26 January 2008

2302) Letter To Obama by Ergun KIRLIKOVALI

My letter to Obama. I urge you to write your own…
Ergun KIRLIKOVALI


Senator Barack Obama
713 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-2854
(202) 228-4260 fax
(202 228-1404 TDD
January 25, 2008

Dear Senator Obama,

We, the Turkish-Americans of Southern California, are shocked and saddened by the insensitive, biased, and ill-informed statement on U.S.-Armenia relations posted in your official campaign website at:

www.barackobama.com/2008/01/19/barack_obama_on_the_importance.php

You treat the unproven Armenian allegations of genocide at face value, ignore the countless Armenian hate crimes committed against Turks and other Muslims, dismiss the Armenian terrorism and aggression (then and now,) disregard the many violent Armenian armed revolts and followed by treason, distort the other side of the story, disrespect the Turkish and Azeri sensitivities, build your foreign policy on such flawed and narrow-minded scope… and still hope to be successful in that part of the world, IF elected president?

May I kindly remind you that the U.S. presidency is neither a school nor a laboratory where ill-conceived and disastrous foreign policies are irresponsibly put to test?

The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has already lambasted recently your clearly anti-Turkish biased approach on the Turkish-Armenian conflict and suggested, instead, more research and dialogue among the scholars, repeating his 2005 proposal to Armenia (which is yet to be accepted by the Armenians.) You might check with a world map to see how prominently Turkey is positioned, in the epi-center of the tri-continental area encompassing the Balkans- the Caucasus- and the Middle East. If you think you can freely insult and defame Turks, such as with your ill-advised support for the bogus Armenian genocide, and still go to Turkey to ask for their cooperation in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Iran, or Russia, or elsewhere, then one cannot blame those who accuse you of being too inexperienced to be America’s president.

Senator, you received your law degree at Harvard in 1991, correct?

Forgive me, but didn’t they teach you at Harvard “the difference between allegation and fact?”

Don’t you know when an allegation can transform to a fact?

Only after due process at a court of law where the accused are given a fair chance to cross-examine the accusers’ evidence and allowed to introduce counter evidence and witnesses, am I right,? Do beliefs, convictions, guesses suffice to turn an allegation into a fact? Can your “belief”, as you out it, take the place of a court verdict?

Did your Armenian supporters fail to inform you that there has never been a trial by a “competent tribunal”, a la Nuremberg, to reach a verdict of genocide? Or that this is a prerequisite, as set forth by the article six of the 1948 U.N. Convention on Genocide, to label an event a genocide?

Or that the three other instances of trials during and after WWI all seem to refute the genocide claims? ( The first:1921 Malta Tribunal by the British, dissolved due to lack of evidence; the second: 1920 Kangaroo courts in occupied Istanbul, an vindictive and partisan effort by the victors in exacting vengeance; and the third: 1916 Ottoman Court trying Ottomans, ironically disproving the genocide claims and proving it was Temporary Resettlement)

So, Senator, would it be too much to ask a man of law, such as yourself, to please respect the supremacy of law first and foremost?

And, Senator, what would you then call those who passionately assign guilt to others without the benefit of a court verdict ? (Last time I looked, the term was “lynch mobs”.)

Are you comfortable being a part of such a lynch mob, Senator Obama?

The history of African-Americans in this country should make you a bit more sensitive, I would think, about joining lynch mobs, wouldn’t you agree Senator Obama?

The Armenians allegations of genocide enjoy popular acceptance, I realize, but this must be observed in the context of political correctness and prejudice. The area of genocide scholarship, a tool recently invented and mostly financed b the Armenian lobby, has become all too powerful, and not many are willing to question their outrageous claims, for fear of being intimidated and labeled as Holocaust deniers. Not all suffering, not all deaths, not all relocations are genocide, Senator. To be able to use that term, you must have a verdict by a “competent tribunal” which the genocide “lynch mobs” clearly lack.

In addition, there exists an age-old prejudice against Turks, making the wildest claims of Armenians (and their mentors and supporters such as Western missionaries, diplomats, journalists, and others) all the more acceptable, by people unwilling to study the issues objectively. The Armenian lobby has certainly not proven that there was a genocide conducted against Armenians, nor has anyone else. Many legitimate historians, researchers, and experts disagree with this conclusion, as the evidence for genocide rests upon hearsay and forgeries. Even a few scholars have faulted the Armenian arguments with deliberate distortions questioning their morals and ethics.

While some Armenian scholars may have less than rudimentary knowledge of Ottoman language, a rich and complex amalgam of Turkish, Arabic, and Persian, steeped in Islamic religion and age old customs, most do not even that much. This lack of mastership of Ottoman language may help explain, but not excuse, the Armenian scholars’ misinterpretations and/or fabrications. This may also explain why most Armenian scholars have not been seen pouring over the Ottoman archives in Turkey, while researchers from 80 countries have (Armenia’s archives still closed.) Yet, these obvious deficiencies somehow do not seem to stop neither the Armenian lobby, nor its supporters from making outrageous and unsubstantiated accusations against the Ottoman Empire, as well as sometimes even Ataturk and present day Turkey. One would surely expect higher standards of decency for the “genocide industry”.

The Armenian genocide claim is highly politicized and loaded with manipulations, fraudulently equating Turks with Nazis, which leads to further prejudice and hatred against Turkish people. If you support highly selective source materials, akin to Ku Klux Klan literature attempting to present a portrayal of blacks and Jews, then that is a matter all honorable people, American or not, need to be concerned about.

Partisan approaches such as yours, Senator Obama, divides and polarizes us, Americans, according to our backgrounds, Turks and Armenians, Muslims and Christians, and harms the ability to explore and discuss controversial issues in a reasoned, peaceful, civilized, and hopeful manner. You should be encouraging more research and dialog among Turks and Armenians, not merely provide an outlet for vicious anti-Turkish propaganda based on bias and bigotry, spreading racism and hatred. In that regard, Senator Obama, you have erred.

While some amongst us may be forgiven for taking the blatant and ceaseless Armenian propaganda at face value and believing Armenian falsifications merely because they are repeated so often, it is difficult and painful for someone like me, the son of Turkish survivors on both maternal and paternal sides, of yet untold, unfairly dismissed, or prejudicially ignored massacres of Turks during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 (which preceded the World War I of 1914-18 and the Turkish Independence War of 1919-1922.) These seemingly endless “War years” of 1912-1922 brought wide-spread death and destruction to Ottoman Muslims as well as others. Those nameless, faceless victims are killed for a second time today with politically motivated and baseless charges of Armenian genocide.

Allegations of Armenian genocide are racist and dishonest history. They are racist because they imply “Turkish dead are not important, Armenian dead are” and ignore the Turkish suffering: about 3 million dead during WWI; around half a million of them at the hands of Armenian nationalists. By ignoring the suffering of one side completely, any war, including the American civil war, may be made to look like a genocide.

And the allegations of Armenian genocide are dishonest because they deliberately dismiss “The Six T’s” of the Turkish-Armenian conflict:

1) Tumult (as in many violent Armenian armed uprisings)
2) Terrorism (by Armenian nationalists and militias from 1894-1920)
3) Treason (Armenians joining the invading enemy armies)
4) Territorial demands (where Armenians were a minority, not a majority)
5) Turkish suffering and losses (i.e. those caused by the Armenian nationalists) .
6) Tereset (Temporary Resettlement) triggered by the first five T’s above and amply documented as such; not to be equated to the Armenian misrepresentations as genocide.)


Armenians, thus, effectively put an end to their millennium of relatively peaceful and harmonious co-habitation in Anatolia with Muslims by killing their Muslim/Turkish neighbors and openly joining the invading enemy. Western diplomats and Christian missionaries were behind all of the “6 T’s” listed above. The west was raining death and destruction on the Ottoman lands. Turks and other Muslims were only defending their home like any citizen anywhere would do.

If you truly believe in freedom of speech, then please don’t attempt to silence people like me who disagree with you. Refusing to listen to responsible opposing views is a form of censorship and does violate my freedom of speech as an American. Include the other side of the story, my side, in your genocide talks. Freedom of speech should be honored by such “solid deeds”, not simply by “hollow words” and clichés.

As a presidential candidate, I believe you have a responsibility to ensure that the public is given a fair chance to hear all sides of a controversy truthfully and that “partisan accounts” are not presented to unsuspecting masses as “settled history”.

I coined a new term back in 2003, my humble gift to the English language, to describe the stance of the Armenian lobby and their supporters on the issue of the Turkish-Armenian conflict: “ETHOCIDE”, a brief definition of which is “deliberate and systematic extermination of ethics via malicious mass deception for political and other benefits.”

Senator Obama, will you please re-consider your ethocidal stand on the Turkish-Armenian conflict?

Fairness, honesty, and truth are all that I ask.

Ergun KIRLIKOVALI
Son of Turkish-survivors from both maternal and paternal sides
Western Regional Director
Federation Of Turkish-American Assoc., New York
9741 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618-4324
Phone: 949-878-1186
Fax: 949-788-1051
www.turkla.com