act as Likud fronts -- the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) -- want no part of an Israeli-Syrian peace agreement of any form of detente.

On October 21, Cheney launched a verbal barrage against Iran and Syria at a meeting of WINEP held at suburban Virginia's exclusive country club venue, the Landsdowne Conference Center. Cheney's remarks were hailed by Clinton Middle East envoy and WINEP director, Dennis Ross, strongly rumored to be a top contender for a major foreign policy slot in a Hillary Clinton administration.

The Israeli spin that Israeli military planes attacked the Syrian facility via Turkish airspace was a not-so-veiled warning to Ankara that Israel looked with disfavor the Turkish-Syrian rapprochement.

The Israeli attack on the Syrian "facility" is now being spun by the neocon media, primarily the Jerusalem Post and ABC News, as a commando raid supported by an Israeli "mole" inside the Syrian nuclear establishment. Most of the reports from the neocons about a Syrian "nuclear facility" are no more believable than the reports of Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction.


Is Europe Trying To Revitalize Sevr Agreement?Panorama.am 23/10/2007
"By adopting resolution 106, the American congressmen took into account not only the recognition of the Armenian genocide but also the historical roots of the problem. The content of the resolution is very interesting from which it becomes clear that some of the American congressmen already understand that the issue must be viewed from historical point of view," Sergey Shaqaryants, political analyst, told a meeting with reporters today. In his words, this means that if the Congress has started recalling the history, it means that the opinion among Turkish circles that says that the West is secretly trying to revitalize the Agreement of Sevr is true. "The West is trying to divide Turkey and divide it into several states. The West is the enemy of Turkey and the way of Turkey is not to Europe but to Eurasia," Shaqaryants said expressing his opinion, also saying such opinions are heard in Turkey and that may direct the vector of the country to Russia and Iran.

[Transcript Excerpt]

Daily Press Briefing
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 23, 2007

ARMENIA

Secretary Rice's Meeting with Armenian Prime Minister
Iranian President's Visit to Armenia / Possible Pipeline Agreement

***

QUESTION: Do you have anything on the Secretary's meeting with the Armenian Prime Minister? I know it's coming up, but what do you plan to discuss? Why is it important?

MR. MCCORMACK: All a matter of relations, I think. We have a significant bilateral assistance program with Armenia and we'll talk about that, talk about their continuing process of political and economic reform. I expect the Secretary will also touch on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh and where that -- where the process stands in bringing about a resolution to that conflict.

QUESTION: And what about the genocide resolution?

MR. MCCORMACK: Not on the agenda from our side.

QUESTION: Same subject?

MR. MCCORMACK: Yes.

QUESTION: The President of Iran has been in Armenia for the last couple of days and reports about that visit suggest that they have extended a pipeline agreement and that they're going to build a joint -- this is Armenia and Iran --

MR. MCCORMACK: Right.

QUESTION: -- build a joint refinery. Given Armenia's generally pro-Western orientation, are you sort of disappointed with this?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I understand that there hasn't been a final agreement that has been signed. Often -- very oftentimes, you will have these circumstances where Iran working with other governments will try to engage in a series of preliminary agreements to lend the perception that all is normal and well in terms of dealing with Iran when, in fact, the truth could not be further from that kind of perception.

We have counseled the Armenians, as we have counseled others who have entertained entering into these sort of oil and gas agreements with Iran against doing so. We don't think the time is right to even be entertaining the idea of concluding these kinds of agreements. It is not business as normal with Iran for all the reasons that we have talked about so very often in this room.

So we will continue to counsel them against entering into any sort of oil and gas agreements and of course, if there are any applicable laws that are triggered by any actions taken by any entities, we will take a look at the agreements with respect to U.S. law.

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2007/oct/93949.htm


Significant Trend In Turkish Press
October 22, 2007
We at the Zoryan Institute are very concerned reading articles in major Turkish newspapers, such as H?t and Zaman that implicate Armenians as organizers of the PKK movement and/or participants in the Kurdish campaign against the Turks. We are concerned for the following reasons:

1. These newspapers are attempting to identify Armenians as the "enemy," reinforcing an "us against them" attitude, thus classifying "Armenians."

2. These articles vilify Armenians, at a time when Turkish society is highly sensitive to Armenian Genocide recognition efforts in the US and PKK attacks on Turkish armed forces, thus inciting the masses, and are in essence hate propaganda.

These represent the initial stages in the eight stages of genocide.(link) It is our hope that scholars, activists, concerned intellectuals, and all interested parties will be aware of this trend and speak out against it. We have seen how the media in Turkey have sensationalized the alleged insulting of Turkishness by , outspoken writers, have incited hatred against them, which ultimately led to the assassination of Hrant Dink. The whole Armenian community of Turkey is now subjected to this hatred, via mainstream Turkish media.

We are providing below the links to the two articles described above. We submit them in this very abbreviated format due to the urgency of the matter.

One of the articles, Hurriyet Oct. 22, 2007 (page 1), partially translated, states the following:

Barzani'nin babasi hainmi?
http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/7534348.asp?gid=180&sz=48324

Historical researcher Gokhan Balci went to the archives of the Armed forces Military History and Strategic Studies Office (ATASE) and stated that he found that Mesud Barzani's father and his uncle, Barzan Sheyhi Abdusselam, had provoked Armenian gangs against the Turks with Russian support.. Mustafa Barzani armed the Armenian gangs and tortured Turkish villages in the east and southeast Anatolia.. In 1915, his father had organized the Armenians and Kurds with Russian support to attack the Turks. Now, Barzani is provoking the Kurds and attacking the Turks with American support.

The other article, Zaman, Oct. 22, 2007 (page 1)

La?er: PKK'nin Yoetici kadrosu Ermeniler

http://www.zaman.com.tr/webapp-tr/haber.do?haberno=604343

Laciner stated that the terror groups, Syria division, are under the leadership of non-Muslims. He stated the leadership in Syria is made up of Armenians, and they are very influential in the strategic and ideological organization of the PKK.

News 7 TV, which organized a debate in which Sedat Laciner participated. At this debate Sedat Laciner revealed important information regarding the PKK terrorist organization. He said the Armenians were very influential in the organization and had a lot of influence on the Kurds.
Zoryan Institute


The Armenians Held A Major Role In The Nazi Campain. In 1938 When The First Jews Were Deported
http://www.sundayherald.com/oped/opinion/display.var.1791551.0.turkey_has_to_grasp_the_past_to_survive.php#comments
by: Sam Verhetzberg, Italy

Areen, Manoli and Berge, Never, ever, ever try to catogorise yourselves and Armenians as a similar fate to the Jewish Genocide. The Armenians held a major role in the Nazi Campain. in 1938 when the first Jews were deported, Armenians were voluntarily joining the Nazis to help them create the real genocide of the 20th century. The evidence is absolute that more than 100,000 Armenians joined Hitler. The evidence is also absolute that Armenian politicians took part in Hitler's racial purity campaigns.

December 15, 1942: The Armenian National Council was given official Nazi recognition by Alfred Rosenberg, the German minister of Nazi occupied areas. The Armenians had made a consecrated effort to prove to Hitler that they were Aryans like he was and they were so accepted. The proof is the Armenians were never persecuted in any Nazi occupied lands because they were Armenians The Armenians made radio broadcasts from Berlin supporting Hitler's Aryan and racially pure beliefs. Several Armenian newspapers also supported Hitler's ethnic/racial pure beliefs during World War II. The Ottomans never did such things. The actual proof is that during World War II the Turks opposed Hitler while the Armenians within Turkey supported first Hitler and then switched sides to the Russians when they saw Germany losing the war.

After World War I the Paris Peace Conference was held. The Armenians presented their massacre claims to this conference who heard them out and considered the evidence presented by the Armenians. The Peace Conference rejected the Armenians massacre claims and gave them nothing for damages. The Armenians refused to accept the Peace Conference "NO" answer and again asked to be heard and to present more evidence. The Paris Peace Conference agreed to allow the Armenians to present their massacre claims a second time and again--for a second time the Paris Peace Conference rejected the Armenians claim against the Ottoman Empire and gave them nothing. The Armenians have had their day in court not once, but twice, and they offered their self-called proof twice and each time they received nothing. Today the Armenians want land and reparations from Turkey, which didn't even come into existence until 1923--8 years after the self anointed Armenian genocide bogus claim. The Armenian government demands today that the Turkish government admit to this fake genocide claim. The question cries out to be answered: Why should the Turks admit to any such thing? When will the Armenians work for peace in their region of the world rather than starting war after war and making false demands upon its neighbors?

Areen, Manoli and Berge, Never, ever, ever try to catogorise yourselves and Armenians as a similar fate to the Jewish Genocide. The Armenians held a major role in the Nazi Campain.

in 1938 when the first Jews were deported, Armenians were voluntarily joining the Nazis to help them create the real genocide of the 20th century. The evidence is absolute that more than 100,000 Armenians joined Hitler. The evidence is also absolute that Armenian politicians took part in Hitler's racial purity campaigns.

December 15, 1942: The Armenian National Council was given official Nazi recognition by Alfred Rosenberg, the German minister of Nazi occupied areas. The Armenians had made a consecrated effort to prove to Hitler that they were Aryans like he was and they were so accepted. The proof is the Armenians were never persecuted in any Nazi occupied lands because they were Armenians The Armenians made radio broadcasts from Berlin supporting Hitler's Aryan and racially pure beliefs. Several Armenian newspapers also supported Hitler's ethnic/racial pure beliefs during World War II.

The Ottomans never did such things. The actual proof is that during World War II the Turks opposed Hitler while the Armenians within Turkey supported first Hitler and then switched sides to the Russians when they saw Germany losing the war. After World War I the Paris Peace Conference was held. The Armenians presented their massacre claims to this conference who heard them out and considered the evidence presented by the Armenians. The Peace Conference rejected the Armenians massacre claims and gave them nothing for damages. The Armenians refused to accept the Peace Conference "NO" answer and again asked to be heard and to present more evidence. The Paris Peace Conference agreed to allow the Armenians to present their massacre claims a second time and again--for a second time the Paris Peace Conference rejected the Armenians claim against the Ottoman Empire and gave them nothing.

The Armenians have had their day in court not once, but twice, and they offered their self-called proof twice and each time they received nothing. Today the Armenians want land and reparations from Turkey, which didn't even come into existence until 1923--8 years after the self anointed Armenian genocide bogus claim. The Armenian government demands today that the Turkish government admit to this fake genocide claim. The question cries out to be answered: Why should the Turks admit to any such thing? When will the Armenians work for peace in their region of the world rather than starting war after war and making false demands upon its neighbors?
http://www.turkisharmenians.faithweb.com


Never Changing Foreign Policy Positions And The War
October 30, 2007, Cengiz AKTAR
How quickly we have surrendered to the logic of war while talking diplomacy, dialogue and moderation. The responsibility lies with the political elite that keeps murmuring about the same old clichés of a non-existing world.

There are foreign policy positions of Turkey reminiscent of military fortifications. These are at the very foundations of the Republic and were thought as definite answers to the problems inherited from the Ottoman era: The Armenian, Greek and Kurdish questions. Nothing has changed in Turkey's position regarding these three issues, except a parenthesis on Cyprus, which opened and quickly closed in 2004 after the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriots.

On the other hand, different and new approaches unrelated to these three issues have recently emerged in foreign relations. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) governments have started to seek new balances in foreign policy through openings toward the Eastern, Ottoman and Islamic worlds. Turkey, for now, has not received anything in return for these openings. To the quite contrary, alliances the country formed with the West and Israel are seriously harmed by the new positions. That is to say, in an attempt to change something once in a blue moon, we ended up with negative results due to miscalculation and bad timing.

Our public diplomacy on the other side starts and ends with to the slogans of “ multicultural/ multi-religious tolerance” and “asylum granted to Sephardic Jews 500 years ago.” However, the acute anti-Semitism, widespread animosity against minorities and racist tantrums everyday prove how far we moved away from these values in compliance with nation-state's rigid rules.

As a consequence, Turkey today is no more a decision-maker but a country reacting to the decisions of others. The reactionary state of mind, obsolete yet inflexible, lays the ground for loneliness and does not help anything but to deepen the victim psychology. A deep sense of not being understood and aloofness emerges: “Turk has no friend but another Turk.” The next stage is the transformation of the victim psychology into legitimate defense syndrome and thereby setting the stage for conflict.

The Blinding Logic Of War
“No more words nor law,” or “let's finish the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)” slogans we are hearing louder every day are in fact the language of lack of policy. Diplomacy continues even during wartime. International law pertaining to the war exists since 1864 (Geneva Conventions); “no law” means the jungle law. As for finishing the PKK, to listen what the Chief of Land Forces Gen. Ilker Basbug said recently is sufficient. The situation we are in now makes us forget that fighting violence only with violence, as it has been the case for decades, brings no solution. Moreover, even experts have reservations about the military feasibility of the projected operation. Unless brand new proactive policies are designed for Iraqi as well as Turkish Kurds, effects of military action, even if battles are won, won't last. Just recall the “29th Kurdish revolt” formula used by the former President Süleyman Demirel on the PKK and 20 plus hot pursuits realized until today into northern Iraq.

On top of that, Turkey was involved since the beginning with the shaping of the de facto Kurdish state. Following the first Gulf War, the security zone declared beyond the 37th parallel in order to protect Kurds from the wrath of Saddam Hussein was the brainchild of President Turgut Özal. Today Turkish companies are building the Kurdish region's economic infrastructure. Turkey transfers electricity, buys and sells oil to northern Iraq. This economic dependency may lead to a healthy and permanent solution. However, current foreign and security policies have not sustained these economic initiatives.

Last but not least in the aftermath of the U.S. occupation, Kurds becoming the only U.S. ally in the Iraq quagmire was evident from the beginning. Thus adapting to this eventuality was essential.

In the country, political reforms of 2002-2004 for the benefit of Kurds couldn't be backed by economic structuring but precipitated a return to the same old military customs to fight PKK violence, which awakened in July 2004. The AKP's failure to generate a comprehensive Kurdish policy passed the ball once more to the court of the military. In this regard, the AKP did not manage to design policies different from classical foreign and internal policy options of its rivals. Hence it has lost the bet of being different, for doing politics cornered in between the main street and the nationalist CHP-MHP opposition as well as the military. At the end of the day, since everyone acknowledges a positive military outcome is almost impossible, the operation would be held to appease the opposition and the man-in-the-street.

However this time, the war may yield unexpected results, and alter never changing foreign policy fortifications. Just like in Cyprus and Greece after the military coup that took place in Cyprus in 1974. Or more recently like Serbia who, while destroying Yugoslavia ended up exhausting itself.


Letters To The Editor / TDN, October 30, 2007, How To Solve The Armenian Issue
I think one of our basic problems is the lack of understanding and lack of effort in solving this issue. As a Turkish-American, I can't even begin to tell you how frustrated I and all of the community feel about this.

Until the AKP government took office, there was basically no effort by the government to launch a campaign to counteract the Armenian efforts.

Every year the issue would come up in April than we would threaten Congress with our strategic location etc. that would derail the resolution. This year looks like it's going to work one last time.

But it is so obvious to me that we can't use that rhetoric again and again. You can only threaten someone/country for so long. After a while people get tired of it and would rather bite the bullet.

Now to solve this issue we have to open our society and increase the level of freedom that we have in the country.

That means article 301 has to be removed along with other articles that restrict freedom of speech.

This is the biggest argument Armenians use here. If people can't express their views freely without risking going to jail how can you have an open discussion about Armenian genocide claims?

Because of that statement alone the Armenian religious leader in Istanbul is discredited. They say that he is giving a statement along with the Turkish government official line because he can't express his true opinions without risking going to jail. This is a great example of their clever game. Because of the law in our Penal Code, we can't use this valuable person's statements to our benefit.

Here is what we need to do....

Remove all the articles that restrict freedom of speech. Let the issue be freely discussed in the country by scholars and historians.

Renew the call that was made by Erdogan to form a committee of historians to research the issue and release a report, which would be accepted by both parties.

Follow that call by announcing, "Armenians won't respond positively to forming the committee with or without Armenia" and invite the historians and the scientists from all the relevant countries as well as countries who want to participate; then form the committee in a third neutral country that is not the U.S.

This will first show that we sincerely want to solve this issue and move on and also show our confidence in the matter that we strongly believe that we have nothing to hide.

Also this would create enormous pressure on Armenia to come to the table.

We also have to open our archives completely no restrictions....

I sincerely believe if we do all this there won't be an Armenian issue that we have to deal with every year and spend a crazy amount of money on lobbies here in Washington. I hope somebody is listening....

Eric “Deepblue”, Minneapolis, Minnesota


US Congress, Turkish Parliament, Many Questions
October 30, 2007, Vural CENGIZ
The Reuters/Zogby poll results are not a big surprise considering Pelosi's resolution attempt with terrible timing. The approval rate for the U.S. Congress is down to 11 percent. This means only one out of ten Americans approve the 110th Congress which has been in business less than a year. This is worse than U.S approval rate in Turkey and much worse than President Bush's 24 percent approval rate. Bad presidency and terrible law-making. This is American perception of Washington. "There is a real question among Americans now about how relevant this government is to them," pollster John Zogby said according to Reuters ( http://www.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUSN1624620720071017) "They tell us they want action on health care, education, the war and immigration, but they don't believe they are going to get it."

Democrats woke up and have been working very hard in last one week to change this degrading picture they painted; however, people got the message and are angry about it. The American public learned from many TV shows and newspaper articles that the members of Congress could not care less for the country but very careful about being re-elected. Democrat comedian Bill Maher criticized the Democrat members of the Foreign Affairs Committee harshly for accepting such a resolution when the country is in the middle of two big wars.

CNN, CNBC, ABC and NBC also commented that U.S. was shooting itself in the foot with House Resolution 106. Business network CNBC spared long time to resolution because oil prices hit record 90 dollars by last Thursday and nobody could guess where it would stop. "How can a small lobbying group make us hurt our best ally this bad?" was a fair question commentators asked. American public also wonders why they have to sacrifice their children in a war for the benefit of Israelis and Kurds but not Americans themselves as they have to lose their best allies for Armenians. Turkish public has been asking these questions for years.To throw more wood on the fire, chess champion Kasparov made great comments on HBO channel recently: "Russia does want higher oil prices. Therefore Putin is doing anything and everything to destabilize the Middle East and to increase tension in the global market," he said. And he asked: "Why can't Congress and the White House see this?" This was another excellent question! Instead of easing tensions, the president is talking about World War III possibilities and Congress is debating on last century's conflicts such as Armenian-Turkish killings in Ottoman times.

"Supporting Israel" can't be US sole Mideast target

The American administration and public may well start to understand that "supporting Israel" cannot be the only U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and other Jewish NGOs changed their position in the ''genocide'' question after Hamas visit to Ankara and Iranian gas deal. Then, heavy Jewish weight in Foreign Relations Committee worked against Turks in favor of Armenian lobbyists. However, surprisingly opposing votes had the highest percentage ever in Foreign Relations Committee. This time, it was not 40-7 as used to be. Jewish congressmen did not oppose but American public opposed the resolution because Turkey was too important to ignore and Americans indeed are loyal to good friends. If Jewish-American members of Congress had opposed House Resolution 106 on the Oct. 10 vote, the resolution would be defeated in the Committee but would stand strong for the future. On the contrary, Jewish congressmen (seven out of eight except Robert Wexler) wanted to punish the Turkish government as parliamentarian Sükrü Elekdag said after his visit to Washington during voting. Fortunately, they did the biggest favor to Turkish side by closing their eyes to Turkish misery in crucial times for the U.S. in the Middle East and Afghanistan. This must be the irony of cheap politics. Now, Turks are ready to hit the PKK in Iraq and President Bush is questioning Turkish Parliament voting on the issue. Excuse my critique but is Turkish Parliament the first one that voted on occupying Iraq?* Vural Cengiz is the 204-206 president of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA)


Armenian Genocide: the Lobbying Behind the Congressional Resolution by Guy Taylor | 30 Oct 2007
worldpoliticsreview.com

WASHINGTON -- Much of the controversy surrounding a congressional committee's approval of a resolution condemning as genocide the massacre of Armenians during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire has focused on the action's geopolitical ramifications. But a key question remains unanswered: How did the world's most powerful body of lawmakers come to feel compelled to register a position on an event that happened almost a century ago?

By some accounts, the answer is simple: lobbying. Others, however, contend that the power of the Armenian lobby in the United States has been exaggerated and that the genocide resolution has gotten traction in Congress on moral grounds alone.

While Armenian genocide resolutions have been considered at the committee level in Congress for decades, the passage of the latest one by a 27-21 vote Oct. 10 made international headlines when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed to push it to a full House vote. Congressional support for the measure appears to have waned during the weeks since, however, as Turkey, angered by the resolution, threatens to launch military operations in Northern Iraq against Kurdish Workers Party militants.

Is the Armenian lobby in the United States so powerful that it convinced a group of elected U.S. officials to embrace its policy despite the immediately negative impact it could have on U.S. interests in the Middle East?

Many astute Washington observers claim that, animated by the genocide issue for decades, the Armenian lobby has developed into one of the most formidable foreign lobbies in the United States. For example, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, in a Foreign Affairs article about foreign lobbying of the U.S. government, rated "the Israeli-American, Cuban-American, and Armenian-American lobbies as the most effective in their assertiveness."

However, influential Armenian-Americans assert that Congress has taken up the issue because of morality, not lobbying. "There's a myth that the Armenian lobby is so strong," says Michael O'Hurley-Pitts, a prominent Armenian-American author who serves as the spokesman for the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America. "If that were true this resolution would have been passed decades ago."

"The resolution condemns the Ottoman Empire's genocide of the Armenians. It's troubling for me to understand why modern Turkey fights so hard to defend what should not be theirs to defend," he said. "If U.S. foreign policy efforts require us to abandon our morals and values as a just nation, then we as Americans must review the foundation upon which our foreign policy is built."

How Powerful is the Armenian Lobby?

Measured purely in dollars spent, the Armenian lobby is relatively small in the grand scheme of foreign policy lobbying, says Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, whose Web site, www.opensecrets.org, tracks the spending of lobbying groups in Washington.

"It's possible that every day a thousand Armenians show up on Capitol Hill and knock on the doors of Congress," says Ritsch. "But it doesn't show up in the reports."

Over the past nine years, the Armenian Assembly of America, the group leading the political charge for the genocide resolution, has spent between $140,000 and $260,000 per year on lobbying, with $180,000 spent last year and $160,000 spent so far in 2007.

"It looks like they spent almost as much in the first six months of 2007 as they spent in all of last year," Ritsch noted. However, even with the jump in spending, the Armenian lobby does not measure up to Washington's largest influence players.

For instance, according to Open Secrets data, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, "the country's most powerful pro-Israel political group . . . spend[s] more than $1 million annually on lobbying." Open Secrets also indicates that money spent by pro-Armenian political groups, such as Political Action Committees (PACs), is less than that spent by pro-Turkey PACs, which would ostensibly be fighting to block the passage of the genocide resolution.

How, then, have Armenian groups been successful in bringing the resolution to the fore? Ritsch ventures that "the recognition of the genocide is of far greater interest and concern to Armenians than not having it recognized is to the average Turkish-American. I think it's one of these issues where one side is really motivated and the other side really doesn't care as much."

He surmises that "a whole lot of grassroots lobbying in the districts of the members who've been pushing for this" is behind the genocide resolution.

Armenian Churches vs. Turkish Mosques

Ritsch's read on the issue dovetails with the perspective of Turkish-American analysts and lobbyists, who say the Armenian-American community is more organized and politically minded than their own.

"From an organizational perspective, there are about 500 Armenian organizations and about 50 Turkish organizations," says Gunai Evinch, a prominent Turkish-American Lawyer in Washington and vice president of the leading Turkish lobby organization, the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations. "The Turkish organizations are primarily dedicated to cultural events, whereas the Armenian organizations do not shy away at all from political activities."

The Armenian church," argues Evinch, "is a major point of congregation for . . . Armenian life, both spiritual and political. The church's leaders are in a way the political leaders; there has never been a distinction."

"In the Turkish-American community on the other hand, with a strong tradition of secular democracy, we do not see politics played in mosques," he said. "We don't have a meeting place to go to every week to congregate and to plan and strategize on a political issue. We don't have the force of God being used to bring us together to do political work against a particular ethnic group."

Evinch claims that tax records of the revenue and donations of all Armenian local and national organizations, including academic groups and the Armenian Church in the United States, would show that "the Armenian side has about a $40 million annual budget for advocating Armenian-American interests . . . compared to the Turkish side, which has about $400,000 dollars for all of the issues."

Over the years, he says, Congress has been "bombarded with resolutions and gotten to know the thesis of the Armenian side and decided that [passing the resolution] was a moral thing to do despite the affect on U.S.-Turkey relations and interests in the region."

Furthermore, Evinch contends that the recent House Foreign Affairs Committee vote was heavily influenced in particular by Armenian voters and money in California, Massachusetts and New York. Of the estimated 385,488 people of Armenian ancestry the 2000 U.S. Census counted as living in the United States, some 257,686 reside in those three states, with 204,641 in California alone, according to Euroamericans.net, a Web site that keeps such statistics.

"Of the 27 votes in favor of the resolution in the Foreign Affairs Committee, 10 were from California and eight were from New York," said Evinch. "There is just no way that those congressmen or women are going to be voting against this bill, particularly if they're going to be re-elected."

'Truth On Our Side'

Asked about the role of the church as it relates to the genocide resolution, O'Hurley-Pitts, of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, offered this response: "It's absolutely against the law for the church to raise money for political causes. The church does raise money for religious, humanitarian and other efforts, but at no time has the church ever raised money to support legislations before the United States House of Representatives. I would take issue with anybody who would suggest that the church is engaged in fundraising for political activities."

O'Hurley-Pitts acknowledged that Catholicos Karekin II, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church -- who is presently visiting the United States -- "has repeatedly supported the passage of an Armenian genocide recognition throughout the world."

But "he does not support political activity," said O'Hurley-Pitts, adding that "the reason he supports genocide recognition is because without recognition there can be no condemnation, and without condemnation there can be no prevention."

According to O'Hurley-Pitts, there are actually 1.5 million Armenians in the United States, and "it doesn't take an act of Congress for Armenians to see the gaping holes in their family trees."

Bryan Ardouny, executive director of the Armenian Assembly of America, describes the community as a "very close-knit, educated and passionate constituency."

"In terms of organization, certainly you have various churches throughout the United States," he says. "It's not that the church is by any means an arm of the Armenian lobby, but . . . part of the consciousness of all Armenians."

Next Page: 'The Turkish denial position has no defenders on Capitol Hill' . . .


Money for lobbying, says Ardouny, comes "from individual support, from individuals who care obviously about what we're doing, who care about the U.S.-Armenian relationship, that want to see Armenia make the strides it's making in terms of its democratic reforms and its independence."

He adds that "the ongoing denial campaign of the Turkish government" helps to bring the Armenian community together.

The real reason for the genocide resolution's passage by the Foreign Affairs Committee, says Ardouny, is that "we have the truth on our side."

There is no debate in Washington over the validity of the resolutions claim, he argues. House members worried about supporting it "have talked about a timing issue, but the Turkish denial position has no defenders on Capitol Hill."

Another factor, he says, is the current recognition that genocide is occurring in Darfur: "With genocide still unfolding in Darfur, the consciousness in America has certainly been raised to that issue. If you can't affirm the Armenian genocide how are you going to address future and current genocide?"

In July 2004, the House and Senate passed a resolution declaring that the atrocities then unfolding in Sudan were genocide and urging the Bush administration to refer to them as such.

Flip-Flopping Lawmakers

But American "consciousness" of genocide has certainly not reduced the controversy surrounding the Armenian resolution, the intensity of which is evidenced by the shifting positions of U.S. House members on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The most prominent example may be that of California Democrat Rep. Jane Harman. Harman, who notes that her "own family was decimated by the Holocaust," initially cosponsored the latest version of the resolution.

In early October, however, as the resolution came up for a committee vote, she suddenly flipped her position. In a subsequent Los Angeles Times op-ed, she offered this explanation for her change of heart:

After a visit in February to Turkey, where I met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Armenian Orthodox patriarch and colleagues of murdered Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, I became convinced that passing this resolution again at this time would isolate and embarrass a courageous and moderate Islamic government in perhaps the most volatile region in the world.

While Harman's actions drew media attention -- not to mention the attention of young Armenian activists, who reportedly confronted her at an early October political rally in California with shouts of "genocide denier, hypocrite and liar" -- less attention has been given to the actions of another, more influential House member, who has long gone back and forth on the issue.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, also a California Democrat, cosponsored and publicly supported one of the first Armenian genocide resolutions back in 1984. But Lantos, who like Harman is Jewish, and is the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to U.S. Congress, changed his stance during the 1990s. When the issue was brought to a vote again in 2000, he said he opposed it because it would be "counterproductive" for Turkish-Armenian, Turkish-Greek, and Turkish-U.S. relations.

When the resolution came up again in 2005, Lantos again changed his position, and began supporting it. Then the Foreign Affairs Committee's ranking Democrat, he said he wanted to punish Turkey for refusing to allow U.S. forces to invade Iraq through Turkey two years earlier. "Our Turkish friends need to understand that support from the United States for matters that are important to them is predicated upon their support for things that are important to the United States," Lantos said at the time, suggesting he saw the issue in terms of a quid pro quo.

Lantos remained in favor of the resolution this time around, a development that "shocked and angered" Turkish diplomats in Washington, according to the Turkish Daily News. A week after the vote, the pro-Turkey, English-language publication ran with the headline, "Turkey Loses Jewish Alliance," and asserted that Jewish-American lawmakers such as Lantos had been "unimpressed" by Turkey's efforts to lobby against the resolution. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's foreign policy adviser reportedly criticized Lantos' vote, saying, "we have seen that his understanding of history is changing with time."

Evinch, of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations, says the quid-pro-quo reasoning behind Lantos' support for the resolution shows just how bluntly political the Armenia issue has become.

"When [Lantos] said that, I could see then that the level of debate around this issue was rapidly descending to a sort of hard politics that had nothing to do with the substance of the Armenian claim," said Evinch. "I look at Lantos as a wise person and not a person that would stoop to those levels, who would support a resolution as a quid pro quo to get back at Turkey."

The Role of Jewish and Pro-Israel Groups

Other analysts say Turkey's foreign policy in recent years has contributed to the unease among would-be Turkey supporters in the U.S. government, including many in the Jewish community who had previously supported Turkey as a beacon of Islamic moderation in the Middle East. Most notable has been the Turkish government's increased diplomatic and economic relations with Middle East actors hostile to the United States and Israel.

In February 2006, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was received in Ankara by members of Turkish President Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, putting Turkey alongside Russia as the world's only non-Arab country to open its doors to the Palestinian party. A Voice of America report at the time noted that "Western diplomats said the visit would likely harm Turkey's strong ties with the Jewish state." Turkey has also increased ties with Syria, whose president, Bashar al-Assad, was in Ankara in mid-October voicing his support for the Turkish Parliament's passage of the measure to allow a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq.

Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow and the director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says "the Hamas visit and other things such as the enhancement of dialogue between Iran, Turkey and Syria, have worked together to trip some people who have been watching with nervousness over Turkey's commitment to the West and how that commitment may be coming undone."

But, Cagaptay added: "I wouldn't say that American Jews have lost heart in Turkey, they still see it as an extremely valuable ally in the region."

Evinch shares a similar view, taking issue with assertions, such as the one made by the Turkish Daily News, that the Jewish community's support for Turkey is waning.

"In the Jewish-American community, there is a liberal part and a conservative part," said Evinch. "The Liberal part has become more and more sensitive to the Armenian perspective of World War I history, while the conservative part, which is thinking more about what is good for Israel, has been less receptive to the Armenian thesis."

Jewish-American advocacy groups in Washington and nationally appear to be carefully managing their public stance on the resolution.

The Anti-Defamation League, a New York-based Jewish organization, has publicly opposed any congressional resolution condemning the Armenian genocide. While ADL leaders wrote in an August statement that what Armenians went through at the end of World War I was "indeed tantamount to genocide," they went on to say "we continue to firmly believe that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States."

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the leading pro-Israel advocacy and lobbying group in Washington, told World Politics Review that AIPAC has "not taken a position" on the genocide resolution. Asked why, she said: "It's not within the issues we focus on. That particular issue is outside of our purview."

Some Armenian-Americans have expressed frustration that Jewish groups have not taken a more aggressive stance in favor of the Armenian resolution. "It's certainly been a frustration point in the Armenian community here," said one prominent Armenian-American activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Other members of the Armenian community emphasize the support the genocide resolution has received from an array of interest groups. Ardouny, for instance, said the ADL took "a positive step forward" in publicly acknowledging that Armenian suffering was tantamount to genocide.

The Armenian Assembly of America has compiled a list of 53 "third-party organizations in support" of the genocide resolution. The list includes a variety of ethnic and national advocacy organizations, such as the Arab American Institute and the Belarusan-American Association.

However, even with such support, concerns about a genocide resolution's consequences for U.S.-Turkey relations seem to be, for the time being at least, paramount in the minds of members of Congress. A number of Democrats last week pulled their support of the resolution, and in statements to the press Pelosi allowed for the possibility that the resolution will not come to a full House vote.

Guy Taylor is World Politics Review senior editor.