13 September 2008

2594) Media Scanner 14 Sep 2008 (78 Items)

  1. Turks And Armenians To Unite For Wine Production
  2. Armenia May Recognize Turkey's Borders by Sedat Laciner
  3. "Simple Kick Turkish-Armenian" By Jules Boyadjian
  4. Doubts in Yerevan By Vahe Ter Minassian
  5. Gül Seizes Opportunity In Yerevan To Break A Diplomatic Deadlock
  6. Armenia To Be Cautious In Its Relations With Turkey G Haroutyunyan
  7. Swindling Or Treachery
  8. Armenia - Turkey And Armenia - Azerbaijan, V Grigoryan,
  9. Review: Ararat: In Search By F Westerman
  10. Other Armenian Press Review
  11. ARFD: Normalization Of Armenian-Turkish Relations At The Expense Of Our State's Independence And Viability Inadmissible
  12. ANCA Calls On Congress To Look At Turkey's True Intention And Real-World Actions
  13. Ossetia War: Lessons For Armenia, E Sanamyan,
  14. Films at PBS: "The Armenian Genocide", "The Armenian Americans" Sep 17, at 8 pm
  15. Dr. Der Yeghiayan To Lecture On Historic Armenia & Cilicia October 12,2008 at 6:00 P.M
  16. Dashnaks Urge Turkey To Change "Armenia Policy"
  17. In The Genocide Museum, Hayots Ashkhar Daily
  18. ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Press Office Statement
  19. From History To Realpolitik In Armenian-Turkish Relations
  20. A Tip Of The Hat To Peacemakers
  21. Turkish Vignettes From Yerevan Or: Where Do We Go From Here? D Beast
  22. Turkey:Armenia Ties Could End Genocide Resolutions AP
  23. ARFD: Armenia And Turkey Should Work For Normalization Of Relations
  24. Turkey To Push Armenia Diplomacy In 3-Way UN Talks I Villelabeitia
  25. Turkey Continues Reaching Out To Armenia Michael van der Galien
  26. Opening Doors And Hearts (1-2) D Ergil
  27. The Yellator! Y KANLI
  28. Turkey Presses For Triple Talks On Nagorno-Karabakh
  29. Cengiz Aktar: "Young People No Longer Believe The Story That" Nothing Happened ""
  30. An Action Plan To Strengthen Ties Between Armenia And The West
  31. Armenian Press: "A Football Geopolitical" , Armenews
  32. "One (Foot) Shot In The Foot" A Toranian
  33. From History To Realpolitik In Armenian-Turkish Relations
  34. Turkish U-21s Hit Armenia For Four, Qualify For Playoffs
  35. Watching From Armenia, C Çandar
  36. US Urges Turkey To Open Border With Armenia
  37. Debate Over Montreux Reignites
  38. The Son Of Small-Djémal Pasha Filed Flowers Dzidzernagapert
  39. A Tashnak Man Hugs A Turkish Girl
  40. Armenia May Withdraw From Nagorno-Karabakh
  41. No Electricity Deal With Armenia
  42. Encounter With A Maestro On A Dark Yerevan Night
  43. We need Armenia, E Mahçupyan
  44. Gül’s Visits To Yerevan, Baku Harbingers Of New Era? S Ogan
  45. Babacan Discusses Armenia Visit, Caucasus With Rice
  46. Armenia Not Excluded In Railway Project
  47. Contents of Genocide Course in Toronto District
  48. Will Gul's Visit To Yerevan Have A Long-Term Impact Ilter Turkmen
  49. The Enemy of My Friend, G Abrahamyan
  50. Babacan: The Armenian Diaspora Remains Stuck On An Event That Would Have Occurred 100 Years Ago armenews
  51. "The Armenian President Must Give Explanations To The Armenian Nation!" M Papazian
  52. Miniaturk in Yerevan
  53. Turkey’s Charm Offensive Inspires Hope
  54. Caucasian Conflict Improves Russia-Turkey Relations A Krylov
  55. Babacan Presses Armenia For Joint Study Of Genocide Claims
  56. Encounter With A Maestro On A Dark Yerevan Night
  57. Turkish Ultra-Nationalists Berate Canadian Politicians, Media, Judicial, Educational Systems
  58. How Not To Understand Anti-Americanism By B Kampmark
  59. What Price Armenia Will Be Asked To Pay For Opening Of Border With Turkey?
  60. Armenia Signs Deal To Supply Electricity To Turkey
  61. Young Armenians Split Over "Genocide" Issue
  62. Barack Obama on the Importance of US-Armenia Relations,
  63. Armenians Make A Death Threat To A Sitting U.S. Congressman For Not Supporting Armenian Claims
  64. Armenians… Peace?
  65. Will France Punish the Ones who Say “There is No Genocide”?
  66. Bryza’s Offer Led Armenians Confess The Facts
  67. Technological Fundamentalism In Media And Culture, By R Jensen
  68. The Slow Death Of Democracy And The Rise Of The Corporate S O'Neall
  69. Caucasus Domino By O Dvinsky
  70. Turkey Seeks Assurances From Armenia For Gul's Trip
  71. No Way Out: Ethnic Cleansing, By Fire And Atrocity - "Paradise Lost"
  72. "Armenian Sport In The Ottoman Empire" Exhibition In The Museum Of The Armenian Genocide
  73. Captain Emory Niles and A Sutherland
  74. The Most Recent Smart of Armenia
  75. There is Still Nothing New at the West Side!
  76. Armenia: Mixed Marriages, by N Hamm
  77. Crossing Igdir
  78. First Blog/Dorkiness Prevails

Turks And Armenians To Unite For Wine Production, September 13, 2008, Selma Simsek Bektas, Referans
As tensions between Turkey and Armenia have been slightly reduced as a result of last week's football game between the two countries, businessmen are feeling encouraged to participate in joint projects.

“The Turkey-Armenia match has given us hope. Production projects have gathered pace. Some day, it may be possible to establish a joint facility,” said Noyan Soyak, co-chairman of the Turkish-Armenian Business Development Council.

Businessmen, who have used indirect means to continue trading with Armenia despite an embargo imposed since 1993, started to display their partnership-based projects more bravely after the game. Believing that a more comfortable environment for business affairs may now come about, businessmen have made a decision to launch a joint wine production.

Turkish, Armenian and Georgian businessmen had already launched a collective cheese production last year under the leadership of the Turkish-Armenian Business Development Council.

The historic World Cup playoff has begun a new period for the project, said I.lhan Koçulu, a businessman from Turkey's northeastern city of Kars. “We were very nervous during the first months following the launch of the project. The meeting of the two countries' president has relieved us. We will continue our partnership, which started with cheese, with wine now.”

Economic dialogue crucial
The Caucasus Platform, which includes Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, is now setting sail toward comprehensive projects. Following the first platform meeting last year, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia started to produce cheese collectively under the Kafkas brand. Then, last week's match carried the platform's targets regarding partnership further.

“This game marks the starting point of a new period for our projects. The mild winds after the match have encouraged us. When we first set off, we had in mind to accomplish what politicians fail to do; because the conflicts between the countries may be settled, not via bureaucratic paths, but through economic and cultural dialogue,” said Koçulu.

The activities concerning partnership in wine production have already started, Koçulu said. “Our Georgian and Armenian colleagues want to conduct works on wine production particularly in Kars. They have offered to construct vineyards in Kars. We have warm prospects toward the offer. However, we are in talks with large wine producers in Turkey to speed up the works. Our target is to include large producers in the project both to speed up production and gain support as there is no viniculture in Kars.”

Besides wine production, there is also a joint project for medicinal herbs, said Koçulu. “Herbs constitute another common aspect of the Caucasus. We know that there are several types of herbs, on which there are scientific studies, in Kars. But Georgia and Armenia are very advanced in this field. The classification and the purposes are well known. Within this scope, a plant was established in the Bog(aztepe village of Kars. In the pilot program, which features 36 women, medicinal herbs are farmed and dried. There is ongoing work on 25 types of herbs.”

Just like Koçulu, who believes that communities have become familiar with each other due to cheese production, Soyak said the project loomed large for the dialogue of the people in the region. The cheese produced by Turkish, Armenian and Georgian dairymen would not be consumed just on the domestic market, but also be exported, said Soyak. “We aim to see patents completed by 2009. We would like to see the consumption of this product, particularly amongst the diaspora.”

Trade volume at $150 million despite embargo
The trade volume between Turkey and Armenia is approximately $150 million. Almost all of this trade goes through Georgia. Turkey accounts for over 90 percent of the $150 million trade.

Turkish companies export textiles, construction materials, food products and durable consumer goods to Armenia. Having complained about the unqualified goods from Iran for years, Armenians show a great interest in Turkish goods. Should the border be opened, which has been closed since 1993, the trade between the two countries is expected to reach $400 million in six months. At present there is no direct trade between the two countries.



Armenia May Recognize Turkey's Borders by Sedat Laciner, 14 September 2008
Notwithstanding all risks, President Abdullah Gul’s visit to Armenia ended as a success story in all aspects. Turkey reiterated and proved its peaceful stance and give positive signals to Armenia. Sarkisyan accepted Turkey’s invitation and this may be seen as the first consequence of the visit. And of course there will be reciprocal visits of lower level officials. Especially, the Armenian side does not seem to wait until the next match for paying these visits. They are planning an extensional diplomatic action towards Turkey. As we know, Ankara is already waiting for such move that improving relations with Armenia is the primary objective of the AKP government.

Armenia faced with a huge economic burden especially after the Russia-Georgia conflict through destruction of its railroads and highways.

More important than that this conflict ceased Armenian ties with the rest of the world. Armenia acknowledged that its dependence to Georgia to connect rest of the world is no longer sustainable. Dependence to unstable Georgia means the risk of disruption of the everyday life order in Armenia at eruption of a new conflict in the area. Armenia may even collapse without an Azerbaijani attack because of its collapsed economy via ceased exports and imports which are crucial for the sustenance of everyday life. An Azerbaijani attack in these circumstances probably ends the existence of Armenia. Even though the Russia sends help to Armenia it may find nothing to save or just save a country that is gone 15 year backwards.


Under these circumstances the primary objective for Armenia is to open a new line for its lifeblood. This is why Sarkisyan named their first goal as “re-opening the Kars-Gümrü railroad” before Gul’s visit. However, Armenian recognition of Turkish borders is a precondition of improvement of Armenia-Turkish relations. Armenia cannot expect normalizations of the relations before recognizing its neighbor’s borders. Moreover, it cannot turn the page with the meaningless discourse of “we do not have any preconditions for beginning the talks with Turkey.” Turkey expects Armenia to omit the “Western Armenia” phrase from its declaration of independence document which is also a part of its constitution. Or instead Turkey at least expects a formal declaration from Armenia that indicates its recognition and respect for Turkish borders. In my opinion Turkey may get this recognition in a short time period because Armenian officials were saying that there is no problem about this issue and they are using this only as a bargaining chip. I hope the Armenian side has seen that this is not putting Armenia in a stronger position in negotiations instead ceasing the communication with Turkey.

In short, the first expectation for rapprochement is Armenian recognition of Turkish borders. Opening borders for trade will probably take more time. The airlines are open to flights anyway and if Turkey opens the railroad and highway lines too that means bestowing all Armenia wants altogether. This will give a position to Armenia that is even better than Azerbaijan even. Armenia will be able to connect the world economically through three alternative countries of Georgia, Iran and Turkey, whereas Azerbaijan can connect to world just through Georgia (partially through Iran). This is a huge reward for Armenia and there is a long list of tasks to deserve that. The first and foremost item of the list is Karabakh and other Azerbaijani territories under Armenian occupation. 14 September 2008


"Simple Kick Turkish-Armenian" By Jules Boyadjian 14 September 2008, by Stéphane / armenews
In honouring the invitation of President of the Republic of Armenia, Abdullah Gül gave a political dimension to the football match on Saturday with qualifications for World Cup 2010. A political dimension in addition to a historical nature is undeniable. No meeting of this magnitude between the Turkish and Armenian presidents had never taken place since the independence of the Republic of Armenia in 1991. The visit of Turkish President, is she so far, pledges of reconciliation ahead? Nothing is less certain. Beyond this apparent warming and this amazing attraction between the presidents and Gül Sarkissian, remains the gravity of an economic blockade imposed unilaterally by Turkey in 1993 and threatening the survival of the young Republic of Armenia. And how soon forget the Holocaust denial centenary exported wherever voices to recognize the reality of 1915?

Yet everyone agrees on the need to find a resolution to the Armenian issue leading to a pacification of Armenian-Turkish relations. So what can I do? From the discussion, diplomatic meetings and the implementation of a political process, all in a humanist and an intergovernmental framework with as a basis, the unconditional recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915. An element which, if ignored, undoubtedly mean the failure of this process. There is talk of brotherhood, genuine reconciliation, it can not be forged on the denial of a crime of genocide.

Not to mention that it would be the outright victory of a denial, a possibility which can not be acceptable nor accepted by the Armenian State and its diaspora. A diaspora who, finding little from the Turkish authorities to make progress on this extremely important issue, remains doubtful to this approximation of 6 September.

To avoid reducing this meeting in a simple operation of communication, or worse, a sign contradictory under the current political situation will require that the Turkish authorities have a strong gesture demonstrating their sincerity. For too long, Armenians had to suffer the effects of promises stripped. And the alternatives are numerous Turkish President: lifting the blockade, suspension of pressure against states willing to recognize the crime of 1915 (USA, Great Britain, Germany), or simply recognition of the genocide with all consequences. So many opportunities it will take, if it wants to give real prospects at this meeting politico-sports.

This process will require all honesty that courage. It will also require the participation of international forums, Europe, France and many others. Everything leads us to believe that any laxity on their part would be detrimental as well as a strictly bilateral treatment of the issue. The pacifism is the ultimate goal of this process, it can not be implemented outside the law and therefore requires international mediation.

International observers who, in addition to their allegiance to the brotherhood, humanism and solidarity with the peoples shaken, have a vested interest in stability in the region. We saw during the summer, how the powder keg Caucasus could be harmful to the balance of the world. And in this crossroads of civilizations European, Middle Eastern and Russian, we must note that alliances, differences and oppositions are organizing around this double blockade imposed by Turkey and its allies Azeri, the Republic of Armenia.

That is why we have to wait much more than just a diplomatic interview at the bend of a sporting event. While keeping in mind that resolving this conflict through democracy, that of recognition and reparation for the Armenian genocide is fundamental in a perspective of peace and global prosperity.

Jules Boyadjian representative of the New Generation Armenian. September 9, 2008, Liberation


Prétendu Genocide Of Armenians: The Turkish Daily News Apologizes 14 September 2008, by Stéphane / armenews
The American analyst, specializing in international relations, Richard Giragosian published Friday, August 22 a forum entitled "Armenia and the new Turkish proposal" in which the author writes about the conflict in Georgia, which "confirmed so manifest, the glaring need for stability in the South Caucasus. As part of a Turkish initiative to assert a wider geopolitical influence, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently launched a new bid to strengthen stability and security in the region. Hailed as the "Platform stability and cooperation in the Caucasus" the new Turkish initiative aims to forge a new attempt at cooperation for the prevention of conflicts, the multilateral security and regional stability. "

For the author, "there have been some encouraging signs from both sides. Turkey has increased the quotas of its airspace for Armenia in order to facilitate access for humanitarian aid to Georgia via Armenia, and President Abdullah Gül sent a message of reconciliation to Armenia on August 16. The statement said that "Turkey is the enemy of person" and stressed that the recent conflict between Georgia and Russia confirms the need for "rapid measures to resolve problems frozen in the region and ... prevent instability in the future. " Richard Giragosian said that "the Armenian President Sarkissian said his government was ready to accept the principle of the Turkish proposal to set up a joint historical commission, which theoretically should also consider the historical veracity of the alleged Armenian genocide of 1915".

Obviously the concept of so-called Armenian genocide on the part of Richard Giragosian has shocked many readers.

Tuesday, August 25 in an article titled "News, comments and business judgement" David Judson Editor in Chief of turkish News daily wrote "As readers of the Turkish Daily News are aware, we correct our errors and omissions inevitable. (...) So this column is primarily a correction and an apology to Richard Giragosian, a guest whose platform Friday was decidedly changed. It was just a word, inserted by a secretary of drafting. But it was a word in the heart of discussions unresolved between many Turks and Armenians, and so the change has been severe. Giragosian said "genocide". We edited "alleged genocide". While the change reflects the sentiment prevailing in this newspaper, he also violated our rules processing comments. "

Then David Judson embarked on a lengthy explanation of the difficulties of a journalist who is more alone in the Turkish daily English language: "Sailing in these journalistic sandbanks language is always difficult but our work (...) the TDN is less a continuation "objectivity" that "opening minds." For example, we take no position on drafting the question "minority" in Turkey, which classifies Armenians, Greeks and Jews as minorities with a status but does not recognize Kurds, Alevis, Assyrians and many others. " We, however, have a "box" for a permanent explanations of the history of this issue and the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 which is the beginning of everything. (...) We always execute these goals without errors of judgement? No, sometimes we chutons which means that we must resume again. And Friday this policy based on values has failed. We have violated that trust with our readers (...). Mr. Giragosian has confirmed that its original text did not contain the word "alleged" and that the TDN has added without consultation and without disclosing in the newspaper that the word was not in the original text. This is contrary to morality of a "point of view" journalism. It also puts into question the readiness of the TDN to publish notices do not comply with the official position of Turkey. Finally, this cause of embarrassment for Mr. Giragosian, a respected analyst and commentator who took the risk of a newspaper published in Turkish, which must now explain that the text was changed substantivement We do ».(...) could not be more in error. We apologize. And now, reaffirmed our values, we return to work. "

Doubts in Yerevan By Vahe Ter Minassian , 13 September 2008, by Stéphane / armenews
The entire political class Armenian hosted Turkish President without joy or animosity. Everything will depend on more ...

"It's a symbolic gesture, but announced there really a change in Ankara's foreign policy?" Giro Manoyan, secretary of the office of the World Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), political party caretaker history of nationalism, not not hide his scepticism about the outcome of the first visit by a Turkish president in his country. If the FRA has called on the population to gather peacefully with flags and banners throughout the route of the presidential motorcade, and then to demonstrate noisily in front of the presidency and in the stadium to remind the "need for Turkey to recognize genocide Armenian, "all parties have agreed to await the next step of Ankara before assessing the importance of the event, while the diaspora shows his scepticism.

It is that the problems between the neighbors are so numerous and complicated that no one here thinks they can be solved by a visit of few hours, did not even an official character. The two countries still do not have diplomatic relations, although contacts exist within international organizations of which they are members. Moreover, in April 1993 after a victorious offensive of Armenians in the conflict between them to Azerbaijan for control of the Nagorno-Karabakh, the Turkish authorities have unilaterally closed the border: on the Armenian side guarded by troops Russian FSB (former KGB) and, on the Turkish side, by the army, it is impassable by land mines in places and monitored continuously by watchtowers placed behind a line of barbed wire inherited from another age . Finally, the issue of Armenian genocide perpetrated in 1915 - 1916 in the Ottoman Empire and denied by Turkey, continues to draw up a wall of misunderstanding in the minds of both sides.

The presidents Levon Ter-Petrossian (1991-1998) and Robert Kocharian (1998-2008) attempted on several occasions, with the support - and sometimes under pressure - USA and Europeans (which are a requirement for Turkey's entry into the Union), to improve relations between Armenia and its powerful neighbour by encouraging discreet talks. In vain so far. Ankara has consistently provided the same answer to the Armenian side. No opening of the border or establishment of diplomatic relations without qu'Erevan not fulfil three conditions: the withdrawal of Armenian troops of the "occupied territories" in Nagorno-Karabakh, abandonment by the diaspora of the claim recognition of the genocide and the reaffirmation by the Armenian Parliament of the Treaty of Kars (1921), which sets the current border of Turkey with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In June, President Serge Sarkissian, freshly elected, tried a new approach by offering Abdullah Gül to attend the Armenia-Turkey match. The initiative has been frowned upon by the FRA and Robert Kocharian. But it was welcomed in public opinion, even in the ranks of the opposition in the Armenian National Congress (HAK) Levon Ter-Petrossian. After the Russian-Georgian clashes followed the proposal of Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, to launch a "platform of stability and cooperation in the Caucasus", the deal seems to have changed in Ankara. "But to what extent and for how long?" Wondered there in Yerevan. On the tarmac of the airport, where he had come to welcome Abdullah Gül, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arman Giragossian, said: "Armenia has always strived to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey without putting of preconditions. We hope that the Turkish authorities withdraw theirs. Only then can we solve all the problems. " L'Express 11/09/2008

Gül Seizes Opportunity In Yerevan To Break A Diplomatic Deadlock
President Abdullah Gül and his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarksyan, salute the spectators during a World Cup qualifier match last Saturday.

Upon an invitation from his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarksyan, President Abdullah Gül paid a visit to Yerevan last Saturday to watch a World Cup qualifier match between the national teams of the two countries that Turkey won 2-0.

Turkey severed ties with Armenia and closed its border when Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory, in a show of solidarity to its regional and ethnic ally Azerbaijan. During this historic visit both Gül and his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarksyan, expressed hope that their meeting would herald a new beginning for the settlement of problems between the two neighbors. And analysts said reconciliation seems closer after this historic visit. Armenia is the last of Turkey's neighbors with whom Ankara has failed to mend ties since the end of the Cold War. Turkey has gradually improved relations with old foes such as Greece, Bulgaria and Syria. Improved ties with Armenia are likely to help lift strains on Turkey's relations with other countries that have or plan to formally recognize the1915 killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as genocide, an argument Turkey categorically rejects. 14 September 2008,


Armenia To Be Cautious In Its Relations With Turkey Gevorg Haroutyunyan, Hayots Ashkhar Daily, 12 Sep 2008, Armenia
Interview with VAHAN HOVHANNISYAN, member of the ARFD Bureau and Head of the ARFD parliamentary faction

"The ARFD Bureau convened an extraordinary plenary session in Yerevan on September 9-10, with agenda issues concerning the complex political-military situation in our region and the Armenian-Turkish relations. What was the urgency of touching upon these issues once again?"

"There are practically no Armenian-Turkish relations at present. Turkey is trying to penetrate into our region in the role of a conciliator, coordinator and a bearer of a new concept. It proposes its conceptual platform of stability and security. However, such role can be assumed only by an impartial force having no bias in the region. The aim of all our demands is to have Turkey prove the unbiased and impartial nature of its role and activities.

If Turkey desires to assume the role of a conciliator in our region, it should first of all prove its impartiality in the context of the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations.

Turkey has become a direct party to the Karabakh-Azerbaijani conflict. It is the supporter of Azerbaijan, its military ally; it is a party implementing Turkey's hostile, anti-Armenia policy. Blockade is nothing more than an act of hostility. As to Georgia, the second state in the region, Turkey involves it in its various anti-Armenian political and military programs.

In this respect, Turkey's role as a conciliator in the region is incomprehensible. And if Turkey is going to establish relations with our country in this context, it should first of all waive its anti-Armenian posture.

Turkey's anti-Armenian policy has two trends. First, it is directed against Armenia. Turkey has encircled Armenia, deprived it from energy corridors or has done its best to prevent those corridors from entering the territory of Armenia. As to the second trend, it is directed against the Armenians in general. Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide and continues the same genocide at present by way of destroying the Armenian monuments and rooting out everything that has Armenian origins throughout the territory of Western Armenia.

If Turkey changes its posture with regard to these two manifestations, we will see that there has been a positive progress in the neighboring country's policy in relation to Armenia and the Armenian nation.

In the statement released after the plenary session of the ARFD Bureau, we have particularly mentioned one of our fundamental positions: the meetings between the Presidents and Foreign Ministers of both countries should be followed by some positive steps by Turkey.

In response to our President's gesture of tolerance, the President of Turkey may offer the Euro pean Union a 'high price' for its posture, pretending that it is far from its prejudices of the past and is tolerant. Whereas Turkey should continue making steps. And if it doesn't, that will mean that the Turkish President responded to our President's gesture of tolerance solely with propaganda purposes."

"Mr. Hovhannisyan, can the current situation in our region push Turkey to recognizing the Armenian Genocide, revising its attitude towards the problem of Artsakh, establishing diplomatic relations with Armenia and opening the border?"

"I think the solutions you pointed out should be classified into two main groups. We have never denied the fact that the opening of the borders, the communication channels and the energy corridors can be useful for Armenia. Clearly, it also gives us economic opportunities and so on and so forth. However, there are also risks here, and it is not known to what extent those risks are estimated, and to what extent our economy is ready to resist new challenges. The positive will also be accompanied by what is harmful and dangerous, but this balance has not yet been clarified by anyone.

Turkey will have no less if not more economic advantages in comparison with us. The thing is that Turkey is solving the same economic problem: it is creates a stimulus for developing the stagnant regions of Western Armenia and gets the opportunity to reach the oriental markets via the transit corridors of Armenia.

As to Turkey's political interest, it is just incomparable with our expectations. The thing is that Turkey is, in this way, eliminating one of the most important obstacles towards the EU membership. Our political interest, as mentioned in the release of the ARFD Bureau, should be the change of Turkey's attitude towards the problem of Artsakh and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. We do not even assume that those steps should be made in a very quick manner and in a single stage as we realize that the Turkish society may not be ready for such an abrupt turning.

But this means that the Turkish elite should prepare its society, as well as the society of Azerbaijani for this political change."

To be continued


Swindling Or Treachery
The activists of Armenian Pan National Movement under the name of “Armenian National Congress” try to represent the necessity of starting a new wave of demonstrations from September 12, as “the beginning of the crucial stage of the national struggle against tyranny”.

Of course we have many times witnessed similar “crucial stages” when people become extremely enthused and immediately get disappointed. But as usual waiting for the beginning of the same boring scenario we can’t help recording that in terms of time it can match with the culmination of the developments taking place in the “region and around it”.

If the opposition used to consider end of September as the decisive stage of their actions, at the moment it has been canceled up to October.

Similar bizarre “friendliness” undoubtedly derives from the “schedule” of the new developments expected in the region. September is going to be a crucial stage for the negotiations and at the end of the week UN will convene its General Assembly. The US Presidential elections are in November, which means the necessity of the clarification of regional issues will very soon appear.

Not only does the situation intensify in the South Caucasus, but also new difficulties and obstacles appear. Let’s enumerate only part of them: besides intensively furnishing Georgia with arms, in the recent times the USA, International Currency Fund and the European Union have unimaginably increased the sum allocated for official Tbilisy. This fact and especially the appearance of NATO’s military ships in the Black Sea made Russia very nervous.

By Moscow’s instigation Armenian - Turkish negotiations are becoming more and more vital; soon Armenian - Azerbaijani negotiations will be added to it.

Turkey, in its turn, plays a double game, trying to suppress the activeness of the both sides and benefit from the created situation, and besides all this they secretly participate in furnishing Georgia with arms.

In the near future a very serious crises can start in the Middle East as well, linked with Iran’s nuclear programs, etc, etc.

It is natural that in such circumstances the internal political situation created in Armenia directly depend on the situation created in the region. Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s interview regarding the developments in South Osatia is the bright example of the awareness of this situation. The interview was followed by the reverences addressed to the West. Davit Shanazaryan’s “in-law diplomacy”, who left for the Unites States under the plea of participating in the Congress of the Democrats, was the new proof of the before mentioned.

In parallel reverences were addressed to Turkey by the “Congress”, by postponing their demonstration planned before the football game.

And in the recent days Armenia’s first President made another swindling announcement, in his interview under the heading “We Will Strengthen the Pressure on the Regime”, given to the Russian newspaper “Moskovskaya Pravda”. In response to the question about solving the crises faced by Armenia by “the realization of fundamental reforms”, Ter-Petrosyan announced: “The regime is objectively not ready to make radical reforms, because it will mean to saw the stump on which they are sitting.”

So we didn’t manage to clarify why and how are the authorities sawing the stump instead of the brunch? But judging from Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s obstinacy not to see the reforms made recently in Armenia it is not difficult to conclude that he intends to benefit from the situation created in the region.

Because the possibility of Armenian – Turkish and Armenian - Azerbaijani negotiations is the best moment were we will be in need of Ter-Petrosyan’s ideas.

Had we not faced swift and extremely dangerous developments in our region we could easily ignore Ter-Petrosyan’s foreign policy equilibristic. He could have given one interview per week, each time expressing diametrically different ideas and finding himself in a ridiculous situation.

But the situation around Armenia is so tough that the swindling of the opposition leader is more like a treachery.
* ARMEN TSATURYAN
http://www.armtown.com


Armenia - Turkey And Armenia - Azerbaijan, Vardan Grigoryan, Hayots Ashkhar Daily, 12 Sep 2008
Armenia

The disputes on Armenian-Turkish and Armenian-Azerbaijani relations held in Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan are gradually declining from their political, legal bases and turning into fruitless attempts of employing joint standards.

The copious pieces of advise and proposals made by the political scientists and political figures of different countries are added to it. But the latter are unfortunately based on the "establishment" of foreign experience.

Whereas the analyses of the situation created at the moment in Armenian-Turkish relations and Armenian - Azerbaijani confrontation clearly display that here we deal with issues on diametrically different planes, the artificial unification of which will lead to a deadlock rather than settlement.

The issue of the settlement of Armenian - Turkish entangled string is not only the task of the improvement of Armenian - Turkish inter-state relations; it is also the matter of the tough and multi-planned relations of the countries and international structures that have already condemned Turkey for the crime of the Genocide of Armenians.

Even in case of great desire Armenia and Turkey can't shoulder the responsibility of dismantling this entangled string. Because the primary attempts of improving Armenian - Turkish relations can be in the sc ope of inter-state dialogues, in conformity with the standards of the 21-century.

The circle of the issues that by now separates the two peoples is far not manifested by the existing conflict, it is more due to the crime and the obstinacy to accept the crime committed 90 years back. In such circumstances the proposal regarding "mutual concessions" is, in reality, the outcome of the political expectations of the third side.

Armenian people that have faced Genocide have already lost all the grounds that could have served as bases for a possible compromise with Turkey. As a result the only thing left to do for Turkey is to take the role of a "defender of Azerbaijan's rights" or not to respond to the accusations of the Genocide in its address. This tactics is very far from being considered as "mutual concession".

In our view the improvement of Armenian - Turkish relations tends to the launch of the future programs.

The issue of overcoming the obstacles that hinders the settlement of Armenian- Azerbaijani relations is quite a different problem, because here we deal with an unsettled territorial issue. At the moment Armenia and Azerbaijan have certain problems, which they have inherited quite recently, and they can solve these problems based on mutual concession.

Here we deal with a clear format of mediating countries - OSCE Minsk group, which has elaborated concrete20proposal of mutual concessions and is waiting for the answer of the two parties.

Consequently the combination of Armenian - Turkish and Armenian -Azerbaijani relations will make unavoidable the maintenance and the "conservation" of the tough entangled string of the world, territorial, inter-state and inter - ethnic relations, which during the recent years didn't allow finding perceptible solutions.

To condition the improvement of Armenian-Turkish relations with finding mutual concessions with Azerbaijan means to breach the only possible "zero-based principle" of Armenian - Turkish dialogue. And vice verse -to condition the finalization of Armenian - Azerbaijani negotiation process with Armenian - Turkish relations means to intensify the territorial conflict already existing in South Caucasus.

In our view the negotiations based on the search of mutual concessions in Karabakh conflict should still be held in the framework of OSCE Minsk Group as for the task of holding negotiations on establishing Armenian-Turkish relations from the starting point, at least temporarily must be demarcated from the entangled string of all the historical, legal and political problems that have been accumulated in Armenian-Turkish relations from the beginning of the previous century.


Review: Ararat: In Search By Frank Westerman Daily Telegraph 12/09/2008 UK
Richard Francis goes in search of the mythical mountain

One of the world's most ancient and widespread stories is of a virtuous and practical boat-builder who enabled life to survive a great flood. The tale is told in the Torah, the Bible, the Koran and the epic of Gilgamesh; its hero is called Noah, or Ziusudra, or a host of other names. One of the places where Noah is believed to have beached his ark is on Ararat.

The mountain has great mythical and religious significance, but also has geological, political and historical identities. There are continental faultlines beneath, perhaps volcanic fires within, and conflicts all around, with Turkey, Russia and Iran jostling for position. Armenian suffering, Kurdish aspirations and Christian-Muslim rivalry boil across the countryside.

Along with the mountain, Ararat also explores the smaller-scale complexities of the Dutch writer Frank Westerman's first 40 years: his childhood and beliefs, his marriage, his parenthood. The life of the writer is refracted through the book's subject.

Westerman can be artful and arch, particularly in the early part of the book. He opens with his own deluge experience, when, as a young boy, he was playing in the middle of a river just as the water level was raised by dam controllers. Annoyingly, he abandons the story in full flood, returning to it some pages later, where we discover that though he was washed along by the surge, his parents, camping nearby, never knew he had been in danger.

Similarly, he strains to make dramatic a blow-out in the oil field where his father worked: "That was the situation in which our little family found itself; no more threatening than that, but no less threatening either." He was too young at the time to remember it. "No one was killed and no one was injured. We were all able to save our cars," said the engineer in charge.

Not much like the great flood, then.

But describing the life he led while writing the book is fair enough. He goes mud walking in the Waddell Shallows, apparently to prepare his muscles for the climb up Ararat, but really to pit himself against the threat of inundation; the experience of being in a vast stretch of water, mud sucking at his legs and safety far in the distance, comes over vividly.

Equally absorbing are accounts of his visits to former school and college teachers, a formidable group that sheds light on his intellectual development and offers reflections on the relationship between science and faith that becomes the book's central concern.

The confrontation with Ararat, when we get to it, is an odd combination of planning and improvisation.

Westerman buys all sorts of gear in the best mountaineering shop in Amsterdam but does not try out his rigid "Category D" boots until he is on the slopes (I picture him waddling like the Tin Man). He negotiates for months with one expedition organiser, then switches to another at the last minute.

Such inconsistencies reflect a curious and rather endearing ambiguity about the nature of the climb: I couldn't work out whether this was proper mountaineering or an adventure holiday.

Plenty of oddballs were on the mountain slopes, mostly ark-seekers "with their moustaches and ill-fitting trousers", the latest in a long line of fundamentalists who contradict their faith, as Westerman points out, by needing proof that Noah really did land somewhere nearby.

The trick, he decides, is to put the stress on "seeker" rather than "ark", thus enabling himself to have something in common with them. This enjoyable book ends in that spirit, just shy of Ararat's summit.


Had We Not Hold Protest Marches They Would Never Understand Us, Gevorg Harutyunyan, Hayots Ashkhar Daily
11 Sep 2008, Armenia

Interview with NA Deputy Speaker, member of ARFD Supreme Body Hrayr Karapetyan

"Mr. Karapetyan in the first week of September Dashnaktsutyun held two massive events: the demonstration on September 2 and the protest march against the visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gyul to Yerevan on September 6. Did these events show any good results?"

"As we have already announced the meeting of September 2 was devoted to the 17th anniversary of Artsakh's independence. That day over again we reconfirmed our demands regarding Artsakh. We particularly took into consideration the developments that took place in the region, the de facto recognition of Abkhazia's and South Osatia's independence.

It was during that rally that we touched upon Gyul's visit and called our people to reconfirm our historic demands.

On September 6 ARFD Armenian Supreme Body organized protest marches on the occasion of Gyul's visit to Yerevan. Over again I must underscore that we don't have anything against establishing diplomatic relations with Turkey. But the relations with Turkey shouldn't harm our state-national interests.

We should have used the chance of this visit to voice our problems, because unlike the civilized world Turkey refutes the fact of Armenian

Genocide. Beside that they condition the establishment of diplomatic relations with Armenia and the lifting of the blockade with our relations with Azerbaijan. It is an unacceptable approach contradicting all the international norms."

"Today some speculate an issue saying that the statements heard during the demonstration contradict the demands of the coalition agreement and are against the ruling power."

"All our demands derive from the interests of our national security.

These clauses are also enshrined in the coalition agreement. The Republic of Armenia officially confirms that the world must recognize NKR's independence and confirms that Artsakh can't be in Azerbaijan. As for the issue of the world's recognition of Armenian Genocide, this issue has always been the priority of our foreign policy. All the ridiculous statements saying that Dashnaktsutyun shouldn't have voiced those issues are illogical. All our steps derive from our national interests.

In this respect the initiatives of the radical opposition are more ridiculous. We really understand their attitude towards Dashnaktsutyun and towards Turkey. It has not changed. We have already tasted their anti-Dashnaktsutyun and pro-Turkish policy during the years of power of Armenian Pan National movement.

But today it is really ridiculous that the activists of Armenian Pan National movement didn't attend the memorial of Genocide on April 24, instead they continued their rallies against the ruling power. But on the occasion of Gyul's visit they postponed all the protest functions.

Had we not hold protest marches against Gyul's visit, the world, even our allies, and those civilized countries that have already recognized the Genocide and even Gyul wouldn't have understood us, because they know that the Genocide has really happened. Even the Turks attended the memorial of the Genocide and put flowers there. They went to the museum of Genocide and were shocked by the terrible facts."

"What conclusions can we draw or what can we expect from Gyul's visit to Yerevan?"

"God willing this visit has good impact on Armenian Turkish relations.

But we accept that each similar meeting is a result of coulisses negotiations. I'm very far from the idea that the two Presidents discussed only the football match. I think there is a much more profound diplomacy under it. I'm also sure our President conditioned all his steps by our national interests.

Today our task is, not to allow Turkey to use this visit as a fact of their being very civilized, in case when they haven't yet recognized Armenian Genocide. Until they do that they can't consider themselves the friend of Armenia, especially because they haven't changed their attitude towards Artsakh issue.


Other Armenian Press Review
`The first period of the Armenia-Turkey game is over on both the soccer pitch and the diplomatic domain. Armenia lost on the ground,' `Yerkir', the official press organ of the nationalist Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), writes. `And what does the future hold in store for Armenia on the diplomatic ground? It is clear that a contest is waiting for us there as well, but God forbid if we play in diplomacy as poorly as we did in soccer.'

`Hraparak' carries an interview with pro-establishment Prosperous Armenia lawmaker Vartan Bostanjian: `The opening of the Armenian-Turkish border will first of all make it possible to ensure an alternative gateway to the outside world, which has a very great importance for the republic today. Besides, an opportunity will be created to have direct trade between the two countries. It will also provide a tremendous stimulus to building an atmosphere of stability and mutual understanding in the region.'

ARF parliament faction leader Vahan Hovannisian tells `Hayots Ashkhar': `The whole meaning of opening the border for us is that Armenia becomes a country with transit routes. But by this way, we get an exit to a market where our products may prove uncompetitive. In this sense, it is very important that the road from Turkey should also continue farther to the east, that there should be a link with [Azerbaijan's exclave] Nakhijevan and Iran towards Central Asia, the Indian Ocean and its littoral states. Otherwise, it will be difficult to consider the problem of Armenia's transport blockade completely solved.' (c) 2008 Radio Free Europe


ARFD: Normalization Of Armenian-Turkish Relations At The Expense Of Our State's Independence And Viability Inadmissible, DeFacto Agency, Sept 11 2008, Armenia
YEREVAN, 11.09.08. DE FACTO. An extraordinary plenary sitting of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutyun - Bureau was held in Yerevan on September 9-10. The main topics of the discussion are a complicated military and political situation created in our region and Armenian-Turkish relations.

According to the ARFD Press Office, "discussing inner and outer challenges Armenia has faced ARFD Bureau plenary sitting has considered it necessary to call the public's attention to ARFD's some principal approaches in the issue referring to interstate Armenian-Turkish relations: a) As neighboring states, Armenia and Turkey should make efforts to normalize interrelation. However, we are convinced that good-neighborly relations can be established only with Turkey's recognition of Armenian Genocide and the restoration of Armenian nation's rights. Liquidation of a blockade without preconditions and establishment of diplomatic relations can become just first steps on the way.

b) Initiative undertaken by President of the Republic of Armenia, meetings of Presidents and FMs should be followed by certain positive steps on Turkey's part. ARF Dashnaktsutyun will actively see to it that official meetings do not represent purely propaganda possibilities for Turkey.

c) ARFD considers normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations at the expense of our state's independence and viability and generations' national and state rights quite inadmissible.

d) Turkey can claim regional initiative if it crucially changes its policy regarding Armenia. It should not be partial in Artsakh issue and should not speak with Armenia on the language of preconditions, as well as should deny policy of deepening separating lines, blockade and isolation in South Caucasus.

e) Since 1998 Armenia has been pursuing foreign policy basing on the national and state ideology, one of strategic directions of which is general (in part, from Turkey's side) recognition and condemnation of Armenian Genocide. Armenia does not consider it from the viewpoint of historical justice's recognition only, but also in the context of improving atmosphere of mutual trust in the region and prevention from such crimes in the future.


ANCA Calls On Congress To Look At Turkey's True Intention And Real-World Actions
-- Alerts House and Senate to Post-Soccer Match Prosecution under Article 301
WASHINGTON, DC - The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today called the attention of Members of Congress to statements and actions by Turkish leaders following the September 6th "soccer-diplomacy" match in Yerevan that directly undermine the prospects of moving toward an enduring Armenia-Turkey peace based on truth and justice.

Attached to each "ANCA Memo to the Hill" was a copy of the two-page September 4th ANCA letter circulated to Members of the House and Senate outlining the Armenian American community's hopes, concerns, and reservations regarding Turkey's approach to this matter.

Among its points, the ANCA Memo spotlighted Turkey's post-soccer match prosecution of noted Turkish writer Temel Demirer, who had condemned the 2007 assassination of the Armenian-Turkish editor Hrant Dink because of his statements recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Demirer's lawyer called to Turkey's promises to improve human rights "fairy tales."

To read more about the Demirer prosecution, visit:
http://bianet.org/english/kategori/english/109616/ministry-of-justice-gives-permission-for-trial-of-writer-demirer-under-article-301

The full text of the ANCA memo to Congressional offices is provided below.
#####
To: Members of Congress
Attn: Foreign Affairs Legislative Aide
From: Aram Hamparian, Executive Director
Date: September 12, 2008

RE: Looking at Turkey's real intentions

In a troubling September 10th Associated Press article, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan revealed Turkey's expectation that Turkish President Abdullah Gul's acceptance of Armenian President Serj Sarkisyan's invitation to Armenia to watch a soccer match will serve Turkey's long-standing policy to deny the Armenian Genocide.

In the days since this soccer match, we have seen Turkey move in exactly the wrong direction, showing through its own actions that, unfortunately, its leaders view this visit as a photo opportunity to relieve the growing international pressure it is under to recognize the Armenian Genocide, rather than as a true opportunity to work with the Armenian people toward an enduring peace based on truth and justice.

Here are the facts:

1) A new crackdown on discussion of the Armenian Genocide

Turkey has not only kept in place Article 301 of its criminal code - which criminalizes any discussion of the Armenian Genocide - but has, this week, actually pressed forward with a new, high-profile prosecution under this undemocratic law.

Turkey's Justice Minister, Mehmet Ali Salin, just approved the prosecution, under Article 301, of a noted Turkish writer Temel Demirer for condemning the 2007 assassination of the Armenian-Turkish editor Hrant Dink because of his statements recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

Demirer's lawyer stated with dismay:

"We were expecting this decision. With this decision, they have just proven that their promises regarding . . . human rights are all fairytales. On the one hand, they go to Armenia to watch a game, on the other hand they are filing cases under article 301."

2) Refusal to honor new U.S. requests to lift its blockade

Despite repeated U.S. demands that Turkey lift its over 15-year-old, illegal blockade of landlocked Armenia, most recently articulated by Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on September 9th, Turkey has not taken any steps to end this clear violation of international law.

3) Continued outright denial of the Armenian Genocide

As recently as September 10th, the Turkish Embassy's website continues to host pages describing Armenian "allegations" regarding the "so-called" Armenian Genocide as a "myth."


Turkish-Armenian Relations: Will Football Diplomacy Work?, 11 September 2008 Bülent Aras & Fatih Özbay
The Georgian-Russian crisis, the political and economic alienation of Armenia in the Caucasus, Turkey's new project to establish the Caucasus Stability Platform, and the Turkish and Armenian administrations' willingness to normalize relations have created a suitable atmosphere in which to put an end to the problems between Turkey and Armenia. Turkish President Abdullah Gul accepted the invitation of his counterpart, Armenian President Serge Sarkisian, to watch the World Cupqualifying football match between Turkey and Armenia in Yerevan. This visit was considered an important symbolic move. It will be a matter of time to see whether this 'football diplomacy' will pave the way for the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia.

In a historic gesture, Armenian President Serge Sarkisian recently invited Turkish President Abdullah Gul to watch the World Cup qualifying football match between the national teams of the two countries. This invitation came amid hopes for a breakthrough in relations between Turkey and Armenia. And President Gul did in fact go to Armenia to watch the football match as a goodwill gesture on 6 September 2008. Diplomatic history suggests that détente and the development of relations between countries may come through sports events. The most famous form is known 'ping-pong diplomacy' which paved the way for a détente between the U.S. and China during the Cold War era, following China's invitation of the U.S. table tennis team to Beijing for a series of exhibition matches in 1971.

Although Sarkisian's invitation was extended to Gul before the recent conflict in Georgia, the move was nonetheless regarded as an important step toward normalizing relations in its aftermath. It would be an exaggeration to regard the football match as a historical turning point. However, it will certainly have a symbolic influence on attempts to normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey. Interestingly, it is a little known fact that Armenian football teams have for some time organized their preparation camps in Antalya. They have not encountered any difficulties. The football match and Turkey's Caucasian initiative have brought Turkish-Armenian relations to the political agenda of the two countries and created renewed hope for the normalization of relations both within Turkey and Armenia and in international circles. Turkish-Armenian relations are shaped by the wider framework of Turkey's Caucasian policy and the binding impact of the Armenian Diaspora. Armenia is a landlocked mountainous country in Southern Caucasus, with a population of 3.3 million and an area of roughly 30.000 square kilometers. It is bordered on the north and south east by Georgia and Iran, and on the east and west by Azerbaijan and Turkey. Ankara's relations with Yerevan have struggled with the same problem of normalization since its recognition of Armenia. Turkey seems more active in seeking a solution for the problems between the two countries while Armenia has historically pursued a consistently uncooperative attitude in this problematic relationship. Turkey recognized Armenia earlier than many states, and invited Armenia to join the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization as a founding member in 1993 despite the fact that Armenia has no shore on the Black Sea. Turkey provided energy to Armenia when it faced serious energy shortages in the 1990s. Turkey also donated one hundred thousand tons of wheat to Armenia during those years, despite the negative image of Armenia in Turkey. Yerevan-Istanbul flights are operational despite the closure of the land borders. Turkey also tolerates thousands of illegal Armenian workers in Turkey. Moreover, Turkish authorities have renovated several Armenian cultural and artistic artifacts in different places in Turkey.

In contrast, Armenia constantly voices allegations of genocide in every possible international forum and aims to corner Turkey with genocide blame in international circles. The Armenian parliament referred to Turkey's eastern provinces as "western Armenia" in its declaration of independence dated 23 August 1990. This declaration also calls international society to recognize Armenia's genocide allegations. The Yerevan administration does not recognize the Gumru and Kars Agreements that established the Turkish-Armenian border in 1920 and 1921 respectively.

One major factor preventing the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia is Turkey's relations with Azerbaijan. Armenia occupies one fifth of Azerbaijani territory and ignores the UN Security Council decisions against the occupation. Ankara has close ties to Baku, and benefits from energy cooperation deals; Azerbaijan thus closely follows developments in relations between Armenia and Turkey. Azerbaijan is Turkey's major partner in the region and will continue to be the most important country for Turkey to take into consideration. For its part, the Armenian state considers Turkey and Azerbaijan as serious threats to its national security and territorial integrity. The Armenian administration therefore pursues a balancing policy through the maintenance of close relations with Russia and Iran. Russian soldiers provide security for Armenian borders, and Russia has military bases in Armenia. Russia is a strategic partner and protector against potential Azerbaijani and Turkish aggression in the eyes of the Armenian administration. Armenia's balancing policy has remained a major tenet of its foreign policy in the post-independence period. A fear of encirclement lurks in the background of Armenia's domestic politics and foreign policy. The immediate effect of this fear is an inward-oriented domestic policy and an insecure foreign policy line. Armenia has problems with all of its neighbors except Iran. Energy supply lines and new transportation networks have excluded Armenia while generating considerable amounts of foreign income for Azerbaijan as an energy-rich country and for Georgia and Turkey as the hosts of pipelines extending to world markets. Armenia's difficulties with Georgia stem from the former's close ties to Russia; its clashes with Azerbaijan stem from the occupation and the Karabakh question; and its relations with Turkey are uneasy due to territorial demands and genocide allegations. In addition to this tense regional situation, Armenia also feels the effects of an instable domestic political environment, economic difficulties, and a rising level of unemployment. Armenian foreign trade is overwhelmingly dependent on Georgian ports; the recent bombing of Georgia's Poti Port by Russia during the August crisis will worsen the economic situation. Armenia thus feels an urgent need to reconsider its regional relations; Armenia's economic and political alienation in the region creates an impetus to normalize its relations with Turkey.

The Russian-Georgian crisis will likely have a devastating impact on the already deteriorating Armenian economy. It will also complicate Armenia's problems with regional countries. From an international perspective, the geopolitical necessity of normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations is to loosen the Russian-Armenian-Iran axis, and even, if possible, to pull Armenia from this axis altogether. Although improving Turkish-Armenian relations would be certain to decrease Russian influence in Armenia, the region-wide dialogue among countries for regional stability and security need not aggravate Russia and Iran. Turkey's fresh approach of including both Azerbaijan and Armenia in regional peace efforts may end the Cold War style binary oppositions in the region. And the Armenian administration recognizes the need to put an end to the inimical patterns that create cycles of violence in the region. Although Turkey and Armenia do not have diplomatic relations, behind-the-scene diplomacy continues between both sides. Groups within the two states approve or oppose to these secret talks. Turkey's response to Iran's mediation offer, i.e. that "we already talk to Armenia," uncovered the hidden diplomacy. In the wake of the Georgia-Russia crisis, moreover, Ankara treamlined a multilateral diplomatic initiative, declaring that it wants Armenia to join the new project: the Caucasian Stability and Cooperation Platform. Turkey's attitude shows that Ankara has an inclusionary approach toward Armenia in the regional context. To date, the Armenian administration has responded positively to the offer, and has indicated that it considers it a constructive attempt.

However, there is not much change in the Armenian attitude overall. The only tangible change is the mild tone of President Sarkisian, which contrasts with the inflexible and harsh attitude of former President Petrosyan, and Sarkisian's expression of goodwill in regard to several issues. Time will tell whether this rhetorical change will bring to bear any positive influence on the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. Turkey pursues a multi-dimensional foreign policy toward the Caucasian region and endeavors to utilize any opportunities that arise to include Armenia in regional cooperation projects. It is doubtful, however, whether such an approach alone will solve the direct problems between Turkey and Armenia. Armenian and Turkish publics harbor mixed feelings toward President Gul's visit to Armenia and toward normalization of relations in general. The Armenian opposition favors normalization, while the Armenian Tasnaksutyun Party opposes any rapprochement. The latter party has strong economic and political links with the Armenian Diaspora and acts as a strong anti-Turkish group in Armenia. In Turkey, the major opposition parties, i.e. the Republican People's Party and the Nationalist Action Party, both criticized President Gul's visit to Armenia. Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan backed President Gul's visit, considering it a constructive step toward normalization of relations. The Azerbaijani government refrains from commenting on Turkish-Armenian relations, although some weak voices express hope that Turkey's developing relations with Armenia may serve as a prelude for freeing Azeri territories under occupation. At the same time, there is strong criticism among the Azerbaijani opposition against any progress in Turkish-Armenian relations. Turkey's moves for normalizing relations were faced with the Armenian responses calling for "talks without any precondition" and "opening borders." While the Armenian administration opposed any precondition, it also called upon Turkey not to emphasize the occupied territories, to forget about the Karabakh issue and to accept the genocide allegations. However, it is the Armenian side that desperately needs the border to open. Now that Armenia has recognized this urgent need and adopted a milder attitude, there may be chance to build trust, in particular through economic and societal relations. There will be substantial benefits on both sides of the long-sealed border in the event of normalization.

Policy Recommendations
The recent Russia-Georgia crisis has shown regional countries the importance of peace and stability. The regional status quo should change, and the new regional order should be based on a novel rhetoric and practice of economic interdependence, political cooperation, regional stability and prosperity. Turkish-Armenian rapprochement would be a necessary step toward this new regional order. The following points may help to expedite the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia.

1. The Armenian Diaspora and Armenia should be treated differently. There is more room to maneuver with Armenia, while the Diaspora is focused on genocide allegations. Moreover, Armenian interests differ from the Diaspora's priorities and Armenia needs to normalize relations with Turkey to prosper economically. Careful diplomacy is needed in order to limit the Diaspora's influence on the bilateral relations. It will be wise to postpone resolution of the genocide issue so that other immediate problems impeding a rapprochement can be addressed. There is an absolute need to put history and emotions aside for some time, especially at a time when Realpolitik forces the two countries to cooperate in the interest of regional peace and security.

2. Turkey's policy toward Armenia is to a large extent based on countering the genocide allegations and isolating Yerevan in the regional context. This defensive line should be replaced with a proactive one that confidently states what Turkey expects Armenia to do for normalization. The first demand may be Armenia's recognition of Turkey's territorial integrity borders, which will prepare the ground for opening the border.

3. Russia and Iran are key countries with an interest in Turkish-Armenian rapprochement. Their indirect support could serve to accelerate the normalization process. Turkey's ability to follow an inclusive approach may prevent any concern in Tehran and Moscow regarding normalization. Turkey and Armenia need to be on the same side to secure the ground for
peace and stability in the Caucasus. Turkish policymakers should therefore pursue a multidimensional approach to persuade Iran and Russia that a rapprochement will not threaten Iranian and Russian interests. Rather, both stand to reap the benefits of regional peace and stability.

4. The normalization of relations with Armenia would strengthen Turkey's regional profile in the Caucasus, and could open the way for new mediator and facilitator positions for Turkey in several Caucasian conflicts and problems. The Minsk initiative and UN-based attempts did not produce any result in the quest to solve the Karabakh question. Such attempts are not
likely to solve other problems either. There is thus a need for initiatives from within the region. Turkey's Caucasian initiative would be a likely starter.

5. Turkey should strengthen its inclusionary approach toward Armenia in the regional context. This change of attitude would force Armenia to drop its preconditions for normalizing relations, while strengthening Turkey's policy of zero-problems with its neighbors.

6. Turkey's moves toward normalization will generate support from the European Union, the U.S. and the international community. This support should also be used to facilitate a change in Armenia to respect Turkish borders. The U.S. and European administrations need to re-evaluate the Diaspora's policies, which have the effect of disengaging Armenia from geopolitical reality in its region, through utilization of American and European sources. Such a policy of isolationism only strengthens Russian influence in the region. This situation may not be exactly what the U.S. and European administrations envision to see in the aftermath of the Georgian crisis.

7. Turkey should spend more energy on establishing a joint commission of historians to undertake an objective and scientific study of the genocide allegations. The Armenian Diaspora and the Tasnaksutyun Party oppose this idea on the ground that it would amount to questioning the authenticity of genocide allegations. However, it may be easier to persuade the Armenian administration for the utility of such an initiative.

8. Ankara needs to make sure that it pays attention to Azerbaijani concerns while developing relations with Armenia. The only way to wield any influence on Armenia is to keep a dialogue channel open. It would be unfair to urge Turkey to close the doors to Armenia, while Azerbaijani leaders are pursuing diplomatic activity with the Armenian government. Turkish
policymakers should continue to underline the need for Armenia to put an end to its occupation of Azerbaijani territories in the interest of regional peace and stability.

9. There is an urgent need for a region-wide initiative for civil society dialogue. Inter-governmental measures may fail without strong support for peace and dialogue from the societal level. Turkish-Armenian civil society dialogue should be encouraged and supported. Even a touristic visit to Yerevan may show that the genocide issue is not central to the lives of Armenians. The years-long gap between the two neighbors may be bridged through civil society activities.

Isik University, Istanbul, abulent@isikun.edu.tr
?? Bilgesam, Istanbul, ozbayfatih@yahoo.com
http://www.worldbulletin.net


Ossetia War: Lessons For Armenia, Emil Sanamyan, "Noravank" Foundation, 11 September 2008
Within hours the long-running stand-off between Georgia and Russia-backed South Ossetia became a full-blown war causing hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries, primarily among Ossetians but also among the now-decimated Georgian army.

The fighting took place less than 100 miles from Armenia and had an immediate impact on it. Above all, it exposed the security vacuum in the region, of which Armenia is also a part.

Is Armenia ready for a repetition of a similar scenario in Karabakh?

Immediate consequences of Ossetia fighting Half the world away -on the other end of Asia - most of the world leaders, including President George Bush and Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, gathered for the opening of the Olympic Games. As they sat in the VIP seats of the Beijing stadium, Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili, longtouted as Mr. Bush's foreign policy "success story" and a thorn in Mr. Putin's side, threw most of his U.S.-trained army into a savage attack on South Ossetia.

That happened just hours after the Georgian leader, in a televised address, promised to cease shelling of the Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, which was surrounded on nearly all sides by Georgian military positions. As events unfolded, it became clear that the Georgian operation was planned in advance, but its planners had failed to anticipate what came next.

Russia intervened within hours and on a massive scale. Had it not been for that intervention, which resulted in a defeat of the "NATO standard" Georgian army within 48 hours, and subsequent Western diplomacy to check Russian military moves within Georgia, large-scale fighting might well have claimed even more lives.

Nevertheless, the three days of shelling and shooting resulted in nearly a wholesale destruction of Tskhinvali - a town about the size of Stepanakert - and displacement of close to 100,000 people, both Ossetians and Georgians.

The rapid pace of these events, the human toll involved, the apparent shifts in the regional balance of forces and, above all, Armenians' security predicament in Nagorno-Karabakh necessitate an urgent review of Yerevan's policies.

Lesson 1: Ethnic hatreds and advanced weapons make for a deadly mix Mr. Saakashvili studied in some of the best schools in Europe and the United States. He has made it clear that he wants Georgia to be part of Europe.

Georgia has already adopted the European Union flag. While his record on corruption and democracy in Georgia is checkered, under the Saakashvili presidency, Georgia has made obvious progress.

None of this stopped the Georgian president from launching a massive indiscriminate bombardment of South Ossetia and an attempt to wipe out both it s small self-defense forces and, effectively, the fewer than 70,000 ethnic Ossetians living in the area.

Now let's look at Azerbaijan. It has much more money and more deadly firepower than Georgia did before this week. Azerbaijan's ruling family does not care much for promoting democratic facades or currying Western favor, and it has repeatedly for years threatened to attack Armenia (including the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic).

This combination of capability and stated intent creates an immediate present danger to Armenian lives and must be appreciated more seriously and addressed more effectively than has happened to date both in Armenia and the diaspora.

The quick and devastating defeat of a country that, like Azerbaijan, sought to "restore its territorial integrity," or more accurately avenge old grievances through fresh violence only to bring new humiliation upon itself, should serve as a cold shower for Azerbaijan.

But Armenians cannot rely on President Ilham Aliyev's rational cost-benefit calculation. The risks are just too high. Considering the levels of anti-Armenian rhetoric - which are beyond anything Georgia's leaders have ever employed vis-a-vis Ossetians, Abkhaz, or Russians -Mr. Aliyev or, to borrow from the words of the Russian president, another "lunatic" Azerbaijani leader may feel the "need to shed [Armenian] blood" overwhelm other cares he or she might have.

The threat is real and must be addressed.

Lesson 2: Crisis preparations are necessary before a crisis arrives Still, most Armenians - and this is especially true for the diaspora and Yerevan - live in a blissful ignorance of threats their homeland and their lives are facing.

Even among professional individuals whose job it is to protect Armenia and neutralize its enemies, one frequently observes the attitude that Azerbaijan either "doesn't have the balls," "doesn't have the army," "won't risk losing oil," or "the United States and Russia won't stand for it."

After the Georgian attack on Ossetia, the Armenian government needs to answer a number of key questions.

Does it consider losing hundreds, if not thousands of civilians within a matter of hours, an acceptable risk? Azerbaijan today has the capability to cause such destruction.

What is it doing to stop the flow of weapon systems to Azerbaijan -particularly the type of weapons that can cause such devastating harm? Like Georgia, Azerbaijan gets most of its weapons, including the more deadly ones, from one state - another Western darling, Ukraine. What has Armenia done to try to stop and reverse this process?

Has the Armenian government made it clear to Azerbaijan that it would too pay a disproportionate price for causing Armenian civilian deaths? 0D How has that been demonstrated?

What has the Armenian government done to prepare its population for a possible attack?

Do Armenians sitting in Yerevan cafés, chewing sunflower seeds at opposition rallies, or watching television in their homes know the location of the nearest bomb shelter?

When were Armenian reservists last gathered on any significant scale? When were they last trained or tested? Do they know where to report in case of war?

Crisis requires more than planning for immediate security and military operations. Considering the rapid nature of warfare today, once again demonstrated in Ossetia, and the role public opinion plays in shaping policy, preparations for crisis management must include a strong media component.

Are Armenian-Americans ready for such a crisis?

Lesson 3: External guarantees carry unacceptable risks The main reason Georgians thought they could attack Ossetia with impunity is because as part of the peace agreement the parties signed after their brief 1991-92 war, Ossetians had to yield firing positions they captured from Georgians to Russian peacekeepers.

Before the August 8 Georgian assault, Russian peacekeepers repeatedly failed to address recurring violations by Georgia of its agreements and provide for the security of the Ossetian population. As a result, even if Russia intervened faster than anticipated, Ossetian civilians bore the brunt of human casualties and material losses,=2 0with their community devastated.

Armenia too experienced "peacekeeping" of Soviet Russian forces when they were sent to "protect" the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the late 1980s. By 1991, on orders from Moscow, went as far as to help Azerbaijan expel Armenians from parts of Karabakh.

But this is not a Russia-specific problem.

Too many United Nations peacekeeping operations in recent years -from Croatia and Rwanda in the mid-1990s, to more recent NATO policing in Kosovo and African Union operations in Sudan have failed in their stated effort to protect populations whose lives are threatened.

The reality is the peacekeepers and the countries that dispatch them care more about their own security than a foreign country they have pledged to protect.

Armenians are fortunate that foreign peacekeepers were never introduced after the Karabakh war ended in 1994. Combat capabilities of the Armenian Armed Forces along with the territories they currently hold in and around Nagorno Karabakh form two basic foundations of Armenian security.

Lesson 4: The "peace process" must be about strengthening peace and preventing war Exchanging territories under Armenian control for promises of foreign protection without a clear and unambiguous resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijan dispute carries deadly risks for Armenians.

But, with the possible exception of the 2001 Key West deal, this is exactl y what mediators have proposed throughout the conflict mediation efforts that followed the 1994 cease-fire.

This clear and unambiguous document must establish a new border between the two countries and a transparent process of disarmament and demilitarization.

Clearly at this time Azerbaijan is not ready for such a resolution and would rather protract the status quo. But, under such circumstances, neither should it receive any of the territories now under Armenian control.

In fact, in recent years, in addition to a refusal to talk peace seriously, Azerbaijan has been following a policy of provocations and testing Armenian positions along the Line of Contact, just as Georgia had in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The central focus of Armenia's foreign policy should not be the endless search for a "mutually acceptable" settlement with Azerbaijan, but urgent measures to prevent a repetition of the Ossetia events, only on a more devastating scale between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

This must include strengthening of the cease-fire with Azerbaijan through an expansion of the unarmed international monitoring mission; enforcement of the 1995 agreement on preventing violations of the ceasefire; Azerbaijani pull-out from the no-man's lands it occupied in recent years dangerously nearing Armenian defense lines; and development of an agreement on the peaceful settlement of the conflict that would include specific disarmament clauses.

As Russia's retired Ambassador Vladimir Kazimirov has warned repeatedly, and most recently just three months ago at a conference in Stepanakert, an Armenian campaign for peace, involving the elements listed, is urgently needed.

Lesson 5: The regional balance of forces has shifted After years of confused and contradictory policies and an often simply disinterested attitude toward the Caucasus, Russia is back with guns blazing. This is not a Soviet monster, but a new country that very much is trying to be a copycat of the United States, at least in its foreign policy.

Russian propaganda about Ossetia in recent weeks would remind American viewers of what they saw on the eve of and during the Iraq war, including references to humanitarian causes and legal grounding for the intervention, and demonization of the opponent's leadership.

In another sign of increased sophistication, Russian armed forces in their Georgia operations have succeeded in limiting the "collateral damage" the air strikes inevitably cause.

The Russian command even accommodated the request of the local officials in the town of Poti, and instead of air strikes on the U.S.-and European-equipped Georgian navy, Russian military men arrived in person to dynamite and sink Georgian naval vessels at sea at a safe distance away from the port.

Even more impressive was Russia's ability to deceive Mr. Saakashvili and his U.S. supporters. The apparent trap Russia set for the Georgian army in Ossetia followed by a wholesale dismantlement of the Georgian military - for which the United States spent a billion dollars or more since 2001 - showed the Russian leadership's new-found ability to fuse its resource-driven enrichment with inherited intellectual capacities into an effective conduct of war.

Signs that the United States is losing its "unipolar moment," as some U.S. commentators have described America's dominance in world affairs since the collapse of the USSR, have been there for some time.

After becoming bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush Administration has so far failed to achieve its goal of confronting Iran effectively.

Iran's neighbors, even the two occupied by the United States, have publicly declined involvement in anti-Iranian policies.

And earlier this year even Israel has for the first time began direct contacts with Iranbacked Hezbollah in Lebanon and, through Turkey's mediation, resumed talks with Syria.

And this week Turkey, a longtime, but by now apparently former U.S. ally, reportedly declined access to U.S. naval vessels into the Black Sea to deliver aid to Georgia.

Armenia has benefited greatly from its relations with the United States.

But America's contribution to Georgia's assault on Ossetia raises troubling questions. In fact, as the Ossetians were being=2 0devastated on the night of August 8, Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried accused them of "provoking" the Georgian aggression and to this day there has been no clear American condemnation of the Georgian action.

The major lesson of Ossetia war is that Russia, Armenia's strategic partner, is capable of conducting destructive military operations against a purported U.S. ally in the Caucasus, and U.S. is powerless to stop Russia.

Armenia's relationship with Russia has been longer and, on the balance, may be even more positive than with the U.S. But Armenia is also troubled that Russia is now essentially dismantling the Georgian state - one of Armenia's two oldest and friendliest neighbors.

In these unfortunate circumstances, Armenia should try to contribute to normalization of Russian-Georgian relations by all possible means. But more importantly it should act on lessons learned from this crisis to safeguard Armenians.


WLIW To Broadcast Armenian Films Wednesday, September 17, at 8 pm, PBS station WLIW (Channel 21 in New York metro area) will re-broadcast two films: "The Armenian Genocide" followed by "The Armenian Americans." The director of the films, Andrew Goldberg will be in the studio. The New York Times described "The Armenian Genocide" film as "powerful" and a fitting honor for "the victims of the Armenian genocide and also pays tribute to dissidents in Turkey who are brave enough to speak out despite government censorship."


Dr. Der Yeghiayan To Lecture On Historic Armenia & Cilicia, October 12,2008 at 6:00 P.M., Dr. Garbis Der Yeghiayan,

President of Mashdots College, will present a lecture titled, `Embracing the Land of Our Ancestors: The Presence of the Past'. The power-point presentation,organized by the Holy Trinity Armenian Church of North Hollywood, will cover the following historic Armenian cities and villages in Cilicia, Cappadocia and Western Armenia: Adana, Mersin, Iskenderoun, Sis, Kerkhan, Beylan, Darson, Aintab, Marash, Zeitoun, Hadjen, Evereg, Guessaria, Talas, Tomarza, Urgup, Bogazlyan, Gurin, Malatia, Kharpert, Mush, Erzurum, Arapgir, Agn, Shabin Karahisar, Tamzara, Ordou, Drabizon, Rize, Hamshen, Hopa, Artvin, Ardahan, Kars, Ani, Igdir, Bayazid, Mt. Ararat, Van-Akhtamar, Bitlis, Sassoun, Dikranagerd-Diyarbekir,Mardin, Severeg, Ourfa, Antioch, Mousa Ler, as well as Bolis-Istanbul.

Mashdots College organizes annual pilgrimages to Historic Armenia. In July, 2008, forty Armenians from the United States and other Diaspora communities joined Dr. Der Yeghiayan by experiencing `stunning moments with history'. The 1 7-day pilgrimage offered the participants an unprecedented opportunity to better understand and appreciate the centuries-old heritage of the Armenianpeople, and to observe firsthand the unparalleled accomplishments of our martyred ancestors and the immense sacrifices endured by the survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

The event is open to the public and will take place at the Holy Trinity Armenian Church, 11960 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood, California. Church Office at (818) 761-9738 or Mashdots Collegeat (818) 548-9345.


Dashnaks Urge Turkey To Change "Armenia Policy", ArmInfo Sept 10 2008
Yerevan, 10 September: The board of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutyun [ARFD] held an emergency plenary session today. The ARFD has made a statement on the results of the session.

According to the ARFD statement received by Arminfo, the situation in the South Caucasus region and Armenian-Turkish relations were discussed at the session. The statement notes that Armenia and Turkey, which are neighbours, should make efforts to normalize bilateral relations. "However, we are sure that relations can be established only after the recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey and the restoration of the Armenian people's right," the statement says.

The statement also notes that the ARFD considers that the development of relations with Turkey is absolutely unacceptable at the expense of violations of the Armenian statehood and the national-state rights of a generation. Turkey can count on the participation in regional initiatives, if it changes its "Armenia policy". Turkey should not act as a side to the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict or set conditions to Armenia but should give up its policy of separating lines in the South Caucasus region.

Armenia has been pursuing a foreign policy based on national-state values since 1998 and one of its strategic directions is to universally recognize the Armenian genocide. Armenia views this issue not only as the restoration of the historical truth, but also in the context of establishing an atmosphere of confidence in the region and preventing similar crimes in the future, the statement says.


In The Genocide Museum, Hayots Ashkhar Daily, 10 Sep 2008, Armenia
During the recent days, more than 300 citizens of Turkey have visited the Genocide Museum.

As mentioned by Hayk Demoyan, Head of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institution, there have been students, representatives of different organizations and sports fans among the Turkish visitors who have come to Armenia for watching the football match between the national representative teams.

H. Demoyan says that these people visit the museum out of curiosity and express different attitudes including both a feeling of sorrow and repentance and a refusal to admit the facts seriously. Some of them even avoided watching all the exhibits, being psychologically unprepared for that, while others avoided meeting with the Turkish media.


ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Press Office, http://www.arf.am Yerevan, 10 September 2008
Statement
The Bureau of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun held a special plenary session in Yerevan on September 9-10.

The main issues on the agenda were the complicated military and political situation created in the region and Armenian-Turkish relations.

After thoroughly discussing the internal and external challenges facing Armenia, the plenary session of the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Bureau considered it necessary to draw the public's attention to several of the ARF's fundamental positions regarding Armenian-Turkish interstate relations.

a) Armenia and Turkey, as neighboring states, must work toward the normalization of bilateral relations. However, we are convinced that good neighborly relations can only be established after the recognition by Turkey of the Armenian Genocide and the restoration of the rights of the Armenian people. The unconditional lifting of the blockade and the establishment of diplomatic relations can only serve as first steps on this path.

b) The initiative of the President of the Republic of Armenia and the subsequent meetings of the Presidents and Ministers of Foreign Affairs must be followed by concrete positive steps by Turkey. The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun will actively strive to ensure that official meetings do not become merely propaganda opportunities for Turkey.

c) It is totally unacceptable for the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun that Armenian-Turkish relations be normalized at the expense of Armenia's sovereignty, viability of its existence, or the national and state rights of future Armenian generations.

d) Turkey can aspire to promote regional initiatives if it radically changes its "Armenian policy." Turkey must not be party in the Artsakh conflict; it should not talk to Armenia with preconditions, and must relinquish its policy of deepening the divisions in the South Caucasus, of blockading and isolating Armenia.

e) Since 1998 Armenia is pursuing a foreign policy based on national-state ideology, one strategic direction of which is the universal recognition and condemnation, including by Turkey, of the Armenian Genocide. Armenia views this not only as a restoration of historical justice, but also as a way to improve the overall situation and mutual trust in the region, thus preventing similar crimes in the future.

The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun has considered and considers the continuation of this direction one of its fundamental tasks.


From History To Realpolitik In Armenian-Turkish Relations, Ibrahim Kalin todayszaman.com
BBC: A "Landmark Visit To Armenia." CNN : "Football Diplomacy." Sarkozy Applauded The Visit As "Courageous And Historic."

Back home, President Abdullah Gül was criticized for going too soft on the Armenian issue. No matter how one describes it, Gül's visit to Yerevan last week, the first of its kind, could be the beginning of a new era in Turkish-Armenian relations.

The Russian-Georgian war once more revealed the fragile nature of the Caucasus region. While the Western bloc and Russia battle over their spheres of influence in the world system, Turkish-Armenian relations have become critical again. While Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Armenia in 1991 after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the two countries have had no diplomatic relations since then. In addition to the baseless Armenian genocide claims, Armenia invaded about 20 percent of Azerbaijan in 1993, and this led to the closure of the Turkish-Armenian border soon after. Now, landlocked Armenia is stuck with a small population and a smaller economy. If Armenia wants to prosper, it has to review its geo-strategic and geopolitical priorities.

A new geo-strategic approach to the region means opening new lines of communication with Turkey and Azerbaijan. Improving relations with Turkey, the largest economy of the region besides Russia, would benefit Armenia more than Turkey. Armenia has a chance to become part of the world's largest energy corridors. But it cannot claim its share unless and until it adopts a more rational policy toward its two neighbors: Turkey and Azerbaijan. (For more on this, see the new SETA brief on Gul's visit at www.setav.org.)

A new geopolitical approach means reviewing Yerevan's global priorities. Armenia is in a delicate situation: On the one hand, it has very close ties to Russia. In some ways, Russia uses Armenia as a little outpost in the Caucasus. On the other hand, the Armenian diaspora has a palpable presence and influence in the US. The paradox is that the American-Armenian community refuses to have any relationship with Turkey, a NATO member and a strategic ally of the US. They accuse Turkey of denying the "Armenian holocaust." They think pressuring Turkey on genocide claims will give them some leeway. Well, this is simply bad logic. Turks and Armenians are too alike -- they will not give in to psychological pressure.

Last week, I had a chance to sit down with Professor Vamik Volkan in Washington, D.C. Volkan is the number one world expert in political psychology and has done work on many hotspots and troubled areas around the world. He agrees that it is time to move from history and emotions to realpolitik in the Turkish-Armenian relations. Volkan hailed President Gül's visit as a courageous and timely step. He added that high-level talks with a strategic outlook can bring about a breakthrough. "We need a new key to sort out some of these problems," he said. The new key Volkan speaks about is buried not in history but in the realpolitik of today.

In the short term, no breakthroughs should be expected in the Armenian genocide claims or in the Armenian invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh. What may happen, though, is that some of the psychological barriers can be removed and some strategic talk can begin. This is something Yerevan appreciates more than the Armenian diaspora. As in other diasporas, the Armenian diaspora communities are more adamant about genocide claims than the home country, Armenia. The issue is not simply about the checkered relationship between the two countries. It is also about the "genocide business" and the fact that the Armenian diaspora finds a unifying cause in it.

Turkey and Armenia stand to gain from developing a regional perspective. Just as President Gül accepted the invitation from his Armenian counterpart, Yerevan should accept Turkey's gesture to start a new period. Regional stability, security, economic cooperation, cultural interaction and diplomatic relations can set the Turkish-Armenian relations on a new course. And it should. Turkey should separate Yerevan from the selfish priorities of the Armenian diaspora. It should follow a proactive policy and move toward opening the border between the two countries and give real people, not just the elites, a chance to work and live together. The Caucasus crisis presents daunting challenges. But it may prove to be an opportunity for Turks and Armenians to start on a new page in the current maelstrom of international relations. 11.09.2008


A Tip Of The Hat To Peacemakers September 11, 2008
The news business, so addicted to conflict, often overlooks stories of countries putting the past behind them. But lately, anyone who searches for "reconciliation" on Google News might be surprised. Many a hatchet is being buried.

One example is last week's fence-mending visit to Libya by Condoleezza Rice. She was the first US secretary of State in more than a half century to set foot in the "rogue" North African state, which was bombed by the US in 1986.

While her Tripoli trip was not a Nixon-to-China moment, it does reflect a key decision by Libya's Muammar Qaddafi – after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq – to give up chemical weapons, end a nuclear-bomb project, and pay the families of victims in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. And his move helps end international sanctions on his people.

Another diplomatic trip that requires two countries to jump over the shadows of their past was the Sept. 7 visit by Turkey's president to neighboring Armenia for talks and to attend a binational soccer game. These two peoples have been estranged for decades by the Armenian protest over genocide in 1915 by the pre-Turkey Ottoman Empire. With Turkey hoping to join the European Union and with Armenia's eye on Russia's invasion of Georgia, the two countries may now try to resolve their dispute over history.

Meanwhile, on the divided Mediterranean isle of Cyprus, talks began Sept. 3 to see if the Greek and Turkish sides of the island can be reunited. Also last week in the Mideast, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the first Western leader in years to visit Damascus, hoping to help Syria break out of a self-imposed isolation as a supporter of terror. His trip may be a model of what the West could someday do with Iran – mullahs willing.

Also this week in Europe, Serbia ratified a premembership agreement with the European Union, helped along by Serbia's role in the capture of a former Bosnian Serb leader for war crimes. This comes nine years after NATO bombed Serbia for its grip on Kosovo.

The Balkan nations, scene of ethnic cleansing during the 1990s, are slowly reconciling. It has taken NATO's military muscle, careful diplomacy, and the lure of EU membership to turn around this volatile corner of Europe.

Not all recent reconciliation is between nations. In July, Saudi Arabia hosted a conference of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders aimed at interfaith harmony and repudiation of fanaticism. In Kenya, a flawed election that put the country on the brink of civil war earlier this year was resolved by the astute intervention of former UN chief Kofi Annan and others.

In the US, Americans who feel a rising pitch of polarization in the run-up to the Nov. 4 presidential vote might ask if there will be any postelection reconciliation.

Both John McCain and Barack Obama entered the contest promoting a postpartisan era. "We belong to different parties," Mr. McCain says, "not different countries." Each side now seems to be going negative, tugged by a media that plays more to conflict and personality than to a probe of issues.

The winner of the election should look to Abraham Lincoln. He welcomed his bitter political rivals into his cabinet after winning. By drawing them close, he turned enemies into allies. And he kept an eye on a grander purpose, which often helps to melt differences.

As Churchill put it, "To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war."
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0911/p08s02-comv.html


Turkish Vignettes From Yerevan Or: Where Do We Go From Here?
After what must have been an interesting weekend on the streets of Yerevan with numerous interactions between Armenians and Turks, officials and regular citizens, it is now time to sit back and see where things go from here. I felt we'd be hearing at least some token changes and agreements between Armenia and Turkey early on though the speed of the negotiations towards major decisions is a total unknown. The reaction in the press regarding the visit has surprisingly been almost universally positive. Even the Dashnaks welcomed the rapprochement, underscoring the important of recognition of the genocide first though. The only rain on the parade has been the Turkish opposition parties who have maintained a populist hard-line position against any sort of negotiation with Armenia until it jumps through numerous impossible hoops. Relations between AKP and the opposition are downright icy with AKP delivering various government-related documents to them via regular mail of all things while defending the trip to Armenia. It is almost funny for Armenians, especially in the diaspora, to imagine this Turkish government supporting Armenia while opposing fellow Turks but that's politics for you.

Armenialiberty just released an interview with Turkish Economist writer Amberin Zaman about what will come next which I think is a very good guide of what to expect with these very unprecendented turn of events. While some people hope for an immediate opening of the Turkish-Armenian border, Zaman rightfully points out that the border was closed in the first place due to the Karabakh conflict and therefore will not be open until some substantive progress can be pointed to on the issue. Though the border will not be opened yet, she does point out the possibility of the Kars-Gyumri rail link being restarted, and it bears noting that there have been reports of repairs having recently begun on the Armenian side to that long-closed line in case Turkey allows for it. This would be for humanitarian reasons regarding the conflict in Georgia which would do good there while allowed for an ease in Armenian-Turkish restrictions. Regarding the match itself, Zaman said: "I believe that the visit went extremely smoothly. I had the opportunity to actually see both presidents during halftime. They seemed incredibly relaxed, very happy, they sounded extremely cordial and the messages that we heard after the match from both sides were extremely positive". So as Zaman points out, Azerbaijan is the major key in Turkey starting relations with Armenia. This is likely why Gul's next visit after Armenia was to Azerbaijan where he and other Turkish figures have been trying to reassure them that this is not a betrayal and to let them know Armenia is ready for serious negotiations. Not long ago Turkey as a serious moderator in the Karabakh conflict seemed like a ridiculous pipe dream but now it seems Sargsyan has given the go-ahead to just that. A fair resolution to Karabakh is in Turkey's interests because it will free them to have more open relations with Armenia, and Azerbaijan's strong reaction against the Yerevan visit should give hope that Turkey can be a fair negotiator, but let's just hope this isn't Armenia being backed into a corner on Karabakh due to its vulnerable position. Turkey is organizing a meeting between themselves, Azerbaijan, and Armenia at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month so if we can expect a new major development it'll likely be after that meeting.

From what I read in the press, except for the booing of the Turkish national anthem the Turkish visitors were pleasantly surprised by the warm reception they received in Yerevan and how they had no safety concerns. They were greeted nicely and all are reporting back positively of Yerevan and relations with Armenia. If Hrant Dink was the first crack against Turkish taboos this visit seems to have broken down an entire portion of the wall, not just because it was the biggest visit of Turks to Armenia since... well probably since the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 but because of the numerous intriguing vignettes which have come out of it. One example is the report that a total of 300 visiting Turkish citizen visited the Genocide Museum (not sure if that number includes Turkish-Armenians, which would be far less momentous, but I doubt they'd be counted). As Armenpress reports: "Many of the Turkish visitors at the museum were students, sports fans, and NGO representatives. He said many of them visited the museum out of curiosity, with varying reactions to the exhibits, including sympathy, remorse, regret and denial." They were especially by a new exhibit on Armenian contributions to Ottoman Sports. The most talked about visitor to the museum was Hasan Jemal, grandson of Jemal Pasha of the Young Turk triumvirate, who laid flowers at the memorial and proposed a moment of silence before the game in memory of the victims (which I assume didn't happen as President Gul said there was no mention of 1915 his whole trip). We have to be careful how Jemal's behavior is interpreted because I don't think it can be portrayed as being a unilateral "recognize the Armenian Genocide" sort of thing. He had written a book "Let's Respect Each Other's Pains" which seems to imply he has equivocation view on 1915 with all things being equal, not a totally uncommon view among Turks so it's hard to know how he feels. Either way though such a gesture should be highlighted and taken to heart because it certainly seems to be a great leap forward.

Another interesting story to come out of this weekend is an interview in Taraf newspaper with retired Turkish diplomat Volkan Vural. Vural recounted his relations with Armenia early in its independence and how he sees that early period as a missed opportunity for Turkey to start relations with Armenia. He believes many of the problems between the nations today such as Karabakh could have been mitigated through relations from the beginning, as Ter-Petrosian was willing, however concludes that the genocide taboo and Azeri pressure got the better of the Turkish government. In an arena like this where single words can have huge meaning we have to be careful with translations, but hopefully the one I am referencing is accurate. When asked about what Turkey can do to make amends for the genocide, Vural speculates that if he was in charge he'd allow all Armenians who wanted Turkish citizenship to be able to attain it and a right of return. While he rightfully notes that very few if any will actually take up this offer it's a start. He advocates starting a fund to deal with the incredibly complicated issue of property and asset lost by the deportees. He also states that Turkey should apologize for the events. "These events are unbecoming for Turkey. We do not approve them. The people who were forced to leave this country have our sympathy. We see them as our brothers. If they wish, we are prepared to admit them to Turkish citizenship."

These are the types of sentiments which were never uttered even a few years ago and only a few brave Turks started standing up in the past few years. I hope vignettes like these indicate a larger flood of such sentiment coming from Turkish society and gives hope that more Jemals and Vurals will stand up for what is right, helping to bring a century of pain to a close.
by Daniel Beast

Turkey:Armenia Ties Could End Genocide Resolutions AP, September 10, 2008
ANKARA, Turkey: If Turkey and Armenia forge diplomatic ties and are seen to have good relations, other countries could well stop passing resolutions that accuse Ottoman Turks of genocide against their Armenian population during World War I, Turkey's foreign minister said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said in a television interview that after the Turkish president's breakthrough visit to Armenia on Saturday, the two countries had stepped up efforts to resolve their differences.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed in 1915-18 in Ottoman Turkey in what is widely regarded as the first genocide of the 20th Century. About 20 parliaments have passed resolutions to this effect. Turkey denies any genocide, saying the death toll has been inflated and the dead were victims of civil war and unrest.

Turkey lobbies vigorously whenever a legislature handles a bill that describes the mass killings as an act of genocide. Last year President George W. Bush narrowly prevented the passage of a nonbinding resolution to that effect in the U.S. Congress. He warned lawmakers that it would imperil Turkey's logistic support for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in protest over its support for Armenians fighting for the secession of Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan, a Turkish ally. In addition, Armenian nationalists claim the Mount Ararat region of Turkey as western Armenia. But the most contested problem is the massacre of Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

"If we manage to make rapid progress in our initiative to solve the problems," Babacan told the local channel NTV, "then there will be no need for third country parliaments to discuss these issues. We can tell them: 'Mind your own business. Armenia and Turkey are getting along well.'"

He declined to say which problem the two governments would tackle first, saying all the issues must be laid on the table.

Armenia "has a solution-focussed position," Babacan said. "There is a political will on both sides for a solution."

He added he might take part in a tripartite meeting with the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers on the sidelines of the upcoming U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Turkey's closure of its border with landlocked Armenia is known to have hurt the smaller country's economy. But Babacan said Turkey and Armenia were still conducting trade worth US$500 million a year, with the goods traveling through Georgia.


ARFD: Armenia And Turkey Should Work For Normalization Of Relations 10.09.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ As neighbor states, Armenia and Turkey should work for normalization of relations. However, it will be possible only if Turkey acknowledges the Armenian Genocide, ARF Dashnaktsutyun said in a statement.

“Lifting of the blockade and establishment of diplomatic relations without preconditions will be a first step in this direction. The RA President’s initiative is be followed by moves from the Turkish side, which would not be merely propagandistic. Turkey should stop imposing conditions and deepening dividing lines in the South Caucasus,” the statement said.

Andrey Areshev:
If Saakashvili’s blitzkrieg were a success, NKR would be attacked within several months
After the five-day war in South Ossetia, the region has changed and, to all appearance, will continue changing. Recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russi and, unsettlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict are pregnant with new challenges. How efficient will Russia’s policy prove? Andrey Areshev, expert at Strategic Culture Foundation, commented on the situation to PanARMENIAN.Net.
10.09.2008 GMT+04:00
Can a parallel be drawn between Nagorno Karabakh and recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia?

Of course, there are parallels. The origin, political and legal aspects, dynamics of development of the conflicts are similar in many ways.

Given the peculiarities of the relief, a solid control zone and maximally short like of contact were formed while militarized enclaves in Shushi and some other settlements were neutralized in the Karabakh war. The situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia was quite different. That is why, in 2008, Tskhinvali experienced the horror that befell Stepanakert in 1992-1993, before creation of a buffer zone in Aghdam.

Baku closely watched Tbilisi’s actions and often imitated them. Undoubtedly, if Saakashvili’s blitzkrieg were a success, NKR would be attacked within several months. At that, Baku would have the West’s support, similar to that it demonstrated during the initial two days of Georgian aggression.

Now, when the Georgia attack is rebuffed, the situation resembles that in Karabakh. Georgian enclaves in Liakhvi valley and Upper Kodori. Although Leninogorsk region can be transformed to an analog of Shahumyan region of NKR, seized by the Azeri forces. Like in Karabakh, an exchange of population has taken place here. No one remembered Ossetian refugees from Georgian regions (Kvareli, Gori, Borjomi and some others). A similar story was with huge flows of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan. But be sure that Georgian refugees from South Ossetia will be remembered as soon as certain powers will search for tools of pressure on Russia.

Utter defeat of Georgian forces proved that they had been constantly replenished under the disguise of UN and OSCE missions in formally demilitarized regions. If Russia and Ossetia observed the Dagomys agreements, Georgia openly violated them, without any condemnation.

The situation in Karabakh was different. The OSCE mission was limited to monitoring of the contact line. Nevertheless, Matthew Bryza was doing his utmost to “unfreeze” the conflict to deploy “western peacekeeping contingent” there. No doubt, if Bryza succeeded, the situation in Karabakh would soon become explosive.

We can only hope that Russia will henceforth approach the Karabakh problem taking into account the commonness of interests of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh as well as the situation in South Ossetia.

Anyway, the OSCE Minsk Group proved its absolute inefficiency. Talks held by Matthew Bryza, who welcomed jets with “humanitarian assistance” in Tbilisi can hardly make sense. It’s enough to mention that the U.S. viewing the Karabakh problem in the light of its global interests dominated in the negotiation process while Iran, with its political interests, cultural and historical ties was not event represented in the MG. Isn’t it absurd? By the way, the idea of strengthening partnership between Russia and Iran is likely to be developed.

Was Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia timely?

The decision of the Russian leadership to recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia came like a bolt from the blue. Actually, the situation was rather vague before the August 7-8 events, although Georgian aggression was inevitable. In a recent interview with CNN, Prime Minister Putin said, “We have considered all possible variants, including direct aggression of the Georgian leadership.”

Rebuff of the Georgian attack that was followed by Sarkozy’s cunning mediation (probably meant to rescue Saakashvili from a final defeat) accelerated the process of recognition. I should also mention that any other decision on the republics’ status would be pregnant with graver side effects for Russia.

As to Armenia, it has little space for maneuver under the circumstances. It’s Russia’s strategic ally on the one hand and is in direct dependence on Georgian communications, on the other. This determines Armenia’s restraint. Serzh Sarsgyan’s statements were absolutely adequate while “pro-Russian” remarks by his well-known opponent were populist and crooked.

I suppose, new opportunities for progress have emerged. NKR welcomed President Medvedev’s statement on recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Meanwhile, in case with Karabakh, Moscow will be more restrained, just like Yerevan in case with recognition of the two above-mentioned republics. However, this should not hamper resolution of humanitarian issues.

How could you comment on presence of NATO ships in the Black Sea? Is serious confrontation with the West possible?

Concentration of NATO ships is nothing but usual manifestation of force. Maybe, some measures for replenishment of the Georgian army are being taken under the disguise.

Anyway, I do not think this armada represents a menace for Russia. Of course, the U.S. grows more and more unpredictable but you will hardly find any people there who will dare to incite an armed collision with Russia in the Black Sea. The danger will increase if Georgia undertakes a new aggression that is quite possible judging by the fact that Georgia broke all previous agreements on ceasefire (expect for the “six principles” which Georgia interprets its own way.

As to various economic sanctions against Russia, the European Union will hardly refuse from Russian gas. Furthermore, they will not recall their managers who work for big and profitable enterprises. Given the tendencies of Europe’s economic development, it would be unwise.

Hysteric opinions expressed somewhere in press or in a café should be selected from statements by serious politicians. They wanted to put Russia to the test. Well, they received answers to all their questions.

Will the U.S. foreign policy change, with Democrats coming to power?

I think there is a certain bipartisan consensus on majority of foreign policy issues and we should not wait for changes. Honestly, Obama’s team doesn’t inspire optimism. Let’s take Richard Holbrooke, for example, a likely candidate for the post of Secretary of State. The role of President in the American system should not be exaggerated, because each President - Democrat or Republican - has brain trusts, lobbying groups and so on. As a whole, the U.S. policy will grow tougher, what is pregnant with new conflicts and wars, in the Caucasus as well.

The right of nations to self-determination and the principle of territorial integrity… Which one id dominating?

Both principles are subject to political conjuncture. However, the right of nations to self-determination is presented more precisely in fundamental record. Developing during previous centuries as a political principle (legitimation of new states, including the U.S.), after World War II it was included in the list of basic laws fixed in the UN Regulations.

It was further developed in the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says,
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

Of course, the principle of territorial integrity is also mentioned but no document speaks of domination of one principle over the other. The principle of territorial integrity can’t be exercise in the states which do not ensure equality of the nations living in it and do not allow free self-determination of these nations.

The Helsinki Final Act, 1975, says that all of 10 principles are fundamental, these being: Sovereign equality, respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty; Refraining from the threat of use of force; Inviolability of frontiers; Territorial integrity of states; Peaceful settlement of disputes; Non-intervention in internal affairs; Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief; Equal rights and self-determination of peoples; Co-operation among states; and Fulfillment in good faith of obligations under international law.

Attacking Kuwait in early 1990-ies, Iraq violated the territorial integrity of a state. As to Karabakh, Abkhazia and Ossetia, here we deal with expression of will of the nations and actions taken in compliance with the operating legislation while the military operations appear as a rebuff of aggression, what is approved by the UN Regulations.

How do you assess a kind of warming in the Armenian-Turkish relations? Can it be linked to resolution of other regional problems?

Some warming between Yerevan and Ankara is favorable. The Armenian-Turkish relations need gradual normalization. Consultations of diplomats are no longer a secret. Russian concessionaires of the Armenian Railways announced readiness to reconstruct Kars-Gyumri line. Foreign media circulated information that some oil companies negotiate construction of a gas pipeline with Armenia. The Ayrum-Gyumri-Akhuryan route (bypassing Georgia) is being discussed. Certainly, these are just variants but Georgia’s destructive role in the region becomes more and more evident not only for Russia or Iran but also for U.S. allies, such as Turkey, and the key EU countries, which are concerned over their energy security.

Possible normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and partial opening of the border should not be used as an argument for withdrawal of the Russian military base from Armenia.

The Armenian authorities’ flirtation with the U.S. and NATO, the forthcoming joint exercise in September are quite understandable as a part of complementary policy pursued by the republic. However, it’s clear that the west will use Caucasian nations as active storage (Georgia is a vivid example) Cooling with Russia in exchange for attractive offers can have deplorable consequences for Armenia and NKR’s security. The Karabakh conflict can’t be resolved with NATO’s assistance. Partial restoration of Russia’s positions in the Caucasus, Turkey and Iran’s firm opposition to resumption of hostilities may push Baku to search for more adequate way to resolve the Karabakh conflict. However, it will not happen before the presidential election in Azerbaijan.
«PanARMENIAN.Net», 10.09.2008


Turkey To Push Armenia Diplomacy In 3-Way UN Talks By Ibon Villelabeitia
ANKARA, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Turkey believes Armenia is willing to discuss its long-running dispute with Azerbaijan and the three will meet this month at the United Nations in search of a solution, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Wednesday.

The talks are part of a drive by Ankara to end a century of hostilities with former Soviet Armenia, with which it has no diplomatic relations.

A breakthrough could have huge significance for Turkey's role as a regional power, for energy flows from the Caspian Sea and for Western influence in the South Caucasus region, where Russia and Georgia fought a short war last month.

Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of solidarity with Azerbaijan, a Turkic-speaking ally which was fighting Armenian-backed separatists over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

A solution to that dispute is seen as crucial to any move to establish diplomatic ties between Turkey and Armenia.

"We are planning a triple meeting in New York as foreign ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia. We believe this will contribute to the solution of problems," Babacan told broadcaster NTV.

"We viewed the Armenian side as willing to discuss Azeri-Armenian problems with us. This is why we proposed a triple meeting," he said.

President Abdullah Gul became the first Turkish leader to visit Armenia on Saturday, a landmark encounter which officials said could help restore strained ties between the two countries and boost security in the Caucasus.

Bilateral relations are haunted by killings of ethnic Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks during World War One. Armenians, backed by some Western historians, say the killings constituted genocide. Ankara denies this and says many Turks were killed in the fighting.

Russia's war with Georgia, which borders Turkey, has added urgency to the diplomatic drive. Turkey, a transit state for Caspian and Central Asian oil and gas exports to Europe, was alarmed by the conflict and wants to play a bigger role in Caucasus security.

Better ties with Armenia could also boost Turkey's troubled European Union membership bid.

Gul will hold talks with his Azeri counterpart in Baku on Wednesday to discuss a Turkish proposal to establish a security and cooperation platform for the Caucasus and to brief the president on his visit to Armenia.
(Editing by Paul de Bendern and Mark Trevelyan)


Turkey Continues Reaching Out To Armenia by Michael van der Galien, Editor-in-Chief, Sep 10, 2008
The secular Moslem country Turkey continues to reach out to Armenia, its Christian neighbor. Both countries had little to no contact in the last 15 years, because Armenia tried to convince foreign governments to recognize the Armenian Genocide - a term both Turkey and many historians dispute - and because it invaded another neighbor, Azerbaijan.

When Armenia invaded Azerbaijan and took the region of Ngoro-Karabagh from its Turkic neighbor, Turkey closed the border, thereby causing tremendous problems for Armenia’s economy.

This year, however, the two sides seemed to be willing to reach out to each other. Armenia’s President invited his Turkish counterpart to visit Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, to watch the football match Armenia-Turkey together; Abdullah Gul accepted.

And so Turkey’s President went to Armenia on Saturday. Watching the match was a pleasure for him, not only because his Armenian colleague proved to be hospitable, but also - perhaps mainly - because Turkey won quite easily; 0-2.

However, there are no direct signs that Turkey is prepared to reopen the border. After all, Armenia has not done anything to indicate it might be willing to strike a deal with the Azerbaijanis, who continue to grief the loss of their beloved province; a region where many beautiful mosques could be visited once, which have been all destroyed, however, in recent years.

There are encouraging signs, however, of the two sides changing their relationship significantly. Turkish Radio Television (TRT) announced Tuesday for instance that it is ‘moving towards cooperation with Armenia’s public television station to promote dialogue between two neighbors.’

TRT’s General Manager, Ibrahim Sahin, ‘announced TRT might start broadcasting in Armenian.’

‘Cooperation will be made in formats that improve dialogue, programs that focus on Armenia and Turkey, exchange of information and experience, and other issues,’ a TRT document released recently said.

‘The memorandum of understanding between the two state television stations will be transformed into a business agreement in the near future to enable joint production of programs and documentaries.’

It is yet another sign of Turkey’s increasingly important role in the region. For decades, Turks have locked themselves up between their own borders, refusing to deal with the world outside it. That has changed significantly in the last year, however. It has led negotiations between Syria and Israel, for instance, it has talked to Iran - playing a mediating role in the debate between the West and the Persian country - and it is now reaching out to the country which considers Turkey its ‘mortal enemy.’

To a degree, however, one could also say that one can see Europe’s influence; it could very well be that the Turkish government reaches out to Armenia due to European pressure. One wonders when Europe will put pressure on Armenia, in its turn, to do something about the situation in Ngoro-Karabagh.

The decision to reach out to Armenia does not go undisputed in Turkey itself, however. The two main opposition parties, the somewhat socialist CHP and the nationalist MHP, are both angry with Gul and Erdogan. They refused to read the National Program the country’s foreign minister, Ali Babacan, wants to present to the European Union, for instance.

Many Turks feel unfairly treated by Armenia, believing it to distort history. Additionally, many Turks argue, it does not make sense to hold friendly conversations with a country that says in its constitution that part of its neighbor’s territory should be its. Armenians refer to Eastern Anatolia as ‘Western Armenia’; a highly insulting term to many Turks, especially because their ancestors had to fight and die so their children and grandchildren could live on the lands historically inhabitated by Turks.

Not only will TRT broadcast in Armenian, it is considering doing the same in Georgian and Russian. Its website, it was announced, will be altered drastically; it is currently only available in Turkish, but one will be able to read it in 12 languages soon.
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Comments »
Lucrèce September 10, 2008
Armenia invaded Azerbaijan and took the region of Ngoro-Karabagh from its Turkic neighbor
Not only the Nagorno-Karabakh, but also seven other districts. In these districts only, Armenian soldiers butchered more than 2,000 unarmed Azeri civilans, destroye hundred of villages, hundred of religious and cultural buildings, many schools:
http://www.ataa.org/reference/devastation_az.html

The corpse of Monte Melkonian, former terrorist of the infamous ASALA, next of the dissident group ASALA-RM, finally volounteer for the invasion of West-Azerbaijan, is in a mausoleum in Armenia.

However, a reconciliation, it is with an ennemy, not with a friend. The Turkish-Armenian reconciliation is a good project. Mr. Sarkissian is the first Armenian president who want this reconciliation, and can do it. The problem is, for Turkey, to obtain decent conditions.

Elif September 10, 2008
As long as Turkey does not acknowledge the importance of so called genocide accusations and form an institutional move as we discussed with Selin in another article, it does not matter whether it reaches out its hand to Armenia or not.

Even if Turkey forms an official move that is half as active as Armenian Diaspora, maybe there will be a chance of improvement in the debate.

There should be a firm stand from Turkey side, alongside with attempts of warming up the relations. We are trying to improve relations with a country that is just after land from Turkey and I have not seen anyone appreciating us for that so far. So what is all this for? Where will it take us to? To me, nowhere.

Anything Turkey does is always being used and will always be used against it by the Diaspora. I read in a discussion forum that Gül’s visit to Armenia was considered by some as our nation’s guilty conscience showing. How ridiculous is that!

So it is more of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type of thing for Turkey cos whatever Turkey does or whichever way it goes to, they will always find excuses to attack Turkey.

So according to me the firm stand supported by an institutional move is the answer. Until then the truth won’t be able to speak for itself unfortunately and people from around the world will just be exposed to distorted and biased historical information.

Chris September 10, 2008
"a highly insulting term to many Turks, especially because their ancestors had to fight and die so their children and grandchildren could live on the lands historically inhabitated by Turks."
——
Historically inhabited by Turks? Uh…. last I checked the Armenians weren’t trying to claim Mongolia.

Check the maps of antiquity. It’s ancient Greece and Armenia that inhabit those lands you call "historically Turkish".

I guess that makes Agia Sophia and Ephesus "historically Turkish" too.

Lucrèce September 10, 2008
Check the maps of antiquity. It’s ancient Greece and Armenia that inhabit those lands you call "historically Turkish".
The "Armenia" of the Antiquity has no ties with the Armenians of 2008; not more than the "Macedonia" of Alexander the Great has ties with the Republic of Macedonia.
The Easter Anatolia is peopled by a Turkish majority since the end of the Middle Age.
The Armenians and the Turks, especially the Turks of Eastern Anatolia, are completely mixed. Search who was the first in this region has simply no sense.

Elif September 10, 2008
Lucrece, I agree with you.

See, didn’t I tell you, there will always be a way to attack Turkey.

I may have used these lines before but it seems as though I will need to use them many more times in the future. How many ab-originals are living in Australia now? How many Indians are living in America? By whom are these lands being ruled now? Should we announce British and Americans as committers of genocides as well?

Land wars have nothing to do with the so called genocide issue and land claims of Armenia from Turkey. How many times should we tell you this?

john September 10, 2008
I would like to ask my turkish frinds why they dont speak about 40 years of occupation of Cypruse and colonizing of the occupacion of Cyprus.
And about those who were killed by armenians in Sumgayit, Baku and other big towns in Azerbaijan is no one in Tukey speaking about.
Think a litle bit clear and not so hypocrit.

Leo Aryatsi September 10, 2008
Lucrece’s factless propaganda that everyone is mixed so forget identity is another way that mixed races (Americans, jews, turks etc) with oil ambitions for wars to obtain other resources come up with to weaken those standing in their way and those demanding justice. It was sad to see innocent peole die in S. Ossetia and Georgia but the turks and turkophiles got what they deserved. Now turks must accept the Genocide and give up their ambitions of reoccupying Artsakh if they want to take oil and gas to their zionist friends. No Armenian president or Russian force can change the fact that Armenians demand justice.

John September 10, 2008
The Armenia of antiquity defines modern Armenia and Armenians, in cultural and religious terms. The Armenia of antiquity is not just a vague concept or something that belongs to the past (your example of Alexander the Great) but a civilization to which Armenians of today adhere in their veins.

You simply show how little you know about Armenians.

Michael, the beautiful province of Nagorno-Karabakh was not invaded by Armenia, but Azerbaijan wanted to ethnically cleans the historic homeland of the Armenians of population to which Karabakh Armenians, with the help of Armenia, put up a stop to it.

As for Turkey reaching out to Armenia, although a very good thing for Armenia, it is driven from a sense of urgency and self-interest by Turkey. It is not a hidden fact that Turkey is more concerned with repercussions of Genocide recognition by the US, which is considered inevitable if Barak Obama wins, at least that is the perseption based on well founded indications, and less and less concerned with Nagorno-Karabakh Turkey’s main interest.

There are no favours here, simply a deep understanding on both sides.

Michael van der Galien, Editor-in-Chief September 10, 2008
Following the logic of some of our Armenian readers it seems that we should start demanding Americans to ‘return’ to Europe and hand back America to its native inhabitants.

Selin September 10, 2008
John when there are wars, one side wins and another loses. The winning side occupies the territory. Maybe the Armenians should have sided with the Ottomans when they offered them to form an independent state as opposed to being duped by Russians in the hopes for something much bigger.
There is no hypocrisy here, just the recognition that Armenian Revolutionary Federation wanted the Eastern Turkey as part of their territory during the First World War and failed. There is not a possibility for Armenians to get back "Western Armenia" after pushing genocide recognitions in many parliaments around the world, just a heads-up for you on that one. The only way to get the land back would be when Armenians are prepared to fight Turks in a real war.

John September 10, 2008
The Armenian logic, in Diaspora and Armenia simply is: Turks tried to wipe out the Armenian nation, but the Armenian nation firmly tells the Turks we are here to stay and reclaim out heritage and dignity. Looking towards the future at the expense of forgetting the past is only a Turkish wishful thinking. Selin, what seems to be a recurring theme on the part of Turks who do not wish to come to terms with reality of history they talk often about war instead of reconcilliation. With all the nationalistic noises in your heads you do not see that there is a genuine willingness of reconciliation on the Armenian side if only Turks stop insulting Armenians (and themselves) by saying genocide did not occur. Armenians regard the official denial of Turkey and the langauge that follows such denial, such as "lies", "fabrications", "conspiracy against Turkey" etc… as a continuation of that same threat of the Ittihadists, this time with a language using Latin letters instead of Arabic. In my opinion, you would be more than surprised to see how the land issue will disapear after an honest assessment of history is done by Turkey. For as long as Turks deny the mortal assult on the Armenian nation of the Ottoman Empire, Armenians will demand Western Armenia as their own, just to remind Turks that the murderous actions of the Ottoman regime cannot be allowed to get away scot-free, if any meaningful relations want to be established.

Chris September 11, 2008
"The "Armenia" of the Antiquity has no ties with the Armenians of 2008; not more than the "Macedonia" of Alexander the Great has ties with the Republic of Macedonia."—————————
Lucrèce,

Haha, that’s a good one. So I guess ancient Rome has nothing to do with Rome, ancient Greece has nothing to do with Greece, ancient China has nothing to do with China. Great logic. Whatever suits your nationalistic agenda to justify your occupation.

Once you accept that in your mind, I guess as a Turk it can justify the fact that your nation came into Europe unwanted by the Europeans and caused violence, attacking the peoples that were already there and had staked their claim from antiquity.

Michael van der Galien mentioned that perhaps by my logic, the Americans should go back to Europe and give the land back to the natives.

Well Michael, the fundamental difference is that here in Canada, the Canadian government actually recognizes its genocide, and not only that, gives the natives special priviledges as an ethnic group, acknowledging that they were indeed here first.

Fat chance the Turkish government would do that in Kars or Van. For one thing there are no Armenians left there.

But the point is that the Canadian government is understanding and apologetic of it’s past attrocities. Turkey ought to take its example, at the very least starting with the Kurds.

How would you feel if I busted into your house one day, took it over by force, locked you out, and then denied I ever did it? Is there human dignity and decency in your actions there?

On a national level, this is what has happened with Turkey and not only the Armenians, but many European nations.

I think that if the Turks had stayed in Mongolia and built a decent civilization there complete with cultural achievements like the Chinese (as opposed to invading on horseback) Europeans would have far more respect for them today in 2008.

Leo Aryatsi September 11, 2008
I hate to tell you all this but real wars are coming and turkey has many enemies with only two declining powers as friends. By the way Misha those currently living in our central and western lands are Kurds and a negligable amount of turks. They do not have to leave as long as they live peacefully in a united and free proper Armenia with returning Armenians. Misha von gul your articles always make me laugh, keep it up it’s very amusing.

The Last Manumentsi September 11, 2008
I would say that acording to Turk logic we lost and we should get over it, but i guess they dont know Armenians,
Have any of you (Turks) ever heard "Those who dont know the history are bound to repeat it, Those who have no history are bound to releave it"?

Assyrians, Egyptians, Parthians, Persians, Romans, Arabs, Mongols, Turks, and then some. They all wanted Armenia, our colture, our people, our land, they all failed. What makes anyone think that now after all this time Armenians are just gona geaveup. In war one side wins the other regroups (Selin), wars take years, sometimes houndreads and its not over until one side geaves up or is wiped out. And Michael van der Galien they are called Indian reservation lands, all over USA lands that were given to native Americans, lands that have their own laws and regulations. or have no understenig of logic

Atilla September 11, 2008
I am amazed at the dreams and imaginzation of Armenian fascists the fundamentalists in general and on this page especially.

There has never been a Great Armenia in this region ever. The only armenian state built (with the armenian king TIgran) with the help of Turkic warriors after BC existed for only sheer 30 years versus Turkic states existing for hundreds of years stretching back to 1 BC. The Tigran that armenians call great, which indeed was nothing but small, created this state with the help of Turkic warriors. With dismal number of armenians, who have never been good warriors, he couldn’t do anything. And indeed when Turkic warriors left him, he just evaporated as it shall be.

Armenians came to this region from India. They are not indigenous population as they claim to be. The indigenous population of the region were ALbanians, Georgirans, Lezgings, Chehens and other TUrkic tribes. Just remember the Khazars around Volga and in Caucasus.

The armenian dream creted and nurtured by the fundamentalist armenian church. Armenian stuck in the past and that past will bury them fully. Builders of the past, can’t be builders of the future.

Armenia is in trouble. Its all connections with Russia ceased to exist. The only way out is Iran. Just imagine what would happen if Azerbaijanis in get independence, which they will do sooner or later. Or even without independence with little support they can blow up the entire transportation going to and back to Armenian from Iran. Armenia is desperate in getting out of isolation. Therefore your fascist president didn’t mention the so-called big armenian lie - armenian genocide allegations in the meetings with the Turkish president. Armenia as a coutnre and economy doesn’t havey any importance neither for Azerbaiajn, nor for Turkey. It is the only goodwill gesture of the current (I stressing that current) Turksih government.

However, no borders and transportation to Armenia will be opened without armenian fascists leaving the Azerbaijani lands they could captue thanks to help of Russian and domestic civil war in Azerbaijan.

Just imagine what would and could happen to isolated and fundamentalist armenia if Iranian Azerbaiajnis cut all the roads to Armenia. Armenians, I have a clear message for you. You will vanish in this region, unless you are clever enough to get out of the Azerbaiajni lands and beg Turkey for opening its borders. Your end is close.

PS. There wasn’t a genocide. Genocide is a myth created and suported by the church to prevent assimilation of Armenian diaspora who left the rgeion for better opportunities. So Turks found to be the best scapegoats. Also if there were genocide, there wouldn’t be so many statues in Yerevan built to honor the Armenian heros. Who are these heroes. They were the Armenian milita commanders equipped and armed by Russsians and English to kill Turks and muslims. THey did it successfully masascarig half million Turks, Kurds and Azerbaijanis.

Here is the answer why there are so many armenians around the world as explained by an armenian in another blog on armenian racism.
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2006/08/09/armenia-mixed-marriages/#comment-1513075
"Lyudmyla;
Sorry you have no knowledge of history, politics, and how war plays a part in the economic and social hardships on people.

My answer to you -we flee our country for the same reasons Mexicans flee Mexico for opportunities, or the Armenians from Lebanon from civil war and Christians being pushed out of government in the middle east, or what about the Hmong that fled Laos because the new governments in SE Asia were hostile to them because of their friendship with the US Military? These stories go on and on why different groups flee their country.

None of us in America came from US soil, the only true people are the Native Americans.
So why did the Quakers flee the Church of England and come to America? "

Selin September 11, 2008
First Canadians have not recognized any "genocide" that they have committed. All they’ve done is to apologize here and there. Please show me a link that officially shows Canadians recognizing their "genocides", by using that very G-word in a formal statement by a government official. That’s what recognition is about. Please provide us a link so that we can be cultured. I would appreciate it very much.

A more ironic irony is the lack of minorities in any important or significant positions in the so-called "multicultural" Canadian society. So please, before any Canadian comes to "lecture" Turks on that one, they should be cognizant of the fact that there are minorities that have reached fame and fortune in today’s Turkey, including top government positions. Yes, clearly Turks give many opportunities to their "oppressed" people whereas I don’t see a black or native Canadian in a half-ass important position. If there is one or two, just give us examples. Show business or sports don’t count.

On a final note, I guess the two "Armenian youth" above are ready and dying to fight and die in their efforts of reclaiming the Western Armenian territory. I can respect that a little more than the ANCA dudes who just talk and spew hatred in hopes to get a little more cash or land from whomever they can, if not from Turkey then from the U.S. territory. But please no shouting of "genocide" this time when your a** gets handed back to you. Yet again.

Elif September 11, 2008
Chris, that is the whole point, countries accepting there is a genocide, not historians.

On what grounds does Canada goverment or Argentina goverment or Venezuela goverment accept the so called genocide? Is there a historical fact that all historians agree on and we Turks are not aware of? Don’t you see how politicized this issue is? Don’t you see what Armenian Diaspora is trying to do? Don’t you see you are only exposed to information that they want you to get exposed to? How many books of historians have you read about the accusations? Do you know anything other than the propaganda on websites?

I won’t even go to land issues here, the truth is obvious and kept repeated to ones who wants to understand it and if Armenians want to claim land from Turkey cos they ruled here one thousand years ago for an unknown period of time, then they should come and get it.

Why is Armenia not seeking for its so called justice through international legal platforms rather than political battlefields as Turkey continously asks it to do? Why?

This is so a vicious cycle that we keep repeating ourselves and it is so tiring. There is a selffulfilling prophecy here and day by day the propaganda from Diaspora increases coming with additional false accusations and claims. History is rewritten all over, they can not even decide on the amount supposedly murdered by Ottoman Empire.

Turkey is not denying the tragedic results of Tehcir Law, what Turkey tries to tell the world in vain is that there is no INTENTION of mass murdering of Armenians. Have you heard anything about Armenian terrorism Chris? Do you know anything about Dashnaks or Hunchaks? Do you know anything about Armenian massacres of Muslims before WW1 that led to Tehcir Law? I highly doubt so.

It is so easy to blame a nation for a crime that is not committed by it in the first place but it is so hard to acknowledge by people like you that when someone is accused of a crime it did not commit in the first place, he / she tries to defend itself, not give in to accusations because of political torture. Turkey trying to defend itself against extensive torture and accusations from Diaspora side is not denial, Armenian side not even opening its own archives and refusing to discuss the events on an international historical platform is denial. Take us to court NOW, I am begging you, but I know you won’t. Why? Let me tell you why, it is not the time yet. Enough politicial influence has not been bought yet. As and when there will be sufficient political influence, then there will not be a need for historians to discuss the events on an international convention or there won’t be any need for Turkey to be taken to court since the court’s ruling will be obvious. It is not just the time. Let 100 countries accept the so called accusations first, let all objective historians be silenced first and then it will be the time.

And please do not come to me with this so called conflict claims that Turkey defends Ottoman Empire on one hand and then seperates itself as a country from Ottoman Empire by saying that the goverment back then was even different. If you want to discuss the events with me through professors and historians (not biased ones) I am here to debate, if you want to actually talk about truth and not propaganda I am here to talk and I can even recommend sources for reading but otherwise do not come to me with lame excuses to attack Turkey.

John September 11, 2008
What a sorry state we are in.

Above some Armenians are threatening (or more correctly dreaming) war to regain Western Armenia, with what nobody knows, and Turks looking at this and perhaps without even realizing spewing their long-held hatred and threatening Armenians with a new genocide all the while claiming there was never a genocide in the past.

We are long way off from reconciliation
Sad indeed.

Lucrèce September 11, 2008
Haha, that’s a good one. So I guess ancient Rome has nothing to do with Rome, ancient Greece has nothing to do with Greece, ancient China has nothing to do with China. Great logic.
Rome, Greece, and China were at area of civilization, politically organized. The "Armenia" of the Antiquity was never a state, a area of civilization, but only a geographic expression, without precise content, without "Armenian" population. The was never an Armenian state before 1918, except the kingdom of Little Armenia, destroyed before the Turkish conquest.

Whatever suits your nationalistic agenda to justify your occupation.
I am not Turkish, or from Turkish origin, but thank you to confirm that for many Armenians, the real problem with Turkey is the crazy dreams of conquest of Eastern Anatolia.

Michael September 12, 2008
Elif first off Armenia does not want land form turkey.
Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has stated that no officials in Yerevan have leveled territorial claims against Turkey.

"I don`t recall any Armenian official`s ever putting forward such demands," he told Turkish Radical newspaper.

Sarkisian alleged that, on the contrary, numerous Turkish officials have announced territorial claims against Armenia in the past.

"I consider it out of place to name any persons or political parties, because I know for sure that there are citizens and individuals in Turkey who do not even consider Armenia a state," he maintained. Also, Sarkisian said he saw no need to cite any pre-conditions for the normalization of relations between the two countries.

Vartan Oskanian also said: The Treaty of Kars is in force as far as I’m concerned. Because Armenia is a successor in recognizing the Soviet treaties. And as long as any treaty hasn’t been renounced officially or replaced by a new one, it has been in force. But the problem is that the agreement has been violated so much by the Turkish side. If a legal expert looks at this agreement and the way it’s been implemented, I’m not sure if the legal experts would conclude that this is a valid treaty. The violation is from the Turkish side, (because of) having closed its borders with Armenia, and this is a violation of the Treaty of Kars.

Like Sarkisian and Oskanian said Armenia doesnt have territorial claim against Turkey.

The Turkish archives are open. Armenians refuse dialogueOne of the most disingenuous Turkish arguments is that Turkish archives are open and that Armenian archives are closed on the genocide issue. They use this argument to mislead and to divert attention from the real issue, the crime of Genocide. Furthermore, they try to imply that Armenians have something to hide and do not want to open their archives for inspection or to enter into a dialogue with Turks.What is the truth?In regard to the Armenian Genocide, there are four main Turkish sources of archives:

1–The Prime Ministerial Archives2–The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) [the governing party in 1915] Archives3–The Special Organization [the organization which carried out the Genocide] Archives4–The Interior Ministry Archives.

According to the Istanbul Military Tribunal (1919 - 1921), which was established to try Turkish Government leaders who had ordered the implementation of the Armenian Genocide, most of the documents related to the latter three organizations have been either “stolen or destroyed.” During the trial, the Turkish persecutor in his indictment, stated: “Investigation of what had occurred reveals that important documents pertaining to this office [Special Organizations] …have been purloined.”In the same indictment, he also stated that “all of the documents and ledgers of the Central Committee [CUP] have been purloined.”

Furthermore, many witnesses during the trials testified that the documents of CUP had been removed by Central Committee member Dr. Nazim.In regard to the Interior Ministry Archives, Aziz Bey (former director of General Security), revealed that Talât Pasha, the interior minister, prior to fleeing the country, took suitcases of documents, information and reports, and burned them.The only archives which are open are the Prime Ministerial Archives. These archives are limited to a small group of selected historians who a priori have demonstrated their support of Turkish government’s genocide denialist narrative. Furthermore, researchers are allowed only 25 documents per day, which severely limits the ability to work there.Recently, Mehmet Sait Uluisik, a German citizen of Turkish origin, was banned from entering Turkey to carry research in the Prime Minister’s Ottoman archives on the role of Circassians in the Armenian Genocide.

The Circassians were armed and funded by the government of Turkey.Thus to claim Turkish archives are open to scholars is inaccurate. The critical archives pertaining to the Armenian Genocide are not in the archives, while the available ones are of limited access.The accusation that Armenians refuse to dialogue with Turks is another myth.Numerous attempts have been made by the Armenian Government and the Armenian Diaspora to dialogue with Turks. These attempts have failed because of the Turkish Government’s intransigent and unreasonable conditions. The Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) is a prime example. Turkish and Armenian members of TARC agreed to submit the arbitration of the Armenian Genocide issue to a third party–the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). When ICTJ’s report concluded that what happened to the Armenians in Ottoman Turkey was a classic case of genocide and fulfilled four out of five conditions set by the UN Genocide Convention, the Turkish government pulled the plug on TARC by asking its Turkish members to withdraw from the commission.

In response to the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s letter to the President of Armenia, to establish a “joint group of historians… to study … the events of 1915,” Robert Kocharian, the President of Armenia, on April 25, 2005, replied by saying: “Your [Erdogan[ suggestion to address the past cannot be effective if it deflects from addressing the present and future, in order to engage in a useful dialogue, we need to create the appropriate and conducive political environment..in that context, an intergovernmental commission can meet to discuss any and all outstanding issues between our two nations.”The Turkish Government did not respond to the Armenian Government’s positive approach to solve this issue. On April 11, 2006, the Foreign Minister of Armenia Vartan Oskanian, reminded the Turkish Government and the international community that “we remain amazed that a letter sent by president Kocharian to Prime Minister Erdogan… remains simply ignored because the Turkish authorities did not like the response contained therein, and do not wish to broaden the scope of dialogue beyond histology.

”The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Armenian Parliament organized a conference in the Armenian Parliament on Turkish Armenian relations. Among the invitees were Turkish professor Yusuf Halacoglu (president of Turkish Historical Society), Sedat Laciner (director of International Strategic Research Institute), former Turkish Ambassador Omer Engin Lutem (head of the Armenian Studies Institute of the Eurasian Strategic Research Center), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, and Dr. Can Paker (Turkey’s special representative for relations with the European Union). None of the Turkish invitees attended this important and unique conference. The Turkish side missed a golden opportunity to meet Armenian politicians, historians and scholars to discuss relations between the two neighboring nations.

The Speaker of the Armenian Parliament, Tigran Torosian, voiced his concern that Turkey’s decision not to participate in the discussions would not contribute to dialogue between the two nations.The above examples clearly show that Turkish government’s manipulative offer of dialogue with Armenians is akin to the neo-Nazis’ suggestion of an independent, objective historical commission to determine whether the Holocaust took place or the Flat Earth Society’s offer to hold an academic dialogue with National Geographic about the true shape of the earth.

The Last Manumentsi September 12, 2008
Atilla LOOOL, you are just sad. Please post some of your sources, and please educate yourself better before emberesing your so called people. Here are some ancient kingdoms that historians all over the world recognize as Armenian. Starting aroun 2500 B.C. Hurian, Mittani, Hye, Nairi, Urartu, and then some, accepted by all western and estern historians, except turks. And Caucasian Albanians, Georgians not turkic, turkic tribes migrated from mongolia. And Khazars yes around 7th B.C. what about them? turkic tribe invaded Caucasia and sloughtered Georgians and Albanians.

Selin, not just fight and die but kill and sloughter like your people did, so maybe 500 years from now Armenians can say take me to court and prove it. And whats your problem with Canada, who was talking about Canada.

No point in arguing with any turk, antiArmenian BS is carved in your brains, you actually believe in your BS.

The truth is as long as turks the people dont recognize the wrong their ancestors did to other coltures not just Armenians but Greeks, Kurds, Assyrians, Georgians, Albanians, Belgians, and the list gose on, if turks dont recognize that in thousend years that they have been aroun they have brought nothing but deth and sufering to others, if turks dont recognize that they are the only country that has so meny enemies in the world, then someone or somecountry will always finde ways to harm turks.

P.S. Thank you Michael, but no point to it, this people are not that educated to understand facts and records and history.

Atilla September 12, 2008
Can’t stop laughing. How far the armenian imagination can go shocks me again. You calso claim that the Noah was armenian. I would get surprised if after some time you will bring paper claiming to be given to the "great geart armenians" by God testifiing their rights to the entire world and especially to the region. ha ha haaaaa.

With your fascism and racism you are capable of this. And none of these states were armenian. Its just armenians wishful thinking that these states that you mention the were armenian. And except Urarty the other states I believe are again the products of the deep and extensive imagination capability of lier armenian historians.

For your information and knoweldge that Khazars and other Turkic were in the region before the birth of Chris and they were already forming the states. Enough just to mention Huns and Atilla who reshaped the western Europe around 4th centry. If Turks could go so deep into Europe aroud 4th century, it means they were in the Cauacusus, Anatolia and the Volga area much more before.

Also it doesn’t matter who came to the region first. It is more than clear than armenians also came from somewhere. Credible resources tell they came from India. Also if Turks shall leave these territories, then Americans, Australians, Canadians, many Latin American whites shall leave these places as well.

You didn’t have a state in these regions except the small one which existed only for 30 years and then vanished permanently. YOu had the second statehool only in 1918 and that was on the land granted to you by Azerbaiajn. Don’t forget that Yerevan has been an Azerbaijani/Turkic city as cited by all credible historical sources.

The story below once more demonstrates the role of armenian translators in distorting facts and giving wrong information to western diplomats, who then did inaccurate reporting of things happened in 1915s. Also the role armenians played in British making Turksih soldiers blind in war prisoner camps in 1920s.

http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/POWs-blinded.htm
In WWI, 150 thousand of our soldiers were captured by the British. And some of these soldiers were imprisoned in Seydibesir Useray-i Harbiye Camp (3) near the city of Alexandria in Egypt. The full name of the camp was “Seydibesir Kuveysna Osmanli Useray-i Harbiye (4) Kampi”. In this camp, the Ottoman soldiers of 16th Division’s 48th Regiment who were captured at the Palestine fronts in 1918 were interned. For two years until June 12th, 1920, they were subjected to any kind of torture, oppression, heavy insults and humiliation.

The reason for this inhumane treatment was the Armenians.

The British commanders of the camp, because of the wrong, mendacious translations and provocations of Armenian translators who knew Turkish, had become fierce Turk enemies.
***
The war was over. Nevertheless, to release the soldiers besides the ones who died because of heavy conditions in the camp was not to the benefit of the British. Because the British were brainwashed by Armenians, being told that in a potential new war they could come up against these soldiers again. The solution was massacre…

Our soldiers, forced by bayonets, were put in disinfection pools with the excuse of wiping out germs. But the chemical, krizol, was added a lot more than normal in the water. Even just when they put their feet, our soldiers got scalded. However, the British troops didn’t let them get out of the pool by threatening with rifles (5).

Our soldiers didn’t want to put their heads under the water that reached waist level. But then the British started shooting in the air. Our soldiers knelt and put their heads under water not to die.

But the ones who got their heads out of the water couldn’t see any more. Because the eyes were burned…The resistance of our soldiers who saw what happened to the ones that got out was no use and our 15 thousand men got blinded.
***
This savagery was discussed in May 25th, 1921, in the Turkish Great National Assembly. The congressmen Mr. Faik and Mr. Seref proposed that 15 thousand sons of this country were blinded in Egypt by being put in the “krizol” pool; and wanted the Assembly to make an attempt for punishment of the British physicians, commanders and soldiers who were guilty of this act.

Of course the newly founded government had a thousand other problems. Demanding an explanation for this act was easily forgotten.
***
But they don’t forget. They show even their own betrayal as a fact of genocide and present it to the world.

The most regrettable of all is that some people, you know who, are also behind, supporting these defamation campaigns.

Sinan AYGUN – The President of ATO

Selin September 12, 2008
Excuse me, a vow to defend one’s territory gets interpreted as threatening "new genocide"? Lame, lame, lame… Lame because that’s all you can do in your propaganda. Threaten to get back the territory, and when given a short response that your "a** will be handed back to you", cry a new "genocide threat".

So I guess one should never mention stuff like "Turks kicked some European ass in WW1". Or mention that they may indeed kick some Armenian a** in a possible faceoff in the future, including who knows some soccer match in a world tournament. Because hello, clearly THAT’s threathening with a new genocide !!!!

How sorry is that? Because only when Turks dare defend themselves in the face of total destruction are their actions of self-defense interpreted as "genocide", just like what happened during the WW1. The hypocrisy of it all is just all too familiar AND, and, and, extremely pathetic. The absolute racism of all commentary above, including the "race purity" claims of Armenians while making their case for historic land ownership, is the icing on the cake.

We have ANCA speakers ON RECORD vowing to reclaim Western Armenia. We don’t need a millionth link to stuff like that or to ANCA press releases. Poligazette has published such stuff before.

The Last Manumentsi September 12, 2008
Ay Atilla the Mutt SOURCES please, everything I posted can easely be found on Wikipedia or Encarta, or any library other then turkic. What you doing is blabering pointlesly and emberesing yourself.
Yerevan Turkic Azeri? LOOOOOOOL, may I ask what you smokin? is it some of that turkic hashish? that just shows how much you know, and post your credible historical sources.

"The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the Urartian fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC at the western extremity of the Ararat plain." Wikipedia, if you have credible sources that say other all you have to do is post it on wikipedia and chalange the facts. I understand that turks wana have civilized history and colture like Armenians, its ok you can say part of your colture is Armenian and that when mongol hords invaded Armenia many things like how to read and write, and how to use a spoon and a fork where learnd from Armenians, dont be ashamed, it is ok.

Selin September 12, 2008
Correction: "Turks kicked some European ass in WW1" actually, Turks did NOT do that during WW1. To the contrary, the entire country was invaded and being prepared to be carved up by European powers. Turks kicked some European ass during the "War of Independece" which began a year after WW1.

Atilla September 12, 2008
The Last Manumentsi. Your response is a clear indicator of the fact that you are one of the many brainwashed and illetare armenians with good knoweldge of English.

For your information and education my armenian counterpart. "Nations or countries with strong civilization and culture do not vanish like Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkic world, etc. " Indeed for your information that recent genetic studies have found much more commong genes between armenians and mongols than any toher nation in the region and mongols. It seems that mongols have also met a lot of armenian women on their way to Caucasus. That is also for your information.

Also don’t show me wikipedia and other racist armenian sources as creidble sources of information and facts. We know who writes the articles that you mention in wikiped. there are thousands of fundamentalist and fascist armenians writing and vandalizing wikipedia daily. Wikiped has become in recent years an information trash web site thanks to armenians. So pls don’t try to prove me something with the biased and armenian written stuffs in wikipedia.

Everything I said are based on credible sources as distinct from your armenian dreams, historical lies and allegations which became almost template or armenian factists attack on turks.

Your argument on the history of Yerevan is quite impressive and is another indicator to where the armenian imagination can go. I am jsut glad that and think the world shoudl be glad that you, armenians, don’t claim to be original settlers of Rome, Istanbul, Kiev, Tabriz, Tbilisi, or even Bejing, indeed all the cities in the world. With your imagination capacity, you are capable of saying and arguing that even the life only belongs to Armenians and others shall die.

To the last or the first armenian fundamentlist. For your information and education. "Nations or countries with strong civilization and culture do not vanish like your so called "great armenia", the product of the armenian liers imagination. The strong cultures and civilizations like Turkic ones remain like Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkic world, Tatarstan, many other Turkic origin states in Europe such as Hungary, Bulgaria, etc. " Again for your information. recent genetic studies have found much more common genes between armenians and mongols than any other nation in the region. It seems that mongols have also met a lot of armenian women on their way to region. That is also for your information. For third, when wikipedia became a credible source of information. All articles written about armenia are written by fundamentalist and fascist armenians. Just check out the discussion sections of any article on armenia, and you will see hundreds of facsist armenian writers producing tons of garbage and imaginary artices on the "small history of the great great great armenian fascist nation" . So never ever mention me your useless articless in wikipedia as a credible source of info on armenians.

Your argument on the history of Yerevan is quite impressive and is another indicator to how long the armenian imagination can go. I am just glad that and think the world shoudl be glad that you, armenians, don’t claim to be original settlers of Rome, Istanbul, Kiev, Tabriz, Tbilisi, or even Bejing, indeed all the cities in the world. With your imagination capacity, you are capable of saying and arguing that even the life only belongs to Armenians and others shall die. For yur education see the source below on the history of Irevan http://www.turkishweekly.net/comments.php?id=301

Elif September 12, 2008
John, you have got to be kidding me. Who are you to call us spewing long-term hatred when Turkish youth is raised with an open mind and Armenian youth is raised with hatred towards Turks? From when onwards is trying to defend yourself against false accusations has become spewing hatred? Do you know aything about ANCA? Have you heard anything about system of a down? Has not Steve Cohen been harrassed recently by an Armenian filmmaker just because he denied the so called genocide? Turks are so ignorant about events of 1915 because they believe they are innocent and they are leading their normal lives. You on the other hand live with a dream of Turkey recognising the events of 1915 as genocide. Get a life. The Last Manumentsi, who are you to call us uneducated when you can not even answer anything written above or make any proper statement other than saying that ‘Turks have lots of enemies’. This declaration of yours only is sufficient to make people understand what we are dealing with, pure propaganda and hatred towards Turks, blaming Turks for things that are actually being done by yourselves. Turks have enemies maybe because they are ALIVE and not written off from earth by other REAL ETHNIC CLEANSINGS all around the world. Turks have enemies maybe because they were never oppressed under Ottoman ruling and were able to get their own land and freedom in the end. Turks have enemies maybe it is because of the propaganda you are part of. What a joke. Do you know anything about Ottoman History? Who are you to judge me or my nation and then accuse me of denial? Have you heard anything about Armenian terrorism? I suggest you go read a book by an Austrian professor and historian called Ericq Feigl. The name of the book is Armenian Mythomania.

John September 12, 2008
Elif,
If the Turkish youth has been raised in blissful ignorance, that is the Turks’ problem. Turks have also been brought up by the myth that Anatolia is the cradle of the Turkish civilization that dates back to an 8000 year history, and that the origin of world nations of the world is actually Turkish.

Well one can choose to live in a colourful mythological world if one wants, and be happy with the bliss that comes with it, but it is quite something else to construct and fabricate the history of other people to suite this mythological and make-belief world. Which ultimately makes no room to the "minor incident" of the destruction of the Armenian nation in the Ottoman Empire.

You have proven, time and again that you choose to be ignorant about the Armenian history, probably driven by a fear that learning the history of the Armenians will shake the mythological construct of what the Turkish youth have studied in their schools to date.

I am hopeful that this will change, because as Turks accuse Armenians of indoctrinating their children the same can be said for Turkish youth. Too much indoctrination, in the name of patriotisn always clashes with reality, but reality (truth) ultimately wins, this is why there are revolutions.

Elif September 12,
And Michael, I suggest you check out the link below before you claim that Armenia is not after land from Turkey. Temporary political interests may refrain a country from showing its long-term agenda but the truth is always out there. Whom are you kidding? armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2007/11/2177-armenian-constitution-and.html As for the international historical convention, what I was talking about was a joint commission with unbiased and objective historians from all around the world with an open mind to start with, not a commission from Turkish and Armenian side only, people that are born biased and I was talking about DISCUSSIONS or DEBATES. Your referral to appointment of ICTJ by TARC is even cherry picked and one – sided. Check out the link below.

armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2005/07/41-analysis-of-genocide.html
According to ICTJ, Armenian massacres of Ottoman Muslims before and during WW1 for their so called freedom should also be labelled as genocide. Oh sorry approximately half a million Ottoman Muslim lives lost do no count, do they? Hunchak activities dating back to 1860s and Dashnak activities dating back to 1890s do not count, do they? Rebels like Van or Zeytun (I can count many more here), do not count do they. How hyprocrat you are. But that is my fault. I knew what I was getting myself into but I could not keep my mouth shut. Let’s label every war and mismanaged relocation order as genocide since some of our Armenian friends want it that way here. Ohh also let’s disrespect the dead of Ottoman side and ignore the lives lost since Turks have lots of enemies anyway. And finally it is so ironic of you to say that Turkish side does not give full access to historians for its archives and some of the documents were purposefully destroyed. Check out the links below.

armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2007/05/1709-turkish-state-archives-are-open.html
armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2005/11/442-in-pursuit-of-ottoman-turkish.html
armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2007/12/2256-book-review-by-ataa-shameful-act.html
armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2005/07/341-armenian-issue-allegations-facts.html

I can give you more links but I know already that you are going to try to undermine them anyway by saying that your sources are all free from bias and mine are all biased. Same old same old but as I said before, that is me, I can not keep my mouth shut.

John, by ignorance I meant how Turkey side so moved on and does not hang onto a part of history that they think is true. I am not talking about being disrespectful to anyone’s history or culture. If that is what you want to take out of it although I believe my message is as clear as a day, that I can not do anything about and I would not be surpried to be honest. We moved on because we know we are innocent and we believe truth will eventually speak for itself (hopefully).

My husband is a dentist. He has Armenian patients living in Turkey. My inlaws have Armenian neigbours living in the same apartment building as theirs. We live in peace in Turkey. We are not raised with any hatred towards anyone but I can not tell the same for Armenian youth. That was what I was talking about.

And where did you get the idea that Turks believe they ruled in these lands for 8.000 years? Do you live in Turkey? Do you know anything about Turkey? Do you know anything about Middle Asia?

Oh by the way John, since you are accusing me of being ignorant about Armenian history, my suggestion to The Last Manumentsi about reading Armenian Mythomania holds for you as well.

Maybe than you will reconsider your thoughts about my ignorance of Armenian history or you will rethink about what I meant by Turks being ignorant about events of 1915 and then actually understand what I meant.

The Last Manumentsi September 13, 2008
Bla bla bla, credible historical sources please, you mutts are embarrassing yourselfs. If Wikipideia or Encarta are not good enough, which are good enough for the rest of the world try any library outside of Turkey. Recent genetic studies? buy who? any facts or is this blabering again, And you Elif blogs are not credible sources, a credible source is a fact accepted by recognized world historians, which turks have non. And not every book is a credible source, Harry Potter not a credible source.

When it comes to Armenians slaughtering turks, we never denie it, we just say we didnt kill enough to call it genocide, we will try better next time.

P.S. I wasn't raised hating Turks, recent genetic studies show that hate for turks was in my blood when I was born.

Elif September 13, 2008
Did you check the links The Last Manumentsi, did you check where the blogs were making reference to? I highly doubt so. You saw the blog word in it and did not even check it. Did you check the part about Armenian Constitution? Do you know anything about Prof. Justin Mccarthy? Ohh sorry most probably he is bought out by Turkish side so how can we believe in him? Besides, it is very disrespectful of you to try to undermine Erich Feigl by comparing his book to Harry Potter but it is not suprising.

It was a mistake of me to try to debate with people seeing us uneducated, does not respect our dead, are ignorant about history (1.500.000 is a legend that Armenian side even can not decide on - your loss is even maybe less than ours - according to the survivor reports of reputable sources like American Counsel J.B. Jackson and population analysis of Armenian historian A.A.Lalaian, your losses calculated to be somewhere between 300.000 to 500.000) and see all our sources as biased but theirs as pure as white.

This is not a competition The Last Manumentsi, one side’s loss being higher or lower than the other side’s loss does not make the losses less important. As I continuously repeat myself, we never deny the tragical results of mismanaged relocation order but it was SELF DEFENSE and last time I checked self defense was not categorized under genocide. If we evaluate every mass dead according to the result and not the INTENTION, every considerable war, rebel or relocation order on earth becomes genocide. Whom am I kidding, I am talking in vain. Indeed I could end my comment like, ‘Atilla thanks a lot but do not bother, these uneducated people will not be able to understand what you are writing’, but I should not do that, should I, cos it would be rude, arrogant and ignorant, isn’t it?

Atilla September 13, 2008
Elif, you are right. In the long run Armenian show their real face like the last monumetsi/fundamentalist. He also revealed what Armenians know but prefer not to tell. It was them who killed us and they hate us with or without the reason. They want to kill and eliminate us. The so -called genocide claim is also a long-term policy aimed at eliminating Turkey and Azerbaijan.

However, thank last monumetsi for revealing your and Armenians’ real character and face, full of inhumanism and fascism.

Excerpt from the armenian fundamentalist’s revealations:

"When it comes to Armenians slaughtering Turks, we never denie it, we just say we didnt kill enough to call it ganocide, we will try better next time.

P.S. I wasnt raised hating Turks, recent genetic studies show that hate for Turks was in my blood when I was born."

Armenians hate Turks, because they couldn’t finish their job of killing all of them. AS last monumetsi mentions, he seems to extremely sorry as many Armenians that they couldn’t kill enough Turks. For them more than half a million Turks, Kurds and Azerbaijanis killed is not enough. For them 30000 Azerbaijani Turks they killed in 1990s is not enough. For them driving almost a million Azerbaijani Turks out of their land and subjecting them to living in awful and inhuman conditions for more than 15 years is not enough.

Armenians are thirsty for the Turkish blood. They are not sufficed with the blood they drunk, just want more. The current Armenia and Armenians are part of the disease called armeniavampirism.

michael September 13, 2008
Until Armenias president doesnt come out saying that we want eastern turkey back than i dont care about anyone else who says it. Vartan Oskanyan is a very smart and respected man and he said the kars treaty is intact as far as im concerned. you say that armenia has territorial claims against turkey.

Armenians dont dey turks died but Turkey was involved in a war at the time. majority of there deaths were war causualties. the rest were killed by armenians who were trying to defend themselves because they were being forcefully removed from there homes and made to walk to there deaths. you think we would just let you kill us? We defended ourselves.

Also the Turkish Government agents cite the same half-dozen historians and writers to back their allegations. Practically everyone listed has taught history at institutions where their chair has been funded by the Turkish government. These historians have close relationships with the government of Turkey; have privileged access to Turkish historic archives and are provided with frequent all-expense paid trips to Turkey. The publication of their books are often funded by the government of Turkey. Many genocide scholars have questioned the credibility of these half-dozen historians. Colin Imber, in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, called Justin McCarthy’s work: “Junk food, junk bonds and now junk history …

This is a cruel description, but one which is perfectly appropriate for a book which is carelessly written, is often misinformed, and shamelessly follows a Turkish nationalist agenda.” Ton Zwaan, in de Volkskrant (Dutch newspaper) wrote: “Among bona fide historians McCarthy is known as one of the professional deniers, subsidized by the Turkish government.” Zwaan continued: “In a groundless, hazy and disorderly argumentation replete with half-truths and complete untruths, McCarthy attempts to persuade his readers that an Armenian genocide never transpired in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and 1916.”

Many Turkish historians, among them Taner Akcam and Muge Gocek, also questioned McCarthy’s research and trustworthiness. Guenter Lewy is a well know revisionist. His work–from the killing of Roma Gypsies in the Second World War to the Vietnam War–is well documented. This is what the Journal of Genocide Research wrote: “Lewy’s . . . book which seeks not only to exclude the Nazis’ Romani victims from the Holocaust-which is not anything new-but goes a step further to say that they were not even the targets of attempted genocide. . . ‘The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies’ is a dangerous book.” After reading Lewy’s biased article on the Armenian Genocide, Prof. Gregory H. Stanton, said: “I am appalled. It is such a blatant denial article . . . As you know, the evidence for the Armenian genocide does not just rest upon the three sources Guenter Lewy attempts to discredit. (He doesn’t even do a good job of discrediting those sources.)

It also rests on literally thousands of eye-witness testimonies, eyewitness reports by diplomats and missionaries, and a mountain of other data. Lewy’s article is directly contrary to the official opinion of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, passed by unanimous resolution, declaring that the Armenian massacres were genocide, and that attempts to deny that fact have no basis in sound scholarship.”Norman M. Naimark from Stanford University recently reviewed Guenter Lewy’s latest book for the jounral Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Naimark concluded that “… if Lewy wishes to maintain his claims to historical objectivity by using accepted judicial definitions of genocide, then the difficulty of finding direct evidence for the Young Turks’ premeditated planning of mass murder should not prevent him from concluding that genocide took place.

At its core, then Lewy’s argument is illogical.”The International Association of Genocide Scholars, in a letter to the Turkish Prime Minister labelled such historians as “scholars who advise your government and who are affiliated in other ways with your state-controlled institutions are not impartial. Such so-called “scholars” work to serve the agenda of historical and moral obfuscation when they advise you and the Turkish Parliament on how to deny the Armenian Genocide.” One of the historians Turks often cite to buttress their denialist arguments is Bernard Lewis. Mr. Lewis has been convicted in French court for denying the Armenian Genocide. His flip-flopping on the Armenian Genocide is well documented. In an earlier version of his book, “The Emergence of Modern Turkey,” Lewis wrote: “A struggle between two nations for the possession of single homeland, that ended with the terrible holocaust of 1915, where a million and half Armenians perished.”

Elif September 13, 2008
Michael, that was what I was talking about, historians claiming that there is not enough evidence to prove a genocide are all junk historians, the rest is just fine. What sort of an approach is this?

This is not a competition of whose historian is better than the other or whose loss is more important than the other. Do you know anything about what led to Tehcir Law? Do you anything about the lives lost because Armenians were after their so called freedom? I am not talking about losses during WW1 although I am not undermining them, I am talking about losses long before that as I indicated before, losses that has nothing to do with the events of 1915 but eventually led to the events of 1915. So do not come to me with self defense, self defense is Tehcir Law.

You are talking about official announcements for land claim. What sort of an approach is that? Which politician would do such a thing unless he is after actual hot war with the country he is declaring that to? You are after land or any other compensation not through war but through political attempts, as noted by you, French Parliament passing a legislation is a very nice example of that. I feel like I am repeating myself here but I have to unfortunately, political efforts of land claims from Turkey through constitutionally indicating that Eastern Anatolia is Western Armenia and intimidating historians by these legislations and preventing them even from debating about the issue and then blaming them with flip flops. Would you want to go to prison for saying that there is not enough evidence to prove the genocide or vice versa? Don’t you see how politicized this issue is? Don’t you see that all these claims and counter-claims even are enough to prove that you can not label the events as genocide?

I thought we covered the 1.500.000 issue so I will not even go there and as far as IAGS is concerned, it is sponsered by Zoryan Institute so it will never suprise me that they historically think that there is a genocide (with your logic at least)

If Turkish Diaspora was half as active as Armenian Diaspora, this debate would not get out of control this severely. I can list here many references that will show inconsistencies in pro-genocide historians but will it make any difference? I guess not. You are talking about Turkish goverment sponsored historians but as always one-sidely you are not talking about Armenian Diaspora sponsored historians. Indeed you are (ie. IAGS) but according to you they are all free from bias. How can a historian not be sponsored, I am asking you. They must be quite rich to sponsor themselves and being sponsored by one side will never mean that they are actually bought out but with your logic IAGS is also bought-out.

Just try to look at the issues with an open-mind and try to assess the other side as well, do not look for historians supporting your belief, look for truth. I am now reading a book by Hrant Dink, published in Turkish. It was originally prepared for TESEV but it was not published until after his death. Although I do not agree with many things he said there, it helps me to empathy, a thing that we definitely need if we are after truth and solutions. I am writing this to you because you are at least reasonably debating with me about historians and instutions baised or not. Otherwise I would not.

michael September 14, 2008
I agree with you that no smart politician would come out and claim land. But awhile back i remember, how the azeri govt vlaims that yerevan belongs to them, that Turkey was claiming yerevan as there own and that the russians supposedly gave yerevan to the armenians. The went to court wanting yerevan back and when armenia told them to show there proof they had none. right now azerbaijan still claims yerevan is theres with aliyev backing it up. also do you thnk azerbaijan has a right to karabakh? In my opinion the ottomen empire took over that land and now its theres, armenia took over karabkh and now its theres.

About the fighting leading up to the genocide. Armenians were being massacred before. have you heard about the hamidian massacres from 1894-1896? What about the adana massacre in 1909.

In May 1915, Mehmed Talat Pasha requested that the cabinet and Grand Vizier Said Halim Pasha legalize a measure for relocation and settlement of Armenians to other places due to what Talat Pasha called "the Armenian riots and massacres, which had arisen in a number of places in the country." Talat Pasha was referring specifically to events in Van and extending the implementation to the regions in which alleged "riots and massacres" would affect the security of the war zone of the Caucasus Campaign. Later, the scope of the immigration was widened in order to include the Armenians in the other provinces. On 29 May 1915, the CUP Central Committee passed the Temporary Law of Deportation ("Tehcir Law"), giving the Ottoman government and military authorization to deport anyone it "sensed" as a threat to national security. The "Tehcir Law" brought some measures regarding the property of the deportees, but during September a new law was proposed. By means of the "Abandoned Properties" Law (Law Concerning Property, Dept’s and Assets Left Behind Deported Persons, also referred as the "Temporary Law on Expropriation and Confiscation"), the Ottoman government took possession of all "abandoned" Armenian goods and properties. Ottoman parliamentary representative Ahmed Riza protested this legislation:

It is unlawful to designate the Armenian assets as “abandoned goods” for the Armenians, the proprietors, did not abandon their properties voluntarily; they were forcibly, compulsorily removed from their domiciles and exiled. Now the government through its efforts is selling their goods… If we are a constitutional regime functioning in accordance with constitutional law we can’t do this. This is atrocious. Grab my arm, eject me from my village, then sell my goods and properties, such a thing can never be permissible. Neither the conscience of the Ottomans nor the law can allow it.

On 13 September 1915, the Ottoman parliament passed the "Temporary Law of Expropriation and Confiscation", stating that all property, including land, livestock, and homes belonging to Armenians, was to be confiscated by the authorities.
I know what the techir law is, i know what led to it. the massacres hes talking about is known as the van resistance against Jevdet Bey and the ottoman army tying to eliminate the armenian population.

Elif September 14, 2008
Michael, you are still looking at the issues one-sidely and in isolation and it is not Armenians who had been massacred first unfortunatley and it is not only Van by the way. Of course I am aware of events of 1894-1896 and 1909 and but you can not look at historical events in isolation, you have to look at series of events and you have to consider them in the context of the world conditions back then. I have commented about revolutionary actions of Armenians before and I am sure you know about Huncaks and Dashnaks and their acitivities. What you are tyring to show as reactions to so called Ottoman oppression of Armenians are indeed revolutionary acts of Armenians to get their so called freedom.

Isn’t it unfair of you to talk about Azeris that they claim Karabakh land back when the due land is being invaded by Armenia presently and when innocent Azeri lives were being taken by Armenians in Khojaly in 1992?

Claim of land from Armenian side is not a conspiracy theory or paranoia, it is, although maybe not officially, indicated by Armenian side.

michael September 14, 2008
The link you posted was a speech from a member of the ANCA. The armenian population in armenia is different than the diaspora outside. the outside diaspora has claims against turkey but like i said i havent heard people in armenia make that claim and until armenias president comes out and says it i dont care what anyone else says. he want to open the border with no preconditions and the only conditions were the genocide and karabagh.

also arent you being onesided also? basically your saying that armenia began massacring turks and turks had to defend themselves and with the issue of karabagh, armenia invaded and killed azeris when in fact armenia was trying to stop the azeris from ethnically cleansing karabagh.

your links below have some quotes from justin mccarthy but like i stated bove alot of historians, not all funded by the armenian diaspora, criticizing his work calling it junk.

also recently Volkan Vural, turkey’s former ambassador to Russia, said that turkey should apologize to the armenians.

ANKARA — Turkey must immediately apologize to Armenians for the "tragic events of the past," said Volkan Vural Turkey’s former ambassador to Russia during the late 1980s, reported the Taraf Turkish newspaper."Although it is difficult to imagine that Turkey would recognize the Genocide, nevertheless, it must apologize to the Armenians and other ethnic minorities–Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds–for displacing them and massacres, and allow them to return to the land of their ancestors and become Turkish citizens," said Vural."The return of assets and financial restitution are difficult issues to tackle. However, it would be possible to make a symbolic offer of financial restitution," explained Vural, saying that making an apology is an "imperative for a country like Turkey.""The Armenian question cannot be resolved by a commission of historians. Such a commission can only help in the resolution process by analyzing some of the issues," said Vural, adding that the Armenian question can be resolved only by political leaders.

"Diplomatic relations between the two countries must be established, without wasting any time," added Vural, who said that the opening of the border with Armenia would not only benefit Armenia, but also Turkey.The former ambassador said that Turkey lost a golden opportunity to establish relations with Armenia when the Soviet Union collapsed, adding that if Turkey had established diplomatic relations with Armenia in 1991, perhaps it would have averted the Karabakh conflict.Vulral added that the establishment of diplomatic relations would also benefit Azerbaijan."Although the establishment of Armenia-Turkey relations will not entirely vanquish Armenians’ genocide claims, it will provide psychological reprieve. It is imperative to differentiate rhetoric with the realities of life," added Vural.

"Turkey must have more faith in itself and not become hostage to the genocide issue," said Vural, adding that Turkey must have strength to acknowledge what has happened in the past and work toward establishing neighborly and friendly relations."Armenians in the Diaspora will always force the genocide recognition issue," he said. "But if Turkey-Armenia relations are normalized, borders are opened, trade increases and people get wealthy, their pressures would lose effectiveness" said Vural.


Atilla September 15, 2008
Michael, you perfectly fit into the brainwashed fundamentalist armenian template. All what you said is nothing but garbage, including your claims of the so-called armenian genocide, the big arnmenian lie. All the sources on the so called armenian lie-armenian genocide go to the christian missionaries who any way were sent to Anatolie to raise armenians agaist Turks, to fund and equip the fascist armenian militatis in an effort to speed up the collapse of Ottoamans and gain acces to the oil of Middle East and Baku. They failed and they failed badly, leaving fundamentalist armenians on their own and face-t0-face with turks, whom armenians killed in hundreds of thousands.

The rest of your argument is anyway garbage, just one comment that Armenians didn’t kill Turks for self-defence. Indeed they killed mostly women and children, as all the Turks and Azerbaiajni men were fighting in 5 fronts with English, Russians, French, etc. So only innocent Turk, Kurd and Azerbaiajni women, children and elderly suffered. The fundamentalist armenians were sent to hell when the Turk men came back from the front-line seeing what their villaged thorned down by armenian fundamentalists and fascist militiates, they just -__ ___sses of fundamentalist armenians and returned back to them. That was it.

michael September 15, 2008
its funny how your calling me brainwashed. If the armenians were attacking the turkish citizens then why did the turks "relocate" the armenians to a, as they claim, a safer location away from the war. Why were they trying to help the armenians if the armenians, as you claim, wer massacring the turksih citizens? Why did they force the armenians to walk through the desert without bringing any water, food, etc.? Armenians are capable of taking care of themselves, they did not need relocation. Like i stated above, turkey’s ambasador to russia basically said that turkey comitted a genocide and they should apoligize and open the border.

Azerbaijan is a country built on blaming armenia for everything that i wrong with it. Why dont you talk about sumgait, kirovabad, maraghar, and other pogroms carried ou by the azeris. They claim sumgait was planned by the armenians. The so called khojaly massacre was exagerated. they actually have fake photos on there website and they were proven by the armenians. They used photos from the kosovo war and claimed it was azeri citizens dead on the floor and that the armenians killed them. After the armenians proved they were fake the azeri govt removed it from the website.

Here is a quote from the official UN report on the khojaly matter:

Azerbaijan refers shamelessly to a 1992 military event, where, according to then-Azerbaijani President Mutalibov, the responsibility for the slaughter of the civilian population of the mostly Azeri city of Khojalu near the capital Stepanakert of Nagorny Karabakh fully falls on the Azeri opposition group, the Azerbaijani National Front.

In the days following the event, President Mutalibov, in an interview with Czech journalist Dana Mazalova published in the 2 April 1992 issue of the Russian newspaper Nizavisimaya Gazeta, said that the militia of the Azerbaijani National Front actively obstructed and actually prevented the exodus of the local population through the mountain passages specifically left open by Karabakh Armenians to facilitate the flight of the civilian population.

(On this matter, the September 1992 report of the Helsinki Watch international non-governmental organization quotes an Azerbaijani woman who says that Armenians had notified the Azerbaijani civilian opulation to leave the town with white flags raised.) In fact the Azerbaijani militia shot those who attempted to flee.

Elif September 15, 2008
Michael, even in opening their own archives about the so called genocide, Armenia had a condition of Turkey opening its borders. Armenia will always have conditions against Turkey and will always have a long-term agenda, hidden or not.

I already explained to you about land claim issues, no sane politician would declare land claims to a country, unless he is ready to go to war with that country and it is obvious that within today’s political context, Armenia is not supported by any country or group (oh maybe other than Kurds, since the agenda here is the same) to get land out of Turkey. That is something maybe next generation should worry about but it is out there. So whether you will here it from a politician one day or not is irrelevant to the fact that there is a such a claim even evidenced in Armenian Constitution.

I know Justin McCarthy is seen as pro-Turkish by some but there are lots of historians that think alike which are not Turkish or labelled pro-Turkish. However it does not mean anything cos here we are debating about the same thing over and over again, the only thing that we get out of this debate being the fact that the events can not be labelled as genocide due to intention and lack of evidence. I am not debating here with you on a nationalistic oriented approach although of course I accept I am born biased, I am here debating with you about the truth and how it is distorted or how it is shown as politicians or groups please.

Normalizing the relations between Armenia and Turkey will never be possible if Armenia continues to accuse Turkey of a crime it did not commit in the first place. There will always be tension whether Gül goes to Armenia or not.

It is not just an apology for the tragedic results of mismanaged relocation order Armenia is expecting from Turkey, it is far from that and you know it. Whether you agree with it or not is irrelevant.

There is no excuse for the innocent lives lost from both sides but if we wanted to label every mass dead as genocide, then I would not be able to count the number of genocides committed on earth here I think. As we are not accusing the Armenian side of a genocide cos with their late attempts of revolutionary acts to break away from Ottoman Empire, they took many innocent Ottoman Muslim lives, they can not do the same to us.

There was no INTENTION whatsoever to exterminate a nation from earth and I hope you will see that one day.

Michael, when it comes to using fake photos I think Armenian Diaspora does a very good job. Even photos that are taken far before the events of 1915 are labelled as genocide victim photos.

I know one particular photo of Ataturk photoshoped and you know as well as I which photo I am talking about. So please do not go in there.

Water or food and even other things were well provided to Armenians as much as war conditions would allow. It is not only Armenians died from hunger, there are lots of Ottoman soldiers who died from hunger as well. We never say the the precautions taken were very sufficient, they were taken to the point possible for an empire fighting in many battles.

Armenians were taken to another location because if they were kept there, due to the continous rebels of Armenian side many more lives would be lost. Armenians were rebelling and the ones not rebelling were helping the ones who were. Do you know anything about ARF? If Armenians were kept there and then many more lives were lost, then you would accuse Ottoman side with genocide again anyway.

Which ever way you go, what ever way you look at it, since you want to accuse Turkish side and look at the issues one-sidely you will always find ways to accuse Turkey.

Sorry my friend, this was a mistake. Just look at issues the way you want look at them, we Turks are a very bad nation with shameful acts and that is why under Ottoman ruling all those centuries the minorities and Muslims lived in peace and prosperity. The only intention of Ottomans were to exterminate their minorities from earth, that is why they waited 600 years to do that.

http://poligazette.com/2008/09/10/turkey-continues-reaching-out-to-armenia/


Opening Doors And Hearts (1-2) Dogu Ergil D.Ergil@Todayszaman.Com
Despite unfair and unsavory criticisms from the opposition, President Abdullah Gül went through with the expected visit to Armenia.

No doubt, there are ultra-nationalistic elements on both sides who hoped this visit would never happen and that people would continue to live with the burden of the "historical baggage" that has disrupted nearly 600 years of mutual life together on Anatolian soil. The occasion was afforded by the invitation of the president of Armenia, Mr. Serzh Sarksyan, to watch a European Cup qualifying game between the Turkish and Armenian national football teams. This historic visit made President Gül the first Turkish president ever to set foot in Armenia. That is why it has an important symbolic meaning as well as the practical end of starting a long-delayed rapprochement between the two neighbors estranged since World War I.

The visit was a necessary one for three important reasons: First, Turkey had recently tabled a proposal that could help find solutions to tensions in the troubled Caucasus through dialogue and cooperation. The proposal entailed a diplomatic medium called the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform involving the Russian Federation, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Surely it would not be wise to refrain from developing diplomatic relations with a country in the same organization one has proposed. In the absence of mitigating organizations in the Caucasus, souring relations could end up in bloody conflicts, as between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia and Chechnya and, most recently, between Russia and Georgia.

Russia's military action in Georgia has persuaded both Armenia and Turkey that it is time to put their differences aside -- of course, with some help from friends (meaning the US and the EU). The armed conflict made it obvious that oil and gas pipelines passing through Georgia, financed largely by the West, joining the rich Caspian region to Turkey's Mediterranean coast is not safe anymore.

So far bypassing Armenia not only pushed this country closer to Russia and Iran but put it in a vulnerable position in terms of energy supplies. All of a sudden Armenia became an attractive alternative route. NATO seems to be encouraging its most eastern member, Turkey, to seek alternative routes. This position inevitably gives Turkey a more important role than it presently plays in the Caucasus. But then this requires Ankara to mend severed relations with Armenia. Armenia also seems to be more willing to reciprocate at a time when Russia has begun to flex its muscles to rebuild its firm grip on its "near abroad," as in Soviet times. And Armenia never wants to go back to those days. There is a new generation that believes the future should be quite different than the past. This requires better relations with Turkey.

Second, the visit intends to initiate an improvement in relations without being captives of history and a development of ties that will yield mutual benefits to both peoples. Armenia is a landlocked country and wants an outlet to move goods and people freely and easily. The Turkish eastern provinces are in dire need of economic development and invigoration of their commercial and industrial potential. Opening up border gates that have been closed since 1993 and paving the way for a robust economic exchange can enliven both Armenia and relatively underdeveloped eastern Turkey. 10.09.2008

President Abdullah Gül's recent visit to Armenia was a necessity for a variety of reasons, among them that Armenian-Turkish relations have been poisoned by real and political feuds emanating from the dire conditions of the war years in the second decade of the 20th century.

Large numbers of Armenians were uprooted on the grounds that they had supported invading Russian troops. But punitive measures went way beyond securing the eastern front, and massive deportations deprived the Armenians of their homeland. In return THE Armenians built their national identity on feelings of injustice and dehumanization, never ending their grief and mourning since. One reason for the continuation of the mourning is the lack of acknowledgement of the pain, sorrow and loss of the Armenians by the children of the people who had placed such a psychologically heavy burden on the Armenians without remorse or the rational explanation of a mutual past that had been abruptly terminated. Demand for acknowledgement and possible apology was the precondition of the Armenians for initiating any positive engagement between the two peoples and states.

It seems President Sarksyan and his government have lifted that precondition, to be discussed later between the peoples when they get to know each other better and have warmed relations through mutually gainful cooperation. On the other hand there is a new situation in the Caucasus where maps could change, following the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia in early August. The need for a mechanism whereby common security concerns can be discussed and cooperation in economy and energy can be planned has become more obvious. There is also a need for devising mechanisms of crisis management that will operate with principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Reciprocally, the Turkish president's visit hints at an undeclared change in the official Turkish attitude that has so far been shaped by the Armenian occupation of a sizeable chunk of Azerbaijani territory (including Nagorno-Karabakh), besides Armenia's backing of its diaspora's efforts to win international recognition for Armenian genocide claims and refusing to officially recognize its present border with Turkey.

If indeed relations between the countries, which have had no diplomatic ties for decades, advance with a future perspective cleansed of past grievances and suspicions, this means both peoples have the maturity to abandon preconditions to negotiate past wrongdoings along with unrealistic expectations. This simply means normalization and healing or simply moving out of the box of symbolism.

People on the street expect that substantial negotiations will follow on from Mr. Gül's visit. Armenians want Turkey to reopen the rail link with Armenia together with border gates to engage in trade. And the Turks expect Armenia to stop lobbying foreign parliaments to recognize their genocide claims. The first test will be a resolution that is waiting on the floor of the US Congress.

Azerbaijanis are closely watching this unexpected development, but as Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has said, Azerbaijan will not intervene and Azerbaijan supports Turkey's proposal for a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform that includes both Azerbaijan and Armenia. 14.09.2008


The Yellator! September 9, 2008, Yusuf KANLI
Many people thought the prime minister was making a joke when he declared a while ago that yelling was a form of elocution, now we are realizing that he indeed is a master of that particular form of oration; a “yellator…”

He has been yelling around… He has been particularly yelling at those challenging either, his absolute leadership or refusing him allegiance.

He was rather happy seeing splashed on the front pages of the media in allegiance to him and his Justice and Development Party, or AKP, reports on the so-called Ergenekon case testimonies of the suspects and bits and pieces from the indictment and from the volumes of alleged supporting evidences… He did not utter a word against, or question the conformity to laws or to morality people being judged and executed on the front pages of newspapers before they even were officially accused.

But, he is very angry nowadays… So angry that he has reached the climax of his “yellatory” skills. He is on TVs every evening, “yellatoring” against those who refuse allegiance and talk about corruption at AKP's hierarchy, the bribery scandal that forced one of his deputy chairmen in the party to resign from duties in the party, the scandalous deals at some municipalities headed by AKP mayors… How could he avoid getting angry? Even if the lower courts at home were “respectful” to the powers of the government and so far have not taken any judicial steps against corruption claims, but his people are “active” in Germany as well and prosecutors have taken action against the “humanitarian affairs” his friends involved in there… Some bird-brained people apparently spilled some beans out during questioning by the German prosecutors and the prosecutors included those confessions implicating in the sham network some very top people in the Turkish administration and bureaucracy.

The worst, while the allegiant media behaved well and did not even report a sentence outside what they were instructed to regarding the court case in Germany, the non-allegiant media gave wide coverage to the issue, including the charges that some of the “evaporated” aid money collected by that “Denizfeneri” Muslim assistance fund were traced up to the prime ministry.

How would he tolerate such talk while the country is geared towards local elections next march? How would he tolerate such talk that underlined not only the failure of himself and his government to live up to a 2002 pledge of fighting corruption, misuse of office, nepotism and such, but highlighted indeed an intensification of such crimes in the country under his and his party's governance.

The prime minister is very angry, “yellatoring” around in hopes of scaring and silencing the non-allegiant media and avoiding all that dirty laundry of the AKP exposed to the Turkish public ahead of the local polls.

The 3 Ys:
However, was not he the prime minister who has been promising the nation right from his first days in office in 2003 that Turkey would diligently fight against corruption, poverty and bans, the so-called “3 Ys” (which stands for “yolsuzluk, yoksulluk, yasaklar” in Turkish)? Was not he the person who was pledging that in his party and government no one can “rub away the rights of orphans and stay on”?

Now, are we wrong if we say rather than “yellatoring” at journalists reporting and newspapers publishing allegations that some cheeky people exploited religious feelings of people, used the prime minister's name in that exploitation, collected millions of euros in donations and embezzled more than half of the money they collected rather than extending to the needy people they claimed they would assist, the prime minister must have ordered a probe into those allegations in Turkey as well?

Are we wrong to expect the prime minister, rather than “yellatoring,” not to be satisfied with the resignation from party duties of one of his deputies in the party because of allegations that in exchange for a lofty bribe he helped some people make millions of euro profit in a land development scheme and lift judicial immunity of that deputy so that he can defend himself at court?

Are we wrong to expect the prime minister, rather than “yellatoring,” to react not only to some fraudulent dealings of an Islamist assistance fund facing a German court but as well to the “Turkey is cleaning its intestines” statement of one of his deputies in response to the arrest of two retired generals in connection with the Ergenekon case bearing in mind that until sentenced by court everyone must be assumed innocent?

Are we wrong to expect our prime minister, rather than “yellatoring,” to be concerned with where this country is indeed going if in the heart of Ankara municipal police are beating up grocers selling alcoholic drinks?

Are we wrong to expect the prime minister rather than “yellatoring” to finally try to accomplish his “transparent governance” pledge?

(Yusuf Kanli can be contacted at ykanli@hotmail.com or yusuf_kanli@yahoo.com)


Turkey Presses For Triple Talks On Nagorno-Karabakh
The Turkish, Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers may meet in three-way talks this month in search of a solution to the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Baku and Yerevan, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday.

Babacan, in an interview with private NTV, said he had already discussed the issue with his Armenian counterpart, Eduard Nalbandiyan, during a historic visit by President Abdullah Gül to Armenia, with which Turkey has no formal ties, on Saturday. Nalbandiyan said his country was ready to take part in a three-way meeting with the Turkish and Azerbaijani foreign ministers.

If the Azerbaijani side also agrees, the talks will be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this month in New York, Babacan said. "We, as the foreign ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia, are planning a triple meeting in New York. We believe this will contribute to the solution of problems," said Babacan.

Burak Özügergin, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said later in the day that Babacan spoke on the phone with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov, and discussed a possible triple meeting. Mammadyarov reacted positively, but the two ministers will continue to discuss the matter, Özügergin said.

The talks are part of a drive by Ankara to end a century of hostilities with former Soviet Armenia. A breakthrough could have huge significance for Turkey's role as a regional power, for energy flows from the Caspian Sea and for Western influence in the South Caucasus region, where Russia and Georgia fought a short war last month.

Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of solidarity with Azerbaijan, a Turkic-speaking ally which was fighting Armenian-backed separatists over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. A solution to that dispute is seen as crucial to any move to establish diplomatic ties between Turkey and Armenia.

"We viewed the Armenian side as willing to discuss Azeri-Armenian problems with us. This is why we proposed a triple meeting," Babacan told NTV. He said Nagorno-Karabakh was not a problem only for Azerbaijan but for Turkey as well.

President Gül on Saturday became the first Turkish leader to visit Armenia since it won its independence from the Soviet Union, a landmark encounter which officials said could help restore strained ties between the two countries and boost security in the Caucasus.

"You will see that political and diplomatic dialogue with Armenia will intensify," Babacan said. "There are many reasons to be optimistic. The most important one is that we have sensed a pro-solution attitude on the Armenian side."

Following a brief war between Russia and Georgia last month, Turkey proposed a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform, a scheme that is planned to bring together Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Russia's war with Georgia, which borders Turkey, has added urgency to the diplomatic drive to improve relations with Armenia. Turkey, a transit state for Caspian and Central Asian oil and gas exports to Europe, was alarmed by the conflict and wants to play a bigger role in Caucasus security. Better ties with Armenia could also boost Turkey's troubled European Union membership bid.
US official calls on Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan to resolve disagreements

A top US diplomat has said he appreciates both the Armenian and Turkish presidents taking a mutual initiative that could pave the way for the normalization of bilateral relations between the two estranged neighbors.

Remarks by Ambassador Daniel Fried, assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs at the US State Department, came on Tuesday in response to questions from members of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs after he delivered a speech to members on "US-Russia Relations in the Aftermath of the Georgia Crisis," the Anatolia news agency reported.

"We are encouraging both Armenia and its neighbors Azerbaijan and Turkey to resolve their disagreements. We are pleased that the Armenian president [Serzh Sarksyan] invited President [Abdullah] Gül to Yerevan and that President Gül responded in the affirmative to this invitation," Fried was quoted as saying by Anatolia. "We hope to see Armenia's relative isolation end. We want borders to be opened and its relations to be improved, and we will work for this goal," Fried was also quoted as saying.

Back in June, Fried urged Turkey to come to terms with its painful history regarding the suffering of Anatolian Armenians during World War I, also calling on Armenia to relinquish its territorial claims over Turkey. He then also hinted that the US administration should reject the use of the term "genocide" to describe the early 20th century killings of Anatolian Armenians for political considerations. Ankara Today's Zaman
11 September 2008, Today's Zaman Ankara

Cengiz Aktar: "Young People No Longer Believe The Story That" Nothing Happened "" , 10 September 2008, by Stéphane / armenews
In an interview with Bianet Dr. Cengiz Aktar, director of the Centre for European Union at the University of Bahcesehir, said seeing a lot of obstacles between the two states. It will be a very lengthy process, he said, but "the Armenian and Turkish peoples may do so. Those interested in this process need to create more opportunities to meet. "

Dr. Cengiz Aktar described the visit of President Abdullah Gül in Armenia as a very important and historic. However, he also believes that there are other obstacles that will need to be overcome so that this visit can bring positive results.

According to Cengiz Aktar, Turkey hopes that these small steps will eventually ultimately put an end to the insistence of Armenia to use the word genocide, but it is futile, because Armenia does not even discuss that the state level.

Another obstacle is the factor Azerbaijani: "Turkey is seeking alternatives that Russia for energy, but Azerbaijan ties its hands because of the conflict in Karabag."

On the other hand, Cengiz Aktar believes that the visit has given a great opportunity for many who have not been to Armenia to see how it arises.

"This will be a long process, but if this problem is solved, it will be at the level of peoples. It will be resolved by a formal agreement between the two companies. "

For this reason, said Cengiz Aktar, it is useful for those who are for the normalization of relations between companies can meet with each other. He believes that cultural and artistic activities may be able to create necessary facilities for meetings.

At the end of the visit, the two presidents, Abdullah Gül and Serge Sarkissian, said they did not leave the solution to the problem between the two countries to future generations.

Cengiz Aktar said it would be a miracle if the border between the countries when it opens is closed since 1993 because many things will change. However, the extent necessary to be taken by Turkey. This is not a principal, said Cengiz Aktar, if the problem lea recognition of the border between the two countries is resolved.

According to Cengiz Aktar more people have discussed what happened in 1915 after démmarrage process of the European Union and the murder of Hrant Dink. "Young people no longer believe the story that" nothing happened ".

"The Turkish-Arméno weekly Agos, the newspaper of the late Dink, played a key role in that. These young people may ask questions began to do so. This may in time lead in a movement of justice which may affect the two countries. The real issue is the question of sharing the pain ".


An Action Plan To Strengthen Ties Between Armenia And The West, 10 September 2008, VA / armenews
The Chairman Serge Sarkissian has created, Tuesday, September 9, an agency responsible to cultivate ties with the European Union and NATO.

The office Sarkissian said in a statement that the commission, headed by Artur Baghdasaryan, secretary of the Presidential Council of National Security, monitor the implementation of the Action Plan of Individual Partnership of Armenia (IPAP) with 'NATO. The plan was launched in late 2005 to intensify cooperation with countries of the alliance led by USA.

According to the release, the Committee will also Baghdasaryan with another plan of actions intended to strengthen the participation of Armenia in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which is attached to the EU.

The decision to base Sarkissian this organization was expected since his speech on September 4 on foreign policy. The Armenian president has promised to "deepen and strengthen the friendly partnership" between Armenia and the USA, but also with governments and other Western structures. Addressing the Armenian ambassadors abroad, he would personally monitor the implementation of the action plan OE.
RFE / RL Copyright 2007 Washington DC


Armenian Press: "A Football Geopolitical" , 10 September 2008, By Stéphane / Armenews
"A football geopolitical" is the title of the article on the meeting Sarkissian-Gül, which emphasizes airport reception of President Gül by the Foreign Minister, maintaining the Armenian presidency during which the President has Sarkissian thanked his Turkish counterpart for having accepted his invitation and stressed that "direct contacts between two neighbouring countries are the most effective form for the normalization of relations between countries". In turn, President Gül invited President Sarkissian to travel to Istanbul for the return match in October 2009. The parties have discussed the topic of normalization of bilateral relations, exchanged views on recent developments in the region without forgetting the Turkish initiative as a platform for stability and cooperation in the Caucasus. Highlighting the opportunities for normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, the two presidents have emphasized the political will of both countries to play a role and proceed with the settlement of existing problems, to establish an atmosphere of peace and confidence in the region. According to the President Gül President Sarkissian took the first step in inviting him to Armenia. The invitation has been transformed into a joint initiative that could serve as an example for the whole region. For his part President Sarkissian added that all issues, even the most thorny, could be resolved. "It is up to us to solve as soon as possible existing problems in order to relieve future generations," he stressed, adding that he saw with his counterpart will bring peace and stability in the region and that he looked forward. / Hayastani Hanrapétoutiun / "We share the view of Armenia regarding the lifting of barriers through dialogue," said President Gül at the airport of Ankara. The day before, the visit had been described as' historic 'by the Turkish media. The same qualifier was attributed to his meeting with Armenian President. According to Turkish media, the visit was "a courageous step" opening a new page in Turkish-Armenian relations. Analyzing the visit on the plane on the way back, the president Gül told reporters that the visit had enabled the climate of confidence and added that "The ball was in our camp, and it should not she rest. " According to the reporter "Zaman, Gul thanked his Armenian counterpart for the reception. On the issue of open borders, the Turkish President said: "If this atmosphere continues will be back to normal, normal, but for now it is not on the agenda." The results of the meeting is still underway but it does not prevent the Turkish media extensively covered the meeting Sarkissian-Gül, without also eschew the two ministers AE. The publications are accompanied by numerous comments on the possible consequences of the interview Nalbandian-Babadjan. The remarks of Turkish President and his minister of the AE is precisely reproduced and installed on the website of the Turkish public channel. / Azg /

In his article "The psychological barrier in the Caucasus is destroyed" the president said that Gul was not expected that his Armenian counterpart spoke to him details of the conflict in HK reports Hayots Achkhar. The President Nicolas Sarkozy described the visit to Yerevan by the President Gül historic and courageous Aravot reports referring to Turkish daily "Huriyet."
Embassy of France in Armenia, Press Service


"One (Foot) Shot In The Foot" By Ara Toranian , 8 September 2008, by Stéphane / armenews

Abdulah Gul had dreamed, Serge Sarkissian did it. By allowing the head of the Turkish state to violate the soil of Armenia to attend the meeting foot held on September 6 in Yerevan, the Armenian government has offered on a plateau at Ankara's most beautiful campaign promotion he could hope for. The fact that Turkey over the past few years while wood fire to treat its appearance is thanks to this venue covered with praise. From Washington to Brussels via Paris, applauded the gesture of Gul who is in line with the new Turkish foreign policy urbi et orbi placed under the auspices of "peace and love." On the offensive on all fronts, its diplomacy offers who wants to hear his good offices. Speciality claimed: the easing of tensions, the promotion of peace, conflict resolution. Without laughter. Ankara pervades everywhere, between Israelis and Syrians, Russians and Georgians, Islam and democracy ... There are no areas of regional disputes, no dispute can not now escape the zeal of the Reconciler dove Turkey. They eventually almost forget that this new angel wings peacemaker was covered with blood, it continues to occupy Cyprus, which he leads for decades without a war against the Kurds thank you, and that is continuity of the genocide of 1915, continuing a policy denial to justify the crime and to preserve profit. This is the dark side of the Turkish state, but the sad reality that no doubt trying to conceal. Not only because, as any criminal, it attaches particular importance to propaganda. But most of all because the management of its image is more than ever a key strategic dimension with regard to its European ambitions. A central objective if it is for this state who lives his candidacy for the club of 27 like a real battle, the achievement of its ultimate conquest National, a real case of honour. This no small feat when you know the importance the country attaches to this concept, considered by his justice as a mitigating circumstance for most crimes committed his name.

Under these conditions, Gul's trip to Yerevan seemed like a godsend, a golden opportunity to erase one of the last shadows of the table this idyllic Turkey which it has done since his coming to power the friendly representative of commerce. Through this gesture that did not cost much if some derision for his principled opposition, the Turkish president is now provided with resources to shine on the international scene. And therefore, to stem the tide of recognition of Armenian genocide which impedes both. By now the possibility to claim the Armenian-Turkish dialogue under construction on "all issues, including questions of history's most contested" (unfortunate expression of Serge Sarkissian in the Wall Street Journal, 9 July 2008), it has new arguments to counter the threat of genocide recognition by the USA, which pledged that both Obama Joe Byden. A prospect who was, it will probably rather poorly experienced by Ankara.

Given the situation, the question arises as to what has been pushing the leaders of Armenia to make such a gift to Ankara? And this, only a few weeks of the U.S. election and hopes it raises. This nagging question calls for three types of responses. He was first able to easily elected and discredited by the deaths of 1 March, to silence international criticism against him. And indeed, the miracle was accomplished. The new posture gandhiesque Serge Sarkissian imposed a respectful silence in the ranks of the European Union and the USA. Then, this initiative comes from an Armenian team leader deemed very close to Moscow, can also be understood as a logical consequence of the foreign policy of Russia, which has operated since the early 2000, a spectacular rapprochement with Turkey. Finally, this manoeuvre obeys also in the minds of those who lead the need to loosen the grip that is taking the country, showing white paw to his most deadly enemy: Turkish nationalism. This attitude, which is part of the illusion that it would be sufficient to cope with adversity to neutralize the danger is not new. And it has long been known, the Munich Agreement have been a fine example to the twentieth century, it is neither own Armenians, nor the monopoly of small nations. Provided qu'espère really settle the Armenian President reducing as it does the contradictions between Turkey and Armenia to a mere "historical dispute"? In this way trivialising the lethal nature of this conflict endemic, Sarkissian decline custody but it does not weaken Turkish nationalism. This is contrary to his perseverance rewarded. While encaissait as of successive coups recognition of the genocide, when he was about to suffer a serious setback with the possible election of Obama, is that leaders of Armenia fly an unexpected way to his rescue Without getting any additional consideration. If this is of course the grace that has made the head of state criminal and Holocaust denier to spend a few hours with them in the homeland honnie.

But opinion of you, is it not necessary at a given time out of this impasse? Should we not take every opportunity to break the logic of hatred? Is it not better to light a candle than curse the darkness?

It is clear that in this initiative, all is certainly not to reject it. And one can not a priori rule out possible positive implications, especially for the camp pro-Armenian in Turkey, which could see his fight easier. It is also possible that secret diplomacy would be at work in Switzerland since the end of May to produce some fruit, perhaps in regard to a possible opening of the Armenian-Turkish border. But even if that goal Serge Sarkisian called for were to happen, many questions arise. What would be the actual cost of such an opening for the Armenian side, from the viewpoint of its principles, its security, but also its economy? An open border with a partner friend is a good thing. But what is it with a state driven by ideology and hostile conquering? There is no doubt that the leadership of the country has raised these issues, it has done its accounts, and she knows where it goes. Although it is still allowed also to relativise the real impact of the enrichment of a few on the standard of living of the whole country.

In any event, it is clear that Turkey has not only won the football match inside the Hrazdan stadium. She also won a round in the battle of the image on the international scene. It might have been different if Armenia had dared to kill its own cards, between a principled refusal to meet with any team a Holocaust denier and genocidal. As we did in another era, on behalf of anti-apartheid struggle, with teams from South Africa. This type of crop would have been at least the merit of calling a number of clocks an hour. Instead, the victim has reached out to the executioner. And in so doing, she also draw a (foot) shot in the foot. Ara Toranian


From History To Realpolitik In Armenian-Turkish Relations Ibrahim Kalin Todayszaman.Com
BBC covered the story as a "landmark visit to Armenia." CNN called it "football diplomacy." French President Nicolas Sarkozy applauded the visit as "courageous and historic."

Back home, President Abdullah Gül was criticized for going too soft on the Armenian issue. No matter how one describes it, Gül's visit to Yerevan last week, the first of its kind, could be the beginning of a new era in Turkish-Armenian relations.

The Russian-Georgian war once more revealed the fragile nature of the Caucasus region. While the Western bloc and Russia battle over their spheres of influence in the world system, Turkish-Armenian relations have become critical again. While Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Armenia in 1991 after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the two countries have had no diplomatic relations since then. In addition to the baseless Armenian genocide claims, Armenia invaded about 20 percent of Azerbaijan in 1993, and this led to the closure of the Turkish-Armenian border soon after. Now, landlocked Armenia is stuck with a small population and a smaller economy. If Armenia wants to prosper, it has to review its geo-strategic and geopolitical priorities.

A new geo-strategic approach to the region means opening new lines of communication with Turkey and Azerbaijan. Improving relations with Turkey, the largest economy of the region besides Russia, would benefit Armenia more than Turkey. Armenia has a chance to become part of the world's largest energy corridors. But it cannot claim its share unless and until it adopts a more rational policy toward its two neighbors: Turkey and Azerbaijan. (For more on this, see the new SETA brief on Gul's visit at www.setav.org.)

A new geopolitical approach means reviewing Yerevan's global priorities. Armenia is in a delicate situation: On the one hand, it has very close ties to Russia. In some ways, Russia uses Armenia as a little outpost in the Caucasus. On the other hand, the Armenian diaspora has a palpable presence and influence in the US. The paradox is that the American-Armenian community refuses to have any relationship with Turkey, a NATO member and a strategic ally of the US. They accuse Turkey of denying the "Armenian holocaust." They think pressuring Turkey on genocide claims will give them some leeway. Well, this is simply bad logic. Turks and Armenians are too alike -- they will not give in to psychological pressure.

Last week, I had a chance to sit down with Professor Vamik Volkan in Washington, D.C. Volkan is the number one world expert in political psychology and has done work on many hotspots and troubled areas around the world. He agrees that it is time to move from history and emotions to realpolitik in the Turkish-Armenian relations. Volkan hailed President Gül's visit as a courageous and timely step. He added that high-level talks with a strategic outlook can bring about a breakthrough. "We need a new key to sort out some of these problems," he said. The new key Volkan speaks about is buried not in history but in the realpolitik of today.

In the short term, no breakthroughs should be expected in the Armenian genocide claims or in the Armenian invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh. What may happen, though, is that some of the psychological barriers can be removed and some strategic talk can begin. This is something Yerevan appreciates more than the Armenian diaspora. As in other diasporas, the Armenian diaspora communities are more adamant about genocide claims than the home country, Armenia. The issue is not simply about the checkered relationship between the two countries. It is also about the "genocide business" and the fact that the Armenian diaspora finds a unifying cause in it.

Turkey and Armenia stand to gain from developing a regional perspective. Just as President Gül accepted the invitation from his Armenian counterpart, Yerevan should accept Turkey's gesture to start a new period. Regional stability, security, economic cooperation, cultural interaction and diplomatic relations can set the Turkish-Armenian relations on a new course. And it should. Turkey should separate Yerevan from the selfish priorities of the Armenian diaspora. It should follow a proactive policy and move toward opening the border between the two countries and give real people, not just the elites, a chance to work and live together. The Caucasus crisis presents daunting challenges. But it may prove to be an opportunity for Turks and Armenians to start on a new page in the current maelstrom of international relations. 11.09.2008


Turkish U-21s Hit Armenia For Four, Qualify For Playoffs
Turkish U-21 players celebrate after scoring one of their four goals against Armenia in their Group 2 match at Istanbul Ali Sami Yen Stadium.

Good soccer teams at times suffer from stage fright, especially when they are playing away in a hostile and intimidating atmosphere.

Maybe this is what the Turkish U-21s went through when they were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by minnow Armenia in their 2009 European Championship Group 2 qualifier in Yerevan last month. Not that the Armenians would ever score, let alone beat Turkey, if both teams were to play another 10,000 times.

Vengeance is ours, saith the Turkish U-21s. On Tuesday they outplayed, outclassed and outscored the Armenian team 4-0 in the last group match of the qualifying round at I.stanbul's Ali Sami Yen. Determined to settle old scores Turkey took the game to the Armenians right from the very beginning. Led by inspirational playmaker Batuhan Karadeniz, the Turkish U-21s gave their opponents no breathing room and succeeded in reducing the Armenians to soccer novices -- which they really are.

The visiting side literally ran out of ideas as the young Turks attacked incessantly from left, right and center. Hard work begets reward and so it was no surprise when Batuhan put Turkey ahead in the 26th minute. Eren Güngör doubled the score for the Turks at the eighth minute, Batuhan was again on target to make it 3-0 in the 45th and Özer Humarc? sealed the score, 4-0, in the 77th.

The game was played in a cordial atmosphere. On the pitch the players only concentrated on soccer -- no vicious fouls aimed at hurting the opponent and no elbowing or feigning fouls to have the opponent booked or sent off. The several Turkish fans in the stands were also well behaved: They did not chant curses or cause any trouble as they cheered on their beloved team to victory.

Sports and politics should not mix nor should they be mixed. They are two different things altogether and should always remain that way.

Draw for European under-21 playoffs on Friday

The playoff draw for the UEFA 2009 European Under-21 Championship will take place in Malmö, Sweden, on Friday. The lineup for the playoffs was completed on Tuesday in a dramatic night of action as titleholder the Netherlands bowed out at the qualifying round group stage after losing 1-0 to Switzerland.

The 10 group winners and the four best runners-up from the qualifying competition will enter Friday’s draw to determine the fixtures of the playoff matches. The 10 group winners are Italy, Turkey, England, Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Austria, Serbia, Germany and Wales, while the four runners-up are Belarus, Israel, France and Denmark.

The playoffs will be on Oct. 11/12 and 14/15 on a home-and-away basis. The winners from each two-leg matches will join host Sweden in the competition proper on June 15-29, 2009. Today’s Zaman, 11 September 2008, Okan Udo Bassey


Watching From Armenia, September 11, 2008, Cengiz Çandar
We went to the Armenian capital Yerevan the day before a football game played on Sept. 6 between Turkish and Armenian National Teams for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and we returned three days after the game. Our purpose was to follow a “first-ever event” in the history of international community. That was to watch the “background” and “future” of “football diplomacy” at the site.

Although as journalists it was our duty to follow a “historic” event and share it with readers, the “Yerevan Expedition” had an emotional aspect for some of us since we are friends of the slain Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink. We already knew the big dream of Hrant, which added meaning to his life yet made him paid with his life.

In every moment we spent in Armenia we remembered him, in tears at times. For instance, we had a dinner with our Armenian friends who have roots in Anatolia. We sang the folk song “Sar? Gelin”, or “Sarî Ahçik” in Armenian. The young man playing “duduk” approached our table and said, “I had composed a piece for Hrant Dink. Now I will play it.” Through the silence we felt as though Hrant was with us there right at that moment. I looked around the table and realized that five Turkish journalists were in tears.

We wanted to share that moment with his family and loved ones in Turkey so we called Istanbul and the voice of “duduk” reached from Yerevan to Istanbul through the phone.

Phones ringing
From there on, there was non-stop phone traffic between Yerevan and Istanbul. While we were witnessing this “historic close-up” and sharing these precious moments with Turkey, we were informed about the fight that broke out between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog(an and Ayd?n Dog(an, owner of the Dog(an Holding.

In a place 40 kilometers southeast of Yerevan, we were sightseeing around churches, each a masterpiece of art, built in the 13th century in Geghad situated among deep valleys and high mountains. Our phones were ringing all the time. Even in a place unreachable by most, we were able to follow the “Erdog(an-Dog(an war.” Erdog(an's “blitzkrieg,” which may overshadow the most “dramatic” international step in Turkish political history, kept us busy in Yerevan.

Some of our friends in Yerevan are members of the Dog(an Media Group and some others are part of the pro-government media groups. Now, our friends working for the Dog(an group worked for the pro-government media groups in the past and vice versa.

For all these reasons, our heartfelt tears for Hrant were divided by this development because when we return we had to take side in different “camps” avoidably.This time, however, the challenge was not stemming from the fact that the members of the Dog(an Media Group, who were with us in Armenia, cannot stand against Mr. Dog(an because this time Mr. Dog(an seems the target of a “wrongdoing.” The difficulty, on the contrary, stemmed from that the notion of “independent media” was lost in the pro-government media groups so members of this media cannot be critical of their own groups.

A battle of words
The following paragraph from an article written by Yasemin Çongar, who worked for the Dog(an Media Group for a long time but now is at Taraf daily, reveals the reasons behind the Erdog(an-Dog(an fight. In her piece, titled “An analysis of pros and cons of the Erdog(an-Dog(an fight: Prime minister should reveal information in any case!” Çongar said:

“Expecting any good from the Erdog(an-Dog(an fight is possible only through a radical change in the media-politics relations. And for that, Erdog(an personally should be transparent to remove doubts about him and his immediate circle about relations with the media.”

As I followed this war from Yerevan, the most important remark came from Dog(an among many words exchange between them:

“I say Mr. Erdog(an that this does not suit you. These are cheap. You were a successful young man when you became the prime minister. And you are still a successful one. You made beautiful things for the country. Do not attack us but do take Turkey to the European Union. And let us help you along the way.”

I am distressed that Erdog(an started such a battle of words in a way to create doubts about our right to criticize the government, put us in difficulty and took a step to cast a shadow over the big success Turkey made in international politics.

And I am resentful because he took a step at the least expected time to divide people who were able to cry for Hrant together.

US Urges Turkey To Open Border With Armenia September 11, 2008, ÜMIT ENGINSOY
WASHINGTON - Turkish Daily News

The United States praised last weekend's visit by President Abdullah Gül to Yerevan on Tuesday, but reiterated that it would continue to push Turkey to open its land border with Armenia.

"We were delighted that the president of Armenia reachedout to President Gül and invited him to Yerevan and delighted also thatPresident Gül accepted the invitation," assistant secretary of state forEuropean and Eurasian affairs Dan Fried told the House Foreign AffairsCommittee at a hearing on the recent Russo-Georgian war.

He said the United States had been encouraging Armenia and neighboringTurkey and Azerbaijan to work toward settling their differences and thatthis policy would remain in place.

"I'm glad that we have an ambassador going out there soon and we'd certainlyhope to see Armenia's relative isolation end," Fried said. "We want itsborders open and its relations improved and we're going to work to thatend."

Turkey recognized Armenia's independence amid the former Soviet Union'sdisintegration in 1991 but has never set up diplomatic relations with the country.

Ankara is also keeping its land border closed in protest of Armenia'soccupation of part of Azerbaijan's territory since a war in the early 1990s.

Armenia accuses the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of modern Turkey, ofperpetrating a genocide of Armenians during World War I. Turkey rejects thecharges.

First effort toward normalization

In a first effort to break the ice, Gül briefly visited Yerevan lastSaturday on the occasion of a World Cup football game between the twocountries' national teams, where he met with Armenian President Serge Sarkisian.

Both presidents said they were happy with this first contact and pledged tostrive to improve relations.

Talks are due to continue, with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and hisArmenian counterpart, Edward Nalbandian, expected to meet in New Yorklater this month during U.N. meetings.

Efforts to create a Turkish-Armenian rapprochement came as countries in the region were also coping with the aftermath of the latest war in the Caucasus.

In response to a brief Georgian offensive Aug. 7 on separatist rebels in theautonomous region of South Ossetia, Russian forces poured into the area,capturing South Ossetia, Abkhazia – another autonomous republic, and part ofGeorgia proper. Despite a cease-fire arrangement, Russian troops are stilloccupying posts inside Georgia

Analysts close to the U.S. administration say that the latest Caucasusturmoil brings urgency to efforts for improved relations between Turkey and Armenia.


Debate Over Montreux Reignites ,September 11, 2008
The Montreux issue occupies Turkey's agenda once again after alleged US plans to meet with Turkish officials to discuss changes to the Montreux Treaty. A US official denies the claims and tells the TDN that Washington respects the treaty

Turkish Daily News

The United States plans to discuss with Turkey changes to the long-standing Montreux Treaty governing the passage of military ships from countries that do not have coastal access to the Black Sea, newspapers claimed yesterday.

U.S. diplomats are readying to raise the issue of access to the Black Sea for U.S. ships, reported daily Taraf yesterday. The Georgia-Russia crisis has changed the dynamics of the Black Sea, and Washington wants to hold discussions with Ankara, the report quoted an unnamed U.S. diplomat as saying. “It is time to take a hand in Black Sea,” the same diplomat reportedly said.

The Montreux issue came to Turkey's agenda last month, when the war between Georgia and Russia erupted and the U.S. military announced plans to send military hospital ships to Georgia through the Turkish straits. The trans-Caucasus country, a close U.S. ally, has been ravaged by the Russian invasion. But Turkey has stuck to the Montreux Treaty on the access of warships to the Black Sea.

Speaking with the Turkish Daily News, a U.S. official denied that Washington was seeking changes to the treaty.

“We follow the treaty; we respect Turkey's role in the agreement,” said the same official. “We are not seeking to change it.”

The official said U.S. policy on the issue was clearly outlined by Matt Bryza, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

“The Montreux Convention stands on its own. It has been around for almost a century and it's a component of the legal foundation of the Turkish Republic. There can be no changes in the Montreux Convention,” Bryza said earlier.

The Russian military, on the other hand, remains suspicious over the access of NATO ships to the Black Sea. “Turkey's dignity is on the table,” the deputy chief of the Russian General Staff was quoted as saying in remarks published in daily Hürriyet yesterday. “We'll all see if Turkey will remain loyal to the treaty or bow to the increasing demand from its NATO allies,” said Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn.

In a televised speech, Turkey's foreign minister said no demand had been conveyed to Ankara regarding a change in the Montreux agreement.

“We've been implementing the treaty letter by letter since 1936. There was no deviation from it, even during World War II,” said Ali Babacan, who stressed that the convention was the guarantor of peace and stability in the Black Sea region.

The Son Of Small-Djémal Pasha Filed Flowers Dzidzernagapert , 11 September 2008, by Stéphane / armenews
More than 300 Turkish citizens have visited the Museum of Armenian Genocide in Dzidzernagapert during their visit to Yerevan during the football match between the two national teams on September 6, 2008 said the director of the museum, Hayk Demoyan.

According to Hayk Demoyan, many of these Turkish visitors to the museum were students, supporters and representatives of NGOs. Many of them have visited the museum out of curiosity, with varying reactions as exhibitions from sympathy to remorse, regret the denial.

The museum had earlier this month launched an exhibition being on the contribution of sport Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. According to Hayk Demoyan this exhibition was attended by most Turkish visitors were surprised to learn the role of Armenians in the development of sports in the Ottoman Empire.

According to him, many visitors said they were unaware that the Armenians had contributed so much to the sport.

Moment highly anticipated, the descendant of one of three masterminds of the Genocide of Armenians, Hasan Cemal, a journalist with the daily Milliyet visited Saturday morning at 8am the Memorial of Armenian Genocide of Dzidzernagapert where he deposited flowers in memory of victims of Genocide Armenian.

The son of small-Djémal Pasha, Hasan Cemal wrote on the occasion of his visit an article entitled "Respect the pain of everyone". In his article Hasan Cemal had proposed a minute of silence being observed in the stadium before the match "in memory of the tragic page in our common history and suffering experienced by Armenians and Turks in the past."

In 2005 Hasan Cemal, in an article had said on April 15, 2005 that he did not believe the thesis of a planned genocide but admitted nonetheless that "this position is questionable" and appellait respect for those who claim that there was genocidal intent. "Ignoring the suffering and misfortune that struck the Armenians would go against his conscience and history. That is why we must be able to digest this period of history Ottoman without seeking prevarication "had already concluded Hasan Cemal.


A Tashnak Man Hugs A Turkish Girl , September 12, 2008, Vercihan Ziflioglu - First Person
Yerevan

It was an extremely interesting experience for me, as an Armenian young woman who was born in Turkey, and as a journalist as well, to follow the Turkey-Armenia football game in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. A few meters away from me Turkish President Abdullah Gül was sitting next to his Armenian counterpart Serge Sarkisian behind a window. In front of me, right beneath the sky, the holy Mount Ararat rose in all its grandeur.

For the first time in my life, I was getting prepared to watch a football match in a stadium. My journalist friends who already know that I am Armenian-Turkish were, in a joking way, asking which team I would support. But it was indeed a difficult question to answer. As an Armenian from Istanbul, in Armenia I was a “stranger” and on top of that I was representing the Turkish press. Warm people of the country I was born in were on one side of me and a society that my roots belong to was on the other side. I belong to whom?… I felt alone in a stadium filled with thousands of people and I was facing a dilemma.

I experienced perhaps, the most difficult time of my life at the H?razdan Stadium. After the match, my colleagues from Hürriyet daily approached me and said: “We have seat on the plane. If you wish, we could go to your hotel to pick up your bag and could return to Turkey together…” These words were echoing in my mind. I could either go back home to Istanbul or I could spend a few days in Yerevan.

A part of me wanted to go back to Istanbul, as the other part of me wanted to stay in Yerevan…

A future without traumas
I arrived in Yerevan days before this match. In the streets I asked people about their impressions. I met the representatives of each group, radical and liberal. I had close contact with the Armenian press. Apparently, Armenians want to look to the future with hope and give rise to new generations that do not have to face any traumas. Above all, Armenians want to have a truce with Turks.

Private schools have opened in the city lately. They have different curricula to provide a different education regarding the 1915 incidents. Families doing well financially send their children to these schools, in order to raise them without any trauma. From liberals to radicals, however, the 1915 incidents are still a taboo in Armenia. “Turks” who remained behind an iron curtain which was shut a hundred year ago are the subjects of a great deal of curiosity in Armenia. Young people aged between 18 and 35 want to visit Turkey as soon as they have a chance, in order to get to know “Turks” and “Turkey”.

Reaching arms and tears wiped out
With a group of ten, the Young Civilians (Genç Siviller) came to Yerevan. They met the Armenian youth Friday night and proposed a toast for a common future. Twenty Armenian young people hosting the Young Civilians never left them alone during the two days.

Some members of the Young Civilians wanted to visit the Genocide Monument Museum. Before the historic match started, a quick visit was planned to the museum. On our way back, a young Tashnak man verbally attacked a young Turkish girl and said “You killed our grandfathers.” As tears were coming down through her face, the young man approached and they had short conversation, and a hug followed soon afterwards.

A young Tashnak man and a Turkish girl wrote history on the streets of Yerevan. I hope the tears in their eyes and their arms stretching towards each other become the harbinger of future friendships…


Armenia May Withdraw From Nagorno-Karabakh , September 12, 2008, Turkish Daily News
Armenia seems to be willing to withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh, according to the Turkish president.

“I've seen in Yerevan that the Armenians are willing to pull out from the Azerbaijani territory,” President Abdullah Gül said to a group of journalists on board the flight to Baku on Wednesday.

He said Armenia and Azerbaijan were also willing to resolve their conflict over the Nagorno- Karabakh region, after he had talks in the two countries. Gül's visit to Azerbaijan followed the weekend's football diplomacy in Armenia. In Baku, he met with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, and briefed him about his recent visit to Yerevan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan both have “an honest and sincere desire for a settlement,” Gül said.

He said the conflict between Georgia and Russia, which erupted last month, had triggered a new desire to resolve outstanding problems in the Caucasus.

Turkey wants progress in ending the Nagorno-Karabakh tensions between Azerbaijan, one of its closest allies, and Armenia, which would allow Ankara to take bolder steps in its reconciliation bid with Yerevan. The Turkey-Armenia football match last Saturday already opened the way for dialogue, demolishing the psychological barrier in bilateral ties.

No concerns on Azerbaijani part
Gül played down suggestions that Ankara's push to reconcile with Yerevan had irked Azerbaijan, which has close economic and political ties as well as ethnic and cultural bonds with Turkey.

“We agree that we should make efforts to try to resolve the issue... If this opportunity is missed, who knows when a new opportunity will arise?” he said. “Everyone is aware that a settlement will lead to comprehensive cooperation from which all will benefit.”

Gül became the first Turkish head of state to visit Armenia when he traveled to Yerevan on Saturday to watch a World Cup qualifying football match between the two countries at the invitation of Armenian President Serge Sarkisian.

Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Wednesday he was trying to organize a trilateral meeting with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month.


No Electricity Deal With Armenia, September 12, 2008, Turkish Daily News
Energy Minister Hilmi Güler said yesterday no agreement had been signed with neighboring Armenia about electricity supplies to Turkey.

His remarks followed news reports quoting his Armenian counterpart as saying that Armenia had signed a deal to supply Turkey with electricity from the beginning of 2009.

“An agreement on this was reached during the recent visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gül,” Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian said Wednesday.

“Turkey is a new market for Armenia, as Armenia last supplied electricity to this country during the Soviet period,” he said.

But Turkey's Güler clarified that only some private companies were negotiating with Armenia for the time being.

“No agreement has been signed,” he said.

The Turkish president's visit to Yerevan on Saturday opened a new chapter in bilateral ties, raising hopes for a peaceful solution to existing problems between the two countries that have had no diplomatic relations for many years.


Encounter With A Maestro On A Dark Yerevan Night Yavuz Baydar todayszaman.com
"Let us try to live side by side. Let us never forget that there are not good nations or bad nations, there are only good people and bad people."

In a surprise meeting, these words were uttered by the master of melancholy in music, the indisputable maestro of the duduk, a small Armenian flute produced with apricot wood.

Soon to be 80 years old, but ever in good shape, sipping his favorite whiskey, Djivan Ghasparyan welcomed us at a private dinner, a gathering between journalists and diplomats, in Yerevan. His presence symbolizes, to many of us, the tragedy of not only Armenians, but all good people, regardless of ethnicity or religion, in Anatolia.

"Let us all drink to all good people on earth," he says, his eyes glowing with hope. We follow. "There are no different gods," he states, adding: There is only one god; it is everybody's god." Ghasparyan's family is from Mus,, which was hit very badly by the great Armenian tragedy in 1915. Some of the family members left -- or were forced out of -- Anatolia. Ghasparyan has spent all of his life in Armenia, carrying with him the burning soul of good times lost, completely free of hatred of "bad people."

When we say we are so taken and honored to meet with such a great maestro, he puts his hand on his heart, laughs and says, "If there is nothing here, you cannot play anything." Playing the duduk, to him, is "like praying." I ask him whether he listens to the mystic Anatolian reed, the ney. He laughs softly, again. "Oh, you know, the duduk and ney are like brother and sister." I could not agree more. We talk about the great Turkish Bektas,i master of ney, Niyazi Say?n of Istanbul, who plays rarely these days.

I tell Ghasparyan about the legend of the ney. The Bektas,i (a Sufi order) link it to Ali, the nephew of the Prophet Muhammad. The legend tells of an encounter between God and Ali in which God tells him the great secret of the universe, but strongly urges him not to tell anyone else. Day after day, the wisdom he holds becomes unbearable, and Ali, in pain, walks to a river; in the loneliness of the night, he shouts out the secret to the reeds. It is said the ney, made from reed, therefore sings the great secret. "I hear the same secret from the sister," he says, in deep reflection.

After the chat, our host and colleague, Amberin Zaman, announces that the maestro will play for us. "There is no greater luxury on earth than to have a private concert by maestro Ghasparyan," I whisper to Cengiz Çandar and Ali Bayramog(lu, my colleagues, who look as if they are in a trance due to the surprise.

With two students of his, he plays us songs of incredible beauty -- the true Anatolian-Armenian songs of longing, of separation, of love and death. We are all in tears, as Amberin brings in a photo of Hrant Dink and places it on the table before the musicians. Ghasparyan says, "Hrant loved this song," and starts with an intro full of sorrow. We listen to "Sar? Gelin" (Blonde Bride) or "Sari Ahçik" in Armenian, silently, lost in tormented memory.

Cengiz asks for a song by the great composer Komitas Vardapet, who was arrested on April 24, 1915, in I.stanbul, together with more than 200 Armenian intellectuals. This great composer, deported to a concentration camp, lost his mind, probably by witnessing torture and persecution, and was saved through the major efforts of two Turkish intellectuals, Halide Edip, a female author, and Mehmet Emin Yurdakul, a national poet.

Then, to lighten the heavy atmosphere, the small recital ends with joyful dance music. We all go to him, kiss his hands and wave goodbye. He is loved, as everywhere else where good people live, in Turkey. He promises to come to I.stanbul, a place he loves, and pledges to invite Turkish musicians to Yerevan as soon as possible. The rapprochement needs the tunes of brotherhood, it needs songs of joy. These tunes will also keep us mournful for the bad deeds of the past.

Meeting Ghasparyan was the crowning moment of our Yerevan visit. May he live long and keep us in euphoria with his wonderful music.


We need Armenia, Etyen Mahçupyan todayszaman
We are passing through an era when the nation-states are losing the capability to solve their problems with traditional policies. Use of force, provocation for conflict and unilateral gain models are no longer valid.

The biggest reason for this is that the universal norms embodied in human rights have created a new concept of legitimacy. In other words, the foreign policy moves that do not comply with today's concept of legitimacy will backfire even if they are made by powerful states. This inevitably forces nation-states to assume a fair approach based on common interests in order to expand their influence.

Abdullah Gül's visit to Armenia represents Turkey's attempt to adapt to this new atmosphere. It is not surprising for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to assert itself in foreign policy after being trapped in domestic politics. Indeed, the foreign policy moves concerning the issues that involve Syria and Iran were peaceful attempts to ensure common peace and stability.

Yet, we should not forget that behind these moves are the dreams of Turkey's conservatives for recreating the Ottoman experience. For this group, the Ottoman world's most brilliant manifestation today is the Pax Ottomana. Today, the AK Party management's desire to become a world player once again, or at least a major political player in our region, is obvious.

Coupled with the new concept of legitimacy, this longing for becoming a "big country" has redefined Turkey, at least in its own eyes, as a "problem solver." It was a golden opportunity for the reproduction of the Ottoman legacy as Turkey realized that it does have a good chance in a power-based crisis among nation-states to take a leading role. Now, Turkey not only has the chance to wave the flag of peace, but is also surrounded by a number of small countries refraining from conciliation.

This approach also works well with two important strategies. One is a foreign policy rule that Turkey has recently learned. According to this rule, the more you deviate from the requests of your powerful allies without disrupting their strategies, the more profitable this will prove. In doing so, your relative importance increases, and at the same time, you widen the political sphere in which you operate. If your allies make moves showing that they have failed to adapt to the new global concept, it will be easier and more productive for you to talk about peace, flexibility and dialogue.

The second strategy was simply the result of a perception of threat. Turkey is NATO's terminal point against Russia, and one of the main targets of our foreign policy is not to cause deterioration in our relations with this country on which we are vitally dependent with regards to energy.

When we bring the pieces of the puzzle together, we see that it is possible for Turkey to become a powerful player in its own region, and it can do this by following the models that stress cooperation, though this may be against the wishes and interests of the West. Indeed, this is the very strategy Turkey is currently implementing: to seek multidimensional partnership that includes Turkey in the Caucasus and the Middle East and to make Turkey an indispensable regional player again.

Yet, the sine qua non for this dream is that Turkey should be able to have and maintain individual relations with every country in the region based on trust. At this point, there is only one weakness for Turkey, as everyone knows: Armenia. Keeping its border gates closed and refusing to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia not only makes Turkey weak in its region, but also adds to the Western perception of Turkey as a country that is incapable of having good relations with its neighbors. For this reason, we could say the AK Party government has long been seeking to launch a new dialogue initiative with Armenia, and, as a blessing from fate, the football match has been seized by the government as a golden opportunity.

Indeed, from the first day, it was obvious that Gül was eager to accept Sarksyan's invitation, and his close circles did not hide his intention. The South Ossetia and Abkhazia crisis in Georgia has proved once again that Turkey's strategy was quite correct. This is because this crisis, in addition to creating a confrontation between Turkey and Russia, might force us to act as a "small country" for a long time if the crisis grows bigger. The Caucasus Cooperation and Stability Platform is a move made to remove this negative possibility, but will also be meaningful in the long term. Its success depends on a quick improvement of relations with Armenia.

The current conjuncture has brought new opportunities for Turkey in a spectrum ranging from changing mentalities to threat perceptions. Yet Armenia should not serve as a black hole in this spectrum. It is for this reason the president eagerly accepted the invitation and the possibility of normalization finally emerged.
12.09.2008


Gül’s Visits To Yerevan, Baku Harbingers Of New Era? Sinan Ogan*
President Abdullah Gül went on a one-day visit to Baku to remove doubts in Azerbaijan his recent trip to Yerevan may have raised as well as to inform Azerbaijani officials about what transpired in Armenia.

During his visit to Baku, Gül also spoke about the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform, recent developments in the region, the existing situation and security of energy corridors and the question of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Although some press outlets referred to Gül’s visit as an attempt to mend Turkey’s relationship with Azerbaijan in light of the topics discussed, it is also likely that the visit was aimed to serve as a spark to Turkey taking on the role of mediator in the region. The Turkish media were not provided with extensive information on the content of Gül’s talks with Armenian state officials, but his meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan’s Yerevan visit to speak with his Armenian counterpart, Edward Nalbandian, suggest they focused on deeper issues.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group and the group’s member countries, namely, the United States, France and Russia, fell short of expectations to find a peaceful and negotiated resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. Furthermore, they tried to exclude Turkey from the process of looking for a solution to the problem by rejecting proposals by Turkey to contribute to the process. Undoubtedly, Armenia played a significant role in this. However, the existing situation demonstrates that the OSCE Minsk Group can no longer contribute to the solution of the crisis between Armenia and Azerbaijan. For this reason, one may expect the dissolution of the OSCE Minsk Group in the days ahead and its replacement with a new mechanism to be generated within the framework of the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform.

It is well known that the deadlock over Nagorno-Karabakh highly disturbs Azerbaijan, which has kept the military option on the table. Azerbaijan is no longer like it was at the beginning of the 1990s. It now has the military and economic power to take back Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia is aware of this fact and the prospect of Azerbaijan declaring war terrifies it. Azerbaijan may take such a step at any time, especially after the brief war between Russia and Georgia. There are also claims that Azerbaijan has taken initiatives to do just that.

Armenians desire to open borders
Armenia has for long striven to open the border with Turkey. If no strong objections come from Azerbaijan, border gates could be opened. Certainly, recognizing the border should take place before the border gates can be opened. In this regard, Turkey and Armenia could agree on their borders in line with the articles of the Treaty of Alexandropol (Gümrü), signed in 1920, and the 1921 Treaty of Kars. This would mean Armenia no longer seeing Turkey’s eastern provinces as “Western Armenia.” It is necessary to note that Armenia has for long been ready to take a step to this end.

During US Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to Azerbaijan as part of a visit to the region on Sept. 3, 2008, a very interesting issue came to the agenda. Cheney spoke with Azerbaijani President I.lham Aliyev about the prospects of having the Nabucco pipeline run through Armenia. The Cheney-Aliyev meeting took place in a chilly setting. As soon as Cheney left Baku, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called Baku to speak with Aliyev.

Having the Nabucco pipeline run through Armenia is actually something the US has wanted for a long time; however, circumstances were not mature. Now, a suitable environment has been created to achieve this. Notably, after the war in Georgia, some suggested Georgia will destabilize. Hence, apart from the US, which gives diplomatic support to having the Nabucco pipeline go through Armenia, finance circles that will allocate funds for this project have begun to prioritize Armenia as an alternative to Georgia. The fact that Nabucco’s route will be shorter and financially more advantageous and that Armenia is more stable compared to Georgia renders Armenia an attractive route for pipelines in the new period. The prospects of Russia using the energy issue as a trump card following the Russia-West dispute in the aftermath of the Georgian war has urged the West to seek alternative routes. In this regard, the chances for the Nabucco pipeline have increased while the chances of the Russian-proposed South Stream pipeline have diminished.

In this new geopolitical environment the West is trying to secure Europe’s energy security with the Nabucco project on the one hand while on the other it wants this pipeline to turn into a peace line between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia by making it cross Armenia. The West thereby calculates that it could save Armenia from Russian control (even if only partially).

In the meantime, it is important to note that Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Güler met with Aliyev and former Azerbaijani Energy and Natural Resources Minister Natiq Aliyev when he went to Baku. During this meeting, which took place before President Gül’s Yerevan visit, they discussed the supply of 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey from the phase two natural gas site in the Shah Deniz region, which is expected to be launched in 2013.

Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform
Another item on the agenda at the meetings will be the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform. Despite the risks involved, Turkey should be insistent over this proposal. Georgia and Russia openly declared that they would support this project under some conditions. Azerbaijan took a cautious approach towards the proposal and appears to have remained cautious. On the other hand, it should be noted that Russia, which underlined that it would not discuss this proposal unless Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is removed from office, is now warm to the establishment of the platform, given the changing conditions.

Apparently, instituting relations between Turkey and Armenia has been a matter of discussion within diplomatic circles for a long time but the right time and the right venue was sought. Therefore, we could say that all these negotiations have just begun. Gül will probably meet with US President George W. Bush as well as Sarksyan during his visit to the US on Sept. 20. Moreover, a visit by Bush to the region is scheduled to take place in November.

Negotiating the Nagorno-Karabakh issue
Another issue President Gül is expected to address is Nagorno-Karabakh, which has remained unresolved since its breakout in 1988. In fact, Yerevan is not expected to take any action or step in regard to this issue. Azerbaijan offered it the status of a loose federation and autonomy to this breakaway republic, but Armenians rejected the proposal. This could be explained by the presence of eagerness to have an independent state because Azerbaijan has nothing else to offer.

Armenia’s major policy regarding Nagorno-Karabakh entails that the issue should not be tied to Armenian-Turkish relations, but that it should be considered separately. Former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan made an explicit offer on this matter. In short, Kocharyan held that Turkish-Armenian relations should not be dependent on the interests of third countries. At the current point, Azerbaijani interests have been taken out of the context of Turkish-Armenian relations because Armenia has no intention to compromise the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, who attended the ceremony held to observe the 17th anniversary of the so-called independence of Nagorno-Karabakh, noted in his speech that they would not waver from the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Considering that Azerbaijan will not take any action in relation to the issues outlined above unless progress is made in regards to Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia may need to take some steps on this matter. Armenia may make a gesture by withdrawing its troops from occupied territories with the exception of Nagorno-Karabakh. It had occupied these areas in an effort to have a strong hand during negotiations in the first place. Armenian authorities may take action by declaring that they have given up on these lands. Armenians, however, will not withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh. It should be noted that the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is as sensitive a problem for Armenians as it is for Azerbaijan. However, agreeing to hold negotiations with Armenian authorities, open the borders and the existing railway line and attempt to redesign the Nabucco project to include this line simply because it has withdrawn from a few settlements will confirm that Nagorno-Karabakh has been lost for good; therefore, forcing Azerbaijan to proceed with such an option will create irreparable problems. In such a case, current and future Azerbaijani generations will hold Turkey responsible for this.

Regardless of what is discussed, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is the most fundamental one in relations between Turkey-Armenia and Azerbaijan. Without making any progress on this issue, no further step could be ever taken vis-à-vis other bilateral issues. Turkey has decided to serve as a mediator on this matter. For this reason, the main issue in Gül’s visit to Baku will be the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and Armenia’s new offer. In a report I authored based on my observations during a visit to Armenia in 2004, I noted that Armenian President Sarksyan, who was the defense minister at the time, would most likely become president after the end of Kocharyan’s term in office, adding that he would make some gestures during his office given that he was a businessman. Hopefully, Sarksyan takes new steps. Otherwise, bilateral relations between Turkey and Armenia may deteriorate further.

*Sinan Ogan is head of the Ankara-based International Relations and Strategic Analysis Center (TÜRKSAM).
12 September 2008,


Babacan Discusses Armenia Visit, Caucasus With Rice
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan initiated a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday evening during which the two discussed recent developments in the Caucasus.

Earlier on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon telephoned Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog(an, and the two also discussed the recent developments in the Caucasus in the aftermath of a brief war between Russia and Georgia last month.

Babacan briefed Rice on a recent visit paid by President Abdullah Gül to Yerevan to watch a World Cup qualifying match between the national teams of the two countries, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Burak Özügergin yesterday told the Anatolia news agency. Babacan accompanied Gül during the landmark visit, which took place at the invitation of Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan and which made Gül the first Turkish president to visit Yerevan since Armenia became independent in 1991.

Özügergin said that during his conversation with Rice, the foreign minister reiterated Ankara's support for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Minsk Process which aims to find a political solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will have a positive impact on Turkish-Armenian relations, Babacan also told Rice, Özügergin said.

In response, Rice said the US has found Turkey's efforts within this framework "meaningful" and that Washington would lend support to these efforts, the spokesperson added.

As for the conversation between Ban and Erdogan, Anatolia said, citing anonymous sources, that the UN secretary-general expressed appreciation over Ankara's initiative for establishing a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform, a scheme that is planned to bring together Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The initiative aiming at resolving regional disputes came following last month's war between Georgia and Russia.

In response, Erdog(an told Ban that Turkey would continue its efforts for contributing to regional stability, Anatolia reported. 12 September 2008, TODAY'S ZAMAN


Armenia Not Excluded In Railway Project
A railway project linking Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia is not meant to exclude neighboring Armenia, with which Turkey has no formal ties, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim said yesterday.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars bypasses Russia and Armenia. The railway, which is scheduled to be completed in 2011, will not only link the three countries but will also revive the historic Silk Road trade route that once connected Asia with Europe.

"The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is by no means a project excluding Armenia," Yildirim told reporters. "This is an international project aimed at boosting international trade and tourism, and it is quite possible that other countries may also join. Russia, Greece and Iran could join. It is not confined to Turkey and Azerbaijan alone," he added.

Some 1.5 million people and 6.5 million tons of cargo are expected to be transported by the railway in the first year following its launch. Yildirim also praised a visit by President Abdullah Gül to Armenia on Saturday and said he may also visit the neighboring country after coordinating such a trip with the Foreign Ministry. "As positive developments keep coming between Turkey and Armenia in the diplomatic and political spheres, these developments will also be reflected in other areas, such as transportation, communications, trade, education, health and tourism," he said. 12 September 2008, TODAY'S ZAMAN


Contents of Genocide Course in Toronto District, Fatma Sarikaya
Loss of any life is saddening. We cannot bear when incurable diseases and accidents claim premature deaths. Furthermore, killing due to political confrontations, greed and ideological - religious differences make no sense in our day and age. So we must do all we can to stop losing healthy young bodies, be they innocent bystanders or armed volunteers under any circumstances. But, by the same token, we should not allow gruesome death stories, true or not, to be used as emotional ploys for wholesale condemnation of a nation undeservingly. This is where the objections are centered to Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) inclusion of Turkish-Armenian civil war in their genocide curriculum.

Why cannot the Turkish-Armenian Conflict be Labeled as Genocide?
Sad as it may be, not every death can be labeled as genocide. Warring parties are left outside the scope of the 1948 U.N. convention on genocide. Before an event can be rightfully labeled as genocide, the perpetrators’ intent to exterminate the accusing party in whole or in part must be proven, such as with the existence of a plan and/or communications. The fact of the matter is that the Armenians started to portray their century old misfortune as genocide without establishing any of these facts, after witnessing in 1949, the success of the Jews to receive reparations for gaining recognition of the Holocaust.

The Turkish Government justifiably demands that the historical facts be established in an unbiased manner. Meanwhile, the Armenian propagandists strive to dupe unassuming masses through sheer propaganda and political pressure before their ‘genocide’ allegations become an established fact supported by a verdict of a competent tribunal. It is clearly inappropriate for the TDSB to assume the role of judge, jury, and the executioner attempting to change the interpretation of historical events 93 years after their occurrence. And it is misguided for politicians to yield to the allegations of special interest groups before the International Court of Justice, as created by the United Nations, decides on such a controversial issue, weighing the facts according to accepted legitimate standards of evidence.

What sets the War losses of Armenians and Turks during World War I (1914-1918) apart from the Jewish Holocaust of 1933-1945?

The Jewish Holocaust began in peaceful environments upon Adolf Hitler coming to power in Germany on Jan 30, 1933. Jewish shops were boycotted on April 1, 1933 and first batch of the homeless, alcoholics and unemployed were sent to a concentration camp in November 1933. These people deemed ‘undesirable’ by the German people carried out no provocation or armed resistance against the German armies or posed any threat to Germany’s sovereignty. Laws to strip Jews of German citizenship started in September 1935. The rest made an infamous history for mankind to draw lessons from.

Obviously, the Jews were targeted and annihilated for just being Jews, having been deemed an inferior race in Europe for centuries by way of prejudice, not because they posed any security threat economically, politically or militarily. There is no corresponding evidence that Muslim Turks treated Armenians, Jews or any of the Christian minorities as an inferior race. On the contrary, Armenians were represented in the Ottoman parliament, the Ottoman treasury was managed by Armenians, and they were even assigned to World Capitals as Ambassadors of the Ottoman Empire. Jewish doctors were not allowed to treat German citizens, nor could Jewish lawyers represent Arian Germans whereas the Turkish Sultan’s doctors were Armenian in the decaying Ottoman Empire.

In the case of Turkish-Armenian conflict, the Muslim Turks and Kurds were considered as undesirable by the Armenian minorities because the Armenians wished to declare independence at a time when the Ottoman Empire was weakest and most threatened by others. Armenians started armed uprisings from 1882 onwards (See: Kamuran Gurun, “The Armenian File”, Ankara, 1985). Armen Garo , one of the leaders of the Armenian uprising boasted (in his book ‘Why Armenian Should Be Free’, 1918, Hairenik Publishing Co., Boston) how 200,000 armed Armenian volunteers sided with the Russian army to invade Turkish land in late 1914. It is an established fact through French, Russian, British and Ottoman archives that Armenian uprising engulfed most of Anatolia killing defenseless Muslim women and children while their young men were fighting at multiple fronts, with the onset of World War I. And yet, Armenians of today continue to claim that these very same ill-omened Turks carried out a genocide under such conditions. When carefully examined, the whole situation looks like an attempt of genocide on the Turks. After all, Turks were only defending their home when invaders from all corners were raining death and destruction on Turks. And Armenians, instead of defending their home against the invader along with their fellow Turkish citizens, actually took up arms against their own Turkish government and Turkish neighbors.

Historical Facts
Armenians consider April 24 1915 as the day to symbolize their genocide, because on this day, 245 of their ring leaders were taken into custody by the Ottoman officials. We all know that the British landed Anzac soldiers on Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25, 1915 after heavily shelling the outskirts of Dardanelles. At the same time, the Russian armies were attacking from the Black Sea coast down to Van on the Eastern borders of what is now known as Turkey. The French and British war ships were patrolling the region then called Cilicia from the Mediterranean shores. Turkish young men were busy defending their country from invading British, French and Russian forces from the deserts in Africa and Saudi Arabia to the plains of the Balkans, from the balmy Aegean islands to the freezing mountains of the Caucasus. Ottoman- Armenians took advantage of this situation and killed Muslim women and children seeing their opportunity to clear an independent country for Armenians only. The Ottoman Government responded to this very serious threat by temporarily relocating the Armenians from the war zone to stop Armenian collaboration with the invading Russian forces. Protective measures were taken for their safe and orderly resettlement within the borders of the Empire. However, upon losing their hopes for an independent land, Armenians started to retaliate with more zeal all over Anatolia. So, the relocation extended from June 16 to November 1915. The war took its toll and conditions worsened for all people in the area. Hundreds of thousands of Turkish soldiers died of typhoid in the Eastern zone. More than a million non-combatant Muslims, most of whom were driven from their homes by Tsarist Russian armies, died from disease and hunger. Ottoman Government was weakened, food and medicine were scarce, and so, many people died of famine even though the Turkish soldiers shared their food rations with the needy Armenians (a fact conveniently ignored in the Armenian and Western accounts.)

At the end of World War I, the Turks were squeezed into one fifth of the land they had ruled under the vast Ottoman Empire. Come 21st Century, their grand children are blamed for perpetrating genocide on the Christian minorities who no longer reside in Anatolia. Why do these same human rights activists ignore the cleansing of the Turks from the Balkans or other areas ruled by the Ottomans for these lands were home to Turks for over 600 years? Any war sounds like a genocide, if the dead of only one side is considered.

Is TDSB Qualified to Make This Decision on Behalf of the “Competent Tribunal” Established by the UN?

Surviving Nazi leaders were put on trial in Nuremberg, due process was followed, cross-examinations and proper defenses were allowed, and so the Nazi complicity was proven beyond a shadow of doubt. Modern World History witnessed various ‘genocides’ for some of which one general here or few government officials there were found guilty of genocide by the World Courts. There is no reason for the TDSB to blame the Turkish Nation en-masse for the unproven ‘genocide’ of Armenians. These 93 year old events have not been researched by unbiased historians sufficiently to pass a fair and just verdict.

It is a shame that politicians, in their quest to appease their Armenian constituents, still try to draw concessions from Turkey, or hinder Turkey’s membership to the European Union. Be that as it may, the fact remains that it is academic suicide to introduce an unproven genocide in school curriculum.

Do you think Turkish-Armenian civil war of 100 years ago some ten thousand miles away is more educational as a bogus genocide than the “treatment of indigenous peoples of North America” by the Whites?


Will Gul's Visit To Yerevan Have A Long-Term Impact (Ilter Turkmen), 10 September 2008, Turkish Press
Anything which ends well is good. President Abdullah Gul's visit to Yerevan last week also went well. Nothing unpleasant or excessive happened, and the protests against him weren't widespread. The Armenians who watched the World Cup qualifying match between Turkey and Armenia were very dignified and mature as well. Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian will probably accept Gul's invitation to attend the return match a year from now. But presidential visits to watch soccer matches aren't enough.

I wrote on Saturday that if Gul's visit didn't produce concrete results, it wouldn't be surprising if this provoked domestic political debate. In addition, as Radikal daily's Cengiz Candar wrote, unless the rapprochement represented by the visit is followed by opening diplomatic relations and borders between the two countries, this will result in deep frustration. Candar added that resolving this frustration would be harder than addressing the current problems.

Apparently Gul's visit wasn't just symbolic or pro forma. Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian told reporters in Yerevan that after Gul left, he had met with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan and that they reached a consensus to work on opening the borders and diplomatic relations between the two countries. This development signals very genuine change in Turkey's stance, because up to now these two steps have been contingent on solving the Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Will these two processes be conducted together, or will Turkish-Armenian relations be discussed in a completely different framework? We don't know exactly, but the Karabakh issue can't be solved so quickly. Linking these two processes would drag out the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations. Some argue against opening the border and establishing diplomatic relations, saying, for instance, that Armenia hasn't forsaken its territorial claims on Turkey, and that Armenia's declaration of independence and Constitution refer to southern Anatolia as 'Western Armenia.'

If they really include this concrete territorial claim, one might ask why we were one of the first states to recognize Armenia. Another argument cites Armenia's reluctance to ratify the 1921 Treaty of Kars. But here, it would be inexplicable why we didn't insist on recognition of the border before recognizing Armenia.

A few years ago I was a member of the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission. Before the commission disbanded, the Turkish and Armenian coordinators wrote a letter to the Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers expressing their views on opening the border on the basis of Kars. At that time, the Armenian members didn't think Yerevan would oppose ratifying Kars.

I don't know what happened next, but I guess the main reason for our reluctance to open the border and establishing diplomatic relations comes from not wanting to offend Azerbaijan. Perhaps for the same reason, priority was given to bringing together historians from both sides to improve relations, because such a meeting seemed unlikely to provoke Azerbaijan's direct opposition. It was nearly impossible for historians to agree on a historical interpretation of the events of 1915. Our president's initiative for normal friendly relations between Turkey and Armenia could finally prove that we've started to cast off the restraints which have so far kept us from solving our own problems.

The Enemy of My Friend, September 12th, 2008 Gayane Abrahamyan
Isolated Armenia plays a careful diplomatic dance with Georgia and Russia. From EurasiaNet.

YEREVAN | The Georgia-Russia war has placed Armenia in a bind. Officials in Yerevan are feeling pressure to take sides, either supporting their country’s strategic partner, Russia, or its neighbor, Georgia, through which 70 percent of Armenian exports flow.

Economic issues have so far driven Yerevan’s response. But a factor looming in the background of any geopolitical discussion is Russia’s decision to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This has upped the stakes for Yerevan, as Armenian officials do not want to do anything that could impede the realization of their desires to see the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh break free from Azerbaijan.

Currently, economics dictates that Armenia pay attention to its relations with Georgia. Under blockade by Turkey and Azerbaijan, Armenia’s only reliable outlet for exports and imports is through Georgia. The war, and its complicated aftermath, has thus inflicted a considerable amount of damage on the Armenian economy.

Much of the harm can be traced to Russian efforts to close Georgia’s Black Sea ports, as well as a major railway. One of the consequences of this action was that some 107 train cars of wheat, 10 fuel containers, and 50 additional rail cars with miscellaneous goods were left in limbo, Gagik Martirosyan, an adviser to Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, said in a statement. The unloading of ships with goods meant for Armenia reportedly resumed only on 1 September, according to the government.

The delays are stoking concern about a possible wheat shortage in Yerevan. Repairs on the railway were due to be finished this week, according to the Georgian government. An alternative railway line can handle only much smaller loads, Martirosyan said.

The owner of one flour processing company said on 6 September that Armenia would face a continuing shortage of flour if the railway is not reopened soon. “[P]eople buy 50 sacks of flour instead of the 10 or 20 they used to get before,” said Vanik Musoian, owner of the Mancho Group, which also imports wheat. “Many villagers try not to sell their wheat.” Some 2,500 tons of wheat imported by the Mancho Group remain in Batumi, while another 7,000 tons are still in Russia. The company is attempting to import wheat from Iran.

Gasoline has been another problem. Until late August, many stations countrywide posted “No gas” notices. Although the government declared that gas reserves were sufficient to withstand a temporary shortfall, drivers who were forced to wait in long lines to buy fuel scoffed at the assurances.

Gagik Torosian, the executive director of Yerevan’s Center for Economic Development and Research, believes that if the war had lasted longer, “Armenian citizens would once again have experienced the hardships of the ’90s, when people stood in line for both gas and bread.”

While the importance of Armenia’s relationship with Georgia has been highlighted in recent weeks, there are powerful factors favoring Russia. Russian companies control Armenia’s telecommunications sectors, are responsible for management of its railway network, and have sizeable interests in its energy industry. Russia in 2007 accounted for just over 37 percent of Armenia’s foreign investment or $500 million, according to government figures.

FRIENDS ON ALL FRONTS
For many Armenians, the situation underscores a need to enhance Yerevan’s long-time policy of complementarity — trying to maintain good ties with both the United States and Russia. Diversity in foreign relations could provide a hedge against any given geopolitical development in the future becoming a major source of domestic distress. “We will develop and enlarge our bilateral strategic partnership with Russia in every way and plan to enhance and strengthen our partnership with the United States,” said President Serzh Sargsyan at a 3 September meeting with diplomats.

For now, Armenia is striving to avoid a choice and remain on friendly terms with both Russia and Georgia.

Russia seems willing to allow Armenia and other formerly Soviet states to remain neutral. On 3 September, for example Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev issued a statement saying that “Russia will not impose pressure on any country to recognize the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”

For one analyst, the true test of Russia’s partnership with Armenia will be whether Moscow stays true to its pledge concerning Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “Armenia is in Russia’s hands,” said Stepan Grigorian, chairman of the Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation in Yerevan. “But if Russia considers us partners, then it will not impose pressure.”

Other Armenian analysts and politicians believe that, sooner or later, the Kremlin will indeed expect Yerevan to provide political support for Moscow’s actions. If this happens, it will be the Karabakh issue that weighs most heavily in the minds of Yerevan policy-makers. Armenia can’t ignore Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and then expect diplomatic help in any effort to win potential recognition of Karabakh, analysts say. “The fates of these two countries are much like the one of” Nagorno-Karabakh, analyst Levon Melik-Shahnazarian said. “If we don’t say that now, we will lose the moral and the political right to blame any other country that does not recognize the independence of [Karabakh] because of its own interests.”

Opposition parliamentarian Larisa Alaverdian, a member of the Heritage Party, is advocating a way to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while still potentially preventing a diplomatic falling out with Tbilisi: only the Armenian parliament should recognize the independence of Georgia’s separatist territories. “The risks are high that relations with Georgia may be damaged. That is the reason I suggest that only the National Assembly recognize them, which is just an expression of popular will and can’t have consequences for the executive branch,” Alaverdian said.

In his 3 September comments, Sargsyan set recognition of Karabakh as the precondition for any recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. “Having the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia can’t recognize another formation in the same situation until it recognizes the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic,” he said.

Gayane Abrahamyan is a reporter for the ArmeniaNow.com weekly in Yerevan. A partner post from EurasiaNet.org.


Babacan: The Armenian Diaspora Remains Stuck On An Event That Would Have Occurred 100 Years Ago ,12 September 2008, by Stéphane / armenews

The head of the Turkish diplomacy Ali Babacan said that dialogue was recently begun to accelerate under the new process of relations between Turkey and Armenia.

"We will intensify dialogue in political and diplomatic with Armenia," he said Wednesday answering questions from the Turkish private channel NTV.

"There are several reasons to have hope and most important is political will. We felt the Armenian side an attitude aimed at solving problems," he added.

He said that a trend towards resolving problems in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan will have positive effects on relations of Turkey with Armenia.

"It is therefore question of parallel processes and for this reason I suggested to my Armenian counterpart Edouard Nalbandian a tripartite meeting with the participation of our Azerbaijani counterpart," he stressed.

He said that the proposal had been accepted by the Armenian side.

"We must also differentiate the Armenian government, which produces policies for addressing his people, the indifferent attitude of the Armenian diaspora, which remains blocked on an event that would have occurred 100 years ago," he said.

The President of the Republic of Turkey Abdullah Gul met with his Armenian counterpart Serge Sarkissian, Saturday in Yerevan, during the match go Turkey-Armenia qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

The Turkey recognizes the independence of Armenia, but does not maintain diplomatic relations with that country.


"The Armenian President Must Give Explanations To The Armenian Nation!" By Mourad Papazian
12 September 2008, by Stéphane / armenews

The visit of President of the Republic of Turkey was hailed as a strong act of reconciliation by all Western media. Turkey is not expected to this invitation Armenian, which actually presented itself as a political windfall for Ankara. While the diaspora combat a Turkish state denial, Armenia receives the President of the State Holocaust denier. Taking care not to refer in one way or another, the issue of genocide. The President of the Republic of Turkey has been so surprised that he said on his return to Ankara: "It did not even talked about the so-called genocide". The Turkish President is not requested. It took note of this unexpected invitation, he assessed the consequences before giving its final agreement. On reflection, one realizes that Turkey fate grown. In an amalgam also regrettable that trouble, all the international media has emphasized the historic nature of this meeting. For public opinion, football has led to a historic rapprochement with the result to prepare a bright future between the two countries. It is clear that if Armenia renounced recognition of the genocide and reparation, Turkey could consider opening a neighbourhood policy positive between the two states.

It took the deployment of the FRA Dachnaktsoutioun on the spot so that the Turkish President aware that beyond the presidential invitation, Armenia also claim is a reality. The FRA Dachnaktsoutioun organized demonstrations at the airport, on the road to the airport to downtown, in front of the Presidential Palace, within the precincts of the Hrazdan stadium and Dzidzernagapert. Several thousand activists and supporters were mobilized throughout the day to bring the Armenian claim.

The representatives of the Turkish state know that for decades, the diaspora is leading the fight for the cause Armenian: recognition of the genocide, repairs and territorial restitution. States recognize, one after the other, the reality of the Armenian genocide. Despite pressure and threats from the Turkish state. The fight is also directed against the denial of state of Turkey. In these battles, the advantage is clearly to make the assets of the Armenian people, as more than 20 states have recognized the genocide and that the process of criminalizing the denial of genocide is underway in France. From 1991 to 1998, the policy of rapprochement unconditionally with Turkey, advocated by Levon Ter Pétrossian, then President of the Republic, had sown disorder within the diaspora since Armenia refused to engage in the process of recognition of the Armenian genocide, allowing opponents of the cause of Armenian set before this major contradiction within the Armenian nation. Those who worked on the diplomatic field have found very negative effects on the position of LTP.

From 1998 to 2007, the Authority headed by Robert Kocharian had reached an agreement with the FRA Dachnaktsoutioun and had agreed to place the issue of recognition of the genocide in the centre of the foreign policy of Armenia. With frightening efficiency, since the bulk of successes have been achieved during this period. When Armenia and the diaspora speak with one voice, the Armenian people is a winner!

Today, after having expressed his agreement for the establishment of a commission of historians in charge of evaluating the evidence of the Armenian genocide, the Armenian President has invited his Turkish counterpart in Armenia without mentioning the issue , Most for the Armenian people, recognition of the Armenian genocide and repairs. Nobody can ignore the reality of combat Armenian. Nobody including the Armenian President. Especially not the Armenian President. We can not ignore decades of fighting, investment, sacrifices, mobilizations. The issue of Armenian-Turkish relations is certainly a sensitive issue to be addressed sometimes with diplomacy but never in denial.

It is necessary today that the Armenian President gives explanations to the Armenian Nation.
Mourad Papazian


Miniaturk in Yerevan, September 13, 2008, Vercihan Ziflioglu, Yerevan - Turkish Daily News
Armenia’s Culture Minister, Hasmik Bogosyan, wants to collaborate with its Turkish counterpart to restore the relations for future generations and overcome the trauma. Bogosyan said her biggest dream was to organize a festival celebrating Turkey in Armenia.

Turkey and Armenia should pursue more cultural cooperation, as it would do more to heal historic trauma than diplomacy, Armenia's culture minister said in an exclusive interview with the Turkish Daily News.

Amid warming relations between Turkey and Armenia following President Abdullah Gül's recent trip to Yerevan, Hasmik Bogosyan called on the Turkish Culture Minister Ertug(rul Günay to improve relations, saying, “Let's start working collaboratively in the cultural realm to help new generations overcome trauma.”

Bogosyan, referring to pain experienced in past decades, said, “We lost our families during the genocide and were forced to leave the lands where we were born.

“But it is also a fact that many conscientious Turkish families helped us during those painful events. How can we deny the reality and blame the whole Turkish society?” she said.

Dialogue and collaboration in the cultural realm had more significance than diplomatic relations, said Bogosyan, adding this could lead to a speedy rapprochement between Turks and Armenians.

Many relics and cultural artifacts from ancient Armenian civilization were located within the borders of modern day Turkey, said Bogosyan, adding that Armenia's Culture Ministry wanted to collaborate with its Turkish counterpart to restore them for future generations. Bogosyan said her biggest dream was to organize a festival celebrating Turkey in Armenia.

Ruins of Ani a unifying force
Bogosyan said the ancient Akdamar church on a small island in Lake Van in eastern Turkey is important. “Renovation of such structures is significant in terms of passing them onto younger generations. But Turkey neglects one thing: How correct is it to call a church a museum?” she said.

Bogosyan said she wished to cooperate on the restoration of Armenian cultural heritage within Turkey, adding that her ministry was ready to give any kind of logistical support to Turkish authorities in order to ensure restorations were made in line with the original characteristics of the structures.

Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey was not seen as important according to official policy, said Bogosyan.

“No matter how much we deny it, we simply cannot change history,” she said.

She drew attention to restoration work that would start soon on the ruins of the ancient Armenian city of Ani, located within modern day Kars, a province in eastern Turkey. She said her ministry was ready to collaborate with the Turkish Culture Ministry on that project.

Disputes drags us into dilemma
Steps taken in the cultural realm would help promote a rapprochement between the two peoples – Turks and Armenians – even more strongly than steps taken in diplomacy, said Bogosyan.

She said Armenia's culture ministry also wanted to have works of Turkish literature translated into Armenian and printed in Armenia, saying this could also be a collaborative project.

Turks and Armenians often debate the origins of some food and musical works.

“I hate such discussions,” said Bogosyan. “The two peoples existed together for centuries; they had shared emotions, shared lives, shared food and folk songs. How can you say that song belong to that peoples? Such debates are no good for both sides.”


Turkey’s Charm Offensive Inspires Hope, [The Daily Star]
The pace of the thaw taking place between Turkey and Armenia is nothing short of breathtaking.

Much attention has been focused on Turkish President Abdullah Gül's having attended a football match in Yerevan at the invitation of his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian, but the two sides are already moving beyond symbolism. A deal has been struck under which Armenian power stations will supply electricity to Turkey, and state-run Turkish Radio Television has signed a cooperation pact with Armenia 1 TV. In turn, the rapidly warming bilateral ties are already fueling plans for a new grouping of countries in the Caucasus, one whose remit would include multilateral arbitration of international disputes. Gül has even professed full confidence that the issue which caused Turkey to close its border with Armenia in 1993, the latter's war on Azerbaijan over the Nagorno Karabakh enclave, can be resolved with relative ease. 13 September 2008,


Caucasian Conflict Improves Russia-Turkey Relations Alexander Krylov*
MOSCOW -- Russia’s recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has provoked an international crisis. It has also changed its relations with the European Union and the United States and destroyed the unipolar world order that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

On the other hand, we can say the situation has created major problems for the key international players, or even pushed them into deadlock. The West cannot allow itself to push the crisis too far, because its socio-economic situation is far from perfect and it is heavily dependent on Russia for energy resources.

The West could possibly use sanctions to pressure Russia, in particular ban the export of machinery, foods, electronic and other goods to Russia, but Russia could easily buy these goods from other countries.

Furthermore, Europe would find it very difficult to replace Russian energy imports. Some Western European countries buy between 40 percent and 60 percent of their energy resources from Russia. Therefore, Europe has no alternative to Russia as an energy supplier.

These considerations are keeping the conflict within reasonable bounds. After a long period of reviewing their relations, the sides will regard each other differently. The West will have more respect for Russia’s interests and opinions.

I don’t think this will reignite other conflicts over unrecognized states and breakaway territories. Take Cyprus, where the Cypriot government and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) have resumed negotiations and seem to be moving towards a compromise settlement.

The example of Cyprus shows that recognition of independence does not solve all problems. Turkey recognized the KKTC but has not prevented it from negotiating a compromise with the Cypriot community. The problem will be solved only when the Cypriot and Turkish sides hammer out a solution, and the recognition of the KKTC by Turkey will not be an insurmountable obstacle.

The same can be said about the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Russia’s recognition of their independence.

Breakaway republics in other regions have not become more active, either, although Azerbaijan initially tried to add fuel to the fire in Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory disputed by Azerbaijan and Armenia.

On Aug. 8, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Azerbaijan had the right to follow Georgia’s example and to use force to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. But it later did nothing to aggravate the situation there, and as far as I know Turkish diplomacy had a big role to play in that decision.

Could the current situation in the Caucasus influence relations between Russia and Turkey? Well, it could improve them, as evidenced by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent visit to Turkey.

The situation in the Caucasus and the surrounding region, including in Iraq and Iran, worries above all the countries that border on the region. The parties situated further away, such as the US and the EU, have little incentive to consider their moves carefully. In fact, their moves often run contrary to the interests of Turkey, Iran and Russia.

Take the situation in Iraq, where American actions aggravated Turkey’s problems with Kurdish separatists.

The trend is also evident in the Caucasus, where a misguided US policy provoked the latest eruption of hostilities and created big problems for Russia.

This means that the countries bordering the Caucasus (Russia, Iran and Turkey) should coordinate their policies to normalize the situation. Their coordinated or separate actions would be more positive and fruitful than the actions of more distant countries, such as the US and the EU.

The delicate aspect of this situation is that Turkey is a NATO member. But has Russia criticized Turkey, a NATO member, for the fact that NATO warships have entered the Black Sea?

Not at all, because Turkey honors all the provisions of the Montreux Convention regarding the regime of the Turkish Straits, and so did not let American warships pass until the deadline stipulated in the convention.

Turkey acted as a responsible state that honors its international commitments and behaves reasonably and constructively.

* Political analyst Alexander Krylov is a staff member of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 13 September 2008,


Babacan Presses Armenia For Joint Study Of Genocide Claims
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday pressed Armenia to accept a Turkish proposal to establish a joint commission of historians to study events of World War I in eastern Anatolia, which Armenians claim amounted to systematic genocide of the Armenian population by the late Ottoman Empire.

"We are ready to face our past. We have nothing to be afraid in our history, and we are ready to face whatever this proposed commission will come up with at the end of its studies," Babacan told state broadcaster TRT and the Anatolia news agency. "We are that confident."

Turkey proposed the commission of scholars in 2005, but Armenia rejected it. Yerevan says instead it is ready to normalize relations without any conditions, meaning that it will not force Turkey to recognize the genocide claims as a precondition for dialogue. Turkey denies Armenian claims that 1.5 million Armenians were killed in a systematic genocide campaign and says instead there were deaths on both sides when Armenians revolted against the Ottoman Empire in collaboration with the Russian army in hopes of creating an independent Armenian state in part of eastern Anatolia.

The dispute over history is at the heart of problems between Turkey and Armenia, two neighbors which have had no formal ties since 1993. President Abdullah Gül took a landmark step on Saturday in visiting Armenia to watch a soccer game between national teams of the two countries, paving the way for diplomatic contacts and raising hopes for reconciliation. Babacan said Turkish and Armenian diplomats will meet more frequently but did not comment on when or where.

Babacan was speaking after a visit to Switzerland, one of the countries whose parliament recognized Armenian genocide claims. At a press conference after talks with his Swiss counterpart, Micheline Calmy-Rey, late on Thursday, Babacan said history must be written by historians, not by "yes" or "no" votes by deputies.

While in Switzerland, Babacan and Calmy-Rey also signed an addendum to a memorandum of understanding, originally signed in the Swiss capital in 2001, that envisaged establishment of a political consultation mechanism between Turkish and Swiss foreign ministries.

He also discussed efforts against terrorism and asked the Swiss authorities to step up cooperation with Turkish authorities against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The PKK is designated a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union but not by non-EU member Switzerland. Babacan told Calmy-Rey that the PKK is a terrorist organization and complained that Turkish-Swiss cooperation on the issue was insufficient.

Calmy-Rey responded by saying that Switzerland does not have a blacklist of terrorist organizations but that this does not mean Swiss authorities do not fight terrorism. 13 September 2008, TODAY'S ZAMAN


Encounter With A Maestro On A Dark Yerevan Night, Yavuz Baydar todayszaman.com
"Let us try to live side by side. Let us never forget that there are not good nations or bad nations, there are only good people and bad people."

In a surprise meeting, these words were uttered by the master of melancholy in music, the indisputable maestro of the duduk, a small Armenian flute produced with apricot wood.

Soon to be 80 years old, but ever in good shape, sipping his favorite whiskey, Djivan Ghasparyan welcomed us at a private dinner, a gathering between journalists and diplomats, in Yerevan. His presence symbolizes, to many of us, the tragedy of not only Armenians, but all good people, regardless of ethnicity or religion, in Anatolia.

"Let us all drink to all good people on earth," he says, his eyes glowing with hope. We follow. "There are no different gods," he states, adding: There is only one god; it is everybody's god." Ghasparyan's family is from Mus,, which was hit very badly by the great Armenian tragedy in 1915. Some of the family members left -- or were forced out of -- Anatolia. Ghasparyan has spent all of his life in Armenia, carrying with him the burning soul of good times lost, completely free of hatred of "bad people."

When we say we are so taken and honored to meet with such a great maestro, he puts his hand on his heart, laughs and says, "If there is nothing here, you cannot play anything." Playing the duduk, to him, is "like praying." I ask him whether he listens to the mystic Anatolian reed, the ney. He laughs softly, again. "Oh, you know, the duduk and ney are like brother and sister." I could not agree more. We talk about the great Turkish Bektas,i master of ney, Niyazi Sayin of Istanbul, who plays rarely these days.

I tell Ghasparyan about the legend of the ney. The Bektasi (a Sufi order) link it to Ali, the nephew of the Prophet Muhammad. The legend tells of an encounter between God and Ali in which God tells him the great secret of the universe, but strongly urges him not to tell anyone else. Day after day, the wisdom he holds becomes unbearable, and Ali, in pain, walks to a river; in the loneliness of the night, he shouts out the secret to the reeds. It is said the ney, made from reed, therefore sings the great secret. "I hear the same secret from the sister," he says, in deep reflection.

After the chat, our host and colleague, Amberin Zaman, announces that the maestro will play for us. "There is no greater luxury on earth than to have a private concert by maestro Ghasparyan," I whisper to Cengiz Çandar and Ali Bayramoglu, my colleagues, who look as if they are in a trance due to the surprise.

With two students of his, he plays us songs of incredible beauty -- the true Anatolian-Armenian songs of longing, of separation, of love and death. We are all in tears, as Amberin brings in a photo of Hrant Dink and places it on the table before the musicians. Ghasparyan says, "Hrant loved this song," and starts with an intro full of sorrow. We listen to "Sari Gelin" (Blonde Bride) or "Sari Ahçik" in Armenian, silently, lost in tormented memory.

Cengiz asks for a song by the great composer Komitas Vardapet, who was arrested on April 24, 1915, in I.stanbul, together with more than 200 Armenian intellectuals. This great composer, deported to a concentration camp, lost his mind, probably by witnessing torture and persecution, and was saved through the major efforts of two Turkish intellectuals, Halide Edip, a female author, and Mehmet Emin Yurdakul, a national poet.

Then, to lighten the heavy atmosphere, the small recital ends with joyful dance music. We all go to him, kiss his hands and wave goodbye. He is loved, as everywhere else where good people live, in Turkey. He promises to come to Istanbul, a place he loves, and pledges to invite Turkish musicians to Yerevan as soon as possible. The rapprochement needs the tunes of brotherhood, it needs songs of joy. These tunes will also keep us mournful for the bad deeds of the past.

Meeting Ghasparyan was the crowning moment of our Yerevan visit. May he live long and keep us in euphoria with his wonderful music. 12.09.2008


Turkish Ultra-Nationalists Berate Canadian Politicians, Media, Judicial, Educational Systems
OTTAWA, Canada - The Canadian-Armenian community, like other Canadians, is dismayed by the hateful and disrespectful tone of the August 20 press release issued by the Council of Turkish Canadians (CTC) toward Canadians in general and Canadian politicians, media, the judicial and educational systems in particular.

In the release, the CTC blanketed respected Canadian institutions with unsubstantiated accusations and falsehood, reported representative of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC).

It is ironic, said the ANCC President, Dr. Girair Basmadjian, that an ultra-nationalist minority in the Turkish-Canadian community is taking advantage of the country's democratic principles, of freedom of speech and tolerance to import the same heavy-handed modus operandi of the Turkish "Deep State" to Canada and try to turn Canada into a country where the accused is guilty until proven otherwise.

Turkish ultra-nationalists have stifled free speech in Turkey with their infamous penal code (Article 301) which sets harsh punishment for any expression of facts or opinion that "insults Turkishness." It has been used to indict over 70 writers, journalists and intellectuals in Turkey, including Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk.

Turkish school curricula don't even mention the existence of minorities in Turkey, Basmadjian noted. Representatives of Kurdish and Alevi minorities of Turkey recently stated, "Government-published textbooks treat non-ethnic Turkish Christians, Jews and Moslems as outcasts and pariahs. In Turkish history books Kurds, Alevis, Armenians are considered enemies of Turkey."

Regarding the CTC news release's citing of the anti-Turkish posters incident at Carlton University, the ANCC spokesperson said, it is an amazing coincidence that the poster appeared when the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) was to approve its Grade 11 Genocide curriculum. It is an even a more amazing coincidence that of the some 15 Ontario universities, this incident took place only at the University where CTC Board member Prof. Ozay Mehmet's practices.

"We have spoken to the Equity Services Department of Carlton University and the Carlton University Students Association. Both have informed us that they did not know who put up the posters," Basmadjian said. The university security teams removed the posters the same night.

"This raises serious questions about the identity of those who were behind the exhibition of the posters. Who knew that the posters would be placed, and when? Who had the knowledge of the exact location of the posters in a large university such as Carlton, so that someone representing the CTC could take photographs before they were removed by the university?" asked the ANCC spokesperson.

During this year's public hearing of the TDSB program and school service committee, representatives of CTC heckled and tried to intimidate and silence Prof. Frank Chalk, professor of history at Concordia University and director of the Montreal Institute of Genocide and Human Rights Studies; David Warner, former speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly; Leo Adler, representative of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Canada; and MP Jim Karygiannis, who had been invited by the TDSB to present their testimonies and deputations.

On several occasions the committee chair, trustee Chris Bolton, was forced to call for order and ask the Turkish representatives not to disrupt the meeting. The Chair`s pleas were regularly ignored by the Turkish group. After the meeting, members of the Turkish group approached some of the Canadian speakers and taunted them with abuse and profanities.

"We are confident that many righteous and fair-minded Canadian-Turks do not share the hateful, divisive and extremist policies of CTC--which are alien to all Canadians," said the ANCC spokesperson. The CTC is trying to create discord among Canadians and to undermine the credibility of our institutions.

Most Armenians and Turks overwhelmingly make a distinction between the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and people of Turkish descent today, wherever the latter may live. The January 19 commemoration of the first anniversary of the assassination journalist Hrant Dink in Ottawa by a group of Armenians and Turks, who are members of the Turkish-Armenian Dialogue Group of Ottawa, is the best illustration of this attitude.

Dr. Basmadjian said, "We do not have any conflict with the Canadian-Turkish community. At issue is the Turkish government and its functionaries' Armenian Genocide denial policy. A policy which Turkish ultra-nationalists are using to whip up hysteria and animosity between our two peoples."

Dr. Basmadjian went on to say that the Armenian community in Canada and elsewhere condemns the dissemination of hate in any form or shape. Armenians in particular, who have gone through numerous persecutions and have paid the highest price due to hatred, racism and xenophobia, cannot condone such despicable and inhumane behavior.

Aris Babikian, executive director of the ANCC, stated, "We are facing a well-organized, well-funded, sophisticated and unscrupulous assault on our way of life, principles and traditions by forces which are not interested in addressing the wrongs of the past, nor in teaching our children historical truths, tolerance and respect for each other, but in teaching them how to rewrite history, how to deny one's guilt, how to blame the victim, and how to bully respected Canadian institutions."

Babikian called upon Canadian political leaders, the media, educators, and all Canadians to be "vigilant and not let a small group of ultra-nationalists to tamper with our harmonious mosaic."
The California Courier Online


How Not To Understand Anti-Americanism By Binoy Kampmark - 4 September 2008
On the popular networking system Facebook, a particular group exists calling itself the “Petition to Revoke the Independence of the United States”. It is a playful thing, though some of its participants tend to become too serious. It’s such sentiments that have prompted the web antics of one unabashedly pro-American Englishman and conservative pundit Tim Montgomerie.

Montgomerie is on edge. He dislikes what he considers to be a vicious tide of anti-Americanism in Britain, indeed, the world. Nor does he believe an Obama administration will necessarily put to rest that unruly beast. Hence his newly established group “America in the World” (AIW). The organisation opposes two things: anti-Americanism and American isolationism. It is also quick to point out to critics that they are not in the pocket of American finance.

Montgomerie has taken the bright colored end of the American dream and run with it - America is good, and questioning its handling of power, bad. As he says in a statement that was actually culled by the Guardian editor, “World opinion, rightly called the second superpower, should not stop America from taking the toughest decisions.” Even, evidently, when they involve the hokum of unstable regimes intent on annihilating the West with weapons they do not have.

A collection of publicity videos are available on the site. One, A World Without The American Soldier, is particularly liberal with history and, to borrow a term from Donald Rumsfeld, unknown unknowns. The absent American soldier becomes the metaphor of global instability - without him, the world will devour itself in sanguinary fury. What would have happened if the US had not sent its soldiers to fight Hitler, for instance? None of us know, but AIW is happy to throw out various scenarios.

Montgomerie reflects that sentiment described by Geir Lundestad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute as that of the inviter: the US did not create an empire on its own accord - it was invited to do so by its European auxiliaries. Some states create them in fits of “absentmindedness” (that’s the British variety); others are asked to create imperiums like well-moneyed guests at a fundraising event. The assertion is of cause naïve: Europeans were happy to take the money, but not always happy with what came with it: American personnel and bases were less welcome.

A few points of the AIW are worth challenging, and they apply broadly to those concerned that an Obama administration will somehow retreat, mollusk-like, into an isolationist shell. If the new administration winds back the global imperium by closing some of its 737 bases (according to Chalmers Johnson), then a bit more of that might be better than a bit less.

In more than one sense, the AIW and those who believe in rampant anti-Americanism in Britain, have missed the point. It falls down to poor definitions - what is anti-Americanism in the first place? Its taxonomy risks being unnecessarily complicated and cluttered by academic jargon. But no pointers are given by Montgomerie or his group as to what that might be: is anti-Americanism a prejudice, a structured hatred, perhaps an ideology? Some thought might have been given to consulting the recent four-volume compilation of essays Anti-Americanism: History, Causes and Themes edited by Brendon O’Connor.

There is, for instance, a poor understanding about how countries and their citizens can feel compelled to embrace parts of Americana (the jeans for instance) and still take up arms against the Great Satan. Again, that’s the dilemma that AIW does little to resolve, when it would be best served doing so.

Most of all, the AIW is aggrieved at the failure of Britain and fellow Europeans to love. They must feel a fondness for America. The truth is that many do, and had Washington allowed its cultural representatives to do the colonising rather than its military personnel, it might not have been quite in this mess. Few should forget the famous headline in the French paper, Le Monde immediately following the attacks of September 2001, which stated, in no uncertain terms, the bonds of transatlantic friendship: “We are all Americans Now.” Such invaluable currency was rapidly devalued with Middle East adventurism. Many European citizens, and that goes for many around the globe, just don’t like the vicissitudes of American power.

Besides, the British, or to be more exact, the English, are renown in a historical sense not so much for being just anti-American, but hostile to everyone, including themselves. A brief consultation of any reference book on insults will find an assortment of English nasties for every race and nation on this planet. Don’t privilege one dislike - acknowledge them all. To paraphrase a comment once made by director Billy Wilder, one can’t have any prejudices if one hates everyone equally.


What Price Armenia Will Be Asked To Pay For Opening Of Border With Turkey?
08.09.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian-Turkish border can be opened. The question is what price Armenia will be asked for it, according to a Russian expert.

“If the price is Karabakh, the things will remain unchanged. Normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations should be considered apart from the Nagorno Karabakh process,” Sergei Markedonov, head of the interethnic relations department at the institute of political and military analysis, told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

“The question is whether Armenia is ready to make concessions on basic principles of its foreign policy,” he said.

With a reference to diplomatic sources, Hurriyet Turkish daily reported that the closed border between the two countries could be opened for humanitarian aid purpose depending on the gestures from Armenian side and the direction of the relations.


Armenia Signs Deal To Supply Electricity To Turkey
YEREVAN, Armenia (AFP)--Armenia has signed a deal to supply electricity to Turkey, Energy Minister Armen Movsisian said Wednesday, in the first tangible sign of a thaw in relations since an historic weekend visit by the Turkish president.

Movsisian told reporters the deal will see electricity from Armenian thermal power plants supplied to eastern Turkey from the beginning of 2009.

"An agreement on this was reached during the recent visit of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul," he said. "Turkey is a new market for Armenia, as Armenia last supplied electricity to this country during the Soviet period."

Gul's visit Saturday to attend a soccer match between the two nations' teams and meet Sarkisian raised hopes Turkey and Armenia could overcome traditional enmity and establish diplomatic relations.

The deal was signed between Armenia's state-owned High Voltage Electricity Network company and a privately-owned Turkish firm called UNIT, Movsisian said.

He said the infrastructure was in place on the Armenian side to deliver the electricity but repairs to transmission lines and the installation of a new transformer in Turkey would take four to five months.

He said Armenia would initially supply 1.5 billion kilowatts an hour of electricity to Turkey and that would eventually increase to 3.5 billion kilowatts and hour.


Young Armenians Split Over "Genocide" Issue
Young Armenian liberals think the actions and attitudes of Tashnaks, known for their radical stance against Turkey, damage Armenia, the Turkish Daily News (TDN) wrote on Wednesday.

The Tashnaks have set ‘genocide’ as precondition for the development of bilateral relations between Turkey and Armenia.

To what degree Armenians' claims of genocide should be a determining factor in Turkish – Armenian relations remains an open debate in Yerevan, the TDN reported, citing discussions between young Armenians, both radicals and liberals.

Unless the 1915 incidents are recognized as "genocide" the Armenian nation would not favor a dialogue with Turkey, according to Isxhan Saxatelyan, a radical member of the Armenian Revolutionary Dashnaksutyun Bureau.

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 Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia.

In 2005, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan took a first step towards resolving the issue by proposing a joint commission of historians launch an investigation and publish their conclusions, but the proposal was rejected by Yerevan.

However Aren Manukyan, a liberal Armenian Manukyan disagreed. “I am an Armenian too. And ‘genocide' definitely gives me as much pain than it gives them. Tashnaks should give up using the issue of ‘genocide' for their own benefit. They have no right to exploit such a sensitive issue," he said.

Manukyan was critical of the strongly nationalist party the Tashnaks' current stance.

“Tashnaks do not want the borders between Armenia and Turkey to be opened because if they are opened they would let loose the chance to exploit this country – both mentally and materially. They are simply afraid of losing their comfort.”

"TURKEY SETS CONDITIONS"
Turkey has turned toward Armenia because it is seeking regional dialogue after witnessing the most recent developments in the Caucasus, Saxatelyan said.

“But there is one thing that Turkey forgets as it is searching for a dialogue: Borders between Armenia and Turkey were closed unilaterally by Turkey,” he said.

Turkey constantly sets various conditions related to the issues of “genocide,” Nagorno-Karabagh and the diaspora and asks Armenia to comply with them, said Saxatelyan, adding Armenia would not back off on any of these issues.

"If Gul had not come, no such demonstration would have taken place. As the world's attention focused on us, we wanted to take the ball and remind the world once again about the issue of genocide," he said regarding the demonstration Tashnaks held during Gul's arrival to Yerevan.

TASHNAK NOT REFLECTIVE OF ARMENIANS
Manukyan disagreed with Saxatelyan, saying the Tashnaks' demonstrations did not reflect Armenian citizens' general attitude. Even many of those who voted for the Tashnak party have decided to end their support, he said.

“They organized a demonstration simply for the sake of organizing a demonstration. Their purpose is just to cause tension. Indeed, holding demonstrations have become the life and soul of the Tashnak party,” he said.

Manukyan says Armenia should never set recognition of “genocide” as a condition for Turkish-Armenian relations to develop.

He said historical documents on the “genocide” do exist in libraries in various parts of the world, but disagreed with the idea that a commission of Turkish and Armenian historians should conduct collaborative studies on the issue.

“All archives in different parts of the world can be opened to Turkish researchers. If they want, they can peruse all of them. And we can help them in any way possible. If that happens, they will see the facts. In fact, they are already aware of that,” said Manukyan.

Gul paid last week a landmark visit to Yerevan after Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan invited him to watch a 2010 World Cup qualifying match between the two countries' national teams.

Turkey is among the first countries that recognized Armenia when it declared its independency in the early 1990s.

However there are no diplomatic relations between the two countries, as Armenia presses the international community to admit the so-called "genocide" claims instead of accepting Turkey's call to investigate the allegations, and its invasion of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory despite U.N. Security Council resolutions on the issue.

The border between the two countries has remained closed since 1993, when Turkey protested Armenia's occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, a close Turkish ally.


Barack Obama on the Importance of US-Armenia Relations, January 19, 2008
I am proud of my strong record on issues of concern to the one and a half million Americans of Armenian heritage in the United States. I warmly welcome the support of this vibrant and politically active community as we change how our government works here at home, and restore American leadership abroad.

I am a strong supporter of a U.S.-Armenian relationship that advances our common security and strengthens Armenian democracy. As President, I will maintain our assistance to Armenia, which has been a reliable partner in the fight against terrorism and extremism. I will promote Armenian security by seeking an end to the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades, and by working for a lasting and durable settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict that is agreeable to all parties, and based upon America's founding commitment to the principles of democracy and self determination. And my Administration will help foster Armenia's growth and development through expanded trade and targeted aid, and by strengthening the commercial, political, military, developmental, and cultural relationships between the U.S. and Armenian governments.

I also share with Armenian Americans – so many of whom are descended from genocide survivors - a principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide. That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history. As a U.S. Senator, I have stood with the Armenian American community in calling for Turkey's acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide. Two years ago, I criticized the Secretary of State for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he properly used the term "genocide" to describe Turkey's slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. I shared with Secretary Rice my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Genocide, sadly, persists to this day, and threatens our common security and common humanity. Tragically, we are witnessing in Sudan many of the same brutal tactics - displacement, starvation, and mass slaughter - that were used by the Ottoman authorities against defenseless Armenians back in 1915. I have visited Darfurian refugee camps, pushed for the deployment of a robust multinational force for Darfur, and urged divestment from companies doing business in Sudan. America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President.

I look forward, as President, to continuing my active engagement with Armenian American leaders on the full range of issues of concern to the Armenian American community. Together, we will build, in new and exciting ways, upon the enduring ties and shared values that have bound together the American and Armenian peoples for more than a century.
www.barackobama.com

Armenians Make A Death Threat To A Sitting U.S. Congressman For Not Supporting Armenian Claims
Ergun KIRLIKOVALI ergun@turkla.com

Congressman Cohen (D, TN) organizes a press conference at his home scheduled to refute ads run by Cohen’s opponent Nikki Tinker which Cohen believes are designed to arouse racial and religious bias. Up to here, everything is normal election year politics.

But then enters Armenian fanaticism into this picture. Although uninvited, an Armenian activist from California makes his way into Cohen’s home anyway where he is promptly asked to leave as he is not welcome. The Armenian arrogantly insists on why he should be there, ignoring repeated pleas to leave, which is when the homeowner physically removes the demanding Armenian out of his home.

Let’s firs read the following press release by The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA)a and watch the video Cohen ejects an Armenian activist from his home .
***
RECENT ACTIONS BY ARMENIAN RADICALS POSE THREAT TO US NATIONAL SECURITY
The Turkish Coalition of America denounced the death threats made by radical Armenian Americans against a member of congress, and their continued campaign of harassment and intimidation of public officials.

10 August Sunday Washington, DC - Saturday the Turkish Coalition of America denounced the death threats made by radical Armenian Americans against a member of congress, and their continued campaign of harassment and intimidation of public officials.

Friday, Armenian American made a death threat to the life of Congressman Cohen (D-TN), which is the most recent in their attempts to intimidate the lawmaker.

"Making a threat against the life of a United States Congressman can be called nothing short of terrorism," said Lincoln McCurdy, President of the Turkish Coalition of America. "The Turkish American community demands that Armenian Americans and every Armenian organization in the nation join with us to denounce the actions of these criminals."

Congressman Steve Cohen, who is a member of the Congressional Turkish Caucus, has been harassed in the months leading up to yesterday's primary. On Wednesday evening, a self-described documentary filmmaker attempted to force his way into the home of the Congressman.

Just today, Congressman Cohen received a death threat from a radical Armenian as a result of his support for US-Turkish relations. Cohen yesterday won his primary election yesterday by a margin of three to one, against his opponent who attempted to inflame voters by mobilizing anti-Turkish passions. This hate filed rhetoric reached such a fever pitch that even Democratic Presidential nominee Barak Obama commented on the issue: "These incendiary and personal attacks have no place in our politics, and will do nothing to help the good people of Tennessee. Its time to turn the page on a politics driven by negativity and division so that we can come together to lift up our communities and our country," Obama said, according to a release.

For several decades, Armenian terrorist organizations, have committed acts of terrorism against Turkish and other nationals, which have resulted in the murder of a number of civilians, including two Turkish diplomats in Los Angeles and one Turkish American honorary consul general in Boston. Armenian Americans, including the Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America, while having been convicted on terrorism charges, have not been denounced by Armenian American organizations. Attacks, threats and intimidation by Armenian American extremists on American scholars, Turkish American organizations and individuals have been a frequent occurrence for many years.
***
All reports in local Tennessee newspapers say the Armenian intruder was asked to leave but the Armenian refused. He continued to harass the homeowner. This intimidating but unfortunately too common behavior by most Armenian fanatics begs the question: Can’t a man defend his own life and property and his loved ones anymore?

Wait, there is more. This Armenian intruder apparently goes and files a complaint against the homeowner, Congressman Cohen, for violating his freedom of who knows what. Is there such a thing as "freedom of barging" where an intruder walks into a private home and forces the homeowner to be filmed by the intruder? Well, if your mind operates like that of an Armenian intruder, then there is such a sick right.

After the reported death threat, though, I would think that all those Armenian fanatics may be in deep trouble with law enforcement agencies. Do you think FBI would look kindly to this kind of “Armenian freedom to harass, intimidate, intrude, and threaten at will" in America, especially when a sitting U.S. Congressman may be at the crosshairs of some Armenian terrorists? I think not.

History tells us this is not the first time Armenians resorted to threat of violence or actual violence. Armenians used terrorism as a standard tool to achieve their political aims. They have resorted to mass scale terrorism from 1882 to 1920 in the Ottoman Empire, and then again 1973 to present around the globe. Armenian terrorists killed three Turkish diplomats in Los Angeles alone and one Turkish-American in Boston since 1973, not to mention they have committed hundreds of random acts of violence in our midst such as bombings, death threats, assault and batteries, harassment, and more.

In recent years, the Armenians seemed to have turned their attention to more peaceful places, American campuses, where gory, tasteless Armenian demonstrations designed to intimidate anyone who dares to disagree with Armenians are staged in an “in your face” format--not unlike the intruder’s behavior in the video above.

It seems like Americans are finally waking up and seeing the true nature of the Armenian fanaticism. I cannot say that they like what they see.

Can you believe a bunch of terrorists who claim genocide when it was the Armenian nationalists themselves who destroyed a millennium of peaceful co-existence in Anatolia between the Armenians and Turks?

Did not Turks call the Armenians “millet-i sadika” (The loyal nation) until 1880s? Did not the Armenian resort to propaganda, agitation, terror, rebellions, and supreme treason, in that order betwen 1882 and 1915, with the backing of Russia, Britain, France and America, of course, to undermine “the loyal nation” status within the Ottoman Empire?

Since when defending your country, your family, your life against shameless intruders and blood-thirsty invaders is considered to be a genocide?

What is wrong with defending your home?
###
20/08/08
Comments: Ergun Kirlikovali
* … AND HERE IS WHAT ARMENIANS WRITE ABOUT THE ABOVE EPISODE IN THEIR PRIVATE CHAT GROUPS:

Thanks to an anonymous friend who is part of an Armenian chat group who sent me the following delicate information, I am able to supply to you, my truth-seeking friends around the globe, the sick, sick, sick workings of the Armenian radical’s mind… Enjoy!
***
(One Armenian writes this:)
One of the first rules of politics is (to) never lose an election, it makes you look weak. Unfortunately, Cohen won by a landslide. Not good for us (Armenians). People will not fear our opposition next time around. Dp

( And a few lines down, we see this response by another Armenian: )
Dennis, I am not sure this is the case. This was our first try and sent a warning message to the representatives who deny the Armenian genocide . We are learning the game and this loss should not dishearten us. We should look at it as a lesson learned. I contributed to this lady's campaign the same as you. I followed ANC's recommendation. However, after the election and reading about her, I realized that even the blacks who were roughly 60-80 percent of the district did not vote for her. I believe ANC picked the most vile "Genocide denier" first then went to support his opponent. This loss showed that this was not the right strategy. They should have listed the "Genocide deniers" of the congress first and then picked the one with highest vulnerability and most promising opponent and then poured their efforts behind the opponent. This would have guaranteed our success. This goes to show you that emotions have no place in a battle, we should attack the most (vulnerable opponent) rather than the one who is most annoying. I am very pleased with the effort and the fact that we made a showing and registered that we are in the game and will be coming back bigger, stronger and better prepared. My congratulations to Aram Hamparian and ANC for organizing this campaign against a vile unprincipled individual. I look forward to the next campaign, November is still coming. Armen

( And here is another hateful remark by an unnamed Armenian: )
I understand that Cohen won! What the…? At least he is now on the radar and our voices were heard. I think Cohen will watch his ugly step. That is one ugly man, who is very mean-spirited!
***
I don’t know about you, but I find these remarks dangerous and threatening. Disinterested American readers trying to make sense out of all this: Don’t! You cannot! For Armenians, there is only one thing: me, me me! If you stand in their way, if you so much as disagree with them, they will not hesitate to unleash their fury, wrath, and terror on you… But only Diaspora (mostly) are like this. There are less such hate-mongering crowds even in Armenia! There are very few, almost negligibly few, among Turkey’s Armenians who mostly know firsthand the truth about the Western-engineered and supported Ottoman-Armenian rebellions, treason, territorial demands, terror, that quickly poisoned the millennium old, reasonably amicable Turkish-Armenian relations towards the end of 19th and beginning of 20th Centuries. The Armenians seem to suffer from lack of visionary leaders and basic senses of fairness and honesty. They bit bigger than they could chew, but refuse to admit it. Their leaders are the ones who coerced the otherwise peaceful Ottoman-Armenians into the direction of self-destruction via rebellions, terrorism, treason, territorial demands, and more. They seem unable to comprehend that it is not working, because we are on to them. Their ethocidal efforts keep hitting the wall of honest history and plain truth… They just don’t get it!
###
Please, Teach The Children Well!, Ergun Kirlikovali ***@turkla.com
To: ***@embassymag.ca

Dear Michelle Collins,
Please allow me to formulate my op-ed under the following headings in order to provide you with a thoughtful rebuttal to your article ” Turkey Decries Toronto School Board Genocide Course” (Embassy, cANADA, August 27th, 2008.)

Greek-Armenian Collusion Against Turkey:
The accounts of Turkish-Armenian history provided by a Greek-Canadian (Liberal MP, Jim Karygiannis) and an Armenian-Canadian (ANC Exec. Dir., Aris Babikian) in your article are so typically distorted, that they can hardly be considered as much more than “settling of an old score” via “political lynching”. It is quite in keeping with the Greek-Armenian collusion during the ill-fated invasion and destruction of Izmir by Greek army (1919) which, in turn, ignited the Turkish Independence War (1919-1922.) This anti-Turkish Greek-Armenian complicity was re-established in 1974 after the failed attempt by the Greek-Cypriots to ethnically cleanse Cyprus of its Turkish-Cypriot population which triggered a military intervention by one of the three guarantors, Turkey. What we see in Toronto today is just another link in that anti-Turkish Greek-Armenian-collusion chain.

GENOCIDE CHARGES UNFOUNDED:
Babikian’s version of history is so “Diaspora” that one can easily write a 500-page book on it, effortlessly. I don’t have time to write it, so I’ll try to make my response as manageable as possible. While some amongst us may be forgiven for taking the ceaseless Armenian propaganda at face value, merely because they are repeated so often, it is difficult and painful for us, Turks, most of whom are themselves the descendants of Turkish survivors of the yet mostly untold, readily dismissed out of bias, or ignored massacres of Turks during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, the World War I of 1914-18, and the Turkish Independence War of 1919-1922. Collectively termed, “seferberlik” (meaning “the mobilization” in Turkish,) those endless war years of 1912-1922 rained death and destruction on Turkish people. The Ottoman Empire was under vicious attacks from all corners and Armenians shamelessly sided with the invading enemy armies when not violently revolting. Those countless, nameless, faceless Turkish victims, doing nothing more than defending their home like any citizen anywhere in the world would do, are killed again today with those politically motivated and baseless charges of Armenian genocide.

GENOCIDE CLAIMS IGNORE “THE SIX T’S” OF THE TURKISH-ARMENIAN CONFLICT:
Allegations of Armenian genocide are racist and dishonest history. They are racist because they imply that Turkish or Muslim dead are not important, only Armenian or Christian dead are. This racist approach ignores the immense Turkish suffering: about 3 million dead during the WWI; around half a million of them at the hands of Armenian nationalists. By ignoring the suffering of one side completely, any war, including the American civil war, may be made to look like a genocide. And the allegations of Armenian genocide are dishonest because they deliberately dismiss “The Six T’s” of the Turkish-Armenian conflict:

1) Tumult (as in many violent Armenian armed uprisings between 1882 and 1920)

2) Terrorism (by Armenian nationalists and militias from 1882-1920 perpetrated on non-combatant Muslim civilians, mostly Muslim women and children, and elderly men)

3) Treason (Armenians joining the invading enemy armies and killing their Muslim neighbors and other fellow citizens, including the Ottoman-Jews)

4) Territorial demands (where Armenians were a minority, not a majority)

5) Turkish suffering and losses (i.e. those caused only by the Armenian nationalists)

6) Tereset (Temporary Resettlement) triggered by the first five T’s above and amply documented as such; not to be equated to the Armenian misrepresentations as genocide.)

Armenians, thus, effectively put an end to their millennium of relatively peaceful and harmonious co-habitation in Anatolia with Muslims by killing their Muslim/Turkish neighbors and openly joining the invading enemy. Western diplomats and Christian missionaries were behind all of the “6 T’s” listed above.

TURKISH VIEWS CENSORED ACROSS THE EDITORIAL BOARDS DUE TO A “CONSENSUS OF BIAS”
Excluding responsible opposing views in covering any controversial issue is a form of censorship which violates the notion of freedom of speech. Decent people everywhere have a responsibility to ensure that the public is given a fair chance to hear all sides of a controversy such as the Turkish-Armenian conflict. “Partisan accounts” of history should not be taught children as “settled history” . We must all strive to “teach the children well.” Fairness, honesty, and truth are all that I ask.

HERE IS THE BIG PICTURE:
MILLENNIUM:
Turks and Armenians—and other Muslims and Christians— enjoyed a reasonably harmonious co-habitation in Anatolia for a millennium (that’s a thousand years!) under that “crescent” that the Greek-Armenian conspiracy loves to demonize.

THE LOYAL NATION:
Turks liked and trusted the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire so much that Turks called the Armenians “Millet-i Sadika” (the loyal nation.) Armenians enjoyed high standards of living in the Ottoman Empire mostly engaging in trade, construction, arts, and more, while Muslims did most of the heavy lifting of the empire such as agriculture, soldiery, administration. (It is interesting to note that some Armenian propagandists use this as a proof of inequity, however, when the Armenians were given the right to soldiery after 1908, the Armenians invented ways to get out of that civic duty (see the letter by Armenians sent to the Lausanne Conference in 1923 asking for the right to be free from soldiery to be bestowed upon the Armenian community.)

PROSPERITY & STABILITY:
The above picture, i.e. with all its shortcomings and/or defects, was still the nearest thing to perfection, given the state of humanity through the middle ages around the world, especially in Europe with wars, conquests, colonization, slavery, mass killings, mass deportations, crusaders, inquisitions, holocausts, pogroms, and more. Compared to all this mayhem in Europe in the last millennium, the Ottoman Empire with its unique “ millet system”, was so peaceful and orderly that it could be considered the USA or Canada of Europe at the time. Armenians were one of the major beneficiaries of this centuries-long stability.

ARMENIAN REBELLIONS, TERRORISM, TREASON, TERRITORIAL DEMANDS:
All that started changing for the Turkish-Armenian relations after 1878 Berlin Peace Conference. Russia started claiming special protector’s right over the Ottoman-Armenian community with an keen eye towards capturing Istanbul and the straits (Bosporus & Dardanelles) to extend the Russian imperial reach into warm waters of the Mediterranean. Britain and France were not exactly innocent bystanders as they were eyeing other parts of the Ottoman Empire for themselves. The U.S. Protestant missionaries, headquartered in Boston, with their many educational and medical facilities dotting Anatolia used as convenient cover for their missionary activities, focused their attention on the Armenian community once they realized that proselytization of Muslims, Jews, or Greeks were nearly impossible. The Boston missionaries started dividing and polarizing not only the communities of the Ottoman Empire but also the Ottoman-Armenian community itself. The missionary sermons were incendiary, pitting Armenians against Turks, Muslims against Christians, and even Protestants against the Gregorians and Catholic. Thus, these religious men abused the traditional hospitality of Turks by organizing a hate-filled resistance among the Armenians against the Turkish rule, causing untold miseries on all sides… These men of god, thus, caused much spilling of innocent blood in the name of god. In that sense, the Protestant missionaries may well be considered the guiltiest party of them all, followed by Tsarist Russia, Imperial Britain, Colonialist France, and Western media (The New York Times, for example, topping the list in biased coverage by publishing 145 anti-Turkish articles in 1915 alone with an incredible “ZERO” Turkish rebuttals allowed!)

ARMENIANS REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCHED A BLOODY CAMPAIGN:
The Armenians started creating revolutionary organizations: “Ermenakan” in Van, Turkey (1882), “Hunchack” in Geneva, Switzerland (1887), Dashnaksutiun in Tbilisi, Georgia (1890) and many others of many sizes and locations. Almost without exception, they were all bent on armed resistance against the Turkish rule. The Armenians used propaganda, agitation, terror, rebellions, and supreme treason, in that order, from 1882 to 1915, when finally some of the Armenians (not all) were sent on a Tereset (Temporary Resettlement). Tereset was a justified military measure because the Armenian bands would conduct violent raids on the unprotected Muslim villages, frustrate the Ottoman military supply lines, and even harass the rear of the Ottoman Army during a time of war. No country (including the U.S. and Canada) would tolerate this kind of wide open rebellion, pandemic treason, and omnipresent terror to be put into action by any community, large or small, at a time of war the least of all.

ARMENIAN NATIONALISTS USE CIVILIANS AS “HUMAN SHIELDS” AFTER DEVASTATING ATTACKS ON MUSLIMS:
The Armenian bands would launch their bomb and gun attacks during the night and then hide in ordinary homes during the day, turning Armenian women and children to little more than human shields for their murderous and treasonous acts. Those who cry out today “Why did the Turks force some helpless Armenian women and children to move?” should re-phrase their questions and first ask the nationalist Armenian leaders “Why did you use the non-combatant Armenian women and children as your cover before and human shields after your dastardly acts of terror against the Muslims?”

DO DIASPORA STORIES PROVE GENOCIDE?
What most coverage in the media describe are personal tragedies experienced by Armenians. Note that corresponding personal tragedies on the Turkish side, such as mine, are neither reported nor investigated, nor even wondered at all, in the Western media. While it is not this writer’s intention to minimize the Armenian suffering, it must be questioned as to how it can be considered as “separate” from the Muslim suffering in the same area, same era, and under same conditions, when there was a terrible world war was going on that engulfed the Christian and Muslim communities producing an irregular warfare. How is my Turkish grandparents’ suffering caused by Ottoman-Christians any less than Armenians’ suffering caused by Armenian rebellions, terrorism, treason, territorial demands, and Tereset? How is Turkish suffering any less painful than Armenian suffering? How are Turkish dead belittled and ignored while Armenian dead are exaggerated and glorified? I am sure Armenians lived through some or most of those personal horror stories s often told in the media (though definitely not all of them.) But they pale in comparison to what we, Turks, had to endure at hands of the likes of those Armenian terrorists, rebels, traitors, backstabbers, and murderers. My personal family story is much more tragic than most Armenians’, if anyone cares to know about it, please read the following essay of mine as it is too painful to write it here again:

TURKISH LAST NAMES : HONEST STORY TELLERS
PERSONAL TRAGEDIES BY THEMSELVES DO NOT MAKE IT A GENOCIDE:
Not all killings, not all sufferings fall automatically under the classification “genocide”. The U.N. 1948 definition is crystal clear: there must be an intention to destroy all or part of a community. Without intention, a murder is just that, a murder, and penal code can amply deal with that. The Armenians or their sympathizers have never proven Turkish intent to annihilate Armenians. In fact, History shows that just the contrary is true:

a) a millennium of peaceful co-habitation between Turks and Armenians;

b) endowment of Ottoman-Armenians with a “ loyal nation” status;

c) highest posts for Armenians in all walks of Ottoman life (the parliament, politics, diplomacy, military, trade, business, art…);

d) all of the above followed by, unfortunately, an intense period of organized Armenian terror, rebellions, treason, and territorial demands, and more…

e) triggering a temporary military, wartime safety measure of moving only those Armenians who posed a serious threat to Ottoman Empire’s war effort;

f) Note that Armenians of Istanbul, Izmir, Edirne, Aleppo and other places were not moved, as they were not considered a threat;

g) Armenians in the armed services, doctors, and most inner city people were also kept out of the Tereset (Temporary resettlement) order;

h) detailed steps were described in countless official orders—too many to be dismissed casually—on how to move the community safely and orderly and claim the properties back on their return (contrary to common misperception, many did return!)

There is more, much more, but I already wrote most of them at www.turkla.com. I don’t want to re-write them here. You are welcome to check it out yourself.

ETHOCIDE:
Frustrated by the persistently biased coverage of the Turkish-Armenian civil war during WWI and the ensuing censorship of Turkish views in American media, I have coined a new term back in 2003—my humble gift to the English language and a thoughtful and long overdue supplement to Rafael Lemkin’s definition of genocide: “ethocide”.

A brief definition of ethocide is “extermination of ethics by systematic and malicious mass-deception in exchange for political, economical, social, religious, and other favors and benefits.”

The civil war that had been raging up to 1915 and the Tereset it inevitably resulted in was no genocide, but what the Armenians and their sympathizers did in misrepresenting it ever since is clearly ethocide.

I urge . therefore, an end to the ethocidal coverage of the Turkish-Armenian conflict in the Western media and academia.

LAST WORD:
It was a wartime tragedy, engineered, provoked, and waged by Armenians, with support from Russia, England, France, the U.S., and Western media; but not genocide.

Please, teach the children well!

Ergun KIRLIKOVALI
Son of Turkish survivors from both maternal and paternal sides


Armenians… Peace?
Some countries see opportunity at the extraordinary circumstances and the war between Georgia and the Russian Federation.

The Armenian civilian society organizations at Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo-Kartli regions of Georgia, where Armenian minority live, demanded federalism for the afore-mentioned regions on 19 August 2008.

The council of the civilian society organizations, which stated that they represent the Armenian minority in Georgia, claimed at its statement that the administrational system of Georgia should be changed into a federalism, which is consisted of regional units and central management for bringing solutions to the ethnical problems and re-establishing land integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.

In the afore-mentioned statement, it was also pointed out that the regional units should be founded by taking ethnical groups, which constitute Georgia, as a base. In another words, the members of the council could demand the classification of Georgia by taking ethnical groups, as a base, and disregarding geographical and administrative needs by taking advantage of the difficult circumstances the country they live within.

The council, which demanded federalism at the ethnical basis for the Armenians, who constitute % 5 of the country’s population, which is 4.7 million, demanded extensive authority at the Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo-Kartli and the neighboring regions, where Armenians inhabit; in this connection, giving them authority them on the cultural, social, economical policies, local administration, environmental issues, in addition to determining presence of the structure of legislation, execution and judgment clearly.

We are not unfamiliar to this attitude, which signifies “a hit from behind” of a country by its minorities, when it needs unity, integrity and solidarity the most. We had watched that film during the World War I. As a matter of fact, the ones, who betrayed their country during the critical periods, do not seem to have taken lessons. And that is the reason why, history repeats continuously.
Editor, Genocide Reality


Will France Punish the Ones who Say “There is No Genocide”? According to a belief “No crime that is committed is left unpunished”.

Lately, the administrators of France, who have lost their ability of foreseeing the future due to their extreme ambitions, are surprised by the appearance of the historical crimes one by one.

At the report by the independent research commission that was formed in Rwanda, one of the African countries, that was presented on 5 August 2008; France had participated to the genocide which was committed in 1994, where 800 thousand Tutsi and moderate Hutus were destroyed.

The following were determined at the report of the commission:

*The French army in the region directly supported the genocide, participated at the preparations and took part at the murders.

* François Mitterand, the French president and Dominique de Villepin, the former French Prime Minister of the period were aware of the preparations for the genocide.

*The French army provided support for intelligence, strategy, military educations to the ones who committed genocide, contributed to the determinations of the massacre lists and provided arms.

It is evident that these kinds of evidences would definitely convict France as a result of an international judgment. In fact, it is known by everyone that France applies genocide at its colonies. In 2007, Le Monde had reported basing on the information at the French Presidency that France had participated at the Rwanda genocide contrary to the official statements. The attempts of the administrators for suppressing their own sins despite the criticisms which rises up by the French press and intellectuals from time to time reminds the black humor of the French cinema.

Finally, it came out that the arrest of Serbian butcher Karadziç, who is responsible of the massacres in the former Yugoslavia and who has been searched for 13 years, was prevented by France. Florence Hartmann, the former speaker of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) stated that the arrest of Radovan Karadziç, the chief suspect, was personally prevented by the former President of France Jacques Chirac. Karadziç, is accused for massacring 8 thousand Muslims in Srebrenitsa and leading the death of 10 thousand people during the 43 month-long siege of Sarajevo. ”Bosnian Butcher” will be judged from 11 different crimes including committing crime against humanity, genocide and war crimes.

The attempts of France for covering up the crimes, which were committed in Yugoslavia and hiding the criminals, were subject of criticisms during the previous years. Previously, it was stated that French Defense Minister did not give permission to the questioning of French General Bernard Janvier by the court, who had acted as the commander of UNPROFOR, the UN peace keeping force, during Srebrenitsa massacre in 1995, where the criminals who were searched by the International War Crimes Court, which was established to judge the criminals former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, were hidden at the regions, which were under the control of the French units in Bosnia.

France has started to confront the facts of its bloody history despite its attempts for covering up the crimes. Currently, the following is subject of great interest: Will France punish the ones who say “Genocide was not committed in Rwanda?”
Editor, Genocide Reality


Bryza’s Offer Led Armenians Confess The Facts
The echo of the statement by the US co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, Matthew Bryza, which points out that the status of Nagornyy Karabakh should be determined by voting either through a plebiscite or a referendum of the people in that region, continues.

The USA diplomat Matthew Bryza, who attended the meeting of Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov and his Armenian counterpart Edvard Nalbantyan stated that the people in that region will decide on the future of Karabakh and the status of Nagornyy Karabakh which should be determined by voting either through a plebiscite or a referendum. Briza indicated that Armenians should evacuate the Azerbaijani territories around Karabakh, after that immigrants will return to the lands, a corridor should be formed that would connect Karabakh to Armenia and a referendum should be organized for the future of the region.*

Bryza’s statement which points out that the Azerbaijanis from Karabakh, who have turned into refugees due to Armenian invasion, should return back to their lands, created a panic atmosphere in Armenia.

According to Hakob Badalyan, a journalist, there is no sense in making a referendum on the status of Nagornyy Karabakh if the Azerbaijanis return back to Karabakh. Hakob Badalyan, who indicated that if the Azerbaijanis return back to Nagornyy Karabakh, Azerbaijan can even directly recognize the independence of Nagornyy Karabakh, stressed that the Azerbaijanis would obtain advantage at the demographical race as soon as they come back the region and the Azerbaijani population will preponderate to the Armenian population and under these circumstances an independent Karabakh would wish to unite with Azerbaijan within 20 years in any case. **

It is evident that there is no significant improvement at the right and justice comprehension of the Armenians since last two centuries. They claim right on the lands, they kill the majority of the population by means of gangs, and eventually the Armenians, who constitute the minority of the population, seize the control of the lands. If we leave the Azerbaijanis from Karabakh, who were killed, aside, what is the invader Armenia doing at those territories given the fact that the ones, who are in the status of refugees, constitute the majority of the Karabakh population? Moreover, what if the refugees return and Karabakh gains its independence? This possibility is their main concern…

This is the Armenian logic…

Source: *Milliyet-04/08/2008, **Lragir–05/08/2008
Editor, Genocide Reality


Technological Fundamentalism In Media And Culture, By Robert Jensen, 01 September, 2008
Countercurrents.org

While media watchdogs and bloggers probe contemporary news media for signs of bias -- from every angle, on virtually every issue -- perhaps the most important of journalists’ biases is ignored: their routine acceptance of society’s technological fundamentalism. This devotion to the industrial world’s core delusion shows up not just in stories about science and technology but in the assumptions about science and technology that underlie virtually all reporting in the corporate commercial news media in the United States.

Let’s start with definitions: While fundamentalism has a specific meaning in Protestant history (an early 20th century movement to promote “The Fundamentals”), more generally the term can be used to describe any intellectual/ political/ theological position that asserts certainty in the unquestioned truth and/or righteousness of a belief system. Fundamentalism shows up in history often enough, in enough places, that it seems to be a feature not of a particular culture but of human psychology -- we humans are prone, though one hopes not doomed, to fundamentalist thinking. The attraction of fundamentalism is not hard to understand; in a maddeningly complex world, such a way of thinking can offer comfort, even if illusory. But fundamentalism is better described as a system of non-thought, for as ecologist Wes Jackson puts it, “fundamentalism takes over where thought leaves off.”[1]

Journalists are conscious of religious fundamentalism and treat it as a phenomenon to be covered, even if they don’t always explore it in much depth. But other fundamentalisms -- which likely are even more dangerous than the religious varieties -- are the water in which journalists swim, rarely reported upon and usually taken as an unquestioned state of nature. This includes national fundamentalism (the belief that we owe loyalty to nation-states and that patriotism is a good thing) and market fundamentalism (the belief that market-based corporate capitalism is the only rational way to organize an economy in the contemporary world).

But it may well turn out that the gravest threat to a just and sustainable human presence on the planet is technological fundamentalism -- the notion that the increasing use of increasingly more sophisticated high-energy advanced technology is always a good thing and that any problems caused by the unintended consequences of such technology eventually can be remedied by more technology. According to David Orr, an environmental studies professor at Oberlin College in Ohio, technological fundamentalists are those “unwilling, perhaps unable, to question our basic assumptions about how our tools relate to our larger purposes and prospects.”[2]

Our experience with unintended consequences is fairly clear. For example, there’s the case of automobiles and the burning of petroleum in internal-combustion engines, which give us the ability to travel considerable distances with a fair amount of individual autonomy. This technology also has given us traffic jams and road rage, strip malls and the interstate highway system, smog in some places while everywhere contributing to rapid climate change that threatens sustainable life on the planet. We haven’t quite figured out how to cope with these problems, and in retrospect it would have been wise to have gone slower in the development of a transportation system based on the car and to have paid more attention to potential negative consequences. The point is not to look back and condemn John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and Dwight Eisenhower, but to ask a simple question: Can we learn from these mistakes?

Those who raise questions about this fundamentalism are often said to be “anti-technology,” which is a meaningless insult. All human beings use technology of some kind, whether stone tools or computers. An anti-fundamentalist position is not that all technology is bad, but that the introduction of new technology should be evaluated carefully on the basis of its effects -- predictable and unpredictable -- on human communities and the non-human world, with an understanding of the limits of our knowledge.

One expression of this view is the “precautionary principle,” which argues that instead of asking sceptics to prove that a new product or process might be harmful, advocates of the proposed new action should have to prove it is safe. A 1998 conference of scientists, philosophers, lawyers and environmental activists produced this widely used definition of the principle:

When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.

In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.

The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action.[3]

This idea is not new. An early challenge to greed-fueled technological fundamentalism came from the Luddites, artisans who resisted the factory system in early 19th century Britain not because they were afraid of machines but because they anticipated the negative effects of a dangerous and dehumanizing system on their communities. The contemporary use of “Luddite” as a synonym for “someone with an irrational fear of anything new” indicates how a fearful culture regards this kind of thoughtful critique. The lesson we should learn from the early Industrial Revolution is that the Luddites were correct -- by overvaluing machines we can easily undervalue people and the non-human living world.

Today, some critics of the culture’s technological fundamentalism describe themselves as neo-Luddites, an attempt to connect to the wisdom of that earlier movement. Neo-Luddites recognize that technological scepticism and the adoption of the precautionary principle would slow the introduction of new inventions -- unless a compelling need to take a risk could be justified in an open and democratic process -- and that would be a good thing. Slowing down a runaway train doesn’t magically take care of all problems, but it usually beneficial both for those in the path of the train and those riding it.

Let’s leave the train metaphor and go back to the issue of the cars on the road. The most common response to the social and ecological pathology of the car culture has not been to rethink the reasons and ways we transport ourselves, but rather to figure out how to replace petroleum so we can continue to drive, leading to the manic quest for “alternative fuels.” This has led to the promotion of corn-based ethanol, which is now widely understood to be a disaster on all fronts: it takes almost as much energy to produce as is recovered, intensifies unsustainable farming practices, and increases costs of food.[4] Technological fundamentalism -- exacerbated by the greed of private agribusiness corporations that are publicly subsidized -- created the climate in which corn-based ethanol emerged, and for years journalists yawned at the larger issues. Now we can see the depth of the technological fundamentalism in the way in which journalists start to critique corn-based ethanol; routinely such discussions come with an implicit or explicit endorsement of other biofuels, such as sugar cane or switch grass.

Recognizing that “[t]he economics of corn ethanol have never made much sense,” the New York Times editorialized in 2007 that:

There is nothing wrong with developing alternative fuels, and there is high hope among environmentalists and even venture capitalists that more advanced biofuels -- like cellulosic ethanol -- can eventually play a constructive role in reducing oil dependency and greenhouse gases. What’s wrong is letting politics -- the kind that leads to unnecessary subsidies, the invasion of natural landscapes best left alone and soaring food prices that hurt the poor -- rather than sound science and sound economics drive America’s energy policy.[5]

To the Times, the belief in technological solutions is unquestioned; the only problem is the interference of politics. But what if “sound science and sound economics” argue for first recognizing the need to radically reshape our landscapes and lives to reduce dramatically our need for large quantities of portable liquid fuels for individualized transportation? What if biofuels are a key component of the fantasy scenario that allows so many to believe we can continue business as usual? When those crucial questions are left out of stories, journalists reinforce technological fundamentalism.

A year later, the Times was still avoiding the limits of biofuels, encouraging Congress to continue subsidies “as an important part of the effort to reduce the country’s dependency on imported oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”[6] Identifying the problem as dependency on imported oil leads away from a focus on the core problem of -- to borrow a phrase from the social/ecological analyst James Howard Kunstler -- a “living arrangement with no future”[7] on which the United States is structured. The Times is hindering, not helping to advance, the conversation needed.

Another example of the technological fundamentalism of journalism is the steady flow of stories about new products that that are little more than free advertising for the gadgets that are central to our dead-end living arrangement. The reviews of this endless flood of products celebrating the culture’s child-like obsession with shiny things -- everything from hulking SUVs to tiny electronic devices -- are much the same; even when a specific product is criticized for its shortcomings, the assumption is that such products are part of a sensible life and consistent with a sustainable future. The idea that journalists might inquire into “our larger purposes and prospects” -- who really needs these things, and what are the costs to the planet of the manufacture and disposal of them -- would be seen by most journalists as inappropriate editorializing, while avoiding those questions is a sign of objectivity.

Journalists’ instinct to fall in line with the dominant assumptions of the culture is hardly surprising. In the contemporary United States, the good life is synonymous with consumption and the ability to acquire increasingly sophisticated technology. Those who challenge this dogma are routinely ignored or dismissed as naïve, such as in this story in Wired magazine:

Green-minded activists failed to move the broader public not because they were wrong about the problems, but because the solutions they offered were unappealing to most people. They called for tightening belts and curbing appetites, turning down the thermostat and living lower on the food chain. They rejected technology, business, and prosperity in favor of returning to a simpler way of life. No wonder the movement got so little traction. Asking people in the world’s wealthiest, most advanced societies to turn their backs on the very forces that drove such abundance is naïve at best.[8]

Naïve, perhaps, but not as naïve as the belief that unsustainable systems can be sustained indefinitely, which is at the heart of the technological fundamentalists’ delusional belief system. With that writer’s limited vision -- which is what passes for vision all around this culture -- it’s not surprising that he advocates economic and technological fundamentalist solutions:

With climate change hard upon us, a new green movement is taking shape, one that embraces environmentalism’s concerns but rejects its worn-out answers. Technology can be a font of endlessly creative solutions. Business can be a vehicle for change. Prosperity can help us build the kind of world we want. Scientific exploration, innovative design, and cultural evolution are the most powerful tools we have. Entrepreneurial zeal and market forces, guided by sustainable policies, can propel the world into a bright green future.

In other words: The “sophisticated” thinkers ask us to ignore our experience and throw the dice, to take naiveté to new heights, to forget all we should have learned. This is what Kunstler calls the “Jiminy Cricket syndrome,” after the character in “Pinocchio” who believes that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true. “It’s a nice sentiment for children, perhaps, but not really suited to adults who have to live in a reality-based community, especially in difficult times,” says Kunstler.[9]

An alternative would be to question the technological fundamentalism and think about how we might reorder our world. If one central role of journalism is to raise the difficult questions that citizens should confront in a democratic society, journalists are not doing their jobs.

An honest assessment of the culture’s technological fundamentalism makes it clear why Wes Jackson’s call for an “ignorance-based worldview” is so important. Jackson, a plant geneticist who left conventional academic life to co-found The Land Institute to pursue projects about sustainable agriculture and sustainable culture, suggests that we would be wise to recognize what we don’t know. His point is that whatever the advanced state of our technical and scientific prowess, we are -- and always will be -- far more ignorant than knowledgeable, and therefore it would be sensible for us to adopt an ignorance-based worldview that could help us work effectively within our limits. Acknowledging our basic ignorance does not mean we should revel in the ways humans can act stupidly, but rather should spur us to recognize that we have an obligation to act intelligently on the basis not only of what we know but what we don’t know.

If we were to step back and confront honestly the technologies we have unleashed -- out of that hubris, believing our knowledge is adequate to control the consequences of our science and technology -- I doubt any of us would ever get a good night’s sleep. We humans have been overdriving our intellectual headlights for thousands of years, most dramatically in the 20th century when we ventured with reckless abandon into two places where we had no business going -- the atom and the cell.

On the former: The deeper we break into the energy package, the greater the risks we take. Building fires with sticks gathered from around the camp is relatively easy to manage, but breaking into increasingly earlier material of the universe -- such as fossil fuels and heavy metal uranium -- is quite a different project, more complex and far beyond our capacity to control. Likewise, manipulating plants through traditional selective breeding is local and manageable, whereas breaking into the workings of the gene -- the foundational material of life -- takes us to places we have no way to understand.

These technological endeavours suggest that the Genesis story was prescient; our taste of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil appears to have been ill-advised, given where it has led us. We live now in the uncomfortable position of realizing we have moved too far and too fast, outstripping our capacity to manage safely the world we have created. The answer is not some naïve return to a romanticized past, but a recognition of what we have created and a systematic evaluation of how to step back from our most dangerous missteps.

As key storytellers in the culture, journalists can either help or hinder the process of coming to terms with living arrangements that are not only profoundly unjust but also unsustainable. Journalists think of themselves as progressive (in a non-partisan sense), helping steer the culture toward a progressive future that improves the lives of ordinary people.

For a lot of people, unfortunately including most journalists, notions about progress have become rooted in this technological fundamentalism. Yet if humans enjoy too much more of this kind of progress in the world, and it’s not clear there will be a world left for humans much longer. Journalists need to start telling the stories that can help us avoid that fate.

[1] Wes Jackson, “From the Margin,” Orion Online, 2001. http://www.oriononline.org/pages/oo/
sidebars/America/Jackson.html

[2] David W. Orr, “Technological Fundamentalism,” Conservation Biology, 8:2 (June 1994): 336.

[3] Statement on the Precautionary Principle, issued by the Wingspread Conference convened by the Science and Environmental Health Network, January 26, 1998. http://www.sehn.org/wing.html

[4] For a succinct summary of lunacy, see “The Many Problems with Ethanol from Corn: Just How Unsustainable Is It?” http://www.phoenixprojectfoundation.us/user/
The%20Many%20Problems%20of%20Ethanol.pdf

[5] Editorial, “The High Costs of Ethanol,” New York Times, September 19, 2007.
[6] Editorial, “Rethinking Ethanol ,” New York Times, May 11, 2008.

[7] Remarks by James Howard Kunstler, Second Vermont Republic meeting, October 28, 2005. http://www.kunstler.com/spch_
Vermont%20Oct%2005.htm

[8] Alex Nikolai Steffen, “The Next Green Revolution,” Wired, May 2006, p. 139-141.
http://wirednews.com/wired/archive/14.05/green.html

[9] Remarks by James Howard Kunstler, PetroCollapse conference, New York, October 5, 2005. http://www.kunstler.com/spch_petrocollapse.ht

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. His latest book, All My Bones Shake: Radical Politics in the Prophetic Voice, will be published in 2009 by Soft Skull Press. He also is the author of Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity (South End Press, 2007); The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege (City Lights, 2005); Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (City Lights, 2004); and Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream (Peter Lang, 2002). Jensen's articles can be found online at http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/index.html.

This article was originally published in Media Development (http://www.wacc.org.uk/wacc/
publications/media_development), No. 3, 2008.]


The Slow Death Of Democracy And The Rise Of The Corporate Hydra By Siv O'Neall, 01 September, 2008
Countercurrents.org

What has happened to the common sense of Americans? Has it completely gone down the drain with the propaganda of U.S. superiority?

Don't they see the millions and millions of people who have died and are still dying across the world, due to U.S. empire illusions and the firmly established greed and power of the Big Corporations? Don't they see that the lone superpower as a taken-for-granted is a fiction?

Yes, the United States was once a powerful nation, and a nation that people in the world looked up to, but it lost all its good points on the aggressive stand all over the world. Its go-it-alone, we're-the-leaders-of-the-world mentality is the way this 'superpower' has been living it up at least since World War II. The more it has been crushing and killing, the more it has lost its credibility in the world. The more its corporations intruded on the sovereignty of other states, the faster did this country lose its favorable standing in the world.

And Americans themselves, how do they see the world at this point? From a distance it seems as if they are beginning to open their eyes. One big BUT however. The everyday American is not capable of giving up on his deeply indoctrinated faith that the United States is the greatest country in the world. They 'know' that they are basically moral, highly civilized, good people who want to confer their way of life to the whole world since the rest of the world is so uncivilized, so poor, living in such precarious conditions.

There is no doubt in their minds that the United States is the foremost democracy in the world. Since they don't know anything about the rest of the world, it's easy to propagandize them into believing just about anything you want to make them believe. And besides, don't the every-two-year elections prove that they are the ones who select the leaders and so they have a voice in what's being done in their names? A majority of U.S. citizens are most certainly taken in by the belief that they participate in the running of the country.

It's doubtful if there are many Americans who see the National conventions that have just started as the fool's gold that they are. The most expensive circus that ever was and that the people pay dearly for. Just another Disney World to fool the people into believing that something important is going on and that they matter. "We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare," [Hillary] Clinton said. "Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hangs in the balance." [1]

What is hanging in the balance is hard to see since both presidential candidates are saying pretty much the same things, except that their styles are different. Ok, Obama/Hillary now say Healthcare for all, but that is to be seen once the corporations get into the game. The arms manufacturers telling the new administration what they 'need', the HMO's, the pharmaceutical industry, all the corporate giants telling them of their sine qua non. Nothing so far has indicated in the least that either Hillary or Obama is against privatization or the free market. Disaster capitalism, as Naomi Klein says, is the name of the system and democracy is the victim. Regulation is a non-concept. How can corporations develop and maximize profit if they are being regulated? Starve the people but don't you ever think of strangling the corporations that are making the world go round. Profit is king and the people be damned.

So how do Americans see their country's criminal aggressions and the callous greed? First of all, greed is a good thing in the American credo. God rewards the hard workers and the ones left behind have no reason to complain. Socialism is a dirty word and welfare is only good when it's for the benefit of the Big Corporations.

Instead of seeing that the United States invades or buys every country that does not agree with their methods of running business, the gullible U.S. citizen is firmly convinced that the U.S. comes to the aid of every country when it is in trouble. They support the evil dictator and things calm down. Nobody ever lets them know that what the U.S. is doing is in the interest of its own global hegemony and that the indigenous people are beaten down and suffering even worse after the United States gets in on the side of the dictator. For every social uprising in Central America, from the CIA-orchestrated coup in 1954 in Guatemala on through the Reagan years, the United States has intervened with an iron fist, bombing and killing, usually through mercenary death squads, until the leftist struggle for justice is totally crushed and the U.S.-supported dictatorship can go on doing the bidding of the Empire.

Inside the United States, the increasing inequality and vanishing civil rights are forcefully backed up by the Big Corporations who see that state of things as the only way of meeting their goal of ever increasing dividends to the shareholders and multi-million bonuses to the CEOs. Furthermore, this is the way of life that is considered by them as the normal way of running the economy. Ethics do not exist. Those who were born to grab from the others will do so no matter what they were taught in Sunday school about doing good to their neighbor.

So why don't the U.S. governments try to rein in the greedy corporations? Because the corporations are the ones who run the show, who tell the so-called rulers what to do – in all countries more or less, not just in the United States. The lawmakers and the heads of governments are all puppets dancing on strings, unless the so-called rulers actually have a foot in each camp. They pretend to run the country but they are actually looking after the corporations they are tied to and their own interests. In this last administration, this has been the case more than ever before.

It is certainly not in the interest of the ruling elite to give in to demands of fair treatment from the poor sections of society or even from the middle class. Starving the beast is a prerequisite for controlling the populace, for setting the rules of the game. A population that is ignorant, apathetic from tiredness and overwork, dumbed down from infotainment and antiseptic television shows – that is exactly what suits the greedy money makers. No insurgency, since there's no energy left for such a thing as a fight for better conditions. No knowledge about the rest of the world, and so Americans can go on believing that they are the best, no matter what the rest of the world might feel about that unquestioned rule of faith. So the world doesn't love us any more. It's because of the war in Iraq. It's that simple.

Creeping totalitarianism, the people losing one civil right after the other, and their voices not being heard or paid attention to. This is what has become of 'America the beautiful'. And all the while through non-stop propaganda the citizens are made to believe that they live in a democracy.

In this police state there is no need to make Jews scrub the sidewalks. There is no need for ostentatiously depriving a section of the population of their freedoms and making them the scapegoats. Poverty will serve the purpose of creating a marginal group that can be exploited. No need for arm bands with the star of David. The poor people and in particular the immigrants have their backs sufficiently bent to serve the ever-existing need of a class to look down on. In spite of the age-old history of racism in America, this is not a war on race, it's a class war, and it's getting more and more extreme. The so-called free trade system, which is far from free, is only benefiting Big Money.

Desperate poverty has been increasing all over the world ever since the organizations that set the rules for the economies of third world countries promised to solve the crisis of hunger and poverty in the world. In fact, what they were gearing up to do was finish off the plunder of the poor countries that depended on their high-interest loans. You might well ask yourselves if this neocolonialism is not even more disastrous for the third-world countries than the former kind that was very gradually ended after World War II, at least in a legal sense.

9/11 was a windfall for the neocons since, whoever orchestrated it, it paved the way for the totalitarianism that we are now witnessing. It made the invention of the 'war on terror' possible. A war president can allow himself to commit aggression in the name of the people that would meet with violent protests in a peaceful era. Fear is the ever efficient means of keeping a population under control.

Little did they see that the ambitions of the neocons went much farther than the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the control of its oil resources. The aim was much higher. To begin with they wanted control of the whole Greater Middle East. Then what was going to follow was clearly control of the planet and possibly outer space. However, it now seems obvious that their ambitions will be cut short, since other big powers are rearing their heads in different parts of the world.

Also the 'war on terror' has been proven to be a worn-out cliché, a nonsense word, mainly because all this so-called war is doing is increasing the resistance to the United States and its aggressive march across the world's continents. Even the U.S. citizens are aware of this counter-effect.

So what the neocon regime is now aiming at is a renewal of the cold war. Russia is going to be the enemy No.1 once again. They make the people believe that things are calming down in the Middle East. Iraq is moving towards a democracy, is what they try to make people believe. What is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan is hushed up. They have the media on their side, which has of course been essential in winning the support of the people that they have had so far.

The question is now: Will le capitalisme sauvage (as the French say) win the life or death game or will the people finally gather strength and a voice and manage to throw them out? To the corporations it's a game, to the people it's a matter of sheer survival.

All the ballyhoo about the American dream is just that and as for Bill Clinton's words about restor[ing] America's standing in the world [2], that's for megalomaniacs and dreamers. We will be lucky if the planet survives, and it will take the rising up of the people, a forceful attack on the prevailing corporate system by the people all over the world to make that happen. The world is under attack from U.S. corporatism, ecology, economy, inequality, injustice, and it's not just American citizens who have to speak out and act out. It's the people of the world.

Notes
[1] Steven Rosenfeld: Hillary Electrifies: "Nothing Less Than the Fate of Our Nation ... Hangs in the Balance"

[2] Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention on August 27, 2008 - exact quote: "Clearly, the job of the next President is to rebuild the American Dream and restore America's standing in the world."

Siv O'Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. She can be reached at ***@axisoflogic.com


Caucasus Domino By Oleg Dvinsky
WPS Agency, Russia What the Papers Say Weekly Review (Russia) September 1, 2008

Events In South Ossetia Will Change The Geopolitical Map Of The Region For Years To Come; Georgian escapade in South Ossetia changed the geopolitical map of the region.

Destabilized by the Georgian move against South Ossetia, situation in the Black Sea - Caspian Sea region remains tricky. Tension did not even abate with withdrawal of the Russian army from the Georgian territory in keeping with the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan.

Three NATO ships sailed into the Black Sea (German Luebeck, Spanish Adm. Juan de Bourbon, and Polish General K. Pulaski) through the Bosporus and their appearance did not ease the tension either. NATO feigns innocence and claims that the ships are there for the planned exercise and not because of the events in Georgia, but nobody is fooled. Appearance of NATO's surface combatants in the region when the Russian-Georgian war barely ended is nothing short of provocation.

Tbilisi in the meantime keeps making militaristic statements and aggressive gestures. Georgia requested $1-2 billion from the United States for restoration of the military infrastructure. Analysts wonder what will happen in the Black Sea - Caspian Sea region now.

The first conclusion is inescapable: Georgian aggression against South Ossetia voided all previous international agreements concerning political geography of the Caucasus. Absence of any global strategic view on the region in the United States and its NATO allies, their efforts to preserve the administrative territorial borders set up by the Bolsheviks, lack of professionalism on the part of Western diplomacy and provincialism on the part of the local - all of that resulted in gross political mistakes that leave the issue of territorial integrity of the countries of the region unanswered.

It is clear that the turn of events that already transpired in the Balkans may repeat itself in the Caucasus. It is gradually dawning on the international community that neither South Ossetia nor Abkhazia will return to Georgia ever again. Neither does Nagorno-Karabakh appear to be eager to return to Azerbaijan.

The second conclusion: The process of unification - provided it is possible in the first place - is going to take place in no foreseeable future. It is possible only in theory, provided the local leaders want something like the Caucasus Confederation with an emphasis on a common market, hard currency, and legislation rather than on the territorial integrity principle.

The third conclusion: when Washington recovers from the emotional shock caused by Georgia's unexpected military-political fiasco, the United States had better come up with a more constructive approach to evaluation of the situation in this region. It requires an unprejudiced view on the existing correlation of forces and exact knowledge of America's own national interests. It should be remembered as well that only a chance put Georgia into the epicenter of the international politics.

Two variants are possible. The optimistic one is as follows: putting an end to the phase of the military-political confrontation and transforming the Caucasus into a region of mutually beneficial cooperation. The pessimistic one is this: unless cooperation is chosen, the United States will be eventually ousted from the Caucasus.

As things stand, Professor Ali Demir of the University of Galatasarai suspects that Georgian escapade in South Ossetia compromises fulfillment of several promising economic projects Azerbaijan counted on. The Turkish analyst does not rule out the possibility that economic interests of the EU may shift now from Azerbaijan to Iran with its colossal oil and gas fields. And that will mean wholly different geopolitics.


Turkey Seeks Assurances From Armenia For Gul's Trip, Turkish Daily News September 1, 2008
A high-level diplomatic and security delegation will be dispatched to Armenia this week, ahead of President Abdullah Gul's trip to Armenia on Sept. 6 for the first-ever international football match between the two countries. The delegation has been sent to ease security concerns and outline the issues to be discussed during the trip. If realized, it will be a first-ever Turkish presidential visit to Armenia and as such its importance may help break certain taboos.

"I will send a delegation to Yerevan to hold talks on the possible visit of President Gul," Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told reporters yesterday during a press conference with his Georgian counterpart. However, Babacan did not give details of what the delegation would discuss with Armenian diplomats. Turkish and Armenian diplomats meet secretly from time to time in third countries. The last meeting took place in Bern last July.

Turkey cut its diplomatic ties and closed its border with Armenia after Yerevan's occupation of Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabagh region in 1993. Armenia's decision not to recognize Turkey's borders and in describing the Van and Kars region as Western Armenia, as well as efforts to promote the alleged genocide in the third countries' parliaments as a foreign policy tool, are two other major problems between the two countries.

In such an atmosphere, the meeting of the two countries' national teams in the same World Cup qualification group sparked a new effort to normalize bitter ties. Armenian President Serge Sarkisian officially invited Gul to Yerevan for the match, a move that was warmly welcomed by the United States and the European Union.

Though the official announcement has not yet been made, all indications show that Gul's assessment will be likely to be positive.

"I am still evaluating. I have not made a decision yet," Gul told reporters late Saturday on the sidelines of a reception held by the Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug.

Babacan to accompany Gul
However, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was much more open on the issue. Erdogan implied that Turkey was ready to discuss the problems and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan would also be present during the trip. The expectation is that the announcement will be made after talks this week.

According to foreign ministry officials, Sarkisian's interview with the daily Radikal last week was an important factor in shaping Ankara's decision. Gul, for his part, does not want to be the one who refuses the invitation that could put Turkey in a more difficult situation in the future.

However, despite the Armenian president's moderate messages there are still points to be solved. Many nationalist groups in Yerevan are planning to hold massive protest rallies Saturday and even during the match, according to some officials.

"Any unexpected negative development during the visit could totally kill the normalization process. That's what we are worried of," officials told the Turkish Daily News on Saturday.

Officials also underlined that Gul's visit would not put Turkey's state policy toward Armenia at stake.

"Armenia's occupation of Azerbaijan's territories is a fact recognized by the United Nations resolutions. This visit will have no affect on our policies," the same officials said.

US is encouraging parties
One of the behind-doors-architect of the Turkey-Armenia rapprochement process, the United States is continuing to push both countries for dialogue

"I am not aware of Gul's decision," Ross Wilson, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey told the TDN on Saturday. "But, the U.S. has long been encouraging both countries for dialogue."

He also said Gul's trip to Yerevan would be an important message to all countries in the region which fell once again into turmoil after Russia's offensive against Georgia. A European diplomat, speaking to TDN on the condition of anonymity, said a rejection to the invitation would be seen as a missed opportunity for Gul.

Baykal: Gul should not go
Meanwhile, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, opposed the idea of a presidential visit to Yerevan, speaking to journalists late Saturday on the sidelines of the reception.

"What has changed that makes the president want to travel to Armenia?" said Baykal, recalling that diplomatic ties were cut as a result of Yerevan's occupation of Azerbaijan's territories. "Did they promise a withdrawal from there or a recognition of Turkey's borders, which they haven't since the early 90s?" Baykal said the rapprochement plan was designed by the United States for the purpose of tearing off Turkey from Azerbaijan

"Turkey cannot take any steps that could hurt its ties with Azerbaijan. His visit would be a major deviation from the state policy," he said

Armenian reactions generally positive Some, like international relations Aram Hagopyan expert were apprehensive about the visit saying, "The most important story in Armenia right now is this game. The possibility of Gul's arrival has left the football in the shadow of the politics. Even those who have no interest in the game talk about it, but nobody thinks Gul will accept the invitation." Hagopyan disagreed with the Turkish press' wrongful citing of Armenian sources, claiming that the local press was expecting 20,000 Turkish fans in attendence.

He said, "as opposed to the Turkish press' claims, the numbers in Armenia are expected to be no higher than in the hundreds." Giro Manoyan, the international representative of the Dashnaktsutyun, or the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, said there were very important historic problems with Turkey that needed to be solved, telling the Turkish Daily News, "There are plans to hold demonstrations for President Abdullah Gul's arrival in Yerevan, but certainly nothing excessive. All we wish to accomplish with the demonstrations is to draw global attention to the topic of genocide." However, the overall view was positive.

"The Armenian people's interest in this game is great," said Yerevan State University academic Siranuys Dvoyan. "President Gul's visit is of course very important, but more important is the two peoples coming together. Prejudices between the two peoples will only be overcome with time and dialogue." Copyright 2007, Turkish Daily News.


No Way Out: Ethnic Cleansing, By Fire And Atrocity - "Paradise Lost" by Christopher J. Walker, The Weekly Standard, September 1, 2008

Smyrna 1922, The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance by Giles Milton Basic Books, 464 pp., $27.95

The destruction of Smyrna--modern Izmir--in 1922 was one of the great atrocities of the early 20th century. A great trading city of western Anatolia, a place of wealth and civilized values, vibrant with culture, was reduced to ashes, and perhaps 100,000 of its multiethnic population, especially the Greeks and the Armenians, were either drowned, burnt alive, or bayoneted by the army of the new Turkey or its irregulars.

How could this be? This question is answered with a searing truthfulness by Giles Milton in his energetic and terrifically readable narrative of the events, Paradise Lost.

Smyrna had had a Greek population since about 1000 b.c. It was one of the cities which claimed to be the birthplace of Homer. The Ionian cities of the eastern Aegean seaboard, of which it became the most important, were (apart from Athens) the most civilized cities of ancient Greece, where poets, philosophers, and painters flourished and created the unforgettable heritage of classical civilization, which became civilization for all of us.

Its importance continued in Ottoman times, when the Greek genius had transformed itself into a talent for commerce and shipping. Smyrna's commercial significance continued into modern times, with the establishment of foreign consulates in the city from the 17th century--of which the English was arguably the most important. By the early 19th century vast palaces were being built in the suburbs for the city's merchant families, who lived in a style of unrestrained luxury.

These expatriate families, of whom the leaders were the English Whittalls, were known as "Levantines." They were tolerated by the Ottoman authorities: The unwritten deal was that they could do virtually what they liked, and make as much (untaxed) money as they wished, but that they would support the Ottoman Empire in any political dispute it had with the powers of Europe.

Smyrna was virtually untouched in World War I. The Ottoman Turkish governor was enlightened, and spent much time disobeying or evading orders from the extremist ruling group in the imperial capital. The city saw no real warfare. Even in the post-1918 period, following the Ottoman defeat, things started to return to normal, with the return of extravagance and display for the families of the merchant houses. At this time Smyrna had a Greek governor, similarly enlightened and opposed to ethnic politics.

The city's problems started at the peace conference. Here Giles Milton is at his best, because he shows us the many-sidedness of the causes of the catastrophe which overcame the city. He does not foist one single answer on us. Often people try to reduce historical causation in the eastern Mediterranean to a single cause--usually "nationalism" or "Islam"--but history is more complex, as Thucydides demonstrated.

The catastrophe at Smyrna had many causes. Among them were the irresolute and disputed aftermath of World War I, with its conflicting secret imperial deals, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George's simplistic support for the Greeks, the moody manner in which the Italian delegation had stormed out of the Peace Conference upon realizing that they were to be denied spoils, the weakness of the Greek army in Anatolia (combined with the craziness of the manner in which it had overreached itself in campaigning eastwards), the punitive ethnic singularity of the Kemalist vision, and the pitilessness of the irregulars attached to the Turkish army.

All these elements combined to bring about an inferno of destruction on those terrible days in September 1922.

One can go further and say that there was little overt nationalism in the area, unless it was stoked. Most of the population realized that, as inhabitants of a trading city, they depended for their livelihood on serving people of all nationalities. Nor was there much place for Islam. Since the 1908 Young Turk revolution, the Ottoman Empire had been growing secular and positivistic, downgrading religion. Smyrna, a maritime trading city like Beirut, Alexandria, Trieste, or Marseille, was too busy making money to be devout. The conquering army of 1922, like its leader Mustafa Kemal, creator of the new Turkey, owed nothing to religion.

The issue has been problematic for Turkey's modern historians, and for nations and people who wanted to be Turkey's friends. For a long time the myth persisted that the Greeks and Armenians burnt their districts themselves. The eyewitness accounts that Milton gives us here show that this view is unsustainable: The barrels of kerosene were unloaded, guarded, and directed by Turkish troops.

Politically, the landing of the Greek army in Smyrna in May 1919 has also been characterized as the Allies' attempt to "carve up" Turkey. This, too, was based on uncertain political logic. It was certainly a grave political mistake. But "Turkey"--the Kemalist republic--at that time did not exist. There was only a defeated Ottoman Empire. Smyrna and its surrounding region had, according to Woodrow Wilson's principles, a reasonable, though not watertight, claim to be a liberated Greek area rather than a still-imperial Turkish one.

One question to which Milton's devastating narrative seems to demand an answer is: How did the Turkish troops coordinate their activities with the irregulars, who performed the work of death, looting, raping, killing, and burning? What was the chain of command? It appears that a number of the Levantine observers of Kemal's capture of Smyrna were entirely taken in by the smart uniforms and impeccable drill of his army as it entered the city. The ladies loved their military elegance.

The account in Paradise Lost makes us ask: What was the connection between those fine social and military manners, and the murderous, horrific violence perpetrated on the streets? Kemal's revolution, though widely acclaimed, had a massive shadow side.

Who are the heroes and villains of the story? The heroes must be the Americans Asa Jennings and Esther Lovejoy, who at incredible risk to themselves sought to rescue hundreds of thousands of stranded refugees on the city's quayside. There was a good cast of villains, beyond those who rolled barrels of kerosene along the city's streets: chiefly the commanders of the Allied warships in the harbor, who with precise bureaucratic cowardice and cruelty refrained from any action of humanity which might alleviate the condition of the starving, frying mass of humanity, threatened with murder by the local militia, on the grounds that any humane action might he construed as endangering Allied "neutrality."

The British poured boiling water on desperate refugees who swam up to their vessels. And Admiral Bristol, the representative of official America, a man whose liking for the Turks led him to despise and detest members of the other communities, insisted that American reporters cable home reports favorable to the Turks. (Fortunately, they stopped obeying him and reported what they saw.)

There is not much in the way of a moral to be drawn from the frightful narrative of Smyrna's inferno of destruction--except for the need for ordinary humanity in extraordinary circumstances, and for the best intelligence at all times. It would also seem advisable to distrust those, like Lloyd George, whose politics are driven by a schoolboy view of good and evil. Giles Milton's account, by reason of its forthrightness, its brilliant use of hitherto- unseen archival Levantine sources, its feeling for the day-to-day life of the city, and its devastating quest for the hidden truth, seems also to lay to rest some of the ghosts of that shocking and shameful event.

Christopher J. Walker is the author, most recently, of Islam and the West.


"Armenian Sport In The Ottoman Empire" Exhibition In The Museum Of The Armenian Genocide
AZG Armenian Daily 02/09/2008
An exhibition under heading "Armenian sport in the Ottoman Empire" opens September 2 in Yerevan at the hall of temporary exhibitions of the Museum-Institute of the Armenian Genocide.

The exhibition includes 70 photos, documents, papers and magazines that present the history of the Armenian sport-clubs and football teams in the Ottoman Empire before 1915.

According to the notification of the Museum, the Armenian sport-clubs and sportsmen made a significant contribution to the development of sport in the Ottoman Empire; there were 100 sport-clubs in the Empire before 1915.

In 1911-1914 Armenian Olympic Games were held in Costandnupolis.

Sport newspaper "Marmnamarz" was published in those years, editor-in-chief - Shavarsh Krisian. It was the first sport newspaper of the Ottoman Empire.

In summer of 1912, two Armenian sportsmen Vahram Papazian and Mkrtich Mkoyan participated in the 5th Olympics in Stockholm presenting the Ottoman Empire first time at the Olympic Games.

From 1915 to 1920, most of the Armenian sportsmen fell victim to the Armenian Genocide. Most of the Armenian sport-clubs stopped to exist.


Captain Emory Niles and Mr. Arthur Sutherland
Van Rebellion, took place after the outbreak of World War I. By February of 1915 Muslims in mixed villages were fleeing to be among other Muslims. Armenians did the same. The confrontation was no longer one of Ottoman forces against Russian forces and their Armenian partisans; “[i]t had become a general war between the Muslims and the Armenians.” It raged first outside of the city an then, by late April 1915, in the city itself.
The Armenians, well armed, though without artillery, determinedly held their ground within the city center throughout the fiercest fighting, earning the upper hand by May 17, at which point they burned the Muslim quarter of the city and massacred those Muslims who had not fled. On May 20, they handed the city over to the Russian Army. The Russians rewarded the rebels by installing the rebel leader, Aram Manukian, as governor of the Russian Province of Van, which was short-lived, as Ottoman forces retook the city ten weeks later, leading to reprisals by Muslims against Armenians, who now were in flight toward the retreating Russian lines. Van was to change hands yet several more times during the ensuing weeks before Russian forces established firm control over the area in late September. This time, however, the Russians remained in charge, appointed a military governor, and disarmed local Armenian “volunteers.” Van’s fate changed yet again when the Russian Army decamped to join in the Russian Revolution. Armenians were left in control of the region and formed a government, which even issued its own currency. Despite an influx of returning Armenian refugees, the military strength of the Armenians had waned and Ottoman forces finally reclaimed the city of Van in April of 1918. When an American survey mission led by Captain Emery Niles toured the area in 1919, they beheld a depopulated, utterly devastated region.

Captain Emory Niles and Mr. Arthur Sutherland were Americans ordered by the United States Government (in 1919) to investigate the situation in eastern Anatolia. Their report was to be used as the basis for granting relief aid to the Armenians by the American Committee for Near East Relief. The following is an excerpt from their report:

“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 the Armenian quarters, as was evidenced by churches and inscriptions on the houses, while the Musulman quarters were completely destroyed. Villages said to have been Armenian were still standing whereas Musulman villages were completely destroyed” [U.S. 867.00/1005].

Source: Turkish Forum- August 24th, 2008

The Most Recent Smart of Armenia
Serj Sarkisyan, the new President of Armenia has lately started sending messages to Turkey in Turkish by putting on his prettiest pose and attempting to convince the world that the classical Armenian mentality, which includes hostility and hatred against Turkey, has changed-we hope it is not a new trick-since he perceived that a nation cannot be administrated by politics, which are based on lies and incorrect information, and that the truth would sooner or later come out.

However, Sarkisyan, who was shortly elected as the president of Armenia with the elections, which caused turmoil due to illegal practices and election tricks, has indicated the following at his first statement: “We will ensure Turkey to confess the genocide.” “It is Turkey, which has strange demands for the diplomatic relations. The civilized way for discussing problems between the countries, is to establish relations. Unfortunately, Turkey is not ready for this.”

At his speech, which he had addressed the youth, he stated: “A policy opposing Turkey, is dangerous since it limits Armenian’s horizon of thoughts. We should think for a longer term for the interests of Armenia.” These statements both create confusion and exposes how much he is confused. However, everyone, who knows the real face of the Armenian politicians, unfortunately,-and thank god!-perceives that Sarkisyan’s statements actually mean: “Turkey-opponent Armenian foreign policies has brought dilemma to the country, the economy worsened and the country was excluded from the region. Therefore, for the time being let’s pretend to be wise, and in the long term, we will return to our true nature.”

And about that soccer match…That invitation, which our media exaggerated as “a friendship attempt”-we wonder who has ordered it.

As known Sarkisyan has invited our president to the elimination match for 2010 World Cup due to be held among Turkey-Armenia in Yerevan in September the 6th. And he clarified that his target was to take a step by Armenia towards normalizing relations between the two countries. As a matter of fact, doesn’t a person, who occupies a post like presidency, which requires high responsibility, know that a football match cannot correct the problems between the two countries; and that more serious steps should be taken?

It is hard to say how the sentiments of Sarkisyan, who simplifies the incidents with a soccer match currently, was changed, but the problems between the countries are neither so simple that could be solved with inviting President Abdullah Gül to the soccer match”, nor complex or complicated that could lead stating the following sentences prior being elected as the president:

-…The Armenians are forced to harden their stance when Turkey continues in her denial attitude. (September 2007)

-“I do not believe that Turkey’s military threat is over. The Russian military base in Armenia, is a guarantee against “Turkey’s threat.” (July 2007)

-“Turkey is attempting to become a member of European Union. However, we would meet the acceptance of Turkey to the house of EU with surprise, which does not comply with the principles of EU.” (September 2007)

The truth is the following: If the Armenian politicians succeed in being honest and sincere, first to their own nation, then to international society and Turkey, there is no issue that cannot be solved out among Turkey and Armenia.
It is advised to the ones who claim that Armenia has softened her stance at the new period to understand the following statement of Sarkisyan well: “Turkey does not open her borders; one third of our national income is wasted.”

Yes, when Armenian forces invaded Azerbaijani land Nagorno Karabagh, Turkey has closed her Alican Highway Border Gate and Akyaka Railway Border Gate in April 1993. Well, is it Turkey’s mission to improve the economical conditions of Armenia? You invade your neighbors’ lands, posses their mountain/ plain, and you even put this in your official documents, be hostile against Turkey everywhere, and then beg mercy from them for opening the borders. Throw up hatred, implant hate, and then “let’s play football.” They would just laugh at you!

Sarkisyan doesn’t have to worry. When Armenia learns not to invade/ put an eye on her neighbor’s territories and keep up with the civilized world, the match between Turkey and Armenia will automatically turn into an ordinary match rather than a big event. The two nations were already leaving at the same neighborhoods, before hostility was implanted.

Source: Turkish Forum-22/08/2008
Tuna Aktura


There is Still Nothing New at the West Side!
Whenever our neighbor Armenia seems to be objective and reasonable by taking Turkey’s friendly and peaceful calls into consideration unexpectedly, we witness that the fanatic Armenians do not delay applying Tashnak methods, which creates an outdated contradiction.

This time the new “other target” of the Armenian extremists, who concentrated the thick lines of racism as their sole reason of existence and who turned this into a hatred mythos, which is transferred generation after generation, is Steve Cohen, once again an American… Democrat Steve Cohen is the congressman of the House of Representatives from Tennessee, who has followed pro-Turkey approach on the Armenian issue and the other congressmen of the USA, are disturbed over the developments.

To such an extent that the reports that were reflected on the press, demonstrate that the USA Congressman Cohen was seriously disturbed and threatened with death by Armenian origin Americans following opposing to accept the Armenian bill on the 1915 incidents, which was brought on the agenda of the House of Representatives last year in the USA.

The declaration of the TCA President Lincoln Mc Curdy, which stated “Threatening a congressman with death cannot be called any less than terrorism”, is the clear evidence on how plainly the threat was classified by the USA. Mc Curdy’s statement: “We demand the Turkish-American society, Armenian origin Americans and all the Armenian institutions to join us on condemning these activities; and particularly, in the light of Armenian terrorism in this country and in the whole world” is a significant message that is noted at the history…

At this point, it will be useful to express what had happened in the near history once again and turning towards the “memory exercise”, which is continuously dictated.

As will be recalled, the Armenian members of the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Committee (TARC), whose activities had completely ended in 2004, were also threatened with death during the years they could display their efforts for working. As a matter of fact, they caused the experienced Armenian members of the Committee including Van Kirkorian, a member of the Committee; change their places of residence along with their families.

Yet again, David L. Phillips, who pioneered the establishment of Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Committee-TARC, had insistently stressed during his presentation at a meeting entitled “Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation” which was organized by USA/ Middle East Institution of Columbia University on 17 April 2006 that “the Turkish side displayed positive reactions during the his efforts for establishing TARC, which surprised him; and on the other hand, the Armenian side and especially Tashnaks targeted and attempted personal attacks against the Armenians, who are within the structure of TARC.”

What has changed?

* Turkey is getting ready for a soccer tournament with Armenia, which passes over the boundaries.

* Armenia is seeking for sending positive signals.

* The senior officials of both countries are being reflected together at the snapshot.

It is perceived that there is nothing new at the capacity of comprehending history realistically and the fanatic observation capability, which produces surrealistic scenarios, of the fanatic the racist Armenian organization and their representatives in the USA, which have difficulty to establish relations with Armenia and the ones from Armenia.

The ones, who could say “It is time to cross-examine what had really happened and Turkey has done what she should do” and even the “potential scientists” who are estimated to be thinking over this idea, including USA Congressmen, are still threatened by the Armenians. Just like Professor Mc Carthy, Lowry and the others who revealed the facts, which were based on the archival documents to the world…

As a result, the answer for “who should first compensate from the single-sided threatening for discovering the 1915 facts only at the archives mutually in a fastidious way in order to develop peace” is getting increasingly evident. As a matter of fact, witnessing the difficulty of the Armenian extremists, who are branded as terrorists by the USA, in perceiving the sensitive balance of the world, is shameful in the name of the humanity.

Editor, GenocideReality


Armenia: Mixed Marriages, August 9th, 2006 by Nathan Hamm
Onnik Krikorian reports on mixed race marriages in Armenia, public attitudes against them, and the difficulties that such couples face.

Mixed Marriages & Racism in Armenia
For such a predominently mono-ethnic country, it’s interesting to note that there are some signs that racism is on the increase. Nessuna at di cavoli e di re recently posted about some white supremacist leaflets she noticed in Yerevan, for example, and from my own experience, many locals — as well as some Diasporans — openly express their dislike of Yezidis and Jews.

However, the Institute of War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) has an interesting story on how such attitudes are amplified when the colour of someone’s skin becomes part of the story. They say that love is colour-blind, but that’s still not generally accepted in Armenian society.

“I bring up my children in the spirit of Christianity and I tell them that all people are equal, regardless of the colour of their skin and their faith,” said Anna, who lives in Yerevan with her Nigerian husband Michael and their two small sons Joseph and James.

The two dark-skinned boys do suffer racial abuse in their kindergarten or on public transport. “I just get furious when they call my children ‘negroes’,” she said.

“I don’t feel comfortable in Yerevan,” added Michael, who despite owning his own business, an Internet café, wants to take his family away from Armenia to a more multi-racial society.

Despite living in Armenia for nine years, Michael has not integrated well and speaks only a few phrases of Armenian.

Michael and Anna’s was the first marriage officially registered between an African and an Armenian, more than ten years ago and it is still a very rare case in Armenia.
[…]
“I think any of our women who marry blacks are our enemies,” said a middle-aged man with higher education questioned by IWPR on the street in Yerevan. “Armenian blood should not be mix with the blood of blacks. If you marry a foreigner then he should at least be white.”

His view was typical of many ordinary Armenians asked to comment on the issue.

Interestingly, a few other examples of mixed marriages are given, and IWPR also says that in some cases, attitudes can vary if it’s somehow seen as a novelty or gimmick. For example, in 1999 I remember a few refugees from Somalia that soon turned up dressed in red doorman’s outfits outside a number of mafia-run bars and nightclubs in Yerevan.

Murtada came to Armenia from Sudan nine years ago as a tourist and married an Armenian named Naira. They live in Yerevan and Murtada, who trained as an economist, works as a driver.

“I’m not concerned by the extra attention that gets paid to us, but I worry about Murtada,” his wife told IWPR. “He is a very sensitive person and he can be insulted by a sideways glance.”

“I can’t hide the colour of my husband’s skin,” she went on, expressing hope that their son Bashir, who speaks Armenian like a native will not suffer from the same problems as his father.

Mira, who is Korean, moved from Moscow to Armenia with her Armenian husband Ashot. She said that the two of them, both artists, had encountered few problems and had had more trouble in Georgia, where they also lived for several years.

Ashot acknowledged that it was easier for his wife, an Asian, to fit into Armenia than for an African to do so. But he said he was worried by the country’s intolerance towards foreigners. “The more developed a country is the better it treats its foreigners. Poorly developed countries put obstacles in the way of foreigners,” he said.

“We need time to live together so that Armenians get used to the idea that black-skinned people can adapt to our way of life, speak Armenian and live like Armenians,” said Vladimir Mikaelian, a psychologist.
[…]
Mikaelian also mentioned a good example of racial prejudice being overcome: the popular television performer Hrant Hovsepian, known as Blond, who has an Armenia mother and African father.

“If Armenia wants to develop then it ought to understand that, one way or another, foreigners will keep on coming here,” said Elza Guchinova, who is herself an ethnic Kalmyk and is doing comparative research on the mono-ethnic societies of Armenia and Japan. “[Urban centres] all over the world are ethnically diverse and it’s impossible to stop this process.”

Of course, Armenia is not unique in this regard, and I’m sure the same attitudes existed in the U.K until 30 years ago when mixed marriages became more common. Indeed, my own English (i.e. non Armenian) Great Aunt married a doctor from Ghana. And although her children — my second cousins, I guess — rose to prominence in the areas of health and architecture, I’m sure it wasn’t easy for my my maternal grandmother’s sister to begin with.

Back to Armenia, however, and while there are mixed relationships and marriages between local Armenians and Moslem or Indian students, trouble can occur. One Indian student, for example, told me that he was attacked by a group of young local men while walking in the street with a rose. The Armenians incorrectly assumed that he was on his way to meet up with a local girl.

Anyway, here’s hoping attitudes change sooner rather than later. Mono ethnic societies can be extremely tedious after a while, and I personally prefer a richer cultural fabric of life in terms of people and society. It’s why I moved to London, for example, and one thing in particular that I miss about the U.K. Unfortunately, a few trips once in a while to Yezidi, Molokan and Assyrian villages don’t do much to change the situation.

Kind of ironic when you consider that Armenians discriminated against in Russia are referred to as “blacks,” along with others from the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
Posted by Onnik @ 12:37 am. Filed under: Armenia, Minorities, Society, Caucasus, Europe, Racism

Comments
http://oneworld.blogsome.com/2006/08/10/mixed-marriages-racism-in-armenia/trackback/

Racism is a cliche word. If you are proud of your identity, does that make you a racist?

Comment by Darwin Jamgochian — August 10, 2006
No, of course not. However, I do not believe that being proud of your identity equates to opposing mixed marriages or discriminating against those of another ethnicity or nationality. Indeed, given that Armenians have historically been on the receiving end of such attitudes, we should have at least learned this lesson.

On the other hand, I also understand the need for maintaining an Armenian identity and why many would prefer marriage to foreigners not to occur. However, when that manifests itself as prejudice and discrimination I take great exception to it. Besides, one quote struck me in particular.

“I think any of our women who marry blacks are our enemies,” said a middle-aged man with higher education questioned by IWPR on the street in Yerevan. “Armenian blood should not be mix with the blood of blacks. If you marry a foreigner then he should at least be white.”

Sounds pretty racist to me.

Comment by Onnik — August 10, 2006

Until the color of a man’s skin,
Is of no more significance than
The color of his eyes,
I’ve got to say “war”.

Sinead O’Connor

Comment by Nessuna — August 10, 2006

hey Onnik,

This is totally off topic but I want to come back and comment on this one, till then check this link out, a poll to see about what Indians know, or anyone from the world know.

http://www.tezaa.com/view/have_you_heard_of_the_armenian_genocide

Saggistica

Comment by Saggistica — August 10, 2006

And yeah.. u can also vote and comment in it,

btw.,

Nesunna wonder comment there.. I need to read more about this guy I guess.

Saggistica

Comment by Saggistica — August 10, 2006

Until the color of a man’s skin,
Is of no more significance than
The color of his eyes,
I’ve got to say “war”.

Sinead O’Connor

That was written by Bob Marley. Sinead O’Connor must have done a cover, I’m assuming.

About miscegenation: If and once Armenians see the foreigners taking good care of their spouses and supporting them, it will be alot more easier for them to handle. The in-group thing is, after all, based on a feeling of mutual support: let the foreigners contribute to this supporst, and the chances are good that they will be in.

Comment by Armen Filadelfiatsi — August 10, 2006

I applaud Onnik Krikorian for writing about this topic. Due to my own marriage with a “black woman”, this subject hits home. While my wife and I did not encounter any racism during our recent stay together in Armenia a few months back, it is still an important topic to discuss. In fact, my wife was actually treated with curiosity and warm hospitality virtually everywhere we went. There were a few stares here and there, but, nothing threatening. We had a great time in Armenia together.

On the flipside, my experience dating, and ultimately being married to, a person from a vastly different background over the last 10 years caused a monumental rift with my immediate family who have never been able to come to terms with this issue. We had similar encounters with Diasporans who actually believed that by marrying an “outsider”, my connection to Armenia would somehow be lost. Yet, when asked about this, most racist Armenian Diasporans had never been to Armenia themselves. This experience and others related this the subject at hand will be detailed in a forthcoming book due out in 2007/2008 called “Headphone Diaries”. It’s an eye-opener…

Comment by Raffi Meneshian — August 11, 2006

Hello people

How are we going to educate our culture?

How are we going to help them to learn how to mix?

How will we reinforce positive response to other races and, religions and cultures (especially the black culture)

Will we ever succeed?

Should the Armenian churches do more to reinforce a multi-culture unit for Armenians or should they just carry on to take a back seat?

What do you think? your views count!

Comment by Kara — September 27, 2006

Hello people

How are we going to educate our culture?

How are we going to help them to learn how to mix?

How will we reinforce positive response to other races and, religions and cultures (especially the black culture)

Will we ever succeed?

Should the Armenian churches do more to reinforce a multi-culture unit for Armenians or should they just carry on to take a back seat?

What do you think? your views count!

Comment by Kara — September 27, 2006

well feels me bit sad to know that so many armenians are also racist.actually i had so much sympathy with them specially when i read in media that how they are murdererd and badly treated by russians specially in moscow and petersburgh.
may be schools and churches should educate the people so they becoem mor etolerant to other cultures religions and races.
i think if some foreighners are coming to live they should be happy becasue it menas that their country is progressing and anyway they shouldnt forget that how many of them live an dwork in russia for better lives and how they are treated there.
god bless all of us

Comment by jimmy — June 19, 2008

Responses to
“Armenia: Mixed Marriages”
September 27th, 2006
Kara:
1
Hello everyone

Just to say it’s a real shame that Armenians unfortunately do not know how to mix. This has become a very important topic for me as I am not allowed by my family to enter a marriage with another race. And who said Armenians aren’t racist?

It’s a real shame and i cannot express my frustration and exhaustion. I have decided to go ahead without my families approval either way!

They are extremely concerned what the family will say. Just to add quickly also that this is a tragic story as I cannot get them to accept him. They have even called him a monkey to his face. How respectful are we as a culture. We seriously need to think!
September 9th, 2008
Lyudmyla:
2
I love him but he has no strenth to go against the family and society!
It is such a pain!
It is not my guilt that I am not Armenian, I would like to be but it is impossible!

How they can not understand that people should be djuged on what they do, not on what was given from birth!
September 10th, 2008
leo aryatsi:
3
What was given by birth allows one to do great things and fight ourselves out of the bad situation we were put in by being passive. If you want to distort our culture and blur our objectives by mixing then do it without our support. I am not against mixing as long as you do it away from my culture and people, especially not in Armenia.
September 10th, 2008
Mediator:
4
Dear Kara,

Marrying a non Armenian its not bad, but the only thing that is painfull for us armenians is that when you have kids the culture slowly dies. If you were living in Armenia its a difffrent story. What makes a Armenian Armenian is the Language and Culture without that a person doesnt represent anything. And what is painfull for a grand parent or a parent is when they witness with there eyes the culture they have worked so hard to keep deteriate its a knife in there heart. Its true when they say Love is Blind. A parent would want the best for the kid and they would respect the love that the couple will share but witnessing a culture slowly deteriarate thats what hurts them.Especially when the kids that a couple will have is there grand children.
And in saying all this yes its true a person should be respected on who they are and not what they have or what race they belong to. But this judgment remains on the individual.
September 10th, 2008
guy:
5
yea they doing a rite thing because you see what america become there is no one know what they really are you ask a black man where you from they say america but they black you ask mexican where you from they say america but when you ask where you from they say armenia even no that its one of the smallest and oldest countrys in the world.
as for you girls go marry your on race im not a racit but i dont think that a good thing to do
September 10th, 2008
Sebastatsi:
6
I am 1/4 Armenian, and 4th generation American, and married a Hayastanci. Some would look at that as mixed marriage, others not, I don’t as I identify myself entirely and solely as an Armenian. I love my grandmother and mother, but their being non-Armenian essentially erased our heritage for my siblings and I, only by my personal interest did I revive it for myself, and my brother followed. The rest of my family has completely assimilated and there is nothing Armenian in them except the -ian surname. In fact, it gets much worse. I am judged for being “too Armenian” by my siblings and parents (even my 1/2 Armenian father!), and my being involved in my culture and homeland is 100% frowned upon behind my back.

This is a result of mixed marriage, nothing else. For those of you who don’t understand what is so-called Armenian “racism” let me just say this: We are a nation of less than 10 million in the world, 3.4 million in Armenia proper, our neighbors have for centuries diluted our blood by rape and forced marriage, and we loose tens of thousands of our nation every year to expatriation and eventual assimilation, meanwhile our Turkish neighbors boast 72 million population in Turkey alone and are closing in on their goal with uniting a land link between them and their Turkish cousins the Azeri’s though Armenian land. There is nothing but 30km worth of land in Syunik Province separating them from one another and cutting off Armenia from Iran. Our national survival is at stake. We are not Turkey were a few hundred thousand mixed marriages a year won’t make a difference. Every Armenian who chooses a mixed marriage (lets not forget that who we marry IS a choice) is essentially pounding another nail in the coffin awaiting our nation.

Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself honestly if you have exausted every opportunity to meet and fall in love with an Armenian. Have you been involved in the church and community? Have you visited Armenia? Have you made Armenian friends and spent time with them so you have a good chance of meeting other single Armenians? If you cannot answer all of those with 100% certainty, don’t go blaming your parents or the society for their unfair treatment of you…

An Armenian marriage is the greatest gift you can give yourself, but more importantly it is the greatest gift you can give your children. Having a heritage, a nation is something every child should grow up with, and I am honored to belong to, and through my marriage - further, this great Armenian nation. I suggest all to do the same.
September 10th, 2008
Robo:
7
Yes ko tsave thanem Sebastatsi jan!! We need more Armenians like you…
September 10th, 2008
Chris:
8
People should marry whoever the heck they want.

Yes, I’m Armenian but I think too many Armenians are backward and conservative.

Armenia is a little Causcus country with a tribal mentality of one nation, race, and cultural. How can it compete on a global scale in terms of progressive mentality and cosmopolitanism?

As if marrying an odar will dilute the Armenian gene pool. What a paranoid way to view the world.
September 10th, 2008
Lyudmyla:
9
and I have one more question- why being so proud of your country and defending of your nationalism, you , Armenians, has been fleeing from your country for centuries
September 10th, 2008
WittyHye:
10
Lyudmyla;
Sorry you have no knowledge of history, politics, and how war plays a part in the economic and social hardships on people.

My answer to you -we flee our country for the same reasons Mexicans flee Mexico for opportunities, or the Armenians from Lebanon from civil war and Christians being pushed out of government in the middle east, or what about the Hmong that fled Laos because the new governments in SE Asia were hostile to them because of their friendship with the US Military? These stories go on and on why different groups flee their country.
None of us in America came from US soil, the only true people are the Native Americans.
So why did the Quakers flee the Church of England and come to America?
Just for the record I am 1/2 Armenian and Irish, this was very difficult for the Armenian side when my parents married my Armenian Grandmother didn’t even go to the wedding. The reason is there was so much prejudice toward the Armenians when they arrived in the USA, most people didn’t realize they were the first Christians and how many foods, inventions we have the Armenians to thank.

Just for the record, I would like the Armenian culture preserved and I think it is great when a couple are both Armenian. We can preserve our ancient language, foods, customs (we celebrate Christmas according to the original calender on January 6th)

The way the Hispanics (Illegal and Legal) are swelling in the USA by 2020 over 50% of Americans will have Hispanic Surnames, and the majority of the schools will have ESL classes, voice mail systems have Spanish and lastly here in California our damm ballots are in Spanish. So I think the Americans should worry more about turning into a Hispanic country rather than 1 million Armenians who want to preserve their culture, like the Greeks and Assyrians.
September 10th, 2008
Gary:
11
You know this topic is very important to me as I am married to a non Armenian.As shocking as it could be for many Armenians we am very happy and have a son who brings blessing to us.
Unfortunately many/most Armenians identify themselves through their race.That means when they think of themselves as who they are, being an Armenian is the 1st thing that comes in mind,for many its the only thing.
Never mind that they are human beings just like anyone else,created by God with is own image or identify yourself with decent human qualities …

For the record, for Kara’s parents,friends and relatives not to accept someone just because of their race is the DEFINITION of RACISM and bigotry.

Sepastasi, you seem to advocate against mix marriages but you are a good example of someone out of a mix marriage who CHOOSE to accept and live that culture.So why not give the benefit of the doubt to others.
Just by clinging to its own race does not make it better.

Be a decent human benign and your race will stand out and others will be good advocates for it.

September 11th, 2008 Atilla: 12
But Armenians have mixed with and married Azerbaijanis with great ease. In Azerbaijan we have roughly 30 thousand Armenian brides/mothers. They are well integrated into the society.

However, this could not explain the Armenian racism . May be its just Armenian women like Azerbaijani men more than other ethnicities.

However, the fact the current armenia is a monoethnic coutnry well demonstrates and indicates the facsist and racist nature of these people.


Crossing Igdir
Besides being a blog on diasporan issues I also enjoy following developments in Armenia's geopolitics and plan on covering developments in that field as well. 2008 has been the most interesting year of that since I've started following these issues almost a decade ago as the region pulsates with troubles and a renewed push towards a Turkish-Armenian thaw. This thaw might have happened earlier had not Azerbaijan hung on to its "brother state" Turkey for dear life keeping them from doing anything which might be seen as a positive for Armenia. This has stunted relations between Armenia and its western neighbor and delayed any potential developments between them. Cracks have been growing though, most recently with Prime Minister Erdogan's new proposal of a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform.

The Turkish Daily News published an article today by Adil Baguirov, head of the "US-Azerbaijani Network" and USC's former Armenophobe-in-residence on why stability and cooperation in the Caucasus is a bad thing for Turkey and that such peaceful moves like opening the border will do nothing but to harm it. If you care to read his joke of an article (I do not say this because he is an Azeri but as my response to it below points out it truly is a non-sensical joke of an article) here's the link followed by my take:
www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=113639

The blindingly fantastic nature of Adil Baguirov's propaganda piece "For true Caucasus stability Turkey must remain on course" defies belief. Thankfully he does start off his propaganda with an actual fact, that the Armenian-controlled areas equal 15% of Soviet Azerbaijani territory (as opposed to the 20-25% which regularly is cited from Azeri sources despite the ease with which one can dispel that exaggeration via simple math). Unfortunately he then dives right in highlighting "over 800,000 Azerbaijans and Kurds were displaced or killed". Such a framing of the conflict, in which an uninformed reader might presume Armenians killed anywhere close to a million people, neglects the internationally recognized fact that almost all of the displacement occured during the course of the war after "400,000 Armenians were displaced or killed" by anti-Armenian riots throughout Azerbaijan before war had even started. Baguirov literally demolishes his own credibility in one quick swoop by neglecting this vital fact for understanding the evolution of this conflict and proves that he isn't afraid to leave out facts for the sake of promoting the interests of one side.

What is almost as puzzling is the whole purpose of Baguirov's article in the first place. He goes on a tirade about the Armenian lobby's twisting of PM Erdogan's recent Caucasus iniative, except as an active member of the Armenian diaspora and a close follower of both Armenian and Turkish news I have not even seen the iniative mentioned by Armenian lobby groups yet let alone twisted to meet their own allegedly sinister desires. He claims that the proposal has already been "ripped from context and used with such ulterior motives by one special interest group" and yet fails to mention what the Armenian lobby or Armenia has done. He's actually created an opportunity to slander the Armenian lobby (or Armenia, it is not exactly clear which is his guilty party) out of thin air by letting the Turkish Daily News's readers assume what the evil Armenians must have already done to sully this iniative- without actually telling us what it is. This is of course because there is nothing to actually report!

He then rhetorically asks what Armenia has done to repay Turkey for all its goodwill, as if Armenia has constantly rubuffed a Turkey which reaches out to it despite taking constant abuse from Armenia. This once again forgets that the blockade is Turkey's not Armenia's initiative and that it is Armenia which has asked for the border to be opened without preconditions. Despite this Baguirov continues to play pretend by asserting that Armenia is "holding Turkey hostage to never-ending demands", once again failing to mention what these imaginary demands are. He also forgets Armenia's leadership has publically denied it has claims on Turkish territory on numerous occassions (a prerequisite for opening the border) only to have Turkey tell them that they actually do, and that it has shown the goodwill Baguirov claims is lacking to the point of even inviting the Turkish president to Yerevan for the upcoming football match.

What better way than to show the good neighborliness Baguirov claims is lacking from Armenia than for President Gul to accept her invitation to visit? Baguirov continues his arguement by stating the best tactic for Turkey would be to continue its trade with the "booming economies" of Georgia and Azerbaijan and that this trade is best done by using Georgia as the only bridgehead. Any tactician could tell you that relying on one path for anything is hardly the best course of action. Baguirov's statement, or should I say his wishful thinking, is now almost pitiable as we see Georgia in shambles and its only east-to-west corridor unblocked just days ago by the Russians, its future accessibility in severe question.

I am not responding to Baguirov to merely promote Armenians as some infalliable people who are right about everything as he does on the other side of the arguement. I just believe his firery Azeri rhetoric as a last-ditch effort to convince Turkey it will somehow suffer by promoting open borders and freer trade for all peoples of the Caucasus is an attitude which does not help this terribly volitile region. If Georgia has taught us anything it is that the nations of this region must work together harder than ever to resolve their differences before they explode again. This means all parties shifting into the painful yet necessary reconciliation mode now instead of attempting to contiually spite fellow nations forever, which while much easier does no good for the region's future.

Turkey can play a constructive role in the Caucasus, but is acutely aware that its influence is severely limited as long as it has no relations with a third of the region and needs to rely on wartorn Georgia as its lone outlet. I'd also like to see how Baguirov's arguement that opening the border would cause nothing but ill for Turkey holds up if posed to residents of its eastern provinces, areas in bad need of the economic opportunities the opening would bring. An impoverished region means an unstable region, and more than anything Turkey will benefit from a relieving of its eastern instability. This doesn't even begin to take into account tourism from Armenia whose residents badly want to visit their sacred sites located throughout this region and the positive the people-to-people contact this would bring and contribute towards reconciliation. Based on first-hand accounts, it seems an Armenian has yet to visit Turkey and not felt at least a little bit at home. "For true Caucasus stability Turkey must remain on course"?!

Nothing promotes hostility better than polarization and unfamiliarity, what better way forward towards stability than by breaking down regional barries and rediscovering how similar we all really are?
by Daniel Beast August 26, 2008


First Blog/Dorkiness Prevails
Well, it happened. As a constant follower of Armenian news in both Armenia and the Diaspora I've always thought about creating a blog to talk about it. I was encouraged by some other members of the Armenian blogosphere during the aftermath of the March violence as I was actively following the news and commenting about it at blogs such as Onnik Krikorian's fantastic Caucasian Knot: http://blog.oneworld.am/ I never did get around to doing it and eventually as the situation receded so did the impetus to add another star to the blogosphere's Armenian constellation. Five months later and the Georgian war has spurred me to finally go through with it and set up a blog so here it is. I'm an active follower of Armenian news but I really don't have any particular behind-the-scenes expertise or doctorate in this sort of thing, I'm just an amateur lover of it.

The reason I think Georgia spurred me was because:
1. I didn't see it coming, I just kind of took for granted after years of following the news on these frozen conflicts that they would just stay that way for years to come. I should have known better, which makes me worried about the Karabakh situation more than ever. I should also point out that I am young enough that I don't remember Karabakh War the first time around and seeing the scenes of South Ossetia and Georgia bring home what could happen there again as well which is a very painful thought.

2. I knew 2008 would be an eventful year in the Caucasus with elections in all three countries but this invasion adds a whole new dimension to the problems there. It will certainly lead to much musing and speculation for a long time to come on a region of the world very important to me so what better place for it than a blog? Besides Armenian and regional politics though I also plan to cover goings-on in the diaspora at large with a focus on my own little corner of it Philadelphia (one of the more ignored Armenian-American cities which seems to be totally unique in its community dynamics from other diasporan cities. It certainly wouldn't hurt for other cities to learn from it). On top of all this the Turkish-Armenian soccer game is in less than a month and the dynamics between the two countries possibly headed into totally new territory I think there are many intriguing things occuring which bear discussion and reflection by all Armenians.

An introductory post should include a little information about me and my aim with this blog (without going on much longer!) I am purely a diasporan and I frankly have seen very little blogging about the diaspora and its myriad issues. We have some great blogs on Armenia itself and I thought it wouldn't hurt to add to the fray one coming from the diaspora discussing both issues in Armenia which I have visited and here as well. I named the blog West of Igdir because... well mainly because naming your blog is one of the hardest things you'll ever do short of birthing a child and I wanted to make it as painless as possible by just making it the first thing which came to mind. Why is an Armenian blog named after a Turkish town? West of Igdir is a notion I took from my great-grandfather's diary, a gamavor with General Antranik who wrote it on the battlefield in 1915. In an especially stirring passage translated into English he writes about his group of soldiers crossing over from their actions around Lake Van down into Igdir and its green Ararat valley. "Leaving the village of Mousn that morning, in one and a half hours we climbed to the top of the hill which was the Russo-Turkish border...

In the evening we arrived in Igdir. It was as if we came to a new world. The whole city was green and blooming. We fell from hell to paradise." These lines he wrote really struck me, not only they are beautifully poetic lines from the field of war but the way they so perfectly illustrates the freedom from all the fighting and genocide to the west. The line is even more poignant today because this valley which provided freedom is no longer passable from one side to the other and Igdir is no longer a safe Armenian city. It goes without saying that both Armenia and the diaspora for their own reasons have yet to pass east to their own Igdirs so to speak, and many of the problems of these two Armenian nations have roots firmly in that same Armenianless land "west of Igdir". It is my hope that watching from this blog the slow work of peace and reconciliation- not just for Armenia and its neighbors but for Armenians with Armenians internally and for diasporans with diasporans throughout the world- each may too somehow pass out of the dark shadow of the past west of Igdir into their own green valleys.
by Daniel Beast, August 14, 2008

1 comments:

Montsouris said...

Ref: Ossetia War: Lessons For Armenia

"At the report by the independent research commission that was formed in Rwanda"
This so-called "commission" is simply a tool of the totalitarian power in Kigali, for defame the France, and mask its crimes against Rwandese and Congolese civilians. The chief of this so-called "commission", Jean de Dieu Mucyo, was accused, several times, of mass killings of unarmed civilians.

In February of this year, the Spanish justice published dozens of arrest warrants against important actual leaders of the Rwanda.

In March, Carla Del Ponte, former prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), explained that, since 2003 at least, the ICTR has evidences against Paul Kagame, for terrorism, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In June, the ICTR threatened to launch arrest warrants against several Rwandese leaders for assassination.

One example of the like-Andonian forgeries of the so-called "commission": the letter attributed to the colonel Gilles Bonsang, "chief of the 7th RIMa", 9 June, 1998.

1) The 7th RIMa does not more exist since 1977.

2) The lieutenant-colonel Gilles Bonsang was never colonel and never the chief of this regiment.

3) Lieutenant-colonel Bonsang was not in Caylus in 1998, as written in this "letter", but in Marseille.

Mostly of the "testimonies" are anonymous, and cannot be cross-examined.

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