09 April 2008

2421) Dr. Hovanissian Has Passed From The South Florida by Coskal

Before last week, as a Turkish scholar, I have not heard about Dr. Hovanissian and his claims about the so-called Armenian unfortunate incident that happened in 1915. Being the curious scholar, . . and a devoted Turkish that I am, I decided to go and hear him about the topic he was covering.

It was the evening of April 6, 2008 at the Florida Atlantic University around 3 30 pm when I arrived to the place. There were mainly above average 60-70 years old Armenians with his relatives who were also walking with us, Turkish people who were going to join the meeting, talking mainly Armenian amongst themselves. Nothing was out of the ordinary, mainly bunch of people going to the meeting. From the talk they have with each other, and the gestures, they looked more like they went to the church in the Sunday Morning together, and decided to also join this meeting after lunch. Most of the attendants were mostly like paying a visit to the meeting in order to just socialize.

When we went into the conference room, I have noticed that some of the Armenians were distributing handouts to the empty chairs for the upcoming visitors. I was curious enough to grab one of them thinking that this must be some sort of a document, some sort of a proof of their allegations against Turkish government, or maybe against the Turkish hospitable reputations, known almost for thousands of years against the minorities within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. Not at all, it was the life story of the Dr. Hovanissian. During that time, one of our devoted Turkish friends of our Gulsay Hanim was already holding the banner that had the pictures of the Turkish diplomats who were killed by the Armenian Terrorist organization called the ASALA.

Moreover, some of our devoted Turkish ladies also were trying to distribute the copies of the documents, the proofs that are actually against the allegations, as well as the copies of the pictures of the violent Armenian Militia’s crimes that was committed against the Turkish farmers and families back in that time. The oldest the Armenians were the least tolerant ones against those fliers our Turkish friends were trying to hand out. Some of them cursed, some of them shouted, even some time in the middle of the presentation, the Police has to literally kick one of the Armenians out of the conference room by dragging him outside. Mainly, Aydan Hanim, Meltem hanim, Ayse hanim, Biray hanim, and couple of other Turkish ladies were the ones who were trying to hand out some facts about the issue that is why they were the ones who had to deal with some of the cursing and confrontation with the people.

Then, the presentation started Dr. Hovanissian took almost 1 and a half hour, maybe even two, to show his vacation pictures, and couple of the ruins of eastern Turkey. And he finished with the convenient picture of him and Hrant Dink together shaking hands. Not even one slide he showed that might even be closest to the proof to his allegations, or maybe even a document from any archive, Maybe British, French, or Armenian. The presentation overall has no scholar value what so ever in trying to prove the allegations. Then, Questions started, mainly our Turkish friends, and some of the Turkish associations’ representatives, such as FTAA, and ATAA, asked some questions about the allegations. Mainly, we asked;

• Why does not Armenia want to cooperate in trying to getting together with both sides of the historians and discuss the issue with opening the archives to the public as well as to the international groups who are interested to be a part of the resolution?

On this question, Dr. Hovanissian claims that Armenian archives are wide open. This was apparently news to us and the news to the rest of the world

• What do you think about the fact that before even Turkish side take any action, the Armenian rebels started killing Turkish farmers, and started forming a riot to try to claim the land from the Ottoman empire?

He commented on that vaguely. He said that he would not support any violence against anybody, and he also kind of accepted the fact that the Armenian rebels might have actually had something to do with the unfortunate incident.

The professor who was leading the Q/A period was asking the Turkish people not to commend but just ask the questions, but I guess it differed when Mrs. Batmaciyan (Basmaciyan possibly) took the term and extensively made her comment about the Turkish government needed to accept the blame and start the dialog after that. This was not even a question but for some reason the professor let her do so maybe because she was the woman with the money. She was the woman who brought him here, and supported financially for the event. Mrs. Batmaciyan was actually from Istanbul, and went to the Robert College, and also Bogazici University, and moreover every year she goes to Turkey in order to spend some time with her so-called left-over Armenian family in summer. (So she says! and my heart went “tiki tiki”  for her because of the fact that her left-over family in Turkey were so unfortunate that they had to send her the Robert College and the Bogazici University, vah vah). When I was listening to her, I was laughing inside of how much conflict she even has with herself by still enjoying her summers in the country for which she tries to feed hate others after she turns back to United States with the considerable wealth she already has.

Overall, the answers Dr. Hovennassian gave did not sound anything like the truth. Some of the answers were not even the answers, just his ongoing allegations. He did not provide any document. And most importantly, with the most effective questions we probably prevented him from making any valid point for his accusations. It might not change the minds of the Armenians, but it was definitely a joke to the non-Armenian people in the crowd.

After meeting, one of the families approached me to ask me if I love my country, pointing out the Turkish flag I was carrying. I said;

Then, her son asked me “what do you think about this issue then?”
I said “I don’t believe that Dr. Hovannassian point of view is accurate”.
Then he said; “then, you should read more history” with the tone of a voice that was also accusing me. My reply to him was;

“That is exactly what I did. I did read my side of the story with the supporting documents and proofs from the several different countries’ archives, that is why I don’t believe Dr. Hovannasian”

He did not like the answer, but by that time, I was already friendly with her mom by trying to find her a can of drink because she was very thirsty and those younger Armenians were grabbing the cans even before their mothers and fathers. But my search was successful and I was able to find

The last can of diet soda for that Armenian mother! 

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