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27 July 2008

2544) Media Scanner Jul 2008 (100 Items)

  1. Managing The Difficult Balance Between Tourism And Authenticity: Kumkapi
  2. Turkish Filmmaker's Documentary Provides Fresh Look At History
  3. An Open Letter To Senator Obama
  4. Ambassadorial Nominee Attempts To Differentiate U.S. Policy From Turkey's Genocide Denial
  5. Marie Yovanovitch: Our Embassies Take Every Opportunity To Encourage Dialogue Between Armenia And Turkey
  6. Turkey And Armenia Extending Olive Branch To Each Other
  7. Armenia Misses The Trans-Caucasus Train
  8. A New Railway Line And Some Regional Realities
  9. The Shadow Of Hrant Dink On Turkish-Armenian Debate
  10. Zardusht Alizade: West Forced Turkey To Reconcile With Armenia
  11. Anca Update: Armenian NFL Lineman Tackles Genocide Denial
  12. Turkey's Steps Reciprocated By Armenia, Says Babacan
  13. Lebanon’s New Cabinet Included Two Armenians
  14. Babacan: Gul’s Attendance In Armenia Depends On Developments Between Two Countries
  15. Disputable Issues Will Always Exist Between Armenia And Turkey
  16. Do Armenian Organizations In The U.S.A. Delay Their Approval Of U.S. Ambassador To Armenia?
  17. Family Fun: A Day In The Gulag? By Cori Anderson
  18. Freedom Of Press Debated In Bozcaada,
  19. Hadrian And The World That Became Turkey,
  20. Armenian Premier Urges End to Anti-Turkish Sentiments
  21. Turkey's Intention To Normalize Relations With Armenia `Erroneous', Baku Says
  22. 'Obama Would Need Turkey's Cooperation'
  23. Why Is Turkey Afraid Of The Patriarchate? By Ioannis Karalis
  24. Turkish Daily News: Armenian And Turkish Officials Held Two Round Of Talks During Past Three Months
  25. Gul to send conciliatory message to Armenia
  26. Armenia Included In Captive Nations List
  27. Babacan: Turkey Is A ‘Door Of Life’ For Armenia
  28. U.S. House State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee Maintained Parity In Military Assistance To Armenia And Azerbaijan
  29. Some try hard, others play card!
  30. European Armenian Federation Appeals To Sarkozy
  31. Alexander Iskandaryan: "Turkey May Give Up Nagorno Karabakh Issue For Its Own Interests"
  32. Ruben Safrastyan: Turkey Shows Interest In Hamshen Problem
  33. Expert: Turkish People Won’t Allow Authorities To Meet Armenia Halfway, Ignoring Baku’s Interests
  34. I am mesmerized by the ingenuity of ANCA, collecting donations
  35. Turkey And Armenia: From Secret Talks To "Soccer Diplomacy"?
  36. Historic Visit Of Turkish President Near The Border With Armenia, Closed Since 1993
  37. Severe Struggle Has Started In The Region For The Position Of Regional Power-Holder
  38. Usa Can Make Gul Arrive In Yerevan And Have Aliyev Sign A Treaty Of Peace With Nagorno Karabakh
  39. Daughter of Armenian Terrorist Mourad "Moose" Topalian Is In The News
  40. ANCA: Halacoglu Issues Public Statements Which Always Prove Untrue
  41. Turkey-Armenia Relations and International Law,
  42. Bush's Ambassador Designate To Yerevan Persists In Not Using 'G-Word'
  43. Sarksyan Proposes ‘Fresh Start’ For Gradual Normalization Serzh Sarksyan
  44. Dink Portrait On Display In Press History Museum
  45. Yusuf Halajoglu: “I Receive Proposals From Dashnaks To Investigate Genocide Committed By Armenians In Turkey”
  46. Serzh Sargsyan: Armenia And Turkey Should Not Be Permanent Rivals
  47. Dashnaks Warn Sarkisian Over Armenian Genocide Study By Emil Danielyan
  48. Armenia Extends Goodwill Gesture To Turkey, Again, Ankara Continues Its Blockade Of Armenia; Genocide Denial
  49. Armenian Genocide International Recognition Will Ensure Security And Future Of Armenian Nation
  50. We Are Ready To Talk To Turkey, By Serzh Sargsyan, From Today's Wall Street Journal Europe
  51. President of Armenia: Turkish Visit To Be A Symbolic Start
  52. ADL Leaders Discuss Israel-Turkey Relations with Top Government Officials in Ankara
  53. After Meetings In Turkey, Foxman Says Fallout Over 'Genocide' Flap Is 'Behind Us'
  54. Binghamton University Professor Resigns Over Dispute On Armenian Genocide
  55. ANCC Calls To Put An End To Turkish Lies And Misinformation
  56. OSCE PA Resolution Mentions Neither Armenia Nor Armenian Genocide
  57. Gül Has First Talks With Medvedev, ‘Courtesy Meeting’ With Sarksyan
  58. Armenia's Sarkisian Invites Turkish President To Watch Football Game
  59. ‘They Will Make Me Prime Minister’
  60. Group's Stance On Armenian Genocide Questioned
  61. Fact Of Genocide Not Up For Discussion, Says Arf Bureau
  62. They Are Making The Propaganda Of The Genocide Lie Museum
  63. Before Hrant (BH) After Hrant (AH)
  64. An Interview With Kourosh Zaim Amil Imani
  65. 'Genocide' Question Still Haunts Armenia-Turkey Relations,
  66. M.F.A. Spokesman On Armenian President's Statements
  67. Yusuf Halacoglu: I Receive Proposals To Find Out What Really Happened
  68. Serj Sargsyan: "If Abdulla Gul Visits Armenia, We Will Announce A New Symbolic Start In Our Relations"
  69. It's The Oil, Stupid! by Noam Chomsky
  70. Turkey’s Good Intentions And Armenia by Ömer Engin Lütem
  71. Why Do The New Demanders Of Armenian Cause Uproar
  72. Armenian Genocide Remaining Priority Of National Foreign Policy
  73. Turkish President Unlikely To Arrive In Armenia
  74. ‘Dig Deeper Into Dink Murder-Ergenekon Link’
  75. Expert: I Do Not Rule Out Lavrov Was Instructed To Help Normalization Of Armenian-Turkish Relations
  76. A Great Step By Turkey For Georgia - Azerbaijan - Armenia Interconnection
  77. Arf 'Dashnaktsutyun': Fact Of Armenian Genocide Cannot Become Subject Of Discussions Between Armenian And Turkish Presidents
  78. Sargsyan's Proposal Found A Positive Response In Ankara
  79. 37 Per Cent Of Russians Say Turkey Exercised Political Program Of Extermination Of Armenians
  80. Time To Expose Lies:Taner Akcam's Response To Yusuf Halacoglu Article
  81. Turkey Not Ready To Recognize The Genocide Of Armenians by Gevorg Harutyunyan
  82. Reconciliation Attempts Between Turkey And Armenia by Ömer Engin LUTEM
  83. United Nations Screens Controversial "Screamers" Film in Tokyo
  84. The Armenian Issue, Genocide By The Ottomans?
  85. Ancc: Turkey Has Distinction Of Being World's Worst Perpetrator Of Crimes Against Humanity
  86. Telephone Conversation Between President Of Turkmenistan And Armenia
  87. Russian Foreign Minister To Discuss Nagorno Karabakh Conflict And Opening Of Armenian-Turkish Border In Turkey
  88. Turkish Thesis Regarding 1915 Events Adopted by OSCE
  89. Terrorism - How Not To Combat It By Asghar Ali Engineer
  90. Chief Prosecutor Accused AK Party For Trying To Establish Theocracy
  91. ADL Clears G-Word Fallout, Pushes For Ties With Armenia
  92. Astana Meeting To Gather Gül, Sarksyan At The Same Table
  93. Who Are the Jews of Europe? The Istanbulian
  94. Ara Kochunyan: Introduction Of Armenian Issue In Russian-Turkish Agenda 'Exceptional Case'
  95. Tiptoeing The Turkish Tightrope: Sargsyan Sees Mixed Reaction At Home After Moscow Statements by Aris Ghazinyan
  96. Dashnaks Worried About Sarkisian Support For Turkish-Armenian Panel By Ruzanna Khachatrian
  97. Genocide Recognition ‘Still On Armenia Foreign Policy Agenda’ By Ruben Meloyan
  98. Armenia: Presidential Visit To Russia Sparks Speculation On Turkish-Armenian Relations by Haroutiun Khachatrian
  99. Are The University Presidents Next? / Detentions Waves Of Prominent Soldiers, Politicans, Journalists: Intimidation Method? & Coordinated Media
  100. Political Prisoners or Plotters?





Managing The Difficult Balance Between Tourism And Authenticity: Kumkapi
Marlene Schäfers, Istanbul - Turkish Daily News
July 26, 2008, The central square of Kumkapi, - a pedestrian zone closed to traffic since 1989 – is lined with numerous fish restaurants, which, in the summer, occupy the sidewalks with their white-clothed tables, vying for customers. Interspersed are shops selling fishing equipment and, a little toward the nearby Marmara Sea, Istanbul’s main fish market is to be found, where fish is sold wholesale to fish mongers and restaurants throughout the entire city.

In the evening hours when the sun is about to set and Istanbul's swallows glide chittering through the air, Akman Üzüm sits in front of his shop in Kumkapi, knotting a fishing net with professional hands.

Around him, life is starting to become busy at this hour of the day – the numerous fish restaurants are preparing for visitors, both Turks and tourists, expected after sunset. Pavements are being swept, and tables set out with white tablecloths and decorated with large flower bouquets. “Kumkapi is the center of three things: Entertainment, fish and nets,” said the net maker, whose shop sells professional fishing equipment to fishermen along the Turkish coasts – from Istanbul to as far as Cyprus.

And, indeed, the central square of Kumkapi, with its main thoroughfare and side streets – a pedestrian zone closed to traffic since 1989 – is lined with numerous fish restaurants, which, in the summer, occupy the sidewalks with their white-clothed tables, vying for customers. Interspersed are shops selling fishing equipment and, a little toward the nearby Marmara Sea, on the other side of the suburban train line, Istanbul's main fish market is to be found, where fish is sold wholesale to fish mongers and restaurants throughout the entire city.

“Because of the proximity to the fish market, the fish sold in Kumkapi's restaurants is the freshest fish you can get in Turkey,” said Mehmet Yazici, owner of the “Okyanus Fish Restaurant” and head of the association of Kumkapi's restaurant and shop owners. The association, which he heads together with Kemal Duranog(lu, has played a decisive role in the shaping of the district as it appears today. “Kumkapi has long since been a place of traditional Turkish meyhanes, but in the early 1990s it experienced an incredible explosion in demand. At that time, there was no “Nevizade” yet – Kumkapi was a “first.” It became the first location to combine good food with entertainment and music, and the first place in Istanbul where restaurant tables were moved out and onto the pavement. The increase in demand was also linked to the increase in the tourism sector, especially tourism from Russia in the mid-1990s.” When speaking of the rise of Kumkapi's fish restaurants, Mehmet Yazici hints vaguely at the fact that this sudden increase in demand was not all for the better – the immense demand led to a sharp increase in prices while quality decreased, and pick-pocketing became a serious problem in the area. As a response, the association became active, in 1998, in order to change this trend, working to both increase security and the quality of food, as well as representing the interests of Kumkapi's restaurant owners to the municipal authorities. Today, 10 years after the beginning of the association's active work, the satisfied tone of its head points not only to the success of these measures – indeed, the quarter's restaurant owners have been able to find the delicate balance between commercial tourism and “authenticity,” while catering, at the same time, to foreigners and local residents.

The other Kumkapi
Moreover, Kumkapi's association of restaurant owners works for more than its own direct interests. Since 2000 it has served free meals to Istanbul's elderly, homeless and street children, in cooperation with other nongovernmental organizations. On six days each year, a total of 2,000 people come to enjoy a dinner, which in their daily lives they are worlds away from. In organizing these philanthropic activities, the association might have been inspired by the reality to be encountered in Kumkapi, just beyond the neat and clean pedestrian area – another Kumkapi, where most people can almost never afford an evening at one of the white-clothed tables set out in the midst of their neighborhood. This other Kumkapi is inhabited by a colorful mix of people coming from all over Turkey, the Caucasus and the Central Asian Turkic Republics, as well as from Arab and African countries, where some having settled permanently with their families, while others are here on a temporary basis. Row houses of the 19th century line many of the narrow, cobbled lanes, on which children play and women chat in front of their houses. While most are in a desolate state today, these houses are witnesses to Kumkapi's past as a district of Istanbul's Armenian and Greek middle-classes of the late 19th century; where its residents realized the dream of their own, even though modest, of owning homes with little backyard gardens.The settlement of Istanbul's Greek and Armenian communities in this part of the city goes back as far as 1453, when the Ottomans systematically repopulated Constantinople after the conquest with both Muslim and non-Muslim communities from all over the empire. Kumkapi, since then, has been dominated by Armenians and Greeks. Over the centuries, the quarter's population retained this ethnic-linguistic characteristic – in fact, as late as the 1950s, Kumkapi was still known as an Armenian quarter. Starting in the 1960s, however, Kumkapi's Armenian population began to decrease, with people moving abroad to Europe or America or simply to other quarters of the city, like Samatya, Yeniköy or Bakirköy.

Multi-ethnic past of Kumkapi
Today, the various churches – Armenian, Greek Orthodox and Syriac – as well as the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey, which are situated in Kumkapi, immediately remind the visitor of this multi-ethnic past. In some ways, the quarter has even regained its reputation as an Armenian quarter. Yet, the majority of Armenians residing in Kumkapi today are immigrants from Armenia, while of the “original” Armenian population, only a few individuals still call Kumkapi their home. Among these, are the brothers Ardas, and Manuel, who were born and grew up in Kumkapi. Now, in their 70s, they spend their entire days in the local tea house, playing backgammon and listening to the chitchat of the younger men. Both still bachelors, at sunset they leave the talk and backgammon behind, walking down the cobbled back street, side by side, until they disappear around the corner, returning to their home. The past is a topic they prefer not to talk about – small people as we are, they say, doing different jobs with the local craftsmen, what do we have to tell Being Armenian does not hold an important part in their life or identity – the Armenian language they have long forgotten, and there is nothing that would connect Ardas, and Manuel to the immigrants from Armenia of recent years. The fishing equipment seller, Arto, another of the “original” Armenians of Kumkapi, and of the same generation as Ardas, and Manuel, has a very similar story to tell. While his wife still speaks and reads Armenian, he has forgotten the language. Yet, when talking of the old Kumkapi of his childhood, his voice takes on a melancholy tone. “There was no road for cars along the coast, then, as the entire coast was full of the little boats for fishermen.” He regrets that almost all Greeks and Armenians have left the quarter; in his eyes, this has meant a decline as it paved the way for the settlement of poor immigrants from Turkey's East, Armenia and the Asian Turkic Republics. Arto, himself, now lives in Bakirköy and underlines, resolutely: “Even if someone would give me a house, I would never live here.”The Greek and Armenian Kumkapi of the Ottoman and early Republican times has long vanished, with only a few representatives left today. In its place is a new constellation of immigrants and refugees, side by side with a thriving culinary and amusement center, catering to Istanbul's middle classes that has emerged. And, which form this constellation will be able to take on, whether it will be able to make up a mosaic in which the different parts complement each other, only the future will tell.


Turkish Filmmaker's Documentary Provides Fresh Look At History
July 26, 2008, Yasemin Sim Esmen Istanbul – Turkish Daily News
Young documentary filmmaker and journalist Mehmet Binay’s “Whispering Memories” handles the story of Armenians who stayed rather than left during the incidents of 1915. Looking at the historical events from a fresh point-of-view, Binay’s film has been screened at the Golden Apricot Film Festival in Armenian capital Yerevan, attracting much interest

A lot has been said about Armenians who left their homes in 1915, but not much has been said about those who stayed. It is this often overlooked aspect that documentary filmmaker and journalist Mehmet Binay tackles in a new film, “Whispering Memories.”

“Today, we need to prove that we do care about our past and we are ready to confess [our] mistakes, whatever geopolitical reason they might have had. I think filmmaking is a great way to reconcile with Armenians, who are an important part of our imperial past,” said Binay in an interview with the Turkish Daily News. He added that the events of 1915 resulted in a majority of Anatolian Armenians being wiped out from their ancestral homeland. “A significant cultural, social and economic element of our society was taken out of Turkey's mosaic, which we kept mentioning as a stronghold of our culture and identity throughout the centuries. 1915 was a terrible human disaster causing economic, social and political imbalances in eastern Turkey, while its effects still dominate our problems there.”

Binay comes from a family that migrated to modern-day Turkey from their ancestral land in the Balkans. With stories of migration in his past and a fascination with the richness of history and the mystery of eastern Turkey, Binay has traveled extensively in eastern Anatolia. “Its authenticity, complexity and the sorrow in people's eyes had been striking me while I was on my photographic journeys along the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which I've documented extensively since the 1990s,” said the filmmaker.

Discovering a unique village
It was during this journey that he came across ancient gravestones located in many spots in the village of Geben in the Taurus Mountains of Kahramanmaras, province. “[They] had struck me with their unknown origin and the sheer size of them standing up against time,” said Binay. “Whispering Memories” developed from a number of visits by the filmmaker to Geben, where village youngsters showed a desire to learn about their local history and, while investigating, came across Armenians who used to live in the area widely until 1915. “Some of the witnesses of this era and members of the Oral History Project were saying that some people in this village are the descendants of converted Armenians who either silently or by force became Muslims to be able to avoid deportation in 1915,” said Binay.

“Whispering Memories” brings a fresh look at the facts, wrote Taraf columnist Amberin Zaman.

“My initial journalistic instinct told me to keep a distance to these rural historic conversations by using the camera as an observer only,” said the filmmaker, who decided not to lead the interviews but just to listen to them in order to sustain objectivity. The documentary's producer and drama advisor, Caner Alper, then helped establish strong cinematographic links between the conversations and the filmmakers by integrating a three-day rural wedding into the visual story and having it serve as a leitmotif throughout the film.

Binay said he believes that honesty and neutrality are the strongholds of “Whispering Memories.” “We are able to understand economic and social links between Armenians and Turks prior to 1915 thanks to sincere conversations between village elders and youngsters,” he said. He said he believes that the wedding, the story of which is told in the film, helps viewers understand that story of “The Converts,” as marriage is a perfect way to mix different cultures, ethnicities and religions.

“Yet memories remain and live throughout generations if not condemned or discriminated just because of their being different. This is exactly how this small village in the Taurus Mountains was able to develop a liberal, open and peaceful society without getting too much polarized throughout the 20th century. Geben is a perfect example of how different roots and cultures can live peacefully together or side by side even today,” added Binay.

“Whispering Memories” was filmed over two years. The wedding was filmed in 2006, while preparations for rural history conversations were filmed in 2007. It took both Binay and village youngsters much effort and time to convince people to speak about those times in an open and frank way. Shooting the film in two years had some drawbacks and difficulties. “Village youngsters leading oral history conversations were present at the wedding a year ago but they'd grown up or changed, so we needed to make sure the audience didn't feel disturbed by those visual changes. The entire filming process required a lot of planning regarding time and lighting so we could fit those different segments in a natural flow,” Binay said.

The documentary was broadcasted on the Turkish news channel CNN-Türk on June 27, 2008, prior to its screening in the Golden Apricot Film Festival. In the period leading up to the documentary's broadcast on CNN-Türk, the documentary's makers set up a blog, a Web site, and a group on social networking Web site Facebook. Binay said the audience in Turkey was generally impressed by the objectivity and the lyrical flow of the storyline. “I received feedback from Turkish historians appreciating our work to find out honest and open remarks about 1915,” he said and added, “I also think documentaries are a popular and successful way to convey facts and figures about our history to the general public.”

The film's two screenings in Yerevan drew attention and the audience requested a long question and answer sessions afterwards, during which Binay was asked whether he was scared to film such a documentary in Turkey. “They also asked me why I filmed this documentary as a filmmaker with no Armenian or eastern roots. Armenians today do not know modern Turkey besides the fact that intellectuals such as Hrant Dink can be killed by ultra-nationalists simply by talking about the Turkish identity and accepting 1915 as genocide. They do not expect Turkish filmmakers to make fair and objective films or documentaries about 1915,” said Binay. He said “Whispering Memories” impressed the Armenian audience in Yerevan by providing a fair and objective look into historical events.

“Also some people in the audience [in Yerevan] told their own memories of converted grandmothers and other family members. They got very sentimental at certain points but they also laughed a lot during some of the wedding scenes,” said Binay.


An Open Letter To Senator Obama
July 26, 2008, O. Faruk Logoglu, Turkey
You are in a position to help make history on this difficult and highly emotive issue: Ask the Turks and the Armenians to talk and to listen to each other

Senator Obama, your inspiring march to the White House has fired the imagination not just of Americans voters, but of many millions more around the world. The promise of change, the willingness to engage and the readiness to hear and listen have succeeded in creating a truly global community of believers in your message. If you are elected the next American president, your choices and decisions will interplay with the hopes of men and women everywhere. It is an unprecedented, huge responsibility, but also a historic and unique opportunity never before had by any of your predecessors. To bring about positive, beneficial change, you will need to properly understand the challenges before you, be impartial, creative and possess a sense of justice and balance. You amply project these qualities. In your memoirs, you identify among the values you hold dear "honesty," "fairness," "straight talk" and "independent judgment." These are admirable references.

Getting Armenian claims right:
This is why I felt addressing this letter at this time might be helpful to you on an issue of tremendous importance to the Turkish people. I refer to the Armenian claims of genocide. So far, you have taken a nearly categorical stand in support of the Armenian views on the matter. Some may attribute your stance to the exigencies of election politics. Nevertheless, the insistent nature of your attitude on the Armenian claims suggests that you have arrived at your considered opinion after obviously giving some thought to the matter. I wish only to remind you of a few key facts in this connection and invite you to reflect on them. First, the veracity of the claims of genocide is profoundly contested. The Turks and the Armenians have diametrically opposed versions of the same set of events that occurred nearly a century ago. Their narratives are different and seemingly incompatible. Both sides challenge the authenticity of the documentary evidence offered by the other. Moreover, there is wide discrepancy over the number of lives lost on each side. The disagreement on what happened in 1915 is, however, not just between the Turks and the Armenians. Historians and other scholars of third parties are also deeply divided over the issue. Both sides can come up with long lists of names in support of their views. Notwithstanding the Armenian claims to the contrary, it is therefore a matter far from having been settled in favor of either party. Second, the internationally accepted standard for establishing the act of genocide beyond challenge is missing in the Armenian case. This is the absence of a ruling from an authorized legal tribunal. The Armenians have never proposed to take their case to court. No court has addressed the case or found the Turks guilty as charged. Clearly, resolutions of parliamentary bodies or pronouncements of eminent personalities, including politicians, cannot serve as substitutes for court judgments. Third, historical issues that have divided nations have ultimately always required for their resolution dialogue and conciliation. The Armenian Diasporas are trying to dictate their particular version of history to the international community as the truth. The Turks are defending their own truth. The various attempts at dialogue so far have been to no avail because for the Armenians the only legitimate purpose of these exercises is for the Turks to admit to the crime of genocide. So long as the two sides fail to come together, the wounds between these great peoples will not be healed. Finally, the Turkish government, with the unanimous backing of the Turkish Parliament, has formally proposed to the Armenian government the establishment of a joint commission of scholars and researchers to delve into the matter, examining all the relevant documentation and evidence. The Commission is open to the participation of third party representatives. It would work in transparency. The Turkish government has committed itself to the a priori acceptance of the findings of such a commission. This is a brave and honest proposal. Only recently and in a remarkable first by any international body, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE endorsed the validity and importance of the Turkish initiative.

Conciliation and dialogue:
Our times call for conciliation and dialogue. Perfunctory dismissal of the Turkish viewpoint would certainly please the Armenian lobby in America. However, it would hurt the Turkish people immensely and deal a serious and lasting blow to the all-important Turkish-American relationship. Upholding the values of fairness and independent judgment you and so many of us so dearly cherish should lead you to review the Armenian question in a broader context. You are in a position to help make history on this difficult and highly emotive issue: Ask the Turks and the Armenians to talk and to listen to each other. That is the road to change. That is the road to conciliation between Turks and Armenians.


Ambassadorial Nominee Attempts To Differentiate U.S. Policy From Turkey's Genocide Denial Cites "President's Prerogative" to Set Policy on Historical Events

WASHINGTON, DC -U.S. Ambassador Designate to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch, in the last of her eights sets of written responses to questions from members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, attempted to distance U.S. policy from Turkey's outright denial of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In response to a series of questions posed by panel member Russell Feingold (D-WI) regarding the difference between the U.S. and Turkish government's policies on recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the nominee stated that: "In contrast to the Turkish government's policy, the U.S. Government acknowledges and mourns as historical fact the mass killings, ethnic cleansing, and forced deportations that devastated over one and a half million Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire." The full text of the questions and responses are provided below.

"We remain disappointed that Ambassador Designate Yovanovitch provided evasive answers and non-responses in reply to Senator Feingold's clearly articulated questions. We are troubled by her assertion that it is somehow an appropriate 'prerogative' of the President - in complete disregard of the facts and counter to our nation's common morality - to allow a foreign country to impose a gag rule on America's defense of human rights," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. "We do, at the same time, note that the nominee makes at least a token effort to distance U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide -- as profoundly flawed as it is -- from the Turkish government's position of outright denial."

Ambassador Yovanovitch appeared as a witness before the Committee on June 19th. During this appearance, she faced a series of pointed questions from Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) regarding the Bush Administration's policy to mischaracterize the Armenian Genocide. Afterwards eight Senators submitted a series of written inquiries to the nominee. Concerned that Senators had not been given enough time to review Ms. Yovanovitch's responses, with many submitted less than 24 hours before the impending Committee vote, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called for a delay in Senate consideration, until Senators had a clearer picture of the nominee's position. A Committee decision on this posting is expected in mid-July.

President Bush nominated Amb. Marie L. Yovanovitch in March of this year to serve as America's next Ambassador to Armenia. The ANCA has spoken to Committee members about the value of carefully questioning Amb. Yovanovitch on the many issues she will face as the U.S. envoy in Yerevan, among them the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey and Azerbaijan's ongoing blockades of Armenia, and the need for a balanced U.S. role in helping forge a democratic and peaceful resolution to the Nagorno Karabagh conflict.

President Bush's previous nominee as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Richard Hoagland, was subject to two legislative holds by Sen. Menendez and was ultimately withdrawn by the Administration, following the nominee's statements denying the Armenian Genocide. The ANCA led the Armenian American community campaign opposing Hoagland's nomination, stating that a genocide denier could not serve as a credible and effective U.S. spokesperson in Armenia.
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Questions for the Record Submitted to Ambassador-Designate Marie L. Yovanovitch by Senator Russell Feingold (#1) Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 19, 2008

Question:
What conditions must be met for the Administration to finally recognize the slaughter of over 1.5 million Armenians during WWI by the Ottoman Empire as "genocide"? Specifically, if the Republic of Turkey recognized the genocide, would the United States then recognize it also? Additionally, how is the President's policy on recognizing the Armenian Genocide different from the Turkish government's policy?

Answer:
In contrast to the Turkish government's policy, the U.S. Government acknowledges and mourns as historical fact the mass killings, ethnic cleansing, and forced deportations that devastated over one and a half million Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire. The United States recognizes these events as one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, the "Medz Yeghern," or Great Calamity, as many Armenians refer to it. That is why every April the President honors the victims and expresses American solidarity with the Armenian people on Remembrance Day. It is the prerogative of the President to set the policy on how the Administration characterizes these historical events.

We have strongly encouraged Turkey to come to terms with its past. That will not be easy, just as it has not been easy for the United States to come to terms with dark periods of our own past.


Questions for the Record Submitted to Ambassador-Designate Marie L. Yovanovitch by Senator Russell Feingold (#2) Senate Foreign Relations Committee June 19, 2008

Question:
Should you be confirmed, how will you work to promote Armenian-Turkish reconciliation in a direction that would lead to full recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey and the United States? Additionally, how would you support efforts to promote overall reconciliation and improved relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

Answer:
If confirmed, I will continue this Administration's efforts to promote Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and normalization of relations. Specifically, I will continue, working with our Embassy in Ankara, Administration efforts to encourage Turkey to open its land border, reinstitute transportation, communication, and utility links between the two countries, and re-establish diplomatic relations. Contact begins to build trust, and trust is the necessary first step to reconciliation, facilitating Turkey's ability and willingness to examine the dark spots in its own history.

The Administration, through our Embassy in Ankara, also will be pressing for expanded freedom of expression in Turkey, helping to expand the public debate surrounding the events of 1915 that led to the amendment of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, under which individuals have been prosecuted for "insulting Turkishness." We welcome this progress, though clearly there is more to be done. The Administration will continue to encourage the Turkish authorities to end legal action against citizens for expressing their views.

As a Minsk Group Co-Chair nation, we believe the single most important step toward bolstering peace and prosperity in Armenia as well as Azerbaijan would be a peaceful, just, and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. During the past two years, the parties have moved closer than ever to a framework agreement based on the Basic Principles that have been the subject of intensive negotiations, thanks in large part to the active mediation of the United States as a Co-Chair of the OSCE's Minsk Group. The Minsk Group Co-Chairs remain fully committed to helping Armenia and Azerbaijan finalize these Basic Principles, and hope to build momentum in the coming months after an introductory meeting between Presidents Sargsyan and Aliyev in St. Petersburg on June 6. If I am confirmed, I would uphold our commitment to support the efforts of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to sustain the negotiations and narrow the differences between the sides to promote the soonest possible endorsement of the Basic Principles, so the parties can proceed on this basis with drafting a peace agreement.


Marie Yovanovitch: Our Embassies Take Every Opportunity To Encourage Dialogue Between Armenia And Turkey 14.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The U.S. Embassy in Ankara is committed to working with the Government of Turkey on ways in which the atrocities of 1915 can be studied, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to Armenia Marie L. Yovanovitch said in her response to Senator Obama’s question “What steps is the State Department taking to encourage greater study and recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey?”

“As a recent example, the Administration is currently laying the groundwork for an International Visitor Program that would bring archivists from the Turkish State Archives to the U.S. to look at the ways in which we do historical research. As a confidence building measure, the USG has contacted Armenian archivists to participate in the program, in the hope that, upon return, the archivists from both countries could work together on a joint program that would study the issue.

In addition, our Embassies take every opportunity in meetings with the Governments of Armenia and Turkey, and with civil society leaders from both countries, to encourage improved dialogue between them. Since 2006, the USG has provided over $700,000 in support of initiatives to increase people-to-people connections between Armenia and Turkey, including research projects, conferences, documentary production, and exchange and partnership programs with the goal of increasing cross-border dialogue and cooperation. These programs are focused on bringing together Armenian and Turkish NGOs, think tank researchers, academics and business leaders at the grass roots level by creating opportunities for them to work together on common projects that will benefit both countries,” Amb. Yovanovitch said, the ANCA reports.

Asked “How will you work with your counterparts in Ankara to decriminalize discussion of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey? Is the Department satisfied with recent modifications to Article 301 of Turkey's Criminal Code that allowed individuals such as Hrant Dink to be prosecuted for speaking about the Genocide? Why or why not?” she said, “The Administration has made clear to the Turkish authorities on many occasions that such prosecutions violate free expression, run counter to Turkey’s aspiration to join the European Union, and undercut Turkey’s strategic significance as an example of a secular democracy that can inspire reform throughout the broader Middle East and Central Asia.

The scope for free expression in Turkey, including on the Armenian issue, has expanded significantly in recent years, but clearly there is much more to be done. In May 2008, Turkey amended Article 301 of its Penal Code, under which individuals have been prosecuted for "insulting Turkishness." While the Administration would have preferred to have seen the repeal of Article 301, the amendments reduce the maximum possible sentence from three to two years and, most importantly, require the Minister of Justice to determine whether to accept the case for prosecution. The Minister’s role should help to reduce significantly the number of cases brought by zealous prosecutors. The Administration has encouraged the Turkish authorities to continue this progress and to end legal action against citizens for expressing their views.”

"We remain troubled by Ambassador Yovanovitch’s evasive answers, her outright non-responses, and her refusal, in her replies to Senator Obama and other Senators, to offer anything approaching a reasonable or factually supportable explanation of the reasons behind Administration’s misguided policy on the Armenian Genocide," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA.

"This being said, it appears as though Ambassador Yovanovitch and her colleagues have learned from the disastrous Hoagland experience and are coming to understand that the U.S. Senate will not accept – and the Armenian American community will never allow - an Ambassador to Armenia who denies the Armenian Genocide."


Turkey And Armenia Extending Olive Branch To Each Other
July 25, 2008, Vercihan Ziflioglu/First Person YEREVAN - Turkish Daily News
Political circles and the public in Armenia are quite curious about Turkish President Abdullah Gül's response to an invitation extended by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to watch the Turkey-Armenia football World Cup qualifier that will take place in Yerevan Sept. 6.

Rumors that Turkish and Armenian diplomats held secret negotiations over the topic in Switzerland have further increased the level of curiosity. Contact between the two sides certainly does not take place only in the meeting rooms of third parties. A group from Turkey also had contacts in Yerevan last week. Yet both sides, Turkey and Armenia, prefer to remain silent for now.

On the other hand, top-level Armenian politicians insistently refrain from being interviewed by journalists from the Turkish media these days, because they think any interviews they'd have with Turkish journalists would be manipulated, and therefore, not be reflected objectively to the Turkish public. So they try to be cautious about interviews, with the idea that they might spoil the course of softening relations between Turkey and Armenia. Even though I, as a Turkish journalist of Armenian descent, was not treated like other journalists in Yerevan, this did not save a planned interview that I was going to conduct with a top-level politician from postponement to an uncertain “next time” due to a last-moment occurrence.

I asked the opinions of many Armenians on the street. Most of them do not have a positive perspective toward the Sargsyan administration. My general impression is that the majority of citizens in Armenia want to see country's first president, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, in power again.

By the way, many citizens also think that the last presidential elections were biased. For them, the government of Sargsyan is the main source of the internal conflict that occurred in March. That is actually the reason why Sargsyan has recently been trying hard to regain the public's confidence. One of his big goals is to develop Armenia's economy, which has had a significant growth rate in recent years, and in this way, to increase the level of prosperity in Armenian society. But his priority is to expand the scope of bilateral relations with neighboring countries, which definitely, and above all, include Turkey.

Turkey's addressee Armenia, not the diaspora
Meanwhile, the “genocide” issue is still a taboo in Armenia. Only young intellectuals have a moderate approach toward possible dialogue with Turkey. “I believe in the importance of possible dialogue with Turkey,” said Dr. Hayk Demoyan, the 33-year-old director of the Genocide Museum in Yerevan. “Turkey's internal peace is highly important for us. I lost a large part of my family during the painful event that occurred in the past decades. I am still a part of those lands. My roots belong to those lands. That's why a dialogue with Turkey is important.”

University students, too, have an interest in Turkey and the Turks. This is the impression I got as a result of a number of interviews I conducted with students in different universities in Yerevan. Some students even spend their holidays in Turkey. Young people in Armenia also hold the opinion that the two peoples need to communicate with each other and talk about the traumas that happened in the past. And they are quite critical about interferences by the diaspora and the countries of the West in the problems between Turkey and Armenia. Young academics, on the other hand, underline that Armenia is an independent country and the problems between it and Turkey can be solved only with the cooperation of both.

Some Turkish families spend their holiday in Armenia
Although there exists a number of political problems between the two countries, the two peoples have already exceeded the borders to get to know each other. I met so many Turkish families at the cafés and restaurants in Yerevan's famous Republic Square. They told me they were curious about Armenia and its people, so they visited Yerevan. Most of them were from Istanbul and had come there together with their Armenian neighbors. One of these Turks is Nermin Nemrutlu. She said she and her friend decided to spend their holiday in Yerevan, so they went there. “This is actually my second visit to Armenia. I feel comfortable here. Turkish and Armenian people do have many common characteristics. We have a similar perception of life, similar eating habits… The way we express our happiness, etc,” she said. In response to Turkish holiday-goers, rich families from Armenia also pay visits to Turkey. In addition to flights operated by Armavia, the state airline of Armenia, Turkish firm Atlas Jet also operates flights to Armenia, six flights a week. Both companies plan to increase the number of flights as demand from both sides for mutual visits is increasing.


Armenia Misses The Trans-Caucasus Train
July 25, 2008, Ankara – Turkish Daily News
Turkish stretch of a strategic railway project excluding Armenia inaugurated in Kars at a time when Ankara signals positive moves to normalize ties with Yerevan. 'The project is open to all countries in the region,' says Gül

Turkey joined with two other regional leaders in a show of power yesterday in inaugurating the 76-kilometer Turkish section of a strategic railway that bypasses Armenia, which has long opposed the project.

The presidents of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan launched the railway project, which is considered a potential source of isolation and an economic setback for Armenians, in the eastern Anatolian province of Kars. The inauguration of the long awaited project comes at a time when Ankara has gestured positively towards mending fences with Yerevan through secret diplomatic negotiations, raising questions about the viability of a rapprochement.

“The project is open to all countries in the region who want to contribute to good, neighborly relations, peace and prosperity,” President Abdullah Gül said in Kars, a Turkish city near the Armenian border.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad excludes Armenia, which has long opposed the project. Yerevan has argued that there is already a railway running from Kars to the northern Armenian city of Gyumri and that the Kars-Gyumri link, which has stood idle for over a decade, could be used to build a trans-Caucasus railroad.

But Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia have pressed ahead with plans to realize the long-awaited project, a move that is expected to cast a shadow on Turkey's recent opening toward Armenia.

“The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad project will revive the historic Silk Road,” Gül said during yesterday's ceremony, also attended by the presidents of Azerbaijan and Georgia, Ilham Aliyev and Mikhail Saakashvili. He said the railroad, also known as the Iron Silk Road, would not only link Turkey's rail network with that of Georgia and energy-rich Azerbaijan but also connect Central Asia and China to Europe. The Georgian section of the 180-kilometer project was completed in 2007. With an estimated cost of $450 million, the project is expected to be complete in 2010. The railroad will carry one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight annually, while the number of passengers it will carry will reach three million in 2034, private NTV television reported. Parallel to the Marmaray Project to link the European and Asian halves of Istanbul by an undersea rail tunnel across the Bosporus, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project will pave the way for transfer of freight from Europe to China, so that the freight transfer between Europe and Central Asia will shift to the railways.

Railroad creates economic zone, says Gül Gül said the project was revived in 2004 and after negotiations between the three countries and strong political will it is becoming a reality. He noted that Kazakhstan and China have extended strong support for the project. The relevant ministries of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan will be in charge of following up on the project and will write periodical reports to the presidents, informing them of all phases of the railroad work. “The project somehow created a new economic zone that has not been named,” said Gül. European Union candidate Turkey sees such infrastructure projects as boosting its role as a bridge for trade and energy between the East and the West.


A New Railway Line And Some Regional Realities
July 25, 2008, Semih IDIZ
Given the obstacles it is sometimes hard to be optimistic about the prospects of improved ties between Turkey and Armenia. But life becomes much more difficult if one does not retain some optimism

The ground breaking ceremony yesterday for the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, attended by the presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, is yet another bitter reminder for Armenia of its growing regional isolation, and the economic consequences this is having for the country and its people. Try hard as they may, members of the Armenian diaspora in the United States, as well as their supporters in the U.S. Congress, have been unable to prevent this project going ahead, just as they were unable to prevent the strategic Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline project, which is currently up and working. Attempts at preventing such projects demonstrate a lack of understanding, of course, of how things work in this part of the world, and who is exactly in a position to stop such major initiatives.

Washington's role: Washington, on the other hand, is the last capital that would do this, given the growing stake it has in Azerbaijan and Georgia, apart from its large vested interest in Turkey, and the delicate regional balances it cannot afford to overlook. Ironically Washington's hand in Armenia was even further weakened after the diaspora in the United States, with support from within Congress, prevented for a long time the appointment of an ambassador to Yerevan, because ambassadorial candidates refused to pronounce the “G-word,” in line with the government's policy. This was a classic example of the diaspora harming the interests of Armenia and the United States since the lack of an American ambassador in Yerevan was hardly of any consequence to Turkey, but had diplomatic consequences for those two countries. The same diaspora is relying now on presidential candidate Barack Obama in the belief that he will be the one to browbeat Turkey into a position that changes all of this to the advantage of Armenia. Some say Obama will go that way, regardless of the cost to Washington. Others argue that this is unlikely to happen given the same regional realities that will prevail if Mr. Obama is elected president, and the fact that he will not be in a position to alter these, but only manage them as best he can in order to serve the interest of his country, and not that of the Armenian diaspora in his country. This we will have to wait and see. All that can be said under normal circumstances is that the only option open to Washington is to try and bring about a rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia, and between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and this is what its policy is based on at the present time.

The French example: Then there is the French example, after the parliament in that country tried to criminalize the denial of the Armenian genocide. That case showed that such efforts come at a cost, not just to relations with Turkey, but also to relations between Armenia and Turkey. Many sober-minded analysts believe that Washington under any president will maintain its current policy and shy away from steps that will make a rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey harder, and not easier. There are indications that Armenia's new president Sergh Sarkissian, although a hardliner himself until recently, is coming around to this realization also, and is therefore seeking means of opening channels of dialogue with Turkey. His namesake Prime Minister Tigran Sarkissian is said to be pursuing a similar line, and was reported by the Arminfo news agency as telling a young group of diaspora Armenians recently that they as Armenians cannot go on indefinitely with a policy of enmity toward neighbors. But this new approach in Yerevan has angered not just diaspora Armenians in the United States, but also hard-line ultra-nationalists within Armenia, including former president, Robert Kocharian. Needless to say both Sarkissian's are accused of toying with treason, and of preparing to sell out on the Armenian cause. This negativity in Armenia and among members of the diaspora is also said to be prompting second thoughts in the Presidency in Ankara on the question of whether President Gül should attend the Turkey-Armenia football match in Yerevan in early September after being invited by President Sarkissian. But Ankara has also been giving concrete signs that every positive step by Armenia will be reciprocated. This is why many believe Gül should go to Yerevan regardless of what kind of a rude welcoming the ultranationalists there, led by the Dashnaks, may have planned for him.

Serious obstacles: There are many serious obstacles to overcome in relations between Armenia and Turkey before ties are fully normalized. No one can afford to be naïve on this score. But the simple fact is that nothing will happen unless the leaders of the two countries decide to take bold steps that may not please all of their citizens, and particularly the ultra-nationalists. Then there is of course the Karabakh problem between Armenia and Azerbaijan that has to be solved if true cooperation in the southern Caucasus to everyone's advantage is to start. This will also require brave steps on the part of the two countries. Given these obstacles it is sometimes hard to be optimistic about the prospects of improved ties between Turkey and Armenia. But life becomes much more difficult if one does not retain some optimism at all times, even in the face of difficult odds.


The Shadow Of Hrant Dink On Turkish-Armenian Debate
July 25, 2008, Barçin YINANÇ
Turkish policy on Armenia and Armenian claims of genocide will depend on which of the groups in the ministry will be successful in convincing the government

Turkish ambassadors who met in Ankara last week had their most heated debate on the issue of Armenian claims of genocide and relations with Armenia.

The envoys posted in the West raised the alarm bells that in the time leading to the 100th anniversary of the 1915 events, the decisions to recognize the World War I-era killings of the Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans as genocide will come in the form of a gaining snow ball. Naturally discussions focused on how to deal with the powerful Armenian lobby.

Hawks reigned until now: One group maintained that by now it has become impossible to deal with the issue with a handful of brochures trying to prove that Turks never committed genocide. The key to the problem is in Armenia according to this group. In order to crack the unity between the diaspora and Armenia, Turkey has to quickly normalize its relations with Yerevan. The “let's talk to Armenia” group reinforced its argument by pointing to the irrationality of keeping the borders closed while Turkish goods are entering the Armenian market via Iran and charter flights between Yerevan and Istanbul multiply each month. Furthermore, it is becoming harder and harder to explain to the international community the Turkish position of putting preconditions to normalize relations while Armenia asks for unconditional establishment of diplomatic relations.

According to the opponents of these views, there is not an Armenian genocide problem. This is just a tool used against Turkey by some countries. The initiatives for recognition should be dealt on a bilateral basis. Just as Turkey succeeded to postpone the resolution in the U.S. Congress it should do the same with other governments by using its weight and strategic importance. Turkey underestimates its importance according to the second group. Moreover, recognition issue is the raison d'etre of the diaspora; improving relations with Yerevan will not stop them.

In the discussions that included Turkish Armenians the second group did not even refrain from criticizing Hrant Dink, whom it portrayed as someone working for the recognition of Armenian genocide by the Turkish nation while however opposing foreign intervention. I must add that those telling me about this anecdote emphasized that none of the ambassadors would obviously be of the view that his murder is justified.

Change in Yerevan: The difference of opinion within the Foreign Ministry is actually not new. The first group has always been in the minority ever since this divergence emerged as Armenia officially became Turkey's neighbor after the demise of the Soviet Union. The strategy of political and economic isolation of Armenia has so far been the main policy of successive governments.

The railway project between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan launched yesterday at a ceremony attended by the leaders of the three countries is an important element of that strategy. Armenia is excluded from the project just as it is from the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline linking the three countries. But interestingly the ground breaking ceremony comes at a time when secret negotiations are taking place between the two countries' top diplomats and the signs for reconciliation are stronger than ever.

Obviously this raises the question of whether the group in favor of reconciliation is gaining ground. Right now it is too early to say that. Not that the first group gained prevalence, actually it is the prevalence gained by the Armenian opposition leader Levon Ter Petrosyan that triggered the dialogue between Yerevan and Ankara following the elections. Prior to the elections, Turkish diplomats were not very optimist about Serzh Sargsyan. Most expected that when elected, he would continue his predecessor's line, which was not promising enough to start a genuine dialogue.

What motivated Sargasyan to be more flexible on starting the secret talks seems to be the fact that he sits on a government whose legitimacy is seriously challenged. He probably read well the message of the people who gave strong backing to Ter Petrosyan, known to be more flexible when it comes to relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Window of opportunity:
Hence if today there is talk about the possibility of the Turkish president's visit to Armenia, we owe that to the change in Yerevan. It remains to be seen whether the Turkish side will use this window of opportunity properly.

Turkish policy on Armenia and Armenian claims of genocide will depend on which of the groups in the ministry will be successful in convincing the government. The ruling Justice and Development Party would rather opt for the group in favor of reconciliation. But in the absence of a government, this group does not stand a chance.


Zardusht Alizade: West Forced Turkey To Reconcile With Armenia
19.07.2008 PanARMENIAN.Net/ Azerbaijan should not turn opening of the Armenian-Turkish border into a tragedy. This was bound to happen one day, an Azeri political scientist said.

“I am glad to see South Caucasus giving up illusions and understanding the real state of affairs,” Zardush Alizade said when commenting on perspective of opening of the Armenian-Turkish border.

“As to rumors that Azerbaijan will cede Karabakh in case the border is opened, it’s nonsense. The Karabakh problem can be resolved via our efficacious policy. No one will do it instead of us,” he said.

“Turkey should have opened the border long ago, thus making Armenian economy dependent on Turkish capital and allowing Ankara to gain influence on the public opinion. Moreover, this circumstance would be positive for resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The situation in the region is changing. Not everything in the world is measured by petrodollars. West forced Turkey to reconcile with Armenia, the same will happen to Azerbaijan, which will open its border with Armenia one day. But Armenians should first give up their erroneous policy and stop living in a dream,” Alizade said, 1news.az reports.


Anca Update: Armenian NFL Lineman Tackles Genocide Denial July 14, 2008
Rep. Steve Cohen H.Res.106 Opponent, Nikki Tinker Congressional Hopeful

Armenian Genocide Resolution Opponent Steve Cohen Battles for Congressional Seat in Memphis
ANCA Joins Armenian NFL Player Rien Long in Endorsing Nikki Tinker

ANCA Action: Key Senate and House Panels Set to Markup Foreign Aid Bills | Send a free ANCA WebFax
U.S. Ambassador to Armenia - Update:

· Yovanovitch Attempts to Differentiate U.S. Policy from Turkey's Genocide Denial
· Yovanovitch Responds to Obama Inquiries on
Armenian Genocide Policy

Darfur Action: ANCA Welcomes Charges Against Sudan's Genocidal Leader | Urge UN Security Council to Act
Leo Sarkisian Internship Program - 2008: The Next Generation has Arrived

Former NFL Tennessee Titan Endorses Nikki Tinker in House Race

Rien Long Playing for the TN Titans, Long in Armenia Visiting Saghmosavank

MEMPHIS, TN -- The ANCA has learned that former NFL Tennessee Titans Defensive Lineman, Armenian American Rien Long, has endorsed Democratic candidate Nikki Tinker in her bid to oust Armenian Genocide Resolution opponent Steve Cohen from Congress.
In a statement released by Long, the NFL star states "I am proud to be endorsing Nikki and hope she wins her August 7th primary race. I believe Nikki will bring the energy, intellect and integrity the people of Tennessee's Ninth Congressional District need and deserve. I also believe that people like Steve Cohen, who are playing an active role in blocking legislation in Congress that would mark the first genocide of the 20th century (Armenian Genocide), have no place in Congress." Nikki Tinker, like Barack Obama, supports the legislation.

"Sadly, Cohen is an apologist for the Turkish government, which has never admitted to genocide," Long added.

Long won college football's Outland Trophy in 2003, which is awarded to the best interior lineman. He was then picked in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans and has made Tennessee his home ever since. Long was involved in a car accident in January, from which he is on the road to recovery and hopes to rejoin the NFL as early as this season.
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Congressional Foreign Aid Panels Set to Consider Armenian Aid Priorities
WASHINGTON, DC – Members of the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees will meet separately this week to draft their respective versions of the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) foreign aid bill, a measure which will include a number of appropriations and policy provisions of special concern to Armenian Americans, reported the reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The House Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to meet this Wednesday, July 16th, and the Senate full Appropriations Committee is set to gather the following day, Thursday, July 17th.
Read complete release | Read ANCA Briefing Memo on Foreign Aid
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Yovanovitch Attempts to Differentiate U.S. Policy from Turkey's Genocide Denial
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Ambassador Designate to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch, in the last of her eights sets of written responses to questions from members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, attempted to distance U.S. policy from Turkey’s outright denial of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In response to a series of questions posed by panel member Russell Feingold (D-WI) regarding the difference between the U.S. and Turkish government’s policies on recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the nominee stated that: “In contrast to the Turkish government's policy, the U.S. Government acknowledges and mourns as historical fact the mass killings, ethnic cleansing, and forced deportations that devastated over one and a half million Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire.” The full text of the questions and responses are provided below.

"We remain disappointed that Ambassador Designate Yovanovitch provided evasive answers and non-responses in reply to Senator Feingold's clearly articulated questions. We are troubled by her assertion that it is somehow an appropriate ‘prerogative’ of the President – in complete disregard of the facts and counter to our nation’s common morality - to allow a foreign country to impose a gag rule on America’s defense of human rights,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We do, at the same time, note that the nominee makes at least a token effort to distance U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide -- as profoundly flawed as it is -- from the Turkish government’s position of outright denial.”
Read More. . .
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Yovanovitch Responds to Obama Inquiries on Genocide Policy
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Barack Obama has received written responses to the four written questions he submitted to U.S. Ambassador Designate Marie Yovanovitch as part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ongoing review of her nomination to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“We remain troubled by Ambassador Yovanovitch’s evasive answers, her outright non-responses, and her refusal, in her replies to Senator Obama and other Senators, to offer anything approaching a reasonable or factually supportable explanation of the reasons behind Administration’s misguided policy on the Armenian Genocide,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “This being said, it appears as though Ambassador Yovanovitch and her colleagues have learned from the disastrous Hoagland experience and are coming to understand that the U.S. Senate will not accept – and the Armenian American community will never allow - an Ambassador to Armenia who denies the Armenian Genocide.” Read more. . .
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ANCA Welcomes Charges Against Sudan's Genocidal Leader
WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today welcomed news of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of genocide against the people of Darfur.
“Armenian Americans welcome these charges as a meaningful step forward in the international movement to end the cycle of genocide,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We are hopeful that this legal milestone will mark a turning point toward decisive action on the part of the United States, the U.N. Security Council, and the international community to end Khartoum’s brutal and systematic drive to destroy the population of Darfur through massacre, disease and malnutrition.”

The Save Darfur Coalition, of which the ANCA is a member, has initiated a grassroots email campaign to the U.N. Security Council, urging them to take decisive action on a comprehensive strategy for Sudan. Save Darfur President Jerry Fowler noted, “The world at-large, primarily the Security Council, has allowed al-Bashir to continue his reign of destruction, recalcitrance and violence with utter impunity. Moreno-Ocampo has acted. Now the Security Council must as well.” Read more. . . | Take Action
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ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship '08: The Next Generation has Arrived
Washington, DC - The 24th annual Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Leo Sarkisian internship kicked off with a fast pace and remarkable start last week, as interns from all over the Western hemisphere gathered in Washington, DC, to embrace this eight-week, intensive program.

“This internship is really meant to serve as a training mechanism for the next generation of activists in the Armenian community throughout the Americas,” said Leo Sarkisian Internship Director Serouj Aprahamian. “We are pleased to welcome this group of highly-motivated interns to DC and have them hit the ground running as they gain the first-hand experience needed to effectively advance Armenian American issues.”

Each of the interns participated in an intensive application process in their respective ANC regions and look forward to this life changing experience, dreaming of coming out from their local communities and making a difference on a nation-wide scale. The year’s intern class consists of university students from coast-to-coast, including: Rita Astoor, Nieri Avanessian, Zori Eurdekian, Razmig Nalpatian, Razmik Tchakmakian, and Arbi Vartan. Read more. . .


Turkey's Steps Reciprocated By Armenia, Says Babacan
July 17, 2008, ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday that Turkey has taken unilateral steps to normalize bilateral ties with neighboring Armenia and the recent offer by Yerevan to the Turkish president to watch a football match was a result of Ankara's efforts.

In an interview with the private NTV television, Babacan said Turkey always favored dialogue with Yerevan as communicated to Armenian officials in letters sent to them. President Abdullah Gül sent a letter to Armenian President-elect Serzh Sarksyan after the elections, expressing the wish for the normalization of relations.

Sarksyan recently invited Gül to visit Yerevan for a football match in September. Turkey and Armenia will play each other in a qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in South Africa.

Babacan said the Turkish side is still evaluating the offer. He emphasized that Turkey adopted the policy of “zero problems” with its neighbors, and that because Armenia is a landlocked country it needs Turkey to open up to the world. Although the borders are closed with Yerevan, trade is ongoing through indirect routes, he noted.

“Turkey is a door of life for Armenia,” said Babacan.

He emphasized that the Armenian government should do its part for better ties.

“Armenia should decide: Should the problems continue or should we open a new chapter in relations,” said Babacan.

Asked how a possible passage of a genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress will affect ties with Washington, Babacan said such a development would seriously harm relations.

He highlighted that the past is the job of historians while politicians should look to the future.

In a recent visit to the United States last month, Babacan held talks with the political advisors of the two U.S. presidential hopefuls, John McCain and Barack Obama. Babacan said he explained to both of them the Turkish stance on the 1915 killings and told them Ankara's proposal to set up a joint commission of independent academics to study the allegations was still on the table.

Babacan also said the closure case opened against the ruling party weakened Turkey's hand abroad, citing Izmir's defeat to Milan to host the EXPO 2015 fair. Meanwhile, Babacan stood behind his recent remarks in a speech at the European parliament that the Muslim majority in Turkey, not the non-Muslims, were having problems in observing their religion.

“I am behind what I said. There are problems regarding freedoms in Turkey. The categorical rejection of these problems means ignoring the facts about Turkey,” he added.

Babacan attended a dinner Monday, the first day when Turkey's ambassadors from all over the world started detailed foreign policy talks in Ankara. Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Özügergin said relations with the EU, United States, Latin American countries, Russia and Africa were discussed on the first day.


Lebanon’s New Cabinet Included Two Armenians, armtown.com, 16.7.2008
Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman decreed formation of a national unity cabinet, which includes two Armenians in its lineup of ministers, Shahan Kandakharyan, editor-in-chief of Azdak Beirut-based newspaper, told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. The unity cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Fouad Saniorai, consists of 30 ministers from the six major sects in a nation made up of 18 religious communities. Alain Tabourian will serve as Minister of Energy and Water, while Jean Ogassapian will serve as one of five Ministers of State. The cabinet was announced after Suleiman, a Maronite Christian, met Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, a Sunni Muslim, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a Shi’ite Muslim. The new team also has one Hezbollah minister in addition to 10 ministers from its Shi’ite, Druze and Christian allies.


Babacan: Gul’s Attendance In Armenia Depends On Developments Between Two Countries
16.07.2008, /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s attendance at a soccer match in Armenia will depend on developments between the two countries, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Wednesday.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has invited Gul to visit Yerevan for a soccer match in September, marking a shift in relations between two states which have no diplomatic ties.
"Such a participation would depend on the developments ahead of the match," Babacan said, without giving further details, Reuters reports.

Armenia and Turkey will play against each other in the Armenian capital Yerevan on September 6 in a qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in South Africa.

Turkey broke diplomatic relations with Armenia over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and closed its border with the neighbor.

"The normalization of relations with Armenia is one of Turkey’s serious foreign policy goals," said Babacan.

Turkey was among the first countries that recognized Armenia’s independence after fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 but denies having perpetrated Genocide against Armenians in 1915-23.


Disputable Issues Will Always Exist Between Armenia And Turkey
16.07.2008, /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Disputable issues will remain even if Turkey agrees to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia, under the West’s pressure, according to a Russian expert.

“Armenian Genocide recognition issue and Armenia’s territorial claims as well as opening of the border will remain on the agenda of the Armenian-Turkish relations for a long period of time,” Mikhail Alexandrov, head of the Caucasus department at Moscow’s Institute for Commonwealth of Independent States, said when responding to a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter’s question during a news conference in Yerevan.

Ankara closed the border in 1993 as a token of solidarity with Azerbaijan in the Karabakh issue.

Despite Armenia’s offer to establish relations without preconditions, Turkey urges Yerevan to recognize its borders in accord with the Moscow Treaty of 1921 and stop the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.


Do Armenian Organizations In The U.S.A. Delay Their Approval Of U.S. Ambassador To Armenia? PanARMENIAN.Net 15.07.2008
Interests of the U.S.A. depend on more important issues rather than the recognition of "Great massacre" as genocide, which would urge Washington to reconsider her foreign policy.

It is rather difficult to predict the results of the U.S. Senate's voting on the candidacy of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch. If we share the viewpoint of the Armenian Community in the U.S.A. in the person of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), under the current Administration Armenia has no chances to have a U.S. Ambassador. "We remain troubled by Yovanovitch's evasive answers and her absolute refusal to offer anything approaching a reasonable or factually supportable explanation of the reasons behind Administration's misguided policy on the Armenian Genocide," declared Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Hamparian is sure that the Armenian American community will never allow an Ambassador to Armenia who denies the Armenian Genocide. "Reputation of a nation is put at stake when demanding high-rank diplomats to lie or to distort the truth in compliance with the country's foreign policy. The policy of denying the Armenian Genocide, which is known to everyone, is a result of pressure exerted by the Turkish Government, which undermines our confidence," Hamparian noted. If the problem is in the use of the term "genocide", Hamparian is right. However, in the commission hearings Ambassador-Designate Marie Yovanovitch said exactly the following: "The U.S. government - and certainly I - acknowledges and mourns the mass killings, ethnic cleansing, and forced deportations that devastated over one and a half million Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire. The United States recognizes these events as one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, the "Medz Yeghern" or Great Calamity, as many Armenians refer to it. That is why every April the President honors the victims and expresses American solidarity with the Armenian people on Remembrance Day." How else could Yovanovitch characterize the events of 1915? She said more than she could, we suppose.

In fact, the term "genocide" is missing in the statements of Marie Yovanovitch. However, it is quite logical, as it has been President Bush's policy, as well as that of previous presidents of both parties, not to use that term. It is quite possible that the pressure of the Turkish Government is too intense. But there are also the interests of the U.S.A., which depend on more important issues rather than the recognition of "Great massacre" as genocide, which would urge Washington to reconsider her foreign policy. Once again the Armenians pin their hopes on the U.S. Presidential candidate, who, in this particular case, is Barack Obama. But is there any guarantee that elected a president, Obama will repeat the words of Ronald Reagan on the Armenian Genocide?

On May 24, 1920 President Woodrow Wilson referred to the Congress underlining the severe massacre and forced deportation that the Armenians experienced at the time of the World War I. The fact that the concept of Â"genocideÂ" did not exist at that time does not mean that massacre and deportation were not carried out then. On February 9, 1916 based on the reports of Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, the U.S. Senate signed a declaration on massacre and forced deportation of 1.5 million Armenians and on August 6, 1919 the U.S. Congress passed a concurrent resolution.

In the Congress documents the term "Armenian Genocide" appeared in 1975 only. But then Turkey became a strategic ally of the U.S.A. against the USSR. American missiles and monitoring stations were installed right on the Armenian border, and U.S. foreign policy radically changed. Moreover, America began to openly support Israel against the Arabs, and the issue of recognizing or denying the Armenian Genocide was set aside. And now, when Yerevan is badly in need for a U.S. Ambassador, Armenian organizations delay their approval, which, by the way, is quite favorable to Turkey.

The issue of appointing a new U.S. Ambassador to Armenia was also discussed at the meeting of RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The RA Foreign Minister expressed hope that candidature of the new Ambassador would be soon confirmed, which would encourage development of the Armenian-U.S. relations.

In her response to Senator Obama's written inquiry Marie Yovanovitch noted that the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is committed to working with the Government of Turkey on ways in which the atrocities of 1915 can be studied. "Besides, the Administration is currently laying the groundwork for an International Visitor Program that would bring archivists from the Turkish State Archives to the U.S. to look at the ways in which we do historical research. As a confidence building measure, the U.S. Government has contacted Armenian archivists to participate in the program, in the hope that, upon return, the archivists from both countries could work together on a joint program that would study the issue.

In addition, our Embassies in Armenia and Turkey take every opportunity in meetings with the Governments of these two countries, and with civil society leaders from both countries, to encourage improved dialogue between them," Yovanovitch concluded.


Family Fun: A Day In The Gulag? By Cori Anderson
Baltic Times, July 17 2008, Latvia

HEROES OF YORE: Soviet era statues are now just for sightseers.

VILNIUS - Statues of Lenin and Stalin, removed from Lithuania's public spaces in the years following its independence from the Soviet Union, now adorn a replica Soviet prison camp in Dzukija National Park. A two-hour drive to Grutas Park, outside of Druskininkai, will take you 50 years into the past.

In the late 1990s, Viliumas Malinauskas, a millionaire Lithuanian mushroom exporter and former professional wrestler, obtained the statues from the Ministry of Culture and began constructing his sculpture park. Despite protests and controversy -- the occupation remains an all-too-recent memory for many people -- the park officially opened on April 1, 2001. An Ig Nobel Prize, awarded yearly for projects of questionable taste or significance, went to Malinauskas for his efforts that year.

Grutas Park, popularly known as Stalin World, can have many levels of meaning for its visitors. The original intention was tongue-in-cheek: Gulag-style trains would shuttle visitors around the park, and the restaurant would serve only gulag-style fare. The peaceful natural setting, with its stream and forests, provides a dose of irony. For the average foreign visitor with little connection to the horrific Soviet occupation of Lithuania, it is easy to spend a lazy afternoon strolling through the forest and climbing atop enormous statues of Lenin. Those who survived those years, however, are often reminded of the chilling past.

In addition to statues of Russian and Lithuanian communist leaders, indoor displays feature a variety of memorabilia. One small house represents a typical reading room, housing books filled with Soviet propaganda and communist messages. Mannequins in pioneer uniforms seem to jump out of nowhere, watchtowers line the perimeter, and loudspeakers blare party-approved music.

For the little ones, the park features a small zoo, home to a variety of exotic birds. Near the entrance is a playground equipped with (thankfully) post-Soviet-era swings and slides. While you can still find some Soviet favorites on the restaurant's menu -- sprats, a very thin borscht, and buckwheat kasha -- up-scale entrees are also available. The Dzukija region is known for its mushrooms, and they star in several dishes. Don't forget to visit the souvenir shop for a deck of propaganda-poster playing cards or a Stalin shot glass.

Grutas Park is only three kilometers from Drus-kininkai, a famous historic spa town. On the road from the park are a few superb shashlik restaurants, offering excellent grilled meat alongside Armenian side dishes. Anything with eggplant is guaranteed to be delicious.

In Druskininkai proper, you can find countless spas to wash away the Soviet grime, some dating back to that very period. The oldest, Druskininku Gydykla, offers a bio detox in its long list of procedures. Here you can also try the waters that make the town famous (druska means salt in Lithuanian), in two levels of mineral content. Just behind the spa flows the Nemunas River, and you can find a public water fountain on its banks. For more modern entertainment, visit the indoor water park, featuring several slides and pools, with access to the saunas for an additional price.

The local favorite for dining is Sicilija, a pizzeria primarily, although the menu is quite extensive. The chicken breast with boletus mushrooms is a must-try, especially when finished off with a refreshing milkshake or a dish of ice cream with fruit. There are two locations in town, but both can fill up in the high season.

Grutas Park is 130 kilometers from Vilnius, easily reached by bus or car. It's best in nice weather, but a grey sky will intensify the somber mood of the historic sculptures and add to the effect.


Freedom Of Press Debated In Bozcaada, July 21, 2008, Safak Timur, Çanakkale, Bozcaada– TDN

If you are a national journalist in Turkey, your chief worry is the heavy hand of press law. If you work for a local newspaper, the lament is the heavy hand of the very few advertisers whose clout keeps scribes in line.

Such was the summary of complaints among journalists of both big press outlets and small who gathered Friday at a workshop on the Aegean island of Bozcaada to debate the meaning and state of freedom of the press and speech in Turkey.

Economic difficulties constrain local newspapers' freedom, while media as a whole is trying to continue its work with restrictions on freedom of press and speech, said journalists and some of their lawyers who were also in attendance.

Freedom of press should be regarded as the freedom of people to receive news, said Turgay Olcayto, the vice president of Turkey Journalists' Community, or TGC, at the start of the workshop that was organized by the Press Institute Association. Journalists debated Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which has been heavily criticized for restricting freedom of speech. Prominent Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated in 2007 was convicted under Article 301 for insulting Turkishness. The article has been amended and “insulting Turkishness” has been changed to “insulting the Turkish nation.” What is important is that society digests the law, said lawyer Turgut Kazan from the Istanbul Bar, otherwise an article from any law can be found to convict people. Yücel Dösemeci, another lawyer from the Istanbul Bar said the problem about Article 301 is about implementation.

Local media in difficulties
Representatives of local media in nearby western city of Çanakkale, which has seven weekly and five daily newspapers shared their problems at the meeting. Aynur Narler, from Çanakkale Olay newspaper said political pressure, the problem of finding educated personnel, and economic problems make it difficult for local media. It becomes easy to corner [a newspaper] in the local domain, said Is,?k Narler, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper. Education of newspaper personnel is another critical problem for local media, said I.lker Yurttas,, the owner of Kalem newspaper. Support to local media for training personnel was discussed as well. However, Ömer Faruk Mutan, the head of Health Employees Trade Union's, or SES, Çanakkale branch, criticized local media owners for not acting together. Local media members emphasized as well that they would face serious financial problems in the near future if a new law ends state institutions' obligation to announce public bids via local papers.

Apoyevmatini needs money to survive
Apoyevmatini, an 84-year-old Greek language local newspaper in Istanbul is facing financial difficulties like its other local counterparts. The archives of the newspaper face the danger of disappearing, said Mihail Vasiliadis, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper. He is trying to publish the newspaper by himself without any other employee at the paper. “We need 35,000 euros to take photographs of the old issues and make a digital archive,” Vasiliadis said. The newspaper is an extremely significant historic source for the Greek community in Turkey. Vasiliadis highlighted that Apoyevmatini has not been able to receive the announcements of public bids for 84 years, which would help the paper survive.


Hadrian And The World That Became Turkey, July 21, 2008, Frank WHITE
A much-awaited exhibition is opening in London at the British Museum on July 24, called “Hadrian: Empire and Conflict” (closes Oct. 26). Hadrian has many connections with Turkey – that is, with the lands he governed that Turks now inhabit, Anatolia and Thrace, or that as Ottomans they also governed: Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Armenia, North Africa, the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe.

Hadrian's own dominion, that he ruled as Roman Emperor, 117-138 Common Era, extended northwesterly to the Scottish border of England, where he inaugurated the massive 80-mile long wall (in 122) bisecting the island like a cinch at the waist. Ostensibly it was to protect Roman British towns and villages and farms from the raids of Celts and other northern tribes. But some of them may have rather wanted to place themselves under the shelter of the pax Romana and its system of laws.

Hadrian's Gate at Antalya:
The monumental edifice is still a showpiece of British sightseeing and archaeological heritage. The millions who have been schooled on Hadrian's Wall or have seen parts of it are a natural target audience for the colossal summer show at the sprawling Museum in Bloomsbury. One of the few extant bronze heads of Hadrian was found (without its torso) in the mud of the River Thames nearby only in the 19th century. Other surviving sculptures and friezes related to him are mostly of marble, and have been gathered from collections far-flung.

In Turkey perhaps the most beautiful remaining monument to Hadrian is the triple marble arch, called Hadrian's Gate, in Antalya, to commemorate the emperor's visit there in 130. The inscription, in Greek, naming Hadrian and linking him with his predecessor and adoptive father, Trajan, survives in part in the Ashmoleon Museum at Oxford. Stone towers still standing on either side of the arches go back to the founding of the city several hundred years earlier.

Turkey also has its Hadrian's Walls – one at Samandag( in Çukurova near Antakya/Antioch. Of course in Trakya (Thrace) the city of Edirne was founded by Hadrian, who gave it his own name, (H)Adrianopolis (Edirne being a corruption of that Greek appellation). I once supposed the Adriatic Sea must have been named – or re-named – for Hadrian, but of course it is more nearly the other way round. His forebears and family had long been in Roman Spain, but had gone there from the little city of Hadria on the northeast Italian coast of the Adriatic, and gave their scion and emperor-to-be the name of their ancestral seat 300 years later.

Hadrian's grandfather (one tradition says uncle) actually divined by oneiromancy (dream revelation) when the lad was but 11 that he would one day “rule the world.” So Marguerite Yourcenar has him do in the highly critically researched yet most rapturously believable “self”-presentation of Hadrian in literary form: Mémoires d'Hadrien, 1951; the noble and vigorous English version is by Grace Frick in collaboration with the author: Hadrian's Memoirs, 1954; the expressive Turkish translation (from the English) is by Nili Bilkur: Hadrianus'un An?lar?, 1984; Nili Han?m includes (some English editions don't) both the detailed “Author's Note” on historical sources and the even more fascinating “Thoughts on the Writing of Hadrian's Memoirs” on how she came to conceive and compose – and several times nearly despaired of completing – the distinguished work.

A woman of prominence:
Largely on the strength of it, Yourcenar (1903-87; her nom de plume, an almost-anagram of her family name, de Crayencour) became the first woman ever to be elected to the Forty Immortals of the Académie Française, 1980. For the costume in which to deliver her inaugural lecture she commissioned the designer Yves St. Laurent – so French was she (though born in Belgium and living half her life with her American partner, Frick, on Mt. Desert Island, Maine).

Her masterpiece invents for Hadrian a first-person point of view, as if writing to his adopted son and imperial heir, Mark (yes, Marcus Aurelius, who indeed became the famous Stoic philosopher, author, and emperor, 161-180). By this ruse she can impersonate Hadrian in the last months or weeks of his 62 years, reviewing his entire life and lifting out its lessons for the young princeps-in-training. This Hadrian has no reason or wish to dissimulate – at least no more than is necessary where self-knowledge is at issue. Yet he has incentive to articulate both to himself and to his precocious protégé the mature wine of a life distilled from such choice grapes.

Once you have read – and re-read – Yourcenar's Hadrian, you can entertain any other work-up of the figure only as an academic exercise. Hers is the one that gets under your skin – his skin. Of course, the book is a prodigy of historical ventriloquism. The rich and penetrating inner ruminations are as much hers as “his” – rather, are some unlikely fusion of both “personalities,” each investing the other with a voice. She knows the sources, artifacts, and locations so well and so shrewdly that she perpetrates no implausibilities, but building on what can reasonably be known of Hadrian she provides him with flesh and self-consciousness, a (fictional) coherence that evades even the most scrupulous biographer-historian. (One full and careful account in English is Royston Lambert's Beloved and God: The Story of Hadrian and Antonius, 1984, with generous illustrations of the statues, coins, sites, et alia.)

An ‘almost wise' man:
Yourcenar says her Hadrian is a man “almost wise.” He was rare in individual gifts and application of them, but his outlook and life were possible only because he came at a brief window in time between the dying glimmers of the Greek and Roman cults of the gods and just before one of the eastern salvation-mystery movements, Christianity, was to transmute the humanism of the classical world into a new amalgam of it with a purged Hebrew spirituality and morality – an uneasy yoking the world is still struggling with – or riding on.

Something essentially human expressed itself in Hadrian – and in the world that produced him, the world he re-shaped, that succeeded him. It must be sifted and reappropriated in every period.
......
Frank White is a professor emeritus of Philosophy with the City University of New York. He lives part of the year in Alanya, Turkey. (fwhitetr@yahoo.com)


Armenian Premier Urges End to Anti-Turkish Sentiments
iStockAnalyst July 20, 2008 Arminfo

Yerevan, 19 July: We have to form pro-Armenian rather than anti- Turkish mentality, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said at a meeting with representatives of young members of the diaspora in Tsakhkadzor today.

A hostile attitude should not get rooted in public consciousness and become a dominating idea, he said.

"You are telling me that the diaspora is making more effort to resolve the issue of the genocide of Armenians. However, this kind of attitude is detrimental to our people in the first place because in order to find correct decisions and draw correct conclusions we need a broad outlook. However, we will not have it if our priority task is confrontation with someone rather than increasing our people's welfare. This does not mean that the government does not want the genocide to be recognized. But it has at the same time to organize the country's economy and care about our citizens' wellbeing," the Armenian prime minister said.

Asked about the possibility of establishing economic ties with the countries that have a negative attitude towards Armenia, the prime minister said: "There are voices among young people about the inadmissibility of any ties with those countries. There are people who believe that they should not wear Turkish-made suits or brush their teeth with Turkish-made toothpaste. We have to fight for the restoration of historical justice and our people's dignity. But one should not think that this should be done in this way at a domestic scale. We have to protect our dignity and respect ourselves. One must not let the striving for justice, respect for the memory of our history and our ancestors be distorted and degraded and transformed into unrestrained aggression. We all, no matter whether we live in Armenia and outside it, constitute an inseparable unity since we belong to the same nation. Our goal must be the creation of a politically and economically strong motherland."

Originally published by Arminfo, Yerevan, in Russian 1120 19 Jul 08. (c) 2008 BBC Monitoring


Turkey's Intention To Normalize Relations With Armenia `Erroneous', Baku Says
19.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ `Talks between high ranking Turkish and Armenian officials are secret for the general public, but I am sure that such meetings are not arranged spontaneously, which means that representatives of official Yerevan and Ankara were aware of these talks,' Azeri political scientist Rasim Aghayev said.

The fact is not surprising, according to him. `Political history is full of examples of untrustworthy ally relations between the countries in the present day world. The factor of personal benefits in building political relations on the international arena. One example are talks of Americans with representatives of Fascist Germany in the very end of the World War Second, about which USSR leader Stalin was not informed,' Aghayev said.

'Another case is that Turkey's move can be assessed as erroneour. I think, it will be reasonable for Turkey to further resist efforts of the Armenian side not alone but in tandem with Azerbaijan and the whole Turkic world. Unfortunately, we just see Turkey's readiness to hold separate talks with Armenia.'

Asked whether `after such steps by Turkey can mean that the talks of the so-called Turkish brotherhood are unfounded?', Aghayev said, `The formula of Azerbaijani-Turkish relations: one people - two states, has once been established. Yes, Azerbaijanis and Turks have likewise languages and are close in historical roots. But Azerbaijani and Turkish peoples are not a single nation. These are two independent and different people with sharply differing traditions of political culture.

Moreover, we should not forget that Turks are the empire people, while Azerbaijan is not like that. We should also remember that there is no place for sentiments in the politics, here the principle of personal benefit is ruling,' Day.az reports.


'Obama Would Need Turkey's Cooperation'
July 16, 2008 WASHINGTON - Anatolia News Agency
If Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama were elected president of the United States his first step would be to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, a process for which he would need Turkey's cooperation, said a U.S. congressman and founding member of the U.S. House of Representatives' Turkish friendship group, at a meeting Monday.

“Turkish-American relations would significantly develop during Obama's presidency. Obama would not take one-sided decisions and he would display respect for the role of the United Nations and NATO. Obama's presidency would be a positive term for Turkish-American relations," said Robert Wexler at a meeting with Americans of Turkish descent where he introduced his new book “Fire Breathing Liberal.”

Asked if he was concerned about the recent political developments in Turkey, Wexler commented: “Those are Turkey's domestic matters. It is the Turkish people who have to solve the issues. There is a strong atmosphere that allows debate in Turkey. Democracy in Turkey will not only survive but it will also be successful in the country,”

“Everyone talks about the strong Jewish lobby in the United States. I believe that Turkish-Americans will one day become as strong as the Jewish lobby in the U.S.,” he added.


Why Is Turkey Afraid Of The Patriarchate? By Ioannis Karalis
Turkish Daily News, Turkey, 16.7.2008
The Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of istanbul, after a long legal battle against the Turkish authorities, won the right to take back the Greek Orphanage on Pringipos Island. Of coursc, in practicc that might not be so easy, and Turkey might decide to compensate the Patriarchate instead of agreeing to give back the property.

The whole case made me think, vvhat is it that Turkey is afraid of and how can the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate hurt the Turkish State? Since 1923, vvhen the new Turkish State did not manage to send the Patriarchate to Greece through the Treaty of Lausanne, it has constantly been trying to undermine its role.

'Ecumenical' is spiritual Even though I understand why that happened in the '20s, '30s, '40s, and even in the '60s and '70s due to the extremism and nationalism on both sides of the Aegean Sea, I cannot understand why Turkey does not support the existence of the Patriarchate today.

in the past few years, I alvvays read about Turkey not recognizing the "Ecumenical" title of the Patriarchate, and people argue that it is trying to create a Vatican-type state in Turkey. VVith ali due respect, that is nonsense. The "Ecumenical" title does not have any legal meaning but only spiritual. Regardless of vvhat the Turkish authorities think, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of istanbul is the spiritual leader of millions of Orthodox people around llie glube. Why does Turkey not embrace him and help him vvith his role as a spiritual leader, philanthropist, and environmentalist? Bartholomevv has shown that he loves Turkey, and that regardless of vvhat he has to put up vvith he is helping the Turkish people vvhenever and hovever he can.

Why does Turkey not change the lavv according to vvhich the Patriarch must be a Turkish citizen? There are only 2-3,000 Greeks, unfortunately, left in istanbul today.

VVhat are the chances of getting young priests out of that small group of people? The existence of such a lavv makes you think that Turkey is stili trying to remove the Patriarchate but instead of enforcing such a removal it is vvaiting for time to do that.

I do knovv that a big part of the Turkish population has nothing against the Patriarchate and I have seen vvith my own eyes Turkish people celebrating "Theofania," the toss of the cross in the vvater, vvith their Greek neighbors and friends at the Bosporus.

Turkey should be proud of the Patriarchate and its role as a Christian spiritual center. Turkey should also realize that the Patriarch is a great ally in its attempt to enter the European Union, or even prove that it belongs to the West. As a secular country, Turkey must prove to the vvorld that its democracy is strong enough to grant the Patriarchate fundamental rights and allovv it to be a legal entity as a notfor-profit organization, in order to be able to manage its properties and continue vvith its philanthropic role.

Nationalism as bad advisor Turkey has only to benefit from protecting the Patriarchate and its "Ecumenical" role. in the year 2008, nationalism is a bad advisor that can bring isolation and internal problems, as vve can see vvith the Ergenekon case.

As Patriarch Bartholomevv önce said, "We cali for an end to the killing of one another, and vve denounce the violence and fanaticism that threatens life." Turkey is a great country and should be acting as one tovvard its minorities and instirutions vvith great tradition that have played their role in shaping the country's cultural character.

ioannis Karalis is at King's College, University of London.


Turkish Daily News: Armenian And Turkish Officials Held Two Round Of Talks During Past Three Months 19.07.2008, /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Two rounds of talks between Armenian and Turkish officials during past three months mark an important stage for future relations, Turkish Daily News reports.

Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Ertugrul Apakan and his deputy Unal Cevikoz headed the Turkish delegation during the first round, which took place in May, and the second round in July. Both rounds were carried out in Bern, Switzerland, which is considered an impartial country that has hosted similar secretive talks on issues like Cyprus and Iran.

Babacan, down played the significance of the talks, kept secret until now while admitting yesterday that from time to time officials from his ministry have contacts with their Armenian counterparts. "These contacts are important for normalization of relations. There are problems and also disagreement over events of 1915, but we favor a constructive approach and dialogue to overcome these," he said.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Burak Ozugergin, issued a similar written response, noting that Turkey recognized Armenia in 1991 and since then there have been contacts between Ankara and Yerevan. "There is no need to attribute different meanings to these contacts," Ozugergin added.


Gul to send conciliatory message to Armenia
19.07.2008 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul will send neighboring Armenia a conciliatory message wrapped in a warning over regional isolation when he visits the Turkish-Armenian border next week.

Gul will visit Ani, an uninhabited medieval Armenian city in the province of Kars on the Armenia border, on July 23, during a visit to the region to attend a ceremony to inaugurate the construction of the Turkish part of a regional railway passing through Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan; the line excludes Armenia. The presidents of Azerbaijan and Georgia will also attend the inauguration ceremony, scheduled for July 24, Today’s Zaman reports.

“Despite Turkish efforts to deepen cooperation with other regional countries at the expense of landlocked Armenia, Gul’s visit to Ani is a sign of readiness to improve ties with Yerevan. Armenia wants Turkey to restore medieval churches in Ani and Turkish authorities began renovation works in the city early this year,” the newspaper says.

Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday appeared to confirm a report in the Turkish media that Turkish and Armenian officials had secret talks in Switzerland earlier this month. The report in the Hurriyet daily said the officials met for a few days starting on July 8 and that a senior Foreign Ministry official headed the Turkish delegation.

“Such talks are held from time to time,” Babacan told reporters.

Turkey imposed blockage on Armenia as a token of support to Azerbaijan in the Nagorno Karabakh issue. Ankara also urges Armenia to stop the Armenian Genocide recognition process and says that both Armenians and Turks died during the World War I.

“We have problems about current issues and disagreements about the 1915 events. It is essential that these problems are handled through dialogue,” Babacan said.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan proposed “a fresh start” in relations with Turkey in an article published in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month. “The time has come for a fresh effort to break this deadlock, a situation that helps no one and hurts many. As president of Armenia, I take this opportunity to propose a fresh start - a new phase of dialogue with the government and people of Turkey, with the goal of normalizing relations and opening our common border,” he said.

Sargsyan also invited Gul to a World Cup qualifying match between Armenian and Turkish teams in September. Officials say the invitation is still under consideration and that the president will decide according to developments.

During a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Gul said that Sargsyan’s invitation is being considered.


Armenia Included In Captive Nations List 18.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ In 1959, the U.S. Congress promulgated a Joint Resolution authorizing and requesting the President to declare the third week of July as Captive Nations Week, The Economist reports.

The resolution says,
“Whereas the greatness of the United States is in large part attributable to its having been able, through the democratic process, to achieve a harmonious national unit of its people, even though they stem from the most diverse of racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds; and

Whereas this harmonious unification of the diverse elements of our free society has led the people of the United States to possess a warm understanding and sympathy for the aspirations of peoples everywhere and to recognize the natural interdependency of the peoples and nations of the world; and

Whereas the enslavement of a substantial part of the world’s population by Communist imperialism makes a mockery of the idea of peaceful coexistence between nations and constitutes a detriment to the natural bonds of understanding between the people of the United States and other peoples; and

Whereas since 1918 the imperialistic and aggressive policies of Russian communism have resulted in the creation of a vast empire which poses a die threat to the security of the United States and of all the free people of the world; and

Whereas the imperialistic policies of Communist Russia have led, through direct and indirect aggression, to the subjugation of the national independence of Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Estonia, White Ruthenia, Rumania, East

Germany, Bulgaria, mainland China, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, North Korea, Albania, Idel-Ural, Tibet, Cossackia, Turkestan, North Viet-Nam, and others; and

Whereas these submerged nations look to the United States, as the citadel of human freedom, for leadership in bringing about their liberation and independence and in restoring to them the enjoyment of their Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Buddhist, or other religious freedoms, and of their individual liberties; and

Whereas it is vital to the national security of the United States that the desire for liberty and independence on the part of the peoples of these conquered nations should be steadfastly kept alive; and

Whereas the desire for liberty and independence by the overwhelming majority of the people of these submerged nations constitutes a powerful deterrent to war and one of the best hopes for a just and lasting peace; and

Whereas it is fitting that we clearly manifest to such peoples through an appropriate and official means the historic fact that the people of the United States share with them their aspirations for the recovery of their freedom and independence:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That:

The President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation designating the third week in July 1959 as "Captive Nations Week" and inviting the people of the United States to observe such week with appropriate ceremonies and activities. The President is further authorized and requested to issue a similar proclamation each year until such time as freedom and independence shall have been achieved for all the captive nations of the world.”


Babacan: Turkey Is A ‘Door Of Life’ For Armenia, 17.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkey has taken unilateral steps to normalize bilateral ties with neighboring Armenia and the recent offer by Yerevan to the Turkish president to watch a football match was a result of Ankara’s efforts.

In an interview with the private NTV television, Babacan said Turkey always favored dialogue with Yerevan as communicated to Armenian officials in letters sent to them. President Abdullah Gul sent a letter to Armenian President-elect Serzh Sargsyan after the elections, expressing the wish for the normalization of relations.

Sargsyan recently invited Gul to visit Yerevan for a football match in September. Turkey and Armenia will play each other in a qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in South Africa.

Babacan said the Turkish side is still evaluating the offer. He emphasized that Turkey adopted the policy of “zero problems” with its neighbors, and that because Armenia is a landlocked country it needs Turkey to open up to the world. Although the borders are closed with Yerevan, trade is ongoing through indirect routes, he noted.

“Turkey is a door of life for Armenia,” said Babacan, emphasizing that the Armenian government should do its part for better ties.

“Armenia is to decide: should the problems continue or should we open a new chapter in relations,” said Babacan.

Asked how a possible passage of a genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress will affect ties with Washington, Babacan said such a development would seriously harm relations.

He highlighted that “the past is the job of historians while politicians should look to the future.”

In a recent visit to the United States last month, Babacan held talks with the political advisors of the two U.S. presidential hopefuls, John McCain and Barack Obama. Babacan said he explained to both of them “the Turkish stance on the 1915 killings and told them Ankara’s proposal to set up a joint commission of independent academics to study the allegations was still on the table.”

Babacan stood behind his recent remarks in a speech at the European parliament that the Muslim majority in Turkey, not the non-Muslims, were having problems in observing their religion.

“I am behind what I said. There are problems regarding freedoms in Turkey. The categorical rejection of these problems means ignoring the facts about Turkey,” he added.

Babacan attended a dinner Monday, the first day when Turkey’s ambassadors from all over the world started detailed foreign policy talks in Ankara. Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin said relations with the EU, United States, Latin American countries, Russia and Africa were discussed on the first day, the Turkish Daily News reports.


U.S. House State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee Maintained Parity In Military Assistance To Armenia And Azerbaijan
17.07.2008 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ An amendment championed by Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) to cut all military aid to Azerbaijan due to their escalating threats of war against Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia was defeated by one vote during a meeting of the U.S. House State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee to consider the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) foreign aid bill, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) told PanARMENIAN.Net.

"We want to thank Joe Knollenberg for his leadership in seeking to zero out military aid to Azerbaijan, and to express our appreciation to all those, like Congressmen Adam Schiff and Mark Kirk, who supported this vital legislative effort to promote peace and stability in the Caucasus," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. "At the same time, especially given the razor-thin margin of this vote, we are saddened and disappointed by the opposition of Chairwoman Lowey, and the other Representatives who, although traditionally friends of the Armenian American community – cast their votes to block the adoption of this badly needed measure: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Steve Israel, Ben Chandler, Steve Rothman, Barbara Lee, Betty McCollum, and David Obey."

Last month, during a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Knollenberg cross-examined Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried regarding the State Department failure to meaningfully challenge Azerbaijan’s war rhetoric against neighboring Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia. Earlier today, as he entered the foreign aid mark-up, the Michigan legislator stated, that: "For the security of Armenia and the region, I strongly believe that the Azeri war machine must be stopped. This is why it is completely unbelievable and unacceptable that there would be any U.S. funding of Azerbaijan’s military. I will fight to strip this money from the budget to ensure Armenia’s continued safety. The U.S. absolutely must not fund or support the Azeri bellicose behavior."

The panel approved $52 million in assistance to Armenia, $8 for Nagorno Karabakh and, by rejecting the Knollenberg Amendment, effectively maintained parity in military assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan. According to traditional Congressional practice, the bill next goes to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration before reaching the House floor, although the exact legislative path for this measure remains unclear. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the Senate version of the foreign aid bill on Thursday, July 17th.


Some try hard, others play card!
ancaupdate 24/07/2008
Subject: Cohen Takes Credit for Killing Genocide Resolution

Dear Friend:
This is your chance to kick-out a top enemy of Armenian Genocide recognition and see him replaced by a friend of the Armenian people. The battle lines are drawn. The showdown will be on August 7th.
VS.
On one side is Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen, who's fought the Armenian Genocide Resolution tooth and nail, even holding a press conference against this legislation. Just last week, in his local paper, he bragged that among his "biggest accomplishments" was unraveling a "resolution to condemn Turkey for the Armenian Genocide almost a century ago."

On the other, you have Nikki Tinker, a principled community leader who has pledged to fight for Armenian Genocide recognition, to help Nagorno Karabagh, and support Armenia. She has received broad backing, including strong support from the African American community that makes up roughly 60% of the District, and nearly 80% of its Democratic Party.

What makes this race so vital is that Cohen is an extremely vulnerable candidate.
Recognizing this historic chance to send a powerful message across Capitol Hill, Armenians from around the country have rallied on-line to help tip the scales for Tinker.
Over 190 individual on-line donors have given her campaign more than $14,000, on top of other Armenian American donations totaling $5,000, plus local help from ANC-Tennessee volunteers.
Be part of this nationwide effort by sending your secure on-line donation today. In an election this tight, every dollar counts.

Sincerely,

P.S. The election is only days away. Your chance to make a difference is now. Please send your secure on-line donation today to . . Prefer to send a check? Please mail your donation to:
Nikki Tinker for Congress . .
Checks should be made out to "Nikki Tinker for Congress." Please be sure to include "Armenians for Nikki Tinker" in the notes section. ~ www.anca.org


European Armenian Federation Appeals To Sarkozy 23 July 2008, Asbarez
The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy appealed to French President Nikolas Sakozy, the new president of the European Union, on expectations and concers of European Armenian citizens.

In a letter sent earlier this month, the European Armenian Federation addressed the EU's policies toward Turkey and the South Caucasus, as well as concerns related to genocide denial and racial hatred in EU member-States and within the applicant countries.

In discussing Turkish membership application to the EU, the letter addressed "the well-oiled accession process is moving forward without concrete steps by Turkey to enact reforms, as has been the will of the European people," which, the letter said, "signals leniency from European institutions toward severe shortcomings of this candidate country."

The European Federation called on Sarkozy to "express his opposition to Turkey's membership by clearly stating conditions which must be fulfilled by the applicant country."

In the letter, the European Federation called the recognition of the Armenian Genocide a "moral, legal and political" obligation, which would signal Turkey's willingness to part ways with its "aggressive state doctrine stemming from an ideology which disappeared in Europe at the end of World War II."

The Federation commended the ever-increasing integration of Armenia and its region within European structures and called on the French presidency to support programs such as the European Neighborhood Policy. The letter also called EU efforts for direct dialogue with South Caucasus nations a "good strategic choice for Europe."

Turning to domestic EU policies, the Federation urged Sarkozy to honor his 2007 presidential campaign pledge of fosetering "the emergence of a European consensus" on the pan European penalization of genocide denial, in the agenda of the then-to-be-adopted EU Framework-Decision fighting "against racism and xenophobia".

"At the time, we worked with the European Commission, Council and Parliament to promote the inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in the final wording of this Framework Decision; Today, we have succeeded in doing so," said Hilda Tchoboian, chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.

Referencing the draft law on penalizing Genocide denial, pending in the French Senate, the Federation urged Sarkozy to honor his pledge and create mechanisms for adoption of similar legislation in the other 26 EU member-states.

"In a nutshell, we ask the French Presidency to provide political and legal content to its 'Protective Europe' concept, in reinforcing prevention and penalization measures against the proliferation of genocide denial in Europe," concluded Tchoboian.


Alexander Iskandaryan: "Turkey May Give Up Nagorno Karabakh Issue For Its Own Interests"
23 July 2008, Today Az
Day.Az interview with famous Armenian political scientist Alexander Iskandaryan.

- How does Armenia assess the fact of secret talks between the Armenian and Turkish diplomats?

- There is nothing secret in the fact of contacts with the Turkish side, in the Armenian political class it is a secret of Polichinel. Contacts are the permanent event and are not something new. Moreover, there are numerous international formats, in which Armenian and Turkish diplomats meet permanently, not speaking of the activity of permanent diplomatic mission in Istanbul-Armenian representation in BISEC.

- Can you say how wide the Armenian-Turkish contacts are?

- Well, they can not be called too expanded, though not small as well. Several flights are operated per week, there is a bus communication, sufficient number of tourists direct from Armenia to Turkey, mostly to the regions of the country, bordering on Armenia and where there are numerous Armenian monuments. Trade is conducted via the third countries.

- What will the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border give to Armenia?

- It will give much. Of its four neighbors Armenian borders are closed with two of them, thus, the opening of the border with one of them is important. Even so more, the point is not the arithmetics. Turkey is Armenia's western neighbor and the way to Europe lies via it, which is more direct and cheaper than the currently operating Georgian-Black sea route. Armenia's main trade balance is with European countries.

- Is Armenia ready to stop the activity, aimed at recognition of the "genocide of Armenians" and return of the occupied lands of Azerbaijan in exchange for the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border?

- As for the first point, I am afraid the point is not Armenia. Activity on recognition of the "genocide" is mainly conducted by the lobby of local Armenian organizations in the country of residence. These are the political parties of Armenia abroad and public organizations and some influential individuals abroad and so on. They are often supported by non-Armenian organizations or just people, by some reasons sympathazing Armenians or having negative attitude to Turkey.

Certainly, Armenia does not stay aside of all these processes but it is unable to stop it no matter how strong its wish is. "Genocide" is an important part of the self-conscience of Armenians abroad, whose main members are the direct descendants of those who survived "genocide", it is a part of their family history, and often a basis of their identity.

On the whole, it should be reminded that the fight for recognition of the "genocide" existed when there was no Armenian state at all (and was sometimes even stronger than now).

As for the second part of the question, I would say "no". The relations with Turkey and with Azerbaijan are different things. Though, interconnected, but different. The degree of tensions is different, parameters are different, circumstances are difference and priority of the issue for Turkey and Azerbaijan is different. Moreover, "the value of the issue" has been exagerrated. No one will give up security of Karabakh for opening of borders as these are different things.

I do not belittle Turkey's issue for Armenia, but it is clear that Turkey would have opened borders ten years ago for territories, if Armenia proposed it.

- Do you think Turkey may exchange Nagorno Karabakh issue for its own interests?

- Sure. Moreover, I think it will really occur, if no cardinal changes occur. The point is when it will occur. Azerbaijani lobby plays its role in Turkey, as well as internal factor, working for prolongation of the current state. But the dynamics of processes is in favor of positive changes.

- In this case: can the improvement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations be expected following a thaw in Armenian-Turkish relations?

- I am afraid it is unreal to expect improvement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations in the political perspective. It does not mean that it can not be expected in the historical perspective. I can not know what will happen in fifty or hundred years. But nothing on the political horizon shows prospect of such betterment and relations with the third countries (in this case, with Turkey) can hardly reverse this situation.


Ruben Safrastyan: Turkey Shows Interest In Hamshen Problem 23 July 2008, Panarmenian
“Hamshen and Hamshen Armenians. History and Culture” international conference started in Yerevan today. The goal of the conference is to encourage further studies, to raise public awareness and to establish ties with Hamshen Armenians.

“The problem of Hamshen and Hamshen Armenians attracts more and more attention. I am hopeful that this conference will help us to better understand the peculiarities of our nation and its manifestations in various geographical and religious spheres,” Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the RA Academy of Sciences, said in his opening remarks. “The problem is also in focus in Turkey. Certainly, we can’t agree with some Turkish historians who rate Hamshen Armenians as Turkic tribes.”

Experts from Armenia, Turkey and Russia studying the history and culture of Hamshen Armenians attended the conference, organizers of which hope for further collaboration.


Expert: Turkish People Won’t Allow Authorities To Meet Armenia Halfway, Ignoring Baku’s Interests 23 July 2008, Panarmenian
Turkish expert Mitat Celikpala said the border with Armenia won’t be opened ‘unless the latter abandons the Azeri territories.’ “These are not declarative announcements but Turkey’s state policy of the Global geopolitics clashed in the South Caucasus and Turkey doesn’t want to lose this big game. That is why it has to open a kind of dialogue with Armenia. But it doesn’t mean that Turkey will sacrifice Azerbaijan’s interests. Turkish people won’t allow the authorities to meet Armenia halfway, ignoring the interests of a fraternal country,” he said.

Commenting on Russia’s position, Celikpala said that Foreign Minister Lavrov’s recent visit to Ankara gives something to think about and can appear as Moscow’s keen geopolitical game.

“Relations between Turkey and Russia have improved recently. The Russian factor is gaining weight on Ankara. I do not rule out that the Armenian-Turkish talks were discussed during Lavrov’s visit. It’s well known that Armenia won’t take a step without coordinating it with Moscow,” the expert said, 1news.az reports.


I am mesmerized by the ingenuity of ANCA, collecting donations. They may think of installing “alms – boxes” at all ANI gas stations so every car driver contributes to the Dasnakist “good cause”, when buying Azeri (?) gasoline.
ancaupdate 23/07/2008, Subject: Fueling Azerbaijan's next war

Parev Friend,

$4.41 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That's what I paid at the pump just yesterday. $50, $75, even $100 fill-ups are taking a taking a toll on the family budget. But this reality also threatens the security of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh. The soaring price of gas means that billions of new petro-dollars are fueling oil-rich Azerbaijan's “defense” budget to the point that it's now bigger than Armenia's entire budget.

This new oil wealth pays for Baku's arms build-up, covers the costs of its growing army of Washington lobbyists, and fills its leaders with dreams of destroying Nagorno Karabagh – and then attacking Armenia. A very dangerous combination.

It's bad enough that every time we fill up we're indirectly funding Azerbaijan's war machine.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
What's even worse is that a piece of the taxes we pay on our hard earned income directly provides advanced U.S. hardware and training to the Azerbaijani military.

We can't do much about the price of gas, but we are taking a stand against this outrageous misuse of our tax dollars.

It's absolutely unacceptable for American citizens – including 1.5 million of Armenian heritage – to be forced to finance the wartime arsenal of Azerbaijani "President" Ilham Aliyev, a man who makes no secret of his aim to go to war with the Armenian people.

We're working hard in Washington to block this taxpayer subsidy, and with your financial help we can end this outrage, so please send your secure on-line donation today.

For the price of a fill-up - $60 (one tank), or $120 (two tanks), or $180 (three tanks) you can make a real difference, so please take a moment to give right now.

Chairman

P.S. For the price of a tank of gas your secure on-line donation will help block millions in U.S. military aid to the war-mongering government of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
www.anca.org


Turkey And Armenia: From Secret Talks To "Soccer Diplomacy"? Gareth Jenkins, Eurasia Daily Monitor, July 25 2008, DC

On July 24, the presidents of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan formally inaugurated the Turkish section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, which will eventually provide the first ever rail link between the three countries. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Turkish President Abdullah Gul declared, in an unmistakable reference to Armenia, that "this project is open to all countries in the region who wish to contribute to good, neighborly relations, peace and prosperity" (NTV, CNNTurk, July 24).

Armenia and Turkey do not have any official diplomatic relations and the border between the two countries has been closed since 1993, following the war in Nagorno Karabakh between ethnic Armenians and the Azeri government in Baku. In recent years, hopes of an improvement in relations between Turkey and Armenia have been frustrated by continuing differences over the status of Nagorno Karabakh and--more intractably--the treatment of ethnic Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire, culminating in 1915-16 in the massacre and deportation of virtually the entire Armenian population of Anatolia.

As a result, Ankara has consistently excluded Armenia from its plans to make Turkey into an energy and transportation hub. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE) natural gas pipeline both pointedly circumvent Armenia. The 76 kilometer (48 mile) Turkish section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad is currently expected to be completed in late 2010 or early 2011 at a total cost of $241 million. The initial target is for the railroad to carry 1.5 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight in the first year after it comes into service (Today's Zaman, July 25).

In addition to connecting Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, Ankara hopes that the railroad will form another link in a rail network that will eventually connect, via Turkey, China and Central Asia to western Europe. The Marmaray Project to bore a rail tunnel under the Bosporus and connect the Asian and European shores of Istanbul is currently scheduled for completion in 2011.

Armenia opposed the building of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, pointing out that there is already a railway running from Tbilisi to Kars via the Armenian town of Gyumri, although it has been out of use since the closure of the Turkish-Armenian border in 1993.

It is currently unclear what concessions Gul envisaged when he apparently made Armenian participation in the new rail project conditional on Yerevan making a contribution to "good, neighborly relations, peace and prosperity." For the moment at least, the respective positions of Turkey and Armenia on issues such as Nagorno Karabakh and the massacres and deportations of ethnic Armenians in the late Ottoman Empire appear so far apart as to be irreconcilable. Even if the two countries could reach some form of understanding over the latter, a solution to the problem of Nagorno Karabakh is beyond Turkey's control as it depends on an agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. There is currently no indication that one is imminent.

Nevertheless, there have recently been signs of a slight thaw between Turkey and Armenia. Even though the border between the two countries remains closed, there are now regular flights between Turkey and Armenia by both the privately-owned Turkish Atlas Jet and the Armenian state-owned carrier Armavia.

On July 18, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan appeared to confirm rumors in the Turkish media that diplomats from Turkey and Armenia had met in Switzerland for several days of informal talks about ways of improving ties. "Such talks are held from time to time," said Babacan. "We have problems about current issues and disagreements about the events of 1915. It is essential that these problems are handled through dialogue" (Today's Zaman, July 19).

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) also issued a statement admitting that in recent years there had been occasional informal contacts between Turkey and Armenia and noting that Turkey had been one of the first countries to recognize Armenia when it declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. "Meetings between members of the foreign ministries of the two countries are part of these contacts. We believe that no different meaning should be attributed to these meetings," said the MFA statement (Today's Zaman, July 19).

A previous series of informal discussions in 2005 failed to produce any result. In recent years, hopes of an improvement in relations have been complicated by events such as the motion brought before the U.S. Congress in fall 2007 calling on the United States to recognize what happened to the Armenians in 1915 as a genocide and the racist murder in Istanbul in January 2007 of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

But, even if diplomats from Turkey and Armenia remain reluctant to be seen meeting with each other, the two countries will come together in the most public of ways later this year. On September 6, the Turkish and Armenian national soccer teams are due to meet in Yerevan in the first ever match between the countries after they were both drawn in the same group in the qualifying stages for the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa. Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan has already invited Gul to Yerevan to watch the match. Gul has yet to reply to the invitation. Given the often extreme mutual antagonism between nationalists in both countries, traveling to Yerevan would require Gul to display both personal and political courage; as it would for Sarksyan to attend the return match in Istanbul. But there is also little doubt that, even if it did not produce any immediate results, such "soccer diplomacy" could contribute to a further easing of tensions and perhaps lay the foundations for an eventual reconciliation.


Historic Visit Of Turkish President Near The Border With Armenia, Closed Since 1993
26 July 2008
It is therefore Armenia? So close? “Surprised, the President of the Republic of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, stopped for a moment overlooking the canyon at the bottom of which the river flows Araxe, natural line that separates Turkey from Armenia. A look at the on the other side, where some emerging barracks and watchtowers occupied by Russian and Armenian soldiers guarding the border.

While passing through the region of Kars, Wednesday 23 and Thursday, July 24, at the eastern Turkey, Mr. Gül walked an hour in a majestic Ani of the ancient “city of 1001 churches” is the the largest remnant of the Armenian presence in Anatolia. Churches, in fact remain five or six, in ruins, scattered in the wild herbs. Visitors can come and admire since 2004. Previously, the area under military control, was totally sealed off.

Ani, the limits of Turkish territory, was the capital of bagratide kingdom of Armenia, in the tenth century. The symbol of this visit is not gone unnoticed, either on one side or the other of the border, closed since 1993: Abdullah Gül is the first Turkish president to visit it.

Armenia and Turkey have severed their relations fifteen years ago, when war erupted in Nagorny Karabakh, a province of Azerbaijan, populated mostly by Armenians, still occupied by Yerevan. In this conflict, Turkey has taken up the case of Azerbaijan, a country of ethnic Turkish. But in recent weeks, both sides, small gestures of openness have multiplied.

In early July, the Armenian president, Serge Sarkissian, invited his Turkish counterpart to attend the football match between Armenia and Turkey to be held in Yerevan, September 6, citing “a new phase of dialogue with the government and the people of Turkey. ” Mr. Gül reserved his response, suspended the political turmoil that affected Ankara. A few days later, we learned that bilateral negotiations “secret” had occurred on July 8 in Berne, Switzerland. Other meetings are scheduled for August and September, this week, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, attended a meeting, the United Nations, in the presence of an ambassador Armenian.

Diplomacy
The USA but also Iran, strategic partner of Yerevan, ardently support this dialogue. Finally, the last gesture to date, the Turkish government has dismissed, Wednesday, the head of the Turkish Institute of History, Yusuf Halaçoglu, known for its anti-Armenian rhetoric and antigénocide. A Kars, the capital of the Turkish border province of Armenia, it’s been a long time that we want to restore relations with the hated neighbor. Stuck at the bottom of a cul-de-sac, Kars is the first to suffer from the situation. Its streets and houses défoncées Russian nineteenth century décrépies betray a difficult economic situation.

The mayor (Justice and Development Party, AKP) in the city, Naif Alibeyoglu, had attended in 2000, more than 50 000 signatures for the reopening of the border and struggling to organize cultural events and trade fairs to meet nationals of all countries of the Caucasus. “We are trying for years to bring peace to the region,” he said. These positions him regularly attract the wrath of nationalist Turkish and Azeri. An MP of the ruling party in Baku has treated, Wednesday, “provocative” and “friend of Armenians”.

But in 2007, a lounge entrepreneurs, Kars, has raised a cross-border project. Producers Turkish, Georgian and Armenian, have launched their cheese “Caucasian”, manufactured since February. “We want to safeguard our common culture which is Caucasian, said Ilhan Koçulu, the project proponent. The earth does not discriminate. I am very saddened to see these conflicts in our region. We send a message to politicians and local populations We are all children of the earth Caucasus. ” Diplomacy cheese may show the way forward.
http://newas.eu


Severe Struggle Has Started In The Region For The Position Of Regional Power-Holder PanARMENIAN.Net, 22.07.2008
Iran does not look around in her foreign policy, like Turkey, and contributes to regulation of conflicts and controversial issues in the region.

In all probability severe struggle has begun in the region for the position of regional power-holder. Candidates are two - Iran and Turkey. Stakes are high - exclusion of the USA and Russia from the region and establishment of "personal order" the way Iran or Turkey picture it. Iran has a more favourable position in the competition. First, Tehran has oil and gas, which Turkey lacks. Moreover, according to explored and confirmed data Iran has the forth standing in the world.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ In political aspect Iran's position is more favourable than that of Turkey. There exists only the problem dreamed up by Baku - the problem of South Azerbaijan, the Iranian province on the Azerbaijani border. There is also the nuclear program that challenges the USA and the EC. However, Iran does not face any problems with her neighbouring states. And that is true - Iran does not look around in her foreign policy, like Turkey, and contributes to regulation of conflicts and controversial issues in the region.

During a phone conversation between Manouchehr Mottaki and RA FM Edward Nalbandian, the Iranian Foreign Minister welcomed the positive shifts in Armenian-Turkish relations. In his words, as a powerful and stable country in the region Iran can assist reconciliation between the two neighbors - Turkey and Armenia. The conversation between Mottaki and Nalbandian shows that serious developments in the Armenian-Turkish relations are on the agenda. Mottaki also expressed hope that improvements of relations between the two countries would contribute to the establishment of peace and harmony in the region. At the end the Iranian FM invited his Armenian counterpart to a conference on Non-Alignment Movement due in Tehran, late July, and confirmed his earlier invitation to visit Iran in current September.

Meanwhile, according to Iranian expert Hatam Ghaderi, Iran's willingness to mediate in Armenian-Turkish reconciliation is a unique tool to exert pressure on Official Ankara and is a response to Turkey's mediation between Syria (Iran's ally) and Israel (Iran's opponent) . "Using the Armenian factor Iran is willing to put pressure on Turkey. In fact, Turkey was the first to toy with Iran and 'put its cards on the table' against this country. And now, in response, Official Teheran is eager to put pressure on Turkey, using Armenia as its trump-card," Ghaderi said.

In his turn, Turkish political analyst Ufug Coshgun considers that Iran issued statements on her willingness to serve as a mediator between Turkey and Armenia as an alternative to Turkey's mediation between Syria and Israel. According to Coshgun, there is a chance of Iran's mediation to prove effective but it is not something you can be fully certain about.

However, it should be noted that Turkey's mediation in establishing negotiations between Syria and Israel has produced no results. In the words of Prime-Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert the issue can be reconsidered only in January 2009 with a new president in the USA. The US European lobby might hold back the initiative until it has a guarantee of Israel's security, whereas Turkey is unable to provide such a guarantee since the Iranian President keeps threatening Israel with enviable drive.

However, Iran's success in developing Armenian-Turkish relations is not definite. In both cases the efforts of mediators will fail if the parties are unwilling to come to an agreement. And it is exactly what the parties now lack.


Usa Can Make Gul Arrive In Yerevan And Have Aliyev Sign A Treaty Of Peace With Nagorno Karabakh PanARMENIAN.Net 19.07.2008
If Turkey agrees to negotiations, which will lead to normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations and result in opening of the border, Baku will lose its sole ally.

To all appearances American diplomacy in the South Caucasus produced the first results: negotiations on the probable normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations launched, secretly though. As usual, information leak is traced to the Turkish press, which once more convinces countries of the region of the fact that, in spite of all her statements on her right to implement her own policy, Ankara obeys the USA.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ However, USA's controlling the Turkish policy is temporary. On August 12 the Constitutional Court of Turkey will announce the verdict of the Prosecutor's General claim against the ruling Party for Justice and Development (AKP). This means that on September 6 the President of Turkey will be either in jail or in Yerevan. And Washington, even if it cannot interfere in the affairs of the Constitutional Court of Turkey, will at least influence the General Staff, which has been directing the Turkish policy for more than 70 years.

But secret negotiations are not a novelty. Still at the beginning of the current year Armenian and Turkish diplomats secretly met in Vienna, but neither of the Foreign Ministries elucidated the meeting. And according to diplomats, it is now time to work more openly. As Turkish Daily News reports, during the past three months Armenian and Turkish officials have conducted two rounds of negotiations in Bern, Switzerland, which is considered an impartial country. Undersecretary of Turkey's Foreign Minister Ertugrul Apakan headed the Turkish delegation during the first round (held in May) and his deputy Unal Cevikoz was the delegation leader at the second round (held in July). According to Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, such contacts are important for normalization of relations. "We still have disagreements over the events of 1915, but we favor a constructive approach and are eager to have a dialogue on solving the problems," he said.

The information on Abdullah Gul's arrival in Yerevan set Azerbaijan on panic. However, it is quite explicable - if Turkey agrees to negotiations, which will lead to normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations and result in opening of the border, Baku will lose its sole ally. Though, it should be admitted, that Ankara is not so reliable an ally. Ankara is eager to be a transit of Azerbaijani oil and gas, and cherishes the idea of establishing the Great Turan state, which is not at all favourable to Baku. Still, the Azerbaijani Mass Media are discussing the possible consequences of Abdullah Gul's arrival in Yerevan. According to analyst Rasim Aghayev a question arises whether Turkey will agree to "exchange" Nagorno Karabakh for Armenia's rejection to conduct a campaign for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide across the world. "I think Turkish leadership may undertake this step. But this will be Turkey's mistake, as concessions in Nagorno Karabakh conflict will be immediately followed by concessions of Armenia in the issue of 1915 Genocide, which implies concessions in the issues of compensations to the genocide victims and in the issues of territorial claims by Armenia to Turkey," Aghayev believes.

Chief of Department of Armenian Studies of the Turkish Institute of History Kemal Cicek, commenting to APA Turkish bureau on the secret meetings between Armenian and Turkish officials, stated: "Within various initiatives we've been meeting with Armenians in different European cities - in Oslo, in Salzburg. We proposed to establish joint commission for investigation of historic events, but have not received positive response yet. We cannot achieve the opening of Dashnak archives in Boston. No results have been achieved at these meetings so far. Let our Azerbaijani brothers not worry. Any step against our brothers is out of the question at the meetings held by the Foreign Ministry and our institute as well. There is no room for concern. The meetings may be even assessed as exerting pressure on Armenians through our demands". We get the impression that instead of the Turkish scientist it was an Azerbaijani analyst who answered the question of APA Turkish bureau. By the way it is not the first time that the Azerbaijani Mass Media have distorted the information to their own benefit.

>>From all the Azeri analysts Zardusht Alizade turned out to be the most sober. He declared that Azerbaijan should not panic in case the Armenian-Turkish border is opened. "The rumours that Azerbaijan might cede Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia are obviously untrue. The Nagorno Karabakh conflict can be settled only through Azerbaijan's effective policy. Only we can solve this problem. The situation is changing in the region and in the whole world, but our authorities are reluctant to notice the change. Oil dollars do not decide everything in the world. Sometimes we must look around and weigh the situation. The West made Turkey establish relations with Armenia and it will make Azerbaijan too. Soon the day will arrive when Azerbaijan will open its borders to Armenia. But in order to achieve it, Armenians have to give up their misleading policy and stop living in the world of myths," Alizade noted, 1news.az reports. It is quite reasonable -Alizade represents the opposition, and unlike other Azeri "political analysts" can afford the truth or at least, the half-truth.

Meanwhile Editor-in-Chief of the Californian Courier Harut Sasunyan is sure that even if the parties are able to overcome the main disagreements, no doubt, there will be no end to controversies between them. They will have arguments on selecting the staff and participants of the perspective Armenian-Turkish commission, on deciding the scope of investigation, on gaining access to the archives, and even on the size of the table round which they are going to sit. "And, of course, the side that will be quicker in smoothing away the controversies will win the PR-war and will blame the other side for collapsing the commission," Sasunyan said, reminding that the RA President had agreed on forming a commission only after the Armenian-Turkish border would be opened.

"In case the President of Turkey or any other authority leader arrives in Yerevan on September 6, the Armenian authorities should follow the protocol of visiting the memorial to the Genocide victims and lay flowers to perpetuate their memory. But the problem is if Turkish officials will agree to it. On April 21, 1993 former President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian left for Ankara and obeyed the protocol by visiting the mausoleum of Ataturk. Unfortunately the highly emotional and sentimental issue of the Armenian Genocide is transformed into political football. No one has the right to make political deals at the expense of recognition of this atrocious crime! The Armenian issue must not be subject to manipulations neither by the Turks, nor by the Armenians," Sasunyan stated.


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Daughter of Armenian Terrorist Mourad "Moose" Topalian Is In The News, NEW YORK POST
Gotti Ex Marries Terror Princess By Perry Chiaramonte And Stefanie Cohen , July 14, 2008
Carmine Agnello has a thing for dangerous women - or at least dangerous fathers-in-law.

The man who married and divorced Victoria Gotti, daughter of the late "Dapper Don" John Gotti, has a new bride - the daughter of a terrorist, The Post has learned.

Agnello, 48, quietly married the beautiful, raven-haired daughter of Mourad "Moose" Topalian, a former leader in the world of Armenian terrorism.

Agnello, nicknamed "The Bull," wed Danielle Vangar, nee Topalian, on Feb. 19, according to court documents obtained by The Post.

The lovebirds met about five years ago while Danielle, 35, was visiting her father in the same Ohio federal pen where Agnello was doing time on racketeering and tax-evasion raps.

Topalian was convicted of weapons and explosives possession after authorities in 1996 found a locker filled with more than 100 pounds of dynamite and a cache of guns that they traced back to the high-profile Armenian nationalist from Cleveland.

The feds claim Topalian helped plot the 1980 car bombing of the Turkish Mission to the United Nations in New York, which badly injured three passers-by.

He has maintained his innocence, saying in published reports that he copped a plea only to keep his family from the ordeal of a trial.

But a source told The Post that Topalian was the leader of a militant Armenian terrorist group dedicated to avenging his people's genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks in 1915.

His daughter and Agnello are now the picture of suburban bliss, living in a trim white colonial at the end of a cul-de-sac in the posh Cleveland suburb of Bentleyville.

Agnello has even opened a new business, Charity Towing, which hauls vehicles donated to nonprofit groups.

But while he's busy playing house with his new bride, Agnello's three sons by Victoria - Carmine, John and Frank - weren't even told about the nuptials, said his ex-wife, Victoria Gotti.

"I wish him the best," said Victoria, 46, when The Post broke the news to her. "But I can't believe he didn't tell the kids himself."

She said Agnello, who is still on supervised release, has only visited the three boys once since he's been out of jail.

"Like my mother always says, the government did me the biggest favor of my life," Victoria said, referring to both Agnello's arrest and the secret government recordings that revealed he'd been having a steamy affair with his bookkeeper, which led to the couple's divorce in 2002.

ANCA: Halacoglu Issues Public Statements Which Always Prove Untrue
11.07.2008, /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Yusuf Halacoglu issues a public statement every few weeks, every one of which proves, after the minimum of research, to be untrue, said Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America.

“Halacoglu is a combination publicity-hound and serial liar,” Aram Hambarian told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

Earlier, Yusuf Halacoglu, head of the Turkey Historical Society, stated that AFR Dashnaktsutyun members propose him to investigate into the past events. “It’s not easy to force Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide. It’s not easy for Armenians to hush up the scandal they caused. Proposals come from the West but not from Armenia. As you now, the Armenian Diaspora centers are located in France and the U.S. We will see how sincere they are. We eye Serzh Sarsgyan’s proposals in the same context,” Halacoglu said.


Turkey-Armenia Relations and International Law, Nursen Mazici - Radikal

The 1915 relocation was undoubtedly a great tragedy for Ottoman Armenians. But this tragedy was mutual. I hope that two Eastern nations, who slaughtered each other as a result of British imperialism and German militarism, will take a page from history and will not sacrifice themselves once more in the 21st century for the neo-imperialists’ interests in the Caucasus.

At a hearing on June 18, 2008 at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried argued that Armenia should recognize its border with Turkey and that Turkey should open its border with Armenia and come to terms with a dark chapter of its history. In short, I believe Fried meant to say:”Turkey should recognize genocide and open its border so that Armenia will recognize its border with Turkey.”

Demands from Turkey

At various meetings, Armenian officials have been putting forth a number of demands to Turkey for the improvement of bilateral relations:

- Taking the Sevr Treaty rather than the Kars Treaty as a basis to redraw the border between Turkey and Armenia
- Have Turkey pay reparations to the relocated Armenians who were allegedly subjected to genocide
- Have Turkey desist from seeking a solution that favors Azerbaijan over the Karabakh conflict and from saying that there was no genocide (Hurriyet, January 2, 2008)

The Dashnak Party issued a declaration claiming 16 and half Turkish provinces as “Western Armenia” and was able to put a reference to this declaration into the Armenian constitution thanks to the efforts of Robert Kocharian, also a Dashnak party member. In this context, one ought to ask Fried and Armenian politicians the following: Please let us know if you wish to draw the Turkish-Armenian border along Giresun-Sivas-Mersin or through Trabzon-Malatya-Hatay! It is incomprehensible that government representatives of these two countries can put forth such lawless and unserious proposals.

The Text of the “Treaty”

First, a reminder is needed that
1. For a text to become a treaty, the sides have to sign it and then the respective parliaments need to ratify it and finally the respective heads of state need to sign it and publish it for the treaty become executable. Mr.Danied Fried and Armenian politicians ought to know at least as much as I do that the Sevr Treaty only made it to the first stage and that no other signatory country except for Greece proceeded to the second stage, which basically renders Sevr closer to a “draft” rather than a treaty.

2. In addition, preceding the Kars Treaty, the Ankara government signed the Gumru Treaty with the then independent Republic of Armenia on December 2, 1920 represented by the Dashnak Party’s former Minister of Finance Avram Gulhandanyan, former Prime Minister Alexander Hadisyan and Deputy Minister of Interior Istepan Gurganyan. The Gumru Treaty stipulates in Article 2 that the current Turkish-Armenian border has been recognized with minor adjustments, Article 3, dealing with the legal status of the territories left with Turkey according to this agreement, speaks of the “undeniable historical, legal and ethnic relations of Turkey” to these territories. Aricle 4 stipulates” the cessation of acts that violate the order and security and are a result of the instigation and encouragement of imperialist countries.” Article 6 regulates that “The Signatories allow for the return of all refugees to their homes left inside the old borders, except for those who have joined enemy armies and took up arms against their own state or have participated in wholesale massacres in occupied territories…” and in Article 10 that the “Yerevan Government accepts the Sevr Treaty, which was rejected categorically by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, as null and void and commits to recall (Armenian) representative delegations in Europe and the United States, who have become instigation tools in the hands of some imperialist government and political circles in a bona fide effort to remove all ill thoughts between the two countries. The Republic of Armenia commits to not include ill intended and violent individuals with imperialist designs who have jeopardized peace and security between the two nations.”

The Kars Treaty of October 13, 1921 ratified the border between Turkey and Armenia with minor changes and also recognized Turkey’s international/national borders. The treaty was signed on behalf of the Republic of Armenia by Foreign Affairs Commissioner Iskinaz Mravyan and by Interior Affairs Commissioner Bogos Makisyan.

As the treaty reveals, the Dashnak party officials have formally reiterated on behalf of the Armenian government that they do not recognize the Sevr Treaty. In a sense they also confess to Ottoman Armenians’ collaboration with the imperialists and to the fact that they committed massacres. Therefore, Armenia’s political leaders should know that the one of the two conditions of defining an administration as a “state” is “continuity” and the other is “recognition” and that these two conditions complement each other. It must also be known that the Ankara Government, which signed the Gumru Agreement, also o managed to have all three conditions required by international law satisfied by the signatories of the Lausanne Treaty and turned this Treaty into the deed of the Republic of Turkey and into a taboo.

In this legal framework, one does not need to be a foreign minister or deputy or even an academic like me to know that demanding land from Turkey or Armenia or from any other “sovereign state” is a casus belli. Every educated and rational person can understand that. But occasionally, it can happen in every society that some rather educated albeit dim witted individuals make claims to Eastern Anatolian lands or that others claim Armenia to be an ancient Turkish Khanate and demand land from Armenia.

Lausanne and the Property Debate
As we discuss the Lausanne Treaty, it may be fit to evaluate the demand voiced in the Armenian National Assembly’s session on December 19-20, 2007. Reportedly demanded by the former Armenian Ambassador to Canada Ara Papyan, Turkey was responsible to pay reparations in the amount of 14.5 million USD. The 1915 Law for Relocation and Resettlement, since being a provisional law, required the government to hold an inventory of the property belonging to Armenians in anticipation of their return after the war. This was followed in 1918 with the Repatriation Law. As also stipulated in Article 3 of he Gumru Treaty, the exiled were given the right to return to their homes within three years. Armenian properties were also subject to lengthy discussion during the Lausanne Conference culminating in a determination that while Ottoman citizens who left their places of residence during the war had a right to their property upon their return, the statute of limitations had expired ant that they had lost their property rights.

Furthermore, the Addendum to the Lausanne Treaty outlined an amnesty for all crimes committed during the war for political and military purposes committed during the war and determined that no compensation was due to Armenians who died during the war.

The Karabakh Debate
According to the latest reports, Foreign Minister Oskanyan stated, “Turkey’s demands from us to end the Karabakh problem in Azerbaijan’s favor and drop our genocide allegations, aside from the legal perspective, had no moral basis.” (Taraf, January 4, 2007). Moral values carry a philosophical definition that may differ among societies and can be subject to debate. But as far as I know, Karabakh came under Ottoman rule during the reign of Sultan Murat III, entered a time of turmoil as it constantly switched changed hands among Turkey, Russia and Iran during the 18th and 19th century. When the Turkish army left the region after the Mondros Armistice, the British entered and in 1920 declared Karabakh as part of Azerbaycan. Then again in 1923, the Soviet Union declared Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Karabakh. While the Armenians in Karabakh petitioned the Soviet Union in 1929 to annex Karabakh to Armenia and settle Armenians from outside of Armenia there and continued to do so at every occasion, these demands were rejected by the Soviet Union.

After independence, both countries pledged to adhere to the OSCE principles with respect to Karabakh and to support the peace finding efforts of the UN and other international institutions. However, after the Armenian offense which resulted in the ethnic cleansing and deportation of 1 million Azeris from and particularly in 1993 following the massacres of Azerbaijanis in Hodjali, Turkey changed its policy of regarding the problem as a mainly an internal issue of the Soviet Union and remaining uninvolved. Henceforth, Turkey engaged in a policy that evolved around seeking regional peace in the Caucasus and received assurances from the OSCE that Karabakh’s official status was recognized as an autonomous region within Azerbaijan and requested that this status would not be permitted to be changed by means of aggression.

The Concessions Package
Russian Foreign minister Sergev Lavror presented a new concessions package to solve the Karabakh problem to Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanyan prior to the OSCE Foreign Minister’s Assembly on November 29, 2007.
Called the “Framework Agreement” by the Minsk Group, this document outlined that

1. Armenian forces must withdraw from the other seven Azerbaijani provinces they occupied in addition to Karabakh
2. Refugees will return
3. Karabakh’s status was to be determined

These provisions in the Framework Agreement under which the status of Karabakh has yet to be determined, show clearly that Turkey’s policy is in line with international law and that it is not pursuing a policy that favors Azerbaijan.

In the same meeting, Foreign Minister Oskanyan also reportedly stated that “Turkey missed the opportunity to normalize relations in 1991 when the Soviet Union broke apart and when Turkey started membership talks with the EU.” Turkey was on the top of the list of countries to recognize Armenian independence in 1991. It was also due to the insistence of then Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel that Armenia was admitted to the Organization on Black Sea Economic Cooperation, against the objections of others that Armenia was not a littoral country to the Black Sea.

I will not even mention the aid given by Turkey to prevent further embarrassment. If Mr.Oskanyan indeed gave such a statement, I assume he must have forgotten the 1991 chain of events due to interview anxiety. With respect to the legal dimensions of the allegation that Armenians were subject to genocide: Such an allegation can only have legal consequences once there it is adjudicated by a court of law. In the 26 years that I conducted archival research on this issue, particularly in the Russian, British, US and French archives, court decisions, Western commission reports, diplomatic dispatches and others, the events between 1890-1918 are referred to as mutual massacres. If there is a document in the archives in Yerevan and with Mr.Oskanyan that shows these events to be a genocide, I would surely like to use it. There is no doubt that the 1915 Relocation is not an “auspicious event” for the Ottoman Armenians, it is a big tragedy. But this tragedy has been mutual. I hope that two Eastern nations, who slaughtered each other as a result of British imperialism and German militarism, will proof that history only repeats itself for fools and will become the main actors in the new balance of power which is being shaped in the region.


Bush's Ambassador Designate To Yerevan Persists In Not Using 'G-Word'
July 14, 2008 Turkish Daily News
Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama who promised to recognize the World War I era killings of the Armenians at the hands of the Ottamans as genocide has shown one more time how he is committed to his pledge. He has not missed the opportunity to inquire the current administration's stance on the issue at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's ongoing review of the nomination of Marie Yovanovitch as ambassador to Yerevan.

Yovanovitch appeared as a witness before the Committee on June 19. Obama, who did not attend the hearing due to his electoral campaign, submitted four written question. The questions and answers were published in the website of the Armenian National Committee of America, or ANCA, last week.

Upon a question on how she characterizes the events surrounding the Armenian issue, Yovanovitch refrained to describe the incidents as genocide, although she acknowledged “the mass killings, ethnic cleansing and forced deportations devastated over 1.5 million Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire." Asked for what would be her future steps to encourage recognition of the claims of genocide in Turkey, Yovanovitch said the U.S. Embassy in Ankara was committed to work on the issue. “As a recent example the administration is currently laying the groundwork for an International Visitor Program that would bring archivists from the Turkish State Archives to the United States,” she said, adding that they have also invited Armenian archivists as a confidence building measure.

Asked what actions she would take to remember the incident's victims, Yovanovitch said: "I will refer to this great historic catastrophe as the 'Medz Yeghern', the term used within Armenia." She also said she would make it a priority “to promote understanding and reconciliation between the peoples and governments of Turkey and Armenia.”

Upon a question whether the department was satisfied with recent modifications to Article 301 of Turkey's Criminal Code that criminalizes to insult that allowed to be prosecuted for speaking about genocide, Yovanovitch said the scope for free expression has expanded in Turkey in recent years. She said they welcomed the recent amendments and said they encouraged the Turkish authorities to continue this progress and "to end legal action against citizens for expressing their views."

Concerned that senators had not been given enough time to review Yovanovitch's response, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer placed a one-month hold on her nomination, hinting that she or a like-minded senator may permanently block the nomination on grounds that the nominee is declining to characterize the killings of Armenians as "genocide."

President George W. Bush's previous nominee for U.S. ambassador to Yerevan, Richard Hoagland, was subjected to two legislative holds by Sen. Menendez and was ultimately withdrawn by the administration, following the nominee's statements denying the claims of genocide.

Sarksyan Proposes ‘Fresh Start’ For Gradual Normalization Serzh Sarksyan

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Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan has issued an open call and proposed "a fresh start" in relations between estranged neighbors Armenia and Turkey, while suggesting that dialogue would eventually lead to normalization of relations between the two countries.

"The time has come for a fresh effort to break this deadlock, a situation that helps no one and hurts many. As president of Armenia, I take this opportunity to propose a fresh start -- a new phase of dialogue with the government and people of Turkey, with the goal of normalizing relations and opening our common border," Sarksyan said in an opinion piece published yesterday in The Wall Street Journal.

"After my election in February, my Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gül, was one of the first heads of state to congratulate me. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog(an suggested that the doors are open to new dialogue in this new period," Sarksyan explained in his article, titled "We Are Ready to Talk to Turkey."

"There is no real alternative to the establishment of normal relations between our countries. It is my hope that both of our governments can pass through the threshold of this new open door. … We cannot expect tangible progress without such structured relations. Only through them can we create an effective dialogue touching upon even the most contentious historical issues," he suggested.

In Ankara, diplomatic sources welcomed the article, saying that Turkey would be pleased with initiatives for eventual normalization of ties with the neighboring country. "Such messages are helpful. Yet our proposal to establish a joint commission of historians is still on the table, and we have not yet received any response to our letter sent to Yerevan," the same diplomatic sources, who requested anonymity, however, emphasized while speaking with Today's Zaman.

The sources were referring to Prime Minister Erdog(an's 2005 letter to then-Armenian President Robert Kocharian, inviting him to establish a joint commission of historians and experts from both Turkey and Armenia to study the events of 1915 using documents from the archives of Turkey, Armenia and any other country believed to have played a part in the issue. No positive response has yet been received to this offer. Over the weekend President Gül held the first courtesy meeting with Sarksyan, elected in February.

On the sidelines of weekend festivities in Astana to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Kazakh capital city, Gül spoke briefly with Azerbaijani President I.lham Aliyev and Sarksyan at the Akorda presidential palace. Speaking to reporters later, Gül called his conversation with Sarksyan and Aliyev a "courtesy meeting." During the conversation Gül congratulated Sarksyan on his election to the presidency and told him that he had received a formal invitation to visit Yerevan for a football match in September. "We are assessing the invitation," Gül briefly told reporters, when asked whether he would accept the invitation. Armenia and Turkey will play against each other in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Sept. 6 in a qualifying match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in South Africa.
10 July 2008, Today's Zaman Ankara


Dink Portrait On Display In Press History Museum

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Dink’s widow, Rakel was moved upon seeing her husband’s portrait at the Istanbul Press Museum yesterday.

An oil portrait of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was put on display yesterday in the Istanbul Press Museum’s section of journalists who have left their mark on the history of the Turkish press.

Dink’s widow, Rakel, his niece Dilara and his Aunt Zabel attended a ceremony yesterday to mark the induction of his portrait into the museum.

Orhan Erinç, head of the Turkey Journalists’ Association (TGC), said Dink was the last of their friends to have been separated from them with a gun. He said Dink’s portrait showed the difficulty and danger of journalism, adding that its place among portraits of other murdered journalists was heartbreaking.

Erinç recalled that the Dink murder trial was still ongoing. “But we have learned from what journalists have written that his assassination plot was known to many. We learned that we lost Hrant Dink, not only as a journalist, but also as a citizen, to major negligence. We are sure that the perpetrators and powers behind this will be sentenced at the end of the process. But this is not going to be a satisfactory conclusion for us because a large number of journalist friends of ours are trying to carry on their professions under threat. Some have to travel around under police protection. This shows that journalism is becoming an even more difficult profession in Turkey. I would like to state on this occasion one more time how strange we find it that authorities are not taking any precautions and are not making any sincere efforts to enforce the law.”

At the end of his speech Erinç thanked the Dink family for their contributions in making the portrait a part of the museum’s permanent exhibition.

Rakel Dink also delivered a speech. “The children of this country unfortunately became museum exhibition pieces at a very young age,” she said.
10 July 2008, Today's Zaman Istanbul


Yusuf Halajoglu: “I Receive Proposals From Dashnaks To Investigate Genocide Committed By Armenians In Turkey”
9 Jul 2008 Istanbul. Mayis Alizadeh-APA. “Armenians have to establish relations with Turkey early or late. They will understand that they are in wrong way”, Professor Yusuf Halajoglu, Head of Turkish Historical Society told APA-Turkey bureau while commenting on Serzh Sargsyan’s proposal.

He noted that Turkey-Armenia relations were changed. “We should consider the issue from other point of view. I have received proposals from Dahsnaks to investigate the genocide committed by Armenians in Turkey. I assessed the issue: If Armenians are sincere, it will be known in short time. I will not believe in sincerity of Serzh Sargsyan, if Armenians recognize territorial integrity of Turkey, stop occupation of Nagorno Karabakh”, he said. Halajoglu explained the fact that Dashnaks were proposed $20mln to disclose archives in Boston.
“My proposal causes anxiety of Dashnaks. Dashnaks did not think that we would be engaged in this issue seriously. Proposed money is not little. Dashnaks can be interested in the proposal. Sometimes they propose concrete projects. I told them that we should conduct discussions on several issues. Then we can decide what we may discuss”, he said. Halajoglu added that the West also proposed such projects as well.
“You know that Armenia’s main Diasporas locate in France and the US. We will see their “sincerity”. We approach to Sargsyan’s proposal from this context”, he said.


Serzh Sargsyan: Armenia And Turkey Should Not Be Permanent Rivals
09.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The problems of newly independent nations attempting to build a novel, democratic way of life did not end with the break-up of the Soviet Union. Armenia, a small country strategically located between Turkey, Russia, Iran and the energy-rich Caspian region, is a case in point, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan writes in his “We Are Ready to Talk to Turkey” article published in The Wall Street Journal.

“Postindependence Armenia’s potential for peaceful development has not been realized as best it could.

During the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkey closed its border with Armenia as an expression of ethnic solidarity with Turkic Azerbaijan. The regrettable result is that for almost 15 years, the geopolitically vital border between Armenia and Turkey has become a barrier to diplomatic and economic cooperation. It is closed not only to Armenians and Turks who might want to visit their neighboring countries, but to trade, transport and energy flows from East to West.

Strategic projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the projected Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad bypass Armenia, while the existing railway between Turkey and Armenia remains shut. And the Armenian people are not the only ones who have suffered from these restrictions and detours. All countries in the region, and the broader community of European nations, pay a high cost for these unnatural barriers to commerce, progress and international cooperation.
The time has come for a fresh effort to break this deadlock, a situation that helps no one and hurts many. As president of Armenia, I take this opportunity to propose a fresh start – a new phase of dialogue with the government and people of Turkey, with the goal of normalizing relations and opening our common border.

After my election in February, my Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, was one of the first heads of state to congratulate me. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that the doors are open to new dialogue in this new period.

There is no real alternative to the establishment of normal relations between our countries. It is my hope that both of our governments can pass through the threshold of this new open door. Establishing normal political relations would enable us to create a commission to comprehensively discuss all of the complex issues affecting Armenia and Turkey. We cannot expect tangible progress without such structured relations. Only through them can we create an effective dialogue touching upon even the most contentious historical issues.

Already, on a more personal scale, many Armenians and Turks have found ways to get around the closed border. They take advantage of regular charter flights from Yerevan to Istanbul and Antalya. There are numerous bus and taxi routes through Georgia, and container trucks even make the long detour, enabling some trade between our two countries.

And just as the people of China and the United States shared enthusiasm for ping pong before their governments fully normalized relations, the people of Armenia and Turkey are united in their love for football – which prompts me to extend the following invitation.

On Sept. 6 a World Cup qualifier match between the Armenian and Turkish national football teams will take place in Yerevan. I hereby invite President Gul to visit Armenia to enjoy the match together with me in the stadium. Thus we will announce a new symbolic start in our relations. Whatever our differences, there are certain cultural, humanitarian and sports links that our peoples share, even with a closed border. This is why I sincerely believe that the ordinary people of Armenia and Turkey will welcome such a gesture and will cheer the day that our borders open.

There may be possible political obstacles on both sides along the way. However, we must have the courage and the foresight to act now. Armenia and Turkey need not and should not be permanent rivals. A more prosperous, mutually beneficial future for Armenia and Turkey, and the opening up of a historic East-West corridor for Europe, the Caspian region and the rest of the world, are goals that we can and must achieve,” the article says.


Dashnaks Warn Sarkisian Over Armenian Genocide Study By Emil Danielyan
In a clear warning to President Serzh Sarkisian, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) on Tuesday reaffirmed its strong opposition to the idea of Turkish and Armenian historians jointly determining whether the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted a genocide.

The idea was floated by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a 2005 letter to then President Robert Kocharian. Kocharian rejected it, saying that this and other issues of mutual concern should be tackled by the two governments, rather than a Turkish-Armenian commission of historians.

Sarkisian said late last month that Yerevan will not oppose the creation of such a commission if Turkey unconditionally establishes diplomatic relations and opens its land border with Armenia. Armenia’s leading opposition groups were quick to condemn the apparent policy change, saying that by accepting Ankara’s proposal in principle Sarkisian called into question the very fact of what many historians regard as the first genocide of the 20th century.

The opposition concerns were echoed by Dashnaktsutyun, which is represented in Sarkisian’s coalition government and is known for its hard line on Armenia’s relations with Turkey. The party demanded and received an explanation from the presidential administration. According to a top party spokesman, Sarkisian has clarified that he believes the would-be commission should not determine whether or not a genocide occurred in 1915-1918 and should instead research “various details of the genocide.”

Despite these assurances, the issue was on the agenda of the first session of Dashnaktsutyun’s recently elected governing Bureau held from July 3-8. “The Bureau is adamant that the fact of the Armenian genocide is not a subject of discussion, and no high-ranking official representing Armenia may have a different approach,” it said in a statement. “Universal recognition of the genocide is vital for the existence, security and future of our people and statehood.” (Photolur photo: Dashnaktsutyun leaders pictured during a recent party congress.)

 © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com



Armenia Extends Goodwill Gesture To Turkey, Again, Ankara Continues Its Blockade Of Armenia; Genocide Denial
Brussels, Belgium – Recently elected Armenian President Serge Sargyan made overtures to his counterpart in the Turkish Government this week, inviting President Abdullah Gül to join him in Armenia’s capital Yerevan to watch the upcoming soccer match between Turkey and Armenia on September 6th, reported that European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD).

Sargsyan also renewed the offer, made by previous Armenian presidents, to establish normal diplomatic relations with the Turkish Government, with no preconditions. The announcements were made in an op/ed published in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, which also called for the creation of an inter-governmental “commission to comprehensively discuss all of the complex issues affecting Armenia and Turkey”.

To date, Turkey has not responded to Sargsyan’s proposal.

Turkey is continuing its devastating 15-year blockade of Armenia, imposed due to racial hostility stemming from the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. Turkey continues to make false accusations as to the reasoning for the blockade – blaming everything from the Karabagh conflict to articles in the Armenian Constitution.

The European Armenian Federation noted that Armenia’s calls for the unconditional removal of Turkey’s blockade is a matter of international law and would be beneficial to both countries as well as the region and international community overall. As such, the Federation calls upon the European Union to increase its pressure on Turkey, which, as a candidate for European Union accession, is duty-bound to peacefully resolve all disputes with neighbouring countries in compliance with International law, as mandated in the Framework of Negotiations.

The Federation goes on to note that Sargsyan’s proposal stands in the face of Turkey’s calls to establish a so-called historical commission comprised of revisionist historians to discuss the veracity of the Armenian Genocide, first suggested by Prime Minister Erdogan in 2005.

“The scholarly community has long since spoken on this issue. The International Association of Genocide Scholars has gone so far as to send an open letter to the Turkish Prime Minister to express the pointlessness of such a commission. Turkey itself scuttled a similar committee because that group properly characterized the Armenian Genocide” said Hilda Tchoboian, the president of the European Armenian Federation.

The Federation regrets that Turkey continues its behind-the-scenes efforts to tie the establishment of normalized relations with Armenia with international genocide recognition and reparations – a genocide of which Turkey is guilty.

“The recognition of genocide and the reparations that follow is a moral, legal and political responsibility that no State can escape,” continued Tchoboian. “At this point, the only question that remains is when Turkey will face that fact, stop living in the past, and rejoin the international community by recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” concluded the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.
European Armenian Federation For Justice And Democracy , 12 July 2008


Armenian Genocide International Recognition Will Ensure Security And Future Of Armenian Nation
09.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian Genocide is an indisputable fact. Its international recognition is immediately linked with security and future of the Armenian nation, AFR Dashnaktsutyun members stated during the newly elected Bureau’s plenary session held in Yerevan July 3-8.

The Bureau members are confident that all Armenian high-ranking officials are unanimous about the issue.

Just resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict was mentioned as a priority task among with the Genocide recognition, resistance to challenges, reanimation of Armenia’s international image, efficiency of political, social and economic reforms.

The ARFD Bureau devoted special attention to reorganization of the Diaspora as a strong political and economic factor and welcomed formation of Ministry for Diaspora Affairs.


We Are Ready To Talk To Turkey, By Serzh Sargsyan, From Today's Wall Street Journal Europe
July 9, 2008, Yerevan, Armenia
The problems of newly independent nations attempting to build a novel, democratic way of life did not end with the break-up of the Soviet Union. Armenia, a small country strategically located between Turkey, Russia, Iran and the energy-rich Caspian region, is a case in point. Postindependence Armenia's potential for peaceful development has not been realized as best it could.

During the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkey closed its border with Armenia as an expression of ethnic solidarity with Turkic Azerbaijan. The regrettable result is that for almost 15 years, the geopolitically vital border between Armenia and Turkey has become a barrier to diplomatic and economic cooperation. It is closed not only to Armenians and Turks who might want to visit their neighboring countries, but to trade, transport and energy flows from East to West.

Strategic projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the projected Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad bypass Armenia, while the existing railway between Turkey and Armenia remains shut. And the Armenian people are not the only ones who have suffered from these restrictions and detours. All countries in the region, and the broader community of European nations, pay a high cost for these unnatural barriers to commerce, progress and international cooperation.

The time has come for a fresh effort to break this deadlock, a situation that helps no one and hurts many. As president of Armenia, I take this opportunity to propose a fresh start – a new phase of dialogue with the government and people of Turkey, with the goal of normalizing relations and opening our common border.

After my election in February, my Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gül, was one of the first heads of state to congratulate me. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that the doors are open to new dialogue in this new period.

There is no real alternative to the establishment of normal relations between our countries. It is my hope that both of our governments can pass through the threshold of this new open door. Establishing normal political relations would enable us to create a commission to comprehensively discuss all of the complex issues affecting Armenia and Turkey. We cannot expect tangible progress without such structured relations. Only through them can we create an effective dialogue touching upon even the most contentious historical issues.

Already, on a more personal scale, many Armenians and Turks have found ways to get around the closed border. They take advantage of regular charter flights from Yerevan to Istanbul and Antalya. There are numerous bus and taxi routes through Georgia, and container trucks even make the long detour, enabling some trade between our two countries.

And just as the people of China and the United States shared enthusiasm for ping pong before their governments fully normalized relations, the people of Armenia and Turkey are united in their love for football – which prompts me to extend the following invitation.

On Sept. 6 a World Cup qualifier match between the Armenian and Turkish national football teams will take place in Yerevan. I hereby invite President Gül to visit Armenia to enjoy the match together with me in the stadium. Thus we will announce a new symbolic start in our relations. Whatever our differences, there are certain cultural, humanitarian and sports links that our peoples share, even with a closed border. This is why I sincerely believe that the ordinary people of Armenia and Turkey will welcome such a gesture and will cheer the day that our borders open.

There may be possible political obstacles on both sides along the way. However, we must have the courage and the foresight to act now. Armenia and Turkey need not and should not be permanent rivals. A more prosperous, mutually beneficial future for Armenia and Turkey, and the opening up of a historic East-West corridor for Europe, the Caspian region and the rest of the world, are goals that we can and must achieve.

Mr. Sargsyan is president of Armenia.
online.wsj.com, Copyright © 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


President of Armenia: Turkish Visit To Be A Symbolic Start
July 9th, 2008
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan published an article in the Wall Street Journal, where he expressed his willingness to take steps in the direction of normalizing the relations with Turkey. The full text of the article is presented below:

“The problems of newly independent nations attempting to build a novel, democratic way of life did not end with the break-up of the Soviet Union. Armenia, a small country strategically located between Turkey, Russia, Iran and the energy-rich Caspian region, is a case in point. Postindependence Armenia's potential for peaceful development has not been realized as best it could.

During the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkey closed its border with Armenia as an expression of ethnic solidarity with Turkic Azerbaijan. The regrettable result is that for almost 15 years, the geopolitically vital border between Armenia and Turkey has become a barrier to diplomatic and economic cooperation. It is closed not only to Armenians and Turks who might want to visit their neighboring countries, but to trade, transport and energy flows from East to West.

Strategic projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the projected Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad bypass Armenia, while the existing railway between Turkey and Armenia remains shut. And the Armenian people are not the only ones who have suffered from these restrictions and detours. All countries in the region, and the broader community of European nations, pay a high cost for these unnatural barriers to commerce, progress and international cooperation.

The time has come for a fresh effort to break this deadlock, a situation that helps no one and hurts many. As president of Armenia, I take this opportunity to propose a fresh start – a new phase of dialogue with the government and people of Turkey, with the goal of normalizing relations and opening our common border.

After my election in February, my Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gül, was one of the first heads of state to congratulate me. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that the doors are open to new dialogue in this new period.

There is no real alternative to the establishment of normal relations between our countries. It is my hope that both of our governments can pass through the threshold of this new open door. Establishing normal political relations would enable us to create a commission to comprehensively discuss all of the complex issues affecting Armenia and Turkey. We cannot expect tangible progress without such structured relations. Only through them can we create an effective dialogue touching upon even the most contentious historical issues.

Already, on a more personal scale, many Armenians and Turks have found ways to get around the closed border. They take advantage of regular charter flights from Yerevan to Istanbul and Antalya. There are numerous bus and taxi routes through Georgia, and container trucks even make the long detour, enabling some trade between our two countries.

And just as the people of China and the United States shared enthusiasm for ping pong before their governments fully normalized relations, the people of Armenia and Turkey are united in their love for football – which prompts me to extend the following invitation.

On Sept. 6 a World Cup qualifier match between the Armenian and Turkish national football teams will take place in Yerevan. I hereby invite President Gül to visit Armenia to enjoy the match together with me in the stadium. Thus we will announce a new symbolic start in our relations. Whatever our differences, there are certain cultural, humanitarian and sports links that our peoples share, even with a closed border. This is why I sincerely believe that the ordinary people of Armenia and Turkey will welcome such a gesture and will cheer the day that our borders open.

There may be possible political obstacles on both sides along the way. However, we must have the courage and the foresight to act now. Armenia and Turkey need not and should not be permanent rivals. A more prosperous, mutually beneficial future for Armenia and Turkey, and the opening up of a historic East-West corridor for Europe, the Caspian region and the rest of the world, are goals that we can and must achieve.”
Source: Public Radio of Armenia


ADL Leaders Discuss Israel-Turkey Relations with Top Government Officials in Ankara
Jerusalem, July 7, 2008 ? In a series of meetings in Ankara, top Turkish government officials and leaders of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) discussed a variety of issues, including Turkey's efforts to facilitate peace talks between Israel and Syria, the close relationship between Turkey and Israel, and strengthening relations between the United States and Turkey in an effort to combat terrorism and extremism in the region.

In Turkey, Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director met with President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, main opposition Republican People's Party leader Deniz Baykal and Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun.

They also met with the foreign minister, minister of justice, interior minister and education minister, as well as members of parliament and the U.S. and Israeli ambassadors to Ankara.

Currently in Israel with delegation of senior ADL leaders, Mr. Lewy and Mr. Foxman said: "We applaud Turkey for its efforts to facilitate peace talks between Israel and Syria and for maintaining a close relationship with Israel across the board.

"We appreciate Turkey's role in communicating to Iran the seriousness with which the West views its future possible nuclear capability. In our meetings, we also expressed appreciation of the embrace and support of the Jewish community and the frequent public condemnation of anti-Semitism by President Gul, both in Turkey and abroad. We also discussed the close U.S.-Turkey relationship, especially in the effort to combat terrorism and extremism in the region."

Regarding the Armenian issue, ADL urged Turkish officials to resolve the matter in a proactive way between the government of Armenia and the government of Turkey and to deal with alleviating the needs of today's Armenians as part of an effort to resolve the historic affair.

"My advice is that Turkey be creative and proactive in strengthening the relationship with Armenia as a way to deal with the issue," said Mr. Foxman. "That will bring about a coming together of history. I suggested finding ways to work together that will help change the atmosphere, because we have a concern today for the well-being of Armenia. Armenia and Turkey need to solve this, not in a political forum such as Congress or parliaments."

In Istanbul, the delegation met with Turkey's chief rabbi, Jewish community leaders, and the mayor before departing for Israel.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
www.adl.org


Jerusalem Post Jul 7, 2008 After Meetings In Turkey, Foxman Says Fallout Over 'Genocide' Flap Is 'Behind Us' By Herb Keinon
The controversy and fallout over the Anti-Defamation League's statement last year that Turkish actions toward Armenians during World War I was "tantamount to genocide" is "behind us," ADL National Director Abe Foxman said Monday in Jerusalem, where he arrived from Ankara and a series of meetings with Turkey's leadership.

Slideshow: Pictures of the week Last August, Foxman - who was in a dispute in the Boston area over the ADL's position on the Turkey-Armenia issue -infuriated Turkish leaders by issuing the following statement: "We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities. On reflection, we have come to share the view of Henry Morgenthau, Sr. (the US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time) that the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide. If the word 'genocide' had existed then, they would have called it genocide...

"Having said that, 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."

The Turks viewed this as a reversal of the organized Jewish community's position on the issue, and warned that Turkish-Israeli ties could be harmed if the American Jewish organizations did not work - as they had done in the past - to ensure that the US Congress did not pass a resolution characterizing the massacre of Armenians during World War I as genocide.

The legislation was eventually removed from the table after US President George W. Bush, and numerous former secretaries of state and defense, wrote letters saying that passing the legislation would harm American interests. "They were angry," Foxman said of the Turkish response to the ADL's statement last year. "But I think today there is an understanding of where we were, and that we were opposed to Congressional legislation, and that we stood very firm that that was not the way to resolve the issue, and that there is nothing cataclysmic about using the 'genocide' word."

Foxman, who met with President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and other key government figures, said his message was that the Turks should be "proactive" and try to help today's Armenia as part of an effort to resolve the historic affair.

"In the conversations I had with all of them I said there is a need to be proactive, that they need to deal with live Armenians, and strengthen the relationship between Turkey and Armenia, and by strengthening the relations today - frontier issues, opening borders - it will place the historical issue in the background and be much easier to deal with," Foxman said. By the same token, Foxman said that the Armenian community in the US should understand that pressure to use "certain words they want us to use is not going to help one Armenian."

Rather, Foxman said, one of the ways the American Jewish community can help the Armenians it to "help convince the Turkish government to normalize relations" with Armenia.
Copyright 1995- 2008 The Jerusalem Post


Binghamton University Professor Resigns Over Dispute On Armenian Genocide
07.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The issue that has roiled U.S.-Turkish relations in recent months “how to characterize the mass killings of Armenians in 1915” has set off a dispute over politics and academic freedom at an institute housed at Georgetown University. Several board members of the Institute of Turkish Studies have resigned this summer, protesting the ouster of a board chairman who wrote that scholars should research, rather than avoid, what he characterized as Armenian Genocide, The Washington Post reports.

“Within weeks of writing about the matter in late 2006, Binghamton University professor Donald Quataert resigned from the board of Governors, saying the Turkish ambassador to the United States told him he had angered some political leaders in Ankara and that they had threatened to revoke the institute’s funding.

After a prominent association of Middle Eastern scholars learned about it, they wrote a letter in May to the institute, the Turkish prime minister and other leaders asking that Quataert be reinstated and money for the institute be put in an irrevocable trust to avoid political influence.

The ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Nabi Sensoy, denied that he had any role in Quataert’s resignation. In a written statement, he said that claims that he urged Quataert to leave are unfounded and misleading.

The dispute shows the tensions between money and scholarship, and the impact language can have on historical understanding.

Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were killed when the Ottoman Empire collapsed after World War I. Armenians and Turks bitterly disagree over whether it was a campaign of genocide, or a civil war in which many Turks were also killed,” the edition says.

The Turkish studies institute, founded in 1983, is independent from Georgetown University, but Executive Director David Cuthell teaches a course there in exchange for space on campus.

Julie Green Bataille, a university spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mail, "We will review this matter consistent with the importance of academic freedom and the fact that the institute is independently funded and governed." The institute’s funding, a $3 million grant, is entirely from Turkey.


ANCC Calls To Put An End To Turkish Lies And Misinformation
07.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkish politicians and some Turkish media outlets are once again trying to mislead the international community with false news stories and by distorting facts on the Armenian Genocide, says a statement issued by the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC).

Hurriyet, a leading Turkish daily, published (July 2) a news story under the “Turkish Thesis Regarding 1915 Events Adopted by OSCE” headline, which quoted Alaattin Buyukkaya, head of the Turkish group at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly in Astana, Kazakhstan. According, to Buyukkaya, the OSCE adopted the “motion submitted by the Turkish delegation. He also said: "The motion underlines that past events like genocide should be recognized only after historians carried out a detailed research in all kinds of archives.” The news item tried to link the so-called motion to the Turkish government proposal “to the Armenian government” for “the establishment of a joint historical commission composed of historians and other experts from both sides to study together the events of 1915 and to open the archives of Turkey and Armenia, as well as the archives of all relevant third-party countries and share their findings publicly.”

“The Hurriyet "news" couldn’t be farther from the truth. The OSCE did not adopt any motion on the Armenian Genocide during its meeting. In its final declaration, under Chapter Three (page 8), the OSCE adopted a series of measures and recommendations regarding the “collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics and particularly the profound psychological effects of these changes.” In Article 61 the organization clearly parallels the above events to the “psychological and societal” effects to the “end of the Second World War.”

“In contrast to the Turkish claims, Article 60 of OSCE communique stressed the importance of “reconciliation” of each nation with its “past in an open and public process,” meaning Turkey should come to terms with its crimes against humanity (the mass killing of Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Assyrians, Pontians, Arabs, and Kurds).”

“In a further blow to Turkish government’s “historians commission” proposal “to study the Armenian Genocide,” the OSCE (page 45, article 12) said the organization “strongly encourages all parliaments to adopt acts regarding recognition of the [Ukrainian Famine] Holodomor,” thus coming to the conclusion that history should not be left only to historians, and that parliaments should adopt resolutions/acts recognizing such crimes against humanity,” the statement says.

“Once again the Turkish government is stretching the truth and is distributing false news in its desperate and futile denial policy of the Armenian Genocide,” stated Aris Babikian, ANCC executive director. He called on the international community and media to put an end to the Turkish government’s misrepresentations, lies, and PR spin."

The ANCC leader said: "If the Turkish government has the chutzpah to twist current events and the deliberations of international organizations, it is no wonder that it would be engaged in the denial of the Armenian Genocide which took place 92 years ago."

Babikian called on the Turkish government to heed the OSCE advice and come to terms with its dark chapter of history and recognize the Armenian Genocide. He said: "Turkey should put an end to this deceit and charade which it has been involved in for the past 92 years.


OSCE PA Resolution Mentions Neither Armenia Nor Armenian Genocide
07.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The OSCE PA resolution on formation of commissions of historians with a purpose to normalize relations between the OSCE member states doesn’t mention either Armenia or the Armenian Genocide.

“Armenian media was misinformed by the Turkish propaganda machine,” member of the Armenian delegation to OSCE PA Armen Ashotyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

“The OSCE PA committee focused on the problems of transparency. In particular the committee on human rights and democracy considered normalization of relations between the organization’s member states. The author of the resolution is a Czech but not a Turkish parliamentarian. The resolution calls on the OSCE countries’ parliaments to resolve bilateral problems via formation of commissions of historians and experts with participation of thirds states. Not only Armenia and Turkey experience problems. Similar problems exist between Poland and Ukraine, France and Germany, etc. I have proposed an amendment to explain that formation of such a commission is impossible due to Turkey’s ongoing blockade of Armenia and my explanation was accepted. The Armenian delegation wonders why Turkish parliamentarians have distorted the contents of the resolution. It’s all the more upsetting after we succeeded in establishing normal relations with the Turkish parliamentarians,” he said.

Earlier, Alaattin Buyukkaya, head of the Turkish delegation to the OSCE PA, said that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) adopted Turkey’s motion which says that past events like genocide should be recognized only after historians carried out a detailed research in all kinds of archives.

“Adoption of the Turkish thesis by the OSCE is a significant achievement against the Armenian allegations. Also, the Turkish thesis regarding the events of 1915 was adopted for the first time on an international platform. Armenia was the only among 56 OSCE member states to vote against the motion," he said. "The motion says that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly encourages formation of joint commission of historians and experts from the third countries in case of a research into political and military archives to scientifically and impartially enlighten a disputed period in history in an effort to serve transparency and common understanding among the member states."

Who killed Hrant Dink?
As the murder trial continues this week in Turkey, the investigation remains far from complete. Jo Glanville spoke to Dink family lawyer Fethiye Çetin about the case

The sixth hearing in the Hrant Dink murder trial takes place in Istanbul today. It is 18 months since the Armenian-Turkish editor and journalist was shot dead outside the office of his newspaper Agos — and a year since the trial of his 17-year-old murderer, Ogün Samast, and 18 alleged accomplices, began. Dink’s lawyers are so concerned at the conduct of the investigation that they have taken the case to the European Court.

Dink was one of Turkey’s bravest voices. He was twice prosecuted under the infamous Article 301 of Turkey’s penal code for ‘insulting Turkishness’. In his attempt to forge a fully democratic Turkey, a nation that gives equal space to all its minorities, he felt it was imperative for the country to confront the truth of its past and he openly discussed the taboo of the Armenian genocide in 1915. He was also a strong advocate of Turkey’s bid to join the EU.

‘The very fact that Hrant Dink was chosen to be murdered was a well planned, well thought out idea,’ says Fethiye Çetin, who defended Dink when he was prosecuted and now represents his family. ‘First — he was a truly democratic person. Second — he was Armenian and he was outspoken. By being democratic, Armenian and outspoken, he was touching quite clearly and openly on those taboos the deep state did not want exposed or talked about.’

The idea of the ‘deep state’ goes to the heart of Turkey’s troubles. It describes the anti-democratic forces that may undermine any government that is considered to deviate from the Kemalist path. Since the trial began, the climate in Turkey has become even more volatile as the legitimacy of the AKP government is challenged in the courts and the detention of 21 people last week alleged to be connected to the ultra-nationalist network Ergenekon.

It is very possible that the Ergenekon case could cast light on the murder of Dink or, at the very least, on the hate campaign which led up to his death. Amongst those detained earlier this year, some were active participants in the demonstrations against Dink that took place during the prosecutions under 301. ‘This [murder] trial is like a mirror for Turkey,’ says Fethiye Çetin. ‘In the end, either those who say “No” to what is going on are going to win and everything is going to change — or nothing is going to change.’

When Ogün Samast was arrested, he was filmed on a mobile phone being feted at the local police station. It is the collusion of the local police and the civil security forces that Fethiye Çetin wants to see exposed.

‘Right from the beginning, we noticed and realised that both the gendarmes and the civil security forces were very much aware of the murder — and not only aware of the murder, but of very detailed plans as well. Because we were aware of that from the very beginning, we wanted the trial to be looked at from that point of view. Through an efficient, effective, investigation, we wanted those in charge, on duty, in the gendarmes and the civil society, to be tried, but we have failed so far.’

Although junior officers in Trabzon have admitted that they knew about the plot, senior officers have not been cross-examined and only an internal investigation has taken place. ‘We’ve been saying right from the start that an internal investigation should be out of the question — because this is a murder trial. In these cases, the prosecutors should initiate an investigation.’

Fethiye Çetin’s memoir, My Grandmother, has just been published by Verso

Read Maureen Freely’s article ‘Why They Killed Hrant Dink’ from Index on Censorship May 2007
www.indexoncensorship.org


Gül Has First Talks With Medvedev, ‘Courtesy Meeting’ With Sarksyan
Gül (C) is seen chatting with his Armenian counterpart, Sarksyan, and Azerbaijani President Aliyev (L).

Weekend festivities in Astana to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Kazakh capital city offered an opportunity for the first bilateral meeting between Turkey's President Abdullah Gül and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev since Medvedev's March election.

Astana was also the venue for a first courtesy meeting between Gül and Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan, elected in February. The three leaders, none of whom have yet concluded their first year in office, attended celebrations for the 10-year anniversary of the world's youngest capital, Astana, which was designated the country's leading city by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

On Saturday Gül and Medvedev held bilateral talks closed to the press on the sidelines of the Astana gathering. "Turkey and Russia are two countries whose relations with each other have been proceeding in regards to neighborhood, friendship and in every way. I believe that all of us will work in cooperation to carry our relations to a further level. As both you and we have this political will, I believe we can carry this out," Gül said, as the two leaders posed for the cameras ahead of their meeting.

Medvedev expressed pleasure over his meeting with Gül and pledged efforts for improving bilateral relations with Turkey. Later in the day, his presidential aide, Sergei Prikhodko, said Medvedev and Gül had agreed to exchange visits and discussed prospects for interaction between the two countries in the fields of investment and tourism.

Prikhodko said Medvedev had invited the Turkish president to make an official visit to Russia, while Gül said he would be glad to see his Russian colleague in his country.

During the meeting, the leaders of the two countries considered possibilities for increasing trade and expanding cooperation to carry out key infrastructure projects. "Abdullah Gül noted Turkish construction companies' great interest in realizing key infrastructure projects in Russia. Turkey showed interest in attracting construction companies to carry out tasks on the [Winter] Olympic Games in Sochi," Prikhodko said.

Also on Saturday Gül spoke briefly with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Sarksyan at the presidential Akorda Palace. Gül walked arm-in-arm with the two leaders for a while. During the walk, Sarksyan started the conversation, saying, "I know Turkish," in Turkish. However Aliyev assisted their conversation, acting as a translator.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Gül called his conversation with Sarksyan and Aliyev a "courtesy meeting." During the conversation he congratulated Sarksyan for his election to the presidency and told him that he had received a formal invitation to visit Yerevan for a football match in September, Gül said. "We are assessing the invitation," Gül briefly told reporters, when asked whether he would accept the invitation. Armenia and Turkey will play against each other in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Sept. 6 in a qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in South Africa.


07 July 2008, Today's Zaman Astana, Ankara
Armenia's Sarkisian Invites Turkish President To Watch Football Game
Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has invited Turkish President Abdullah Gul to watch a football match in Yerevan, a spokesman told AFP on Saturday. Turkey and Armenia has no diplomatic relations since Yerevan invaded Azerbaijani province of Nagorny Karabakh.

"The president has invited Turkish President Abdullah Gul to visit Armenia on September 6 to watch the World Cup qualifying match between Armenia and Turkey," Sarkisian's spokesman, Samvel Farmanyan, told AFP.

Gul had congratulated Sarkisian after his election victory in February.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic links since Ankara intensified its protests against Armenian invasion and violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Armenia invaded in a war with Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. The border between Turkey and Armenia has been closed.

There have been recent calls to reopen the border between ex-Soviet Armenia and Turkey to help growing trade ties between the two, which are currently conducted through third countries such as Georgia.

Armenia, with the backing of the Diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915. Turkey rejects the claims, saying that 300,000 Armenians along with at least as many Turks died in civil strife that emerged when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia.


Kerim Balci ‘They Will Make Me Prime Minister’
Mustafa Balbay has ignored almost all the moral principles of our profession. Self-marginalized Cumhuriyet daily's self-denigrating Ankara representative is actually a fine man in his "civilian life."

As soon as he was set free after being detained in the Ergenekon investigation, he must have felt free of all journalistic -- and humanistic -- principles to disclose details of some of the questions he was asked. He should have stayed silent, as his "elder brother" Ilhan Selçuk did. Worse, he spoke about the moods and manners of other detained people.

Interrogation rooms are not delightful places. Police stations are places where the normal flow of life is broken apart. There, people may lose their manners, they may say things they would never say normally, their blood pressure may go up and psychological disorders may reveal themselves. That is an experience people would rather forget about and would prefer not to be disclosed to the general public.

Balbay may have felt easy revealing his own experience; that is his own decision. But his decision to reveal the "murmurs" of Sinan Aygün, the chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO), won't be received by Aygün with gratitude. Aygün may have been arrested of an awful crime, but his honor is still to be respected.

Well, what has been said is said and cannot be unsaid. That gives us the legitimacy of analyzing that one sentence Aygün was murmuring: "They will make me prime minister!"

THEY: This word obviously does not refer to the people, neither should it be referring to the prosecutor or to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) or to the Americans. Does it refer to the members of the Ergenekon terrorist organization? A definitive answer wouldn't be any more ethical than what Balbay did. We shall see… Whoever THEY are, this word reveals Aygün's disrespect of electoral democracy. It reveals one more thing: Aygün is not one of THEM. HE is subjectified, used, MADE by THEM.

WILL: Intrinsically, this word refers to the future and as opposed to WOULD, it connotes a still valid possibility. Aygün did not lose his belief in THEM yet and is still hopeful of being MADE prime minister.

MAKE: The nuance between "BE" and "MAKE" is that the first is active and contains a claim of worthiness: "I will be prime minister" says both that this is my choice and will to be the prime minister and I am worthy of filling that post. "They will make me" says, on the other hand, that I am passive in this issue; they decided that they will MAKE me what they want me to be and I have no claim of worthiness for the post.

ME: Sinan Aygün is a well-known money broker and a successful businessman. He is not a technocrat or a bureaucrat or a leader of a political camp. Why should THEY choose HIM to be MADE the next prime minister? Why not a bureaucrat who would empty state offices of AK Party people? A prime minister would need a cabinet, ministers and even a political party if Turkey would turn to its democratic continuity. Who would complete HIM on this road? Who would make HIM, US? Should we just leave the issue there and content ourselves with the "murmur" that THEY decided only the name of the prime minister and did not deal with other names, yet?

PRIME MINISTER: Turkey already has a prime minister and cannot have two. If Aygün is to be MADE the prime minister, the current one has to go! Where? Being banned from politics does not mean being banned from becoming prime minister. The current prime minister can go only in two cases: He may die (May God prolong his life!), or he may be imprisoned (either after a military or a judicial coup). And still then, Turkey has a president, who is no less "dangerous" than the current prime minister. If the second is to be replaced, the first should also. Think of this: THEY decided to make Aygün the next prime minister… Who would THEY make the next president?

For God's sake, I have only one name in my mind, but won't utter it lest THEY are reminded of HIM by my mention. Ugh! I don't want to MAKE HIM anything. 08.07.2008


Group's Stance On Armenian Genocide Questioned by Lydia Mulvany, Marshfield Mariner, July 8 2008, MA
Marshfield - With help from the Anti-Defamation League, the Marshfield community recently met on the Town Green to observe a vigil against hate crime, alarmed and disgusted by the alleged beating and stabbing of an African-American teenager by group of white people.

But Sharistan Melkonian, chairwoman of the Armenian National Committee of Massachusetts, has called Marshfield's resurrection of its No Place for Hate committee "irresponsible." NPFH is a registered trademark of the ADL, which the ANC calls a questionable ally.

The ANC has been working with towns to find alternatives to No Place For Hate since last July because of the ADL's stance on the Armenian Genocide. During World War I, the Turkish government killed more than 1 million through massacres and forced marches, but today denies that a genocide took place.

"(The ADL) has gone to great length to actively oppose Congressional affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, and they have refused to unambiguously acknowledge it," Melkonian said. "When you couple the two together, it leaves concern as to whether or not they are an appropriate partner for this kind of work. They're engaging in what they have identified as the ultimate form of hate speech: genocide denial."

As part of statement he made Aug. 21, 2007, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said, "We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915 to 1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities. ... If the word genocide had existed then, they would have called it genocide. ... Having said that, 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."

Marshfield Town Administrator Rocco Longo said that although he doesn't take what the Armenians say lightly, the town has to look at local needs and take a closer look at the issue -- a complex, international issue whose effects in Marshfield don't translate easily.

"Clearly there was a genocide against the Armenians, but it's such a heavy-duty issue," he said. "We're still going to fight hate in Marshfield, and the ADL has been very supportive of our fight against hate. We've got a lot more to learn, but it doesn't mean locally that we're going to give up."

Jen Smith, the associate regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said the ADL does use the word genocide.

"It was certainly never denied, the historic suffering of the Armenian people, and we now do use the term genocide to describe that tragic period of history," she said.

Smith, who was named Person of the Week at the selectmen's June 30 meeting, said that NPFH's track record of providing support, strategies and resources to unite is solid, and that the organization has been serving communities in Massachusetts for nearly 10 years.

"There's really no other program out there that's quite like it, and I'm proud to be a part of it, because you see what's possible when you all come together. We're proud of what the communities have been able to do," Smith said.

Smith said that the network of support, which Marshfield has now joined, is one of the most valuable aspects of the program.

"I see scores of local communities who are committed to this work, and have found that this program is the best way for them to be able to get a network of support to do this work," Smith said. "In the South Shore alone, which Marshfield is a welcomed member of, there are 13 communities who implement this program and support one another, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time."

Marshfield's NPFH program was reinvigorated with help from Duxbury. Hingham, Randolph and Plymouth, Smith said.

However, Melkonian argued that it's harder for No Place For Hate to do human rights work because it is tainted by the national ADL's actions.

"In Lexington, a woman who was a victim of a hate crime stood up at a board of selectmen meeting, during a discussion of whether to maintain No Place for Hate," Melkonian said. "The woman said the No Place for Hate committee was very helpful and helped her understand, personally respond to and come away from that crime in a positive way. She said it would have been difficult to get through it without them. But had she been an Armenian-American, she would not have been able to go to them. It was very powerful for me to hear that from someone who benefited from the good that No Place for Hate can do. But there are genocide survivors or descendants of survivors that would go to them, and now cannot."

Lexington no longer has a No Place For Hate committee, along with 12 other towns in the state that have withdrawn. Some of those towns have merely dropped the NPFH name, and continue the work in their own human rights committees or diversity task forces.

Scituate selectmen voted last year to send a letter of disappointment to the ADL regarding its statements about the Armenian Genocide, but never got around to it. Scituate Selectman John Danehey, whose wife is Armenian, wanted to terminate the town's No Place For Hate committee, but it had already been inactive.

"No matter what, the issue of hate needs to be addressed, whether through the ADL or not," Danehey said. "But the Armenian Genocide also needs to be addressed."

While praising the work done by NPFH, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, previously an official sponsor of NPFH, severed ties with the program in April because of its affiliation with the national ADL. It now recommends the National League of Cities Inclusive Communities program, which can be accessed via nlc.org.

"Many towns have moved beyond NPFH because it's just not possible," Melkonian said. "We know they have done good work and there are good, committed people behind those programs. Unfortunately they're now tainted with this hypocrisy and leaves them unable to do their job in the manner they would like to do it."

David Boyajian, a freelance journalist and activist, has been asking towns simply to change the name of their former NPFH programs. He said his campaign has been "very well received."

"There are other human rights programs," he said. "It's not as if we're against anti-bias programs. It's just that if you're an anti-bias program, you can't engage in genocide denial and discriminate against Armenians. It contradicts NPFH's entire mission."


Fact Of Genocide Not Up For Discussion, Says Arf Bureau ARF Press Office, July 8, 2008, Yerevan
"The Bureau is adamant that the fact of the Armenian genocide is not a subject of discussion, and no high-ranking official representing Armenia may have a different approach. Universal recognition of the genocide is vital for the existence, security and future of our people and statehood," said an announcement Tuesday issued by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation after its first plenary session, which ended Tuesday.

The announcement, which summarized the Bureau's meeting conclusions, also emphasized the imperative for the reorganization of the Diaspora to become an important political and economic component for making Armenia and Armenians a recognizable force. To this end, the Bureau deemed the formation of a Diaspora Ministry as an important means for entering a new, more enhanced, phase in our reality.

The Bureau also outlined the imperative for the ARF to become a more active force in the domestic life of Armenia, given the internal and external challenges facing Armenia and Armenians today. On the one hand, the Bureau said the elevation and strengthening of Armenia's international reputation and on the other hand, the internal political, socio-economic life required deep-rooted reforms.

A specific emphasis was placed on ensuring that the Karabakh question remains on our national agenda as an imperative element of Armenia's existence.

The Bureau also determined the responsibilities of organizational entities and ANC offices in relation to the garnering of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and strengthening Armenia's statehood.

It also welcomed the recent election of the ARF representative on the Executive Board of the Socialist International.

"For the ARF Bureau, the goals and responsibilities of its international structure are the improving of the moral consciousness in Armenia, the strengthening of democratic standards, the development of social stability, the resolution of economic issues and ensuring the unity of Armenia and Diaspora," said the ARF Bureau.


They Are Making The Propaganda Of The Genocide Lie Museum
The Armenian Diaspora, which is planning to open a so-called Armenian genocide museum in New York in 2010 has signed an agreement of cooperation with the Armenian Near East Foundation for opening a genocide lie museum and placing forged documents at the museum. While the parties, which used many fancy words during the signature ceremony, do not get embarrassed to erect a monument of a lie, it was wondered how they could possibly put fake documents to the museum. Here is the news about the verbal announcement of the signature ceremony and the forgery: New York-American Armenia Genocide Museum and Near East Foundation have signed an agreement of cooperation on June 12 at the Foundation’s international headquarters in New York City. The Armenian Genocide Museum is planned to open in 2010 in Washington DC. The Armenian Near East Foundation is successor organization to the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, which was founded in 1915 and later incorporated as Near East Relief in 1919 by an act of Congress. (*)

After reading the news, the following questions come to mind:

Which national material (!) will be displayed?

Of Course, not the documents, which prove how Armenian murderers massacred Turkish and Armenian citizens mercilessly and how the Armenian gangs killed 525,000 innocent people during the World War I...

Not their “glorious” and “honorable” history; an history full of uprisings and violence almost at all times, in which they longed to posses the lands where they enjoyed every kind of religious and cultural freedom, where they functioned at the senior positions, where they had the best share from the economy and where they concentrated their effort for being a nation on the Turkish hostility…

Or their shallow cultural aggregation and comprehension, where they tell about the so-called “genocide”, which is composed of films on blood and torture, where they attempted to commit a kind of “art genocide”. Of Course not…

As its name is genocide museum will they be displaying documents, wheal reveal how they massacred thousands of Azerbaijanis at the bloody tragedy that was placed on the history as “Hocal? Massacre” or how they killed and injured the citizens of a country, which invaded %20 of its lands? No!

They will be making people, who are unaware of the incidents and who do not have the chance to know the thesis of the other party and as a result, who are convenient to be deceived by unjust prejudices, an instrument while they add a new one to their propaganda tools, which they bought it with money… that’s it…
Source: (*) TURKISHNY-23 June 2008


Before Hrant (BH) After Hrant (AH)
AGOS, which has started its publication in 1996, goes to the fore after “Jamanak” and “Nor Marmara” newspapers at the political papers among the Armenian society living in Turkey with its columnists.
The circulation of the first issue of Agos, which is written in Western Armenian with Armenian letters, was 2,600. The circulation of the newspaper was 30 thousand, for the first time, on 27 January 2007 after the death of Hrant Dink.

The necessity for re-evaluating some news that are reflected to other national media organs and columns, is what attracts attentions. It also brings to minds that this hypothesis points out to a personality problem, which should very seriously be examined.

Journalist and writer Ece Temelkuran attributes to her book that was published in June 2008: “…by fulfilling a demand of Hrant Dink, who wished her to write a book on Armenians…” and she adds:

“If Hrant did not die, no one would ask me when I met with Hrant…” (While introducing her latest book journalist and writer Ece Temelkuran gives an interview to AGOS, SOURCE: AGOS-20 June 2008)

A report entitled “An Armenian from the Hearth” is about one of our citizen, Kaz?m Ak?nc?, who suddenly (!) wished to use an Armenian name and surname, years after Hrant’s death.

Ak?nc? wishes his new name to be Serkis Nesesyan and his religion to be Christian.

…Ak?nc? Kaz?m from Malatya, who is 46, expresses all of these on the moment, when his new songs were to be put on the market, while his older cassette had not done so well on the market.

The following lines were at the report, which was reflected at AGOS, about former Turkish citizen Kaz?m from Malatya, and new Armenian citizen Serkis:

“…Akinci’s connection with Armenians starts with Kenan, to whom he worked as a apprentice. However, the killing of Hrant Dink is beneath the decision to announce this to everyone.”(Source: AGOS-20 June 2008).

Let’s take a look at the other one… The news is about is about Sevan Nis,anyan….

The following expressions were at the headline of AGOS dated 13 June 2008.

Sevan Nis,anyan has decided to publish his book, which he had finished in 1994, after the murder of the founder of our newspaper, Hrant Dink…”

Interesting, isn’t it?

The first one, is a young writer, who puts her first serious essay forward,

The other, is a musician, who realizes his identity after 46 years for the first time,

Another one is a skilled writer, who decides to publish his book, which was finished in 1994, after keeping it for 14 years…

Maybe the only common point of these news, which meet at the pages of an Armenian newspaper that is published in Turkey, is the “mutual” comments of the people, who were “waiting for the death of Hrant for producing something: “After Hrant is dead, to meet Hrants’s demands…etc.”.

One feels like asking whether the support for “the books, names, the sorts of writings that were kept waiting for decades”, which were reflected at the newspapers, existed during when Hrant said “Peace” and when he endangered the strategic games of the states, including Europe with a courage at his speeches on the 1915 incidents, or was everything perceived so simple to be personalized so much?...

Editor


An Interview With Kourosh Zaim Amil Imani Intellectual Conservative, July 7 2008, AZ
Amil Imani interviews Kourosh Zaim, an Iranian political activist and a member of the Iran National Front-Central Council.

NMJ: How long have you been advocating democratic reform in Iran?

Zaim: Well, I like to think I have been active since 1953, when I was close to the Iran National Front major personalities due to my grand uncle's and my father's close association with them and the democratic movement. During my college years in the United States and many years after that, I was among the most active and outspoken critics of the former regime in Iran. Upon my return to Iran in 1975, I was considered a dissident until 1979 when I rejoined the post-revolution Iran National Front. Since then, I have continued to speak out as a dissident activist.

NMJ: What do you see as the main obstacles to democracy, back in the 1970s and now?

Zaim: Back in the 70's, the American support of the Shah's regime out of fear of communism, emboldened the Shah in his autocratic reign to put pressure on the democratic forces in Iran. He banned their activities and often jailed its leaders. As the result, religious forces, well-known for their opposition to communism, found open fields for propaganda, recruitment and organizing. Young energetic members of the democratic political organizations, who disliked inactivity, broke away and formed rebellious and armed socialist-Islamist militant groups behind the opportunist clergy. Thus, the Shah created his own enemies and so his own downfall; whereas, if he had allowed peaceful activity of democratic opposition, the impatient youth would have been guided by intelligent and farsighted leaders and would have never been attracted to the traditionally timid and opportunist clergy.

Now, the clerical regime of the Islamic Republic, after 30 years of theocratic rule, has proven its inability to reach but a very small and backward segment of the population. This regime, too, suppressed the democratic forces in the country and with much more brutality than its predecessor. However, the information explosion of the 90's and the current communication revolution has made it helpless in keeping the democratic opposition voices from being heard. Furthermore, the ever-strengthening of the international organizations and pro-activeness of the international community in support of democracy and accountability has put the current regime on the defensive.

NMJ: Do you see the United States as a model for democracy?

Zaim: No country is a utopian model for democracy except maybe for its own people. Democracy is always on the path of change toward improvement. A democratic system must be democratic for the people it governs. That's why we see somewhat different interpretations of how democracy should be institutionalized in different cultures. I call freedom of choice with respect to the rights of others democracy.

NMJ: You have two sons in the U.S., is that correct?

Zaim: Yes. My two elder sons Turaj and Bijan are now in the United States. They were born in Iran, but were sent out of the country when they were 6 and 4, respectively.

NMJ: They escaped with their mother during the war with Iraq. Why did you not go with them? Did you know of their escape?

Zaim: After the revolution, I was very active in opposition politics in the framework of the Iran National Front. I was appointed to a five-member committee for writing of the INF platform and another committee for writing of by-laws, a position I have been repeatedly elected to since then. In addition, my articles criticizing the current policies were published widely. I had also formed a think tank in the name of "Iran Center for Thought and Speech: for shaping the future of Iran" in which we planned to research and map out Iran's future.

In addition, I had researched and written a book in 1980 called Where Is the Soviet Empire Going? in which I had analyzed facts about the Soviet system and predicted that it would disintegrate in about 10-12 years. I had also predicted independence of eastern European, Caucasian and Central Asian countries within two years hence. The book was first published in Mizan daily newspaper as a serial. Those years the Iran Communist Tudeh Party was very influential and had infiltrated all aspects of the Islamic Republic organizations. The paper Mizan was banned and revolutionary guards attacked its offices and set it on fire. Later the book was published by a brave publisher who believed in me. Bookstores were attacked or threatened not to display or sell the book. The publisher had to turn 7,000 copies out of 10,000 it had printed into pulp. The Communist Party paper attacked me in a center spread. During all this time, Radio Moscow was continuously blasting against me, calling me a self-professed theoretician who talked about the future of the Soviet Union without knowing anything about it and preventing friendly relations between the two brother countries. In response, I sent a message to Radio Moscow, which was published in one of the papers. In this message I told them that I am not afraid of their threats and will do whatever I can to protect the interests of my country. I told them that they didn't have any talents but threatening and terrorizing, so they should go ahead and do what they're good at and I will do what I am good at.

I had also written a long two-issue article in another paper warning the ignorant, politically illiterate and outdated clerical hierarchy of the communist infiltrators acting as their advisors and making decisions for them. The paper, Edalat, was later closed and its chief editor jailed. Another article that caused trouble was one for a very popular magazine Black and White. In that article I had explained my research about Ayatollah Khomeini's thoughts and beliefs. I had claimed that, unlike what his current promises of democracy and non-involvement of the clergy government are, he is planning a theocracy based on total religious control of the society. The magazine was attacked and set on fire.

When Soviets attacked Afghanistan, not one dared to voice and sign a declaration of opposition except an Afghan resistance commander, one of the INF leaders, a representative of a high ayatollah and myself. Three months into the Afghanistan invasion, I wrote an article expressing the opinion that the Russians would be bogged down in Afghanistan for 12-13 years and be forced to leave in defeat just like the Americans did in Viet Nam. I also wrote another article criticizing Iran's revolutionary policies and predicted that soon we would be bogged down in a protracted border war with Iraq. Nine months later, Iraq attacked Iran.

All this had made me very unpopular with the regime and its allies. I was threatened several times. Our bilingual school, best in Middle East, was raided by machine gun-wielding RGs, confiscated and ransacked. Our home was often the site of RGs' midnight shooting sprees in the air. One night the shooting was so violent and prolonged that I took my wife and children to the boiler room, spread blankets and hid them behind the boiler until morning, although I myself returned to the bedroom and opened the curtains so they could see me lying down unconcerned. They also repeatedly threatened my family, arrested and detained my wife for a few hours and tried every which way to scare me even through threatening the children.

One day the head of the Iran Central Bank called me and advised that I should hide for a while for there was a plot to assassinate me. I told him that I don't hide. He then asked me, at least, not to go to my office for a few months and offered his own home office in the basement of his sister's house. I accepted and spent my office hours in his basement, but went home every night. After 2 or 3 months I got tired of seclusion and went back to my office. It took no more than two weeks before I was arrested in my office and taken to the infamous Evin prison. My experience in Evin prison is a story all by itself. Soon after, they also arrested both my younger brothers, one a Maoist group theoretician-leader and one a student activist. This was 1983 when some two dozen other INF activists were also in prison or being arrested. Evidently, I was supposed to be executed in prison; however, after the communist party fell out of favor with Ayatollah Khomeini and their leaders were arrested, I survived and was released after some 4 or 5 months.

Before my imprisonment, when threats against me were becoming more frequent and obvious, some armed political groups offered assistance to protect me and/or to take my family to safety. One was the Armenian nationalists, who promised protection of family and the transporting of them outside the country in case of my arrest or death. Soon after my arrest, my wife and two sons of 6 and 4 were zipped out of the country with the help of our Kurdish fellow countrymen on horseback through and over the snowy mountains into Turkey. This must have been one of the most dangerous trips and the most frightening experience my family had to endure. In Turkey, they were received by the Turkish Ambassador, who arranged for their flight to the United States.

NMJ: They have not visited you since then -- do you believe it will be safe for them to visit soon, or is it a bad idea because of who their father is?

Zaim: No, but I had the opportunity to visit them a few times in between periods when I was forbidden to leave the country. The last time I saw them, they were 12 and 10 years of age. Yes, I believe it will be safe now for them to visit Iran except that they might be under scrutiny. But, now, any inconvenience caused them will be so widely publicized that it would be counterproductive for the regime.

NMJ: Your eldest son is a poet or musician, and an activist of sorts. Do you feel you imparted some of your ideals to him before he left? What did you try to teach your children at that young age?

Zaim: Yes. My eldest is a highly talented poet and musician. He used to write poems when in grammar school that would boggle the mind. He has perfected a talent I tried when young, but didn't go far with it. My second son is also talented in theater, writing plays and directing.

NMJ: What is your hope for Iran-U.S. relations and what do you think is the best path for the lion and the eagle?

Zaim: Normalization of relations between Iran and America is inevitable. We have suffered much for our mismanagement of foreign policy and must correct our course very soon. Over the past 30 years we have fallen behind the equivalent of a century or more. We cannot make up the loss, even running at top speed using all resources, is less than a quarter century. And, for that we have to make friends with every country in the world.

NMJ: Do you have hope for new dialogue if Senator Obama is elected president of the U.S.?"

Zaim: It doesn't matter who the American president is as long as the Islamic Republic is running the country. If dialogue means support for the current system and for their longevity, I don't believe it will happen. I hope things will begin to change course before the U.S. has a new president.

Foreign Affairs, National Defense

Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, novelist and an essayist, who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran.



Radio Free Europe, Czech Rep. July 10, 2008
'Genocide' Question Still Haunts Armenia-Turkey Relations, by Emil Danielyan, Ruzanna Khachatrian
Signaling a major policy shift, President Serzh Sarkisian has confirmed he is ready to accept, in principle, Turkey's proposal to form a commission of Armenian and Turkish historians that would examine the 1915-18 mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

Sarkisian on June 26 made clear through a spokesman, however, that such a commission should be created only after Turkey agrees unconditionally to establish diplomatic relations and open its border with Armenia. But on June 30, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation--Dashnaktsutiun (HHD), one of four parties represented in the coalition government, joined other opposition parties in criticizing Sarkisian's support for the Turkish proposal.

The proposal for a joint commission was formally made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a 2005 letter to then-Armenian President Robert Kocharian. Erdogan suggested that the proposed commission determine whether the massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted genocide and said his government would accept any conclusion it reached.

In a written reply, Kocharian effectively rejected the idea and came up with a counterproposal to set up a Turkish-Armenian intergovernmental commission that would deal with this and other issues of mutual concern. Other Armenian officials, backed by local and diaspora scholars, dismissed Erdogan's move as a Turkish ploy designed to scuttle international recognition of the Armenian "genocide." They also said that by agreeing to the proposed study, the Armenian side would signal a willingness to consider doubts regarding the genocide question.

"We are not against the creation of such a commission, but only if the border between our countries is opened," Sarkisian declared during a visit to Moscow last week. His press secretary, Samvel Farmanian, reaffirmed this in a statement issued on June 26. "We are not against any study of even obvious facts and widely accepted realities," Farmanian said. "Agreeing to a study does not mean casting doubt on the veracity of facts. However, the creation of such a commission would be logical only after the establishment of diplomatic relations and the opening of the border between our countries. Otherwise, it could become a tool for dragging out and exploiting existing problems."

Armenia's leading opposition groups, including the Popular Movement headed former President Levon Ter-Petrossian, were quick to condemn Sarkisian's comments, saying that by accepting Ankara's proposal in principle, he called into question the very fact of what many historians regard as the first genocide of the 20th century. Farmanian rejected that argument. "It is strange that the genocide issue is being exploited by individuals who had done everything in the past to condemn that tragic page of our history to oblivion," he said in a jibe at the more conciliatory line that Ter-Petrossian adopted vis-a-vis Turkey.

The opposition concerns have since been echoed by the HHD, which has for decades been known for its hard line on Armenia's relations with Turkey. The party's official position is that Turkey must not only admit to the genocide, but also compensate the descendants of victims and cede large swathes of its formerly Armenian-populated territory to Armenia. Successive Armenian governments have stressed, however, that Armenia has no formal territorial claims on Turkey. "Genocide recognition by Turkey will not lead to legal consequences for territorial claims," Kocharian stated in a 2001 interview with a Turkish TV station.

"We have received the necessary explanation and clarification from the president," Giro Manoyan, a spokesman for the HHD's governing bureau, told RFE/RL. "Also, the president's spokesman and the foreign minister have publicly clarified that the president's consent pertains to another kind of commission." In Manoyan's words, Sarkisian believes the would-be commission should not determine whether or not a genocide occurred in 1915-18 and should instead research "various details of the genocide." "In any case, our approach is that there was no need to make such statements and create this confusion in the first place," he said.

Manoyan also expressed his party's unease about Sarkisian's stated intention to invite Turkish President Abdullah Gul to the first-ever game between the national soccer teams of Armenia and Turkey, which will be played in Yerevan in early September. "I think that if the president of Turkey visits Yerevan, at least one part of our society will express its attitude," he said.

On July 1, the daily "Taregir" offered an alternative explanation for Sarkisian's affirmation of support for the establishment of a Turkish-Armenian commission of historians. "As is known, Moscow has always been jealous about the [prospect of a] normalization of relations between Yerevan and Ankara," says the paper. "The Kremlin has always managed to torpedo all initiatives aimed reopening the Turkish-Armenian border, fearing the loss of its influence in Armenia.

However, there have been suggestions lately that Russian capital, which is increasingly establishing itself in Armenia, is keen to use our country as a launch pad for occupying the vast Turkish market. That is, Moscow is not against an open border, provided that border is under its control. So maybe Sarkisian's proposal should be viewed in that context."


Turkish Press, Egypt July 10 2008
M.F.A. Spokesman On Armenian President's Statements
ANKARA - Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Burak Ozugergin said on Thursday that the ministry had been evaluating the proposal of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan who invited Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Armenia for a soccer match between Turkey and Armenia.

Turkey and Armenia will play a qualifier on September 6th, 2008 for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

Referring to the statements on normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, Ozugergin said Sargsyan earlier made statements for a fresh start to bilateral relations.

Turkey will host Armenia on October 14th, 2009 for a European Qualifying Group 5 match.

Spain, Belgium, Estonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are the other teams in Group 5.


Yusuf Halacoglu: I Receive Proposals To Find Out What Really Happened
armtown.com 10.7.2008
Turkey-Armenia relations have changed, according to Professor Yusuf Halacoglu, head of Turkish Historical Society. "I receive proposals from Dahsnaks to find out what really happened. If Armenians are sincere, it will be known soon. I will not believe in Serzh Sargsyan’s sincerity unless Armenians recognize territorial integrity of Turkey and stop occupation of Nagorno Karabakh", he said. “Proposals come not from Armenia but from the West. You know that Armenia’s main Diasporas reside in France and the U.S. We will see how sincere they are. We approach Sargsyan’s proposal in this context", he said, the Azeri Press Agency reports.


Serj Sargsyan: "If Abdulla Gul Visits Armenia, We Will Announce A New Symbolic Start In Our Relations"
Azeri Press Agency, July 9 2008, Azerbaijan
Armenian president Serj Sargsyan thinks that if his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul visits Armenia to enjoy the match between Armenian and Turkish national teams together with him, thus they will announce a new symbolic start in the relations between the two countries.

"Whatever our differences, there are certain cultural, humanitarian and sports links that our peoples share, even with a closed border", said Sargsyan in his interview with Wall Street Journal. "Establishing normal political relations would enable us to create a commission to comprehensively discuss all complex issues affecting Armenia and Turkey. Only through them can we create an effective dialogue touching upon even the most contentious historical issues". Sargsyan said Turkish president Abdullah Gul was among the first heads of states, who congratulated him on the winning of presidential elections and Prime Minister Receb Tayib Erdogan valued this step as a new door to the dialogue. He said many Armenians used charter flights from Yerevan to Istanbul and Antalya and Armenians traveled to Turkev by buses and taxis via the Georgian territory and even carried out mutual trade by containers. "Armenia and Turkey shouldn't be permanent rivals".


It's The Oil, Stupid! by Noam Chomsky, Khaleej Times, July 8, 2008
The deal just taking shape between Iraq's Oil Ministry and four Western oil companies raises critical questions about the nature of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq — questions that should certainly be addressed by presidential candidates and seriously discussed in the United States, and of course in occupied Iraq, where it appears that the population has little if any role in determining the future of their country.

Negotiations are under way for Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners decades ago in the Iraq Petroleum Company, now joined by Chevron and other smaller oil companies — to renew the oil concession they lost to nationalisation during the years when the oil producers took over their own resources. The no-bid contracts, apparently written by the oil corporations with the help of U.S. officials, prevailed over offers from more than 40 other companies, including companies in China, India and Russia.

"There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract," Andrew E. Kramer wrote in The New York Times.

Kramer's reference to "suspicion" is an understatement. Furthermore, it is highly likely that the military occupation has taken the initiative in restoring the hated Iraq Petroleum Company, which, as Seamus Milne writes in the London Guardian, was imposed under British rule to "dine off Iraq's wealth in a famously exploitative deal."

Later reports speak of delays in the bidding. Much is happening in secrecy, and it would be no surprise if new scandals emerge.

The demand could hardly be more intense. Iraq contains perhaps the second largest oil reserves in the world, which are, furthermore, very cheap to extract: no permafrost or tar sands or deep sea drilling. For US planners, it is imperative that Iraq remain under U.S. control, to the extent possible, as an obedient client state that will also house major U.S. military bases, right at the heart of the world's major energy reserves.

That these were the primary goals of the invasion was always clear enough through the haze of successive pretexts: weapons of mass destruction, Saddam's links with Al-Qaeda, democracy promotion and the war against terrorism, which, as predicted, sharply increased as a result of the invasion.

Last November, the guiding concerns were made explicit when President Bush and Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki signed a "Declaration of Principles," ignoring the U.S. Congress and Iraqi parliament, and the populations of the two countries.

The Declaration left open the possibility of an indefinite long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq that would presumably include the huge air bases now being built around the country, and the "embassy" in Baghdad, a city within a city, unlike any embassy in the world. These are not being constructed to be abandoned.

The Declaration also had a remarkably brazen statement about exploiting the resources of Iraq. It said that the economy of Iraq, which means its oil resources, must be open to foreign investment, "especially American investments." That comes close to a pronouncement that we invaded you so that we can control your country and have privileged access to your resources.

The seriousness of this commitment was underscored in January, when President Bush issued a "signing statement" declaring that he would reject any congressional legislation that restricted funding "to establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq" or "to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq."

Extensive resort to "signing statements" to expand executive power is yet another Bush innovation, condemned by the American Bar Association as "contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional separation of powers." To no avail.

Not surprisingly, the Declaration aroused immediate objections in Iraq, among others from Iraqi unions, which survive even under the harsh anti-labour laws that Saddam instituted and the occupation preserves.

In Washington propaganda, the spoiler to US domination in Iraq is Iran. U.S. problems in Iraq are blamed on Iran. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sees a simple solution: "foreign forces" and "foreign arms" should be withdrawn from Iraq — Iran's, not ours.

The confrontation over Iran's nuclear programme heightens the tensions. The Bush administration's "regime change" policy toward Iran comes with ominous threats of force (there Bush is joined by both US presidential candidates). The policy also is reported to include terrorism within Iran — again legitimate, for the world rulers. A majority of the American people favours diplomacy and oppose the use of force. But public opinion is largely irrelevant to policy formation, not just in this case.

An irony is that Iraq is turning into a US-Iranian condominium. The Maliki government is the sector of Iraqi society most supported by Iran. The so-called Iraqi army — just another militia — is largely based on the Badr brigade, which was trained in Iran, and fought on the Iranian side during the Iran-Iraq war.

Nir Rosen, one of the most astute and knowledgeable correspondents in the region, observes that the main target of the US-Maliki military operations, Moktada Al Sadr, is disliked by Iran as well: He's independent and has popular support, therefore dangerous.

Iran "clearly supported Prime Minister Maliki and the Iraqi government against what they described as 'illegal armed groups' (of Moktada's Mahdi army) in the recent conflict in Basra," Rosen writes, "which is not surprising given that their main proxy in Iraq, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council dominates the Iraqi state and is Maliki's main backer."

"There is no proxy war in Iraq," Rosen concludes, "because the U.S. and Iran share the same proxy."

Teheran is presumably pleased to see the United States institute and sustain a government in Iraq that's receptive to their influence. For the Iraqi people, however, that government continues to be a disaster, very likely with worse to come.

In Foreign Affairs, Steven Simon points out that current US counterinsurgency strategy is "stoking the three forces that have traditionally threatened the stability of Middle Eastern states: tribalism, warlordism and sectarianism." The outcome might be "a strong, centralised state ruled by a military junta that would resemble" Saddam's regime.

If Washington achieves its goals, then its actions are justified. Reactions are quite different when Vladimir Putin succeeds in pacifying Chechnya, to an extent well beyond what Gen. David Petraeus has achieved in Iraq. But that is THEM, and this is US. Criteria are therefore entirely different.

In the US, the Democrats are silenced now because of the supposed success of the US military surge in Iraq. Their silence reflects the fact that there are no principled criticisms of the war. In this way of regarding the world, if you're achieving your goals, the war and occupation are justified. The sweetheart oil deals come with the territory.

In fact, the whole invasion is a war crime — indeed the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes in that it encompasses all the evil that follows, in the terms of the Nuremberg judgment. This is among the topics that can't be discussed, in the presidential campaign or elsewhere. Why are we in Iraq? What do we owe Iraqis for destroying their country? The majority of the American people favour US withdrawal from Iraq. Do their voices matter?


Turkey’s Good Intentions And Armenia by Ömer Engin Lütem 11 July 2008, Eraren
The very short history of Turco-Armenian relations is full of Turkey’s marks of good will towards Armenia.

Turkey was one of the first countries recognizing Armenia’s independence, which was even before the US recognition. Although Turkey has expected Armenia reciprocate by recognizing her territorial integrity, this has not happened within the 16 years passed.

Armenia had a big crisis in the early years of 1990s due to the 1988 earthquake, dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the Karabagh War with Azerbaijan. Turkey provided some 100 thousand tones weat and electricity to Armenia for some time. Moreover, she also allowed foreign planes to use her airspace to bring humanitarian aid to Armenia, even though smuggling weapons was a possibility. When the Karabagh issue came onto the surface, Turkey, instead of fully supporting Azerbaijan, rather chose to have a negotiator role, and did not put enough pressure to Armenia. However, apart from the then President Ter Petrosyan’s some moderate statements, Turkey had no positive response to her good intentions.

Turkey changed this moderate policy, and closed her border and airspace when Armenia invaded Kelbecer in Azeri territory, and attacked Sederek of Nahchevan, a few kilometers close to the Turkish border. However, after two years, due to some suggestions made and within the same framework of good intentions, Turkey opened her airspace to Armenian planes. Meanwhile, many Armenian citizens came to Turkey after the decision on granting tourist visa in the border was made, and they were allowed to work in Turkey, even illegally. The capacity of trade these people made and money they sent to Armenia was by all means significant for the Armenian economy.

Despite the genocide claims causing many problems, Turkey has not pursued an hostility policy towards Armenia. However, due to the disappointments faced, Turkey was obliged to abandon her marks of good will. The uncompromising policies of the then President Robert Kocharyan towards Turkey made any conceivable developments between the two countries impossible.

Serj Sarkisyan, the new President of Armenia, on the other hand, has seemed to be keen on compromising. However, instead of taking some concrete initiatives he prepared to invite the Turkish President, Abdullah Gül, to the football match that will be played between Armenia and Turkey, expecting one more gesture.

Some developments in Armenia show that this invitation was not only made to improve the relations of the two countries, but, rather, was a result of some domestic developments.

Serj Sarkisyan, although winning more than 50% of the votes, is still facing serious problems. Following the elections the demonstrations organized by the supporters of Ter Petrosyan, the former president, were forcefully scattered, ten people were killed and many were arrested, while the media was censored. Thereafter, as a result of the Council of Europe and some other countries reacting these developments, the government attempted to liberalize its legislation. Nevertheless, new demonstrations convened by the Petrosyan supporters are taking place, and many people are still in jail. Furthermore, the deteriorating economy, and the increasing inflation rate have been the problems with which Sarkisyan has to deal.

Thus, it would not be wrong to assume that the President of Armenia needed an urgent initiative to influence its public opinion, and, within this framework, it is understood that he invited the Turkish President to the football match to be played in Erivan.

Except the Dashnaks and Ter Petrosyan’s supporters, the public opinion in Armenia as well as in Turkey welcomed this invitation.

In addition to a possible visit of Gül to Armenia, if Sarkisyan succeeds to pursuade Turkey to open the border without making a major concession he may earn the prestige he needs, and may be able to neutralize the opposition.


Why Do The New Demanders Of Armenian Cause Uproar by Lilit Poghosyan, Hayots Ashkhar Daily
July 10, 2008, Armenia

While the ARFD activists buckle down to the recognition of Armenian Genocide, in Armenia and outside, and they don't hurry to "condemn" Serge Sargsyan's announcement regarding the settlement of Armenian-Turkish entangled string, as a rule, the pro-Turkish activists of Armenian Pan National Movement don't want to calm down.

The leaders of Armenian Pan National movement and their propaganda attaché show signs of unexpected "nationalism", more catholic than the pop.

Fixed on the story of setting up the Committee of historians these people rage Serge Sargsyan, as usual misrepresenting the facts, accusing the President in, no more no less than "questioning the recognition of the genocide".

By repeating like a parrot evident falsehood the new demanders of Armenian Cause are stubbornly trying to represent their cynical lie as the truth.

They particularly state that Serge Sargsyan "was the first to officially agree to setting up the committee of historians that questions the recognition of the Genocide", proposed by Turkey.

We must remind you that ex-President Robert Kocharyan who has been rudely criticized by the same circles for his "harsh attitude" towards the same proposal, has many times offered to establish an inter-governmental committee to discuss all the issues of concern linked with Armenian -Turkish relations. And the fact that the entangled string of the Genocide is the most difficult matter of concern in Armenian -Turkish relations is beyond doubt. Mostly for the activists of Armenian Pan National Movement, for whom removing the issue of the recognition of Armenian Genocide from the agenda of Armenia's foreign policy has always been a "priority". Something that is impossible, as Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan has already mentioned. Because the attitude of official Yerevan regarding the recognition of the Genocide has not changed.

Presidential Press Secretary Samvel Farmanyan said: "Actually Serge Sargsyan's stance towards Armenian - Turkish relations has not changed." That is: "Turkey proposed to set up a committee of historians to study all the facts. We don't mind any investigation, but the latter doesn't mean misrepresenting the real facts."

And the most important thing is, during his meetings in Moscow Serge Sargsyan clearly underscored: "we can speak about it only after the opening of Armenian -Turkish border." Which means - not setting up the committee but simply discussing that topic.

Serge Sargsyan grounded this stance by the fact, that otherwise in the conditions of the continuous blockade of Armenia by Turkey, the issue of opening the border and=2 0establishing diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey will turn into an everlasting dispute among the historians.

This was the focal point of the announcement made by the President, that the professional speculators don't want to notice, thus trying to solve several issues at once.

First: to trick the public, representing themselves the demanders of Armenian Cause, to gain the sympathy of the majority, those who are against improving relations with Turkey at the account of the recognition of Armenian Genocide.

Second: to create enmity between the Diaspora and Armenian authorities.

Third: to thrust a wedge between Dashnaktsutyun and Serge Sargsyan, to create problems inside political coalition and finally to dismantle - dissolve the ruling power.

That is to say to realize the mission granted from the heaven, by which Ter-Petrosyan returned to "active politics" turning Armenia into the polygon of "military trainings".


Armenian Genocide Remaining Priority Of National Foreign Policy
ZG Armenian Daily, 12/07/2008
President Sarkisian's Statement on Armenian-Turkish Joint Commission Does Not Imply Concessions to Turkey

On June 23 during his meeting with the representatives of the Armenian community of Moscow president of Armenia Serge Sarkisian said, "The Turkish side suggests to establish a commission which would study the historical facts. We are not against it, but only the condition of opening the Armenia-Turkey border. I plan of taking certain actions aiming at enhancing the relations between Armenia and Turkey. Most probably I shall invite president of Turkey Abdullah Gul to Yerevan in order to watch the football game between Armenia and Turkey."

President Sarkisian repeated the same words during the meeting with Russian experts on June 24. These statements roused both deliberations and objections inside Armenia. Levon Ter-Petrosian's supporters started various insinuations on the matter and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaksutiun) and the Democrat Party of Armenia headed other forces to opposing the President's position.

The insinuations of Ter-Petrosian supporters were absolutely expected and predictable, therefore we see no need to comment them. Regarding the opposition, we would like to mention that it was raised by anxiety of putting under doubt the internationally accepted fact of the Armenian Genocide by starting a joint research with Turkey. In the meanwhile spokesman of the President, Samuel Farmanian stated, "We are not against any studies, even of widely accepted and obvious facts. Researching a fact does not mean doubting it."

Foreign Minister of Armenia in addition to this stated that no commission can hamper the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Shortly, the Armenian Genocide remains among the priorities of the national foreign policy of Armenia.

The debatable statements of Serge Sarkisian can by no means imply Armenia's readiness for concessions to Turkey. The international process of recognition of the Armenian Genocide is developing, the European countries are coming to a common point of view on that matter; the question of adopting the Armenian Genocide is considered both by the US Congress and the Israeli Knesset.

By all means, any concession by Armenia in this matter will not be accepted either by Europe or the USA, or even by Israel, saying nothing of the countries that have already recognized the Genocide. The international public does not expect Armenia to concede to Turkey, but to start open research of dubitable historic episodes, as figured out in OSCE statement or President Bush's April 24 speech.

Serge Sarkisian's statements in Moscow were meant to meet the earlier suggestions of the Turkish side and to relieve USA's and Europe's pressure upon Armenia in connection with establishing normal relations with Turkey. Gul's visit to Yerevan will not mean immediate opening of the borders. And with the borders still close, the commission won't be established.


Turkish President Unlikely To Arrive In Armenia armtown.com, 12.7.2008
If Russia recognizes territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t recognize the right of nations to self-determination, for Karabakh has never been a part of independent Azerbaijan, said Aghvan Vardanyan, member of ARF Dashnaktsutyun. “We closely watch the developments in Karabakh, where a new model of statehood is being formed, the authorities enjoy public confidence and serious programs are being implemented,” he said. Commenting on Serzh Sargsyan’s statement about the possibility of formation of a commission of historians, Vardanyan said, “Armenian Genocide is an undisputable fact and the President knows that. Any official representing Armenia can’t have a different opinion. The fact of Genocide doesn’t belong to the past but is an issue of security of our nation.” Asked whether Turkish President will arrive in Armenia, the ARFD Bureau member said, “I don’t understand how a man, who imposed blockade and set conditions to Armenia, can visit our country. Our party has exact position on the issue and we will never negotiate with him,” IA Regnum reports.


‘Dig Deeper Into Dink Murder-Ergenekon Link’, Cem Özdemir, Member Of The European Parliament
Cem Özdemir, a member of the European Parliament, has said that Turkey has a very serious problem in the unanswered questions around the plot leading to the January 2007 assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, particularly the issue of whether the murder was tied to the Ergenekon criminal network, which is currently the subject of a major investigation.

Özdemir expressed deep concern over the way the court case in the murder has been conducted and said he personally felt ashamed of the situation although he doesn't represent the Turkish Republic.

“We're not talking about a banana republic, we're talking about one of the leading countries in the world. This is the Turkish Republic. I'm not in charge of this republic, I don't represent this republic, but I personally felt ashamed. So I would love to see a little bit more seriousness in the follow-up on this Hrant Dink case and, if there is a link to Ergenekon, it has to be followed up. There are serious accusations that there is a link between the Ergenekon case and the Hrant Dink murder case,” Özdemir said in an interview with Sunday's Zaman.

Özdemir's arrival in Ankara -- where he met with President Abdullah Gül, accompanied by Renate Künast, the co-chair of the German Green Party -- came amidst widespread unrest in the country in the wake of an investigation into the Ergenekon network, which is accused of having plotted to stage a coup against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, and a closure case against the AK Party over allegations that it is seeking to establish an Islamist state.

Özdemir recalled Dink's 2004 report revealing that Sabiha Gökçen, the adopted daughter of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, was Armenian. The report had led to a harsh reaction from Hursit Tolon, a former commander of the 1st Army Corps who was arrested this past weekend on charges of founding and leading the Ergenekon terrorist organization. Özdemir says this report played a crucial role in turning Dink into a target.

Following publication of the report by the Agos newsweekly, of which Dink had been the editor-in-chief, the Turkish daily Hürriyet approached Tolon and asked for comment on the report. The former commander then categorically called it “a crime against national unity.”

“Of course, it is obvious that the Sabiha Gökçen report played a crucial role in this context,” he said.

“Does carnation loom again without fear? Does dove fly again in the city?” These are questions asked by Sezen Aksu in a song “Güvercin,” (Dove) -- written and composed by Aksu in memory of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

“I am like a dove... Like a dove I have my eyes everywhere, in front of me, at the back, on the left, on the right. My head is as moving as the one of a dove... And fast enough to turn in an instant,” Dink had said in his last article, which was published on Jan. 19, 2007, the day when he was shot dead outside the offices of the bilingual (Armenian-Turkish) Agos weekly. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of Agos.

Cem Özdemir, a member of the European Parliament who was in Turkey for various meetings this week and who has his friend Dink’s picture on the opening page of his personal Web page, has a clear answer for Aksu’s questions. He apparently believes that neither will the carnation bloom again without fear nor will the dove fly again in the city unless all aspects of Dink’s murder are thoroughly resolved.

Özdemir was here in Turkey this week with Renate Künast, co-chair of the German Green Party, for various talks in Istanbul and Ankara. On Monday he attended the sixth hearing in the case of the plot leading to the 2007 assassination of Dink, held at the Istanbul Criminal Court. The two parliamentarians met with President Abdullah Gül in Ankara on Wednesday. German Ambassador Eckart Cuntz hosted a reception at his residence in honor of Özdemir and Künast on Wednesday evening.

The reception was well attended, probably because the German parliamentarians’ meeting with Gül came amid widespread unrest in the country in the wake of an investigation into the Ergenekon criminal network -- accused of having plotted to stage a coup against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government -- and a closure case against the ruling party over allegations it seeks to establish an Islamist state.

Özdemir, meanwhile, also made a kind suggestion for Hursit Tolon, a former commander of the 1st Army Corps who was arrested last weekend on charges of founding and leading the Ergenekon terrorist organization.

Having remembered what Tolon had said in 2004, when Dink’s Agos scored a scoop in 2004 and revealed that Sabiha Gökçen, Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s adopted daughter, was Armenian, Özdemir said it might be a good idea for Tolon to look into the Turkish Constitution to re-examine the definition of Turkish citizenship.

Following publication of the report by Agos, Turkish daily Hürriyet approached Tolon and asked for his comment on the report. The former commander then categorically called it “a crime against national unity.”

Your arrival here came amid an ongoing countdown to the end the closure case against the AK Party and the upcoming start of the Ergenekon case. But the main reason for your visit’s timing was the Dink case. What impressions will you take back to Germany after Monday’s hearing?

One thing I want to say is after being at the Dink case, it is very obvious, you don’t have to be an expert; just by listening to what was said there it is quite obvious that this case cannot be limited to the people who appeared before that court. This is beyond the people who appeared there, it’s very obvious; I mean the question is still unanswered: What happened with the information that the gendarmerie got? Where did this information go, who reacted how, how was this information judged and why were no steps beyond that ever taken to save the life of my brother and friend Hrant Dink? This question remains to be answered. And as long as this question is unanswered, Turkey has a very serious problem.

The second thing is that we are not talking about a banana republic, we’re talking about one of the leading countries of the world. This court did not give a very good impression to me. I mean the whole thing -- starting from the room to the technical limitations -- I mean practically everything, the way that the lawyers of Hrant Dink’s family and the ones who are involved in this murder case have to share a microphone, have to stand half a meter away from each other. I mean, what is this?

This is the Turkish Republic. I’m not in charge of this republic, I don’t represent this republic, but I personally felt ashamed. So, I would love to see a little bit more seriousness in the follow-up to this Hrant Dink case and if there is a link to Ergenekon, it has to be followed up. There are serious accusations that there is a link between the Ergenekon case and the Hrant Dink murder case.

You already expressed your concerns about the composition of the court and a will to examine the alleged connection between the two cases. Are you able to see a will for doing so?

I’m not in a position to make suggestions to the court; this is up to the court. But one thing is for sure: After I listened to the confessions and the expressions there, it is very obvious that other people need to appear at this court. Let me give you an example, I mean the fact that Hrant Dink was called to the Vali Yardimcisi [deputy governor] and the kind of dialogue that happened there, I mean, it leaves very, very serious question marks. Has this been followed up? Was he questioned? And a number of other people I could tell about. From the gendarmes [a paramilitary force for internal security] in Trabzon to security guards and it is clear: If this country is a secular country, if everyone’s life has the same worth in this country -- independent of Hrant being an Armenian or a Circassian or a believer or a non-believer, whatever he was, he was killed and whoever the murderer was needs to be punished. Whoever they are, wherever they are; and to me we’re at the beginning of the case, not the end.

We may now know 10 percent of what we need to know, and the other 90 percent is also an answer to the security questions in Turkey, to the Gladio problem, to the problem of Susurluk, to the problem of Semdinli, all of which I believe is linked to each other. You cannot separate them from one another. It is obvious. There are people in Turkey who think that they are above the law, people in Turkey who think that they have been “given a mission.” And that’s not acceptable in any democracy and therefore, first of all, I encourage the government and encourage the Turkish democracy to follow up on that. On the other hand, I also ask them to do this in a way that is proper and in a democratic way that is completely based on the rule of law.

When do you think Hrant Dink became a target? In the autumn of 2005, when he was given a six-month suspended sentence for insulting “Turkishness,” or when he wrote the report on Sabiha Gökçen?

Of course, it is obvious that the Sabiha Gökçen report played a crucial role in this context. Some people think that it is an insult if you say that the adopted daughter… What is wrong with that, I mean the Armenians are citizens of this country. It is not an insult if you call somebody an Armenian. This is a normal thing. I mean if somebody calls me of Turkish origin in Germany -- I’m a German citizen -- I don’t see this as an insult. So it shouldn’t be an insult to say that she is of Armenian origin. I’ll understand that… But I don’t understand the statement of Hursit Tolon, to be honest, as he said at the time that it was unacceptable that Gökçen’s name was brought in an Armenian context. Sorry, this is the understanding of the Turkish nationals. People are Turkish citizens as an umbrella and they can be of Armenian origin -- they can be of any origin. I’m not in a position to tell Hursit Tolon the understanding of Turkish citizenship, but maybe he should look in the Constitution.

What was the message you got at the meeting with Gül?
First of all, he thanked us Greens and said we are always honest when we criticize Turkey and that we criticize Turkey as friends because we want a more democratic Turkey and because we kept our promise that such a Turkey deserves to become a member of the European Union. He differentiated between those who criticize because they don’t want Turkey in the European Union. That is, I think he shared his observations.

And the second point is that he was optimistic, rather optimistic, saying that he knows that Turkey is getting through difficult times but in the end Turkey will succeed and democracy will succeed.

Do you share the president’s optimism?
I mean, who am I to say something different from Mr. Gül? If Mr. Gül is optimistic, I have to be optimistic as well. I believe that wisdom is here, I believe there is also wisdom in the Constitutional Court and I believe that at the end of the day wisdom will succeed because I cannot imagine that Turkey has an intention, that anybody here in this country can have this serious intention to harm Turkey, to stop Turkey from moving forward, to push Turkey back. I can imagine a lot of people in Europe who want that, but I cannot imagine that they have fans here in Turkey. I cannot imagine that somebody will push the Constitutional Court or that somebody in the army or somebody in politics or somebody in the media can have an interest in supporting Mr. Sarkozy. We will find out at the end of the day how many fans Mr. Sarkozy has in Turkey.
13 July 2008, Emine Kart Ankara


Expert: I Do Not Rule Out Lavrov Was Instructed To Help Normalization Of Armenian-Turkish Relations
PanARMENIAN.Net, 11.07.2008
Turkey is a very convenient country for transit of hydrocarbons from Asia to Europe, Yerevan State University professor David Hovhannisyan said during "Armenia in the Near East: infrastructure globalization" round table discussion held in Caucasus Institute today.

"The Russian-Turkish relations are improving against tensions between Turkey and the U.S. Sergei Lavrov's recent visit to Ankara was conditioned by agreements on transit of Russian gas through Turkey to Europe. I do not rule out that Lavrov was also instructed to help normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. It's remarkable that the visit was held immediately after Serzh Sargsyan announced in Moscow his intention to invite Gul to Yerevan for a qualifying match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup due in the Armenian capital on September 6.

"The time has come for a fresh effort to break this deadlock, a situation that helps no one and hurts many. As president of Armenia, I take this opportunity to propose a fresh start - a new phase of dialogue with the government and people of Turkey, with the goal of normalizing relations and opening our common border," Sargsyan said in an opinion piece published Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.


A Great Step By Turkey For Georgia - Azerbaijan - Armenia Interconnection
Turkish Press, July 11 2008
ANKARA - More than 150,000 academicians and undergraduates in 45 universities in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia will be able to have the opportunity of speed access to the European Academic Network (GEANT) in the EU project initiated by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).

The three countries will have interconnection through fiber optic cables via Turkey.

Prof. Dr. Cem Sarac, director of National Academic Network and Information Center of TUBITAK, told the A.A correspondent on Friday that Black Sea Interconnection (BSI) project, co-funded by the European Commission, would provide a regional research and education network to Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.


Arf 'Dashnaktsutyun': Fact Of Armenian Genocide Cannot Become Subject Of Discussions Between Armenian And Turkish Presidents ArmInfo 2008-07-11
ARF "Dashnaktsutyun" is sure that the fact of the Armenian Genocide cannot become a subject of discussions between the presidents of Armenia and Turkey, member of ARFD Bureau Aghvan Vardanyan told journalist today in the National press-club when commenting on the latest statements of RA President Serzh Sargsyan on readiness for a wide dialogue with Turkey, including on the Genocide issue.

As A. Vardanyan said, '99% of the world Armenians will never agree to discuss the fact of the Genocide'. At the same time he said he considers Yerevan-Ankara negotiations quite possible, however, he is sure that the fact of the Armenian Genocide cannot be open to question, 'as the Armenian Genocide is the issue of the past, present and the future'. A. Vardanyan thinks that just Turkey is the country which puts obstacles to establishment and development of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which carries out the republic's blockade, strongly denies the fact of the Genocide and keeps on blackening Armenia in the eyes of the world community.

'I think it is abnormal when CE member- country with such a heavy ballast as Turkey strives for EU. I do not understand how Abdullah Gul intends to arrive in Yerevan and attend a football match between the national teams of Armenia and Turkey', A. Vardanyan resumed.


Sargsyan's Proposal Found A Positive Response In Ankara
PanARMENIAN.Net, 11.07.2008
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's open call to Turkey to launch "a fresh start" in relations between the estranged neighbors has found a positive response in the Turkish capital, Today's Zaman reports.

"The time has come for a fresh effort to break this deadlock, a situation that helps no one and hurts many. As president of Armenia, I take this opportunity to propose a fresh start - a new phase of dialogue with the government and people of Turkey, with the goal of normalizing relations and opening our common border," Sargsyan said in an opinion piece published Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.

In response to a question at a weekly press conference held in Ankara, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Burak Ozugergin said firstly that Ankara has received Sarksyan's formal invitation to President Abdullah Gul via official channels to visit Yerevan for a soccer match in September.

"We will assess the invitation," Ozugergin said.

Armenia and Turkey will play against each other in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Sept. 6 in a qualifying match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in South Africa.

"We are heeding normalization concerning relations with Armenia. The Armenian president has had certain statements resound in the international community," Ozugergin said when reminded of the content of the opinion piece by Sargsyan.

"We have learned that he said that there is no other alternative than normalization of the two countries' relations. If this statement is so, we agree with these suggestions. As a matter of fact, there had been exchange of letters right after the elections in Armenia. These elements are also in those letters. Accordingly, if it [the statement by Sargsyan] is true, then we are responding with pleasure these statements by Sargsyan," Ozugergin said.

"There is no real alternative to the establishment of normal relations between our countries. It is my hope that both of our governments can pass through the threshold of this new open door. ... We cannot expect tangible progress without such structured relations. Only through them can we create an effective dialogue touching upon even the most contentious historical issues," the Armenian President said in his opinion piece.


37 Per Cent Of Russians Say Turkey Exercised Political Program Of Extermination Of Armenians
11.07.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Yuri Levada Analytical Centre has conducted a social survey which showed that 37 per cent of Russians are convinced that the Ottoman Empire exercised a political program of extermination of Armenians.

According to 13 per cent of the respondents, the information about the Armenian Genocide is exaggerated. 33 per cent have never heard of the Genocide.

Levada experts also fixed that nationalistic attitude of mind tends to gain weight in Russia. In 2006, asked “whether hatred for foreigners has developed,” 47 out of 100 respondents said “yes.” In 2007, there were 55 out of 100 to confirm the fact.

50 per cent of Russians support the “Russia for Russians” ideology. 26 per cent eye the tendency as “demonstration of fascism.”

Moscow-based sociologists note that Russians are in sympathy with only 11 per cent of Caucasus and Asia-natives.

As to nations, Russians strongly dislike Gypsies, Chechens and Azeris. 43 per cent hate Gypsies, 39 per cent hate Chechens and 2 per cent hate Azeris.

According to the survey, Russians eye Belarus, Kazakhstan, Germany, China and Armenia as friendly countries.

It’s worth noting that in 2005 only 9 per cent of Russians believed Armenia to be a friendly state. In autumn 2007, the figure reached 15 per cent, IA Regnum reports.

Time To Expose Lies:Taner Akcam's Response To Yusuf Halacoglu Article
 © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com
Recently an exchange took place between renowned Armenian Genocide Denialist Yusuf Halacoglu and Historian Taner Akcam. The Debate took place on the pages of Turkish paper TARAF. Below is the English version of Akcam's response to Halacoglu lies.

Akcam article was translated by Zoryan Institute.

TIME TO EXPOSE LIES
It is time to put an end to the primitive and deceitful policy of the Turkish Historical Society, based on lies and propaganda for internal public opinion and a cause for embarrassment for Turkey and Turkish historians.

First, I would like to thank Ayse Hur for providing a summary of the Ottoman Archives research covered in my book titled The Armenian Problem Is Solved - Armenian Related Policies During Wartime According To Ottoman Archives (Iletisim Publishers, January 2008). Ayse Hur also included sections from my book criticizing Halacoglu, in an article titled “Akcam Asks Questions, Halacoglu Remains Silent.”

Before I respond to Halacoglu's article, I would like to provide some context in order not to be drowned in minute details back and forth.

THE FALSIFICATION ABOUT 1397
Those claiming that there was no genocidal intent or mass destruction in the 1915 Armenian Deportations often use the argument that all civil servants who maltreated the Armenians, attacked the convoys or murdered the deportees were arrested and prosecuted. Accordingly, some government officials who exploited the situation were investigated and sent to courts, a total of 1397 people were tried, a majority of them were convicted and given various sentences, including capital punishment.

I have demonstrated in my book that based on the Ottoman Archives, this argument is not correct. There are no documents in the Ottoman Archives related to prosecution and punishment of government officials accused of Armenians' murders. The Ittihat Terakki party in power had no such policy; on the contrary, I have documented that if any government officials were by chance accused of any such crimes, the government took steps to have them discharged immediately. I have also documented on several occasions how the Ittihat Terakki government eliminated a few of their own officials who could potentially cause future allegations related to the Armenian case.

ATTENTION AND CARE ABOUT PROPERTY NOT HUMAN BEINGS
One of the facts that is clearly evident in the Ottoman Archives is that the Ittihat Terakki government, which had shown no care toward the Armenians as human beings, did show extra care and attention toward the possessions and properties left behind by the Armenians. The government took extraordinary precautions to ensure that all these possessions were converted to state ownership. The special commissions or trials set up to investigate the wrongdoings related to the Armenians were all about the government officials who attempted to personally plunder, steal or take over ownership of the Armenians' properties. There has been absolutely no investigation or trial by the Ittihat Terakki government about those who committed crimes against the Armenians or who organized the massacres.

I had explained in my book how Yusuf Halacoglu leads the campaign of lies in this subject, by giving an example from his book titled The Armenian Deportations and Truths (1914-1918) (Turkish Historical Society, Ankara, 2001). I had accused him of revising the Ottoman Archives and by deliberately providing misinformation. Halacoglu in his responding article merely repeats and confirms that I am right.

In his book, in the chapter titled “Attacks on the Armenian Convoys and Preventive Measures Taken by the Government,” Halacoglu writes that “special investigative commissions were formed in order to prosecute the officials accused of neglect of duty or illegal activities.” He further claims that “government officials who were accused of wrongdoings and maltreating the Armenians were prosecuted,” and that “they were taken to the Military Tribunals for severe punishment.” Halacoglu bases these words on the following Archival Document No. 12 (Internal Ciphers Directory 54-A/236; 55-A/146: 55-A/157: 58-A/141; 58-A/278; 61/165; 57/105; 57/116; 57/143; 57/416; 59/196; 59/235).

In fact, Yusuf Halacoglu is lying, as none of these archival documents relate to Military Tribunals and punishment of officials for maltreatment of Armenians. As I have shown in my book, one by one for each document, these are all related to personal enrichment crimes of officials plundering, stealing or converting ownership of the properties and possessions left behind by the Armenians.

In these documents, Talat Pasha directs officials to comment (59/196), to investigate (55-A/156), to fire from duty the accused persons (57/143). Two other documents are related to seeking authority to take the personal enrichment cases to the Military Tribunal (57/146, 61/165).

Halacoglu not only dared to present these documents as “trial and punishment of government officials at Military Tribunals charged with maltreating the Armenians,” but he also used documents “praising government officials for successful deportation activities” for the same purpose. For example, the document no. 58-A/141, dated November 28, 1915, is a telegram from Talat Pasha to Cemal Pasha, reminding Cemal that he has no right to fire a local governor for maltreatment, praising the fired official and instructing Cemal to reinstate him.

I have asked in my book and pose the same question again: Isn't it shameful, isn't it criminal in the name of scientific research to use these documents as evidence that “government officials maltreating the Armenians were prosecuted and punished, including capital punishment?”

NEW DOCUMENT NO. 13 OUT OF A HAT
What could be expected from Yusuf Halacoglu as a response to my allegations? Shouldn't he use my documents, one by one, to prove or disprove that I have told the truth? Instead, in his article he responds by referring to another book of his and writes: “Akçam's questions are answered with the necessary documents.” In his book titled Armenian Allegations from Deportation to Genocide, in the Section titled “Guilty Deportation Officials” (Pages 91-96), the same information, same documents exist as in his 2001 book that I criticized. There are also 12 new documents unrelated to my criticism. That is, there is absolutely no change.

My criticism was that none of the new 12 documents shed light on the punishment of government officials charged with the maltreatment of Armenians. Halacoglu does not and cannot say “These documents show that there is information about punishment of government officials for maltreating the Armenians.” Instead, he produces a new Document No. 13. But funnily enough, this new document further reinforces my criticism.

As can be seen, this new document, dated March 12, 1916, relates to sixteen trials of the Syria Military Tribunal. Of the sixteen trials, fourteen are related to the personal plunder and stealing of properties and possessions left behind by the Armenians. The last two are about Circassian Ahmet (Halacoglu erroneously writes Recep, son of Ahmet, whereas the correct names are Ahmet, son of Recep). Nine cases were discharged outright and the accused released. Five cases resulted in guilty verdicts but punishments were deferred (Please see Appendix for the translation). The aforementioned Circassian Ahmet was a member of the Teskilat-i Mahsusa (Special Organization), executed on September 17, 1915. Talat Pasha had sent a telegram to Cemal Pasha, authorizing the execution, saying that: “His death is immediately required, otherwise, he can cause us harm in the future.” The execution of a few undesirable Teskilat-i Mahsusa members is further covered in my book (pages 247-252).

THERE ARE NO NEW FACTS
I will repeat my questions, again and again: Are there any trials and prosecutions against anyone for maltreating the Armenians, FOR HARMING THE ARMENIANS AS HUMAN BEINGS? The answer is NO. Are there any officials arrested by chance for other crimes, but released by the Central government? YES. The Ittihat Terakki government has never organized any trials related to the massacres but if any accused officials were to be arrested, it did everything possible to have them released. Are there any trials and prosecutions of government officials for personal plunder of the property and possessions left behind by the Armenians? YES. Have these been successful? NO. This is evident from any and all documents. Property and possessions plundered personally have remained in the ownership of these persons. We do not need any documents for these. Anatolia is still full of these stories.

My second criticism of Halacoglu's book, Armenian Deportations and Truths, relates to another deceitful thesis. Halacoglu states that “The Abandoned Properties Commissions paid funds from the proceeds of the sold properties to the deportees. The resettled refugees used these payments to start new businesses and quickly adapted to their new environment.” Halacoglu uses three documents to support this argument (DH. SFR. 57/348; 57/349; 57/350).

As can be seen, there is a great thesis and three documents. The thesis is that the Armenians were paid monies in lieu of their properties left behind. This is completely untrue, and Halacoglu is deliberately lying. It is in vain to find any documents in the Ottoman Archives related to funds paid to the Armenians; such documents do not exist and therefore, the supporters of this thesis can lie indiscriminately. When Halacoglu referred to three archival documents about “monies paid to the Armenians and about Armenians using these monies to set up businesses in their new settlements,” he perhaps thought that no one would investigate these three documents. These three documents are all from Eskishehir, and they refer to monies to be sent to the Governor of Aleppo, not to be given to the Armenians, but to cover the expenses of the local government during the Armenian deportation activities.

WHY ARE THOUSANDS OF ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTS MISSING?
It is impossible to have only three puny documents to support the argument of considerable transfer of funds to the Armenians. There should have been hundreds of thousands of documents about the Armenians deported to Syria and Iraq. These documents simply do not exist. There is a simple argument to refute this deceitful thesis. If we consider the official government declaration dated March 11, 1919, it states that 101,747 Armenians did return to their homes after the war. Did any government official ask these Armenians: “Brother, we paid you for your sold possessions when you resettled elsewhere, now, you have to pay back...”

THE LIE ABOUT AID
When one reads Halacoglu's response, it becomes apparent that his argument changes from financial payment to the resettled Armenians to financial aid to Armenians during the deportations. He refers to some documents about government fund transfers to cover the deportation expenses. While doing this, he brazenly falsifies the archival documents. As an example, he refers to a report by Dr. W. M. Post, a doctor at the American Hospital in Konya. The doctor states that “Armenians are paid 1 kurus (piastre) per adult and 20 para per child.” It is obvious that Halacoglu has not researched this subject, as he states that he got this information from his colleague Kemal Cicek. Kemal Cicek is an expert in document falsification. He has published the said falsified document of Dr. Post in his book titled, Armenians' Forced Emigration 1915-1917. Readers interested in the original complete reports can refer to Ara Sarafyan (ed.), United States Official Record on the Armenian Genocide 1915-1917, Princeton, London: Gomidas Institute, 2004, pages 245-257. Dr. Post explains the Konya deportation camp where “there are absolutely no sanitary conditions, average 30 to 40 people die daily, rape, murder, bribe and kidnapping is rampant.” Kemal Cicek's version does not refer to these facts. The payment of 1 kurus per adult and 20 para per child is a limited arrangement for a few days. But Halacoglu applies this with a magical trick to all the Armenian convoys, throughout the entire duration of the deportations.

There is no limit to the document falsification and revisionism in Halacoglu's world. In his response, he writes that “foreign aid organizations received permission to help the Armenians with Talat Pasha's signature.” I refer the reader to my book, pages 306-320, which explains how the Ottoman government refused any help to the Armenians from the foreign aid organizations. In fact, Ottoman archival documents clearly show that not only was the foreign aid refused, but any foreigners trying to aid the Armenians were threatened, arrested and imprisoned.
TARAF, June 15, 2008,Copyright © Azad-Hye, 2003-2007

 © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com
Turkish Cartoon: Secret Police At Ataturk's Mausoleum
Agent: "Yes boss, we are waiting... We will detain him the moment he comes out!"
© Zafer Temoçin, Cumhuriyet, 3rd Jul 2008
www.thememriblog.org


Turkey Not Ready To Recognize The Genocide Of Armenians by Gevorg Harutyunyan
Hayots Ashkhar Daily, July 04, 2008 Armenia
Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences, Turkologist Ruben Safrastyan is the interlocutor of "Hayots Ashkharh" daily.

"Mr. Safrastyan at this stage of the geo-political developments what peculiarities do Armenian-Turkish relations have?"

"We must record that Turkey's attitude towards Armenia is at clarification stage in the condition of the aggravation of the country's internal-political situation. As we know the ruling party "Justice and Development" is facing different charges.

Besides that, recently the sector of the Turkish secret organization named "Ergenekon" was revealed. The goal of the organization is to stage a military coup d'tat in Turkey.

Ex-military-men, influential figures, Generals and representatives of Turkish elite are the members of the before mentioned organization, by the name of a Turkish epos.

In fact it is the regular attempt of the traditional Turkish kemaly elite to maintain power. The thing is there is a struggle between two pro-governmental groupings in Turkey. The newly formed elite united with the pro-governmental "Justice and Development" party is struggling against the kemaly elite that has been in power for decades.

This struggle has created great tension in Turkey's internal political life. In such conditions the government in power did certain steps regarding Armenian Turkish relations, aimed at gaining the support of the West, especially the USA. It is not a secret that for many years the USA puts pressure on Turkey to open the borders with Armenia.

In this context, it's worth mentioning that the victory of Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is becoming quite possible.

Turkish analysts preview that in this case it will be impossible to avert the adoption of resolution 106 in the Congress.

It is not accidental that the representatives of Turkish Foreign Ministry met with Obama's counselors, during which according to our information the Americans recommended their Turkish partners to elaborate another program of Armenian-Turkish relations. The Turks will most probably try to create delusion among American democracy as if they are doing their best to improve relations with Armenia."

"Why delusion? Doesn't Turkish people, society, or the authorities want to have regular relations with Armenia?"

"In my view Turkey is not ready for principled changed in their policy regarding Armenia. According to Turkey Armenia must announce that it doesn't have any territorial demands towards Turkey and that it recognizes Kars agreement, that it is ready for unilateral concessions regarding Karabakh, refuses the goal of the recognition of the Genocide of Armenians and will remove this issue from its foreign policy.

Of course the latter is the most important issue for Turkey. But we must also record that Armenian historians and the specialists have already recognized the fact of the Genocide. American scientist's society doesn't accept Turkish stance saying that the fact of the Genocide is disputable.

The US leadership also accepts the fact of the Genocide, but not officially, taking into account their state interests. But in the very near future the USA will have to officially recognize the Genocide of Armenians. In this regard Turkey intimidates that it will break off with the USA and will use sanctions, but it is of course ridiculous. And the USA in its turn recommends Turkey not to lose face and to find serious solutions."

"Recently OSCE Parliamentary Assembly adopted Turkey's proposal, according to which the Parliaments of the member countries must encourage the idea of the formation of the joint committees of the countries with disputable issues, to conduct historical investigations. Thus many issues will be solved."

"Still in 2005, when Erdoghan sent a letter to our President to set up a committee of historians, Armenia officially responded that we are ready to set up a committee to study all the spheres. In my view this is the only way to bilaterally discuss, all the existing problems and achieve results.

In case of setting up a committee of historians, believe me, Armenia will never agree to making the issue of the Genocide of Armenians a matter of discussion. We are ready to discuss the reasons and consequences of the Genocide in the framework of historical facts. But before the discussion there should be a certain consensus. For scientific dispute there are certain principles that must be mutually agreed upon. Otherwise the discussion is senseless."

Reconciliation Attempts Between Turkey And Armenia by Ömer Engin LUTEM
03 July 2008, ERAREN
The echos of the decision of Serj Sarkisyan, the President of Armenia, to invite the Turkish President Abdullah Gül to the football match that will be played between Turkey and Armenia on September 6, 2008, are still continuing. However, the statement made by the group representative of the Dashnak Party in the Parliament, Vahan Hovannisyan, a presidential candidate in the previous elections, implies that they will protest the visit of Abdullah Gül if he goes to Yerevan. Although the Dashnak Party is a part of the coalition in the Armenian Parliament, they have different policies that sometimes contradict governmental policies.

In terms of the relations between the two countries, the most attention -grabbing part of Sarkisyan’s words is that he is not actually against the set-up of a commission that is to investigate the 1915 incidents. Due to the reason that such a commission may threaten the “genocide” that is regarded as a historical fact, not only the Dashnaks, but also the supporters of the chief opposition leader, the former president Ter Petrosyan, have reacted Serj Sarkisyan’s views.

The Armenian presidency and the government made some statements concerning these reactions. Samyel Fermanyan, the press spokesman of the President, stated that accepting the investigation of an event would not discredit the truth. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edvard Nalbatyan, said that the establishment of that commission would not prevent Armenia’s worldwide activities for the recognition of the “Armenian Genocide”. As to the Dashnaks, their spokesman stated that they asked an explanation from President Sarkisyan who said that this commission would by no means determine whether there was a genocide, but, on the contrary, it would only examine some aspects of the genocide.

As can be seen, Armenian authorities consider that the commisson should first of all agree that a genocide took place, and then it can investigate some details of the “genocide”. Moreover, they state that they will continue to promote the genocide activities for its recognition. There is no doubt that, with this approach, the commission will be disfuntional.

Armenian press, inspired by the statements made by President Sarkisyan in Moskov, considers that Armenia accepts this commission as a counterpart for the openning of the Turkish border and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

However, the statements of some American Foreign Affairs officials, such as Daniel Fried and Mattew Bryza, envisage another reconciliation formula which propose the Armenian recognition of Turkish territorial integrity, the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia, and the openning of the Turkish border which would be followed by the establishment of the commission.

Currently, the Armenian press is not mentioning the Armenian recognition of Turkish territorial integrity that would mean the end of “Great Armenia” dreams. It is possible that this issue, if becomes upfront, will get as much reaction as the historians’ commission does.

United Nations Screens Controversial "Screamers" Film in Tokyo
"Screamers," the critically-acclaimed documentary about genocide in the last century, with music by the Grammy award-winning rock band 'System of a Down,' was featured last week at the United Nations Refugee Film Festival 2008 in Tokyo, sponsored by UNHCR and Japan for UNHCR.

UNHCR called the festival a "vital component of UNHCR's year round action plan to raise awareness of the plight and triumph of the world's 33 million refugees and internally displaced persons. A select array of films from across the globe gives voice to seldom-heard stories of hope, despair, and resilience. In line with World Refugee Day's theme for this year, the festival draws attention to the human side of refugees."

"We included 'Screamers' in the festival this year because it looks at the history of genocide and what is happening in Darfur--through the eyes of history," says Festival Director Kirill Konin.

"Film is an important medium to introduce the many aspects of the lives and circumstances of refugees across the world, and through this entertainment vehicle, create better awareness and understanding," said Angelina Jolie, UNHCR's Goodwill Ambassador.

"Screamers" examines the repeating pattern of genocide, from the Armenian genocide, to the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, up to Darfur today. After its theatrical release in the US and Canada, the documentary was screened in the U.S. Congress, British Parliament and European Parliament to raise awareness about Darfur and genocide education. Sony BMG has recently launched "Screamers" DVD.

Director Carla Garapedian, who has made documentaries about Afghanistan and Chechnya, led discussion sessions at the UNHCR Festival for "Screamers" as well as "Letter to Anna," about the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, directed by Eric Bergkraut, and "Kite Runner," the uplifting story of truth and redemption in Afghanistan, directed by Marc Foster. Director Steve Thomas was on-hand to discuss his film "Hope" about the journey of an Iraqi refugee family to Australia.

"We must remember history," said Garapedian. "After the Armenian genocide, the U.S. opened its doors to thousands of refugee survivors from Ottoman Turkey, including my family. If they hadn't done that, I wouldn't be here."

The UNHCR screening of "Screamers" follows a dispute in April 2007 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where the Turkish delegation demanded reference to the Armenian genocide be omitted from an exhibition entitled, "Lessons from Rwanda," sponsored by the Aegis Trust. After a three-week delay, and criticisms from the media and former UN Commander Romeo Daillaire, reference to the Armenian genocide remained in the exhibition, but only after the word "murder" was changed to "mass killings."

Turkey continues to deny that its successors committed genocide. Under its penal code, it will prosecute anyone who raises the issue on the grounds of "insulting Turkishness." Last week, publisher Ragip Zaracolu was sentenced to five months in prison, commuted to a fine, for publishing a book about the Armenian genocide. Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor and contributor to "Screamers", was also being prosecuted under the code before he was assassinated last year. Meanwhile, U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for the new ambassador-elect to the Republic of Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch, were postponed last week because the State Department has delayed responding to Senators' questions about the ambassador-elect's position on Armenian genocide recognition. The position has been unfilled since Ambassador John Evans was recalled two years ago by the Bush Administration for recognizing the Armenian genocide. Another Ambassador-elect, Richard Hoagland, was withdrawn last year after a Senate hold.

The Armenian Issue, Genocide By The Ottomans?
June 23rd, 2008, SOP newswire
Recently, the Swedish Parliament decided, nearly unanimously, that there had not been an Armenian genocide by the Ottomans. Swedish officers were on duty as observational officers in the 1915 incident, when Armenians started to shoot at the Ottoman Army from behind and as the German General ordered the expatriation of the Armenians in the region.

Hence, Ottoman army paid in silver, daily moneys to the Armenians (half the amount to the children) and pushed them to the south. Swedish officers and under officers followed this plight as observers and their reports are in the Swedish archives.

This is the reason why there are Armenians today, in southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen. Many Armenians emigrated to France and USA. Had they been killed, there would not be Armenians in these countries now.

Armenians lived happily in the Ottoman Empire and contributed significantly in all the professions. During the WW1, with the influence of the British, Russians encouraged Armenians to revolt against Ottomans and Armenians, in many instances murdered Turks and Kurds. (70.000 In Van region and more in other regions.)

Russian archives have abundant reports on these, which Prof. Perincek of Turkey recently has discovered.

Archives of Ottomans, Germans, British and Russians and of the USA and of Armenia have plenty of evidence that there has been no genocide whatsoever.

The UN has no resolution on that and no court has decided on such a thing. Armenians are afraid to open up their archives as this would reveal their lies.

Jun 23, 2008 Ancc: Turkey Has Distinction Of Being World's Worst Perpetrator Of Crimes Against Humanity
The Armenian National Committee of Canada recently participated in two important historic commemorations - for the Pontian Genocide and the Rwandan Genocide victims. On May 18, the Brotherhood Pontian of Toronto organized a memorial for the 353,000 Pontian Greek victims of atrocities perpetrated by the Turkish government from 1916 to 1923.

Among the 350 people who attended the commemoration were a high-ranking Greek Cabinet minister, a member of the Greek parliament, and representatives of the department of foreign affairs of Greece, the ANCC told

The memorial was held at St. Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church in Toronto.

The keynote speaker Michael Charalampidis, author, and member of the executive committee of the International Association for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples, emphasized the imperative for Pontians around the world to organize and to become more politically active in the international recognition of the Pontian Genocide.

Furthermore, he said he appreciated and valued the pioneering work of the Armenian National Committee and the Armenian people, at large, in their political activism and in paving the way for the Pontian community to follow in their footsteps.

Aris Babikian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), urged the international community and governments "not to be selective in their condemnation, as their political and economic interests dictate, but to bring to justice the Turkish genocide perpetrators and their accomplices. Today the Turkish government, encouraged by the international community's silence, is not only denying the Armenian, Pontian, and Assyrian Genocides and continuing its illegal occupation of Cyprus, but it has also launched a genocide against the Kurds."

Babikian said it's "imperative for us to stand united in solidarity, to remind the world of the Turkish government's past and present crimes, and to demand that the international community to stop its appeasement policies towards a fascist and racist Turkish government which has the distinction of being the world's worst perpetrator of crimes against humanity."

Babikian reminded the gathered that the "rampant extreme nationalism, prejudice and xenophobia in contemporary Turkey is an ominous sign and a reminder of the climate which existed in Turkey in the early 20th century."

He added that Canada and the international community can send a clear and unequivocal message to the Turkish government that the international community will not tolerate such inhuman treatment of our fellow human beings and will not allow the genocide denial machine to operate with impunity.

On April 4, the ANCC participated in a press conference at the Gatineau city hall to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the genocide of Rwanda's Tutsi minority. The press conference was organized by the HUMURA Association, with the participation of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Association of Darfur, and ANCC.

Genocide denial was the theme of the press conference. At the end of the conference the participants signed a letter bringing to the attention of the Right Hon. Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, that "genocide deniers hide behind the veil of dubious scholars of the `truth' who increase the agony of the victims' wounds that have never healed… While Canada rightly protects fundamental liberties, including the liberty of expression, we strongly believe that genocide deniers should never enjoy constitutional guarantees to propagate heinous and racist speeches targeting specific ethnic groups in Canada."

Babikian said that he considered it ANCC's privilege and honor to participate in the gatherings to "show our friendship with other genocide victim nations. We, the survivors of similar heinous crimes, or the descendents of those who survived, must unite to remind the international community that such crimes will not be forgotten, denied or be allowed to be repeated. We owe it to our martyrs who paid the ultimate price for intolerance, xenophobia and hatred."

Telephone Conversation Between President Of Turkmenistan And Armenia 30 June 2008,
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Republic of Armenia Serj Sargsian had a telephone conversation.

The leaders exchanged views on the current condition and prospects of bilateral co-operation and the important issues of mutual interest. Expressing the mutual willingness to intensify the intergovernmental dialogue the sides called for establishing full-scale collaboration between Turkmenistan and Armenia that met the interests of the two peoples.

Serj Sargsian cordially congratulated Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on his birthday and wished good health, success in accomplishing the plans and undertakings for the benefit of the Turkmen people. The Armenian leader invited the President of Turkmenistan to visit Yerevan at any convenient time.

Thanking cordially for the invitation Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that he regarded enhancement of the bilateral relations as the guarantor of effective, long-term intergovernmental partnership. The President of Turkmenistan invited the Armenian leader to visit Ashgabat.

The dates of the visits will be agreed through the diplomatic channels.

In conclusion the Presidents exchange the wishes of peace, happiness and wellbeing to the peoples of the two countries.

Russian Foreign Minister To Discuss Nagorno Karabakh Conflict And Opening Of Armenian-Turkish Border In Turkey 30 June 2008, Panarmenian
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will pay an official visit to Turkey on July 2, said spokesman for Russian Foreign Ministry Andrei Nesterenko at a briefing.

According to him, Sergey Lavrov's visit to Turkey will allow to discuss urgent regional and international problems. During the meetings, the sides will discuss Iraqi and Near Eastern issues, situation around Iranian nuclear program and Kosovo, situation in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, Cyprus issue. According to Nesterenko, Sergey Lavrov also intends to discuss a wide range of issues of Russian-Turkish relations, reports the press service for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

By the information of the Turkish side, the discussed will be Nagorno Karabakh issue and opening of Armenian-Turkish borders. During the visit, the Russian Foreign Minister will be received by the President and Prime Minister, as well as Foreign Minister of Turkey-Abdullah Gul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ali Babacan.

The sides will also discuss interaction in the framework of the BSEC and other working Black Sea formats. After Turkey, Sergey Lavrov, accompanied by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in the framework of his first official visit to Azerbaijan, will arrive in Baku.

The hour of our summary execution is nearly upon us. Will we accept this unjust decision, or will we fight back against our programming and unseat those who have usurped the Constitution and driven us to World War III against our will?

Turkish Thesis Regarding 1915 Events Adopted by OSCE
Turkey's thesis against Armenian allegations about the events of 1915 has been adopted for the first time by the general assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

"The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's annual session was held in Kazakhstan's capital Astana with the main theme of 'Transparency in the OSCE'. During the session, a motion submitted by the Turkish delegation was adopted. The motion underlines that past events like genocide should be recognized only after historians carried out a detailed research in all kinds of archives," Alaattin Buyukkaya, who leads the Turkish group at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, told a statement on Wednesday.

In 2005, Turkey officially proposed to the Armenian government the establishment of a joint historical commission composed of historians and other experts from both sides to study together the events of 1915 and to open the archives of Turkey and Armenia, as well as the archives of all relevant third-party countries and share their findings publicly. Unfortunately, Armenia has not yet responded positively to this initiative and Turkey's proposal remains on the table.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic links since Ankara intensified its protests against Armenian invasion and violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Armenia invaded in a war with Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. The border between Turkey and Armenia has been closed.

Armenia, with the backing of the Diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915. Turkey rejects the claims, saying that 300,000 Armenians along with at least as many Turks died in civil strife that emerged when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia.

"The OSCE is the biggest international organization behind the United Nations. Adoption of the Turkish thesis by the OSCE is a significant achievement against the Armenian allegations. Also, the Turkish thesis regarding the events of 1915 was adopted for the first time on an international platform. The OSCE has 56 member states. Only Armenia voted against the motion. A majority of the other member states voted in favor of it," he said.

"The motion says that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly encourages the formation of joint history commissions by historians and experts from the third countries in case of a research into political and military archives to scientifically and unbiasedly enlighten a disputed period in history in an effort to serve transparency and common understanding among the member states," Buyukkaya added.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE is the parliamentary dimension of the organization, whose 56 participating States span the geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The primary task of the 320 member Assembly is to facilitate inter-parliamentary dialogue, an important aspect of the overall effort to meet the challenges of democracy throughout the OSCE area.
© Copyright 2008 Hürriyet
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Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Accepts Turkish Thesis Re. Armenian ‘Genocide’ by Michael van der Galien, Editor-in-Chief on July 2, 2008

Good news for Turkey, and for those who believe that what happened to the Armenians does not or at least may not constitute genocide and that Armenians should open their archives to historians: the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe agrees. The OSCE is the biggest international organization behind the United Nations. As such, this is a big victory for the Turks and, as far as I am concerned, for the truth.

55 states have joined the OSCE in recent decades. The list of the member states can be found here. The Netherlands is a member, Germany is a member, Turkey is a member, Belarus is, Belgium is as well, the USA is, and so is the UK. It’s a gigantic organization, and quite an important one at that.

The Turks wanted the general assembly to adopt a motion it submitted about the genocide allegations. The motion dismisses the allegations, saying that historians should decide whether something constitutes genocide or not, and calls on all groups and countries involved to open their archives to said historians for research. Turkey opened its archives years ago already, whereas Armenia and Armenian organizations refuse to do so (probably because the archives prove the Turkish charges that Armenians committed some serious ethnic cleansing themselves and because these archives may very well disprove the charge of genocide… disproving it by Armenians).

Alaattin Buyukkaya, who leads the Turkish group at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, told reporters Wednesday: “The OSCE is the biggest international organization behind the United Nations. Adoption of the Turkish thesis by the OSCE is a significant achievement against the Armenian allegations. Also, the Turkish thesis regarding the events of 1915 was adopted for the first time on an international platform. The OSCE has 56 member states. Only Armenia voted against the motion. A majority of the other member states voted in favor of it,” he said.

“The motion says that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly encourages the formation of joint history commissions by historians and experts from the third countries in case of a research into political and military archives to scientifically and unbiasedly enlighten a disputed period in history in an effort to serve transparency and common understanding among the member states,” Buyukkaya added.

This is a significant victory for the no-genocide side. More organizations and countries, I am sure, will follow in future years. Lets not forget that the European Union too changed its official position on the events of 1915. The Union too wants all those involved to open the archives so that historians can do research and cast judgment. This is something Armenian activists are trying to prevent. And desperately so.

The reason? Simple. Lands and money. For Armenian activists and the Armenian government, this isn’t about ethnic cleansing of genocide; it’s about lands and financial compensation (take a look at the Armenian constitution I’d say; the Armenians still claim Eastern Anatolia as part of Armenia).

Comments:>
1
Dylan
July 2, 2008
The OSCE is the biggest international organization behind the United Nations…55 states have joined the OSCE in recent decades.
There is at least one international organisation bigger than the OSCE. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference has 57 member states.

2
Rad
July 2, 2008
@ Dylan

The Islamic COnference is probably bigger than OSCE but the level of cooperation between the states is very low…
I’m from Indonesia, and we never know what membership in OIC brings.

3
nevber
July 2, 2008
It’s time for the politicians to back off! and the historians to do their belated job!!! The truth will prevail….

4
P. Connolly
July 2, 2008
Yes, the Western World is really in for some surprises when the effect of the Ignorant Vote-Hungry politicians is removed from the equation and when the self-proclaimed Genocide "Scholars" are exposed for the flakes and hacks that many of them really are! The temptation has proven all to strong for a significant number of these individuals who see a life of relative ignominy as the alternative, to prostitute their talents and qualifications to the greed and ambition of the powerful Armenian Propagandists who extend an open offer of a "reputation" and "standing" to any taker who will lend some measure of validation to their deceitful lies!

5
Ara
July 3, 2008
This motion, as described, does not amount to an acceptance of the Turkish thesis. It amounts to a call for further scientific "debate" or whatever deniers wish to call it. Logically speaking, not accepting the Armenian thesis in explicit terms does not by any stretch of the imagination mean acceptance of the Turkish thesis. What a so-so attempt at deception Michael, c’mon, we all expect better from you. That this is even an important piece of news in the Turkish world is very, very sad. Great victory guys. Go get ‘em. The world will soon…umm…defer to your incorrect views. Yeah right.

6
nevber
July 3, 2008
Whopppyyy! That famous word "Deniers" came up again! How uncreative and predictable your comments have become. Come onnnn people!!! come up with more creative ways to push your agenda… What a bore…..

7
Kemal
July 3, 2008
Ara, they reject your conclusion without unbiased research of all relevant archives, including those still concealed by Armenia and the Dashnak revolutionary party.

8
sunset eagle
July 3, 2008
Turkey should think wisely before distributing baklava after each event like this! look to the big picture, Obama is coming to the White House next year, and the Turkish position among the Europeans is weakening every time the Armenian Genocide denial floats on surface. A joint historian commission that the Turks are calling for a while is not going to add any value to the tenths of archives which are already open and clearly identifies the Armenian killing as a ‘Genocide’.

9
Melissa
July 3, 2008
The motion says to research political and military archives to scientifically and unbiasedly enlighten a disputed period in history in an effort to serve transparency and common understanding among the member states. There is nothing wrong with that, its a very improving motion. I don’t understand why Armenia voted against it -and its the only one among 55 other states- I found this very suspicious.

10
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
The reason? Simple. Lands and money.
That’s right.

"Dear compatriots, against Turkey, we will continue to organize ourselves. We will organize so as to be better prepared to mobilize. We will mobilize to better acheive our goals and gains. Not only for the recognition of the genocide, but also for the construction of a free, independent and reunified Armenia, so that all together we can again take posession of Van, Much, Kars, Sassun, Bitlis and Erzurum."
Mourad Papazian, chief of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation for Western Europe, speech in Marseille, April 24, 2006 www.turquieeuropeenne.eu/spip.php?page=print&id_article=1261

"The 18th General Assembly of the Social Democratic Hunchakian Party was held during the last weeks of November in Larnaka, Cyprus. 52 delegates representing 12 adherent part regions participated along with the outgoing Central Executive Board.
[…]
The Assembly reaffirmed the traditional positions of the S. D. Hunchakian Party regarding the Armenian Cause and territorial demands."
www.hunchak.org.au/aboutus/historical_Declaration2005.html

See also:
setasarmenian.blogspot.com/2007/12/armenians-demand-justice-not.html

11
dussardier
July 3, 2008
Genocide in turkey 1975 , The Union of Armenian Students in Manchester

12
Michael van der Galien, Editor-in-Chief
July 3, 2008
Yeah. Or how about "Death and Exile: the Ethnic Cleaning of Ottoman Muslims"? You can also read "The Ottoman Peoples and the End of Empire." For instance, the ethnic cleansing committed by the Serbs, Croats and Greek in the Balkans. Millions of Muslims were forced off their lands, out of their homes. If they weren’t killed, they had to flee to Anatolia because the ‘enlightened’ Christian new nation-states tolerated no Muslims living within their borders (this because Muslims formed a majority or at least plurality in all new ’states’).

Perhaps it’s time for you and your buddies to acknowledge the horrible crimes committed by those ‘Christian’ states. Turkish Muslim lives don’t matter. I know.

13
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
Logically speaking, not accepting the Armenian thesis in explicit terms does not by any stretch of the imagination mean acceptance of the Turkish thesis.
Accepting the simple facts that the so-called "Armenian genocide" is not supported by unquestionable evidence, and that history is not the job of politicians, is already a snub for the Armenian propaganda.
Why the Armenian delegates were the singles to vote against this resolution, proposed by the Turkish delegates?

14
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
Enlevez votre masque, le faux Dussardier, on vous a reconnu.
To the readers: do not pay attention to this post.

15
nevber
July 3, 2008
Hitler never said "Armenians", he said "no one remembers the massacres "ROMANS" committed…. But then again, no one remembers the extermination of the native Americans by the Americans, or the massacres committed by the French to the Algerians, orrrrr what about what the Belgium’s who committed horrible crimes against the Congolese during the Kind Leopard times…. and my personal favorite: The Spanish/Portuguese wiped out FIVE million indigenous peoples of South America….. YEAH… NO ONE REMEMBERS THEM!!!!! (the list is very long….) anyone with a half brain would see that what the Armenian diaspora is pushing for is LAND AND MONEY….

16
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
Hitler never said "Armenians"
Indeed: www.ataa.org/reference/hitler-lowry.html

the massacres committed by the French to the Algerians
1) Please do not use the word "the" (the French people was not the French army, and the French massacrors were not the French army).
2) This massacres are not forgotten, and since some years, there exist a little "genocide fanfare" about this, with some pro-Armenian activists. It’s not a surprise, because Soviet propaganda used the atrocities of Algerian war like the events of 1915-1916 and like the Vietnam war.
3) If there are forgotten massacres in Algeria, there are the massacres by the FLN, against French civilans and against moderate separatists (MNA) during the Algerian war (1954-1962); and by the Algerian bands during the XIXth century (until Abd-el-Kader, this bands taked no prisonners: all ennemy captured was killed).

Suggestion of reading to the French-speakers: Daniel Lefeuvre, Pour en finir avec la repentance coloniale, Paris, Flammarion, 2006, new edition, 2008. The commonalities and even the common activists (like Gilles Manceron) between the genocide fanfare and the "algerian fanfare" are very intersting.

17
nevber
July 3, 2008
Lucrece, my point is, all nations have been involved in some kind of war or killings against another group of people or nation… I am tired of hearing ONLY what the Ottomans/Turks did…. So did the Armenians, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Americans, Australians, Japanese, Greeks, British, Chinese etc etc etc… The international community seems to zoom into the period of 1915 obsessively and forget their own past… When I say "The French", I mean their history…. This is all political. Nothing to do with the reality of humanity. I am talking about HYPOCRISY!!!

18
Matthew
July 3, 2008
We always thought that Armenians not opening their archives has something to do with, something they are hiding,and yes they were the ones strated kiling the Turks first with rebel group called Thaslanaklar,they find Ottoman empire weak after the frist WW and sided with Russians to gain their own province and simply started killing their neighbors ,which they have lived with (Turks)for 100’s of years and now, after seen Jews getting bunch of money (rightfully so )from Germans and Swiss,they wanted to do the same forthemselves by crying foul, and spreading this BIG LIE, unfortunately many countries bought this LIE,or wanted to use it as a political leverage aginst Turks, and saga goes on,dude It is a Big lie,and maybe 100,000 died in the jeurney to Syria,l am sure it was not good but in war anything can happen,thats why we should not have wars,right?

19
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
Nevber, please, let’s read again my text, and remember to my previous comments. It is not necessary to get excited like that.

20
Michael van der Galien, Editor-in-Chief
July 3, 2008
Lucrece; without blasting France, it has to be pointed out that the French army committed some horrible crimes in its colonies. That’s well known, and well documented.

21
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
We always thought that Armenians not opening their archives has something to do with, something they are hiding
Of course!

www.eraren.org/index.php?Lisan=en&Page=DergiIcerik&IcerikNo=134
armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2008/04/2438-armenians-and-ottoman-military.html

maybe 100,000 died in the jeurney to Syria,l am sure it was not good but in war anything can happen,thats why we should not have wars,right?

War was the context of the events of 1915-1916, but this events were not just war incidents, as explains, for example, Guenter Lewy.

The total demographic losses of Ottoman Armenians between 1914 and 1919 (including the deaths during the relocation by Russians) are around 640-650 000 individuals, i. e. 37% of the pre-war population. It is less than the claims of activist, it is certainly not a genocide, but it is not ordinary losses of war.

22
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
Lucrece; without blasting France, it has to be pointed out that the French army committed some horrible crimes in its colonies. That’s well known, and well documented.

I did say the opposite. I have not forgotten the massacres of Sétif and Guelma, the enfumades of General Bugeaud, the Indochinian atrocities, etc."If France can remain in Indochina only with cutting heads and maintaining a regime of terror and force, it is better we go. (Si la France ne peut rester en Indochine qu’en y coupant des têtes et en y maintenant un régime de terreur et de force, il vaut mieux nous en aller.)" (Marius Moutet, socialist deputy, 1930).

I said that some so-called scholars had used of false arguments and false statistics about this sad events. The conquest war of Algeria was bloody and barbarious, but it was never an attempt of extermination of Algerians, and the atrocities were never committed by one side. The same comments could be made for the war of 1954-1962, all the more since this conflict reached never the level of violence (in both sides) of the nineteenth century.

23
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
Sorry: I did not say the opposite.

24
nevber
July 3, 2008
My point is: Because the International community is only zooming into the events of 1915 and describing it as "genocide", the Armenian Diaspora is using this to their advantage. They are claiming that everybody is on their side. However, the reality is all nations whether European, Ottoman, American, Chinese, Japanese etc have a shady past. Including the Armenians themselves. I am directing my comments to "dussadier" and his like minded colleagues. They are getting a free ride on the European/USA "sympathy" for too long. This needs to be addressed as well. This one sided view needs to be disassembled. I am sorry but the French (government) are the worst of the bunch… and Lucrece, I am not excited I can assure you…..

25
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
For instance, the ethnic cleansing committed by the Serbs, Croats and Greek in the Balkans. Millions of Muslims were forced off their lands, out of their homes.

During the Bulgarian war of independence (1876-1878), around 260,000 Muslims (including ethnic Bulgarians converted to Islam) were butchered by the Christian armies and gangs. 550,000 were expelled. Cullen, the British investigator for the Great Powers in Berlin’s conference, wrote: "I can come to no other conclusion but that the Russians are carrying out a fixed policy of exterminating the Moslem race."

Thousands of Jews were killed, tortured or expelled by the same perpetrators during this war.
During the Balkan Wars, i. e. during less than two years (1912-1913), 1,450,000 perished, and 410 000 were expelled.

During the WWI and the Turkish war of Independence, at least 523,955 Muslims were killed by Armenian guerilla, and many others by Greek soldiers and Greek gangs. The total losses of Anatolian Muslims between 1912 and 1922, is at least 2,5 millions, and probably nearly 3 millions. Around 10,000 Ottoman Jews were killed by dashnaks.
Between 1914 and 1921, 410 000 Muslims perished in the Caucasus, including 30,000 Azeris butchered by Armenian gangs during some weeks of 1918; and 270,000 were refugees to the Anatolia. At least 3,000 Mountain Jews were assassinated by dashnak in 1919.

In the province of Erivan (actual Republic of Armenia), there were 270,000 "Turco-Tatars" in 1914, and only 89,000 in 1926.

References: Justin McCarthy, Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, Princeton, Darwin Press, pp. 59, 214-217, and 338-339; www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=18594 ; www.today.az/news/politics/25410.html ; and www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=18582

26
Victor
July 3, 2008
Yet again thanks to Mr Van Der Galien previously of the Gallien gazette. A biast article with regard to the Armenian Genocie issue. Mr Gallien who freely admits his love for Turkey, seems to have not grown up yet, how old are you now Mr. Gallien all of 24. How sad that you are still trying to brainwash (like the Turkish Nationalists) readers to your point of view. There is ample information on the Genocide. One thing you never have answered is why was 90% of the Christian assyrian population killed - what threat did they pose to the Young Turks? Genocide is Genocide there are no mitigating circumstances. Historians have discused the issue and like the Chairman of the Institute of Turkish Studies (who ws forced to resign by the Turkish governent) have concluded it was Genocide - Turkey and Mr. Gallien should grow up accept it and move on.

27
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
Some sources used by Prof. McCarthy are avaible online and in Western languages:

Russian Atrocities in Asia and Europe during the Month of June, July and August 1877, Istanbul, 1877: louisville.edu/a-s/history/turks/Russian%20Atrocities.pdf

The Turco-Armenian Question: The Turkish Point of View, Istanbul, 1919: louisville.edu/a-s/history/turks/NC%20of%20Turkey.pdf

Ahmed Rustem Bey, The World War and the Turco-Armenian Question, Berne, 1918: louisville.edu/a-s/history/turks/Ahmed%20Rustem.pdf

Kara Schemsi, Turcs et Arméniens devant l’histoire, Geneva, 1919: louisville.edu/a-s/history/turks/turcs_et_armeniens.pdf

Greek Atrocities in Turkey, Istanbul, 1921: louisville.edu/a-s/history/turks/Greek Atrocities in Turkey.pdf

28
nevber
July 3, 2008
Victor, what does age have anything to do with this conversation? Are you telling me the Armenian youth younger then 24 do not know anything? Because you seem to think that age is some criteria for knowledge… If so… GREAT! I think just like you do…! The younger generation of the Armenian diaspora is brainwashed and have no clue of their history and culture…

29
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
One thing you never have answered is why was 90% of the Christian assyrian population killed - what threat did they pose to the Young Turks?

1) The demographic losses of Assyrian/Nestorian population in Anatolia were not 90% of pre-war population, but far less.

2) At least 3,000 Nestorians joined the Armenian guerilla, only in the vilayet of Van, in 1914/1915 (Justin McCarthy, Esat Arslan, Cemalettin Tashkiran and Ömer Turan, The Armenian Rebellion at Van, Salt Lake city, University of Utah Press, 2006).

3) Nestorian gangs destroyed Kurdish villages, raped women, killed unarmed civilian; after this, Kurdish gangs destroyed Nestorian villages, raped women, killed unarmed civilian; after this (i. e. during the Spring 1916), Nestorian gangs, Dashnaks, Hunchakists and Cossaks exterminated all the Muslims who fell into their hands. This facts are supported by Western investigations (report of British Major E. W. C. Nobel, March 12, 1919, quoted in Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey. A Disputed Genocide, Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 2005, p. 118).

30
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
I have forgotten this Western source about Armenian atrocities:
louisville.edu/a-s/history/turks/Niles_and_Sutherland.pdf

31
Bedros
July 3, 2008
to Lucrece :

why " To the readers: do not pay attention to this post." ?

the link is very interessant :
www.armenews.com/article.php3?id_article=24293

32
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
This post is my post, monsieur 24avril1915, alias Imprescriptible. Je vous ai reconnu, votre style est reconnaissable entre mille (et votre anglais, encore pire que le mien).

33
24avril1915
July 3, 2008
Vous etes trop fort !
Avez-vous une préférence pour le pseudo ?. ( 24 avril ou imprescriptible ? )
c’est grace à votre lien sur F2 … dois-je vous remercier ?
y’a pas de raisons, moi aussi , je poste des liens .
An Anthology Of Historical Writings On The Armenians Massacres Of 1915

34
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
J’ai toujours eu une préférence pour 24avril1915, ce doit être ma formation d’historien qui me fait apprécier instinctivement les dates, même manipulées.Je n’ai aucun mérite, votre style est aussi reconnaissable que… le mien.Si vous voulez me remercier, je vous prie, ne vous gênez surtout pas. Si vous voulez m’envoyer des fleurs, en prime, dites-le. Sans explosifs, par contre, les fleurs, parce que ça gâche les bouquets, à mon avis.
Je suggère nous arrêter là, parce que notre aubergiste (Michael van der Galiën) risque de ne pas apprécier ce dialogue franco-français.

35
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
Armenian Atrocities and Terrorism:
www.karabakh-doc.azerall.info/ru/armyanstvo/arm12eng.htm

36
P. Connolly
July 3, 2008
This issue has nothing to do with the age of Michael van der Galien, nor with the name change of this blog, nor with his love for Turkey. Furthermore, efforts to expose the Lies of Armenian Propagandists do not constitute “brainwashing”. Such comments only demonstrate desperation, immaturity, and weakness on the part of the accuser. They are often deleted and should be in my view as they constitute an abuse of this forum. As I understand, this forum is not for leveling childish insults at the author. If you have something to contribute here you are most welcome to do it and you are especially welcome if you feel that your argument disproves the author’s arguments. But individuals who just want to throw insults at the authors and/or moderators should be blocked in my view. Serious issues are being discussed here – issues that affect the lives of millions of people everyday around the world. We constantly see this behavior from Armenian Propagandists of ad-hominem attacks on their ideological opponents; it should not be tolerated, in my view.

37
P. Connolly
July 3, 2008
My comment is in response to post #26 above from "Victor".

38
nemorono
July 3, 2008
this act of political prostitution consist in dnying armenian genocide which constitute a shame on the notoriety of the organization(OCSE).Turkey try to manipulate public opinion or by paying high salary to so-called historians -lewis,mc charty or n.stone.Lost time-lost money.Evrybody nows that holocaust of the armenians has taken place during 1915 in Anatolia and Western Armenia situated now in turkey.The word holocaust has been used for the first time in the case of Armenia in 1896 by american newspapers such New York time and others during the massacres of Sasun’s Armenians under Abdul hamid reign- called (red sultan).Occupation and islamisation of Western Armenia resulted in 1915 genocide ( with cultural genocide) more than 3000 armenian churches destroyed by muslims turks or kurds which constitute crime against humanity.So that dishonest resolution has much more to do with geopolitical considerations of Turkey than with historical reality of Armenian genocide.In one case armenian-turkish commision can meet when turks recognize the genocide , financial compensation,and the return of Western Armenia "which is under turkish occupation" to armenian people.The turks live in a world of dream it’s hard to wake up of sweet dream when they will be obliged by Taner Akcam a turkish historian who teach armenian genocide in USA and canada it will be harder than now.

39
nevber
July 3, 2008
nemorono, the whole point is to have a dialogue between the peoples of Armenia and Turkey. That is why a joint research team to analyze and events of 1915 is essential. It needs to be taken away from the hands of the greedy politicians who are hungry for votes and given to the hands of honest and nonpartisan historians who will ones and for all clarify what exact took place. Whether you like it or not, there are great many questions that surround the events of 1915. For example, revolts by the Armenian nationalists, the involvement of the British and the Russians. The killings of the Muslim population. So just one sided view of "It was a genocide and except it" just does not wash with the world any more… The days of the "one sided view" of the events are over… One more point I would like to add: This idea that Turkey is pouring millions of dollars to buy writers and historians is actually a very weak and quite frankly not a very smart argument. If Turks are blamed for pouring money, the the Armenians should be held to the same scrutiny and be more open with where and how they funnel their money to fund the idea of "G". Let’s have a list of all the politicians who get funding from the diaspora in the US, France, Belgium, Switzerland etc etc…

40
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
Nota: AGBU is a branch of Ramkavar Party (conservative nationalists).
www15.dht.dk/~2westh/rigafm.html

François Rigaux Awarded AGBU Garbis Papazian Prize

Brussels, Feb. 13 (ANN/Groong) - The AGBU presented its 1999 Garbis Papazian prize to eminent jurist and scholar François Rigaux on Saturday, in a ceremony at the Brussels Conrad Hotel.

The Garbis Papazian prize, whose previous recipients include Baroness Caroline Cox, Dr. Tessa Hoffmann and Dr. Yves Ternon, is awarded yearly to individuals who have made a remarkable contribution to Armenian causes of all kinds. Prof. Rigaux, who teaches law at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, presided over the Permanent People’s Tribunal when it recognised the Armenian Genocide as one of this century’s first major crimes against humanity, in April 1984. Composed of 13 prominent intellectuals, scientists and jurists (among whom several Nobel-prize recipients), the Tribunal condemned the Young Turkish government of 1915 for having masterminded the extermination of Turkey’s Armenian minority. It called upon the contemporary Republic of Turkey to assume full responsibility for the actions of its predecessor state.

Mr. Viguen Tchitechian, Armenia’s ambassador to Belgium, and Mr. Edouard Jakhian, member of the AGBU Central Board, thanked Prof. Rigaux on behalf of the Armenians, for his unrelenting dedication to historical justice. The prize was subsequently presented jointly by Mrs. Louise Manoogian-Simone, Chairwoman of the AGBU, and Mr. Garbis Papazian. Prof. Rigaux expressed his gratitude at having been awarded the prize, calling upon the Armenians to continue their quest for recognition as a major contribution to international equity. A congratulatory letter from His Holiness Karekin I, Catholicos of All Armenians, was finally read by His Eminence Archbishop Kud Nakashian of Paris.

41
Lucrèce
July 3, 2008
"If you fail now and then, that is the price for progress. For example, it was I who brought Taner Akcam to America as well as Hilmar Kaiser. The first was certainly good, and we do not know yet about the second case."
Dennis Papazian (www.tallarmeniantale.com/akcam-hosted.htm).

"Kéchichian’s claim that ASAM’s ‘mission includes propagandistic and partisan research and publication’ is an apt description of the Armenian Zoryan Institute that has published some of Taner Akçam’s work."
Michael M. Gunter, professor at Tennessee University (hnn.us/roundup/entries/41948.html).

The Zoryan Institute, who works Mr. Dadrian (since his forced retirement of NY State University, because of a sexual harassment scandal), is entirely financed by Armenian businessmen, and is close to the Armenian National Committee of America, i. e., the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the Dashnak Party. The ARF is described by the Armenian-French political scientist Gaïdz Minassian (a former supporter of the dashnaks), as a terrorist party, with strongly totalitarian tendencies : Guerre et terrorisme arméniens, Paris, PUF, 2002.

Every years, the Armenian Assembly of America and the ANCA pay millions dollars to republican both democrats, especially in California. Every years, the ANCA harass and threat everyone who critize the dashnak point of view. Every years, the Comité de coordination des associations arméniennes de France, and the Parisian Comité de défense de la cause arménienne have an electoral blackmail on French politicians in Marseille, Lyon’s suburb and in Parisian agglomeration (especially Issy-les-Moulineaux, Villeurbanne and Décines-Charpieu). As the senators are not elected, in France, by the citizens, but by local ediles, the French dashnaks harassed and almost physically threatened the senators, in 1999-2000, to get a favorable vote to "recognition law".

42
sunset eagle
July 4, 2008
The Turkish claims for massacres committed by the Armenian rebillions is only mentioned in the Ottoman archives to justify the war crimes committed by the Turks during WWI. Most of biased readers here think that the killing of the Armenians started in 1915 after the Armenians decided to join the Russians during the war. Wrong! the reality is that the killing of the Armenians and other ethnic Christians started decades before that during the era of Sulatn Abdul Hamid. For all the Turks writing on this page, you should not defend the crimes that your grandfathers did 100 years ago. But, read the history rationally just like the Germans read their modern history without sympathy to Hitler. If the Turks want to be part of Europe, they should bravely face their past and reconcile with their own nation (Kurds and others) and neighbours. The Ottoman mentality does not help the Turks to gain respect.

43
Dakster
July 4, 2008
Let historians decide? Ok, so which historians should be consulted?How about the foremost experts in genocide in the world? Say the historians member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Is that good enough?
Well, it turns out they have an opinion on the issue and they shared their view with then Turkish PM Erdogan on June 13 , 2005 . In their open letter to Erdogan they state:

" Dear Prime Minister Erdogan: We are writing you this open letter in response to your call for an “impartial study by historians” concerning the fate of the Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
We represent the major body of scholars who study genocide in North America and Europe. 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 and how this event conforms to the definition of the United Nations Genocide Convention. 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, who have no affiliations with governments, and whose work spans many countries and nationalities and the course of decades. The scholarly evidence reveals the following: (…)" They establish the facts of what happened starting 1915 and affirm " The Armenian Genocide is corroborated by the international scholarly, legal, and human rights community"

They continue:
" We note that there may be differing interpretations of genocide—how and why the Armenian Genocide happened, but to deny its factual and moral reality as genocide is not to engage in scholarship but in propaganda and efforts to absolve the perpetrator, blame the victims, and erase the ethical meaning of this history. "

Any questions?

Full letter here:
www.genocidewatch.org/TurkishPMIAGSOpenLetterreArmenia6-13-05.htm

44
Alexander
July 4, 2008
Bigger the LIE and more often been said you belive it, Armenians are a Big liars,since they are christians sorth of speak west chose to go with it

IT IS THE BIGGEST LIE OF OUR MODERN HISTORY,There was NO so Called Genocide thats why Armenians would not open their books,there is no trial without evidence ,and get over it and stop making cliams to Turkish land,it would be disester for Armenians,and just 15 years ago Armenians Massacered 1000’s of Azeri people,it was condem by United Nations,just 15 years ago,Armenians are good of masscering women and children who are defensless ,which they done to Turks in 1914

45
Bedros
July 4, 2008
You will find in the PDF document describing the horrors committed in Aleppo:
Dr Martin Niepage - The Horrors of aleppo - 1975
www.armenews.com/article.php3?id_article=41509
the first pdf file is in English , the second file is in French.

46
Karl
July 4, 2008
I Agree with Alexander and Matthew and whole hardedly with Lucrece.
There was killing and first Armenians strated the killing women and children while their dads and uncles were in the front fighting the war with British-Greeks_French and Italians there were no strong man to protect the Turks from this Armenian murderers,terrorists who burned muslim people in their Musques, Armenians formed their unity by hating the Turks,it is the only thing unites them,passing this hatred to their young kids,what a shame for a such a great people with good history of art and sience they are making their kids hate reather than love shame on them,I been in Turkey and l studied their history they are no worse than any other including, ours, here in USA

47
Mary
July 4, 2008
You know us Americans are tired of hearing this Armenian issue,more than 90 years ago,and we are tired of seen them in the street of Los Angeles every april 24 th,shouting hatred using foul language ,
Look at what is hapining right now,we should put more on that.

I am sorry but armenians should get over it and go on, and no I disagree with Obama is going to pass it,
Turkey was a good friend of USA while Armenia pendering to Russians and Iranians.
I highly dought that ,American president who will be informed by the Military how important to keep Turks in our side,not 1 million lobbyiest here in Los Angeles and 3 million Armenians in Armenia
will make that decition.

even in France Upper parlement did not approve the passing of this,
and if Armenians thinks they are going to gain a land inside of Turkey,they are dreaming and thye should wake up,
do you know the size of the Turkish military mit is second in NATO only to USA,and not the mention Azeries and Turkmenistan and other Turkish speaking people in former Russia.

you have to kill every living Turk to gain inch of their land,I am not Turkish but l met few and read about their history,they say they stop giving land in 1923 and from now on it will be over their dead bodies,
and the geopolitical land scape they have,no western power will go alone to create any problems in the area,
and be realist and work with Turks,their economy is booming it will help Poor Armenia, Las Vegas casino owner Kirk Kirkorians money can not do it alone work for peace and let us live in peace in Hollywood

Thank you

48
Lucrèce
July 4, 2008
The Turkish claims for massacres committed by the Armenian rebillions is only mentioned in the Ottoman archives to justify the war crimes committed by the Turks during WWI.

1) Assert that Ottoman documents were written for jusitfy crimes is a logical aberration.

2) Many Russian and Western sources corroborate a part of the Ottoman sources. Turcs et Arméniens devant l’histoire and Documents relatifs aux atrocités commises par les Arméniens sur la population musulmane include Russian documents. Turkish historian Azmi Süslü has compiled and translated many Russian documents: Russian View on the Armenian Atrocities Against the Turks, Ankara, 1991. I have indicated the link for the Niles-Sutherland report. A quotation of this important source:

"In the entire region from Bitlis through Van to Bayezit, we were informed that the damage and destruction had been done by the Armenians, who, after the Russians retired, remained in occupation of the country and who, when the Turkish army advanced, destroyed everything belonging to the Musulmans. Moreover, the Armenians are accused of having committed murder, rape, arson and horrible atrocities of every description upon the Musulman population. At first, we were most incredulous of these stories, but we finally came to believe them, since the testimony was absolutely unanimous and was corroborated by material evidence. For instance, the only quarters left at all intact in the cities of Bitlis and Van are Armenian quarters… while the Musulman quarters were completely destroyed."

The reports of American major James G. Harbord and of the British major E. W. C. Nobel (quoted in Guenter Lewy’s book, pp. 118-119) conclude that the was no particular differences between the Muslims atrocities against Armenians and the Armenian atrocities against Muslims. Harold Armstron, British military attaché in Istanbul has the same conclusion in his book Turkey in Travail: The Birth of a Nation, London, John Lane/Bodlay Head, 1925, p. 223.

Wrong! the reality is that the killing of the Armenians and other ethnic Christians started decades before that during the era of Sulatn Abdul Hamid.

The Armenian rebellions, terrorist acts and other crimes began in 1862, with the Zeytun rebellion, as explain very good the Armenian-American historian Louise Nalbandian (RIP) in The Armenian Revolutionary Movement, Berkeley/Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1963. Ms. Nalbandian clarifies that this violent acts are not just "self-defense", but, at least for a part, agressive acts and provocations.

49
Lucrèce
July 4, 2008
Say the historians member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Is that good enough?
No. The IAGS has no autority for say about this subject.

"I am less than impressed by the unanimous vote of the International Association of Genocide Scholars that the Armenian case ‘was one of the major genocides of the modern era.’ The great majority of these self-proclaimed experts on Ottoman history have never set foot in an archive or done any other original research on the subject in question. […]

Distinguished scholars of Ottoman history like Roderic Davison, J.C. Hurewitz, Bernard Lewis, and Andrew Mango have rejected the appropriateness of the genocide label for those occurrences. Yet, ignoring this formidable array of learned opinion, Armenians and their supporters among so-called genocide scholars continue to assert with superb arrogance that the Armenian genocide is incontrovertible fact and ‘established history’ that can be denied only by lackeys of the Turkish government or morally obtuse individuals. Unless and until there is a change in this attitude, I see little hope for ending this almost century-old conflict."
Guenter Lewy, professor emeritus at Massachussetts University: www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/genocide–11140?page=all

50
mustafa ka
July 4, 2008
The Armenians claim that the ‘international scholars of genocide’ support the Armenian thesis, so whoever disagrees with ‘the occurrence of a so-called Armenian genocide’ is unreliable and is definitely hired by the Turkish government. I think, only the following two examples are enough to display the scientific and ethical reliability of the ‘independent’ scholars who support the Armenians in their various thesis: The cover photograph of the book of Tessa Hoffmann: The Greek German scholar Tessa Hoffmann who supports the Armenian thesis printed the painting of Russian artist Vasili Vereshchagin entitled ‘The Apotheosis of the Franco-Prussia War of 1871, depicting a mass of skulls which is displayed in Russian Painting Gallery, as if it were the photograph of 1915 Armenian genocide, in the cover of a pamphlet used to introduce a conference entitled ‘Der Volkermord and den Armenien vor Gericht (The Armenian Genocide on Trial). Tessa Hoffman had to admit her forgery during the trial of Dogu Perinçek held in Switzerland in March 2007, in which he was listened as a wittness. Atatürk’s photograph: The large poster with ‘FACE OF DENIAL-DOES NOT LIE’ related to a conference given by Dr Vahram Shemmasian, Ardashes Kassakhian and Dr Levon Marashlian, at UCLA on April 14, 2005, organized by Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Alpha Epsilon Omega, (www.genocideevents.com/cities/losangeles.html) was just a scandal:The photo depicted the founder of the Turkish Republic, Ataturk, sitting on a chair outside a house with the corpse of a young girl with her innards exposed to the elements. Soon, the original of this photo was found by the Turks: It was a photograph of Ataturk for his wife Latife Hanim as a souvenir, posing with some ‘cute dog puppies’ at his feet. Two photos were printed in the July 1, 2005 issue of Hurriyet (webarsiv.hurriyet.com.tr/2005/07/01/665930.asp), as ‘a forgery scandal’. It is another outstanding point that no dissenting comment was ever heard. What UCLA’s ethical committee did was to erase the handwritten note and doctor a photo of Armin Wengler in place of the puppies. This degree of base falsification and slandering must have suited the present status of UCLA, an institution of higher learning dominated by Armenophile scholars, and where Prof Stanford Shaw’s home was bombed in 1977, just because he did not support the Armenian thesis.

51
nevber
July 4, 2008
Mustafa ka, thank you very much for your insightful and very well thought out exposé! You have literally summed up my thoughts and feelings… Armenian diaspora has taken over most important media outlets and groups pushing very well their deceitful lies and historical distortions. That is EXACTLY what the Turks need to tackle! The distortions, lies, false pictures, manipulation of the public sympathy and total support of certain interest groups are the core of the problem.

52
nemorono
July 4, 2008
Even those who ( historans) are being paid by Turkish governement admits the reality of genocide.In the case of dr Donald Quartet who has been obliged to resign from the chair of turkish studies in 2006 in USA.He was the honorary president of the institute of turkish studies financed by Turkish governement. After 15 years of study he arrived at the conclusion that massacres of armenians constitute a genocide case.This honnest position of Dr Quartet provoked the anger of denylist turkish state which forced Dr Quartet to resign.The new generation of turkish historians such Taner Akcam Fatma Gocek or Halil Berktay who recognize Armenian genocide are well placed to teach to their compatriots the historical truth and to help them to face the reality.Armenian-turkish joint commision could only define financial and terittorial loses of armenian people.

53
Lucrèce
July 4, 2008
Even those who ( historans) are being paid by Turkish governement admits the reality of genocide.
Paul Dumont, Gwynne Dyer, Edward J. Erickson, Michael M. Gunter, Eberhard Jäckel, Bernard Lewis, Guenter Lewy, Justin McCarthy, Andrew Mango, Jeremy Salt, Norman Stone, Malcolm E. Yapp, Gilles Veinstein or Robert Zeidner are not "paid by the Turkish government", but reject the Armenian lies.

After 15 years of study he arrived at the conclusion that massacres of armenians constitute a genocide case.
Mr. Quataert has never produce one study about the Armenian affair, he repeat perrot fashion the Armenian propaganda and that is all. Mr. Quataert has never quoted the studies of Dr. Stoddard, Prof. Lewy and Dr. Erickson about the Special Organization. Do he know only that this studies exist?
He praise the book of Mr. Bloxham, but not say that Mr. Bloxham
1) finds excuses the atrocities of the Armenian Legion in Cilicia, and the murders of Turkish diplomats between 1973 and 1984;
2) can not decide on to present the Armenians whether as the "oppressed victims" wailing under the "oppression" of the Ottoman state or as the "revolutionary heroes" who "uccessfully" (ah ah ah) struggles against the Ottoman state.

www.eraren.org/index.php?Lisan=en&Page=DergiIcerik&IcerikNo=476

Praise such a book, without mentioning the contradictions and the fallcies, is unworthy of a real scholar. The place of Mr. Quataert is retirement.

54
Armen
July 4, 2008
l:The photo depicted the founder of the Turkish Republic, Ataturk, sitting on a chair outside a house with the corpse of a young girl with her innards exposed to the elements.

Um, the diasporan Armenians juxtaposed those images to show the modern day Turkish indifference to the subject of the Armenian Genocide; I’m rather dumbfounded why you Turks would actually think that photo meant that Ataturk was somehow involved in the massacres of 1915 when everyone knows he was still commanding troops in the Dardanelles.

Talk about a non-victory, you guys actually bothered to "unmask" a poster that clearly had billed itself as a work of a Photoshop? - lol, I can now see why Turks are so afraid of the Armenian Diaspora.

55
Michael
July 4, 2008
During a recent meeting with the Armenian community of Moscow President Sargsyan said, “Turkey proposes to form a commission to study historical facts. We do not mind it but the land border between our countries should be opened first. Otherwise, the commission may become a tool of abuse and protraction of the issue for many years.”
Kocharyan had said no to earlier Turkish attempts to open archives due to the fact that if they open archives than it would be as if Armenia was doubting the genocide. Why study something everyone knows took place.
About getting land back. Vardan Oskanyan, Armenias ex-foreign minister, had told Turkish officials, "we will stick to the borders drawn up during the treaty of kars."

56
nemorono
July 4, 2008
those who are taking part to that discussion are mainly denylist sites guided by turkish state.So we can ask some questions about the existence of such newspaper which so-called keep balance between denyers and historical truth.By doing that it spreads misinformation about the historical truth of Genocide.Under the disguise of "opinions"if it does not promote policy of negation of Turkish state.

57
Mustafa Ka
July 5, 2008
Now I want to ask Armenia and Armenian diaspora: ‘If all the scholars of the world, including the international scholars of genocide, support your thesis of genocide,and if you are very disturbed because of vehement reject of your genocide thesis by the Turkish government and the Turks, then: Why do you vehemently reject to bring your evidences in historical commissions made up of Armenian and Turkish historians in addition to historians from third countries, as it was suggested to Armenia by the Turkish prime minister in 2005?Why do you not go to court? Why HAVE YOU SPENT EFFORT TO FALSIFY ALL THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS? WHY HAVE YOU NEEDED LIES?

Here are a few examples of the forgeries and falfified documents on which the Armenian thesis depend:
1)The number of Armenians who were relocated: The number of the Armenians who were relocated was reported as 600-700 thousand by Bogos Nubar Pasha who attended to the talks of Sevres Treaty as a chief of Armenians; however the number of relocated Armenians is given as 1.5 million by some Armenian sources and 2 and even 2.5 million by some others. However, the total number of Ottoman Armenians including those who live in the West Anatolia (therefore who were not relocated) was reported as 1.5 million in Encyclopedia Britannica’s 1910 edition which was edited by an English editor. It is another striking point that the total number of Ottoman Armenians was increased to 2.5 million in 1953 edition of the same encyclopedia which was edited by an Armenian editor.

2) Aram Andonian’s book (The telegrams which were claimed to have been sent by Talat Pasha to order the massacre of the Armenians which were pressed in the book of Aram Andonian in 1920, in three languages): It was proven by both the Turkish and foreign historians that these telegrams were fake too.After these telegrams were published in Daily Telegraph in England, in 1922, the English Foreign Ministry made a scrutiny and denounced that they were prepared by an Armenian association.

3)Diary of American Ambassador Morgenthau published in 1918. Professor Heath Lowry, an American historian from Princeton University displayed that the events depicted in the book depended on lies or half true events, by comparing the information Ambassador Morgenthau sent to American Foreign Ministry, with those written in the diary, in his book entitled ‘The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story’, in 1990. What’s more, after the Ottoman State was defeated in the 1st World War in 1918, the French and English invaders arrested 144 high level Ottoman veteran or civil officials including the ex-prime ministers, ex-deputies, governors and many newspapermen, and banished them to Malta Island, claiming that they were responsibles for the death of Armenians. The English seized all the Ottoman Archives and also all other archives in other cities, like those in Urfa Governer House. No evidence could be found neither in the Ottoman and English Archives. The Americans, whom the English applied, failed to find any proof in American Archives and reports of American Orthodox church or missioners either. Nor could Damat Ferit Pasha, then the Ottoman Prime Minister who was in absolute collaboration with the English could find any evidence. And, they had to make all these 144 Ottomans free in 1921, since they could not find any proof to be able to verdict them. Can you imagine a genocide planned by a government but no kind of proof can be found, even when the members of this government have been taken prisoners and when all her archieves are under control of the invaders and under the directory of an Armenian official? If The Blue Book, the telegrams of Aram Andonian and the diary of Ambassador Morgenthau (which had already been published at that time) were reliable proofs, why did the English and French invaders and the Americans not accept them to give verdicts of those 144 Ottoman officials? Additionally, during the trial in Berlin of the Armenian assassin Soghomon Tehlirian, who had murdered Talat Pasha in Berlin on March 15th, 1921, none of the Andonian documents was allowed to be entered into the court proceedings as evidence (Dashnakists’ book Justicier du Genocide, 1981, p.213).

4)The cover photograph of the book of Tessa Hoffmann: see comment 50

5)Atatürk’s photograph: see comment 50

58
Mustafa Ka
July 5, 2008
Now I want to ask Armenia and Armenian diaspora: ‘If all the scholars of the world, including the international scholars of genocide, support your thesis of genocide,and if you are very disturbed because of vehement reject of your genocide thesis by the Turkish government and the Turks, then: Why do you vehemently reject to bring your evidences in historical commissions made up of Armenian and Turkish historians in addition to historians from third countries, as it was suggested to Armenia by the Turkish prime minister in 2005?Why do you not go to court? Why HAVE YOU SPENT EFFORT TO FALSIFY ALL THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS? WHY HAVE YOU NEEDED LIES? Here are a few examples of the forgeries and falfified documents on which the Armenian thesis depend: 1)The number of Armenians who were relocated: The number of the Armenians who were relocated was reported as 600-700 thousand by Bogos Nubar Pasha who attended to the talks of Sevres Treaty as a chief of Armenians; however the number of relocated Armenians is given as 1.5 million by some Armenian sources and 2 and even 2.5 million by some others. However, the total number of Ottoman Armenians including those who live in the West Anatolia (therefore who were not relocated) was reported as 1.5 million in Encyclopedia Britannica’s 1910 edition which was edited by an English editor. It is another striking point that the total number of Ottoman Armenians was increased to 2.5 million in 1953 edition of the same encyclopedia which was edited by an Armenian editor.

2) Aram Andonian’s book (The telegrams which were claimed to have been sent by Talat Pasha to order the massacre of the Armenians which were pressed in the book of Aram Andonian in 1920, in three languages): It was proven by both the Turkish and foreign historians that these telegrams were fake too.After these telegrams were published in Daily Telegraph in England, in 1922, the English Foreign Ministry made a scrutiny and denounced that they were prepared by an Armenian association.

3)Diary of American Ambassador Morgenthau published in 1918. Professor Heath Lowry, an American historian from Princeton University displayed that the events depicted in the book depended on lies or half true events, by comparing the information Ambassador Morgenthau sent to American Foreign Ministry, with those written in the diary, in his book entitled ‘The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story’, in 1990.

What’s more, after the Ottoman State was defeated in the 1st World War in 1918, the French and English invaders arrested 144 high level Ottoman veteran or civil officials including the ex-prime ministers, ex-deputies, governors and many newspapermen, and banished them to Malta Island, claiming that they were responsibles for the death of Armenians. The English seized all the Ottoman Archives and also all other archives in other cities, like those in Urfa Governer House. No evidence could be found neither in the Ottoman and English Archives. The Americans, whom the English applied, failed to find any proof in American Archives and reports of American Orthodox church or missioners either. Nor could Damat Ferit Pasha, then the Ottoman Prime Minister who was in absolute collaboration with the English could find any evidence. And, they had to make all these 144 Ottomans free in 1921, since they could not find any proof to be able to verdict them. Can you imagine a genocide planned by a government but no kind of proof can be found, even when the members of this government have been taken prisoners and when all her archieves are under control of the invaders and under the directory of an Armenian official? If The Blue Book, the telegrams of Aram Andonian and the diary of Ambassador Morgenthau (which had already been published at that time) were reliable proofs, why did the English and French invaders and the Americans not accept them to give verdicts of those 144 Ottoman officials?

Additionally, during the trial in Berlin of the Armenian assassin Soghomon Tehlirian, who had murdered Talat Pasha in Berlin on March 15th, 1921, none of the Andonian documents was allowed to be entered into the court proceedings as evidence (Dashnakists’ book Justicier du Genocide, 1981, p.213). 4)The cover photograph of the book of Tessa Hoffmann: see comment 50 5)Atatürk’s photograph: see comment 50 ………………

59
Lucrèce
July 5, 2008
" An examination of the voluminous file listing the “accusations” against individual Malta detainees reveals the weakness of the legal case against them. For example, a note in the chart of Abbas Halim Pasha, minister of public works in 1915, stated: “No specific accusation has been made. He was a member of the cabinet which ordered the deportation entailing, the massacre of hundred thousands of Christians.” Several other ministers and CUP officials similarly found themselves as prisoners of the British simply on account of the office they had held. Ziya Gökalp had been a member of the CUP central committee; the military court in Constantinople that had tried him had produced non evidence whatever implicating him in any wrongdoing, yet he wound up in Malta accused of “atrocities”. The source of this accusation was not identified. Ahmed Muammer Bey, the vali of Sivas, was also accused of atrocities, in his case on the basis of incriminating telegrams that his dossier referred as “alleged to be translations of Turkish official telegrams”. Several dossiers include documents from the Andonian-Naim book.
Pratically all the information in the dossiers had come from Armenian sources, who, under the trauma of the deportations and massacres, were inclined to accept almost any allegation of Turkish guilty. Even the processing of the information in the Armenian-Greek section of the office of the high commissioner was in Armenian hands. Until he was no longer needed in November 1920, the head clerk and keeper of records in the section was an Armenian named A. Fenerdjian. As mentioned earlier, another archivist was Haigazn Kazarian. For good reasons none of the information laboriously collected was considered legal evidence admissible before a British court of law.
In their search for evidence the British turned to the United States. […] On July 13 [1921], after an embassy staff member had personally examinated “a selection of reports from United States Consuls on the subject of the atrocities committed during the recent war” and had checked the files for any mention of forty-five Malta detainees accused of outrages against Armenians and other Christians, the ambassador sent a follow-up report, which again was negative:

“I regret to inform Your Lordship that there was nothing therein which could be used as evidence against the Turks who are being detained for trial at Malta. The reports seen, while furnishing full accounts of the atrocities committed, made mention, however, of only two names of the Turkish officials in question ? those of Sabit Bey and Suleiman Faik Pasha ? and these cases were confirmed to personal opinions of theses officials on the part of writer, no concrete facts being given which could constitute satisfactory incriminating evidence.” "
Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey. A Disputed Genocide, Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 2005, pp. 125/126.

60
Armen
July 5, 2008
I don’t get it, all you guys have to do is buy a book on the Armenian Genocide, flip to the references section, and read all the sources that have been pulled out of the Russian, American, German, British, French, Swedish, Swiss, and Danish archives, containing thousands of documents and accounts by foreigners who describe the deliberate destruction of the Armenian Genocide. ?The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau?s Story? Turks must understand that Lowery does not dispute Morgenthau’s cables to the State Dept. detailing the massacres of the genocide. What he disputes is Morgenthau’s description of notable individuals and the Turkish people as a whole. His book does not refute anything Morgenthau says although I have to say, the title of the book is clever and sows confusion to unsuspecting readers at a first glance. Furthermore, the canard of the British not having any evidence is to prosecute the Turks they held at Malta is complete nonsense and utter tosh. The British had the evidence although the deteriorating situation in Anatolia thanks to Kemal’s rebellion and the fact that Kemal’s forces had kidnapped notable British officers and a member of the princely family meant those 144 individuals were exchanged for their safety. This is so idiotically repetative, I’ll refrain from posting and stop correcting all your mistakes and distortions all the time.

61
Chuck Norton
July 6, 2008
What do you want to bet that "reasonable" gun control laws where used to disarm the victims before they were killed. I just looked it up - It was article 166 of the penal code. Gun laws almost always precede genocides.

62
Mustafa Ka
July 6, 2008
It is not surprising that no Armenian touches at why they vehemently reject to bring their evidences in historical commissions made up of Armenian and Turkish historians in addition to historians from third countries (as it was suggested to Armenia by the Turkish prime minister in 2005), why they do not go to court and why they falsified documents and depend on lies; if all the scholars of the world, including the international scholars of genocide, support their thesis of genocide and and if they are very disturbed because of vehement reject of your genocide thesis by the Turkish government and the Turks. And here is the rest of the forgeries the Armenian thesis depend (for 1-5 see comments 58):

6) A quote attributed to Adolf Hitler in which he purportedly responded to a query about his planned annihilation of European Jewry, by quipping: ?Who, after all, speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians, on August 22, 1939, a few days prior to his invasion of Poland (Obersalzberg speeches).
Contrary to Richard Hovannisian and other Armenians, the Nuremberg transcripts through their preservation of U.S.-29 (798-PS), U.S.-30 (1014-PS), and the notes of Admiral Boehm (which are corroborated by the relevant passages from the diary of General Halder), in no way authenticate the infamous Hitler quote. On the contrary, by establishing the actual texts of Hitler s Obersalzberg speeches they demonstrate that the statement is conspicuously absent from Hitler s remarks. The assertion that Hitler made a reference to the Armenians in any context whatsoever is without foundation. (Heath W Lowry, The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians, Political Communication and Persuasion. Vol 3, No 2, 1985 Crane, Russak & Company Inc. www.tetedeturc.com/home/spip.php?article565According to the Armenians the speech had been introduced as evidence to the Nuremberg Tribunal (L3 document, USA-28 document (www/cwporter/com/gl3.htm.) which was defined as forgery (David Irving, ?Nuremberg: The Last Battle?, 1996, p.100).

A certificate dated, 25 June 1948 signed by Paul A Joosten, General Secretary of the International Military Tribunal states that L3, USA-28 Photostat document submitted as evidence has been withdrawn, in accordance with Rule 10 of the Tribunal but held in the National Archives. Mr Carlos Porter, who found these documents made the following important warning: Note: This translation attempts to retain the style and punctuation of the original, which is not correct in German: full space before colons and commas, no full space before following word. The document contains not one single sharp S (§ ) a standard letter in the German alphabet. C.Porter.

7) The most dramatic lie is about the outcome of the Armenians who were relocated. Because the majority of these Armenians returned to their homes.

Because, on December 18, 1918, a law which let the Armenians return to their homes and claim their properties was issued by the Ottoman State. Here are non-Ottoman evidences:

*In a report prepared by the Armenian Patriarchate in 1921, the Armenians who lived on the Ottoman territory in Anatolia, Middle East and those who returned to their previous locations were shown as 644 900. It was added that the Armenians who became Muslim, who were hidden and who did not encourage to return their homes were not included but they were assumed to be 20 000 (US ARCHIVES NARA, Mikrofilm No.T1192, Roll8; Department of State Papers 860).

* In a report presented by the English Black Sea Forces Intelligence Department to the War Cabinet, it was reported that the Armenian population in Anatolia including Istanbul and Edirne was 773 430 in 1914 and it was 658 900 in 1919, excluding that of Erzurum (UK ARCHIVES, WO 158/933, No:5796,1,s.3).

The Armenians who returned to their homes joined to Entente Powers and fought against the Turks/Muslims: *A decision made by The American Committee for the Independence of Armenia which was presented to the Lausanne Conference on January 16, 1923: As the minister Bellet declared, the Armenian legionelles joined to France after being promised that autonomy would be introduced to Cilicia; so they occupied Cilicia in 1918 (carrying the flag of France) . (US ARCHIVES NARA T1192. Roll 4. 860J.01/562).

*The report of Pallavici, Istanbul ambassador of Austria-Hungary, sent to Ottokor Grafen Czernin on February 9, 1918: The Armenian bands who fought nearby the Russian armies in Caucausia, misbehaved the Turkish people and Turks in Platana (district between Erzincan and Trabzon) were mass killed? (German Archives of the Foreign Ministry, No: 13/P.B, Konstantinopel. Wien).

*A news from Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, dated February 14, 1918: The Armenian bands have been misbehaving Ottoman people barbarously and brutally in districts where the Russian retreated in Caucasia (German Archives of the Foreign Ministry, Der Weltkrieg R. 20145, Bd.279; Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 14-02-1918).

63
freakshow
July 6, 2008
Mustafa,
The answer to your question is that:
When the majority of independent, recognized genocide scholars confirm that that 1915 events by Turks against Armenians were in fact genocide, there is nothing left to debate.

The real questions is why is the Turkish government afraid of the events leading up to the horrible demise of the Ottoman Empire?

Really now, if the Ottomans who reinvented themselves into Turkey were not ashamed of their immediate past or felt guilty of their final acts, then why did the change their alphabet, language and identities?

Sounds like they were trying to prevent being charged with crimes that they committed.

64
common_sense
July 6, 2008
The fact that there is a "debate" here about a historical fact is exactly what the Turkish Foreign Ministry is hoping to accomplish by funding blogs like this.
Wise up people, put your energy in a blog that truly nurtures healthy debate rather than promote an hidden agenda.

my two cents

65
nemorino
July 7, 2008
As Washinton Post announced on july 5 that after the forced resignation of dr.Donald Quataert from the chair of turkish studies who recognize the genocide of Armenian people.His colleagues have been shocked by the pressure of Nabi Sensoy Ambassador of Turkey in Washinton.The Ambassador told him he must issue a retraction of his book review or step down.It’s concerning Donald Bloxham’s book,"The Great Game of Genocide.Quataert wrote that the slaughter of Armenians has been elephant in the room of Ottoman studies he said the events met the United Nations definition of the word.Most of the colleagues of Quataert resigned( Fatma Gocek Marci Patton Resat Kasaba and Kemal Silay)from the institute of Ottoman studies at Georgetown University.

As you see Turkish state policy of falsifications doomed to failure."The shameful act of Armenian Genocide and Turkish Identitiy" The new study of Taner Akcam proves orgenised character of the extermination of Armenians by Ottoman Turkey at state level.Akcam used mainly ottoman and Western archives.It’s a matter of time the International recognition of Genocide -more than 25 country recognised Armenian Genocide .EU Parlement recognised it.United Nations sub-commisions report by Benjamin Whiteker in 1985 defined it as Genocide in spite of turkish interference(state).Until 1988 Armenians of diaspora were alone in there fight for historical justice.But things changed now Armenia also fights for international recognition of genocide quite normal after all 50% of population of Armenia are origineted from Western Armenia Van Mush Sassoun etc.But the most important thing is that more and more turkish historians realize that there has been a Genocide.For Turkish denyers they are the biggest danger as it was Hrant Dink killed by Turkish criminal state.

66
Mustafa Ka
July 7, 2008
Freakshow,

Genocide is the greatest crime of humanity and International Court of Justice or domestic courts are the only authorities reserved to prosecute and proclaim genocide according to the 1948 UN Convention. As you see, there is no citation of international scholars of genocide. So, what you should do first is to apply to international courts and then let these international scholars of genocide or other scholars who support your thesis be listened there. [It is also striking that Tessa Hoffmann who is one of the international scholars of genocide, was listened as a witness, in the trial of Dogu Perincek in Switzerland in March 2007 and she had to admit that she printed the painting of Russian artist Vasili Vereshchagin entitled ‘The Apotheosis of the Franco-Prussia War of 1871, depicting a mass of skulls which is displayed in Russian Painting Gallery, as if it were the photograph of 1915 Armenian genocide, in the cover of a pamphlet used to introduce a conference entitled ‘Der Volkermord and den Armenien vor Gericht (The Armenian Genocide on Trial). Thus, as an international scholar of genocide she admitted her forgery, herself] www.tallarmeniantale.com/scholars.htm So, it is still hard to understand why the Armenians and INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARS OF GENOCIDE spent effort to falsify documents, like the aforementioned forgeries?

Source: PoliGazette

-----------------------------------



Terrorism - How Not To Combat It By Asghar Ali Engineer03 July, 2008, Two Circles
Terrorism today is engaging attention of whole world though we are more concerned with terrorism in our own country. There is hardly any country, which is not affected by terrorism today though reasons are widely different. In many countries terrorism is fired by separatist fire. Many regions were included in colonized countries by imperial powers to suit their own convenience least knowing that increased awareness and democratic movements in future would ignite separatist movement and when their aspirations for autonomy or independence are denied violence would be used.

Basque in Spain, South Ireland, North and North East in Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Nagaland and Assam, Tripura and Manipur in India and in several other regions in other countries separatist violence would break out claiming large number of lives and destruction of properties. What colonial powers did for their convenience in nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, present generations are paying price for the same.

Add to this list the sins committed by American imperialists in 20th and 21st century to satisfy their lust for raw materials and oil in the third world countries and Middle East and we know the violence it has resulted in and the price thousands of innocent people are paying for it. The powerful media, however, sees Islam as the root of violence and ascribes genesis of terrorism to Islam. What an easy way out of ones own guilt.

The remedy for this terrorist violence is also simple. Declare war against terrorism, do away with concept of humans rights, find some puppets to fight its war against terror, put some suspected youth in jails and torture them till they die or go mad and feel safe from further terrorist attacks. Who commits sins and who pays? What do authorities care? They care only for their lust for power and money.

A survey was done recently by an international agency WorldPublicOpinion.org of several countries to find out how many people support torture as an effective method to combat terrorism. The survey was to gauge how many people support abolition of torture by the sate as it is totally against human rights and human dignity. Largest number of Indians, though not surprisingly, supported retaining of torture to 'save innocent lives. 59% Indians said torture is necessary to combat terrorism.

People of 14 countries favour abolition of torture, even in the case of terrorists who have information that could save lives of innocent people. But four nations, including India lean toward favouring an exception in the case of terrorists, according to the WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 19,063respondents, released ahead of 'International Victims of Torture Day' tomorrow.

Majorities in India (59%), Nigeria (54%), and Turkey (51%), and a plurality in Thailand (44%) want exception for terrorists. Among all nations polled in both 2006 and 2008, India also has the largest increase in support of making exception for torture in the case of terrorism – 32% two years ago to 59% now. But it is also to be noted that those who believe torture should be totally abolished also has risen in India from 23% in 2006 to 28% in 2008. But large majorities in all 19 nations favour a general prohibition against torture. On average across all nations polled, 57% opt for unequivocal rules against torture. Thirty five percent favour an exception when innocent lives are at risk. Just 9% favour the government being able to use torture in general.

It is also interesting to note that support for unequivocal abolition of torture was highest in Spain (82%), Great Britain (66%) and France (66%), followed by Mexico (73%), China (66%), Palestinian Territories (66%), Indonesia (61%) and the Ukraine (59%). Here the question is why support for torture is so high in case of terrorist violence? Answer is not very difficult to find.

In India the Hindu right wing or Hindu communal forces constantly propagates that terrorism can be effectively fought only by implementing laws like TADA or POTA and using torture as an effective tool. Leaders like Bal Thackaray even said that the Hindu youth should become human bomb and get away with it as the government has no moral courage to take any action.

The second reason is also connected with this. It is generally propagated by the media that it is Islam which is responsible for terrorism, being a religion of jihad. Whenever any bomb blast takes place the police immediately come out with a theory that HUJI and SIMI are involved, much before even any investigation begins. The police gives such statement because its mindset is also after all product of general atmosphere in the country.

Add to this the fact that there has been general atmosphere of Hindu-Muslim conflict for close to one and a half century since the advent of British imperialism and it is thought that all terrorists are Muslims and they should be taught a fitting lesson. Even otherwise in our country awareness of human rights is very low and since British time police have been nurtured on the philosophy of torture as an effective way to make suspected people confess to their crime.

Also our communal approach has been so hardened that even if 'Ulama of Darul Ulum, Deoband issues fatwa against terrorism and constantly campaign against terrorism through huge rallies and Bal Thackeray publicly states that the Hindu youth should become human bombs, still only Muslim youth will remain suspect in every bomb blast case and would be tortured.

The communal approach has been so hardened that in a TV discussion after two bomb blasts in Navi Mumbai and Thane by activists of Sanatan Sangathan when the moderator asked if this organizations should be banned like SIMI, most of the participants said no as in their view no Hindu organization be anti national like SIMI.

What is more unfortunate that leaders of secular parties for fear of alienating public opinion do not challenge communal forces effectively and let menace of communal polarization grow in the country. After Bal Thackaray's statement not a single leader of any political party countered him, let alone demand his arrest. Their only concern is votes, not secularization of the country.

As USA has miserably failed in solving the problem of terrorism by using torture; and ruining lives of hundreds of innocent people in Gantanamo Bay India, and for that matter any other country, can also not succeed in solving this problem simply through torture. It is a political problem and has to be solved politically. Political policies, not the jackboots, can solve such problems.

All the experts on terrorism have opined that USA has miserably failed in tackling the problem of terror and its so called war on terror has succeeded only in increasing terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places. Its arresting innocent Muslim youth and inhumanly torturing them in prisons has miserably failed. USA is least prepared to find political solution as its lust for power and oil resources in Middle East is insatiable and it desperately needs support of Israel in that region and hence does not want to alienate it by solving Palestinian problem through lasting peace.

In India too terrorist problem is linked up with so many problems and it would be utter shortsightedness to think that it is due only to Islam and Muslims and allows utter police inefficiency to get away by blaming HUJI and SIMI and keep on torturing innocent Muslim youth. Earlier Government of India understands this better it is for the country. Otherwise terrorist incidents would keep on recurring and innocent people keep on dying and some innocent Muslim youth suffering without ever solving the problem.

In no blast so far police has succeeded in nabbing real culprits who have escaped conveniently. After Hyderabad twin blasts police as usual arrested poor Muslims mostly rickshaw pullers or vegetable vendors and so on and mercilessly tortured them. They were all innocent and after public campaign half of them had to be released on bail and some are still inside jail continuing to suffer. Police generally chooses poor and voiceless youth as they carry no clout and can be easily made scapegoat.

After Jaipur blast too few poor Muslim youth and imams were rounded up, tortured and released. How long will this go on? The real culprits easily escape and have the last laugh. The communalized police with such shortsighted approach would succeed only by aggravating the problem. I am of the firm opinion that torture has no place in democratic India with respect for human rights.

Torture, at best helps corrupt and communal and inefficient police officers only who do not collect solid evidence painstakingly. Their inefficiency and communal outlook become powerful block. An efficient and honest police officer would confront the suspect person with such evidence that he would not be able to deny. Our judiciary is also partly responsible for allowing the police to torture the accused in their custody. In a seminar on State, Society and Terrorism held in Jaipur on 22nd June a retired Session Judge Mr. Bajwa even talked of 'judicial terrorism', which caused furore among the participants.

Let us hope the authorities would realize these problems soon and try to evolve a sound policy to combat terrorism though as complex an approach as the complex problem terrorism is.

Chief Prosecutor Accused AK Party For Trying To Establish Theocracy
Supreme Court Chief Prosecutor made his oral presentation on July 1 regarding the AKP closure case and claimed that the AKP was trying to establish an Islamic state. Chief Prosecutor Yalcinkaya said in his oral presentation that AKP’s goal was a system based on Shari’a law and that there was a clear and present danger in this respect.

In his one and a half hour presentation at the Constitutional Court, Yalcinkaya said that the Venice Criteria did not apply in this case and that the acquittal of Fethullah Gulen would not affect the outcome of this case, since this acquittal case did not change the fact that Gulen is an Islamist leader. Yalçinkaya also added that the annulment of the amendment about allowing the Islamic headscarf in the universities did not change the nature of the allegations, only strengthened them.

He also mentioned that the U.N. Security Council list of people who give financial support to terrorism included the Saudi businessman Yassin Al Qadi, who is associated with the PM and AKP circles.
Source: Bianet.org, Turkey, July 2, 2008

ADL Clears G-Word Fallout, Pushes For Ties With Armenia, July 4, 2008, MUSTAFA OGUZ - Turkish Daily News
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, is in Turkey for extensive talks with Turkish politicians, seeking to keep up-to-date with both the government and opposition, and to reduce tensions that erupted after the organization endorsed Armenian claims.

Barely a year has passed since Foxman's decision to employ the “g-word” for Armenian suffering in the Ottoman Empire during the World War I-era. This incident wrought havoc in Turkish-Israeli relations, leading to questioning of the solid support of the Jewish community against a U.S. Congressional resolution acknowledging Armenian claims of genocide.

“We continue to oppose a resolution that would contain the genocide word,” Foxman said Wednesday, during an exclusive interview with the Turkish Daily News. “Armenia and Turkey need to solve this, not in a political forum such as Congress or parliaments,” he said, but added that the “Jewish community does not deny the suffering of Armenians.” “We used the word last year,” he said, implying their position to employ the term genocide remains in place.

The issue came up during his talks in Ankara, noted Foxman, who met with President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, leader Deniz Baykal and Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun. “They were angry a year ago. But now they seem to understand our position,” Foxman said.

‘Mend ties with Armenia'
Foxman suggested to President Gül that Turkey mend its ties with Armenia as soon as possible. “My advice is that Turkey be creative and pro-active in strengthening the relationships with Armenia as a way to deal with the issue. That will bring about a coming together on history,” Foxman said. “I suggested finding ways to work together that will help change the atmosphere, because we have a concern today on the well-being of Armenia, which is in need of help. I think the Jewish community could be helpful,” he said.

Foxman admitted the existence of sympathy for Armenians within the Jewish community that, he said, “never denied the suffering of Armenians.” “The only issue is to use the word or not. I think that the Jewish community is more interested, today, in helping (improve) the lives of Armenians living in Armenia, rather than becoming judges in an issue that they cannot resolve. So, yes, there is a sympathy,” he said.

No need to fear Obama
Foxman played down the need for concern over prospects of a U.S. resolution on Armenian genocide claims if Barack Obama, Democratic Party presidential candidate, who secured support of Armenians in the United States, wins the race for the White House. “There are lots of things being said in the political campaign,” he said, when asked about Obama's promises to pass the genocide resolution.

Last October, despite the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs' favorable vote, joined by Jewish representatives, in the face of massive diplomatic protests from Turkey accompanied by civil society criticism, sponsors of a resolution that recognized, as genocide, Armenian killings during World War I began to drop out.

Foxman said what counts is the result. “What happened was five former secretaries of state, three former defense secretaries, and the president of the U.S. all intervened in Congress to uphold what they think was the right thing to do. Nobody is denying the history. But a lot of serious people who care about Armenians and who care about Turkey say this is the way to do it. And I do not think that this is going to change,” he said.

Turkey's role constructive
Turkey's recently revealed role in talks between Syria and Israel, who are still technically at war with each other, is of great value in the region, Foxman said. “The importance is both countries trust in Turkey to be the facilitator,” Foxman said. “I think the fact that there has been secrecy, which is almost a miracle, adds to the possibility of success. Nobody knows whether it will succeed,” Foxman said. “But the fact that a Muslim country is able to be a party to bring these two together is very important. It is not only a symbol, but a hope for future developments,” he said.

The ruling Justice and Development Party's, or AKP, cool attitude toward talks of a military intervention against Iran that is suspected of seeking nuclear weapons, does not threaten these ties, according to Foxman. “The strategic relation between the U.S. and Turkey, and Israel and Turkey stands on its own feet, on its own interest. If it serves the interest of parties, it happens. It is not conditioned on regional disputes,” Foxman said.

The ADL's chairman, Glen Lewy, is also in Turkey to meet an ADL delegation of 30 people from around the United States, said Foxman. “They will spend five days in Istanbul to better understand Turkey and then travel on to Jerusalem,” he said.

Astana Meeting To Gather Gül, Sarksyan At The Same Table
The presidents of estranged neighbors Armenia and Turkey will gather around the same table along with 12 other heads of states in Astana today and tomorrow when they participate in festivities for celebration of the 10th birthday of the Kazakhstan capital city.

Turkish President Abdullah Gül departed Ankara yesterday for Kazakhstan at the invitation of his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to attend the ceremonies as "the guest of honor." Speaking at a press conference ahead of his departure, Gül said briefly that he would meet with leaders of other countries in the region and exchange views on regional and international issues.

"There will be 14 heads of states there in total and the Armenian president is one of them. Naturally, there will be the usual plethora of breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, etc. And it also natural that then the presidents of Turkey and Armenia will sit around the same table. There may also be a casual handshake," Turkish diplomatic sources told Today's Zaman yesterday.

Ankara has recognized Yerevan since the former Soviet republic won independence in 1991, but nevertheless refuses to establish diplomatic ties because of Armenian efforts to secure international condemnation of the controversial World War I era killings of Anatolian Armenians as 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 that were invading Ottoman lands.

The same diplomatic sources, who requested anonymity, did not exclude the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Gül and his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarksyan. "It is of course at Mr. President Gül's discretion if the Armenian side conveys willingness for such a bilateral meeting in Astana. And one should not forget that we are not enemies with Armenia, despite the absence of diplomatic recognition," the sources said when asked whether such a bilateral meeting could be scheduled during the summit in Astana.
05 July 2008, Emine Kart Ankara

Who Are the Jews of Europe? The Istanbulian, Personal Chronicles of a Turkish Journalist, Emre Kizilkaya
http://istanbulian.blogspot.com
Turkish professor Faruk Sen, the head of the Center for Turkish Studies Foundation in Essen, had been temporarily suspended from his duties for describing Turks as the “New Jews of Europe” in an article he wrote for a Turkish business daily.

In the article, he was passionately defending the rights of Turkish Jews, while making a parallelism between the current situation of Turks in Germany.

German authorities, were very quick to react. They were alleging that Prof Sen was insulting Jews, but actually the real intention was solely political.

So this was another cover-up, similar to "the ostrich dialectic" which is being systematically adopted by German authorities after every xenophobic arson in the country.

Social democrat Prof Sen was being a victim of such a political conspiracy, mainly organized by CDU politicians who can do anything to stop the staining of Germany's image especially about its rising xenophobia, even when its all based on facts.

The comparison of Prof Sen was surely using an exaggeration to make its article's headline more shocking, but when some opportunist politicians made him a scapegoat, it becomes a necessity for every sane people to defend him at all costs. Good that Jewish communities of Germany and Turkey have intervened to do it and now there is a chance that he would protect his chair.

As a conservative politician and the authority whose vote would be crucial for the fate of Prof Sen Armin Laschet, Integration Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, has already voiced his opinion: He wants to sack Prof Sen, but this can be changed.
* * *
It is reported today that Britain's first Muslim minister has used a similar expression.

Shahid Malik, the minister in the Department for International Development (Dfid), attacked the growing culture of hostility against Muslims in the United Kingdom, saying that many feel targeted like "the Jews of Europe".

Proving that the situation of Muslims in Britain in general is similar to Turks in Germany in particular, he says something important:

"Somehow there's a message out there that it's OK to target people as long as it's Muslims. And you don't have to worry about the facts, and people will turn a blind eye."

Herr Armin Laschet should read Malik's sentences and understand that if he punishes Prof. Sen, restricting his freedom of expression wrongly, there would be more blind eyes in Germany.

But even if Prof Sen is ultimately fired, I strongly believe in German courts which would most likely to reinstate him to his job anyway.

Ara Kochunyan: Introduction Of Armenian Issue In Russian-Turkish Agenda 'Exceptional Case'
PanARMENIAN.Net 02.07.2008
Discussion of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations during a visit of Russian Foreign Minister to Ankara is an 'exceptional case', according to Ara Kochunyan, the editor Istanbul-based Jamanak newspaper.

"Certainly, Serzh Sargsyan's decision to invite Gul to Armenia and his positive statement on formation of a joint commission of historians has played a key role here," he said, however founding difficulty in saying whether the Turkish President will accept Sargsyan's invitation.

During a recent meeting with the Armenian community of Moscow President Sargsyan said, "Turkey proposes to form a commission to study historical facts. We do not mind it but the land border between our countries should be opened first. Otherwise, the commission may become a tool of abuse and protraction of the issue for many years."

"I intend to take new steps toward establishment of relations with Turkey. I will probably invite Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Yerevan to attend a match between our national soccer teams," the Armenian President said.

Tiptoeing The Turkish Tightrope: Sargsyan Sees Mixed Reaction At Home After Moscow Statements by Aris Ghazinyan
ArmeniaNow.com 01 July, 2008
President Serzh Sargsyan's statements on Armenia's relations with Turkey made while on a recent official visit to Russia elicited a negative reaction from the opposition and at least one pro-government party at home.

Meeting representatives of the Armenian Diaspora in Moscow early last week, Sargsyan, in particular, unveiled his plans to invite Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Yerevan in September to watch together an upcoming World Cup qualifier between the two countries' national teams.

The move was received enthusiastically by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza, who is the American co-chair of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), an international format seeking a negotiated peace in Nagorno-Karabakh. The proposal was also positively assessed by Bryza's wife, Zeyno Baran, a Turkish-American scholar who currently heads the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute.

The top-selling Turkish daily Hurriyet wrote about "a positive raction in Ankara" but reported that no official invitiation had been received in Turkey yet.

However, it is Sargsyan's statement in which he in principle accepted Turkey's proposal on forming a panel of historians to review the events of early last century that raised most disgruntled voices.

"We are not against the establishment of such a commission, but only when the border between our states is opened," Sargsyan said.

The Turkish government's proposal in 2005 to form a joint commisison of historians to review the correspondence of the early 20th century events in Ottoman Turkey to the notion "genocide" was rejected as unacceptable by Armenia's then president Robert Kocharyan.

And now Armenia's main opposition groups accuse the head of state of questioning the very fact of genocide by accepting the Turkish proposal in principle.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), a coalition partner with Sargsyan's Republican Party, also expressed its position on Sargsyan's statements, reiterating its hard line on relations with Turkey.

"I think that if the president of Turkey visits Yerevan, at least one part of our society will express its attitude," ARF Bureau spokesman Giro Manoyan said in an interview with RFE/RL Monday.

Manoyan also said that they had received "the necessary explanation and clarification" from the president regarding his statement on the possibility of establishing an Armenian-Turkish commission.

"But in any case, our approach is that there was no need to make such statements and create this confusion in the first place," Manoyan said.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said that Sargsyan's statement "does not mean that Armenia renounces former president Robert Kocharyan's step on including the Genocide issue on the foreign policy agenda."

And Sargsyan's press secretary Samvel Farmanyan argued that the president's words were clear and left no room for misunderstanding: "There was a proposal from Turkey to set up an expert commission to study historical facts concerning the genocide. We are not against any studies, even studies of patently obvious and widely recognized realities. However, the formation of such a commission would be logical only after establishing diplomatic relations and opening borders."

Dashnaks Worried About Sarkisian Support For Turkish-Armenian Panel By Ruzanna Khachatrian
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) criticized President Serzh Sarkisian on Monday for seemingly accepting Turkey’s proposal to form a commission of Turkish and Armenian historians that would jointly study the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the proposal in a 2005 letter to then Armenian President Robert Kocharian. Erdogan said members of the proposed commission should jointly determine whether the Armenian massacres constituted a genocide.

Kocharian rejected the idea, saying that this and other issues of mutual concern should be tackled by the two governments. But Sarkisian said last week that Yerevan will not oppose the creation of such a commission if Turkey establishes diplomatic relations and opens its land border with Armenia.

Armenia’s leading opposition groups were quick to condemn the move, saying that by accepting Ankara’s proposal in principle Sarkisian called into question the very fact of what many historians regard as the first genocide of the 20th century.

The opposition concerns were echoed by Dashnaktsutyun, a nationalist party represented in Sarkisian’s coalition government and known for its hard line on Armenia’s relations with Turkey. The party demanded an official explanation of the apparent policy change.

“We have received the necessary explanation and clarification from the president,” Giro Manoyan, a spokesman for Dashnaktsutyun’s governing Bureau, told RFE/RL. “Also, the president’s spokesman and the foreign minister have publicly clarified that the president’s consent pertains to another kind of commission.”

In Manoyan’s words, Sarkisian believes the would-be commission should not determine whether or not a genocide occurred in 1915-1918 and should instead research “various details of the genocide.” “In any case, our approach is that there was no need to make such statements and create this confusion in the first place,” he said.

Manoyan also indicated Dashnaktsutyun’s unease about Sarkisian’s stated intention to invite Turkish President Abdullah Gul to the first-ever game between the national football teams of Armenia and Turkey which will be played in Yerevan in early September. “I think that if the president of Turkey visits Yerevan, at least one part of our society will express its attitude,” he said.

Dashnaktsutyun’s official position is that Turkey must not only admit to the genocide but also compensate descendants of genocide victims and cede large swathes of its formerly Armenian-populated territory to Armenia.

Successive Armenian governments have made clear, however, that Armenia has no territorial claims to Turkey. “Genocide recognition by Turkey will not lead to legal consequences for territorial claims,” Kocharian stated in a famous 2001 interview with a Turkish TV station.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2008

Genocide Recognition ‘Still On Armenia Foreign Policy Agenda’ By Ruben Meloyan
Armenia will continue to seek international recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide despite its readiness to agree to the creation of a Turkish-Armenian commission of historians that would study the highly sensitive subject, Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian said on Friday.

The idea of setting up such a commission was floated by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a 2005 letter to then Armenian President Robert Kocharian. Erdogan said its members should jointly determine whether the mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted a genocide.

Kocharian effectively rejected the idea by making a counterproposal to set up a Turkish-Armenian intergovernmental body that would deal with this and other issues of mutual concern.

In an apparent policy change, his successor, Serzh Sarkisian, indicated this week that Yerevan is now “not against” the Turkish proposal. But he made clear that the commission of historians can be set up only if Turkey agrees to unconditionally normalize relations with Armenia.

In Nalbandian’s words, this does not mean that Armenia will no longer encourage and endorse efforts by the worldwide Armenian Diaspora to have foreign governments and parliaments recognize the slaughter of more than one million Ottoman Armenians as genocide. “The genocide issue remains on our agenda,” he said.

Turkey has cited Yerevan’s support for the genocide recognition campaign as one of the reasons why it keeps its border with Armenia closed and refuses to establish diplomatic relations with the latter. Ankara maintains that the 1915-1918 mass killings occurred on a much smaller scale and were not part of a premeditated government effort to exterminate the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian minority.

“Armenia has repeatedly stated and continues to state that we are ready to establish relations with Turkey without any preconditions,” said Nalbandian. “We are also ready to discuss all issues of interest to the two countries after the establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of the border.”

Nalbandian spoke at a joint news conference with Switzerland’s visiting Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. Switzerland is one of nearly two dozen nations that have officially recognized the Armenian massacres as genocide.

The Swiss federal parliament adopted a relevant resolution in December 2003, two months after the Turkish government angrily called off Calmy-Rey’s planned visit to Ankara in protest against a similar document passed by the Swiss canton of Vaud. The visit eventually took place in March 2005, with Calmy-Rey publicly urging Turkey to “conduct an in-depth historical research of its own past, especially when the question is so painful.”

The Swiss minister said on Friday that her country stands ready to mediate a Turkish-Armenian rapprochement. “Switzerland is always ready to play the role of a facilitator if it is asked to by the parties,” she said.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2008

Armenia: Presidential Visit To Russia Sparks Speculation On Turkish-Armenian Relations by Haroutiun Khachatrian 6/27/08
The venue for Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s first official visit abroad -- Moscow -- came as no surprise. But, in a potential sign of a fresh Armenian foreign policy initiative, it was Turkey that stole the show.

Sargsyan’s June 23-25 trip was designed to emphasize the importance of Armenia’s "strategic partnership’ with Russia. There were the usual touches -- meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and the chairs of both chambers of parliament. He also placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and met with political experts and journalists.

And there were the usual expressions of mutual support. In a June 24 statement, Medvedev described the partnership between Moscow and Yerevan as critical to the entire South Caucasus. The two countries have declared that they will coordinate their foreign policy to further that relationship. "We are confident that close cooperation between Russia and Armenia is a pledge for the stable ? development of the whole region," Medvedev said.

Medvedev also reiterated Russia’s support for a solution to the conflict with Azerbaijan over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region via existing negotiating mechanisms.

But the three-day visit was not without surprises -- at least for Armenians. On June 23, Sargsyan, who has requested that the "Sarkisian" spelling of his last name be dropped, announced that he wants to normalize relations with Turkey as quickly as possible. As a means to that end, he has pledged to invite Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Yerevan to watch the September 6 World Cup qualifying match between Turkey and Armenia. The Armenian capital will be hosting the game.

Sargsyan’s assertion that he would not object to a panel of Armenian-Turkish experts examining the massive 1915 killing of ethnic Armenians by Ottoman Turks was cause for further discussion among Armenians. A condition, however, was put on the creation of such a panel -- the reopening of Turkey’s border with Armenia. "Otherwise, [the panel] may become a good way of abusing and prolonging the issue for [many] years," PanArmenian.net reported Sargsyan as saying.

The issue has long been a stumbling block for any attempt at normalizing relations with Ankara. Former President Robert Kocharian had maintained that the event -- termed genocide within Armenia -- was not subject to debate.

One Yerevan expert, though, argues that Sargsyan’s move was more aimed at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) than at Turkey itself. "I believe Sargsyan was just trying to get a beneficial vote, including by the Turkish delegates, for the PACE resolution about Armenia expected in Strasbourg two days later," commented Alexsander Iskandarian, director of the Caucasus Institute. The June 25 resolution gave the Armenian government until January 2009 to meet earlier demands for overtures to the opposition in the wake of March 1 crackdown on protestors led by ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosian. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

Armenia’s ruling coalition appears potentially split on the notion of an Armenian-Turkish genocide investigation. In a June 25 story, the daily newspaper Aravot quoted Vahan Hovahannisian, leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutiun’s parliamentary faction, as saying that his party would organize a protest if Gul arrives in Yerevan in September.

By comparison, problems with Russia appeared to receive far less official scrutiny.
No progress was made in determining the price of Russian gas for Armenia the coming year. Nor was mention made of Russia’s prospective role in an Armenian project to refine Iranian crude oil. Apart from a pledge to restore Armenia’s railway link with Russia, land transportation -- an issue since the main Georgian-Russian border point closed in 2006 -- also escaped attention.

While most Armenian politicians dodged debate about Armenia’s ties with Russia, pro-opposition media were quick to express skepticism about the event.

Referring to unnamed "sources close to the Kremlin," the daily Haykakan Zhamanak claimed on June 25 that Medvedev had criticized Sargsyan’s efforts to strengthen Armenia’s ties with the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as well as his alleged failure to guarantee political stability within the country. The newspaper argued that the lack of a response from Medvedev to an open invitation from Sargsyan to visit Armenia hints that the Kremlin may not be as pleased with Yerevan as the official bonhomie may suggest.

Officials could not be reached for comment. But analyst Iskandarian believes that, on the whole, the summit’s primary purpose was achieved: Sargsyan and Medvedev have now "calibrated their watches," he said. "Both have reached their goals."
Haroutiun Khachatrian is a freelance writer based in Yerevan.
June 27, 2008 © Eurasianet

Are The University Presidents Next?
 © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com
This time the radical Islamist Turkish daily Vakit targeted the secular university rectors [presidents] in today’s issue, with a front page headliner that read, “Pro-Coup Rectors In Panic”.


Vakit claimed that the secular university presidents were “shaking in their boots out of fear” that they would be the next to be investigated, allegedly for their links to the “Ergenekon terrorist organization”. Vakit claimed that 15 of these professors had had a meeting with the detained Gen. Sener Eruygur in 2003, when he was the commander of the gendarmerie.

For a long time the Islamist, pro-AKP media has been targeting certain names that were taken into police custody soon thereafter, raising suspicions that these media organs were being given information about the details of the investigation that by law should be conducted in secrecy.


Source: Vakit, habervaktim.com, Turkey, July 3, 2008
http://www.thememriblog.org



Are Waves Of Detentions Of Prominent Soldiers, Politicans, Journalists AKP’s Method Of Intimidation?

Many columnists in the mainstream media think that the new detentions are AKP government’s “warning” to military and civil society leaders and journalists to be “careful” – or their turn will come too. Some columnists argue that this open ended investigation, that they define as a "witch hunt", will continue and will also threaten Gen Yasar Buyukanit, Chief of General Staff, once he retires in August.

While members of mainstream media expressed their outrage at the manner in which respectable people were taken into custody, especially at the handcuffing of a fellow journalist – the editor of Tercuman daily – there was not one word of criticism in AKP-media organs.

Source: Aksam, Milliyet, Turkey, July 3, 2008
www.thememriblog.org



AKP's Coordinated Media: “July 7 Would Be The Day For Bloody Coup”

 © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com
 © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com

Fatih Altayli of Haberturk news portal pointed out to today’s identical headlines in AKP-press. He wrote that AKP formed a large group of partisan media that unconditionally and passionately supports the AKP government, and claimed that it is PM’s information office that must be directing these organs by providing the material to be published.

The pro-AKP media organs, Yeni Safak, Sabah, Star, Bugun all had the same headline today - as they did many times before, apparently based on leaked information from the government. They all had “July 7 Chaos Plan” on their front pages; they all alleged that the recently detained retired generals were organizing massive demonstrations to take place on July 6 to support the judiciary; during which time they would incite clashes between the police and the demonstrators; then they would carry out some assassinations; all in order to prepare the grounds for a military coup on July 7.

Cumhuriyet too pointed to the sameness of the news in pro-AKP dailies and wrote that these media organs were claiming to possess information that the two generals – now in custody – were making preparations for “a bloody July 7”.

Source: Haberturk.com, Cumhuriyet, Turkey, July 3-4, 2008
www.thememriblog.org/

Political Prisoners or Plotters? by Kemal on July 2, 2008
Just hours before Turkey’s top prosecutor presented arguments in court that the AK Party should be closed and 70 of its top officials, including Prime Minister Erdogan banned from politics, police took yet another 22 people into custody ostensibly for plotting to overthrow the government. Three others are still “at large,” but expected to be taken into custody soon.

People seized in this round include former generals Hursit Tolon and Sener Eruygur; Mustafa Balbay of the Cumhuriyet newspaper; Sinan Aygun, chair of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce; and Ecument Ovali, a college professor. Police in Turkey have, in total, arrested about 70 people in connection with the “Ergenekon” operation—allegedly a group conspiring to overthrow the government. In the meantime, journalists opposed to the AK Party have been harassed and many, if not most of those detained, are being held without charge.

Still, Europe supports the AK Party as “democractic” and “liberal”. Really? What democracy condones imprisoning people without charge for months on end? In which European country are such high profile arrests made without indictments or charges at the ready?

European news reports, swallowing the AK Party Karl Rovian propaganda hook, line and sinker, now regularly call those who believe in and support Turkey’s secular democracy “ultra-nationalists” and even “secular jihadis”—how is that for an oxymoron?

Are not the countries of Europe secular democracies? Or, have they become nation states that follow as the rule of law the teachings of their particular dominant religion’s bible? Did I miss something? Has the Pope once again become the reigning monarch of Catholic Europe?

Of course not, it’s just the same old familiar self-serving European hypocrisy. They’ve found a political party with weak leaders they can manipulate to achieve their own ends and don’t want anyone to oppose them—even if that party is turning Turkey into a police state.

Ergenekon is nothing more than an effort to weaken the Turkish military. Why would anyone want to weaken the Turkish military you ask. Well, for one, they will not stand for the partition of lands that lie within the sovereign borders of the Republic of Turkey (check out what the “Middle East Project” has in mind for about a third of the country). Nor does the military tolerate well foreign interference, especially in the form of inciting ethnic minority revolts, in the Republic’s internal affairs.

Much to the consternation of others used to brandishing power without opposition, the Turkish military remains the one institution in the Republic of Turkey that nation-states interested in controlling the balance of power in the middle east cannot manipulate with ease.

Wolfgang Piccolo, an analyst for the Eurasia Group, said in a report Tuesday that the timing of the arrests and the high profile of those seized reflects the political nature of the Ergenekon probe.

“Coming a few hours before the first hearing in the closure case against the AKP, the arrests will further reinforce the already widely shared impression in Turkey that the operation is part of the power struggle between the AKP and the hard-line secularists, most notably the military,” he said.

Yeah, no kidding. Definitely political prisoners.

Now, what would take some real cajones would be to arrest all the Constitutional Court judges that are going to render the decision in the closure case.

Comments
1
nevber
July 2, 2008
You are absolutely right! In my opinion, there is an internal fight between the "secularists" and "Islamists" (I am using these terminologies in the broader sense). The sad part is that, the Western powers namely EU, is supporting the anti-secularist and more Islamic lenient party, AKP. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Shouldn’t a democratic and a western country have separation between religion and governmental politics? I cannot see any good come out of (however mild) religious rule. I also reject the idea that a Muslim country cannot be democratic. There is a claim that it’s against their nature. That is utterly a false statement, with a certain amount of biased. Having said that "the secularists" also needs to learn from this experience. They should stop electing fraudulent, useless and dishonest politicians who think they are fooling the general public….

2
Kemal
July 2, 2008
nevbar, agreed that the corruption and fraud has to go. That, however, will most likely require a complete overhaul in how MPs are selected.

Party leaders should not be permitted to pick who sits in parliament. Each individual geographic political unit should be voting for specific representatives who live and are resident in that area. Only that way can they represent the tru interest of their constituents.

Allowing party leaders to pick and choose members of parliament from their party rosters creates a type of dictatorship in which all MPs are beholden to their party leader, whether that leader’s decisions are for the good of the country or only good to line his or her own pockets with gold–as they are doing now.

The entire system needs to be overhauled and better checks and balances put in place. Democracy promotes rule by those chosen by the majority, but it never allows tyranny of the minority.

One should also never forget, those who voted for the AK Party were a plurality, not a majority of the voting public. The majority of the voting public (53%) voted for other parties. Also, many secularists voted for the AK Party due to its message of moderation and tolerance, all of which it threw out the window once elected. That means it has now lost the support of those secularists.

No way, the AK Party could obtain 47% of the today except by stuffing ballot boxes, which many allege they did in July 2007 anyway.

3
Lucrèce
July 2, 2008
Has the Pope once again become the reigning monarch of Catholic Europe?
In Italia, the center-left coalition failed because the government Prodi wanted creat a civil union for homosexuals and unmarried heterosexuals. The pope was, obviously, strongly against this project.

Are not the countries of Europe secular democracies?
Orthodox christianism is the State religion in Greece, Germany has signed concordats with the most important churches, the queen of England is the chief of the anglican church, etc.
The only secular republics in Europe are France, Turkey and Portugal. In others continents, i know only India as secular democracy.

The secularism is a rare value. It’s certainly sad, but it’s like that.

4
Abdullah Cevdet
July 3, 2008
You believe in the greater Middle East project by neoconversatives/neocons/America and you also write for a neocon website which is pro-America! You also believe jews want to divide Turkey? hahaha.. funny guy!!!

5
Selin
July 3, 2008
Abdullah, several things:

1) The greater Middle East project is NOT an exclusively neocon project. It’s a project that aims to control the Middle East specifically in relation to energy and oil resources while trying to hold Fundamentalist Islam at bay via appeasing to the so-called "Moderate Islamists". Of course, AKP is falsely interpreted as THE Moderate Islamist party, and looked upon as some sort of an ideological "brother" within the Middle East and in the realm of Political Islam. In other words, AKP is seen as the perfect tool for the powers that be in order to promote self-serving agendas throughout the Middle East.

2) The Greater Middle East project fits perfectly with the self interests of a lot of nations apart from the US as well. THAT’s why you see a lot of European support in favor of AKP and in favor of the imaginary Ergenekon coup-plotters.

3) Both Republicans and Democrats of the U.S. have historically been equally interested in the Greater Middle East Project because the project aims to provide and maintain a pro-American status quo in the region.

4) Some Americans as well as Europeans are finally waking up to the bitter reality that AKP is NOT the kind of "Moderate Islamist" party that it claims to be. In fact, people are starting to get nervous that their firm support for AKP could very well become another "chickens coming home to roost" situation in terms of foreign policy on either side of the Atlantic.

5) There’s no mention of "Jews" in this article. The Greater Middle East project is NOT a "Jewish" project, it seems like you are trying to portray it as such via appealing to the well known Jewish-people-controlling-the-world stereotypes.

6) I don’t know how you got the idea that this site is a neocon website. Or that being pro-America is a neo-con thing to be. Is it the McCain endorsement of certain editors of this site that makes you think that this site is a neocon website?

7) Did you know that a sizable amount of Kemalist Turks are actually supporting John McCain because they believe that he will be a better president for Turkish interests in the region?

I think you would be a funnier guy than Kemal, if you weren’t purposefully engaging in mislabeling of certain groups and agendas and thus aiming to leave rest of the readers in muddy waters.

6
Abdullah Cevdet
July 3, 2008
I didn’t know Kemalist Turks support McCain. Isn’t he one of the supporters of the "Middle-Eastern project"…… Let’s stay in muddy waters and continue to be hypocrites. Mr. Kemal is just so typical statist and Kemalist.

7
Selin
July 3, 2008
I said a sizable amount of Kemalist Turks supported McCain, that doesn’t mean all of them or most of them. So please don’t misquote what I said.

This should be a stunner for you: AKP also favors McCain over Obama. Of course Erdogan has recently made speeches as to how AKP was the guardian of secularism and Kemalism. So there you go more muddy waters for you. I guess if you can’t beat them, join them :))))

8
Kemal
July 3, 2008
Abdullah, a fundamental value of democracy and free speech is the right to disagree openly without being imprisoned or fear of bodily harm.

In a mature democracy people learn to disagree without giving rise to violence or civil unrest.

Abdullah, you seem to be claiming that you support democracy and that, as an AKP supporter, you are not pursuing intolerant oppressive Sharia law.

If that is true, do you think you can find it within yourself to disagree with people who express opinions you disagree with without calling them names?

This tactic you use of waging personal attacks against those whose opinions you don’t like is typical of Erdogan and the AKP, as well as other inept politicans from other parties (and yes, including the CHP), and one of the reasons why Turkey’s populace is dividing along idealogical lines.

9
Turkey: a plot against the Government and the process against AKP continues « Blogging for a free world
July 4, 2008
[…] it’s entirely legitimate to question if these the arrested are political prisoners or plotters. And also it’s legitimate to point out the important responsibility of the European Union in […]

10
Baris Tarim
July 4, 2008
Great article Kemal. 9 journalists and a couple of 70 year old men doing a coup. They couldn’t even get past Taksim Square!! And no one can logically explain how the Workers Party, a far-leftist organization, and the Ankara Chamber of Commerce, an obviously capitalist organization, + nine journalists, came together to create an "armed terror organization" with the aim of "creating an armed rebellion against the state".. What a joke!!!

There was a good article on this by the Jamestown Foundation here:
jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2373193

Source: PoliGazette

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